PEM: Can One Book Change Your Life?

Hi all,

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. I am so happy when I can keep content flowing–thrilled to be posting again! Here’s a follow-up to last Tuesday’s post.

As I stated in my previous post, I have never been ‘skinny.’ Chances are, I will never be ‘thin.’ My whole life I’ve yo-yoed anywhere from 20-40 pounds more than I ever needed and have probably been at the ‘ideal weight’ for my height and build twice (pre-kids, of course).

That doesn’t mean, however, I can’t take care of my body and feel good about the shape I’m in—by no means my best ever (that was pre-kids, too, lol) but maybe the best it’s been in a while. (And so far, I’m past the two-and-a-half-year mark for maintaining it—an absolute first for me! No secret methods, just regular exercise and walking while religiously wearing my shape-up shoes. Portion control and cutting back white flour and sugar products have made a huge difference too.)

Anyway, back to that ONE book that changed my perspective when it came to clothing: Style Is Not a Size: Looking Great and Feeling Great in the Body You Have by Hara Estroff Marano.

You see, I was raised by a mom whose pear shape I inherited, and whose one objective when it comes to dressing is and will always be: ‘hide that backside.’ That translates into this tiny woman—she may have hit the 5’0” mark and has long since lost ground—almost always wearing boxy shirts big enough to skim over hips, butt and thighs. These fill an awful lot of visual space. In the long run, she looks bigger, and to this day, if she could get me to wear the same types of shirts and pants, she would.

  Both these photos were taken the same day. 

Ms. Marano’s book confirmed and/or taught me techniques that helped me develop my style AND make me feel good about how I look. Skin-tight clothes are so not me, but nicely tailored, well-fitting pieces make me happy. I have a waistline, for goodness sake—how can not showing it off—to hide that backside again—make me look better?

  My thanks to my son, the photographer 🙂

Shirts and slacks that trace (and sometimes hug, given the right fabric and cut) draw attention to the positives instead of making me look like a box with arms and legs. BTW, tailored does not necessarily mean custom; I’m referring to clothing that has some shape and/or body shaping curves sewn into it (i.e., the opposite of a t-shirt). As per well-fitting, keep in mind that a pair of jeans that is too big can be every bit as unflattering as that pair that has to be zippered while lying flat on the bed and looks painful to wear. And let us not bother with ‘skinny jeans’ or ‘jeggings’—definitely not flattering on this less-perfectly-curved body.

Your turn: any particular book, movie and/or incident change your perspective by impacting your sense of self?

Have a great day and ttyl,


9 thoughts on “PEM: Can One Book Change Your Life?

  1. Good for you, for embracing your body as is. I have far too many friends with such a skewed self-esteem that I even hesitate to compliment them because I know they will begin to criticise themselves. I’m working on developing my style too, mostly with the help of blogs 😉 I’m pretty clueless when it comes to fashion.

    But as for food issues and healthy living, the book The Game On Diet has been immensely helpful to me. I started the game with 11 friends in the middle of May, and after it ended, I’ve been keeping it up, more or less. I’ve lost 10 pounds total. I’m back to my pre-second-baby weight. Another 10, and I’ll be at my pre-first-baby weight! But even aside from weight, I feel great, and my chronic migraines don’t happen as often.


    1. Excellent, Joanna! Nowadays, when I comment on someone having having lost weight, I hesitate to say, ‘You look great!’ b/c that implies the person didn’t look good before. As per fashion, style and fashion are not necessarily interchangeable terms. IMHO, fashion is what’s being dictated by the ‘industry’ and media; style is what defines my look based on my clothing preferences. I definitely need to check out The Game On Diet.

      Thanks so much for dropping by and for your comment! Have a great day!


    1. See, Tess? Now you’re making me smile again. Thank you!

      I’ll never convince my ma that tailored clothes are so much better than boxy. Glad I learned the difference 🙂


  2. I’m not much into school, but I love learning. My problem is I love learning about almost anything and everything. That translates into learning less and less about more and more, with little focus for zeroing in on one area. Oh well. Beats being bored, right?


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