Rallying.

In high school, I loved pep rallies. There was something electric about all of us gathered in the gym, screaming for the basketball team or the football team and the loud music and the cheerleaders and all of that. Never mind that in four years of high school (and college, too), I never attended one single sporting event. Not one. (Are you kidding me? Leave home and miss a showing of Beverly Hills, 90210? No, thank you.) But, boy, did I love those rallies. I thought about those pep rallies this past weekend, particularly the rallying part. Those gatherings were meant to push us to action, to come to the game and root for the home team, to be energized and excited. Despite the amusing reminder that I was far more interested in the pre-hoopla than the games/events they were meant for, I was reminded of just much how much I needed that energy this past weekend when I was supposed to get my hind parts off my bed and head to the gym to work out.

You, dear reader, know about my gaining health journey. You know that regular exercise is part of that. But if you live on Planet Earth, dear reader, you also understand the weight of winter. The desire for carbohydrates. The laziness. The doldrums. The inertia. Due to all of those things and quite honestly, having reached a weight that I find mostly satisfying, my visits to the gym have been sporadic, at best. And I can’t accept that. Sporadic for me means eventual oblivion, the disappearance of this routine I’ve built for almost a year. And since my goal is to be healthy and maintain the strides I’ve made so far, sitting on my bed and bemoaning the interruption to my sleep is just not an option.

But I couldn’t rally. I couldn’t. On Saturday, I woke up when the alarm

bosses
But this boss did.

dinged and lay there, gaping at the ceiling. Eventually, I rolled myself out of bed. Since I go to bed with my gym clothes on for mornings that I plan to work out (yep, you read that right), I slowly pulled on my shoes. I sat down. I told myself to stop playing and to get going. I stood up. I sat down again. After several minutes of this silly back and forth, I stumbled into the bathroom, brushed my teeth, bid a hasty goodbye to my mother, and went to the gym. It was a fantastic workout. On Sunday, the same things happened. This time, however, I walked in and out of the house three times before I abandoned my efforts and returned to the couch on the living room, muttering to myself that I was late anyway and didn’t have time. No workout happened.

What happened, y’all? Particularly on Sunday? Why couldn’t I walk to my car and just turn it on and go? Why did my motivation, already tattered, essentially give out until I found myself on the couch, chewing on a health bar and berating my lack of energy? Could be an assortment of answers. But like a pair of dangling, ignored gym shoes on a Sunday morning, I will leave them unanswered.

Today, I have my gym clothes here at work. When I’m done for the day, I’ll change and head to my exercise class this evening. The rest of my exercise schedule this week is planned, and I hope to see all those plans through. Realistically, this may or may not happen. But I intend on sticking to my schedule, and I intend on sticking like glue.

Even if I have to call upon my inner 15 year-old, sitting in a gym with gleaming eyes and a giddily racing heart, excited beyond measure, I will rally.

Reader, have you had mornings like this? How did you push yourself? Tell me in the comments, won’t you?

Fabu Fashion Galore.

First off, thanks to everyone who read, liked, and/or commented on The Wedding and the Web. Sharing is caring, and it’s always my pleasure to share my writing on This Square Peg.

Now. Here’s an assortment of outfits and ensembles I’ve worn in the past few weeks. We said sharing is caring, riiiight? By the way, I don’t have the ability to pat myself off on the back (ask every gym teacher who tried to get me to tumble), but I have to admit: I’m proud of the direction I’m going in with my style. It’s constantly evolving. With the weight loss, I was focused on simply not wearing clothes two sizes too big. Now I’m just having fun with it. Fun is good.

Fabu1

OK, so this blouse is basically my new best friend. Do you see it? That rockin’ zipper on the top? The way it parts in half? I wore it to the OK Corral one day and I was so feeling myself, as one should. Paired it with a pair of pants that actually fit me. Blouse and pants from Rugged Wearhouse, a local store that I’ve been ignoring until now. Yes, it owns me.

Another day at the OK Corral, another selfie session in a well-lit washroom. I loved the simplicity and comfort of this outfit. Lots of gray and black, so I threw on some patterned tights and some sparkly silver and gold flats. Skirt from Dress Barn, blouse from Mom’s Closet of Dreams, and gray sweater from Ross.

Fabu4

You see that African blazer? I tried it on and it fit like a glove and I was poised to put it back because, well, your girl isn’t used to things fitting like a sweet glove and then my good friend basically yelled at the top of her lungs for me to buy it. I’m occasionally obedient, so I did just that. And as you can tell from the smile on my face, I loved it something awful. Got it from a pop-up shop that Zuvaa Marketplace put on a few weekends ago. (What a great idea, huh?) What I love even more is its versatility: I can wear it with a skirt, with jeans, a dress. So for this wonderful, faith-strengthening event that I attended, I paired the blazer with a leather pencil skirt that I scored for a great price from Amazon dot com a few months ago, Jessica Simpson tights, and a pair of booties that I’ve had forever from DSW.

I rarely wear suits to the OK Corral. The dress code is business casual; I tend to stick to simple fare. But on this particular day, I wanted to look like Angela Bower from Who’s the Boss? (Without the massive 80s shoulder pads, of course.) So I wore this pantsuit that I had purchased from Ross some months ago and paired it with a simple blouse. Done and done. The house in Connecticut and the cute, Italian housekeeper would have been nice, though.

Worn for last week’s casual Friyay. Not much to add, other than officially deciding that I’m done with the cheesy hand-on-hip pose.

That’s the rundown for my looks these past few weeks. Onwards, as always…

Straighten Up and Fly Right.

postureLet’s talk about posture, shall we?

When your Square Peg was a precocious tween, I used to walk around the house with a book on my head like the photo to your left. But it had nothing to do with posture. It was just the excitement of getting from one side of the room to the other without dropping the thing while my siblings cheered me on. In other words, posture? What?

I’ve been slouching since I woke up one morning and finally understood why my mom had banned me from wearing my beloved All This and Brains Too t-shirt. (The “This” part was incurring the kind of attention no mother wanted for her 11 year-old daughter. Yep, you get it.) It was almost immediate: I began to hunch over like some kind of creature. Some of it was the literal pressure on my back, some of it was the emotional confusion that came with development, some of it was the desire to hide what was suddenly the only thing people seemed to notice about me. By the time I reached college, I was basically Quasi Modo. And now? Well, I wish I could tell you that your Square Peg sits straighter, walks straighter, and no longer slouches. All lies. Those would be lies.

I have the worst posture. It doesn’t help that I sit in front of a computer all day, that sometimes I lean forward to even see the screen because I’m apparently 85 and can see nothing, that I contort my body in the kind of horrible ways that would make an aerialist from Cirque de Soleil shake her head pitiably. Throw in the fact that I was in a car accident some years ago and you have someone who does not sit or stand well.

So the other day, my mother saw me standing in kitchen, my neck in its typical hunched over position, and nearly screamed.

Ma: Why are you standing like that?
Me: Like what?
Ma: Like that. It makes you look sickly, especially with your weight loss. You look frail. Straighten up.

Of course, I knew I didn’t look frail (the absence of rice from my life has convinced my African mother that I’ve become sort sort of 80-pound weakling; we’ll discuss that in another post), but I looked at myself in the mirror and certainly agreed that my stance was terrible. And yes, with the weight loss, I did take on a kind of starving imp from Les Misérables quality. It’s surreal, isn’t it? You recognize things about yourself, you know yourself, but to turn towards a mirror and really look at these things is an entirely different animal. After all these years of telling myself to straighten up, it was kind of interesting to see the need to do so before my own eyes.

Won’t happen overnight; I’ve slouched and de-slouched about five times while writing this post. We’ll get there, though. Confidence isn’t necessarily in the shape of your back, but it helps. Onwards!