Back before I was diagnosed with my AI disease and I was just barely starting out on my postpartum weight loss journey, I saw this pleated mint skirt online during Nordstrom’s big anniversary sale and just fell in love with it. Never mind that I’m normally too cheap to shop at Nordstrom and never mind that they didn’t have the skirt in the size I was currently at (not that I even really knew what that size was, to be honest)–
I WAS GOING TO HAVE THAT SKIRT, DANGIT.
And so I bought it several sizes smaller than what I was at the time, with the full intention of it being my “goal skirt” that I would only fit into when I had lost all my pregnancy weight. (And I figured that the $45 I dropped on it would be extra motivation to actually work to fit into it since I normally spend about $25 for a skirt, max.)
And so the skirt arrived, and even though I knew there was no way I could possibly fit into it, I still tried to pull it on, only to discover that I could barely even get it over my bum and hips, much less have a prayer at trying to zip it up. But I was determined, so I kept the skirt despite the seemingly daunting task ahead.
Months later, even after getting diagnosed with my autoimmune disease, I was still hopeful that I’d someday fit into that pleated mint skirt, so there it hung, in the far right corner of my closet, gleaming hopefully at me.
Every 5 pounds down or so, I kept trying it on, hoping that this time would finally be The Time, and each time, I was able to wiggle the zipper just a little bit higher up than the time before.
But The Time seemed to never want to come.
As you know if you’ve followed my weight loss journey, That Time was a LONG time in coming–I was sidelined by a disease that attacked my muscles and then by the medication used to treat that disease (which made it basically impossible for me to lose weight). During the throes of being on the steroid used to treat my condition, there were a few dark moments when I almost got rid of the skirt because I felt like it symbolized everything that I didn’t think I would ever have again, despite my honest-to-goodness best efforts (including going on an elimination diet for several weeks, consistently running and working out, and eventually counting calories religiously).
Finally, when I decided to try out the capsule wardrobe trend, I packed the skirt away, wondering if it would ever come back out again.
Well folks, on Mother’s Day weekend, I decided to pull that puppy out of storage and see what would happen. Imagine my surprise and delight when the skirt not only fit, but that it zipped up easily! If I were a more sentimental kind of person, I probably would have teared up at the victory, but as it was, I just walked into the next room to show it off to my husband and brag a bit.
And here is the truth about my “secret” to fitting into my goal skirt—
There was no one workout program I tried or some magic diet I paid money for or some specialized program I used. All I did was be consistent–probably 90% of the time–with exercising multiple times a week and watching what I ate for 13 months straight. For over a year, I consciously cut back on sugar, tracked how many miles I was running a week (and gradually increased that number over time), tried to take as close to 10,000 steps a day as I could, and ate a lot of produce and lean protein.
Looking back, I probably could have lost the weight faster, in theory. I could have slashed my calories down to 1200 a day (instead of the more conservative 1600 that I did), I could have made myself work out 6 times a week instead of 2-3, I could have tried some kind of juicing detox to “jumpstart” the whole process.
But even though there were moments when I got pretty down on myself about the whole thing because I wasn’t seeing the results as quickly as I wanted, looking back, I’m not sorry that I went about it the way that I did because I can say with 100% sincerity that I can stick with my current lifestyle basically forever, which means that I’m much more confident about the weight STAYING off (rather than just coming off in the first place).
And that’s something to be pretty darn proud of (in addition to fitting into that beautiful skirt).
Some other good news?
I tried on my size 4 work pants from Before the Pregnancy this morning to see if they too would finally fit after all this time, and you know what?
I didn’t even have to suck in to zip them up 🙂