Old Clothes, New Issues



Wearing: Drawstring Shirt Dress: Aritzia • Brown pumps • Schutz • Grey Handbag: Proenza Schouler • Grey Sunglasses: Super


Sometimes old news is good news.

You see this dress? Not only is it a form of leopard print It’s a dress I’ve had for a long time, well, three years.  Funnily enough I’m also wearing the same sunglasses.

Why is this such good news you ask? Last year I had a baby and during the pregnancy, I had gained 57 pounds (doctors suggest gaining 35 pounds maximum). It was hard for me, not just because of the weight, but also because the weight caused back problems that made it difficult for me to move for the last two months of the pregnancy. After having the baby, much of it came off right away. I was able to squeeeeeeeze into my regular jeans within six weeks, but a good 15 pounds lingered for quite a while, making most of my old clothes a tight and not very good fit.

I wish I could say that “getting back to my old body” was due to something that I did. Like “I WENT ON A DIET” or “I WENT TO THE GYM EVERY DAY.” But let me tell you I did not do very much of either. It really happened because of the breast feeding and daily walks with the baby.

When I was pregnant and stuck in bed with back pain, I’d look back at old pictures and wonder why I was being so hard on myself.

I worried a lot about getting back to my pre-pregnancy body. Pregnancy does a lot to you… mind and body. Hormones, water retention, stretching your skin in ways that you didn’t know it could stretch. When I was pregnant and stuck in bed with back pain, I’d look back at old pictures and wonder why I was being so hard on myself. Only to be hard on myself after I had the baby and couldn’t shake that last 15 pounds. Sometime after the New Year, and after I bought a running stroller off Craigslist, and running a few weeks, and after a brief and very hungry stint on Weight Watchers…

I figured just to go easy on myself.

The rest is really just what it is. Maybe I won’t fit into this dress in a year, or maybe I will.


And that battle with being hard on myself?

Apparently there are no happy endings, or stories that just end at the end.

I talked about going easy on myself about my body. Which sounds all lovely, and a happy, like I reached this epiphany and now life is all better. But…

It’s like insecurity issues are a box of tissues and when I pull one tissue out, another pops up.

Taking outfit shots the past few weeks, another insecurity started to bubble up. It’s like insecurity issues are a box of tissues and when I pull one tissue out, another pops up.  I realized this as I felt I needed to photoshop my feet, you know just to make it so they weren’t so veiny and bony. Well, I got carried away and realized I had a much bigger problem, and it was in my mind.

We all have these microflaws that people generally do not notice (because we’re all fixated on our own microflaws) but in our minds they seem much, much bigger. I know myself well enough to know that this is just superficial stuff, which only adds to my anxiety. “Why are you being so crazy?” I ask myself.

It would be nice to say, “Get over it!” but even getting over something big like weight only to find something else lurking in the shadows, it makes me wonder about the real role of insecurity. Like, do is it just a ploy latch on to seemingly innocuous things to distract from the very core of _______ <- If I knew what that “______” was, perhaps things would be different.


(Aaaand here are the photoshopped boneless feet that alerted me to the new object of my insecurities. Just to show you what started it all, the original untouched photo is here.)

Have you ever dealt with an issue only to find another waiting to pop up?

jennineOld Clothes, New Issues

Comments 8

  1. grechen

    oh…issues…i have more than i can even count. and here i thought turning 40 would make all of those go away ;) like i would magically just accept all my perceived flaws and live happily ever after. ha. i don’t think i was equipped as a younger woman to DEAL with my issues though, and now i am. it just takes working through. and as you said, you figure you’ve got one licked and another one pops up. one day at a time…

    and of course, i’ll trade you your bony feet for my thick ankles/calves ;)

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      Oh my god… it’s so much crazy, and gosh, in my 20s I couldn’t even deal (even though I thought I could) it’s amazing how our brains keep us occupied, no?

      And ha! You know people are getting restalyane in their hands now? How crazy is that… so I guess the grass is always greener!

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  2. Francesca

    I read this post this morning, didn’t have the time to reply. I thought about it all along the day and I was able to look at it from different angles. First of all, let me tell you you look beautiful, feminine, elegant, smart, happy, and I am sure I am not the only one seeing all those qualities and more.
    We are wrapped in a world where vanity, image and appearance cloud us from reality.
    Daily, we dive into blogs, look books, Instagrams, ads and are led to detect what ‘beauty’ is considered and approved for today. Which wasn’t 10 years ago, let alone 100s years ago.
    You don’t like your veiny feet? Just think at Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and his studies of the human body. Weren’t they bony and veiny and aren’t they considered the heraldic symbol of beauty in the Italian Renaissance?
    I may have a Dantesque profile and Grechen thick calves, and we hate them. But we have our own unique style that transcends what’s trending on Twitter.
    I really didn’t want to make it sound like a sermon, just wanted to say that insecurities erode our best qualities and most of the times they are only apparent to us.
    XXX, Francesca

  3. ulli

    It never ends, does it. I try to remind myself all the time that the confidence I have now in my late 30s would have been awesome to have in my 20s and how down I would be on my own body image. I still struggle with it all the time. Flaws are always there but I am working very hard on bracing me, just me, plus flaws that no one else considers a flaw really. Great post!

  4. Gaby

    So glad you’re back! And congrats on your baby! I kept going back to your blog every few months, hoping there’d be an update, then gave up. But this morning I went back again and discovered a host of new posts and a gorgeous new lay-out. Can’t wait to see more post-pregnancy posts, as I’m headed that way after the summer ;)

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      Thank you so much for checking back all this time, Gaby! And congrats on your new baby! You’re going to have a amazing year!

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