Friday, February 5, 2016

Staying Warm in Wool

Happy Friday, everyone! Today's post is chock-full of Hallocky goodness, by which I mean an outfit and some self-reflection. Yay! Onward to part one: the outfit!

Turtleneck: H&M
Pinafore: Banana Republic
Bag: TJ Maxx in LA, several years back
Belt: J.Crew
Heart pin: Femme De Bloom (in purple!)
not visible: Malco Modes pettipants

This wool pinafore makes me so happy, and definitely would've been in my rotation back when I was teaching, as it's professional but still very fun, and it has pockets! It's fully lined, so 1) there's no danger of life-destroying itchiness and 2) it's even warmer, which made it the perfect thing to wear when it was 9 degrees Fahrenheit with 15 mph winds last week. I followed the advice in yesterday's post when I ventured outside in this outfit, and layered on some thigh-high socks, leather boots, pettipants, and my Serious Business winter coat. Success! I think it would also look cute with a mustard-yellow or nice plum cardigan, both of which I already have.

Introspection is under the cut!

I don't typically do New Year's resolutions in any formal sense, but Monday's post over at Prefer to be Demure got me thinking about my personal goals. One of my biggest goals for 2016 is to permanently settle into healthier habits, which is precisely the sort of big, nebulous goal that can be hard to pin down and act on. I've had periods of very healthy behavior before, but when the stress of graduate school or my adjunct work really ramped up (and it always did!), I'd always find myself going without regular workouts, proper sleep, and home-cooked healthy meals. When you're teaching five different courses at once and have over 200 students' work to grade, these things tend to happen. Now that I'm not teaching way too many classes, though, I've had the chance to think a bit about what I want to achieve, health- and fitness-wise, and why. Just as important, I once again have the time and the energy to pursue those goals. So far, it's going well, and I think there are a few reasons.

First, I'm more aware of what works as an effective incentive for me and what doesn't. Good incentives for me are things like making myself accountable to others by publicly stating my intentions to go to the gym or make a particular meal, letting myself read silly books on the elliptical that I don't otherwise make time for, and setting meaningless mini-goals (i.e. 'this week we will have three vegetarian dinners' or 'this week I will lift weights three times').

Second, I think my motives for adopting a healthier lifestyle are stronger than they were in the past. In the past, my concern with diet and exercise was mostly about my appearance. When you're trying to achieve a decade-long dream of finishing your PhD, though, appearance and body image just don't feel important enough to prioritize if it takes time away from your work. What motivates me now, though, is my health in a broader sense. It's not about how I'll look in my wedding photos, but instead about whether I'll still be able to crisscross Disneyland 987234 times at top speed with my partner when we're old and grey. And for me, it works to focus on those reasons to stay fit. As I mentioned in my first Restorative Recipes post, I make more of an effort to cook healthy food because most of our jaunts involve All the Meat.

The final reason is a little silly. I love discovering that appearances are misleading, and I love surprising people who judge me based on my appearance. And I, dear reader, am short. My hands are literally child-sized. People make assumptions about young, petite women. And I want to drive a bulldozer in the shape of strong, badass triceps and shoulders and quadriceps RIGHT THROUGH THOSE ASSUMPTIONS. I might have a slight Napoleon complex.

How do you stay motivated to make healthy choices?


  1. First off, I love that dress! That's awesome that it's lined as wool can be so annoying. Second, thanks for the shout-out! I'm happy that post helped and it's so good to see another awesome lady thinking about big picture stuff and how to conquer stuff. Also, that's funny you mention you're short and tiny. I can't say I've questioned your stature (yet) but eventually after being blog/IG friends with someone I do start to wonder how tall they are, as weird as that sounds! We look at people daily so we feel like we know them, but we don't even know their dimensions let alone other stuff! XOXO

    1. This dress was such an exciting find! I got it on one of those "50% off sale items" days at Banana.

      Your post was totally awesome! It's so interesting to think about what makes people tick, and how we can all try to close the gap between our aspirations and our actions. Whenever I feel like I'm doing well with that, I want to try to 'capture lightning in a bottle' and figure out what's making it click.

      I just sort of assume that everyone is taller than me ;). I'm used to seeing dresses I own fit other people completely differently. But I've been told that I don't have a short-person personality, whatever that means. My spirit animal is the dachshund, hehe.


  2. I love the pinafore dress! There's nothing like will in the winter to keep the chill off, and the pretty gray plaid is perfect for the season.

    1. Aw, thank you! I've gotten so much wear out of this dress, and it's something I wouldn't have even bought when I lived in LA! Mild winter or not, wool is a good call!