Turning 40 and Feeling Fantastic

Don’t worry folks, I do have an outfit to share with you! Just hang tight and celebrate with me. I do want to warn you that some folks may not want to read ahead. If you are triggered by conversations about exercise, getting healthy, or healthy eating please skip this blog post and stop back later this week. 🙂

I actually debated about writing that warning blip, but I find myself getting super annoyed when I go to a specific website and you get all sorts of junk you don’t want. So sewing and crafting will resume after this post. 🙂

I am officially FORTY! My first reaction is a major cringe, but let’s embrace being 4-0 and living our best life! We got this!

The last couple years have kinda beat me up so now I am fighting back. I had two surgeries exactly 7 months apart. The first in 2020 and the second in early 2021. Both surgeries ended up being more involved once the surgeon was in there and therefore recovery was a little tougher. While recovering from the second surgery, I realized I didn’t want this to be my life and I needed to make some changes. I was still trying to learn to walk correctly at the time so I decided to join a gym. Dream big right?? Joined a gym in mid-June with the goal of losing 40 pounds before I turned 40. I called it #40before40. I wasn’t just hoping to lose weight, but to overall, be healthier. There have been a few ups and down and some months were better than others, but here we are at the start of year 40. The final weigh in this morning… Down 49 pounds!! Dang, I wanted it to be 50 lbs, but 49 is more than my goal so that is awesome! Even though I don’t “see” any changes in my appearance, I can tell that my body is changing and I am making clothing in smaller sizes.

I knew I wanted to celebrate my 40th with a new dress. Anytime I need a dress to make me feel cute, I turn to the Tres Belle from Ellie and Mac. I have made several versions according to the actual pattern, and I have hacked this bodice on to several skirts also. Today I am using the gathered skirt option which is included in the pattern. I am celebrating sewing a 3x (2 sizes down from my first one) without any additional bust or bicep adjusting!! I removed 3 inches from the length of the skirt because no matter how much I am at the gym, I won’t get any taller. 🙂

So as I am starting my 40th year, I need to set new goals for myself. I plan to continue with the gym. I actually really like going now. As much as I always said I would hate it, I don’t anymore. I like to go, I am making friends there, there are some serious muscles in there. 😉 I am inspired there! I think the best thing I can do for me is focus on my overall health and get rid of a lot of toxic things in my life.

Additionally, I will continue to eat better and make good choices. Still working on being a faster hiker and overall just enjoying life more. I also need to focus on drinking water. This is a huge struggle for me, but several times a month dehydration really kicks my butt! I would also like to lose another 75 lbs. Again, Dream Big! I have an entire year this time! I can do it! I would love to take these same photos next year in a much smaller fun dress! I think the best part of the journey is finding out just how awesome I can be. If I am really honest, I can tell you that some days aren’t great. Some days I want to quit. Some days I look at myself and hate everything about me. Some days are better and I realize I am doing ok. Just keep working towards the better days, my friends. We are going to get through this.

In addition to a lot of early mornings in the gym, I have focused on healthy eating. It is hard! I love pizza and pasta and cheese and…This could be a long list so I will stop. I have refocused on healthy portions and making better choices. It helps. If I want something like pizza, I will totally eat it and adjust the rest of my daily calories or make a healthy pizza. I have been using My Fitness Pal in a mostly inconsistent way to log food. My goal for the next month is to track daily and track everything. Even the not so good choices. If you wanna be encouraging friends on the app just send me a message and we can link up. I say encouraging because I am not into self hate, making myself or anyone feel bad for their choices, or restricting foods for the sake of a diet. It is not my jam and not good for my mental well being.

Are you ready for all the pattern deets? There are a lot of them which is why I love this pattern.

Wrap front bodice style

Tank, short, 3/4, long sleeve options

3/4 and full circle skirt options in mid-thigh and knee-length styles

Gathered skirt option in tunic-length, mid-thigh length, knee-length, and maxi-length styles

Optional sash

Here is my affiliate links my friends!

Tres Belle Pattern

I picked up my fabric in a $3 sale bin at Hobby Lobby. 🙂

Author: SequoiaLynnSews

I am a single dog mom of two and we happily reside in a small house in Ohio. We spend our days playing fetch, digging holes in the garden, and sewing, lots of sewing. We have high hopes of moving to the mountains someday. The dogs don’t really know that yet, but they will understand. I shamelessly hoard fabric and feel slightly sorry for whoever has to sort my stash when I am gone. I am employed full time in a industry that requires little of my creativity, but basically lets me wear whatever I want. So it works out. I can usually be found behind one of my sewing machine avoiding human contact. I test a lot of clothing patterns and therefore always have a new outfit to share. You have most likely found my blog through some sort of sewing outlet and will quickly realize that I am sewing for a plus size body. For reference, I am 5'1 and wear a range from a 2-5x. Sizes change with every designer and you can't trust ready to wear sizing when you are making your own clothing. Your tape measure will become one of your most used tools and if you misplace them like I do, you should pick up several. I will be sharing the good, the bad, and the A-MA-ZING with you… So stay tuned. I will also try to teach you a few of my tricks along the way. People always tells me they want to learn how to sew. My best advice is you have to start. Just do it! You are going to mess up, you will break needles, you will ruin the pretty fabric, you will stab your fingers, but you will learn. You will make something and you will wear it. Someone will say, “I like your shirt.” and you will smile and say, “Thanks, I made it.” You will race home and make something else. Pretty soon you have made more good things than bad and you will feel proud of yourself and you should. I will be proud of you too. :) Ok, that is enough rambling, I have sewing to do. :) SequoiaLynn

5 thoughts on “Turning 40 and Feeling Fantastic”

  1. Yay for you! I’ve been noticing in recent posts that you are losing. You look so good in this photo and so happy! I’m on the same journey, for both the same and different reasons, but they all distill down to better health and a better, happier, easier life. It’s great that you aren’t afraid of taking your time and learning new habits and ways to eat and live. Crazy diets usually don’t work; it takes lifestyle changes for long lasting results. I had a serious health challenge at the end of 2017 with fluid retention. A med change and an opportunity to have a bariatric Gastric Sleeve turned my life around. During the last months of 2020 and the first half of 2021 I gained 20# back. My bariatric team recommended me to a Weight Loss (Maintenance) Clinic and the rest is history, so to speak. Down 30 pounds during the last 9 months with around 30 to go. It’s so cool to not be focused on just losing the pounds, but on changing the habits that cause me to gain. And if you haven’t read it, you might find the book, The Obesity Code by Dr. Jason Fung an interesting read. He gets into the reasons why we gain and lose, and how to live so we keep the weight off. That understanding has really helped me to change my focus. Not trying to change what you are doing, but to say “you can do this!” It’s challenging, but so worth the journey. I’ve been slower at getting back into sewing, mostly because I have to make so many pattern adjustments (now L on top and 2-3X on bottom depending on the designer, I’m short, high rounded hips, narrow shoulders, short arms, swayback, etc., etc.) that it’s frustrating to make something that I can only wear a brief time. (Maybe I need to adjust the way I look at things!) But it does feel so good to be able to fit into things that I haven’t been able to wear for a loooong time. And best of all, to really feel good and healthy in this 74 year old body for the first time in many, many years! Hurray for you! I know you will reach your goal! I’ve enjoyed your posts for quite a while now. Keep up the great work! And keep all the good sewing content coming! Teckla 

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  2. Congratulations on your weight loss. I’d noticed that you looked slimmer in your garments. Best of luck as you continue this journcy

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  3. That is so great Sequoia. I too am on a diet so I can have surgery. Should say a life change. But right now I’m on a liver cleanse diet which is only 30 gr of carbs a day. I try to keep it to that. It’s helpful that I don’t really care for sandwiches. And since Steve passed I don’t go to McDonald’s much and really don’t miss it even the French fries. But I love pizza too and found that I like donatos new cauliflower crust pizza. I just get pepperoni cause I’m supposed to have 70 gr of protein a day and have trouble getting that much. I’ll be thinking about you and hopefully we will have great things to compare. My surgery is supposed to be in March I think and then I’ll go on a low carb diet but not so low, because I get reAlly tired and every once in a while I go crazy and eat a bunch of carbs but then I get right back on the wagon. Good luck!

    Sent from my iPhone

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  4. So sorry to hear about the surgeries… I had one myself … you are looking fantastic n so glad to hear you are feeling healther..healthier… I have been enjoying your blogs for a couple of years now n have seen your Tres Bell sewing n think you have looked beautiful in each one… I picked up this pattern when it was on sale n hope to make my own this summer… sending hugs n Happy Birthday wishes… remember we are like fine wine we get better with age… blessings

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  5. So very happy for you! You are doing difficult things and I am cheering for you!!
    Also celebrating that difficult….does not mean …..impossible! I also have been on a journey over the last few years with learning, eliminating, switching and a lot of other things. While not perfect, I am further along than ever and for this I am very thankful. God bless you!

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