Wednesday, November 28, 2012
This blog began as a description of my unsuccessful search for a long holiday skirt. I decided I could make one inexpensively like I used to do long ago.
On the Simplicity website I found this post from a frustrated customer.
”I got a fantastic pattern, Simplicity/Threads 2758. I was in the middle of cutting out the pattern when I discover it’s not true to size! I just found out that it’s 4 sizes off, that my normal pant size of 14/16 is actually a 20/22 or more in Simplicity sizing.”
For some time I’ve considered the effect of vanity sizing in masking the supersizing of society. Personally, sizing creep did me no favors as it allowed me to gain 30 pounds while continuing to wear the same size. This is important to the fashion industry. Making women feel good about themselves allows companies to pad their bottom line as we continue to pad our own bottoms.
Suddenly, here’s a company bringing us a dose of reality. They haven’t changed their sizing. The measurements/size are the same as they were in 1960.
What does this mean for me? As I shop off-the-rack I can now buy a size 6 instead of the size 10 I wore in 1968. Even after my weight loss I’m still 13 lbs more than back in 68. Checking the average measurements for a size 6, I find 36-28-38. Yep that’s me all right – a size 6.
Now what if I decide to make myself a new dress or skirt. What if, like the poster on the website, I buy a size 6 pattern. The measurements there: 30 ½ -23-32 ½. Oops!
The sizes of off-the-rack clothes and pattern sizes were once exactly the same. I bought size 10 dresses and made a few of my own from size 10 patterns.
The fashion industry has research to prove that women are more likely to buy if there’s a smaller size attached. Sizing creep has produced some ridiculous results. Since the old size 8 is now a size 0, the very small woman, who would have worn the old size 6, now is called size 00. If this continues, how many zeros can they fit on a size tag? What’s the alternative, negative numbers?
Still, I don’t understand the disconnect? Are women who make their own clothes less vain than those who don’t? Are they willing to buy patterns according to their measurements because the final product won’t have a size tag in it anyway?
One solution would be to forget arbitrary sizing and just sell womens’ clothes based on actual measurements. Efficient yes, but how many women want to sort through a rack where their actual waist or hip size is prominently displayed?
Finally, for the record I would have to buy a pattern size 14 to match the measurements of an off-the-rack size 6. Much as I hate sizing creep and believe it fosters false self esteem and is adding to our obesity problem, there’s some vanity in me too. I admit, I’d rather call myself a 6. However, I must keep reminding myself that it’s not real. It’s just a consequence of the supersizing of America.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
After posting daily since Sept 17th (my first ever), I was ready to skip this morning. I’ve just got too much to do. Yesterday I wrote about DH’s great idea to spend 2 weeks on a river cruise in Europe. When you’re retired, you are able to take advantage of the great deal on one of the last cabins, drop everything and go. When searching for the good things about joining the ranks of senior citizens, this one tops the list – the short list. So in 10 days off we go!
DH & I have traveled a lot, but never in winter. This will be different. SP must be on the same wavelength as I am since the daily featured blog is “3 ways to avoid weight gain on vacation.
I’ve been so happy about my 3 years of maintenance that this is obviously a concern of mine. Yet I’m not too happy about their suggestions. They’re the same as I would observe when eating out here at home. But, I won’t be at home. These are different cultures, different foods, new people and places and I need a somewhat different plan.
Starting with the easy stuff
“Do a lot of walking” –
This one is easy. The tours are advertised as requiring a lot of walking. There’s also a “fitness room” onboard. So an extra few miles on the treadmill are doable. I’ll even pack my running clothes. Running along the Rhine will be a nice addition to the bucket list.
“Don’t make every meal a heavy one” –
It’s a CRUISE! Lots of food! At least we’ll be ordering from the menu for 2 meals a day when I can make good choices. Breakfast is buffet. As long as I avoid the bacon & pastry, I should be OK. I rarely eat a lot in the morning.
“Grabbing fresh produce from a market and making a salad in my room” doesn’t fit our situation. I wouldn’t do that even if it did.
“Sample the different flavors but don’t have to finish the meals” –
This one will not work for me. I won’t overstuff myself if there is really too much on the plate, but leaving something just to save the calories is for me a recipe for deprivation depression. This is not the state of mind I want while visiting the Christmas Markets.
Then there’s the title itself “avoid weight gain.”
If that was my only goal, I should stay home. My plan is to avoid excessive weight gain. If I come back a few pounds heavier (up to 4?), that’s OK. There will be a scale in the fitness room, so I can still weigh myself daily to keep things reasonable, just like I do at home. It’s part of my morning routine.
Here is my one unbreakable rule.
Except for the wine at dinner and the champaign at the captain’s reception, I will not drink ANY alcohol. First of all, I have to pay extra for that, usually a lot extra and that doesn’t agree with my thrifty self. If I’m going to get 400 extra calories, I’ll get it from the strudel.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
We know they’re not all the same thing. We have more “facts” available at our fingertips than at any time in history. There are so many facts that we need help to sort them out to gain any real knowledge. So we subscribe to media to help analyze it all. Unfortunately, we also tend to patronize those sources which agree with what we want to believe.
“There are 3 kinds of lies - lies, damn lies and statistics.” This statement was popularized in America by Mark Twain and attributed to British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli.
We all view information through our own lens which sometimes distorts our view of reality. Just look at the competing bumper stickers and commercials during an election year. Half of the population believes each side completely. It takes an extraordinary effort to find the truth and chart our own course.
I’ve written about my grandmother. We called her “Baba.” She was a wise woman. She warned about how our food was changing about 50 years ago. She also had ideas that were false. No Baba, jumping rope and running will not make my insides fall out. In her defense, this was the conventional wisdom at the time and she didn’t have the Internet.
Take the quote I mentioned earlier. As it turns out, it’s unlikely that Disraeli was the author.
Obviously, this commonly accepted fact whether true or false won’t adversely affect anyone’s life. However, it is important that we realize our own preconceptions, investigate competing resources and sift all the facts carefully to arrive at true knowledge. Hopefully this will lead us to the wisdom to lead healthy, meaningful lives.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
I hate whole, 2%, 1%, skim, almond milk, soy milk – all of them. I hate how they taste, how they feel in my mouth and going down my throat. I hate how it feels when it lands in my stomach. Because the “hate” ends at that point in my body, I don’t think I qualify as lactose intolerant. I’m just personally intolerant of milk. The only milk I remember ever enjoying was in the glasses into which I was dipping oreo or chocolate chip cookies.
I need calcium, of course. Fortunately, I like yogurt, even Greek yogurt. Not a fan of extra hormones, so I buy organic exclusively. All types of cheese are a staple too, although I haven’t been able to find an organic brand around here.
Healthy eating is a lifestyle, but I’m so happy there are many ways to accomplish this. I don’t have to feel deprived. I don’t have to force myself into a narrow diet. I have choices. Healthy choices tailored to individual preferences lead to a happy life.
My problem is that I also hate waste. I need to buy milk for certain recipes, like my baked omelet that DH & I eat every day, or my broccoli/corn casserole. Then what do with the rest? (DH isn’t a milk drinker either). I usually use about a quart before it spoils. I buy the half gallon container since the quart size costs almost as much. I like the best value and I don’t want to run out. Our grocery store is 7 miles away – the down side of country living.
Rural wisdom has provided an answer. I learned that a concoction of egg and spoiled milk poured around plants will keep the deer from eating them. I hope the smell won’t keep human visitors away from my house as well.
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