Check me out!

So remember my promise that I’m going to be in Glamour? It’s on newsstands!

My buddy Jess just sent me a pic of the article. Check it:

Gahhhhh kind of crazy. But it’s me! If you can read the little snippet there, it’s a pretty edited version of the full story I submitted. Which I actually have the complete version of (go figure). Read on for my True Life: I’m Happy With My Weight story:

Up until about a year ago, the last time I could remember being completely happy with my weight I was in the eighth grade. Ah, the blissful life of a perpetually skinny 13-year-old.

I would eat roast beef sandwiches the size of my head and shovel mountains of ice cream into my bowl each night, confident in my genetics and the fact that the scale never budged even a centimeter. Until the day it, well, did.

It wasn’t until the summer before I started college that I first really noticed my body changing in a way that I couldn’t blame on a growth spurt. My cushy job as a nanny left my body, ahem, cushier. And my spotty attendance at the gym didn’t do anything to slow my expanding skin.

No matter what I did (hours on the elliptical, nights of feeling my stomach ache with hunger after a day of starvation, hours of berating myself for not sticking to the extreme diets I continually put myself on), the scale continued to climb. I was averaging ten pounds a year by the time I graduated college, and a last-minute doctor visit before I moved to New York to pursue my dream job left me biting back tears when the scale registered squarely on the highest weight I had ever been.

If I was honest about it (which I never was), I knew why my weight continued to climb. I loved food. And I had convinced myself it loved me back, something I couldn’t say I even did anymore. So when I was sad I didn’t have a boyfriend, I ate. When I was lonely because all my friends went to school hours away from me, I ate. When I was stressed about grades and internships and jobs, I ate. I ate even when I wasn’t hungry, even when it felt gross to shove more food into my mouth. As long as I could point to my weight and say, “There. That is why you’re unhappy,” then at least I didn’t have to look any deeper into my problems.

Whether I ate because I was unhappy or I was unhappy because I ate didn’t really matter. What mattered was, I wasn’t happy. And one day, I decided I wanted to be.

I started on the inside. I created and repeated a series of mantras I would repeat to myself when I was feeling down. (Yup, I’m the crazy girl talking to herself in her car.) “You are a good person. You are a kind person. You are better than this.” And I guess I started to believe it.

Next I moved on to making myself feel physically good. I started taking yoga classes at a gym near my apartment in Brooklyn. I’d picked that gym because I literally couldn’t get home without passing it, so I figured I would be more likely to actually go. Turns out, I was right.

Then I bought a nice pair of running shoes and told myself it would be a waste (especially on my paltry salary) not to use them. The next thing I knew, I was running six to eight miles a week.

And then, miracle of miracles, I even found a boyfriend (now my husband) who without even knowing it, fell for me at my biggest and has continued to love me no matter what size jeans I wear. And then, perhaps even crazier, I learned to stop arguing with him when he told me I was beautiful.

The thing is, after almost six years of being on some kind of diet, I stopped dieting. I trusted myself, listened to my body, and ate whatever I wanted—and then I stopped when I was full. Crazy, right?

One day, one of my new friends in New York told me how thin I was getting. Was I? I felt the same. A few months later, a friend’s mom told me I was her inspiration. Then, a friend who had started incorporating more fitness into her life said she wanted to be “Justine skinny.” She wanted to look like me? When I last went to the doctor, I was 30 pounds lighter than that fateful visit before I moved. Thirty. On accident!

For my wedding last spring, I continued my “plan” of not trying to lose weight. I bought a dress that fit perfectly and kept living a healthy life. Now I’m training for my first half marathon, yet another thing I never imagined I would be capable of. I actually like how I look. I love how I feel. I’m happy.

I think my 13-year-old self would be proud.

Changing it up

Ok, so unless you just started reading my blog (in which case, welcome! Have a look around!), you are aware that I am in the throws of redecorating.

You should know things are going well. (I know, you’ll sleep sounder tonight knowing that.)

Here are the projects on the docket:

1. Acquire the credenza. You already know the story of this one. (And if you don’t, click that link!)

2. Sew (or possibly iron seam) the dining room curtains. The fabric arrived yesterday (yay!), so now I just need a few hours to sit down and get it all figured out. I’m using some curtain ring clips (leftover from when we first moved in and didn’t realize our curtains already had a loop to slide the curtain rod through), so I won’t need to sew a loop, but I do need to get a new rod and have the hubster install all of this hardware. Team work!

3. Making the dining room light pretty. It involves this:

I know, you’re on tenterhooks.

4. Slightly adjusting the wall art in the dining room, and finding a large seaglass/vintage green vase for the credenza.

5. Adjusting the color scheme of the living room. I’m really inspired by these photos:

Which leads me to the new color scheme. I’m thinking something like this:

It looks a little too neutral at the moment, but I’m going to pump it up with lots of textures and some glitzy metallics like you see in the above pictures. I’m obsessed with yellow gold and copper, so there will be plenty of that.

At the moment things are very springy in the living room. Green and blue are the main accent colors, and I find more and more that I just don’t like blue. I like navy. But not necessarily living in it.

I want to get these pillow covers to cover over the green pillows for now:

And I bought a pillow like this one last night that is already at home on the couch (Joey may or may not have spent a portion of last night cuddling with it):

I may also need to change out the curtains in here, but I’m holding off on that for now.

Fortunately, I have a motivating force to get all of this stuff done. First, my cousins are coming to visit near the end of December. And to top it all off, we’re having a little party for all our friends the same weekend.

So once again, I’m relying on mild panic to make myself do something. Probably not very healthy. But effective!

All the decorating activities start tomorrow night. Let’s DO this.