I have a confession to make. I am a curvy sewist and I have been trying to lose weight.
This feels like a pretty bold statement to make right now. This article about obesity has been dominating my Facebook feed for the last 24 hours, and I identify with so much of what is said. I have experienced many of the examples from doctors blaming every health complaint on my weight to the judgement I feel at work being one of the largest people on staff. I’ve been the biggest ballerina in every dance class. I’ve been in stores where the largest size is too small. I feel uncomfortable being a fat lady with underweight kids.
Wanting to lose weight though has very little to do with my appearance. I actually like the way I have looked these last couple years. I’ve made some really beautiful clothing that makes me feel fantastic. My husband never complains. My kids think my softness is comforting. The truth is that I got out of shape.
I’ve tried various things to get more exercise, but nothing had stuck since I had my second child. I tried the gym, dancing, and walking. Then a little over a year ago some of my knitting friends started going to Orange Theory Fitness classes and they loved it. I tried it and fell in love too.
The classes kicked my ass. At first I couldn’t even really do the exercises. I had to modify everything. I couldn’t even walk on a treadmill with 0% incline. But slowly over the course of a year I got better. I got stronger. And by taking 4-6 classes a month I was able to lose 5 pounds. It was a start.
I’m not a huge fan of diets. I love carbs. I love baking. I love cheese. I also knew I needed to change things up. My friend Jeff started using Weight Watchers and she liked it. So I gave it a try and it turns out I’m largely enjoying it too.
I know there are a lot pitfalls to using weight loss programs so I’ve been trying really hard to stick to real food. It has mostly helped me eliminate fried foods, lessen the amount of beef/pork we eat, and most importantly it has helped me lesson the amount of refined sugar I eat. With growing kids in the house we still eat all full fat dairy, but we eat more beans, lentils, and fish than we used to. We also mostly stick to home made desserts.
But the biggest difference has been my exercise habits. In addition to Orange Theory classes I’ve also been jogging and doing aerobics. I’ve upped my exercise to 4-5 times a week and that has made the biggest change. I am way stronger now regardless of my weight. I regularly run on the treadmill, with incline even! I can jog around my neighborhood and up hills. I can do the whole 75 minute Jane Fonda workout. Through all of my efforts I was able to meet my weight loss goal.
Changing my body has been hard. I’m about to see if it is a sustainable change.
I’m hoping to level out now and sew up some fall clothes. All this exercising has really cut into my sewing time! It’s been great, but I need some new things. I have some really great vintage fabrics and patterns to sew up and I’m hoping to dedicate some of my weekends to freshening my wardrobe. I think first stop will be that shirtdress I’ve been planning for years. I think a navy snail printed dress will be the perfect reward for all the time and effort I’ve been putting in recently!
I’m also doing a ton of knitting as I prepare to go to Rhinebeck this year. It’s a bucket list trip and I’m so excited to meet so many of my knitting friends. I’m especially excited to see my fitness cheer team. Erica, Jeff, Stacey, and Larren have had my back through this entire journey and I haven’t even met most of them in person. The internet is so amazing and I couldn’t have pushed myself this hard without their support. I also have to thank my husband for taking over the lead parent role while I get in my workouts.
Still curvy! Now stronger and better than ever!