Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Journalist. Mother. Bunny enthusiast. Pop culture junkie.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Goodbye, summer clothes. I'm sorry I didn't wear you...

I have been complaining lately about being fat. Most of you have been sweet to tell me I'm wrong. I'm not complaining about my weight for attention or because I'm vain. I actually have a legitimate reason to be concerned. You see, in the past year I have gained 20 pounds. Up until last September, I always maintained a steady weight and never really went up or down very severely from it. I was a size 0. I am now a 6 (if I'm lucky, a 4 in certain brands). For someone five feet tall, this weight gain is enormous.

This year has changed me both mentally and physically. There were four major lay offs at my work, so I was always in constant fear of losing my job. Plus, my personal life was a wreck. It seemed every day I was in tears or depressed about something. The stress really took a toll on me. It got to the point where my doctor was so concerned about my weight gain, she called my parents. That was a huge mistake because now, instead of helping me through this, they literally tell me every day how fat I am and how gross it is. (They have been naturally skinny their entire lives). So that has taken a beating to my self-esteem.

Trying to lose the weight has been a frustrating battle. My problem is my eating habits are the same as they've always been. I am still eating small lunches and small dinners. I don't snack. I don't eat terribly fatty foods. So making changes to my meals seems kind of pointless. Exercise seems almost impossible. I can't afford a gym, I'm too scared to walk in my neighborhood by myself, and when I tried doing an exercise routine in my apartment, I got reprimanded for the noise I was causing. It seems like a lose-lose situation.

Does anyone have any advice for me? I'm too poor to afford new clothes, which is scary since I barely fit into any of my regular fall clothes anymore...

This summer, I was only able to wear about 30 percent of the summer clothes I own. There were numerous tops, ten pairs of jeans, and literally dozens of skirts and dresses that didn't fit me anymore.

I'm holding on to all of these clothes because I'm determined that this weight gain isn't permanent. (Or, perhaps I'm dreaming.)

But I feel like my closet tells my story. My clothes were with me during the good and the bad. I want to wear them again. I can't bear to part with them.

I picked out a few things that don't fit me anymore (okay, around 15, haha) to show you. I couldn't wear them this summer but it is a little comforting to know that through this blog they can still be seen. They deserve it.

And hopefully next summer, I will be wearing them again instead of pushing them to the back of the rack...

Here we go:

top, Etro (This was the first Etro piece I ever bought. It started a collection and an obsession. I now own more than 30 Etro items. I will have this top until I die.)

dress, Catherine Malandrino (I fell in love with this dress the moment I saw it. I was devastated I couldn't wear it this summer.)

dress, For Love and Liberty (Rian bought me this dress in May and I never got to wear it because it was too small. For some reason, the poor guy thinks I'm still a size 0.)

dress, Ann Taylor (My dad bought me this dress when I first got my reporting job at the newspaper.)

dress, Ralph Lauren (Rian and I had our first kiss when I was wearing this dress.)

dress, Urban Outfitters (I covered my first city council meeting in this dress.)

dress, Express (This was my favorite work dress. It showed off my great figure.)

dress, Ann Taylor (I got this dress on clearance for ten bucks. Insane.)

top, Bebe (I attended my first fashion show in this top.)

dress, Urban Outfitters (contrary to what the terrible photo shows, this dress actually poofs out 1950s style. GORGEOUS).

dress, American Eagle (Before we grew cynical with the real world, Rian and I used to drive out to the countryside at night and look at the stars. You can't see them in the city. Rian would play the guitar and I would lie in the grass...wearing this dress. Even the dress looks like a starry sky).

dress, handmade (My dad bought me this Indian dress when we were in Chicago three years ago. It was one of several a little Indian seamstress had made for her tiny shop. It is the only Indian thing I own.)

dress, Charlotte Russe (picnic dress!)

dress, White House/Black Market (I first wore this dress to a wedding for an old friend a couple years ago. The small gorgeous event was held in my friend's loft downtown, at midnight, with gigantic glass windows revealing the skyline. Rian and I had our first slow dance that night).

dress, Ann Taylor (I moderated my first televised debate wearing this dress. It was one of my proudest moments as a news reporter, back when I covered local politics two years ago.)

dress, Anthropologie (My college sweetheart broke up with me while I was wearing this dress. I actually had it in a pile of his things to burn, but I saved it at the last minute because it was so pretty.)

There you have it. Some of my favorite summer clothes. And I can't even wear them.

Next year...


Dream Sequins said...

I didn't get to wear a lot of summer clothes either. I'm sorry to see summer exit so suddenly, so harshly. I am not a six foot tall amazon, so any weight fluctuation causes my dress size to differ dramatically. I hear you.

Leia said...

Hi, darling. I know you've been struggling with this lately and I am going to give you advice the way I would give to a BFF (so don't get mad if some of these sound harsh!)

Firstly, a size 6 is not fat. I know, I know, that's not what you want to hear. I know you're used to being a size 0, and don't worry, I KNOW you will get back to it soon. But I want you to stop thinking of yourself as fat. I want you to think: I have gained a bit of weight lately, but I am still attractive. Lots of people would kill to be a size 6. I am slim and beautiful.

Secondly, I want you to sit down in front of the mirror and look at yourself and make a list of all the things you love about yourself. I'll start you off: you have a *gorgeous* face, luscious hair, and a fabulous smile. Now you continue the list!

Thirdly, it sounds like you're doing the right thing about your diet. About exercise, I am *sure* there is something that you can do in your apartment that won't make too much noise! How about yoga? Or Pilates? They both involve a lot of stretching, which is really quiet. Look up tutorials on YouTube (free & great!)

And lastly, forget about 'losing weight.' The more you want to lose weight, the more frustrated you'll become, and the less likely you are to lose. Exercise and eat healthily because you want to be fit and healthy and happy. Love the way you look and feel. And the weight will drop off in no time!

I hope some of these tips help you. I hate seeing you so upset about this! *hug*

Couture Carrie said...

Lots of lovely dresses, darling! They will be fab next wummer too!

As for exercise, why don't you see if a local gym will gift you a membership in exchange for publicity on your blog? Or you can do a free trial at different gyms in your neighborhood? Also, Pilates and yoga are a wonderful and quiet way to built muscle mass and thus burn fuel more efficiently, if you are trying to lose weight. Stick with it, darling! Set reasonable goals for yourself and try not to get discouraged if your progress is slow. Good luck ~ I am rooting for you!


Little Red said...

I'm definitely not the best person to give advice on weight and exercise... I'm only 5'2 and a size zero. I don't exercise. And unfortunately, I don't eat healthy, though I'm working to change that. Miraculously, I've always stayed this small. I consider myself lucky. Especially because I know so many people have to work hard to stay thin.

Just because you are a size six, does not make you fat. You are NOT fat. However, I can definitely understand why you're upset. To go from having a skinny body to putting on some weight can make you feel like a different person. You might feel fat compared to what you used to be. But you're not. So many people would kill just to be a size six! Twenty pounds isn't a ton of weight. I know you can lose that if you try! You just have to work at it. For right now though, you need to embrace your body. You have to love yourself now. There is no use in living every day hating things because your body isn't the weight you want it to be. Trust me, things could be so much worse!

One of my best friends gets Seventeen magazine because she loves the workout routines. She does them every month! Why don't you pick up Seventeen or a fitness magazine and try the exercises inside? There are also whole channels dedicated to exercise on cable and satellite. Fit TV or something? I'm not sure. You could also pick up a yoga or pilates DVD. I'm sure these workouts won't make too much noise!

Just eat healthy and try to work out. You will lose that weight. You will be a size zero again. But most importantly, just think positive.

Karyn Bernard (French Charming) said...

Hello Ms. Fabulous!

Did you know that stress causes weight gain? Yep, it's true.

I see that you have some good and sound advice already and may I add that you are in no way FAT!

Pease...please don't beat yourself up, you are gorgeous woman and our value is not determined by the number on the scale.

I'm 5' 8" tall and I used to weigh 118 lbs., I wore a size 4 and I thought I was FAT!

All the time I wasted not feeling good about my body. How I wish now that I would have appreciated it.

So continue to eat well, exercise and try and not stress...okay sweetie?


Ela said...

J, first, you know how I feel about you. I adore you so I won't dismiss this because clearly it's getting you down. Has your Dr. checked for any thyroid problems or anything that can cause this weight gain? I only ask because I hope she explored different avenues just in case it's caused by a medical condition.

I know Brooke (oofa luffa le) lost 20 pounds in about 6 weeks doing the 30 Day Shred. I know she did the work outs as well as the recommended diet and it worked for her. I don't know if the type of activity will be too loud for the apartment, maybe you can ask Brooke more about it.

We all have our goals and things we want to change with our bodies and that's great, I just don't want you to tear yourself up. Set the goal in a realistic time period and start small and just keep at it. I need to put on some muscle mass, on very windy days I feel like I might just fly away. We'll motivate each other :)

Love ya, girly!

Beth Dunn said...

I hate gaining weight it is such a nightmare. Can you go somewhere safe to walk? Or do just floor exercises on several mats? Sorry I wish I could help you. xoxo

Eva Internazionale said...

Maybe try programs for home exercise? You can get them on DVD.

Damsels said...

the ann taylor dress is exquisite .

wow i cant believe your dilemma . i cann see that you truly feel like you have no ptions . one thing you can do is stop eating allfattening foods perhaps... i know you dont eat very many . but how about not drinking anything but water ? or dropping meat , not eating anything fattening for the next six months .. not one slice of pizza not one chip ...or fry. not to say you eat these things i only suggest it because i used to be a size zero now im a size 2. its been hard to keep this size and whenever i feel that im on the fat side of 2 i decide to do this for a few months .. nothing but water ... no second serving .smaller portions .. it works eventually .. if i do cardio it works faster but im tooexhausted during the course of my day to do cardio . i feel so bad that you can excercise in your home because thats what i do or in the neighborhood or dont have money for clothes dont worry honey you r luck will turn sooner than later .nothing lasts forever . in the meanwhile be very very strict with your diet .. try to keep your goal in mind ..
people may not think that size 56 is large and it isnt ... but the main issue here is that you gained a large amount in so little time . so i understand why you feel bad .. hang in there ..

sorry about the typos .

Damsels said...

size 6*

Kerrie della Rovere said...

Jenny! you are so beautiful, whenever we go out together I feel inadequate. You are gorgeous gorgeous. I haven't noticed any visible weight gain...and I don't have any healthy ideas for losing weight besides those dance classes we discussed... and if you want to do it I am all in.
Your bestest friend, Kerrie

Kerrie della Rovere said...

PS Your closet is like heaven.

Leah said...

I love your dress collection and the stories about the significance of each dress.

I agree with Leia's comment. The first step is to love how you look right now. Sometime, weight gains are caused by too much stress. And right now, you are stressing yourself too much to get back to size0.

You will be amazed that after you love your body the way it is right now, the weight loss will follow.

AudreyAllure said...

my cousin is trying to lose weight too and she does it by doing the detox (master cleanse) diet for 10 days every month. i definitely see improvement with her, but it takes a lot of discipline if you're willing to do it. or i would just exercise quietly in my room, by doing a couple of sit ups. <3 hope that helps.

jane st. clair said...

that's so sad. i'm 5' too, and i recently gained 20 pounds as well, so i do honestly know how it feels. it's really hard when you're broke and you know you need to look nice but nothing fits and you can't buy anything. i try to make do with my basics and let things span seasons. so i'll wear a summery top with a cardigan in the fall because that's what i have. it sucks.

as for the weight thing, i honestly wouldn't be surprised if you are eating too little. really. my mom started weight watchers a while back, and she was stunned to realize she was eating too little so her metabolism had slowed down. make sure you're eating at least 1700-2000 calories. i know that sounds backwards, but my mom started losing so much weight when she started eating more.

i am a total slacker at exercise. you might try a thing called s-factor, though. it's easy to do, and it makes you feel better abt yourself.
if you can afford it, get the beginner dvd. no jumping or weights or anything, so you won't need any other equipment and it won't make noise. added benefit: you'll learn some sexy moves that your bf is guaranteed to love.

39th and Broadway said...

Oooh this is so sad. Try not to let your weight get you down. It's been a rough year for everyone and you just have to believe things can only get better.

I just found your blog and hearing about your job situation, was so familiar. We get those stories all the time in the fashion industry. Many of us have been holding our breathes for years waiting for a pink slip.

Try something to lower your stress. like yoga, that may do more good for you in the big picture!

Anonymous said...

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Mademoiselle Frou-Frou said...

oh hon, you will bounce back! i didn't wear a lot of my summer clothes either...most of my pants don't fit well (i was a 0, and now i'm a 4). it's funny that only someone who was a 0 and is now a 4 or 6 can understand how depressing it can be.nonetheless there are the boyfriend jeans that i've been loving and the long sweaters layered over a tank...easy, cute and casual.
best of luck to you with everything.

Pierrot le Fou said...

aww *hugs*
i put on a stone one summer when I went on the pill to help with my cycle so I feel your pain! I lost it all (plus a bit more) by walking any journey up to 3 miles away and with this paul mckenna book (i know it sounds absolutely silly) which really changed all my habits. my main problem with food is eating out of boredom and comfort eating, which this book/CD changed. it also helps with your body attitude
A size 6 isn't fat but fast weight gain isn't comfortable

they're lovely dresses and I'm sure you'll get to wear them again :) I have unworn summer clothes so intend to have a nice holiday next year, somewhere sunny and dreamy

Lisa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

(Made a mistake in my last comment! lol!)

Please don't be so hard on yourself. 20 pounds might make you feel like a gorilla, but I assure you that if you are a size six I am certain that you look fantastic.

What about buying a pilates video or something similar to do at home? I am sure you won't make too much sound with it. Or, maybe see if there is a local walking meet-up in your neighborhood. I have heard about a lot of the walk-buddie groups. You never know!

Since your eating habits haven't changed, do you think maybe it could be related to drinks/liquids? Maybe try more water.

Cute clothes-- you WILL fit into them again.

Cheer up! :)

Etrapar said...

but you could wear some of them with fab leggings ^.^

Imogen said...

These are very lovely dresses. I'm sorry things have been so hard for you. I wish there was some way I could help you. I don't think your fat but I understand you think its a problem so I appreciate your concern. I hope you see this more as temporary. Although I wish I could help you more, I believe that you can turn things around.

daisychain said...

I'm sorry things have been difficult. I haven't got any advice for you, I'm afraid,
but I'm sending lots of love and positive thoughts.

Cafe Fashionista said...

Please, you are so not fat - you're tiny. I am slightly over five feet myself, and know that any extra weight can make you feel huge; but, there are solutions.

I have a phobia of exercising in gyms because, honestly, I don't want to sweat and look icky in front of potential cute boys. Thus, I do a 40 minutes Denise Austin workout three times a week in my living room. It's not noisy, and it keeps you so well-toned. Coupled with healthy eating, and you'll be a star! :)

Savvy Gal said...

oh sweetie, i am sorry. if you are eating small meals already and no snacking then is it hormone and stress? maybe you can try walking and exercising on the weekend?

MJ said...

That's so cute, how all those clothes have stories! My recommendation for toning up, if you really feel you need it, is buying a yoga DVD or something - you can do it in your apartment and there's no bashing about! Plus, great sex.

If it starts to work, why not keep us updated on your blog? We can all cheer you on, and it'll be an incentive to keep at it!

Melanie's Randomness said...

I hear ya on the losing weight and the stress. They say just having stress adds pounds. I've been trying soo hard to lose weight but everytime I do the not eating thing I get sick and it eats ur stomach so I dont recommend that. They say that certain vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, celery actually help people burn calories by giving them energy. Actually here's a good suggestion, if you know anyone who has done weight watchers maybe they could lend you the booklets so you wouldnt have to pay? I'd say buy an exercise tape but who has the time or the energy. Also drinking water helps, it may make ya go alot but it's supposed to help digestion & things with dietary fiber.

I hope your stress level goes down. it's so hard to get a good stress reliever. I hope you have a good weekend!! Maybe those tips may help ya dear! =

Phoebe Rose said...

i love the handmade dress - so pretty!
I'm sorry you've been feeling so low :( all I can say is: things will get better. Over the last 6 months my figure has changed so much. At first i hated it. But acceptance is key. I'm never gonna have a supermodels figure...I know it sounds lame and its easier said than done but you really do have to learn to love the skin you're in :) Also when it comes to exercise - find something you love. ever thought about dance classes? They're not too pricey and can be so much fun! Hope you feel better soon xx

Pop Champagne said...

aww some of those dresses are so nice. And honestly I don't think that you are fat, I would love to be bigger cuz I want to be more curvy, and have bigger boobs lol! Anyways, I hope things go well and I'm sure that you will wear those dresses again :)

Some Girl said...

Maybe your metabolism is slowing down or something. I read something about eating small meals and no snacking and apparently your body can start to think that you're starving during the long gaps in between eating thus converting muscle into fat which is then stored (since it thinks that you're starving). That may have something to do with the weight gain. And stress definitely doesn't help. So maybe you can try eating every 3 hours-- a small breakfast and then 3 hours later eat a small snack like low fat yogurt then 3 hours later lunch, etc. Also, I think someone suggested it, but yoga is good exercise to do at home plus it's quiet. AND you can find basic videos for free on YouTube :) I hope that helped a little.

Miranda Shulia said...

Summer clothes are lovely

Sophie said...

I'm sorry to hear that you have been feeling down and I hope you are doing ok. Have you tried something like yoga or pilates? They can be done in your house and there are a lot of DVDs out there which can be pretty cheap that can take you through it. Your summer clothes are lovely and i'm sure you will be soaking up the sun in them next year. Hope all is ok! xo

Liya said...

hey girl

you are perfect the way you are, and you know what, if you really feel you need to lose the weight, do it at your own pace.
you can't afford clothes right now? thats ok!!! from one fashionista to another, we spend too much anyways :) you can't afford a gym? do some cardio in your own place; running up and down stairs, lunges, etc. pick up a magazine like seventeen which offers some easy-to-do exercises for the home.
stick with what fits for now, and when you're ready, pick up some loose fitting clothes that you will be able to keep even when you lose the weight.
as someone who had her normally size 0 world turned upside down this year with some medical issues, listen to me: you will get through this. this will pass.

and you are always going to look fantastic. never forget that :)

you visited my website and left a i thought id check you out, and you're awesome :)

Michael Kan said...

Wow, you have a really popular blog. So many comments, hopefully one day I'll get as many hits as you do.

xtinagirl said...

Hi Jen! I hope you feel better. It's a good thing to keep your old clothes. That's what I do. It gives me inspiration to work hard to get back where I was when my weight begins to fluctuate. Eat healthy and work it out, you can do it!


Flashes of Style said...

Ooo I love that white dress, it's very cute :)

Dani said...

i didn't fit in half my stuff either. it sounds silly but it's so heartbreaking... i'm hoping i can fit in my fall/winter stuff, at least that's a little roomier. i get it. i'm sure next summer you'll be back in all your favorite clothes!

Frank&Rémy said...

Its so sad to say that the summer is totally gone, kindda hurts doesnt it.

I think i used only 60 procent of my wardrobe:(

Btw i love the etro top and the ann taylor dress, so cute!

Monika P. said...

Please, don't be sad:(! Al lthat you need to do is to stay focused on yourself! Don't listen to any bad words. I am sure that next summer you'll be wearing all of your favourite summer pieces! :)

LAYNE said...

Girl. I am feeling the same pain you feel. I am short and have gained some pisses me of when people negate my concerns about gaining the weight because when you are short there is no where for the weight to really go.

I am trying to eat better too and I hate going to the gym.

I've been trying to think the european way....just walk everywhere and eat foods that will fill me up.

Let me know if things get better :)

Miss Eve said...

How lovely to feature your summer clothes on your blog :-) I hope one day you will be able to wear them again...I know loosing weight is so hard...I have a problem with that too...

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, cheers: Evi

NICOLE said...

Dearest Jennifer, I so enjoyed that you shared the story behind each of your special pieces. Many have left encouraging comments with respect to your concern about your weight and I have to say that the one thing you need to set you in the direction you'd like to go, is support and honey, you've got it! By the looks of all of these comments, you've got a cheerleading squad behind you; no false pretenses-- we all just want to see you happy, healthy and successful. Do your thing and keep us in the loop!! Love and Best Wishes, Nicole :)

Smelly Cat said...

I know exactly how you feel. EXACTLY.
The same thing happened to me this past year, where I gained at least 10 pounds on my 5'2" frame... AH! And, like you, it won't seem to go away.
there are days when i feel terrible about myself and dream about when I would fit in size 4... but there are also other days where I put on an outfit and feel great about how i look now.
i still want to get back to my previous weight, though. More so to be in good shape (which I'm not right now).
I'm trying to eat healthier and I'm looking for a good deal on a gym membership. Hopefully it'll all work out.

PS: you're still gorgeous no matter what!

yiqin; said...

Losing weight is hard :( I LOVE to eat & I HATE to exercise. Sucha bad combination =x

Couture Cookie said...

Oh, honey. I know this is the first time I make a comment here, but your post almost made me cry. I know exactly how you feel, as I experienced some weight gain a couple of years ago due to depression and other issues - I went from a 2 to a 6 (true 6, could not fit in a 4 not even on a good day), and it was painful to see all my beautiful clothes going into storage... I just couldn't look at them without feeling blue.

It took me about one year to get back in shape and what I did was this:

* 1 hour walk every morning before breakfast. Have a cup of black coffee before you head out, it speeds up your metabolism. It is crucial NOT to eat until afterwards: that was, your body willl burn fat only when you walk.

* Eat whatever you want except for sweets, fries etc, but very sparingly. A portion should be the size of your fist. After 12pm, eat veggies and proteins only, and some fruit. Small meals every 3rd or 4th hour, depending on what works for you.

I am 5'9 and back to a size 2 now, and I eat bread, pasta and some sweets now and then. You can do that too once you're back at your ideal weight, since maintenance is not as hard as losing lbs. For now, stick with what I said, I promise it will work.

Best of luck to you, and I hope to see pictures of you on this blog wearing your favorite clothes very soon! HUGS.

Patty Ann said...

hahahah you are so funny! i love the white ann taylor and ralph lauren dresses. i know i feel like i never get around to wearing summer clothes! the thing is when it's summer, i'm longing to wear fall clothes, and when its fall, i'm longing to wear summer/spring clothes!

Patty Ann said...

and p.s. size 6 isn't bad! lots of people would love to be a size 6, just stay healthy!! :)

FabBlab said...

The Ann Taylor dress is darling.
Now that we've got that in, let's move onto more important, pressing matters.
Don't let weight gain get you down. Believe me. I'm like, 5 feet 4 inches and a size 2. At one point, I was a size 4 for abut 5 months. I know how it gets. You don't have the old confidence anymore.
But instead of dwelling on how fat you're getting, try to figure out how to lose it.
Exercise. I go to a gym but if you dont want to, try yoga.
Get an online tutorial.
It's amazing and you'll feel great.
Do like, 1 hour a day for the first week and increase it by another half hour the second.

Don't worry too much about it, it's alright :)
We still love you! XX

Gerri Ward said...

Don't WORRY! It'll get better, BELIEVE ME it will! Besides what's the USE of WORRYING, it's solely a WASTE of PRECIOUS TIME !!!
Next Summer ALL will be GREAT and YOU will be able to wear all of these FAB CLOTHES !!!:)

Jowy said...

i find it a bit hard to say goodbye to my summer dresses, although im looking forward to knits and furcoats!

One Love,

beckyxoxo said...

i am also having a weight problem . well , my blog is a fashion blog , and it's weird if i'm too fat . my best friend used to call me fat . i was so mad and angry at her . but now i don't care anymore . i'm happy with my body , even i'm not as skinny as anyone else . and i think you should do the same way too . if you want to lose weight , you can do small exercises such as sit up or back up . they help a lot . and please don't think you're fat ! just think ' i have a proportional body and i just want to smaller it a little bit ' . good luck ! and wish me luck too . haha .

Children of the 90s said...

I can feel your pain. I broke my ankle this summer and definitely was not able to go out and do all the fun things I wanted--all of my summer going-out clothes just languished in my closet.

I just tried on some of my jeans from last year and it was sort of a rude awakening. I've tried to just be positive about it. I definitely go through a lot of ups and downs, so I try not to freak out too much. I second Carrie's suggestion about trial memberships at gyms--just don't sign anything! :)

MizzJ said...

I agree, yoga is a good idea - what helps the mind and spirit, helps the body. Even if your parents aren't supportive, it seems that you have others who are, as well as the fact that you will always have yourself, so try to take some strength from that :)