Confessionals #2: Body image and changes

by thedemuremuse on May 15, 2015

It’s almost the weekend! Which means it’s almost time for the weekly bike ride with my awesome “Sunday Bike Club” group of friends! In all honesty, I had never intended to talk about body image on this blog because I know it’s a touchy subject, but it’s something that’s been on my mind a lot lately. Since the first Confessionals post, I’ve been wavering on posting something biking related again, but this one’s only tangentially related.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve been nervous about doing the Seattle to Portland (STP) bike ride. Despite training pretty regularly every Sunday for a larger ride (we just hit our 50 mile mark in a single ride, as a group!), I’m still feeling pretty uneasy about the 125 mile goal for Day 1 of the 2 day ride. With all of the cycling in the last few months, my body has started to change. Some days I feel great about it, and other days frustration gets the best of my emotions.

One thing that I didn’t – but should’ve – expected to happen with all the training was slimming down in some places and growing in others. As someone who has always been pretty self conscious about having thunder thighs (no one tells you this is what would happen if you grew up skating and swimming!), I can’t say that I am 100% thrilled for my thighs to have grown again from biking. One part of me was excited when I first noticed the change because it meant that all the uphill cycling was finally building muscles! The other part of me was like, “damn girl, my favourite pair of jeans feel like sausage casings and my thighs are about to burst out.” (How’s that for visuals? haha)

slimsation-dresspants
outfit details:
peplum top: H&M via Kim’s closet
sleek pocket dress pants: c/o SlimSation (exact)
cutout flats: Chocolat Blu
necklace: DIY

The seams of my favourite pair of jeans haven’t popped, but the body changes are making me rethink a lot of my wardrobe (again). This year was started off on a mission to minimize and distill down to a smaller number of pieces, but I’m now having to rethink my wardrobe and buy new pieces to accommodate the shift in body changes.

Dress pants are a big nervous spot for me. While I’m used to wearing a lot of stretchy, legging-like pieces to work (yep, these Betabrand Dress Pant Yoga Pants are still a top fav), I’ve been finding myself gravitating more towards straight leg dress pants lately to mentally balance out my figure from hips to ankles. It feels so ridiculous to type all of this out, but I’m more self conscious of my body now than ever. Being so unfamiliar with its current shape makes me feel confused– like I don’t know how to feel good about the skin I’m currently in.

Originally, I had hoped to do a review post of these sleek pocket dress pants from SlimSation, but not realizing how much my body has changed, I’m not sure I’m doing these pants justice. Personally, I feel awesome in these pants and love they way they fit on me (nicely fitted in the thighs and loosely throughout the rest of the leg), but the way they look on me look nothing like on the model. Looking at this photo, the top half of the pants definitely make me look slimmer and the 4-way stretch material didn’t make my thighs feel like they were trapped in sausage casings. The bottom half, while I personally love the way they look, aren’t particularly in line with the skinny fit shown on the model.

All in all, I’m super jazzed about these pants for work and excited that they’ll still fit comfortably if my legs decide to keep growing as training continues. I just want the body changes to settle sooner than later so I can start learning to love it and dress it again, y’know? It feels weird to not know my own body shape or what shape it will net out to be after all this biking is done.

Sorry for the novel-length post on a Friday filled with personal ramblings on body image. It’s been a tough topic for me to personally come to terms with and I’m hoping that typing it out helps me cope with it moving forward.

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GIVEAWAY: Title Nine sports bra of your choice

by thedemuremuse on May 11, 2015

As someone who just started to get into road cycling and is still pretty awful about avoiding pot holes or bumpy paths, a good sports bra is a must-have in my wardrobe. I got the chance to learn about how to shop for sports bras, the different levels of impact that each style provides support for, and was introduced to a huge assortment of fashion-forward bras. Who knew?!

giveaway-titlenine-fitfest-sportsbra

This week, Title Nine is hosting a few FitFest events here in Seattle and Bellevue! These events will include:
– Personalized bra fitting advice from a “bravangelist” expert
– An expanded assortment of bras
– Bras for sports, work-to-workout, everyday and date night
– A “Bounce-ath-a-lon” for those who want to put Title Nine’s bras to the test, with stations like hula hoop, jump rope, cup stacking, run around the block, hippity-hop ball & burpees

WHEN/WHERE:
May 13-14, 10am-8pm
Title Nine Bellevue
10237 Main Street
Bellevue

May 20-21, 10am-8pm
Title Nine Seattle
7000 Woodlawn Ave NE
Seattle

If you’re not local to Seattle, that’s ok too! FitFest events are going on nationwide all summer across all participating retail stores. Anyone interested in participating should RSVP at the local Title Nine Retail Location.

titlenine-fitfest-sportsbra

If you can’t make it to a FitFest event, I’m really excited to be able to offer one lucky reader a bra of their choice! This giveaway is open to US residents only and can either be picked up in-store (if you live near a Title Nine retail store, you’ll also get a personalized fitting session), or redeemed through their call center with a gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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Weekend DIY: Watercolor teapot

by thedemuremuse on May 8, 2015

With this weekend being Mother’s Day, I wanted to do a simple Weekend DIY project that could double as a sweet gift for mom. I had been meaning to try this for a while and had a really tough time finding the perfect piece to try the technique out on. This is a super simple project that can be completed in about 10 minutes or less.

nailpolish-teapot-diy-top

Supplies for this project:
teapot (I thrifted this one for $2 at Goodwill)
nail polish (I used Julep’s Donna)
disposable container
lukewarm tap water
toothpicks (optional)
nail polish remover (optional)

nailpolish-teapot-diy-supplies
nailpolish-teapot-diy-supplies2

Click for step-by-step instructions

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Pink on pink on pink

by thedemuremuse on May 4, 2015

A few weeks ago, Kim took us on a mini road trip to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival to check out the rows on rows on rows of tulips! Every year, people flock to these fields of tulips and Kim almost disowned me as a friend as soon as she found out that I had never been. Ok, that’s a lie. She almost disowned me as a friend because I said tulips are one of my least favourite flowers and made it a point to get me to love them. Cue a 7am wake up call on a Saturday morning to hit the road to see a bajillion tulips in every colouor imaginable!

skagitvalley-tulips
skagitvalley-tulip-fields
outfit details:
blush trench: Dahlia via Emerging Thoughts
lace dress: Eva Franco via Anthropologie (exact)
bunny ear headband: c/o Aeropostale
sunglasses: Aldo

skagitvalley-tulips-anthro
skagitvalley-tulips-anthro2
skagitvalley-tulips-anthro-peace

Ok, Kim won. I fell in love with tulips while we were at the tulip festival. I wasn’t a big fan of them originally because I remembered what it was like to grow up with them. Every year, around Mother’s Day, there would be a bouquet of them on the kitchen table. The bouquet would be beautiful for two days and then there’d be petals and pollen all over the table. Unlike peonies, my favourite flowers, tulips just didn’t seem to last longer than a couple days. Of course, the Skagit tulips proved me wrong– after buying a couple bunches as gifts, it turns out the best tulips stay beautifully in bloom for 2+ weeks. Who knew?

skagitvalley-tulips-kim

Big thank you to Kimmy for taking me to see the gorgeous array of rainbow tulips!! It was totally worth the two hour drive at 7am, especially since there were massive backups on the highway coming into Skagit Valley as we were leaving. If you’re planning a trip to see the tulips, Kim posted an amazing set of tips for how to best prep for it!

P.S. This Eva Franco dress has been hiding in my closet for a couple years now. It was originally on sale at Anthropologie for $300+ and I only ever got a chance to wear it once. It’s now marked down and available online for $140 but I’m thinking about parting with it. It’s a size 2, if anyone is interested.

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Skirting the issue

by thedemuremuse on April 27, 2015

I’ve been trying really hard to pair down my closet all year and be super cognizant of what’s in there and how it all works together. I feel like I’ve been doing pretty well with the purging, cleaning, and rethinking of outfits, but there was definitely a slip-up recently where my planned trip to only drop off clothes to sell at Crossroads turned into a shopping day. I just couldn’t say no to this skirt. I had been looking for a midi skirt in a neutral palette forever and I am such a sucker for these scalloped edges.

croptop-blazerpairing-full
outfit details:
crop top: Nasty Gal (similar)
blazer: Target
midi skirt: H&M via Crossroads Trading
black & nude heels: c/o Shoes of Prey
statement necklace: c/o Tryst Jewellery

croptop-blazerpairing-closeup
nastygal-wrapcroptop2
trystjewellery-statementnecklace

Also, crop tops. I still don’t know how I feel about them yet. This one has been one of my favourites that I usually wear under sheer blouses but rarely ever alone. This was my first time trying to wear one confidently without a top over it, but this blazer pretty much stayed zipped up majority of the weekend that this outfit was worn on. My body has been changing quite a bit since starting to cycle seriously and sometimes I feel confident, while other times it makes me extremely self conscious. I was definitely in the confident camp when I put this outfit on, but felt a little less so as the day went on.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with these hilarious outtakes of what it’s like to shoot outfit photos with a giant dork:

nastygal-outtakes

Happy Monday!

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