Still got it (back)

Three years ago I went to my niece’s Bat Mitzvah wearing a dress I had bought at Honey, it was the first (and last!) thing I had ever bought at this boutique and I was so proud to be able to fit into it! I think that night was was the most beautiful I had ever felt as an adult!

I worked my butt off to look awesome in the dress, and within a few weeks afterwards I was pretty sure I would never wear it again. Not that I ever gained back a ton of weight, but I had to be at my absolute slimmest to wear this dress… especially because I absolutely refuse to wear spanx!

February 2014

3 weeks ago I was invited to a Bar Mitzvah, I tried on all my more recently bought dresses and none of them fit quite right, I didn’t even bother trying this one on because I knew it wouldn’t fit, it literally has not fit since the one day I wore it in February 2014!

3 weeks ago (beginning of March) coincided with when I decided that I really had to get back to myself, I was recovered from surgery and done cancer treatment, and it was time to stop being lazy and stop making excuses and just go for it. I started weight training again, I started upping my cardfio with spinning and throwing some running intervals into my walks, and last week I started going to fit boxing classes. I also started paying closer attention to my diet…not changing it in any huge ways but just keeping a closer eye on the little indulgences that I have a little too freely sometimes (and don’t always track on myfitnesspal! Like the dark chocolate on my supervisors desk!). 

It has been a long time since one of my exercise charts has had anything but walking and very occasional yoga or strength

In three weeks I lost about 4 pounds, which is completely reasonable! I can also see and feel my body getting tighter and fitter. 

But even more so, this happened last night: 

March 2017

I decided to try on the dress yesterday morning, pretty sure it wouldn’t even zip up. Not only did it zip up, but it fit! Not quite as flatteringly as it had been three years ago, but well enough to wear it.

I’m so proud and excited to be back at at this size and weight, not only because of how it looks (because really, I don’t look drastically different 4 pounds heavier) because of how it feels! I feel so much better about myself, more confident and like I have met a goal.

Also, it is very important for me to be a healthy BMI, because it reduces my risk of a cancer recurrence. Although I know that I look like I am a healthy weight already, I am actually still 4 pounds heavier than a healthy BMI! That’s right I’m still 4 pounds overweight! Hopefully I can lose those last 4 pounds, but even if I can’t, if I can maintain this than I am closer to a healthy BMI that I have been in about three years (for the most part, I’m pretty sure there’s a few times I’ve gotten down there for a couple weeks), and that’s wonderful! 

Hopefully, everything I’ve been through in the last year, my newfound motivation to be my best healthiest self, both because that’s how I want to enjoy my life and because reducing my risk of recurrence is right up at the top of my priority list, will help me to get down to my goal, or at the very least actually stay where I am for a significant amount of time!

By the way, this is not beating myself up. I lost about 50 pounds in 2010, and have kept all of it off except for the last 5-10 pounds that come and go, so I know that I’ve already done well…but learning how to get off (and KEEP off) those last 10 pounds would be a huge accomplishment for me! Physically and emotionally. So, I’ve got my new life goal: To always be able to fit into the Honey dress. 

For those that didn’t know me then, here’s a picture of me back in late 2009, before I lost any weight: 

It’s hard to believe this was ever me

Here is a pretty neat article about my weight loss!

Modern renaissance 

It’s been a long time since I’ve indulged in luxury cosmetics for myself, but recently I’ve gotten really into eye make up again (really I did when I was bald, because I felt like I had to up my game, but now that I have hair again, having beautifully done makeup makes me extra happy), and decided to gift myself a current popular palette, Modern Renaissance by Anastasia Beverly Hills. The fact that I had a gift card for Sephora made it a bit easier!

Love this palette so much. The colours are absolutely gorgeous, but what really makes it amazing is the quality. So soft and highly pigmented, it just takes a tiny bit to get dramatic colour, and they blend so easily. Using this eye-shadow immediately makes my eye make-up look more striking and professional. Here are two examples:

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Aritzia review and wish list 

Aritzia is a store that I did not enter for many years, for three reasons: 

1. Once when I went into the store, a sales associate immediately approached me and informed me they didn’t have anything in my size (around a 14 at the time). I was actually looking for a gift but I walked out and did not consider going back for years

2. I actually think a lot of the clothing is ugly. Boring colors, boxy unflattering shapes. Looking in the window does not inspire me to enter. 

3. It is out of my price range for the most part. 

However, recently my daughter informed me that leggings from TNA (an Aritzia house brand) were something she really really wanted. So I waited until Boxing Day sales, and I bought her a pair of the coveted leggings, then 3 more! The truth is the regular price is $22 so I didn’t really have to wait for them to go on sale, they are more expensive than her usual ($10-12 from Urban Planet or Ardene) leggings but not exorbitantly so. However I have a rule that we don’t buy anything that’s not on sale, unless it’s for a special occasion or necessity, and so I stuck to it. When I bought her the leggings, I decided to buy myself a pair too…because I do love leggings and they have such a great reputation. 

Since then, I have to admit that the TNA Equator leggings are amazing leggings! They are very comfortable, very flattering, do not lose their shape. I love that they have a nice wide waistband that doesn’t dig in or make lumps. The regular price of $22 for plain ones and $32 for patterned ones is not ridiculous, and they do go on (modest) sale regularly. I now have several pairs, and wear them quite often. (I do still love Old Navy compression leggings as well. At regular price they are actually more expensive for than the TNA but go on deep discount often, they have all the benefits of the TNA and are also a bit thicker and warmer, which makes me sometimes prefer them and sometimes prefer the lighter weight TNA ones). 

I have also purchased a TNA light winter jacket  (on sale), and have one of the scarves,  again purchased during a big sale.

So I guess I could say I’m a bit of a convert, since I do really enjoy everything I’ve bought from Aritzia. Also, obviously that rude sales associate is long gone, and I have never found any of the staff in the stores to be anything but kind and helpful! 

That said, in spite of my love for the few pieces I have, I still find most of the clothing boring and shapeless. But I was looking through the new arrivals online, and found a few things that deserves to be on my wish list. Likely I will never buy any of them unless it is at an end of season sale to save for next spring!

Owning it

As my hair has grown from nonexistent to a buzz cut to a very short pixie to a pretty typical pixie cut; I have learned to like it short…and unless they are all lying so does just about everybody I know. 

In spite of that, I have always thought that I needed to grow it back, and then if I still preferred it short I could cut it. After all, cancer took my hair away, and if it’s going to be short, it needs to be on my terms.

Something interesting happened to me today though, I went to the hairdresser to get it cleaned up and she said “Jill, you know if you keep getting your hair trimmed, it’s never going to grow back?”.

It occurred to me that I don’t care. So I said, “I don’t care”.

I realized it doesn’t matter if I wait for my hair to grow back or not. No matter whether I choose to cut or keep it short, it’s by my terms. Going through the awkwardness and time it takes to grow my hair back, all to possibly cut it short again, that’s pointless.

I like it the way it is now, so this is how it will stay for now.

Who knows, maybe in a few years I will decide to grow it again? Maybe in a few months I will? Maybe I won’t cut it again for two years and today’s epiphany will last but a moment?

But for now, I’ve decided to own my pixie! its not chemo hair anymore, its mine. I choose it.