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,

Joanna