What Was She Thinking?

My latest book on tape (Great: I’ve managed to date myself in this post before I even got to the first verb! I might be making it worse by pointing out that my current car is the first I’ve ever had that didn’t have a tape deck.) is What Was She Thinking, the book upon which Notes on a Scandal is based.

I was driving to go have breakfast with Hillary, when the narrator said something that made me pull over so I could copy it down:

The external me, the sturdy, slightly wrinkled handbag me, does so little credit to the stuff that is inside.

Lately my knee has been acting weird and kept me out of the gym with any regularity for months. Without being able to work out, I have gained weight, hence why that passage resonated so well with me. I’m not breaking personal best scores on the scale (far from it), but I am confronting a closet of uncomfortable clothes, if they fit at all.

Much like the unpleasant discovery of the beginnings of wattle, I knew I needed to face this head on. Being unhappy about how I looked doesn’t work for me.

Since exercise is out of the cards for now, I needed to figure out a way to look better as is.

I borrowed Kurt‘s sewing machine and decided to go all New Dress a Day, only not as a daily thing. I went to thrift shops and bought dresses and skirts that could be altered to fit me.

My sewing skills are at best at a beginner level, but I took Julia Child to heart, and I decided to be fearless.

I’ve had some misses along the way, but it means learning opportunities: certain fabrics don’t take kindly to being cut and mock all attempts at hemming! Fortunately, the costs are minimal … the hits far outweigh the misses.

So now I have some new-to-me clothes that not only fit, but have also brought me compliments from strangers!

Tammy Awesome New Outfit

And my body image is on the road to recovery. Last week I was back in the gym for a one off visit (my knee let me know the next day it was too soon to return). After a deliciously difficult workout (anything over a walk would have been a challenge. How quickly one’s fitness level disappears!), I caught a glimpse of myself in the highly reflective windows. My eye was drawn to the extra fluffy layer that had settled on my sides. My instant response: That’s just sweat waiting to happen. I was so proud of myself for my genuinely positive attitude.

Baby Steps!

4 thoughts on “What Was She Thinking?”

  1. Ah you look so cute! How brave of you to tackle some alterations and sewing. Good idea. I love your analogy of fluffiness being sweat waiting to happen. My knees have been bugging me lately too – just tonight on a walk it was a cringe with every step. Do our bodies HAVE to bother us like this?? You’ve inspired me to get to the gym. It doesn’t take long for our bodies to respond either way, I’ve found. You know? Like when we neglect exercise and movement in general, we become lethargic and creaky pretty quickly. And when I pick it up and get moving – my body fights and complains at first, but soon adjusts and performs well. Better to move toward the latter.


    1. Remember, all these adversities build character. I keep telling myself that. Some days it helps, other days I want to know what I can do with all this character!

      I’m hoping I’m through the worst of it, and I can test your theory about body adjustments working both ways.

      AND… I’m all bouncy because Marisa from New Dress A Day read my post and responded to me on Twitter!!!!!!!


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