Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Getting ready for Fall

Many years ago, I absconded with a steamer trunk that my dad actually used on a transatlantic voyage. It's not quite Louis Vuitton or Goyard, but it's definitely the genuine article.

Ever since, I've used it to store my 'off-season' wardrobe. Twice a year (spring and fall) I open the trunk and pull out clothes for the upcoming season. While I'm at it, I usually also review each piece I'm pulling out to make sure (1) it still fits, (2) it's still appropriate for my lifestyle/age, and (3) I still love it. If something no longer meets all three criteria, I usually set it aside and either donate it or sell it.

Well, today was the day for my trunk opening. Out came wool skirts and pants, some bulkier sweaters, and a few "holiday" dresses. In went my breeziest tops, my eyelet dresses, and anything in too light or pastel a color.

Next, I tried on my fall/winter clothes.

The good news was that most pieces still fit me. (Criterion #1, check!)

And, most pieces are still appropriate for my lifestyle and age. (Criterion #2, check!) 

So then, the last question is, "Do I love them?" Ah, here we get to the real problem.

Unlike Spring clothes, which easily put a big smile on my face, Fall clothes tend to bore me. In theory, Fall fashion is the best. The magazines are full of beautiful jackets, rich knits, and delightful accessories (hats, scarves, gloves!) and I love it all. But the reality is that in my day-to-day life--at least, my Fall/Winter life--my uniform consists primarily of jeans, long-sleeve t-shirts, and wool cardigans. I just don't wear skirts or wool slacks, unless there's some special occasion that calls for a dressier look. And as for button-downs, I hate ironing. Le sigh...

As a result, I feel a huge desire to edit and simplify my wardrobe even further. Then, once that is done, I will be able to clearly see where gaps exists and what I need to shop for to fill those.

For now, I must trudge through the hard part and look forward to the fun to come. :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Checking In Again

It's Monday morning again, and that means it's time to check in.

First, in terms of sticking to the principles of the French Diet, I think I did fairly well. We did eat out more than I might have liked, but I think I was a lot better about portion control. I also ate more vegetables (specifically, tomato salads) as the first part of my dinner, and found that that helped me to scale back on the starch/protein portions of the meal.

Another thing that I think helped was that I was much more aware of my treat intake. I started to realize that little things do add up, so I tried to rein myself if a bit more. And, when I knew there would be dessert one evening as part of a celebratory dinner, I was careful to not overstuff myself during the earlier courses.

At first glance, I thought I hadn't really exercised much this past week. That's because I didn't go cycling or anything too strenuous (I only danced once). But then I realized that I did go for 20-30 minute walks at least 3 times during the week. And although this were at a more leisurely pace than my usual 40 minute walk, perhaps just the fact that I walked more frequently helped? At least, that's what I'm thinking after seeing the results on the scale. Which leads me to the part we've all been waiting for. 

How did I do?

Weekly weigh-in: 164.0 (-0.5 versus last week and -3.0 to-date) 


I was so happy to see the result on the scale this morning, because I really didn't expect that. This week, I'm going to try to continue to be more aware of treats and amounts I'm eating, and I am going to see if I can exercise more frequently, even if it's for less time or less strenuously, to see how that might affect things.

164 is the lowest I've been in who knows how long. If I can get below that, I will really feel a sense of accomplishment.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday, Monday

How does the old The Mamas and The Papas song, Monday Monday, go?
Monday, Monday
So good to me...
Monday, Monday
It was all I hoped it would be... 
Well, that sounds about right. At least, today it does.

Why? Well, let's just jump straight to the bottom line.

Weekly weigh-in: 164.5 (-0.5 versus last week and -2.5 to-date) 

To be honest, I'm not sure how that happened. I think I ate a bit less because this weekend I had to go help out mes parents more than usual/expected and so I felt like I ran around more and didn't have time to sit around and eat. There was definitely less snacking. Also, I ate more salad than usual because we reaped the benefits of our summer planting and I had tons of cherry tomatoes that had to be eaten or they would spoil. So, salad made up a larger percentage of my actual dinner meal. But, I also did some baking and we enjoyed the fruits of my labor. (Specifically, we enjoyed a strawberry & raspberry tart made with chocolate pastry cream filling and chocolate Pâte Sucrée.)

I've gotten a bit lax about recording what I've been eating in the past several weeks. I think perhaps I need to go back to that. That way I might be able to figure out what I did that worked (or that didn't).

In any case, I'm definitely happy to see things move in the correct (downward) direction. I need to remember this feeling the next time I think about buying some worthless candy bar or other junk dessert.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Genes or Jeans?

Yesterday I had an "a-ha!" moment.

My papa has had some health issues in the past couple of years, and as a result of those plus a few falls, he hasn't been able to walk properly, unassisted, for over a year now. He's had physical therapy, but usually a big part of that is doing your homework. They say that the best way to retrain your brain to walk is by walking.

Unfortunately, papa takes to this advice in fits and spurts. One day, he'll be gung-ho and do a bunch of exercise. The next day, he won't do anything. And then, he grumbles that he "isn't making any progress".

Invariably, this results in frustration all around. I start thinking, "Well, how can you expect to progress if you don't change what isn't working?" and then, "If you don't really want to get better, just admit it and stop complaining about it."  Not very nice. Luckily, most of the time, I use my inner monologue for these thoughts. Most of the time...

Anyway, so that's when I had my "a-ha!" moment. I realized that it isn't really fair to criticize papa when I am exactly the same way.  I keep saying that I don't like how I look, that I don't like feeling frumpy and overweight, that I want to change, but then, how much have I changed, really?

I know what I need to do. Eat sensibly. Eat less (at least for a while to make up for years of over-eating). Exercise more. The entire French diet is based on simple logic and good sense, plus a healthy dose of self-respect and self-esteem.

So, why don't I do it? Will my genes get in the way of fitting into my other jeans forever??

I'd like to believe that I am not a victim to genetics, and that I actually can effect some change in my life. I'd like to believe that I can be disciplined.

Perhaps what I need to do is stop focusing so much on changing my papa and instead focus on changing myself. Then, after I have demonstrated through my own life that it's possible, will I be able to urge him on. Otherwise, I'm just being a hypocrite (albeit a well-meaning one).

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Check-in time

Well, here we are again on a Tuesday and this time, it's the first Tuesday after a long holiday weekend. I hope everyone was able to relax and enjoy some time away from the usual routine.

Looking back over the past week, here are some highlights/thoughts:
  • Last week, for some reason, felt incredibly busy and hectic. As a result, I did a lot less cooking and a lot more take-out. Not exactly the best when you are trying to eat carefully.
  • Long weekends tend to go hand in hand with breakfasts that are eaten out. And breakfasts that are eaten out tend to be synonymous with pancakes/waffles/french toast for me. Again, not exactly a very French breakfast.
  • Long weekends also frequently seem to include more treats than usual. This weekend, that meant sharing some patisserie and a milkshake with Monsieur.
  • On the plus side, more free days with Monsieur often add up to more exercise, since he is often the one to encourage me to do something active. This weekend included some bike riding and swimming, in addition to my XBX exercises.

Weekly weigh-in: 165.0 (No Change versus last week and -2.0 to-date) 

Final Grade:  C

Bottom line:  I'm actually a bit relieved that my weight stayed flat, especially after some of the treats we ate. I now have a good idea of what inputs/outputs will lead to a status quo/flat weight, so what I have to do is be more aware and attentive if I want to lose any weight this week. Fingers crossed...

Friday, August 29, 2014

Happy Labor Day

I can't believe it is already Friday. This week was a blur. Several appointments and other to do's made the time fly by.  What's even worse is that I didn't realize, until today, that it's Labor Day weekend already!!

Sadly, I have no major plans. No weekend getaways or fabulous parties or anything of the sort. On the plus side, that means I have time to do whatever...

Maybe I'll take some time to get ready for the upcoming Fall season by going through my closet.

Or perhaps, I will go to a movie.

Maybe I will bake something.

Who knows?

Whatever you're doing, I hope you have a happy and safe holiday!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

September Issue

After the disaster that was the Kimye cover of April Vogue, I decided to cancel my subscription. The issues in the months that followed did nothing to make me think I'd made a mistake. 

Then, I saw it. 2014's September issue. 

Finally! A cover that didn't feature an actress, singer, or (shudder) reality TV star. 

I think I read somewhere that it's been ten years since the September issue featured models. 

I'm hoping that this cover signals a return to the Golden Age of Vogue. I don't expect them to banish celebrities entirely, but a little variety would be most welcome.