Hello slayers! I've finally returned from three weeks of adventures across the pond in England and while it was wonderful and I gave myself a vacation pass to eat what I wanted, it's time to get back to reality, not to mention the gym and the kitchen!
But! Not without a pit stop at ye olde New York Renaissance Faire! This a yearly tradition and last year I was 20 lbs down from my initial weight when I attended. While I was there I really did my best to eat healthy and stuck to fruit and cheese. I didn't really partake in faire treats and all I've dreamed of is to have a day, now that I'm confident in my ability to return to my plan afterwards, where I could really enjoy some of the things I used to AND, of course, upgrade my faire garb. I've lost 100 lbs and last year, my garb was laced all the way. I'm swimming in it now!
Like everything, it's important to have a plan. I planned on two meals, since I was staying late to see my best friend Emily (the Harley to my Ivy!), who is performing the role of Maid Marian this year, after the faire was done. I knew off the bat that this would not be a paleo day, but that I didn't want to spend a huge amount of money on random food grazing. I decided I would have two drinks and one desert. I had my eye on the pulled pork BBQ sandwich because that's what I've lusted after since last year, but found once I got there that it just seemed like way too much for me. I was really on the go because I wanted to be able to mosey around and catch all of Emily's scenes, not to mention attend to my garb needs. I ended up choosing a chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato for lunch. By dinner, I was exhausted and hot and when I looked at the pub menu, the only thing that spoke to me was a caesar salad. Most healthy salad? No. But it wasn't a burger or chicken tenders with fries, so a healthy huzzah was raised!
For my drinks I had an apple cider and half of the shire's equivalent of a mocha frappuccino. For my treat, I shared a slice of cheesecake on a stick with my boyfriend. All of it was delicious and I really only ate when I was hungry or needed a refresher. Am I saying it was the healthiest day of my life? No, but I am fascinated that when faced with the ability to eat whatever I wanted, I shared a lot of stuff that was rich and I made better choices than I'd planned for.
One of the first things I did was spend an exorbitant sum of money on new garb. Just to give you an idea, over the years I've spent about 500+ on building my Ren Faire costume. I budgeted all year for a similar expenditure so that I wouldn't bankrupt myself when the time came. Just like planning for food, I had a plan for garb. Last year, a friend of mine linked me a Son of Sandlar piece called "the huntress." While expensive, it was beautiful and everything I've ever dreamed of when it came to embodying my favorite fantasy archetype, an elf rogue. I played one in WoW and I almost always gravitate towards playing rogues in table top games. As far as my own physicality, I could never pull off a rogue costume before because elves are generally more lithe than I was and certainly at my weight, I wasn't going to look like I belonged on the field of battle. The first time someone told me I had elfin features during this weight loss journey, I squeed. It was time to enter the fray at long last and after a year of saving, I was finally able to put together an elf rogue costume.
I bought some cheap boots ($30 on sale at some hole in the wall shop in Greenwich Village) and I used my pixie top from Moresca. I had that from my old garb and the size didn't really matter because it was just going to go under a bodice. I had a dagger from a previous visit to the fair and my father bought me a dagger in Tintagel on our visit to England. Dual wielding FTW! The skirt was bought at Urban Outfitters when I was trying to lose weight in college. All that I needed to buy at the faire was "the huntress" and some elf ears.
As soon as I got fit for the bodice, I felt amazing! It was a dream come true! It has a hood and beautiful gold lining and it went really well with my woodland elf circlet from my former costume. The quality and craftsmanship are evident and the leather is treated so that it can get wet. I got to test it out because there was some light drizzling this year. I just put up my hood like a BA! Emily, ahem, Maid Marian swung by the booth to celebrate. After lunch, I got my elf ears custom painted for me and before I knew it, I was a living legend! My boyfriend was kind enough to indulge me in a short woodland photoshoot and we captured a few great images so I got to really commemorate the ocassion in an ideal setting (aka, not in front of my mirror at home with a mess strewn about the floor behind me).
The whole day I walked taller (maybe just in my head because I'm only 5 feet tall in reality...). I was transported by my costuming efforts, and of course by the performances of the talented actors who populate the village of Sterling. I was so proud of Emily for realizing her dream of working at the faire. She was wonderful and I know she is enjoying the hell out of the whole experience. She lights up the shire every weekend, so if you haven't made the journey out to Tuxedo, DO IT NOW. Who knows? Maybe one day I'll be lucky enough to perform alongside these fine folks! The sky's the limit.
My life is so different now. It doesn't mean that I can't enjoy some great food from time to time or take a day off from the gym to get to the ren faire for the opening ceremonies, but it means that I tend to make very different choices most of the time and I don't feel like I HAVE to make them. I actively want to. Seeing my fantasies realized made me aware that anything is within my grasp. I never would have thought his transformation would have been possible a year ago. I know that's corny but I didn't know if I'd be able to keep up my restrictive and exhausting health regime. It felt like prison. Now, I really want to make the better choices. Perhaps it's weird to most people who want to look better for their wedding or for work, but the days when I get to live out my fantasies at the faire or show off a cosplay with confidence at a convention are a huge part of why I'm motivated to keep working on this change. I don't care that some people think it's weird as hell or a waste of money and time. It's what makes me happy and if it's what makes me healthy, that's all to the benefit!
So what motivates you, slayers? I'd love to hear about your milestones and the things that keep your head in the game whether it's just being able to fit into your favorite pair of jeans, or making your own set of N7 armor. Please share your thoughts in the comments!