Posture. It is one of those things we know we should be better at, something we should pay attention to, but all too often we do not. For women it is especially important to "mind your carriage" because of the extra weight we may carry around our midsection and especially on our chests. Having poor posture not only adds the appearance of 5-8 pounds, it can cause chronic back pain, shoulder strain, neck pain, headaches, respiratory issues, and even effect your digestion. (It is your spine peoples... and its ALL connected.)
Posture has been on my mind lately for a few reasons. After my month in a half of chaos, I got on the scale and saw that I had gained 10 pounds over my 5 pound fluctuation limit. (Please refrain from saying, Oh but you are so skinny... you don't even look like you've gained that.... blah blah blah). As frustrating as this was, it was understandable. I was under stress, so I ate and drank some adult bevarages. I didn't have a routine, so I didn't really work out. All around it was just bad. After the initial shock, I didn't beat myself up too bad about it. I am incredibly skinny-fat. Sadly enough, I don't really work out at all. I try and watch what I eat, and in the mean time I get winded climbing a flight of stairs too quickly... I wanted to change this though. I have been walking 2 miles a few times a week, as well as doing yoga and pilates.
After doing pilates just for a week, I started to notice that I was sitting up taller just naturally. I was holding my ab muscles in and noticed that my midsection looked slimmer. My leg muscles felt stronger and my hips felt better. It felt great! And to add to this, because I was standing a little taller... I felt more confident.
All my life I have struggled with posture. When I was a kid my posture was terrible. I walked around with my belly sticking it out, which made my ribs protrude out and that didn't fix itself for years. And then more recently, when I went on a walk in a pair of my cross training tennis shoes (which I NEVER wear because they are ugly as sin) I had INCREDIBLY leg pain in my left leg. After I went to the doctor to get it check out and she said it was a muscle strain, I thought that it must have been my shoes that were causing it. When I was in New York, I wore flat shoes. No tennis shoes, no arch support, flat shoes. Instead of my joints aching and nerves being pinched... I had muscle soreness. Now I'm not claiming this for everyone, this is just me. So when I got back from New York, I started playing around with my stride, and the shoes I wore. Now when I go for walks, I wear my TOMS. They are the flattest shoes I own. And they allow my feet to strengthen instead of atrophy.
The thing about posture and fashion is it doesn't always line up. Fashion models are always slumping or protruding something forward, or looking some kind of janky. However, don't you think there would be some sort of "hunch back" allowance in clothing if that's how they were supposed to be worn?
Just some small things to help your posture:
1. Strengthen your core. It won't hurt you to hold you abs tight.
2. Shoulder's don't just go back, they go down.
3. NO PIGEON TOES. It makes your knees and hips go all sorts of whack.
Simply doing 20 minutes of pilates a week could make a huge improvement in your posture. Get in a regular routine of keeping your abs in, shoulders down, and you will start making strides towards a more beautiful frame. Your clothes will fit better, you will feel better, and most of all, you will look fabulous!
This post is a personal response to "I Have a Hunch: Fashion and Posture" originally posted on Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing.
PS- After all this posture talk, I have been really wanting some more body conscious skirts and dresses lately. Everything I own is trying to mimic an hour glass shape (which I don't have that much of) so I need to get to sewing and soon. Now to go on the hunt for a pretty fitted dress pattern!