Sunday, October 25, 2015

How to let yourself go -

This sounds easy and the unsettling part is, it's even easier than it sounds!  

Everyone has a day where they don't DO too much to themselves - maybe you skip a shower until the evening, or don't put on makeup, or end up in your workout clothes all day or even your pj's - it happens.

But things start to take a turn when normal upkeep feels special.  A leg shave that typically occurs every day or every other day is now on the agenda every two - to THREE days. And even then it feels hard to accomplish. What the what??  When more than one or two areas of your body are not taken care of, in the way they should be - you know you are almost there.

When we listed our house for sale, it was fine to get the kitchen messy as long as all the other rooms were "ready to show."  Then if someone wanted to see the place I did a sweep of the kitchen and was out of there.  

But, if the bedroom wasn't neat, AND the kitchen was a mess - then there was a problem in my mind - too many rooms out of order to be able to be out of the house in 10 minutes if a showing was eminent.

So the body situation is the same.  Face and hair messy, but eyebrows in good shape, skin clear, toenails in order, legs mostly shaved, whole body not too smelly (just a light happy sweat smell from walking Teddy) - no problem.

But dirty hair, dirty body, unkempt toenails, shaggy eyebrows and no makeup? Oopsy.  

When more than one or two "rooms" in your "house" are messy - you have crossed over.

BUT here is where it gets really bad. So you go over to the dark side and lots of rooms in your house are messy and the first and second and third day this seems to occur nothing BAD happens.  Your husband doesn't freak out, in fact no one seems to really notice -- and down the slippery slope we go.

You tell yourself that you've "just been extra busy,"  or because it's so hot and you are at home all day you are just "taking a break" from all that "extra" stuff. 

AND then you are waiting for your car at a valet and you sit on a bench and look down at your legs and look up the valet and he looks down at your legs and there is a moment where he knows that you know that he knows that your legs need to be shaved. And you go home and take a hard look at yourself in the mirror (figuratively of course because you are practically grotesque at this point - you don't want to ACTUALLY look at yourself). 

Here is my Tired Girl tip to NOT let yourself go.  

1. If you can't keep up with your look, then change it up or embrace a more relaxed but still neat look.  (In the summer months by my hair doesn't even come close to my rollers or curling iron - it airs dry and up in a knot it goes).

2. Let yourself take breaks, but have self control.  Putting on pj's upon home arrival is allowed, no bra on a Saturday is needed sometimes, but don't live there.  And still wash your armpits. 

3. Get a good haircut.  Have the big things taken care of. 

4. Know the few things you really need to look your best (or atleast your "acceptable") - so you can do your makeup in lightning speed if needed (as I sit here typing with no makeup on). 

5. Upgrade your everyday/comfy clothes - Cute pj's, t-shirts that are flattering (I like these from Ann Taylor Loft and Target), look better just by accident with slightly better clothes. And throw away the really bad stuff. Do it.  I can't do it, who am I kidding, but you still should do it.

Let something else in your life go - but not yourself.  We want to live the good life after all - not the gross life.

Here is my pep talk from Liz that I have used in way too many posts. 

I feel better already.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Capsule Wardrobe -

When I gained weight (over the past few years) my closet became obsolete. Nothing fit, save like two pairs of jeans and a few tops.  Things fit, but not the way they were supposed to. (Think 10 pounds of sugar in a 5 pound bag.)

Then, my Tired Girl bestie Vanessa asked me, out of the blue (not knowing my chubby woes), if I'd heard of "Capsule Wardrobes." 
There is a very real chance I will
be wearing one or all of these
items at any one time, right Joe?

One google search later and I was sold.  
I read a few blog posts about it all, but this was my favorite - she tells what, why, how, etc.:  UNFANCY

The take-away is this: 

- Limit your current (this season's) wardrobe (excluding pj's, workout clothes, and dressy-dress) to 20-40 pieces. 

- Pick the things you love, are in the current season, and fit your body right now.  

- Donate/sell the pieces you know you don't want, store other season clothes somewhere else (way back of the closet, guest room closet, under the bed, etc.) 

A Pinterest search will give you more inspiration then you need.  

When I thought about it I realized, I already lived in a capsule - wearing the same few things over and over and feeling guilty looking at other clothing that I didn't like or didn't fit.

Though I felt forced in to a capsule wardrobe, because of my annoying weight gain, I was quickly hooked.  

An outfit I would wear out in the
 evening practically year-round
in Florida.  These jeans and my
black tees work for my curvier
 body. Wish my body was as long
and lean as this pic implies.
I have yet to lose the weight I would like to, and so when I am back to the size that matches the bulk of the clothes I own (hidden in the guest closet), I may go crazy for awhile wearing everything. But in the meantime it's super easy to just wear my handful of clothes.  

Some words about MY actual style, if you have nothing else to do:

I have truly embraced very simple clothing. With my current heavier body I just feel better in simple things that fit/fall just right - when I find them I buy a few and only wear them (hence the capsule thing).

I am most comfortable in the simple, meaningful pieces of jewelry that I wear all the time as well, and have a few fun pieces I mix in sometimes. 

If I am going out to be with humans that I know in a small setting, the goal is clean/simple hair and well done/simple makeup.

My goal otherwise is to not be offensive, and to be the most comfortable I can be in regular clothes.  What a goal!

Hot pink, navy and white stripes, and leopard are my patterns/colors of choice to add to my plain pieces. 
Notice a pattern here (no pun intended)?
1. Vionic flip flops in Leopard (great support - the navy patent ones are pretty too)
2. Tory Burch Miller Sandal in Sand Patent 
3. XOXO Sneaker (mine are G by Guess brand, but canvas like these) 
4. Frye Boots (mine are Kenneth Cole and no longer avail) - I love the greige color.
5. Ugg boots Classic Short in Chestnut 
6. Steve Madden Elusionl leopard flats  
7. Tory Burch Reva Flats in Royal Tan BUT looks like they aren't avail any longer - these are similar and look pretty comfy.

These are the MVP's in my closet. If I am out in public I probably have one of these on.  I love to look at shoes, but in reality once I buy a few pairs that I really love I just want to wear those over and over.
Obviously I have a style here - I like camel and nude colored shoes with every color clothing - even black. I also love leopard with any color clothing. Plus since I dress so plain for the most part a leopard or camel colored shoe always works. My boots are similar to the ones above - I paid $40 at Marshall's years ago for them and I love the greige color and how comfortable they are. 
This creation is entitled "Every Day Fall."I am a regular Polyvore poet.

My last idea to share about capsule wardrobing is this:  If you create a free account on Polyvore you can find pieces of clothing that look like items you own. Then "like" them to save them in your "items", and then you can "create" a million outfits with your capsule wardrobe if you want.  My stuff is so basic it seems dumb to spend the energy putting a blue shirt with tan shorts and then a blue shirt with WHITE shorts - oh wow - watch out world!  But surprisingly this is super fun and major way to watch the hours disappear before your eyes.  

Here are my awe-inspiring outfits from Polyvore - Tired Girl on Polyvore.

Anyone else try Capsule Wardrobing?Thoughts? Hate it? Love it? 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bikinis and Skinny Jeans -

 This could be the shortest post ever - here it is: just because something is in style doesn't mean it works for you. Skinny jeans and bikinis, I am specifically looking at you right now. That could be the whole post and you would get it.

But here is more anyway:
Skinny jeans look like crap on me. So they may be in style, but they aren't in the right style for my bod. Bootcut/flare is where it's at for me. I have a bedunkadunk and I need a line that goes out away from my booty instead of in towards my feet. Weighing the same amount I look skinnier and taller in full length flare jeans.  These are my two all time favorites.
Here I am just being six-foot tall and not wearing a shirt.
1. Paige Skyline Bootcut in Valor - I wear size 30
2. Joe's Jeans Provocateur Bootcut (I have a few colors)
Also I buy expensive jeans and have them professionally taken
 up because they look better and I wear them everyday so it's justified.
I don't think I am alone in my inability to flawlessly pull off skinny jeans. This chick on Buzzfeed agrees  here.

Now bikinis it's your turn to get it: This summer I was at a big pool at a resort and while all the moms and dads made sure their children were a) not drowning and b) be sweet to their cousins, I was able to slide my sunglasses over my eyes and people-watch for hours. Here is what my research (staring) discovered.  

There were a lot of moms out there with perfectly good and fit bodies. Not amazeballs 17-year-old bodies, but nothing to be ashamed of here folks bodies. BUT what I discovered was that many many of the moms I saw were wearing bikinis.  And even though they looked fine in a bikini they would have looked really great in a tankini or one piece.

For a lot of people skinny jeans and bikinis
are there ideal style. 
For me, the right tankini  can scoop, smooth, push up and push down in all the right places and be more flattering for this body I have right now.

For me the right sleeping bag covers up all of my bumps with a cozy "all over puffy" look and accentuates my eyes, but that is less feasible in getting around. So tankinis and flare jeans it is. 

The problem with skinny jeans and bikinis is that we (women) are told (through the universe) that these are things we should wear, or be able to wear, or are better if we wear them. We feel like we are "giving up" if we no longer master certain styles.  And I think that's shit. 

I choose to wear things on my body that make me look and feel good, regardless of the latest fashion. Luckily pjs are always in style at my house. 

Preachy part: And my point is that we should simply decide for ourselves what is in style for our own bodies.  

I feel infinitely less tired when I don't look like butt and don't waste time trying on 87 different pairs of skinny jeans.  Just suck it skinny jeans! I am done with you.  Except when it comes to wearing boots - I own a couple of pairs that look good from thigh up so that I can wear my boots all winter, but that doesn't count. 

Anyone else have a "fashion" that they give the middle finger to? 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Antidepressants -

I have recently gone off my antidepressants.  Or I should start by saying: I was recently taking antidepressants.  

The seeds were sown when I started paying top dollar to pump my body full of hormones, over a five or six year period with no positive results.  Then the most precious being in my world, my dog Ralphie, died before his time. My inability to kick the sadness and my natural, normal emotional-ness (that's a word right?) turned different (I think you will know when it turns), and I eventually went to a doctor - a psychiatrist.

He told me it was all okay and that I should try an antidepressant for a little while. "Let's just see," he said.  I put it off for for a few more months, but eventually went for it. I started a low dose of Zoloft. And in about three weeks my brain, my heart, and my chest felt better. 
There were some very specific changes I noticed immediately:

1) I could not, and did not cry.  The usual commercials that turned on the waterworks had no effect. The thought of Ralphie licking my arm on the last day of his life, that in the past had turned my face in to ugly cry mode, did not produce tears or even a surge of pain. I knew I felt sad - or maybe I knew I had felt sad in the past with this particular memory, but I didn't feel it then.  It was bizarre. Empowering.  Fantastic! Unsettling. I liked it.
My first year of teaching school I had a situation with a student that made me cry and I told another teacher - through tears "I wish there was a pill I could take to be tougher."  
Well, there is.  

"Do you still laugh?" My doctor asked me when I told him about my dry eyes.
"Does it bother you that you cannot cry? Do you feel detached?"

I knew it was probably not good, but it felt so great to have a break, that I didn't care. 

2) My creative brain dried up immediately.  The brain that was always zipping around, writing emails, stories, blog posts and ideas went blank.  I would pull up a "new post" page on my blog and just sit there. There were no words in my brain.  A few ideas, but more pictures than words. This was less fantastic. But my new found ability to be rock solid all the time felt so good, this seemed worth it.  

About four months after starting antidpressants two other side effects kicked in:

1) Restless leg syndrome. Not kidding around with this one.  Not like my legs "felt tingly" like they say online.  More like "Holy shit I have to walk around my house  at 1 am and not sleep."  Miserable.  Got a prescription for this, and did not think it was related to the antidepressant.

2) Starving. Like bottomless pit.  Like eat a whole meal and pretend to be full because that's what normal people would feel.  "Oh I am stuffed," Joe would say after a meal out. And I would think "Not me - I could have kept on!" 

Eventually the empty stomach issue died down (after 10 pounds joined up on to of the 10 pounds from years of hormones) and the creativity came back the littlest, tiniest bit. 

"Can you still not cry?'  My doctor would ask.
"No, but I like it."
Inappropriate on a couple of levels

But, then for no real reason (may have read that anti-depressants make you gain weight - too late for me!) in February of this year I decided to wean myself off of the antidepressants. I think I just wanted to check myself. I cut them in half and took half for about a week or two and then cut in half again. Eventually I was sprinkling pill dust into my mouth. 

I felt medium for awhile.  Not great, but not bad.  Like when you have had a really bad headache, and it finally subsides, but you move kind of slowly to make sure it doesn't come back. 

- My creativity came back almost immediately - it felt like the lights in my brain had been               turned back on.  
- About two months of going off of the antidepressants my restless legs went away.
- About four months after my emotions were back to normal me, not overly emotional me,  and not dead inside me.  I cry at the all normal things I cried about in the past - the sad parts in books and movies, Ralphie, other stuff that sucks. 

I had side effects that weren't great, but the medication gave me the ability to take a break from my sadness, and while taking the break I had to do the work, as they say, to heal the bigger issues. 
not a permanent solution
but could be part of doing the work
During the time I was on medication I was not raw, the way I was before.  And it gave me the chance to remember happy things about Ralphie and not just his death. My new "strength" (coldness - ha!) gave me the ability to work through the idea that (because of my inability to add children to my family)  my life was going to be different than I wanted and it was going to be okay. I also went to a "talk therapist" at the same time. I took a pill, took a break, and did the work.

I am lucky because as of now the antidepressants are not something I want or need.  For me the depression was a mix of losing Ralphie and having my hormones so out of whack that my coping mechanisms were trashed. 

A few things to say about getting off of antidepressants:

I think that maybe because I wasn't on them very long, and I was on a low dose, and I took a long time to wean myself off, and because my depression was situational, then I didn't have too bad a time getting off of them. 

 There were moments in the months afterward where I told myself I could start taking them again anytime if I wanted to. If the feeling I was having at the moment didn't go away in a time period I deemed reasonable then I could start them up again no problem.

I gave myself permission to experiment with not taking the meds. I went easy on myself and took care of myself during this process. 

I looked at it a little like a science experiment - like "Let's see what happens when I cut it in half again."  

My general practicioner doctor knew I was going off the antidepressants and he prescribed me a dosage of  progesterone.  Knowing that my hormones were an issue he felt that regulating them would help the whole process.  And I think it did. 

I will continue to see my psychiatrist.  If for no other reason that I want to maintain my "active patient" status with him.  That way if something changes I will be able to see him easily. Finding a psychiatrist that you can get in to, and that you like, is another whole issue in itself.  Don't wait till someone has to peel you off the floor to reach out for help, because getting help is a major process. 

Everything I have shared here is my experience only. I urge you to seek professional medical advice for every stage of depression. 

I am neither proud nor ashamed of my experience with antidepressant medication. I know people that will need to take it the rest of their lives and some people that should take something.  I just wanted to share my experience with it.  Plus  I am going to be writing about my new chubby body and my weightloss "journey" (weightloss is NOT a journey so much as fucking tour of misery) and I am going to blame my antidepressants for making me eat three hot dogs at a time. 

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