Helicopter Arms

Geekgasms ahoy! Thanks to my pal Claire I’ve found a new obsession – MapMyWalk.com. I can plot all my routes on the map thingy, log training walks and other activities, then calculate distances and calories burned. There’s calendars and graphs and I can track all sorts of wacky information like daily mood, weather and quality of sleep. I can enter all my SHOES and keep track of how many miles each pair plods. I already use a blog and a spreadsheet and WLR and a paper diary, but really… you can never have too many statistics.

I also like to stalk websites written by redheads, because it’s nice to read about accomplished redheads making their way in the world. If you believed what you saw on the television, all we do is go around stabbing people or generally being calculating and eeeevil. My current favourite is What I Wore Today by Kasmira in Cincinnati. As the name suggests, she writes about what she wears. She has a brilliant sense of style and colour, not to mention lovely legs. I bet if you handed her a piece of string, a paper clip and a banana peel she could fashion some killer accessories in a jiffy. Ginger power!

I also love how she looks so comfy and relaxed in her clothes, like she has fun getting dressed every day. I want to be like that! I want to have more fun with clothes and this new body of mine. It’s not even new anymore – I’ve been a size 14 for almost two years now. But I’m not always the best at judging how much space I take up. I absentmindedly take 16s and 18s into change rooms; I still have a tendency to walk with my arms flying out like a helicopter, as if they’re resting against a much wider body. A journalist asked me recently, "Do you go WILD with new clothes now?" and I said, "What do you mean?" and she said, "Isn’t that what people do when they lose a crazy amount of weight?" and I thought, Ohh! Why haven’t I done that?

I’ve been more advanced this past year, trying a few frocks and stuff but it’s all a bit dull. I’ll get dressed up for a night out but feel like a dowdy granny as soon as I meet my pals, who always seem colourful and adventurous. How do they do that? My most exciting purchase has been my boots which have a current cost per wear of Β£50, coz I’m too chicken/lazy to think of something to wear with them. I feel like an imposter when I’m clip-clopping around, like someone is going to yell, "HEY lardy, who do you think you are in them boots?"

Are there any other losers out there who struggle to dress their new bods? Or are you all going for gold doon the shops?

38 thoughts on “Helicopter Arms

  1. What I used to do when I was bigger, was I’d go into shops and look at the sizes on the hangers and buy whatever fitted – it didn’t matter whether I liked it or not, since I didn’t have much choice.

    Now, I find myself doing the same thing. Problem is, there’s a lot more clothing that’s a size 14 and 12 than a size 24 and 22!

  2. I’m in the process of losing weight, and I’m halfway to my goal. I’m in between a US 18-20 right now. I’ve recently really been having fun with torrid.com. I look over the clothes, then I go into the shop and try them on. I’ve always wanted to be slightly punky/funky-stylish, and I’m trying things on with that goal in mind. I pass on the clothes anyone would be wearing: the plain t-shirts, the plain jeans, the colorless dresses. Right now I’m wearing a black-with-white-pinstripe short pleated skirt, a purple camisole, a black bra (the straps show), and a thin black jacket-thing. I also have on black tights and black Doc Martens with purple flowers all over them. And a silver bracelet that says “well behaved women rarely make history”. I’m happy as a clam with what I’m wearing right now, even if it is “bigger” than most people find acceptable! πŸ™‚

  3. My fashion stuff ups were bought to my attention (very gently) by a couple of friends who had noticed that, even though I had lost a heap of weight, was not dressing to my size. Because I had been so big all of my life I kept dressing as though I was that size. They basically dragged me to a huge shopping centre one holiday and handed me garments to try on and then gave them a comment. Over the day I learnt a hell of a lot about my new body, what I can wear and what it looked like on me. A valuable lesson given by a couple of wonderful friends!!!!

  4. Hey Shauna, Aussie here *waving* I have lost 48kgs im an Aussie size 10-12. I still pick up 14,s +. I keep forgetting the size that I am. So I hear ya!
    Love your work!
    Cheryl XXX

  5. I think I’ve gone insane with shopping cos I keep finding clothes that I’d forgotten I’d bought! I think you’re either a clothes person or you’re not, regardless of weight.

  6. I go wild with new clothes. I have far more stuff than I can possibly get decent wear out of….just because. At last count I had 38 bras… do you reckon I have a problem?

    It did take me months to adjust initally, but I’d say I’m totally adjusted now. LOL.

    FINALLY spotted your book on the shelves (in K Mart) today. So I took all 5 copies that were stacked on behind the other and spread them across the front of the eye-level shelves. Wouldn’t want anyone to miss a great read because they didn’t spot it.


  7. Managed to get my hot little hands on your book Shauna and I’m really enjoying it. I especially love how you’ve fallen in love with exercise over the years πŸ™‚

    I still subconsciously reach for bigger sizes – in fact I used to go to Target, buy the same item in different sizes and take it home to try on – i had a fear of dressing rooms. But I’m getting better πŸ™‚

    I’m saving the bras for the new girls πŸ™‚
    Liz N

  8. I’m desperate to get to goal just so I can buy clothes that I actually like. I long to shop in Jigsaw and Hobbs and places that don’t stock over a size 16. I might have to start saving now for the blow out spending spree I’m going to have! And wear your boots – I bet you look fab and foxy in them.

  9. D’ya know Shauny I think some people have the ability to dress and some people don’t. My sister is amazing and can wear a curtain and look fantastic. Me? Well, no bloody idea. What does a 45 yr old wear whilst gardening around the acreage these days?

  10. mapmywalk is a really good find. I’ve managed to increase the number of routes around Shrewsbury area by 50% when adding 2 πŸ™‚


  11. Nope – I’m useless too! I got down to a 12 from a 24 (although currently a more comfy 14) and have not really gone wild. I just find it quicker and easier to buy clothes than before but still don’t get exciting stuff. I SHOULD!

    I have been trying to buy more colours and I popped into a boutiquey type shop yesterday on impulse and saw some designer stuff on sale and thought “I really would like to see what all the fuss is about”. I have pledged to buy something really trendy and unusual for my sistr in law’s wedding in May. So – you’re definitely not alone but I’m trying!

    Lesley xx

  12. I LOVE mapmywalk/run/ride….It’s one of my favorite discoveries.

    As for clothes, I never much noticed, until a few months ago when a couple of friends told me I really needed to shop – and one of those friends (who is very very thin) gave me a bunch of pants…which all fit. Now, I’m loving shopping. I’m a US size 4 now, (and was a size 18/20 5 years ago), so it’s a lot more fun. Except for dresses – because I’m also a size 36DDD – and apparently you can’t be both thin AND large breasted….oh the hardships.

    Umm…so yay for a comment all about me. πŸ™‚ Also – is there some kind of red-head hating going on in the UK? I’ve never heard that redheads were particularly evil. Just pale.

  13. I haven’t really been dieting (or losing) lately – really just in transition and trying to get inspired. However, I DID go buy a tonne of new clothes around christmas that I just love!

    I’ve just switched houses, switched provinces, switched LANGUAGES and switched workplaces – might as well switch my look too, oui? I’ve fallen in love with http://www.coldwatercreek.com – their outlet is cheap, their sizes are great, and their plus sizes don’t have the horrible quality of looking like circus tents. I call it “artistic professional”. Lately, I’ve been wearing a ‘uniform’ to the office – black pants, black t-shirt and a cool and funky long blazer from coldwatercreek, with a funky necklace to go with. I’ve been getting tonnes of compliments and I feel well put together and pretty…which I think is actually helping with the inspiration to take better care of my body. Of course, I realize losing will mean lots of alterations, but I’m all for it πŸ™‚

    Oh, and Shauna – you inspired me to finally buy awesome fitting boots too – this way I can wear skirts in the winter! They should be arriving by mail from wideshoes4less.com in a couple of weeks! Yay!! Wear yours with pride chickita – you earned them!

  14. I’d totally lost interest in clothes – now having lost 3 stone I love them! But have wasted too much dosh buying clothes that are still too big for me. It’s hard to comprehend what actually fits.

  15. nooooooooooooooo! I don’t want to believe that you either have a way with clothes or you don’t. there MUST be hope! hehe. i’m dressing better than i did a year ago, which is progress. it will take awhile to find some style having spent previous years wearing childhood handmedowns then flannel shirts and elasticated jeans πŸ˜›

    sillmonkey – boots!!! woohoo! enjoy!

    Amy – redheads are usually psychotic and/or homewreckers on tv. see marcia cross in melrose place then desperate housewives, for example πŸ™‚

  16. I think I was a lot more worried about my clothes when I was heavier, because I was more insecure about my appearance. I was desperate for people’s first thought on looking at me to be something other than “Fat”. I used to envy thin girls’ ability to look good in any old things (I now know not all of them have this ability).

    I have an awful lot of clothes because of this need to be appropriately and becomingly dressed. But I’m only a size or two smaller than I was, so I can still wear most of them…

    There are still times that I feel dowdy, but I don’t care so much about it any more.

    As for putting outfits together… the best I can offer is – when you buy something, think about whether you would wear it with at least three things you already own. Then that’s three outfits in the repertoire. Alternatively, go for dresses (they’d look good with the boots).

  17. Hi! I’ve been a lurker for a while….

    I still struggle with the clothes sizes and take bigger clothes all the time, then am shocked when I have to get much smaller sizes…. I’ve been at goal for nearly 2 years now – will I ever get used to it??? LOL

  18. I have a hard time buying clothes mainly because I seem to mentally filter out so much. Not that, too colourful, not that, too retarded, not that, too slutty, not that, too babydoll,* not that, too long, not that, too short. A friend recently commented that I have very few clothes, and I think that’s why.

    I will say one thing, though. Shauna, go get yourself some expensive jeans. I mean it. I dropped some major money on a pair of Nudie jeans recently and they changed. My. Life. Or at least my arse. I wear then every single day. If you can find some to go with those boots of yours you’ll be cheering.

    I think everyone’s got style, but I just think some people are more comfortable in a wider range of clothes than others, regardless of body size or shape.

  19. Oh, and the asterisk was to moan WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO WAISTS IN CLOTHES?? Everything is a big tunicky baby doll sack, which is fine if you’re some waifish little teenager, but it just makes everyone else look pregnant. I may even begin a Facebook group dedicated to bringing waists back.

  20. I thought you looked well-put-together at BlogHer.

    I am finding it hard to buy clothes lately, because like Rach, I hate the I-wanna-be-pregnant look that seems to have taken over all the stores.

    Maybe you’ll find a beautiful petal-pink top the next time you’re out so you can recreate your Elle look.

  21. I find that no matter what size I am, or how many clothes I have, I only ever seem to have one outfit that I really like, and therefore want to wear it every single day.

    My dream is to have several on the go that make me look and feel good.

    I hated clothes shopping when I was bigger. But I still hate it now I’m smaller. The huge boobs/small waist combo makes shopping for dresses or tops a nightmare, and being a redhead means I’m more conscious of colours. It was much easier when I only wore black!

  22. I have not gotten thin yet, but I do love trying on new clothes and finding what looks good on me! I think you need to bring a really good friend with you shopping, and try on different things they suggest and have them tell you how you look in them. Sometimes what is in our comfort zone is NOT what is most flattering. A new set of eyes may do wonders!

  23. Buy Vogue. lol. Probably after one or even two magazines you’ll start hitting up H&M, forever 21, Macy’s, all those stores for chic things and feeling adventurous! I make wall collages sometimes πŸ™‚ too. Have you given away everything not so nice anymore too? If not, wardrobe raid first!!!! lol

    Ps. Love the Blog. Think you’re Fantastic!!!

  24. you are too cute. thanks for the link – it will be nice to have a whole grouping of excess skin posts all together. Alas – new computer and new camera and I have never figured out how to post pics on my blog. I am going to have to see if I can find someone in town to help me. . .

  25. Hi! This is totally unrelated, but I was at Sydney airport on the weekend (domestic terminal), and you were in the bookstore there! Well, not you obviously, but your book.
    Woo – go Dietgirl!! πŸ˜€

    oh, and I’m terrible at dressing myself too. Never know what to wear, & usually end up going for whatever’s cheapest, cos I’m tight πŸ˜‰

  26. well my dearest darling redhead, if you ever wish to read about the misadventures of a redheaded graduate student in the land of texas, you are always welcome.

    recently i’ve broken my computer by tripping over it, and am planning a smashing valentine’s with prosecco, pajamas, and my cats.

    riveting read, i’m told. bahaha.

  27. For years and years i’ve been waiting to get to my ideal weight before even trying to enjoy clothes. So I’ve grown to hate clothes shopping because I’ve seen it as such a waste of money! However I’m determined to change all this, just not right away due to post-Christmas poverty πŸ˜‰

    I WILL enjoy shopping!

    Unfortunately like many people here I can’t find fitted clothes that work due to the big boob/small waist combo which is always extremely disheartening. Even Bravissimo clothes aren’t curvy enough! So if anyone finds an ultra-curvy girls store out there, let me know πŸ™‚

  28. Hi – thanks for the blog shout-out! You’ve already sent 450 people my way. πŸ™‚

    Congratulations on the weight loss. I wish you the best of luck in dressing your new body with the style it deserves!


  29. Girl, next time you’re in NYC, I will sooo take you shopping. Perhaps a day of fun boutiques and some enjoyable noshing and drinking, you will find that it can be a lovely event. Besides, I happen to be a great judge of what looks great on a ginger πŸ˜‰

  30. Fellow Ginger-head here. It took me losing nearly 45lbs before I finally realized I couldn’t wear my old clothes and be presentable anymore. My body was still changing so I was nervous about spending money on things that wouldn’t fit if I continued to lose so I bought some presentable, but intended to be temporary clothes…that I’ve been wearing for just over a year. It’s only been in the past 3-4 months — nearly of maintaining a 55-60lbs loss — that I have really started rebuilding my wardrobe in earnest. My body may continue to change since I’d still like to drop a few pounds, but finally figured out that I should look good in the meantime. πŸ™‚

  31. I have lost 125 pounds now, and I am lost as far as dressing myself goes! I try, but it is so hard to find a style! What is me, ya know? I want to throw an outfit together and feel fabulous! I don’t know how to do that yet.

  32. I’ve lost lots of weight and I am enjoying shopping now. I read mags, and I often just go window shopping and try on everything. Here in Amsterdam fitting rooms often have a communal mirror so the salesladies give advice. I have gotten over my fear of coming out and looking like an ass. If it looks crap I just go back in and try something else.

    Accessorising, now that’s difficult!

  33. My tips are;

    Buy 2 decent, properly fitted bras. A good bra does make a difference. And some decent underpants.

    Try everything on. It takes time but it’s worth it. Size and cut vary from garment to garment.

    Buy nice shoes, jewellery and bags. What seperates us from the apes is our ability to accessorize.

    Plan your wardrobe. This goes with that goes with this goes with that. Buy things that can be worn with other items.

    Be bold with colour. Find your colours and work with them.

    Sale is the most important word in any language. Buy basic wardrobe staples on sale.

    Give a cursory nod to what’s in but follow your own style. Wear clothes your way not the runway.

  34. I know exactly what you mean! Years ago I went from 17st to 9.5 stone over the course of 18 months. I felt fantastic and obviously I had to buy clothes that fit me but I never seemed to catch up in my brain that I was slim. I was still fat in my head.
    Years later, 2 kids later, I’m back up to 14st. (Have recently lost 4st since Ella was born so it’s not all bad)
    But… tormentingly… in my head I’m a size 12!? How is that fair!?!

  35. I love your blog!! It is the most inspirational dieting blog I have ever read. I recently lost 30 pounds and while I am feeling prety good about my body, I still walk in places feeling gargantuan when I am now a normal size. How do you overcome the vision you had of yourself when you were a bigger girl?

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