Wednesday, 18 January 2012

More decluttering

After the initial clear out of my wardrobe and listing more or less every item I own, I've realised that there is still more scope for further rationalisation and editing to really get to grips with what fits, suits and works for me now. I am still hanging onto some things that don't fit with my life as it is now - and all they are doing is dragging me down.

After the initial clear out, where decisions were usually quite easy and made on the basis of a gut reaction, further clearing has needed to be a little more analytical to get to what really works for me, what I genuinely love, plus identifying those key basics and making sure they are as good as can be.

I found a series of 5 questions really useful.

1) Does it fit? Will it ever fit me?
Things that were on the small side even pre-pregnancy are never going to fit again. And if miraculously I do ever shrink back to that size again, I shall take great pleasure in going out and shopping for new size 10s!

2) Do I love it?
This was the catalyst for a lot of throwing out. Things that are blah, or that don't make me look forward to wearing them are gone. That was particularly therapeutic.

3) Have I worn it recently?
This was a bit of an odd question to answer as I haven't really worn any of my summer clothes for 2 years, and some of my winter clothes too (it really hasn't been that cold here this year). But the question did help me weed out some things that I just haven't had occasion to wear for several years. They had to go - no hanging on to a life I no longer have!

4) does it suit me?
Maybe a second pair of eyes is needed here, but I decided that the majority of my clothes do genuinely suit me.

5) Does it represent me?
This was a great, but difficult question. I have some lovely pieces, such as a pale blue cashmere cardigan, which on reflection just aren't 'me'. They are either too conservative,the wrong colour to go with the rest of my clothes, too fussy, too boho. I found I had to be really honest with myself on this question as I really love some of the things that fall into this category, and also some of the sound, on paper, like I should have them. I'm thinking of the black trouser suit here. Never worn, but hung onto anyway because it's supposedly a basic. Wrong answer! The cardigan and the suit both went.

I found for the last question it was very useful that I'd already tried to define my style. I'll share my definitions in a separate blog another day, but in the meantime I'd love to hear how you'd define your style.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Running to find myself

So -  onto the next New Year’s resolution. 
I will get fitter and lose some of this weight.  I guess they are really 2 resolutions which go hand in hand given I could get fitter and stay fatter, or get slimmer and stay unfit.   But I want to achieve both.
The extra stone and a half I’m lugging around with me isn’t even baby weight, which is the most annoying thing about it.  Immediately after the Biscuit was born I was only a couple of pounds above my pre-pregnancy weight.  I had admittedly been rather ill just before and just after the birth (which is a story I’ll tell you some other time), but regardless I’d only gained about 20 pounds all pregnancy, and had kept fit and exercising all the way through to the very end.
The weight gain was initially caused by breastfeeding.  I know so many people say it helped them lose weight, but honestly it just made me so hungry!  As if I just couldn’t eat enough calories to keep me and the Biscuit going.  And it didn’t help that I was slightly lactationally challenged, so I was reluctant to even think about reducing my food intake, in case that affected the milk supply even more.  And when I stopped breastfeeding at about 6 months, I was still hoovering up the cake at get togethers with friends, as well as boredom eating at home.  And not really exercising – because regardless of what the ‘experts’ say, pram pushing doesn’t really cut it.  Not when your body is used to the levels of exercise I’d been doing pre-pregnancy anyway.
Because I am a former marathon runner, and lapsed fitness enthusiast.   I was never skinny, but I was fit, and lean, and energetic.  But then I stopped running at about month 7 of pregnancy.  And didn’t start again.  All sorts of excuses why not – none really valid.
This is me in a former life – probably not in the best shape I was in, but relatively close.  Sorry its a bit blurry!

But now I’m starting again.  We have a group of girls in the office who have agreed to run together a couple of times a week at lunchtime.  And I’ll fit in another run each weekend.  It won’t be as much as I used to do, but it’s definitely better than nothing. 
Is there anyone else who has just started running, or any mums who are picking it up again post-pregnancy?  How are you finding it?
I’ll blog separately about the ‘diet’ – there is a reason for the inverted commas!
P.S – I’m logging my runs on which is a brilliant running site with loads of lovely supportive members.  Look out for me on there – I’m Treacle.

Monday, 9 January 2012

New Year’s resolution number 1 – Fashion

More correctly anti-fashion.  Or at least, no new clothes for the time being.
Over the last few months of decluttering and organising my wardrobe, I’ve been logging my clothes in a spreadsheet, so I can put together suggested outfits and try and be more creative with my clothes and make the most of my (extensive) wardrobe.   In the clothes log I’ve been putting values against each item (useful for insurance purposes dontcha know).
This lunchtime, I was playing around with the spreadsheet, thinking of some new outfits, and for some reason, I decided to add up the values of everything I have.  And the total scared me.  I knew it would be a lot, but I didn’t think it would be quite so high.  I’m embarrassed to even mention it here.
I know the total includes shoes and handbags, it has all been accumulated over a few years (and most importantly I have NEVER been in debt because of it), but still.  It’s a lot.
Add to this the fact that relatively easily I’ve come up with more than 100 outfits from the things I already own and it has reinforced (IN CONCRETE!) one of my New Year’s resolutions. 
At least for January.  And probably February.  And ideally for the rest of the year, but let’s be realistic!  The big test will definitely come when the new SS 2012 collections really hit the shops.
In the meantime, I’ll keep you updated with how the outfits are going.  I shall be ‘shopping in my own wardrobe’ from now on.
I'm wearing this dress today.  One of my favourite things at the moment.  And dare I say it, it looks better on my curvy body than it does on the skinny model on the website.  Yay!


I have a few New Years resolutions, and things I'd like to do in 2012. Some home related things, some things craft related and yet others running and fitness related.   Mainly things that I hope will get me further towards feeling like me again, while still fitting into my new life with the Biscuit.  I will blog more about plans and projects later - just getting my head round them myself at the moment.

But (fitness and diet resolutions not-withstanding!), one thing I really want to do in 2012 is bake more. It's something that I've always liked, even when I was a little girl and I used to make scones and fairy cakes with my nanna. I find it so relaxing, with a set of rules to follow, but also a creative and nurturing aspect to it.

My lovely husband bought me a rose shaped bundt tin for Christmas, so yesterday afternoon I used it to make Nigella's spruced up vanilla cake recipe.

I'm rather proud of the results.