Monthly Archives: September 2011

Matrimonial muffin tops

The definition of a muffin top, quoting from Urban Dictionary is: “When your love handles burst out over the top of your tight pants, giving your lower back the appearance of a muffin.”

Or my personal favourite: “A word used to describe one whose fat is desperately trying to escape the suffocation from tight jeans resulting in the fat tumbling over.”

My husband and I celebrated our ten year anniversary in May. We first met in 1994 in secondary school but it wasn’t until we were 17 that I began to really notice him. As shy teenagers, we spent a year of gazing from afar before we fell in love during the last few months of our final year.

And so our love story truly began. Oh bleurgh, sorry, that was too gushy! Let me just say that after eight years of long distance and hard work my now hubby got down on bended knee to propose with the New York skyline as our backdrop. It was perfect, the ring was perfect and we had the perfect wedding day in November last year (Perfect in our eyes in anyway). Photographed by the awesome Erica Irvine Photography.

In planning our wedding, I knew one thing for sure. I wanted to look the most exquisite, elegant and naturally beautiful that I have ever, or will ever look. Big expectations huh? I’ve actually always been a little insecure of my looks, especially my body so my reasoning for this aspiration came down to this:

The number of times that I had seen other people’s wedding photographs, including my parents’ from 30 years ago, and one of the threads that linked them all was how the bride saw herself in them. Of course, we all float through the day, deliriously happy and in love but once the newlywed glow wears off, a new perspective is realised. Some reminisce about how they felt at their most beautiful that day, others (my mother for one) nitpick over every detail of their veil/flowers/hair or how their dress wasn’t ‘the one’. I yearned to be the first scenario. I too often critique photos of myself, tearing them apart body part by body part, blemish and wrinkle…and it gets tiring! I was committed to the marriage, to spending the rest of my life with my man and our wedding was the one day that I knew I would treasure, always.

I am aware that I am not now, nor ever have been obese. I’m usually a size 10-12 but I fluctuate. Three months before the big day, I returned to Weight Watchers. I’d first joined in 2006 when I lost almost a stone. Yes, I understand it isn’t much when others in the group are faced with the long struggle to lose three, four or five stone. And yes, I often felt my cheeks blush when I queued up to be weighed, somewhat guilty and feeling like the others there might think I was mocking the programme. But, I wanted to lose weight as much as them and importantly be healthy in doing so.

It didn’t take long to lose those golden ten pounds for the wedding day and I felt fantastic. I had the dress of my dreams, my hair styled exactly the way I like and make up done to perfection. And good news- I love how I looked on that day so mission accomplished.

Once the excitement of the big day died down, my new hubby and I settled into a married life which wasn’t so different to before. We knew everything about each other and we already lived together BUT being a newlywed reignited the passion, intensified the intimacy and confirmed our commitment to each other. We felt closer than ever.

Which may be part of the reason I am writing a blog about matrimonial muffin tops…if you are married you can see where I am going with this. Once married, we wanted to be together all of the time, we stayed in on weekends cuddling on the sofa with a DVD, a bottle of red, a tub of pringles, maybe some chocolate too…or if we were feeling like a special treat, some cheese and crackers…yum yum. And this would happen after the chinese takeaway or a slap up meal that I slaved over all afternoon.

Domestic goddessAs a newly wedded wife, we tend to nest and strive to be the good wife. We clean, we iron, we cook, we even start baking more because we know that our beloved has a penchant for scones and shortbread. Nigella Lawson hasn’t a look in!

The downfall of this in my case is: Hubby is 6ft 1″ athletic body and I am 5ft 4″ (almost) erm…not athletic body.

I bake for him but I also eat some, I cook delicious dinners which I also eat, and admittedly the portion sizes aren’t in keeping with the above mentioned ratio. We treat ourselves to wine and nibbles, to desserts and treats. No longer faced with the panic of everyone looking at the bride on the wedding day, I also eat without guilt or fear.

And as for exercise, ha! I’ve been too busy training in domesticity to think about any other physical activity. Hence the last time I weighed myself I had returned to my pre-wedding figure. That was several months ago and the eating hasn’t abated. I have very slowly felt my belly swell (and not because of a baby before anyone suggests it), feeling it more prominently when I sit down in my ever-tighter jeans. In recognition of the growing muffin top being ‘suffocated’ whilst trying to ‘escape’, I have been promising myself for three weeks to go to a Zumba class. I haven’t made it yet.

Even though I see my bigger belly, my muffin top, my chubbier arms, the strangest thing has happened. It doesn’t bother me that much. For someone who has been quite obsessive over her looks since teenage years, it feels bizarre. It’s refreshing and a relief. It’s not a case of ‘letting myself go’ now that I’m married because I still care about what my husband thinks of me, that he still finds me attractive.

Then why the new relaxed attitude? I’m not sure. I would like to lose a few pounds to feel a little healthier again but I like the fact that there is no looming deadline clouding over me. I will go to a Zumba class (soon!), I will bake less (sorry Mr Bryden) and I will look forward to knowing there is no pressure to lose weight but to just be. And as our first anniversary approaches, I will delight in the joy of being married to a wonderful man who loves me no matter how many jam doughnuts I can eat in one day (for the record it was 4).

So here’s to the matrimonial muffin top- a physical sign of contentment, wedded bliss and baking ability!

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Red or Yellow?

So my search for my next favourite handbag is ON. I love accessories but am very selective, I have to find ‘the one’ before I actually buy. The last time I bought myself a handbag was….ah seriously can’t remember! I don’t think I have bought one so far in 2011! (Don’t feel too sorry for me though as my amaze-balls best friends bought me a lovely handbag for my b’day in February.)

I’ve been browsing online for weeks to find my next ‘one’. My hubby and I are headed to Paris in 3 weeks so I would love to have a chic new addition to my wardrobe.

My go-to shopping tool is ShopStyle so if you haven’t checked it out before- do! I have the i-phone app which is great for some mindless browsing if I’ve some spare time.

Using the website, I found a handbag from Topshop that I think could be my next purchase but just one problem…which colour?

Suggestions on a postcard :)

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Weight off my shoulders

Picture this, it’s a normal Wednesday evening, nothing much going on so I decide to have a hot shower and wash my hair. I had been growing my hair since I got engaged in December 2008 and by that evening it fell past my shoulders and half way down my back- the longest I had ever had it. I had wanted long hair so that I could get it put up for my wedding in a classic, timeless style and although I got married in 2010, I didn’t cut it afterwards.

I kept it long and felt like it was some sort of badge, I was proud to have had the patience to grow it. It was feminine and fun. I’d also got very good at styling it- in curls, in up-dos, side low ponytail with curls was a particular fav…

But then on this normal Wednesday evening as I lathered my thick blonde locks in shampoo, I felt this sudden and intense desire to cut it all off. It was such a strong feeling. I often get urges and decide to do something to my hair, whether it’s dying it darker, styling it differently or that one time I decided to get bright pink sections (I seriously did!!), however this was a much more powerful emotion.

I almost grabbed the scissors as soon as I stepped out of the shower but thought “hmmm…probably best to get professional help here”, and I don’t mean a therapist. Thankfully I’d already made a hair appointment with my fabulous hairdresser Roisin at ‘The Works” in Omagh.

So two days later, I broke the news to Roisin that I want to cut off the two years of patience. I was never one for being precious about my hair, I’m of the opinion that it will always grow back, a somewhat different attitude to others I’ve seen in the hairdressers chair with a nervous fear of losing any more than exactly one inch of their locks.

Now, I must explain that Roisin has been my hairdresser for many years and I trust her implicitly. I showed her what I thought might look good on me, a Gywneth Paltrow-style long bob and she worked her magic.

Having about 6 inches or more cut off my hair felt like a weight off my shoulders (sorry for cliche!). It was like two years of stress, anxiety, loss- all the negative emotions- just fell to the floor along with my split ends. My new cut made me feel confident, sexy, fashionable and in a way, me again.

So what is the point in telling you this story? ;) To recommend a change in style and it can make you feel like a new person, or re-discover your old self…either way it is a change and we could all use that every once in a while.

So here’s to my new hair style. And a new lease of life. Although…I might go even shorter at my next appointment!

 

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Janelle Monae

Ok, so Janelle Monae is one of my current music obsessions. I discovered her after hearing ‘Tightrope‘ on Ryan Tubridy on my way to work one morning and it blew me away. I love James Brown and his influence was clear, but also she had a very distinctive sound of her own.

I downloaded her album The ArchAndroid and on first listen I was a bit confused, possibly the strangest and most schizophrenic (the word I used at the time) album I’d ever heard- madness or genius I wasn’t sure!

A few days later I saw this:

WOW!!! I listened to her album a few more times and have now decided…yes it is genius, mixed with some madness but it works! I love her tux style, slightly androgynous but classic tailoring. She dances with energy and passion that many artists fail to show. I can’t wait to see what she does next.

http://www.jmonae.com/

 

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Hi,

Welcome to my blog. I will slowly update it with interesting snippets of my life and style. Click on INtroducing to find out a bit more about me and my thoughts for this site.

Hope you enjoy!

Sarah x

Welcome

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