I got a lot of compliments on my dress today. It is one of my favorite dresses. I call it my Mad Men dress.
While ordinarily the compliments alone would have been enough to make me feel good based only on fashion sense, what I really relished today was that it was my first time wearing this dress without Spanx on.
I know what they say on Fashion Police. Everyone one, including skinny megastars who workout 6 hours a day consuming only organic kale between workouts, should wear Spanx for that sleek red carpet look. But, for an ordinary day at work, are Spanx–at the expense of being able to breathe and with the added burden for peeing–necessary? Well for me, with my short frame, narrow hips, and all my excess weight crammed onto my waistline and love handles, that answer was until very recently “yes.”
I don’t remember when it started but for years now I haven’t worn a dress without Spanx on. The spare tire look was unflattering in basically every style of dress. One can only suck in so much. But now, after nearly a year and a half of Stott pilates (as irregular as I am with my workouts) with the occasional running, Zumba, and barre classes along with fits and spurts of eating well, I can wear all but my red carpet dresses without Spanx. My core feels strong and has a lot less fat enveloping it. My posture is so improved that I look at least an inch taller and taller is so much leaner even if all else is equal.
I can hardly express how much joy this brings me. For one thing, Spanx are damn expensive. For another, needing a crutch to feel good about how you look in an otherwise awesome dress is just plain demoralizing. Finally, I just enjoy breathing freely and being able to pee without a big production.
I still have a long way to go before I can go from Spanx-free to two-piece bathing suit wearing but I own that Trina Turk bikini with the tags still on (two years and counting now) and the bump up in self-esteem from this milestone is really motivating me to get my act together, be more consistent with the pilates, running, Zumba, and barre and maybe even up my intake of organic kale, maybe.
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