Monthly Roundup – October

Through the last couple years of grad school, I’ve been eating poorly, seeking emotional comfort in food, and especially since hurting my hip this summer, not exercising. It’s started showing in my body. My clothes are getting snug and I’m less and less comfortable in myself. I’ve been telling myself (about so many different things) that everything will be okay when I’m done with graduate school because then I’ll be happy and then I’ll take care of myself. But I still don’t know when grad school will end, so this month I finally called myself out on this unreasonable line of thinking. I may not be able to control grad school, but I don’t have to let it control my whole life. This month I started going to the gym again, I started watching what I eat, and I’ve started to feel a bit better. Since I study fat metabolism, I know how hard it is for women to lose weight, and, right now, weight loss isn’t really my goal (although I wouldn’t complain about dropping the gains I made this year). My goal is to feel fit, in control, and comfortable in my body. And those are things I know I can do.

I share these thoughts for several reasons. One is to hold myself accountable to myself. I’ve publicly declared that I can do this, that I will do this, and that I’m in control. So, in times when I’m feeling less in control, I can refer to this public declaration. Another is as a piece of inspiration to anyone out there feeling similarly. If I can be in control of this part of my life, so can you. Finally, it’s a part of a larger set of beliefs I have about body shape and body image. I think being happy with your body should be independent of your size and shape. I’m “lucky” to have a tall, slender frame but I believe comfort in your body should come from being healthy, not from achieving any specific size or shape. So I’m not setting weight loss goals. I’m setting goals of feeling healthy and in control.

Maxi Dress with Slit By Hand London Anna

Whew. Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s talk about some fun things from this month! I sewed my second/first Anna dress in paisley pashmina that I am looooving for this fall as well as an oatmeal stripe long sleeve shirt and some pajama bottoms. I sewed a leather clutch and a little stuffed leather snail. I shared tutorials for how to sew a tote bag and a picnic set.

Purple Lace Fingerless Gloves

I (finally!) finished knitting my lace Anjou sweater. I released a free pattern for knit fingerless gloves with a subtle leaf lace motif. And I put together some of my favorite tips for successful knitting.

start of anatomical needlepoint

I started working on a new needlepoint project (and had a couple correct guesses about what it will eventually be :), I pieced my September Craftsy 2012 block of the month quilt block (oh man, I got so close to being caught up!), and Adam and I bought TWO pieces of real artwork for our home!


I was also delighted to share personal thoughts on the connection between sewing and style from Lauren of Lladybird,  Jessica of Running With Scissors, and Amy of Sew Well.

P.S. Happy Halloween!

Comments 4

  1. I LOVE the way you are going after and phrasing your body image goals. That’s how I’ve worked really hard to look at myself instead of thinking in terms of calories or amounts of weight, because if I think like that I know that I’ll just keep saying things to myself like, “well, I achieved that, so that much mean I need to drop ___ more pounds.” Instead I want to say things like, “I didn’t feel my best after eating so much ice cream last night, next time let’s only eat ____ much.” I find myself generally happier with this mindset and I think my body is thankful for it too. I wish you the best of luck in finding your body’s personal happy place!

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      Thanks Stacia! I appreciate the words of support. And I’m glad to know that a similar approach is working for you too.

  2. Happy Halloween to you, too! And, I’m glad to hear about your decision not to wait to focus on your health and happiness until after graduate school. I’ve seen too many graduate students do just the same and then look back with a bit of regret. I’ve also seen people cycle in and out of healthy habits. I hope you’ll be able to find something that works for you and stick with it well beyond graduate school. But, your thoughts also made me realize that I’ve set other restrictions on myself. I really need to finish up two papers from my postdoc. I keep telling myself I can’t sew too much or focus on my blog too much when I have these other things hanging over my head. I should realize that if I gave myself the right balance, I’d be happier and likely get everything done in a more timely manner anyway!

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      Thanks for the kind words. I know I’m not the only grad student with the same struggles. I’m glad that my words can be a source of inspiration for you too. Although I certainly understand that finding balance is hard no matter you’re balancing, I hope that you find a good balance too!

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