Wednesday’s Weighty Post…Week Two

Weight loss/gain this week: 4.5lbs lost
Total lost: 4.5lbs

So, in my first week of following the Slimming World ‘extra easy’ diet (sorry, ‘way of life’ or some such), I’ve lost 4.5lbs, which isn’t a bad start.

As well as my dresses starting to fit better, my skin is looking clearer (horrid dry skin on my chin has finally disappeared), and I feel much better in general. Don’t get me wrong, I still wake up repeatedly in the night, always fancy an afternoon nap, and it’ll be a long time before I’m dancing on tables, but I don’t feel anywhere near as sluggish as I did, or as disgusting, and it feels rather nice.

So, as much as I fancy a Wispa (and I really, really do), I think I’m going to remember how good I feel now, how awful I felt this time eight days ago, and how thoroughly spiffing I will feel in a month’s time. And then eat some sugar-free jelly.

One of my friends has joined me at SW (look at me learning the jargon) (can you call just the one acronym jargon?) and it’s like having my own personal cheerleader. Yet another reason to stick to it this week. Should be easy, The Boy and I are off to Yorkshire for a long weekend (all those hills, all those scones…).

In other, non-weight related news, The Boy and I have been watching ‘Fringe’ for the past few months. We are now three episodes from the end, and I’ve just (literally, this episode) become emotionally invested.

It’s going to be a rough finale.

The perils of retro dresses

On Friday, I went out for dinner with my Fabulous Cousin (and, on an unrelated note, one of the funniest people I know). We got talking about my dress (from Lady V London, I love it – review to come), which then led onto my Lovely Sister mentioning how I only ever wear dresses. My Fabulous Cousin was genuinely horrified to find out that I don’t have ‘slobbing out clothes’, or ‘sloggies’ if you will. The conversation went something like this…

“So, even if you’re watching TV, you’re wearing a dress?”
“Yes.”

“How about if you’re feeling ill, do you still wear a dress?”
“Well, if I’m lying in bed, no, but if I’m up, why wouldn’t I?”

“But…what about when you get in from work?!”
“Yep, pretty much just keep a dress on before I get in the shower.”

“How do you relax though?!”
“The same way as everyone else…but…you know. Wearing a dress.”

And so on (this went on for quite some time). I know some people think I’m a bit odd for wearing only dresses (or occasionally, skirts), and there are occasions where I’ve thought this myself. I thought I’d take you through some of the situations where I’ve thought ‘I really should be wearing trousers for this…’

1. Running down the escalator at Kings Cross (or London Bridge. Or any station, come to that), where my particular dress style (1950s, sans petticoat for work) often causes me to have a Marilyn moment and flash my pants to my fellow commuters. Who I then have to get on the Tube with. Which leads me to…

2. Being so squashed up against everyone else on the Tube, that when someone lifts up their briefcase/bag off the floor, they take my dress with them, again causing me to flash my pants at my fellow commuters (writing this down is making me realise I spend a large portion of my day flashing my pants at people. I need to get better pants. Or sew weights into my hems – I heard the queen does that. As fashion role models go, she’s not the worst).

3. Bending down to feed the cat of a morning, and my hem gets caught in the water bowl, leaving me with an attractive water mark (that I never have time to dry, because I am always running late. Always.)

4. Getting my hems caught in various car/train/Tube/house doors, and having to get someone to help me get unstuck. Or saying nothing in the case of the train/Tube, and hoping no-one notices.

5. Walking holidays. As longtime readers of this blog will know (hey guys, how are you?), The Boy loves a walking holiday. We went to the Lake District earlier in the year, and I insisted on wearing my pretty dresses with walking boots. There are not many men who, when faced with a girlfriend in an inappropriate-for-the-current-situation dress and a pair of Next walking boots (see, they’re not even proper walking boots!), will simply smile and say ‘Ok, ready to go dear?’. He is a keeper.

It does lead to some funny looks from the other walkers though…ah well, makes a change from looking at all the natural beauty of the Lakes I guess.

6. Being around small children. While none of my friends (adorable) children have ever done this, one small boy belonging to a complete stranger did lift my dress up. Which once again led me to flash my pants at those present. It’s ok, it was only in the middle of New Look. On a related note, I scared a small child in Boots this weekend (I can’t be sure if it was the dress. It may have been the hair flower. Or the red lipstick), who whispered “Go away lady, go away”, before saying it again about six times, then hiding behind his dad’s legs. And people wonder why I’m awkward around children…

7. Moving house. As I mentioned last week, it’s not so long ago that The Boy and I moved in together, and I’m not entirely sure wearing a dress while carrying (among other things) two sofas, two bedframes, a dining room table and chairs and a Welsh dresser was my most sensible idea.

I can honestly say though, that I’ve never thought to myself, “Oh I do wish I was wearing a restricting pair of jeans while reclining on this sofa with my packet of biscuits, watching How I Met Your Mother.” Not once.

Also, as my Lovely Sister pointed out, I’ve now worn dresses for so long (I think it’s been about three years since I wore trousers at all, except in the gym. And I’ve not been to the gym for about two and a half years, so…) I’d look ‘really weird’ if I were to wear trousers. So, you know.

Carrie-Ann

This is me in the Lindy Bop Ophelia dress, which I love so much I’m considering wearing it around the house, to the supermarket and in place of pyjamas.

Aside

Wednesday’s Weighty Post

So, it was my first Slimming World session this evening (I know, shocking – I’ve reached the grand old age of 29 without having joined any sort of slimming class. That may go some way to explaining my somewhat squidgy bum, and unhealthy attachment to Guylian Chocolate Seashells).

Don’t get me wrong, I do weigh myself regularly. Well. Once a month. If I’m feeling brave. But being weighed during the session this evening was quite different. For example, there was nothing to gently lean my upper body on. Nor was there the option to gently rest one foot on the scale, while the other took most of my weight. And, to my astonishment, they started the scale at zero. Not slightly nudged to the left (only possible with my preferred old-fashioned, non-digital scales).

As a result, it was even worse than I feared – I thought I was going to vomit at one point. However, the wonderful lady who weighed me let me stare straight ahead instead of looking at the scale, and even reassured me that she wouldn’t add my starting weight to my log book (that’s right, you get a log book, and all manner of other literature that I’ll talk about in more detail in a later post…still trying to ‘digest’ everything) (see what I did there? It was a food joke. I know, my jokes get funnier.) and to just mention to the lady who weighs me next week that I don’t want to know how much I weigh, just how much I lose (or gain).

So, while I cannot confirm with any certainty that I do weigh less than a baby elephant, I’m hopeful that it’s still the case. Everyone in the room was lovely, which made the whole process somewhat easier to bear, but I am mortified I let myself get into this state. I’m often mortified at the things I let myself do, but this really takes the biscuit (as it were).

Anyhoo, the ordeal is over, and I’m currently feeling very positive about what to do next. The fridge has been pre-emptively stocked with jelly (which I’m reliably informed is just as good as Guylian Chocolate Seashells), and I’m currently working out this week’s meal plan. I fully expect this chirpy attitutude to last until approximately lunchtime tomorrow, when I realise I can no longer visit any of the food stations in the mall near where I work (the Caffe Nero withdrawal is set to be particularly unpleasant. Particularly as I’m currently smack bang in the middle of my latest loyalty card).

Wish me luck!

Let’s go back to the start…

Oh hello there, long time no speak.

How’ve you been? How’s the family?

Lots has been going on since I last updated this blog. I won’t bore you with all the details (I’m sure you don’t want to hear what I do on an average Tuesday, for example), but here are some highlights:

The Boy and I (finally) moved in together; into a beautiful house with a damp problem, poor chimney ventilation and pipes that go bang in the night, purchased lots of upcycled furniture (mostly from Pip ‘n’ Mix, run by a fabulous wife and husband team) and are now incredibly happy, bickering about whose turn it is to empty the dishwasher/turn the bedroom light off/call the plumber.

We bought a cat, called her Oswin (after a character in Doctor Who, because we just keep getting cooler as the months and years go by) and treat her the way most people reserve for particularly pampered toddlers.

In the last year or so, the shopping ban has taken not so much of a back seat as a ‘in the boot of the car six vehicles behind’. I’ve become a bit of a retro fashionista, and have the wardrobe to prove it. I look forward to talking you through the intricacies of pin curls and snoods, the minefield of retro vs modern clothes sizing, and all manner of vintagey delights!

To tease you a bit (I know, I’m mean like that), here are some of the things I’ll be talking about in the coming weeks…

Dollie Mixtures, a lovely little vintage salon in Hitchin

Why going to Ikea on a Sunday is a Very Bad Idea (it’s a cliche for a reason…)

Lindy Bop, a website of wondrousness (as long as you like retro reproduction dresses)

Lady V London, as above

A passionate defence of why it’s okay to be a bit in love with Alan Rickman, even when he’s playing Snape in the Harry Potter films, greasy hair and all

The aforementioned Pip ‘n’ Mix

The prettiness and pitfalls of retro dresses (hint: Running down escalators feature heavily)

Also, one last thing…I’m starting my weight-loss journey (God, I hate that phrase – what I mean is, I’m fed up of being ‘The Chubby One’, so I’ve decided to get of my decidedly squidgy bum and do something about it) this week, so you should look forward to various food-based (or should I say, lack-of-food-based) rants in the coming months. It’s going to be one hell of a journey, but we’ll get there!

White Weddings? White everything!

So, it may have escaped your attention (if you live in a basement/got locked in a cupboard/keep your curtains shut at all times) that it has been snowing here in the UK. A LOT. As someone who lives in the country, I can confirm that it looks very pretty as long as you don’t need to go anywhere, but if you need to leave the house for meetings or crisps, it causes a problem.

As a result, I’ve spent today working from home. After also spending Friday working from home. And, I’ll be honest, I miss my office. I’m starting to get cabin fever, and am constantly asking the dogs for proofreading advice, before enquiring as to whether the cats would like milk in their tea (for reference, always yes).

But, enough of my complaining. Apart from snowmen and suchlike, there is one thing that snow is good for, and that’s for creating a gorgeous backdrop. So, when my Fabulous Cousin got married to an equally Fabulous Chap at the weekend, the snow finished the whole thing off perfectly (my Fabulous Cousin is so organised, I suspect she pre-ordered it). Another lovely cousin (the bride’s sister), now lives in California with her lovely fiance, stepdaughter and son, and came over for the occasion (and to christen her son the week before, which was one of the loveliest Sundays I’ve had in a while, partly because her fiance was her boyfriend until halfway through the afternoon – he proposed, all the women in my family cried, and as I was surreptitiously dabbing my eyes, I realised I’m getting more and more like Lovely Mum), and her fiance and stepdaughter had never seen snow. Which I’m going to use as further evidence that my Fabulous Cousin did, indeed, ‘sort’ it.

I could talk about weddings all day (just don’t tell The Boy), and this one was lovely. The bride looked beautiful, the groom looked dashing, the bridesmaids looked great, they had Party Rings…AND all of my family danced. For those of you who don’t know my family, this is a Very Rare Occurence. Mostly because I usually refuse. This time, I made Lovely Mum dance with me to ‘Dancing Queen’. And during A Mowtown Medley, Darling Sister accidentally smacked Lovely Mum in the nose because (how’s this for irony), Lovely Mum tried to lean around Darling Sister to tell me to be careful in case I hit one of the Little Ones with my exuberant arm-flailing.

Oh, how we laughed. It was lovely to see everyone, in one place, having such a great time, but I’ll have to stop talking about it, because otherwise I won’t stop. A massive congratulations to my Fabulous Cousin and her Fabulous Chap!

Onto New Year’s Resolutions…for those of you who are the betting type, and thoguht that the gym thing would be the first to go – collect your winnings from those foolish enough to bet against you. I can only, once again, only blame the snow. Instead of getting up to go to the gym yesterday, I chose to lie on the sofa, yelling ‘Bring me the custard!’. (Side note – apple crumble and custard is lovely. Adding Golden Syrup makes it even lovelier. However, being too lazy and deciding not to bother getting a spoon for the Golden Syrup is a Very Bad Idea. I poured way too much in and ruined the aforementioned apple crumble and custard, and felt sick for quite some time. Which led to more lying on the sofa. So it wasn’t all bad.)

The ban on clothes shopping is going well for now, I just keep reminding myself that I can buy Joss Sticks and flower-shaped rugs instead. I don’t know how long this will last, however. I fear it may become harder with the new season launches that are filling up my inbox as I type. And, in order to pay for the flower-shaped rugs and Joss Sticks, I’ve decided to do my first car-boot sale as an adult. If you’re a size 12/14, with size 3/4 feet and you live in the Cambridgeshire, come and see me on 10 February – you are in for a TREAT.

It’s that time again….

Happy 2013 everyone!

Well, what with it being a new year and all that, I thought I’d make a few resolutions – one of them is to start writing this blog again regularly (tied into that is not shopping for a whole year, but I’ll get to that shortly). If I’m not writing enough for your liking, or there’s a topic you’d like me to cover, you can follow me on Twitter @fashionfarewell and mention it there!

So, the no clothes shopping rule…it didn’t work out exactly as planned last year (allowing myself to buy one thing a month just opened the floodgates and ended badly – I should have seen it coming), so this year, I’m reinstating the ban. Except for tights. As mentioned in previous blog posts, I have what I like to call a ‘signature look’, which is essentially a dress, a cardigan, a pair of tights and flats (in the summer) or boots (in the winter). I am very clumsy and manage to put my fingers through most pairs, sometimes before I’ve even worn them, so I’ve made an executive decision to allow myself to buy tights. I’ll be honest, I can’t see myself spending £300 a month on them(just as an aside, in case The Boy and/or my lovely Mum are reading this, I do NOT spend £300 on clothes a month, it’s just a random figure), so it should work out just fine. Accessories are also banned, which includes shoes, bags, and belts. But not earrings – I have 14 piercings, 13 of those in my ears, and I lose earrings  a LOT.

Apart from my wardrobe being full to bursting, The Boy and I are  (almost) in the process of buying our first house. So, you know, I need to save money. Or, alternatively, redirect it to sellers of candles, heart-shaped ornaments and waffle throws.

But they’re not my only resolutions, oh no! Over the Christmas period, a couple of helpful souls (let’s call them ‘friends’), brought a couple of things to my attention.

One made a point of telling me how dry my hair’s been looking recently. Which was nice. I personally enjoy being able to impersonate various country-singing personalities (my rendition of ‘Stand by Your Man’ is particularly heart-rending), but if others don’t see the appeal, who am I to disagree? The second told me I’m getting fat (this particular friend mentioned it to me not once, but twice over the Christmas break, just in case I hadn’t heard their soul-crushing pronouncement on my chubbiness the first time).

I was always taught that if you can’t say anything nice, you should say nothing at all, no matter how offensive a person’s halitosis, how dreadful their greasy roots, or their resemblence to a chipolata in that salmon-pink cocktail dress they just ‘had to have’.  But I digress. 

Now, this could easily have gone one of two ways. I’m very stubborn, and have a tendency towards ‘cutting off your nose to spite your face’ defiance. But instead of blowdrying my hair upside down whilst simultaneously tucking into a family-size bag of Doritos, I’ve decided to take what they said, mentally picture myself punching them in the face, and incorporate their ‘suggestions’ into my new year’s resolutions. So I will be aiming to get healthy (going to the gym at least once a week – let’s not get carried away), and will do a hot-oil treatment on my hair once a week.

If you’re a betting sort of person, I can offer you excellent odds on the hot-oil treatment being the first to go.

…And I’m back (again).

This post is dedicated to a lovely old friend who took me to my first dance lesson (and my first pub, but I digress), and wrote me a lovely message on Facebook (other social networks are available) to tell me that she likes my blog, and that I should start writing it again.

So, I haven’t written a post in a while, and I’ve fallen off the ‘not shopping’ wagon quite spectacularly. I feel that these separate lifestyle choices may be linked, so thought I’d better start writing again (I also fear that The Boy will leave me if I don’t stop shopping. He’s very patient, but doesn’t particularly want to live in a house made of shoe boxes – no, I don’t understand it either).

In the background while writing, I have a BBC4 show on (because I’m cultured and that) and just heard a dinosaur described as ‘not shaped like a people carrier’. I’ll be honest, I’ve never really thought about dinosaurs in terms of the car shapes they resemble (or not, as the case may be). For example, I’ve never looked at a Triceratops and thought ‘Well, it’s no convertible…’

But I digress.

Although I’ve bought some clothes (and shoes) that I shouldn’t have, I have discovered some fantastic websites in the last couple of months. One is funkydivaa, who have really cute clothes (especially the printed maxi dresses and playsuits – I love them so much that I want them all!) and amazing customer service. Customer service is a big thing for me, and I’ve stopped shopping at some well-known shops/websites on the strength (or, to be more accurate, the weakness) of their customer service, so it’s great to find a site where I actually want to be friends with their agents, they’re that nice! I ordered a gorgeous daisy print maxi dress, which is just lovely. It’s really flattering and fits really well. The only thing I would say is don’t wear it when it’s raining – I wore it yesterday and managed to suck up most of the puddles on the pavement – not a good look! (Disclaimer – not paid to promote this site in any way, I just think they’re fab.)

Another is Chockers Shoes – I’ve ordered the shoes that I’m wearing to my cousin’s wedding from here, and they’re so pretty that I want to cry a bit (I have an intense emotional attachment to my clothes). They are so high that I’m nearly the same height as Darling Sister in them (and she’s 7 inches taller than me). They got delivered to work, and we had an enjoyable afternoon where I wore them and tried to break them in – it was a bit like that scene in Bambi, where I tripped around the office and stepped very, very gingerly around my desk. Totally worth it.

In other news, I auditioned for a well-known game show recently (I didn’t get through. I’m not bitter.) and we had to speak for a minute about something we were passionate about. Other people knew about this in advance, and had prepared something. I didn’t, so I spoke about my love of clothes, writing, this blog, and the perils of saving for a house deposit. If I could do it again, I’d definitely share my love of Philip Glenister (he was appearing at a fan thing on the same Sunday as I auditioned, and I now wish I’d gone to that instead. Which either makes me a) worryingly obsessed, b) a bit of a geek or c) actually a bit bitter) – The Boy and I had a conversation about how I’m one step away from thinking Phil is sending me messages through the TV – or maybe Doctor Who. Not because I think it would get me further in the audition process, but just because I think it’s time more people knew that I have an inappropriate crush on Gene Hunt (for those of you that haven’t watched Life on Mars, or Ashes to Ashes, please do it. You need it in your life.) and that I am properly emotionally attached to a proper sci-fi show. I cry watching it and everything (usually only at the sad bits), and I still miss (and complain about missing) some of the characters that have left the show, like they’re actual people.

So, the shopping ban is almost back – I’ve decided to give myself until my birthday (17 June) and that’s it. As I clearly can’t be trusted to buy one emergency item a month, I will go back to buying nothing at all. It’s the only way. (I’m using the same argument with The Boy as to why I should go on The Cambridge Diet – I just can’t be trusted with food…I eat a carrot, then a yoghurt, and it segues seamlessly into family-size bars of Galaxy caramel. I can’t explain it.)

Next week – the week my lovely friends got married, and I went blonde.

You can follow me on Twitter (for musings and random updates) at FashionFarewell – see you there!

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