Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Too Much Potatoes

I love potatoes. I love a baked potato, dripping in butter and Old Bay. I love garlicky mashed potatoes and rosemary roasted potatoes. I love my brother's homemade french fries, and just ask the women in my knitting group how much I love chips and dip.

I love potatoes, but they don't love me.

The Potato sweater is finished, and it is not the most flattering thing I've ever knit. Let's just say it is enhancing a bit of a bulging belly.


Pattern: Tomato by Wendy Bernard. Originally published in No Sheep For You, but available free here.

Yarn & Needles: King Tut Cotton, 3 skeins, US 7 & US 6 needles

This was my first try with King Tut Cotton, and I would definitely use it again. I like it a lot more than Cotton Fleece, which has a bad odor when you wash it, and it is not colorfast. And compared with the Blue Sky cotton called for in the pattern, you can't beat the value.

Pattern Mods: I omitted the colorwork section over the bust, because I think my bust needs no more emphasis than it provides on its own, thank you very much. I made the neckline a little less deep than the pattern calls for because on me, it would have been a little too sexy for the carpool line. I do love the neckline and think it is very flattering.

I experimented with the final length of the sweater until I finally threw up my hands in defeat. I originally knitted it according to the pattern instructions and it was a little too long. It bagged really badly across the back and it just wasn't good. I then shortened it by an inch, and now it feels too short. If I find myself tugging on it as I wear it, or if it rides up a lot, then I will go back and lengthen it again, but I gave up when I realized two things:

1. the back was bagging and the length of the sweater had nothing to do with it. I should have added a few short rows at the bust, but I had no intention of frogging this sweater all the way back to the bust.

2. it wasn't the sweater -- it was my belly.

Now before you send me all matters of e-mails telling me that I am not fat or that I should embrace my curves or whatever, please know that I do not feel bad about myself, and do not value myself based on what my scale says. And my pattern tends to be to put on some weight in the summer, and in the Fall, I get back under control. So let me just say: I do not feel so bad about my belly or my sweater.

See, I've never blogged about it before, but a few years ago, I successfully lost about 30 pounds (which is a lot when you are under 5' tall). I have kept it off, but only with vigilance and a daily commitment to making smart choices about what to eat, and what to avoid. In the meantime, I also managed to work out the typical body issues that so many women seem to be afflicted with, and learned to separate how I feel about myself from how much I weigh.

My main strategy to keep the weight off is to keep my weight within a 5 pound window. And If I am on the low side of the window, great. If I start to creep upwards, I have to pull it together and eat smarter. I would rather fight 5 pounds for the rest of my life than try to lose 30 pounds (or 20 or 40 or whatever) at a time. So right now, I am at the upper end of that 5 pound window, so I know it is time to tighten things up for me. Drink more water. Eat more salads. Eat less ice cream. Pass on the booze a few days a week.

And no more potatoes.

17 comments:

Ann said...

As somebody who was able to witness your amazing weight loss (diligence and persistance and determination), I can honestly say, you have an incredibly healthy relationship with your body and food. Inspirational!

And that's one great 'Tater! I love it without the colorwork. And you do look fabulous btw ...

Elspeth said...

I'm a potato lover at heart too, but found the eliminating the vodka gave me less guilt about the mashed variety. Good luck and nice sweater!

Bridget said...

I think the sweater is really attractive, I like it better without the two-color effect, too.

I know what you mean about body image, etc. But I'm not sure I could ever give up potatoes ...

nova said...

I like the seater, the neckline is very flattering. I like potatoes; but, I would totally ditch them for ice cream. Can't give up the ice cream.

Christie said...

Well, if I were you, I would save this sweater for my skinny days. It looks great [kinda like the sweater I'm wearing today!].

I totally need to start eating better...and drinking more water. Since starting this job, I'm sitting on my butt most of the day and the body is certainly showing it.

And I'm going to have to check out that yarn!

Kristy said...

I'm so impressed with your various healthy outlooks!

I do like the neckline and the color a lot.

tiennie said...

Honestly Liz, I don't even notice the belly that you speak of. The sweater is beautiful. Good for you for taking care of yourself!

Madge said...

You say belly, I say belle! Great knitting job; too bad about not being happy with the fit. Ah, well. The cap sleeves and the neckline look lovely on you.

Long ago I complained to a hippie co-worker about getting a belly (up to that point I was very slender). Her face lit up in a big smile and she said, "Embrace your baby making place." Awww.

Annie said...

Well written post! had a little chuckle when I got to the last line. You're under 5'? From your photos you always appear tall and statuesque. Go you! :-)

Anonymous said...

it looks LOVERLY on you!

wonder what you are going to bring to meeting tomorrow...

anne marie

Theresa said...

I think the sweater looks great - very summer casual for bopping about.

Mintyfresh said...

Sweetie, I'm going to get a little "mom" on you right now and say that you don't seem to be standing up straight, which is perhaps making the sweater not as flattering. I see this shot and I tsk my tongue against my teeth and whisper "stand up straight!"

However, you, of course, are the best judge of how flattering or not the sweater is--of course you didn't only stand in this one position once you put it on. No matter what your shape, if the sweater makes you feel bulgy, it's not a successful garment. I have this one skirt that garners compliments but I can hardly breathe when I wear it--so I feel huge, and thus I don't wear it :)

Lee Ann said...

My tendency to love a beer, or two, or...ahem...during the hot summers totally puts weight on my belly. And I'm five feet tall as well...a few pounds makes an enormous difference on me. When I tell people that, though, they insist I'm wrong. I hear you, Liz. And you completely made my day calling it the potato. I know that you probably weren't happy about that particular look, but damn, it was funny :-)

I, too, lost a large amount of weight (over 40 pounds, right before my divorce. Good times.) and I'm a bit panicky about the ten pound window I seem to have developed. I've hit the top of the window again, and am going back to dance class toute de suite.

Thanks for making me laugh, and I'm totally with you on the window battle. But damn, that neckline's really good on you.

Octopus Knits said...

Well, I think the sweater looks great on you! (when you point out the little belly, I notice it, but it's nothing serious -- in fact, after reading only the title and looking at the photo, I was imagining that you had had enough of knitting with brown -- potato skin colored -- yarn! I love the color, by the way.)

Anonymous said...

I think the sweater looks great on you...How about a lacy cami to wear under...

Blogless Diane

Sally said...

You're a good woman. What a positive role model for the Rosebud (and for me). I like the Potato, and I like it on you, but if you're not comfortable in it, then that's that.

Hope I get to see you tonight! We'll drink water and eat a nice Mediterranean salad...

Laurie said...

I love the color of your Potato (hee hee). So what is the length? I usually like somewhere around 21".

As a fellow "shortie" I can sympathize with the height vs. girth thing. If you feel uncomfortable then it's time to pull in the reigns. Scale be damned.

When you look good, you feel good. And dahling, you look mahvelous! (Thank you Billy Crystal!)