Friday, April 26, 2013

This new strength routine

So, I've been doing strength training for almost 2 years with months here and there taken off for injury, vacation, doing other stuff (landscaping my yard), etc. But, in general, for 2 years strength training has been a priority.

As you know, if you've been reading here for awhile, I was doing the Les Mills class, BodyPump for strength training for much of that time. Then last fall I started working with a personal trainer in conjunction with BodyPump and then this January, I dropped BodyPump all together and just worked with a personal trainer twice a week and now I'm still working with a personal trainer once a week for a few more weeks and doing New Rules for Lifting, Supercharged with my husband 3 times a week at the gym.

Now, with BodyPump, every 4 months (or is it 3 months?) there is a new weight routine. The routine goes: warm-up, squats, chest, triceps, back, lunges, shoulders, abs, cool-down. The instructor will give some indicator if this routine is harder, easier or about the same as previous routines, so you have an idea of how much weight to put on the bar. And, as it gets easier, you should add more weight to the bar and so on.

Both my husband and I were good about upping our weights with pushing ourselves, but it did get to a point where we felt, "Ok, I can finally do it." Then, we would add some more weights to the bar for next time. That next time we may or may not be able to do all the reps, but we tried to. In any case, I always felt like I was accomplishing something - or getting better. Even though I was always pushing myself, it didn't feel like, "here we are again, super hard." I think it's because we had other people in class to compare too. We could see how far we had come. We could feel that we were getting better and improving. We knew our starting point and current point, even two years in as we always did the same exercises.

With this new routine, I'm not feeling that. With New Rules for Lifting, if you can do the required 10-15 reps, then it's too easy and you need to add more weight or do a different exercise so that you max out before the 10-15 prescribed reps. You basically should never complete things easily.

Plus, there is no one to compare yourself too. Well, I have my husband, but with most things he can do more than I can or we can do the same. (Core, lunges, power jumps, combination weights up and lunges, we are the same. Anything upper body and squats he is stronger). I just feel it's hard, hard, hard every time. And, well, it should be, but so far at least, I'm not feeling a sense of accomplishment. It's not just about adding more weight. It's many times changing the activity to make it a harder activity. So, it's easy to lose track of the starting point.

Well, there is one exception. With nearly every exercise grouping, there are different levels of difficulty. With core, Sven and I are already at the Super Charged level as I guess our cores are strong (and neither of us used to have strong cores). We tried each exercise prescribed for one workout and until workout 6 or so, every time we had to do a harder one the next time. We can hold a plank for 60 seconds, hold it with one leg up for 30 seconds (each side) and we can hold up an arm tucked in for 30 seconds each side, and in push-up position hold up one arm, each side 30 seconds. The Super Charged exercise is to hold opposing arm and leg up in push-up position. This one we can hold for about 15 out of the required 30 seconds, both sides.  So, in this case, it's easy to see that we have made progress. For everything else? Nope.

Even the push-ups. It starts with doing two sets of 15 full length push-ups. Now, there is a side note that says if you can't do full length push-ups to start at the wall and gradually work your way down to the floor at varying degrees of incline until you can do push-ups, but in the pictures it starts with full-length pushups and just gets harder from there.  That alone is so discouraging for me as I couldn't do 15 full length push-ups. Then I could do a few, but then a few shallow ones. Just yesterday, on workout 7 or 8, I lost count, I can do 2 sets of ten full length push-ups with full depth, perfect form. In the meantime, my husband is doing them with two small rubber balls under his hands to increase the difficulty after already breezing past the one leg, legs inclined and probably something else.

And, after every workout next day there is some sore muscles somewhere. Today it's my traps and glutes. Last time it was my hamstrings and lats. Basically, I'm always slightly sore.

I know this is good, as it means I'm building muscle, but it adds to the "I'm not getting better!"I hope that feeling goes away. Doesn't help that the gym is full of gym rats who can run circles around me. I am so thankful for the days a woman comes in that is way weaker than me, it gives me a bit of perspective of "OK, you have made some progress", but I still feel like a weakling most of the time!

And... sorry for the absence. It was a crazy, crazy weekend and a crazy week, but all that is behind me and caught up, so I can concentrate on writing here again. Eating has been spotty. Exercise has been good. That's been my unfortunate pattern as of late. Hoping I can make it better.

Friday, April 19, 2013

I'm beginning to feel the flab on my tummy go down

Most of my recent weight gain went right to the gut. Almost totally and completely. It's my trouble spot anyway, so to put on weight in the gut was insult to injury.  But it also made it harder to hide! Which might have been a good thing.

With doing strength training 3 times a week and with cardio another 2-3 times a week, AND with my eating all in order, my gut is shrinking and getting flatter. It feels so good! And my clothes look so much better!

Yesterday I went to Marshalls to look for something in the kitchen area, but I decided to browse the dresses for some strange reason. I went for a year with buying new stuff for every season, but for the last 10 months or so? Nada. Not a thing!

So, I found this dress. First. It's striped  - horizontally striped. Second, it's knit. Third, it's form fitting. What made me think I should try it on? But, I'm glad I did. It's slimming and looks really, really good on me! Maybe some day I'll take a photo of me in it.

The site is cool. It even shows it in demo mode:  And no. I didn't even pay half that price!

And... it will only look better as I lose the last bit of weight. Oh... and it's a size 10.

I stepped on the scale today and while it's only down a smidgeon, it is down and this is the time of the month it normally goes up, so this is exciting. Maybe, finally, I'll drop some significant poundage! PLEASE!  This winter was a tough one for me. Really, really tough.

So... while I don't really like our weight lifting routine. It's doing it's job. I'm sore somewhere every time, but I'm able to do more and my body is already showing results. yay to that!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'm on a roll, but the next few days will be tough!

I'm completely on plan with my eating and my exercise and have avoided food disasters by pure avoidance of temptation.

However, tomorrow my son's elementary school is having its international fair and I said I would bring Croatian food. Last time I brought mini cupcakes of traditional Croatian cake. They were delicious and enormously popular. This time? I don't think I can handle making the cakes without dipping into it.

Then, on Sunday it's the spring festival. My letter group is supposed to bring a side dish. I'll bring some veggies, but I kind of want to make something else too as it's a day before my son's birthday AND it's a day before Earth day. I'm thinking of something for that - like mini cupcakes in mini flower pots decorated to look like mini flowers. But the temptation? But I don't need to make a dessert and technically, I'm not supposed to with the division of foods.

And then Monday is my son's 8th birthday. There is no getting around making him a cake for his birthday. None. At. All.

So, I'm torn. I'm known to be an excellent baker. Well, an excellent overall cook and I do enjoy cooking and can make some wonderful, healthy foods as well as the sweet favorites. But my heart is saying, "make cupcakes" and my head is saying, "Don't do it! You know you will eat the frosting and/ or the batter!"

Wish it were possible to make cute earth day foods out of real food instead of just desserts! As wouldn't something like this be so cute to display?

It's the side of me that likes to create! I want to make something! Oh curse you food!!!

Editing to say:  OK... I'm going to behave which means avoiding temptation. I will NOT make a dessert for the international fair tomorrow. I'll make an appetizer or typical dish that is yummy, but not a bad food for me.

On Sunday for the festival, I will stick what I'm supposed to bring which is a side dish. Maybe I might make a loaf of bread too, but that at least I can't dip my fingers into the batter to eat, right? right!

And that just leaves my son's birthday cake. Making one item even if I do have a bit is a far sight better than having three temptations in 4 days. So... that's that... I must not be faced with the foods that give me the most trouble resisting - doughs/batter and frosting!

I'll make these cute flower pot cupcakes some other time.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I feel so petty, but as my psychiatrist said to me years ago...

... my problems are my problems and I shouldn't try to minimize them by comparing them to other people's problems as I can always find someone with bigger problems than I have.

Days after a bombing in Boston at the finish line of the Boston Marathon where 3 people lost their lives, over 150 were injured and countless people were traumatized by the event; Hours after the senate has decided to shoot down the only promising gun legislation; a few months after the Newtown shootings where too many little children were murdered in their classrooms, I'm feeling sad for my own circumstances.

I've mentioned before that I have a son with autism. I also have a son who has strong ADHD. My older son, is very intelligent, independent minded, likable, considerate and loving. But he is a terrible academic student due to his disorganization. This past marking period was his worst ever - his junior year in high school. I'm looking at his college opportunities shrivel and I worry about his future.

Then today I went to the IEP meeting for my son in 2nd grade. The school is excellent at helping him with his needs, but he struggles. He needs help every day with reading, writing and math. Not with the subject material, but with engaging in the material and doing it. It's getting better, but he still needs 6 hours and 30 minutes a week of support.  Add to that, this child that started reading at age four has now been bumped down a reading level because of his comprehension level and now my real fears begin to appear. I know he has problems with comprehension and not just with books, but with language period. He can mimic anything, but he doesn't decipher it well. Then throw in his difficulties with getting stuck in routines and difficulty with peer interactions.

Everyone likes him as he's sweet and considerate and cute, but how far will that take him? How far will he lag behind? Just as he catches up and goes to above grade in math, he is struggling in language based subjects, which I knew would eventually happen.

Then, after school, we went to a science fair planning meeting. Now, all the kids were antsy as they had been in classes all day, but my child? flapping, pacing, totally disengaged unless made to engage and I could see it was literally painful for him to engage. I watch his like aged peers giggle with each other and chitter-chatter and then see my son pacing in the back of the room, flapping, in his own world and I worry.

There are times I get so hopeful. On Monday we had real, true, back and forth conversation. It was wonderful. I jump with joy every time I see new behaviors that have been delayed, but then I get slammed with reality. His one step forward is still 10 steps behind everyone else. And his autism is very high functioning. And I feel bad for having woe is me moments when as far as the spectrum goes, he's doing so well in mainstream classrooms with just a little support, but where will this lead him?

And I hate that I hate autism. When we were trying to conceive him, I begged my body to not give me an autistic child. I got a lump in my throat every time I met another parent who had an autistic child. So many of my husband's peers had autistic children. After my son was born and I saw he gave good eye contact and engaged with me, I sighed in relief, but even then, very early on, I started to worry as one thing after another seemed a bit delayed.

I struggle with myself in wondering, "did I cause this?" I've posted about it before but was my blood sugars an issue? My blood pressure? My diet? My obesity?  Our combined maternal and paternal ages me (35) and my husband (38)?

And as he grows and my older son grows I wonder, "Are my expectations too high?" Is it right for me to expect my highly intelligent son who suffers from very debilitating ADHD to get into good colleges? TO even go to college straight from HS, versus community college? Do I push him too hard or not enough?

And same with my younger son. Am I expecting him to be to function too well by always having him in mainstreamed activities? Should he even be doing a science fair? Should he go to school or be home schooled? Am I coddling him too much? or not enough? For either of them?

Days like today I feel like my kids have such huge battles in front of them and I don't know if I've done well by them. I know I could have done better and could do better, but even if I did things perfectly, would it be enough? Probably not.

It's just one of those "wow... this parenting gig is hard" days. But now to the gym to try to work some of these frustrations out.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Can you keep a child from becoming obese?

Every day I keep hearing things about children and obesity. I hear about the push at schools to rid the cafeterias of vending machines that sell sodas and juices and dessert lines where kids can buy ice cream and the like.

And it is true that there are more overweight kids than ever before and it's becoming a world-wide problem. This summer, I saw more overweight European children than I have ever seen before and it was shocking. How can this be when kids move all the time?

Ah... do they move all the time? Today? No... they do not. But, that's a whole 'nother post in itself, but it definitely is adding to the obesity problem with youth today.

I look around at my younger son's classroom and other like grade classrooms and there are only 1-2 kids out of 50 that are slightly chubby. One is fairly significantly chubby (and she has been since I got to know her in kindergarten) and the second child is my own son. Though, he is on the borderline, better watch it, line. So, that is about the same number of kids with issues as it was when I was a kid. And when I say borderline, I mean borderline. Here is is this past summer: (and he's the same now and always):

Now, when I look at the high school kids when I drop off or pick up my teenaged son from school, I see a lot more heavier teens than when I was in high school. Girls especially. When I was in high school, I was one of the few that was slightly overweight. Now there are many and they are more overweight at younger ages.

So, yes, I agree it is happening and it is alarming. But what to do about it and can you do much about it?

With my two boys, they are on opposite ends of the spectrum with weight. My 16 year old son has always been thin. He is 6'2" tall and weighs 140 pounds. The pediatrician is watchful for him about getting too thin. She has told us to let him eat whatever and whenever he wants. He just needs to eat. We used to think it was the ADHD drugs that were keeping him thin, but he was thin before taking them and he's just as thin off of them. It's just his tendency. We have to press the issue to eat breakfast, to eat lunch and to eat an adequate dinner. Now, at 10 pm he'll go crazy with eating snacks and he tends to want garbage, so I try to temper that too, but at some point, he just needs calories for the day and some FAT as he likes very lean foods for the day and he still needs an adequate fat intake (and protein). Yes, he's the teen boy who loves salads and veggies and is not so keen on meat and other proteins.

Here is with wild hair this past summer. It's now long enough to wear in a pony tail (which he does always):

My nearly 8 year old son is the opposite. He's not heavy, but he has a tendency to get pudgy. The pediatrician is a bit watchful of him and too much weight gain. With him I try to temper the sweets and calorie dense foods that don't give him any nutritional value. Fortunately, he too is developing a real love for veggies and lean proteins, but his tendency is to eat a bit more than he needs. This I have to temper that with foods that are filling, but not calorie dense.

So, same household. Same parents of both kids and two kids with vastly different tendencies and needs. They might look alike as they both have copper colored, wavy hair and brown eyes and are tall. They are just separated by nearly 9 years; however, they have been night and day in nearly everything since birth and their weight tendencies are one of them.

It is hard to control food intake with children as how do you know how much they need? Are they having a growth spurt? Or are they just overeating? Are they really hungry or just think they are hungry?

Plus, I have read on weight loss forums of parents trying to help their kids with weight and it just backfires. Kids will find the M&Ms hidden and will then scarf them down, hiding it. Thus developing  the hiding of food tendencies early on. Or, when they get a bit older and have pocket change, spending that money on junk food they can't get at home.

My very fit and athletic physical therapist, now in his late 30s said that he grew up in a home where his father especially was the food police. He couldn't have anything. Then, when he got to college, he went crazy. He ate all the foods that were forbidden and gained 50 pounds on his small frame and short stature. He said it took him until he was in his late 20s to start realizing that he felt like crap and looked like crap and wanted to change. He said that now, ironically, he eats almost no junk, just like his dad wanted him to eat, but growing up he fought it and would sneak food at friends' houses, etc. And his story is not an isolated incident.

So what to do?

Well, what we've tried to do (and we are getting better and better about it) is to model good behavior about moderation and about movement. We always have good snacks in the house as well as not so good snacks. There is always fruit and easy to eat raw, veggies and snacks like nuts. We eat all our meals at home or packed from home. We sit together at meal times - always. And we don't make desserts part of the meal. They are for special occasions.

And we move. We take walks, we shovel our own driveway, mow our yard and do our own landscaping/gardening. We go to the gym, to the pool and ride bikes. A family day out is almost always a day spent doing something active (even when I was really fat this was true). We never take the day to go shopping, go to some food fair, etc. We're more likely to go hiking somewhere or the like.

Here are a couple family shots from this summer at a hike:

Our hope, is that they will grow up liking the taste of vegetables and proteins and to know that grains and simple sugars are not to be the staple of the diet. We hope that they will love to move and do things outdoors and won't be drawn to sitting in the movie theater eating junk food for 2 hours straight. As yes, when we 'do' see a movie, we never, ever get food to eat while watching.

I hope they learn, especially as they see me struggle with my weight, that I still enjoy my food, but that I tend to gain weight easily and I need to watch my portions, but I use exercise to help me maintain my weight too. I never, ever say, "I'm fat" in front of them. I never, ever criticize their size or other people's sizes and I try not to make it an issue of thin people are good and fat people are bad.  For me, I hope they see and realize, it's all about health, not about looks.

And I hope I never get preachy with them if they ever struggle with food or weight or lack of fitness. Our skinny teen likes to sit and do nothing - all. the. time. So, we do push him to be more active, but not in a punitive way or at least I hope that's what we're doing. My nearly 8 year old still bounces all over the place and we encourage it, not discourage it. We walk to and from  school whenever time and weather allows. We have ACTIVE Wii games (nothing where you sit and watch and twiddle thumbs). We take him to the gym with us where he can jump and have fun too. And he's always sweaty when we pick him up after an hour. And instead of offering him a calorie dense snack he loves when he's hungry, we try to offer him a filling. calorie light snack he loves, but he still gets his cookies and stuff too.

We're not perfect and we make mistakes and perhaps one day when they're older one or both of them will ask, "So, why did you let me eat cookies at all?" or, "Why did you force me to do X, Y or Z?" That just made me X... Who knows... but what I do know is that it's not so simple to control a child's weight as it might appear. Just as, how would you feel as an adult if someone told you you couldn't eat X, Y, or Z and had to eat A, B and C? and had to do THIS exercise at THIS time and so on. Can you see how you might try to circumvent the dictator? Well, why would a kid do differently?

Monday, April 15, 2013

As I'm back on track and finding a groove, I am being more forgiving to myself

I was very unhappy with myself for this fall's 'hiatus'. Then, I wasn't too happy with myself for having such a difficult time this winter, well, mostly just March - all of March. I really can beat myself up mentally pretty good.

But today, after a good night of sleep and a very nice, though simple, weekend, I realized. "Melissa, you have still done something most people never do. You lost a LOT of weight and you've managed to keep most of it off for over a year."

And it is true. I have kept off all but 10 pounds of the weight that I lost in 2011. 2012 was a year of Yo-yoing 20 pounds, and so far in 2013 it's been a slow but steady going back down. I have nothing to be ashamed about. I was wearing a tight size 20. I had gotten down to an 8-10 and I'm currently in a 10. More than the weight, I'm active and working on fitness and in all that time, the entire time, I never quit exercising. Sure, there were times I was doing bare minimum (this past fall) and there were times I switched up what I was doing, but I was always active as I made it a priority. Again, how many people do that?

So, today, anyway, I'm allowing myself to be proud of myself for holding on and persevering and doing what the majority are not able to do - keep the weight off and to keep being physically active.

Can I do better? Heck yes. I'm not all "Melissa you are perfect." It's more, "Hey, Melissa stop being so hard on yourself. You've done a good job. Now just keep at it."

Sunday was a rest day. I had to be at a meeting at 10 am (an hour drive to get there), Then Sunday School from 11-12:30, then a potluck parent meeting from 1:30 to 4:30, then the hour drive home. Then I made dinner (I was fuming a bit that no on ate home at least STARTED to make something for dinner. At home was 77 year old mother in law, 46 year old husband and 16 year old son). Grrr.. Had dinner, cleaned up. Hung out with the little guy for a bit (after his bath as he fell in the creek earlier in the day) and then from 10 to 11:30 pm my husband and I watched a Woody Allen movie (Play it Again, Sam).

Basically, yesterday there was between 7 pm and 9 pm that I wasn't 'doing' something. So, good thing it was a planned rest day.

And, today, I just realized (as it's tax day, so how can I forget), it would be my father's 63rd birthday. He's been gone for over 20 years. Now I have no sadness about my dad. He left us when I was 9 for the most part and for good when I was 11. And when he was around when I was a kid, it wasn't good. My life was much better with him out of it. His death, when he was 42 and I was 22 (almost 23) was a shock of "he's so young" and mixture of unresolved issues that would have to stay unresolved.

I've 'forgiven' and moved on long ago. He didn't know how to be a dad. He didn't try to be an ass. And I don't even think he really intentionally abandoned us kids, just that he didn't know how to form any kind of relationship. He wasn't dumb. Just helpless.

Anyway... I've already outlived him and hope to outlive what would be his age if he were alive now (63). I'm on the right track, so there's at least that.

Tonight's health plan - weights...

Saturday, April 13, 2013

FINALLY doing New Rules for Lifting

We've had the books for eons. We have like 4 of the books - the original, for women, for life and now the newest, "New Rules for Lifting Weights, Supercharged".

I think it took me not going to bodypump any more for my husband to take the leap too. He didn't like going to BP alone and I had stopped going because I found the higher reps to be causing over-use injuries. I was working with a personal trainer and a class that did total conditioning.

I know I never, ever would have done the weights without a buddy. I am not a lone wolf at the gym. I need company to push myself. My husband said that he does for some exercise and not for others. Weight training, he likes a partner too and fortunately for us, we like each other's company.

The way this workout "works" is that it does whole body exercises - functional exercises. Not lifting weights in isolation. So, when we work a muscle group, we aren't just working that one muscle group. We are working several muscle groups. You start with basic training and do that set of workouts 4-6 times, then you move on to basic training 2 and so on. My husband and I just finished Workout A for the third time. And so far so good.

I like that I work hard, but for a very short amount of time. In bodypump classes, I would do squats for 3.5 minutes. Now I take a heavier weight and I do 15 of them, do something else, then do 15 more and I should do it to the level that completing the 15th rep is either impossible or close to impossible. Then next time if the 15th rep was possible, you use a heavier weight to make it near impossible again (or impossible to complete the 15th rep).

I work hard and to my maximum, but I'm not doing that same movement over and over until exhaustion. I just hit exhaustion faster! I like that. It's much easier for me to talk myself into doing 15 squats that squats for 3.5 minutes for sure.

It is also becoming clear that after my sessions with the personal trainer are up, I won't be renewing them. I can get more out of doing what I'm doing than with hiring someone to design something for me. Or better put, I can now do what I need to do without the push of a personal trainer. Without a partner to do the work with me, I needed that push.

Another thing we are really enjoying is that we can do this on our schedule, not a class schedule, so no more running out the door to try to catch a class on time. No more fighting for space, etc.  It's allowed my 7 year old to tell us which gym he wants to go to versus us trying to plan a workout class at his favorite gym that might not be the best time for us.

Of course, right now we look like total noobs with our books and fiddling with equipment, but we don't care about that. We're doing what we should be doing and probably doing it smarter than the average joe anyway.

So far I've seen progress too. I started with being able to do 7 push-ups both sets last Monday. I did 8 push-ups both sets on Wednesday (but that was my 3rd workout for the day) and today, Sunday, I did 10 the first set and 12 the second set. For me, it's not the arms that give out on me, it's the core. I start to sag in the middle and once I cannot support the midsection, I'm done. THAT is the part of me that is weaker, not the shoulder muscles. But, it's already getting better!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The appetite definitely changes with the seasons

Sorry to disappear for a wee bit. Kids had spring break last week and I had less free time than I'm used to. Plus, I was still in a funk and I just couldn't think of anything I wanted to write.

Boy, what a difference a bit of sunshine, open windows and some time outside makes! I feel way better!

And boy did the weather change. We went from cold and miserable  to 90 degrees nearly overnight. It's a bit too hot, of course, but the sun has been shining and I've had a chance to take walks, to stroll through my garden and so on. And because of it, I feel like a new person and with renewed motivation to pick things up a notch (or two).

What's been interesting is that alllllll late fall and winter I have been hungry. I've given into temptations over and over too. I would drop a bit of weight, gain it back, drop a bit, gain it back. Even when I was on plan, eating only 1500 calories felt like torture.

As soon as the weather started to heat up and the chill broke, I stopped being so hungry. With this heat, I'm not even remotely hungry. The last three days I've eat right around 1200 calories and I haven't felt famished and that's with exercise on those days too.

My husband is feeling it too. He only ate half his dinner last night. He has taken lighter lunches too. Both of our bodies have switched from, "must eat" to, "Ok, you survived the winter and can stop eating everything in sight now." So now, hopefully, it will be easier to take off these pounds so that I can fit in more of my summer clothes.

And I have to admit, I was a bit afraid of what would be wearable of my summer clothes. I grabbed my jean shorts from the drawer - dried in the dryer jeans shorts and to my happy surprise, they fit just fine. I tried on a skirt yesterday. It fit too. Though I remember that skirt being on the verge of being put in the donation pile last spring as my waist was swimming in it. Now I can barely fit the waist. Last spring I was 165 around this time. Now I'm around 185. Big difference!

So, here's to hoping that being on plan with eating will be easier and easier. I NEED it to be easier as this winter was very, very difficult for me (and my husband - he gained 15 pounds too!)

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Liking things that will never be right for me?

When I was a teen, I wanted curly hair. Remember, this was the mid 80s - the big hair band days and every girl who didn't have naturally curly hair was getting perms - including me.

I remember sifting through the beautician's photo books and oo-ing and ah-ing over  certain hairstyles that I wanted to have. Those nice, long ringlet curls. Like this.

Sigh. I would get a perm, even in ringlet fashion, but permed curls never, ever look the same as natural curl. That, and with highlighting/frosting my hair, I got a lot of damage, and so I had fried looking permed hair too (which was also a big mid 80s thing).

In 9th grade I had this:

At 19, I had this:

I had very nice, super thick, straight dark blonde/light brown hair, but I wanted lighter blonde curly hair - something I couldn't have.

I should add, eventually I did get those ringlet curls and I LOVE it. I would probably hate them if I was born with them. Or so says every woman I've ever met with naturally curly hair since childhood.

Skip forward to adulthood and the clothing I love and I'm attracted to are vintage styles and willowy styles. So, in the 90s that was April Cornell dresses and in today's fashions it's Anthropologie. Guess what? Their fashions look horrible on me.

Here's a dress on Anthropologie that I think is adorable:

Here's another:

Hmmm... I think that is the same model. Let me find a different model too wearing a casual outfit I find adorable.  Here:

Do you notice something not quite right with what I like and what I'm shaped like? I'm average height, very large boned, and very bosomy. On top of that, even at my thinnest at 165 I just barely fit into the top sizes in the store as they don't vanity size nearly as much as most stores do. This store really does cater to the tall, thin, willowy type figures. Something I'm so completely NOT.

I should be looking at these sort of clothes and models. And well, my spring dresses almost ALLLLL look like this one in cut: Jersey dress

Why is it that I love the willowy look? These models here? All for Anthropologie. I love it!

Yes, I know they are models, but why do I like THAT look? Something impossible to ever look like? I should be looking at these models and aspiring to be more like them. Though, again, they are athletes, small breasted and mostly smaller boned, but the models from Athleta are at least athletic looking:

And here's a bit about Athleta models and here about specific models.

Am I the only one who wants what they can't have?