Monday, 14 May 2012

Oh my gosh, it's been an AGE since I posted on here! But don't worry, Project Jen is still on the go. Although I have gained a lot of weight while emigrating, I've gone on to lose almost half of it - but Project Jen was never just about weight, it was about making the most of myself and going "from frumpy to fabulous" and that can be done whatever my size.

I thought I'd do a post about the changes that I have made along this journey.

I started this blog and project in December 2006. As I said in my first post, "What is Project Jen? It's a makeover project. It's me reaching a point where I'm tired of looking frumpy and scruffy and unkempt. I'm done childbearing and now I'm reclaiming my body and fine tuning it. My goals include:

- losing 14kg (2st3lb / 31lb) and fitting into a size 12
- focusing on better grooming, including nails, using a hair straightener and taking more care with my make-up
- trendier clothes
- drinking 2 litres of water a day
- taking care to eat a little better / less

Why am I suddenly motivated to do this? I have reached a point where I am just tired all the time because I'm unfit. My clothes don't fit me because I'm between sizes, and those that do fit don't look good because I'm overweight. I'm fed up of the "muffin top" (the bulge above my waistband) and my big bum. My body finally feels like it's back to "normal" (ha!) after having Noah and I just feel like my efforts at losing weight by exercising will pay off. I've done it before and I know I can do it again. Because I've done it before I know that it takes discipline and motivation."

And it has. But it's been so worth it. Let's go over my initial goals and see how I've done with them.

Lose 14kg (2st3lb / 31lb) and fit into a size 12
I went on to lose around 15kg (2st5lb / 33lb) and was thrilled to be wearing clothes in sizes 8-10! What a feeling. I kept the weight off for over 3 years, until the extremely stressful period of emigrating from the UK to New Zealand, which took two years. I'm working on eradicating the resulting weight gain.

Focus on better grooming, including nails, using a hair straightener and taking more care with my make-up
I am proud to say I am doing great with this! Anytime my toes are likely to be on show in sandals I have my toenails painted (I only let them go bare in the middle of winter). I do my nails and straighten my hair and keep it in an actual style. I spent a lot of time watching YouTube tutorials and practising and can now do my makeup well and I actually bother to do my face when I'm going out in public. I experiment with different makeup looks. Just this week two people complimented me on my eyeliner :) All around, a big change from how I used to be. It does help that I don't have very young kids anymore and have more time!

Trendier clothes
Hmm, tricky to answer this with a straight up "yes" as I don't always buy into the latest trends but I do make an effort to put together outfits and accessorise. Fashion is such a personal way of expressing yourself. I may not be in the latest and greatest runway trends but I am wearing my style and making an effort so in my opinion I've met this goal. (You can see some of my outfits here on my blog.)

Drink 2 litres of water a day; take care to eat a little better / less
Yes - although water will always be a bit of a battle for me. 2 litres is just too much for me but I am definitely drinking more / as much as I can. As for eating, Weight Watchers has taught me what I need to know in terms of what's appropriate to eat and how much. I don't always follow the plan to the letter but right now I am very focused on it and losing weight without feeling deprived or resorting to faddy diets, so another goal met.

Overall this project (which is an ongoing one) has been a resounding success for me and I feel so much better about myself. It's wonderful to receive compliments on my clothes, jewellery, makeup and hair, and how put-together I look. I don't have to feel like I'm letting Grant down when I'm out with him, or embarrassing the kids.

Don't get me wrong, I don't swan out of the house looking like a fashion plate every day. But making small changes can make a big difference - like bothering to put on some mascara and blush, taking an extra minute to add a pretty necklace or earrings, buying pretty things instead of boring practical basics. One of the things I've learned is that those little things can be done no matter what your size is - so what if you are overweight, you deserve to have nice things and look cute anyway. In fact, it's even more important to make a bit of effort to look pulled together.

So here's to more of the same. In fact today I am going shopping with a friend and will be looking out for some cute accessories. I'm wearing skinny jeans, pink ballet flats, a bit of silver jewellery and subtle makeup and my nails are hot pink. I feel good - and that's what it's all about.

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