A closet too big

I want to write about so many things, but I cannot do it all in one night so today I thought I’d write about a little revelation I had today. It has to do with clothes. Yes, girls never have enough clothes, shoes bags and accessories.  We love our little fashion items and do not hesitate to buy more even though we have closets full of similar stuff at home.   Then we run out of space and need more.

Today I went to pick up a suit I had made.   On the way out,  I passed by some stores and spotted several nice dresses.  Thinking to myself that I am always wearing the same style of clothes, a dark skirt and a shirt,  I thought to myself that I should get something different.  (I suppose that’s the excuse I give myself.)

I went in and tried on dresses, pants and shoes.  I eventually bought myself a dress and a jacket. Yes, I now have something new for this holiday season. I am happy.

Upon returning home, as I always do when I get something new, I decided to take out something old from my closet and put it in the bag for donation.   As I started going through my closet, an idea struck me.

I will rearrange my closet into outfits so that it is easier and faster for me in the morning.

(I do this before going to run, but I have never done it for my entire closet.  Some of you might have already thought of this, but this is a new thing for me. How do you organize your closet?)

No longer would I sort my clothes according to type and colour:  Pants, shirts, t-shirts, etc… white, black… Arranging my closet this way resulted in me always grabbing any old shirt and a skirt that matched.   I dressed almost the same week after week.  I wore what was convenient.   Black skirt and a shirt.   My weekend clothes would be jeans and a t-shirt.   How boring.  I started getting bored of myself.

The revelation that came to me through all this was not about putting clothes into outfits, but that I had so much clothing, just work clothes alone, I had enough outfits to last me five weeks!

This means that for five weeks (with five working days each) I would not repeat a dress, a suit, a skirt, a shirt, a cardigan, a scarf nor a belt.  I even had shirts to spare.

For someone who always felt like she did not have enough clothes, especially work clothes, this is a HUGE revelation. For the first time I realize do have enough work clothes.  I can dress everyday without repeating my clothes and best of all, I can wear and utilize my more expensive clothing.  My nicer clothes had previously been saved for “special” days but those do not come that often so I might as well just take them out and enjoy them before they get old!

Weekend clothes?  I could go many months without repeating. Different styles too. Not just jeans and a t-shirt. It’s crazy. I have too much clothing.

After today, I think I will continue to arrange my closet by outfits.  This way I know what clothes I need and what needs to be donated.  I hope it works!  (This has also literally put a stop to any excuse I have to keep on shopping.)

This holiday season, why don’t you go through your closet and see how much you have? (You might be surprised!) Take out old clothes that haven’t been touched or don’t fit anywhere and donate them to those less fortunate.  Happy Holidays everyone!

Watch What You Carry

Health is a very important part of our lives and being in poor health can be detrimental to one’s quality of life and affect greatly our lifestyles. It can also affect our postures and our characters. Imagine someone who is constantly at pain when walking or their arms and shoulders give them continued problems. If you watch them, every now and then they’d stop walking, maybe walk crooked or suddenly rotates their shoulders in an upward movement as if some strange tick was making them move. No matter how good looking they are, or how well dressed you are, this sudden tick of the shoulder can give the person next to you some doubts to your sanity.

Shoulders used to be a big problem area for me and I realize also for my colleages. Afterall sitting at the computer ten hours a day typing and clicking away on the computer isn’t exactly what humans were designed to do. We’re supposed to be hunters and gatherers. That’s how our ancestors lived. Nowadays, we sit, eat, and sleep.

My shoulders used to be perpetually tight and whenever I go have a massage, the lady would shake her head and tell me I have to come more often. (I always wondered if this was their way of making me a regular customer, but it felt good nevertheless.)

Now massages are a great way to relieve tight shoulders and heal those aching muscles, but they are not getting to the root of the problem.

What I discovered to be my main problem was the height of my keyboard, mouse and the bag I carry. The first two I am sure you all know what I am talking about: Ergonomics. Make sure you are sitting ergonomically when you work. Keyboards should be at level where you can just drop your arms down and your shoulders are relaxed.

If you do a lot of powerpoint and excel, like me, I suggest you invest in a mouse of your own. For awhile I had lots of trouble with my hands. I didn’t have energy to write with my right hands and they felt somewhat out of place and twisted. It was awful and annoying. Luckily, Alex got me a wonderful ergonomically friendly mouse by logitech called “Trackman.” I got the cordless optical version and I have to tell you it works wonders. Your wrist stays still the entire time and I no longer have any problems with my right wrist and hand.

Another problem that was causing me trouble was my handbag. (Yes ladies, if you are reading this, handbags can be a big problem for your shoulders.) I like to put a lot of things into my handbags and throw it on my shoulder. If I’m out walking around, I can be carrying it for hours on end. My shoulder ends up carrying all this extra weight and unknowingly, your shoulder has to lift a little to keep the handbags from falling off.

I switched to a handbag without a shoulder strap so that I won’t throw it on my shoulder. I went through my belongings and threw out things I didn’t need. Discount cards are now left in my car. Nowadays my shoulder is less tight and I feel much better. I don’t need massages as often and it feels more balanced.

To be even better would be to take up Yoga and stretch the tightness away. I keep doing it on and off, but if you can do it regularly, your body will thank you for giving it a good workout.

Now I better go stretch my shoulders..it’s been a long day infront of the screen for me. Take care everyone!!

Younger now than I was before

When sorting through belongings, sometimes you discover something that reminds you of younger, former days.  Those “good” times you had when you were young.  I recently discovered a picture that reminded of my “older” days. Days when I was “older” than I am now.

It’s funny, when I think about myself now and then, I do feel younger.  I feel more alive and more in tune with life now then I was 10, 15 years ago…  I used to wear long dresses, long sleeved and was always so proper.  I suppose my big size made the matter all the more difficult to dress “young” because it was hard to find clothes that fit.  I got tired of looking for clothes and just wore whatever I could fit.  Now, much lighter,  I can finally dress my age which is wonderful. 🙂

Take a look at the picture!  What do you think? I’m the auntie on the leftmost side.

Fitness fashion: Did you know?

When you go to the gym or fitness to workout there is a certain sense of  fashion at each one.  In some places in Bangkok, the norm is just an old t-shirt with a pair of shorts, anything goes.  In other gyms (which may cater to the more young and ‘hip’ professionals) the norm might include form fitting tops and matching bottoms especially designed for sports.  Those were the main differences I had observed in Bangkok.  In Singapore though, there is a much more colourful sense of style in fitness clothes.

The mix of clients who come to the M-hotel in Singapore is diverse and multi-cultural.  Singapore is diverse and multi-cultural.  Everywhere I go I see a mix of expatriates from the western world, indians, chinese, and people from other countries.  However, I never expected that this cultural diversity would be apparent in the gym.

I never knew before how muslim females dressed when they went to the gym to exercise.  The thought just never crossed my mind.  I  knew that swimming required swimming suits that covered up the body, but I did not realize that the same would apply to those running on the treadmill.  For the first time, I saw how it was done.  A muslim lady worked out covered from head to toe. Her head was covered with a headscarf and she wore long sleeves and long pants. That was her gym outfit.

Then another thing I never thought about was Indians working out.  Now I’m not sure if perhaps the Indian lady I saw was on holiday and without gym clothes, but she dressed in a beautiful sari complete with a shawl while running on the treadmill. Of course she wore the pants version of the sari.  Forgive me, but I know not what they are called… It was beautiful and certainly added olour to the gym.  She had her shawl tied up beautifully while she ran..I am amazed.

Then there were the super-fit athletes.  I spotted a man in full running outfit getting ready to go out for a run. Around his waist he had one of those professional looking belts with small water bottles and a place for energy food.  I guess he must be a marathon runner… Then there was another lady who was so lean and in such beautiful form-fitting clothes you could tell she was fit.  I wonder when I can get that body, if ever.

What do you wear to work-out?  do you have any other interesting fitness outfits to share? 🙂

Beige it is.

The other day I went shopping for clothes. It’s something I haven’t done too much of since I lost those 15 kgs, as there were still so many “small” clothes I had left in my closet waiting for me to “one” day be small enough to fit in.  It’s a good thing I never lost hope and just donate them all away.  Now that I am small enough, I have been busy wearing those “small” clothes.  New ones had to be bought though I never realized how much I was still the “chubby” me inside even though I have been shopping for almost a year.

I suddenly realized the other day when shopping and trying on clothes, that I kept unconsciously picking out clothes were subject to the old rules. Rules that had been part of my life for much too long.  An eternity it feels like.

The list goes like this:
No horizontal stripes.
No light coloured bottoms.
No large lines.
No large patterns.
No sleeveless.
No skinny or pencil skirts. A-line or pleats only.
No straight legged pants. Boot cuts were favoured.
No lightweight material.  Materials need some weight to hide those flabs.
No chiffon, no knit.

I couldn’t let this continue.  I had to try on something different.  I tried on sleeveless shirts, dresses with large patterns, horizontals and yes, the other day I actually bought myself a BEIGE coloured skirt. 

What’s so interesting about BEIGE?  Nothing… I love it.  I love it now that I can wear it. 

Beige skirts or bottoms were things that I previously steered from as far away as I could.  I ran away from them and dared not introduce them into my closet.  Beige was a BIG “No No”   A fashion faux-pas.

My skirts or pants were all in the “darker” and slimming tones of black, brown and navy blue.  It was like that for almost as long as I’ve been working (and that is a LONG time) .  Now I have some greys, and pink, but BEIGE is still a new thing for me.

For the first time in my life, there are no rules I have to live by for clothing.  I can wear anything. I can pick out a funky shirt, a pair of shorts or a weird dress and just wear it.  Gone forever are the rules.  Tear them up, throw them away and burn them to ash.  No more will they become part of my life.

Freedom. Freedom at long last.

If you are working on losing weight.  Remember this:  once you have reached your goal, no longer will you have to burden your brain with all these rules.  No longer will your closet be filled with only the darker shades on the colour wheel with bottoms in only black, brown and navy blue.  You will be free to wear (or not wear) anything you choose or want to.  You will be able to wear that pencil skirt, perhaps in beige, or perhaps even get yourself a nice beige suit for work.  Wear a beige or white coloured pair of pants for the summer together with a light top.

Imagine it all. Imagine yourself in beige. I love it.  I hope you do too.