Friday, January 21, 2011

fashion friday: in 2 acts

fashion friday, part I
usually, these posts center around sale picks. well, today i just couldn't bring myself to bypass some of these beautiful early spring pieces! i have no intention of buying any of these (at least at full price!), but even just looking at them brings on a smile.

bold! slouchy! graphic! awesome. perpendicular sweater, $128

the make a splash cowlneck would be likely to do just that. $78

i have absolutely no need for the paraiso dress, $148. but maybe YOU do?

yayyyyy! flares are back. (i never really stopped wearing them!)

dear anthropologie, i would like this whole outfit. love, SHU

fashion friday, part II
i love fashion blogs and read several of them on a regular basis -- mostly those which feature my favorite brand (i don't think i need to clarify that part!). one thing that i have often thought about was the fact that most -- not all, but MOST -- fashion bloggers are very slim (these references are not meant to be a dig at these lovely and talented bloggers -- i love both sites and they seem like great people!).

i have often wondered whether fashion blogging goes hand and hand with body image struggles. after all, you have a bunch of women writing in to talk about whether or not the latest size 0 creation was baggy or snug! and i have to admit i am guilty of being curious of what others thought of the fit of certain things that i felt ran bigger or smaller than usual (or seemed that way!).

yesterday i was browsing around and catching up on some sites i don't read as regularly, and i came upon two posts: one from little girl big closet and one from adiaphane that opened up this sort of dialogue, and i just thought that both women did a beautiful job writing about their journeys in fashion blogging and how their histories shape their fitting room experiences today.

part of the reason i found this interesting right now is that for the first time in a long time, there are some things in my closet that aren't comfortable. about 6 months ago, i was happy and satisfied with my body, and it wasn't like i was restricting my intake or purposefully exercising to be that size! however, i had amenorrhea at that size. and then, 3 months later, i found that i was not responding to fertility medications at that size.

so here i am, 5 lbs heavier and with suffering body image but functioning ovaries. you don't have to tell me: i have no doubt that this is totally and completely worth it! and obviously, i wouldn't be able to squeeze into my little sundresses while pregnant, so why is that so important now?! the answer is: it's not. i'm over it. but it doesn't mean i always feel great.

i realize i may get some negative feedback again for this post, along the lines of "you're so lame, why are you still whining about 5 lbs!??". but i hope these paragraphs do not come off that way. instead, i am aiming to put my own negative thoughts into context, and i am working to embrace these changes; maybe even see them as beautiful. because while i feel most feminine in a colorful strapless frock, it's being able to do this that truly reflects the power of being a woman.



workout: 30 minutes at 9:13/mi, 0.5% incline for most of it . . .and i actually turned it DOWN to 9:30/mi for the last few. yes, i'm officially losing fitness! and the world is not coming to an end.

greek-style chicken from this month's cooking light. i thought this recipe made for a decent quick meal, though it wasn't earth-shattering.

ground chicken patties stuffed in a whole wheat pita with yogurt-cuc sauce


  1. Have you ever talked to Tina at I know that she had to gain some weight to get pregnant and maybe she went through some of the same things that you are going through?

    I am also glad flares are back. Skinny jeans don't do much for my muscular thighs.

  2. Another amen to flares...skinny jeans make my 4'9" frame resemble an oompa loompa. Along those lines, I don't think you are being whiny. It's hard to accept that your "fertile" weight is not your happy weight. When I see ultra thin bloggers (including those with children), I just try to accept that I don't know their whole story. Maybe their bodies are naturally very thin, maybe they had to take fertility medications, etc. Blogs have a nasty habit of making you feel like you know someone when you only know a little slice of who they are (through their eyes). Anyway, thanks as always for the honest posts. I'd rather read them than constantly cheerful ones that didn't have anything to do with how you're feeling!

  3. I know you were not digging for compliments, and I've hesitated to say it before when you touched on this topic, but in the pictures you've posted, you look fantastic. I don't see the 5 pounds, BUT I understand how a 5 pound increase can make you feel off about yourself - especially as a fellow shortie (I'm 5'0").

    I'm sure it's passed through your mind, but since you're not burning through all your glycogen stores with the higher running mileage you were used to, it seems like easily 50% or more of that 5 pound gain is related to that - glycogen/water weight.

    Anyway I know you didn't intend your post for this kind of comment... but I appreciate that you can share your inner dialogue about body image here. I know I, and many others, can relate.

  4. I understand what you're saying about your body image, and it is really nice that you can express and re-frame these thoughts. You don't have to apologize, on the opposite you set a very good example.

    On a different note, this chicken recipe is not Greek (I'm Greek!), maybe it's Cypriot but I'll cook this for dinner anyway.

  5. keelan8:36 AM

    you look fabulous! i know it's hard to accept it when our bodies change, but sometimes that's what they need to do.

    i remember reading one fashion blogger - girliestboymom - who talked about how she stayed a size zero. she said that she tried to eat as little as possible and she went through most of her days feeling hungry. honestly? it sounds like a terrible way to live.

  6. Sarah, for what its worth I think you look fantastic. You’re also allowed to be frustrated about having to gain weight because you were living a healthy lifestyle before, you didn’t have an eating disorder and you didn't obsess about your weight.

    Regarding the fashion bloggers though, to be honest, I find it kind of frusterating/annoying/distrubing to read about the borderline eating disorders or full blow eating disorders that so many fashion bloggers seem to have. I don’t want to criticize people I don’t know, but someone who is a size 0 obsessing about their screams eating disorder and severe self esteem issues. I’m usually a size 2-4, but my very feminine body has given me the impossible to fit measurements of 36-25-36… on a 5’1” frame… so its more like a 0 in the waist and a 6 in the hips (I am SO glad flared jeans are coming back too!) But I would never consider myself fat – not in a million years – and to think that apparently to most of these fashion bloggers I am apparently a beast really turns me off. I do enjoy fashion blogs for the ideas and outfit inspiration, but some of these women, at least from what I’ve seen – appear to have serious self esteem issues, which is why I try to steer away from them and more towards the healthy living/exercise/cooking blogs.

  7. I'll be honest and say that I probably have a 3 pound buffer in EITHER way - when I weigh less or more than a certain amount, it makes me nervous and I feel a bit foreign in or towards my body. Yes, I have some body issues!
    In terms of weight gain - do you think that you would (will) feel different if it were pregnancy weight gain?

  8. i have that "make a splash" cowlneck shirt from anthro [wearing it today in fact] and it's probably one of my favorite shirts at the moment - it makes me happy which makes it well worth the splurge.

    and while you're unhappy with your body at the moment, you'll adjust to reduced running schedule - and just think of how many women really only do yoga and look amazing? your honesty is refreshing though, which is why your blog is one of the first i read while waiting for the subway each and every morning.

  9. Shu, I had a full fledged breakdown when my body started "betraying me" (as I so hatefully put it) about six years ago when all my hormonal systems started failing....and 35 lbs, that I never wanted or needed just APPEARED out of nowhere on my body. I'm not a bad eater; I work out 3-6 days per week (depending on my work schedule), and I don't drink sodas or alcohol. Everyone just kept telling me I wasn't doing enough, and it made me so angry. The sad part is, six years later the weight hasn't changed, but I'm just now starting to accept--not love or even like--but accept my new larger me. It's weird to look in the mirror and not recognize the person looking back and feel like you can't control it, but just think....once you have that baby, you can drop the weight. That will feel so great!

  10. I think it all comes back to the fact that life just isn't fair, and there's nothing to be done about it. Why do anorexic teenagers who live on soda and cigarettes accidentally get pregnant and healthy women have to try to work at it? I would be frustrated at gaining 5lbs, too, but functioning ovaries! yay! And I'm sure that any mother will tell you this is only the first time you have to sacrifice your body and your body image for your *hopeful* future child.

  11. I LOVE the paraiso dress. Now that flares are back I may actually start wearing trousers again. Skinny jeans were definitely not for me as I am a pear!
    Try not to worry too much about the weight gain although I know it is annoying when clothes start fitting snugger than normal. You are still leading a very healthy lifestyle (and one that allows you to ovulate!)Eventually you will be able to go back to your usual schedule although in that future a lot of your running will be behind a little one!
    Chin up! :-)

  12. As someone who is constantly trying to gain/ maintain a healthy weight and not fall into being underweight, I understand your stress.
    However, let me remind you that if you are having amenhorrhea at a certain weight, it means your bones are in trouble. You do not want to lose bone mass because it is more comfortable for you to be 5 lbs. lighter. You'll adjust to your new weight, I promise, and you'll be surprised in a few weeks how normal it feels (like before!)
    If you are not getting a period, it is a sign of your body wanting to gain a little weight.

  13. I gained about 5 lbs last year. I look better and I'm running just as well as before the gain, but I have a few pairs of jeans that are just so much tighter than before and whenever I try them on, the evil little body image voice comes back.

  14. How you are feeling is 100% normal. I'm glad you are able and willing to express them here. Getting them out is so important.

  15. Hey love! Thanks for writing out your true thoughts. I know it's hard to do when people are just waiting to attack but I think it helps you and most people reading to hear the real stuff.

    I am definitely more than 5 pounds heavier than when I was at school due to a lot of things (mostly being happy, not being stressed out of my mind and being more flexible about eating). It's frustrating/uncomfortable not being able to fit into clothes. I know you know it's worth it though. Who knows, maybe you'll be able to fit back in your clothes and menstruate after the baby arrives! My mom lost weight after giving idea how haha

  16. Anonymous5:35 PM

    Hang in there. I also realize that a gain of 5 pounds on a small frame is a noticeable difference (I'm 5' 1"). But, as one of the other responders said, if you were not getting your period b/c of low weight, that could not have been healthy--even with a healthy lifestyle. So...perhaps this is a good wake-up call, fertility issues aside, that this new weight is a healthier place for you. Maybe it would help to get rid of the clothing that doesn't fit so that it is less vexing?

  17. anon: you may be right, although it is quite hard for me to accept, especially since i am just NOT (and never was!) some super-tiny little waif. i had chalked my lack of cycle first to stress (residency), then to PCOS (which my ovaries looked like, but i don't meet other criteria so i have since decided i probably don't really have) and honestly was perhaps in denial that it was happening for so long. i went off the pill jan'09 and just never got it back . . .

    i guess i will just play it by ear from now. i know hormonal things can change a lot after pregnancy so i won't be having an anthro closeout sale just yet :) but i'll try not to be worry too much about that, either.

    michelle, keelan, amanda: thank you all so much. i definitely was not fishing, but you still made me feel good! and amanda hope this doesn't come off as weird, but your measurements sound super, smoking, HOT. just sayin'.

    lee: tinaFFF is one of my personal heroes :)

    kristina: that's a good question about pregnancy weight gain. i think i will be so happy that i won't really care, although i would like to gain within the reasonable recommended range :)

    bschwanke: thanks for sharing your story! that sounds frustrating.

    jess: i have seen you in pictures and you look nothing less than fit + amazing. just so you know.

    tinaFFF: you are seriously a role model for bringing it up previously! i hadn't read those older entries before, but going back to see what you went through was so incredibly helpful.

    allie: <3 <3 <3!

  18. atilla10:40 PM

    love the dialog

  19. I guess the fashion blogs I read are not ones where the bloggers are obsessing about tiny sizes and weight. I like gigi's gone shopping (she also started another blog about ttc-ing: gigi's gone parental). I occasionally check out My Superfluities; Modestly Styled, Modestly Me; and Musings on the Mountain. I backed off fashion blogs a bit though so I wouldn't be so tempted to buy so much new stuff!

    Anyway, I understand you are not comfortable with your newer weight, but that picture you shared of you and your hubby at a party a week or two ago - I thought you looked great, very healthy (and not at all heavy!) I'm 5'2" myself, so I understand how a couple pounds makes a difference on a small frame.

    I'm happy to hear about flares too. Skinny jeans barely fit over my muscular CALVES. Plus I think I'm not the right proportion for them. I prefer bootcut or straight leg pants with heels!

  20. I absolutely love that make a splash top! I'll be waiting for it to go on sale. Also, I totally blame you for me liking Anthro!

  21. Anonymous3:03 AM

    .Hang in there! I had pretty severe knee issues in both knees on and off for the past four years. Everything hurt, recovery was long and I did gain weight that I do not intend to keep. It is hard because you want to be healthy and its hard to keep all the balls in the air while trying to get healthier.

    My last surgey was in Oct of 2010 and by 6 weeks later things were finally FINALLY good again. No more pain and I am loving the simplest things. I have a ways to go but am confident I can get there bc my body is ready for that.

    You'll get there. You may slow down now and gain a little , but it will all come off later. No worries

  22. I have always been a person who counts down to things. It makes me feel better when I'm stressed, but it also prevents me from experience all of the nows in life. Which are pretty important too. They are as, if not more, iportant than the upcoming vacation or event. Because, as we all know, vacations and "big days" ed far too quickly. Then what are you left with? A big, huge VOID. Yup, and it sucks!
    Thanks for the reminder to live in the now and not in the count down to the now you long for.

  23. Hi Sarah! I've been a SHU box interloper for a while, but thought I'd chime in for once since I found myself uttering the Exact. Same. Sentiment. just yesterday to my hubby. We have been trying for #2 for a while, with no success. I breastfed Elle for a year, then just never got my period back. I was pretty darn underweight after nursing, and I knew I had to gain weight (as I did the first time, and even then E was a total answer to prayers) and stop working out to get pregnant. But it can be demoralizing-- sometimes I just feel like a lazy blob-- and, vertically challenged, 10 extra pounds makes a huge difference. I am having periods now, but so far no luck on the pregnancy front. Frustrating, as I had such a nice little family plan laid out :) I know I should just be incredibly thankful for my beautiful almost 2-year old, and I totally am. But I so want her to have a sibling, and I want more babies, and I want it to happen in my time frame! Darn bodies/hormones and their inability to submit to our demands. That being said, I really believe that God has a better plan (even than mine, shock)-- so I know it will all work out. Thanks for being so open about your struggles, and know that you're not alone! Best wishes to you and future Fetal SHU!