Skinny Saturday Report

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So sorry I’ve been so MIA!! With our crazy summer, my goal had been to at least post Skinny Saturday twice a month, but I didn’t even manage to do that last month! Yikes!

I keep seeing all the Facebook and Instagram posts saying that Back to School is coming too quickly, and how can summer already be over??

I’m thinking I must live in crazy-town, because I cannot wait for school to start again. Normalcy cannot come soon enough to the Swank house! I will admit that I’m dreading turning into a single mom again though. Chris will be working full time (insurance, yay!) and going to school full time (last year of undergrad, yay!) which means we can pretty much count on not seeing him again until next April (boo). So that kind of stinks. But as far as my work-day is concerned, a nice, steady consistent schedule is being much anticipated!

ANYWAY.

Today is kind of a fun Skinny Saturday post, and I’ve really been looking forward to it (despite my tardiness)! We’ve been chatting a lot lately about the mentality of weight loss– the body image, the self control, the emotions attached with unhealthy eating and weight gain…

Well, I feel like I’ve seen great improvement for myself in those areas. My weight hasn’t budged, but I’ve decided to be okay with that for the moment, because I’ve wanted to focus more on my attitude about myself and food. And it turns out that it’s been a good thing for me to do. I’m becoming much more aware of my body’s signals and how to respond to them best, and that has made me feel much more in control. I’ve also been working hard to just feel happy on purpose. Like… actually making an effort to feel happy when my instinct is to be irritated with my waistline. And, I have to say: so far, so good. In the past few weeks I can think of more fun moments than I can “fat moments.” And nothing on my body has changed, so it’s definitely in my head.

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And while I’ve been busy feeling happier, I’ve decided that I want to try and look nicer– regardless of my size. I started noticing that there are lots and lots of women who I think look beautiful, only to realize they probably have pounds to shed as well. And I noticed that these women had something in common (besides a smile and sunny disposition): their clothes fit. They looked comfortable. They could move. And they weren’t tugging on their jeans or re-tucking their shirt. And I really, really liked how that looked.

So. I decided to buy new clothes.

Which was a GIGANTIC decision for me. Because this is how I’ve been punishing myself for about 10 years for my weight. I’ve been withholding “happy” clothes shopping until I reached my “goal weight.”

Of course I’ve had to buy clothes over the years to replace worn out items. I’ve even bought clothes for no real reason other than I was on a shopping trip with my mom. But (maternity clothes shopping aside), I haven’t bought clothes to feel pretty in for a very long time. I haven’t bought clothes without cringing at the tag, or trying to squeeze into a smaller size, or putting something back because I felt like it was too pretty to wear in a size L or XL. I haven’t even really bought fun necklaces or earrings or bracelets because I felt like only the “pretty girls” who were a “pretty size” were supposed to wear those with their “pretty outfits.”

And I’ve really been avoiding Stitch Fix. I’ve seen my friends posting all about it for months and months. Every time I saw someone mention it, I just thought– suuuuure, YOU can shop through an online subscription service and have stylish surprise outfits sent to you and have them fit just fine, because you’re skinny. You don’t have to try on 5o different shirts to find one that fits just right.

But something finally clicked. And as I made more of an effort to feel positive about how I look, and as I’ve started to actually trust those positive feelings, I finally felt like I deserved some pretty new clothes. But I wasn’t exactly sure where to start. I bought a few new shirts at Target (even a pair of jeans!), but I decided I wanted to get something special too. Something that I wouldn’t have let myself have before.

Which is when I remembered Stitch Fix. So I decided to be brave and just do it.

So here’s how Stitch Fix works: It’s an online “styling” shopping service. You fill out a form about your size, body type, and personal style preferences, and pay a $20 non-refundable styling fee. Then, someone out there who knows what they’re doing with clothes and fashion and such (obviously not someone like me), takes your input and picks out 5 pieces (ranging from tops to jeans to skirts to accessories and beyond!) that they think you might really like. They package it nicely in a box and send it your way.

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This is when the old me would have been all panicked, thinking omg! There is no way anything in this box is going to fit, and I’m going to be totally humiliated (in front of myself?), and have to send it all back!

Instead, I squealed over the careful packaging and tissue paper, jumped around my little box, and carefully handled each pretty item as if it were a precious delicacy as I removed them all, one by one. My eyes reveled in the colors and patterns, and my fingers wouldn’t let go of the soft cotton.

Stitch Fix had sent me 4 shirts and 1 necklace. Two of the shirts didn’t fit quite right. And yes– it was because they were too small. But guess what? I loved the other two shirts– which fit perfectly. And I loved the necklace! So I kept the three things I loved, popped the two offending shirts (ok, they were actually quite darling) into a pre-labeled bag for shipping, and stuck them in the mailbox never to be seen again.

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It was an awesome shopping experience. Everything I kept was really great quality and fit well. And, if I’m being totally honest, it’s SO fun to have something that didn’t come from the Old Navy or Target clearance racks. I mean, nothing against Old Navy and Target. They’re both long-time loves of mine. But there’s something about buying something a little nicer for yourself that feels really good. And then allowing yourself to feel like you deserve it.

As far as pricing goes, each of my items ranged from $28-$38. When you fill out the survey at the start, they ask you about price range. I selected, “the cheaper the better” for all of my items. The $20 styling feel can be applied towards any item, so you really only lose it if you send everything back (since I don’t think they’ll ever send you anything less than $20). My total bill ended up being around $80. For 3 quality pieces, I feel okay about that! I may not end up spending $80 every month, but I’m thinking one item a month could fit into the budget.

Annnnnnnnd, speaking of all that: they have a SWEET referral program! You get $25 for every friend who orders using your referral ID! That’s like a free shirt! It’s a great way to make using Stitch Fix more budget friendly. A friend of mine even said that she got her last box totally free! Just from referrals!

So… uh… use my referral ID if you decide to order a Fix, would ya? Just use this link: http://stitchfix.com/sign_up?referrer_id=3125085. Thanks ;)

Anyway. I know this post has deviated from my normal Skinny Saturday posts, but I hope you feel like it deviated in a good and positive way! I’m hoping to make a shift here. I’d like to go from doom-and-gloom-I-ate-too-much-again to discussing how to purposefully feel good and happy. Especially when it comes to eating– working hard to fuel our bodies correctly, but allowing food for our emotions too.

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Thanks to BMW Photography for a few family shots this week! (New jeans, shirt, and necklace in this shot)

As always, THANK YOU for your support. I always appreciate the flood of emails and comments I get after these posts (even if it takes me a month to write you back)!

XOXO

Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.