Planning For My Cruise and What Happened to Size 8?

Planning For My Cruise and What Happened to Size 8?

My March vacation pounds have been multiplying like bunnies. Just when I thought I had a handle on them, there was a party with chips and a birthday cake, dinner out with rounds of appetizers, several buffets, and a banquet dinner. The upshot is that my jeans are uncomfortable and my shoes are too tight.

We leave for a riverboat cruise to celebrate our 41st anniversary in less than two weeks and I have no intention of wearing:

  • a sour expression because I don’t like how things look or feel on my current body
  • uncomfortable shoes
  • tight clothes

I know better than to expect I’ll forgo the culinary offerings aboard the ship. Or avoid the wonderful restaurants in cities along the way so I needed to do some damage control, fast. In addition to paying closer attention to what I eat and making an appointment to get my thyroid rechecked, I did what any smart woman would do…I went shopping.

Since jeans are a staple of my daily wardrobe, it should make sense for me to just buy larger jeans. The problem is, I carry my weight around my middle so larger jeans that fit my waist would be too baggy on my hips and the backside would look droopy. Not a great look.

A simple alternative is casual skirts and dresses. I don’t wear them often but they’re an easy way to hide a few pounds, are more forgiving than pants and are likely to be wearable when I do lose a few pounds. They did tell a “size story” this week which shocked surprised me.

I used to wear a size 6 skirt. Yesterday, I had to skip right over the 8 and fit into the 10. I didn’t hesitate to buy it because I’m not going to let a clothing label determine what I wear. I just snip those suckers out the second I get home.

Shoes with virtually any heel height are uncomfortable after an hour. That means if I don’t want to wear sneakers during my whole trip, and I don’t, I need some new shoes and sandals. I bought a pair of flatform sandals, a sport sandal, and flat mules.

I’ll bring several pair of my Eileen Fisher stretch pants because they are my holy grail of travel pants. The fit of jewelry doesn’t change with your weight so I bought some new costume pieces and will bring plenty of scarves for color. I may only bring one pair of jeans because most are snug enough to cause terminal muffin top.

I’ve been able to stumble along at home with a wardrobe that’s a bit snug because I can choose from everything I own. On a holiday, my options will be limited to what I can pack into a small suitcase. I draw the line at ruining a vacation with clothes that aren’t comfortable and don’t make me feel good about myself.

Will comfy clothes remind me not to eat that extra goody the way my snug jeans would? No. But the gym, salads and broiled fish will be waiting when I get home.


What would you do?

Thanks for reading and have a great day.




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  1. May 15, 2019 / 3:47 am

    I must look into pull up jeans! MUST! I’m going through the same thing at the same time! It’s awful…..

    • Marce
      May 15, 2019 / 5:13 am

      I appreciate your candor and your advice on this. I have been experiencing similar for past year or so. I definitely do not (anymore) accept being uncomfortable over a label’s size number. Well fitting clothes make a person comfortable and it shoes in confidence and graceful movements. I am encouraged by your attitude. I hope you have a wonderful trip!

    • May 15, 2019 / 5:45 am

      These jeans have saved my waist line many, many times. Do try some on Paulette.

  2. Rose
    May 15, 2019 / 4:21 am

    What would you recommend for pull up jeans?

    • May 15, 2019 / 5:44 am

      I love the ones from Soft Surroundings, Jag and Talbots. They’re all pretty good. Just look for a smooth waistband and lots of spandex in a thick denim fabric.

  3. Laurel
    May 15, 2019 / 4:23 am

    The struggle is real…I feel your pain. It seems if we socialize at all – or eat in restaurants – it’s hard to keep our weight from creeping up at this age. And I think my body shape has shifted. blech. Your plan is smart. No one diets on vacation, especially on a lovely riverboat cruise. You can always worry about it when you return. 🙂

    • May 15, 2019 / 5:50 am

      Thanks Laurel. The weight will be there no matter what I wear so I might as well look good by wearing clothes and shoes that fit well.

  4. Sylvia
    May 15, 2019 / 4:25 am

    I love the way you look at life! My husband and I are going on a Viking River Cruise in 4 weeks. Hope you’ll share what you take for your outfits. Have fun!

    • Laurie
      May 15, 2019 / 5:18 am

      Coincidence- my husband and I are going on a Viking riverboat cruise in 4 weeks! Yes, Jennifer, please post what you’re packing and your outfits put together!

      • Lori
        May 16, 2019 / 2:46 pm

        My husband and I are going on a Viking river cruise in 4 weeks as well!!

    • May 15, 2019 / 5:58 am

      I will share as I put my wardrobe together. We are on Viking too!! Have fun

  5. Marie Dee
    May 15, 2019 / 4:32 am

    I don’t usually comment, but just had to say that this post cracked me up! Mostly because I can sincerely relate!
    I love the “terminal muffin top”! I know you’ll have a great time on your cruise because you have a great attitude and you can take care of business when you get home! Bon Voyage, Jennifer!

    • May 15, 2019 / 6:04 am

      Happy Wednesday Marie Dee:)

  6. Amy Robertson-Smith
    May 15, 2019 / 4:32 am

    Good Morning Jennifer,
    We all understand the feeling. I LOVE your attitude about it though. I presently do not have that feeling of “joy” about these extra pounds (12 for me, slowly over 4 years). I have decided though that I must love myself, I don’t want to turn into a self body hater. So, I too have bought a size of pants “up”. I didn’t buy too many, but enough that i can get through work and casual. I had a recent trip and did similar as you, bought pull on jeans from Lands End (highly recommend), an elastic waist skirt, and could wear my other stretch action/yoga pants. My shoes fortunately do still fit me, so I’m set there. I want to adapt the “when i get home” attitude, but i travel often for work and personal, so really I think it’s what got me where I am :-)…..i need a bit more of a kick in the rear end. I can’t wait to hear about your trip, hubby and I have thought about the river cruises. Have a wonderful time and post lots of outfit pictures.

    • May 15, 2019 / 6:08 am

      It’s tough when you’re traveling for work too because that means it’s regular and often frequent. I’m lowering my carb intake as well so hopefully that will help. If not, at least I’ll be a fit, healthy larger size 😉

  7. BethW
    May 15, 2019 / 4:37 am

    I feel your pain as I am going through the same thing. And it is awful… I am planning a short trip and had to buy a few new things just to be comfortable.

    • May 15, 2019 / 6:11 am

      It’s better to be comfortable than beat ourself confidence up by continuing to wear things that are too tight. Hang in the Beth

  8. Sondra
    May 15, 2019 / 4:40 am

    Boy oh boy, you are NOT alone with your struggle! You’re just a lot more honest about it than most of us! Ha! I’m currently just about to get OFF everything I’d put on since my back surgery TWO years ago!! The older you are (I’m 77) the harder it is and longer it takes to get off and I hate having to always be watching my weight but it’s just the way it’s been all of my life. I’ve never been one of those people who can eat whatever they want and never gain an ounce. I don’t even have a thyroid issue. Sounds like a wonderful trip and cruise so enjoy it then go on a diet when you get home!!

    • May 15, 2019 / 6:18 am

      So glad your back surgery is behind you (bad pun not intended). That’s scary stuff. I have never struggled to keep my weight down as hard as I am these days. It stinks

  9. Lezlie
    May 15, 2019 / 4:45 am

    I have a thick tummy area (years of being overweight … once I lost the weight, it left lots of saggy skin). The only thing that fixed my problem was discovering Talbots “Curvy” pants. They still fit perfectly in the legs and don’t look baggy, but they give me extra space in the tummy. I’m also a petite and all of their curvy jeans and pants are perfect! (“Curvy” is made in the same styles they offer, you just have too for curvy … example: five pocket jeans are five pocket jeans curvy; bi-stretch pants are bi-stretch curvy. Just a suggestion!

    • May 15, 2019 / 6:20 am

      You’re so lucky to have found the perfect fit for pants! That’s golden

  10. Linda
    May 15, 2019 / 4:45 am

    When I have gained/lost weight, my feet always stayed the same size. The only time I had a problem was during pregnancy bc of water retention. I feel your pain about weight gain in the middle! Pull on pants/jeans are wonderful!

    • May 15, 2019 / 6:20 am

      You are lucky. Shoes are expensive to replace.

  11. May 15, 2019 / 4:53 am

    I have the same problem with pants! When they fit around my middle, they are too baggy in the legs and butt section! Yuck! I have thinner legs and no butt so I have always had a hard time getting pants to fit! And my extra weight has not helped. Darn hard to lose it at my age of 70. I think elastic waists were invented for us — my waist measurement can change one inch from day to day! Why does that happen? I agree, never take anything on vacation that is going to be uncomfortable! And have a marvelous time on your vacation!

    • May 15, 2019 / 6:24 am

      My waistline can do the same thing! The bloat is real. Extra weight never seems to go where I want or need it.

      • Karen H.
        May 15, 2019 / 7:49 am

        Linda, I have the exact same issue! I love jeans but can’t find the perfect fit. I dislike skirts so I don’t buy. Thank goodness for my holy grail Eileen Fisher pants. They are always my go to especially on trips!.

  12. Merri
    May 15, 2019 / 4:57 am

    Enjoy your trip! Life is short and travel is calling which always includes adventures in food and drink as well as walking.
    Home is the place to tailor your meals to you needs.
    I just bought jeans in a new size and will need to adjust through the hips. I as well will ignore the size and focus on getting back into my other jeans waiting for me in the closet. Carpe diem 🙂

    • May 15, 2019 / 6:29 am

      Thank you Merri. It’s harder to alter jeans than a skirt but I’ll be giving it a go. Now if I could just keep my husband from buying crackers.

  13. Sharon
    May 15, 2019 / 5:02 am

    I usually size up and let my favorite alteration lady take care of the rest.

  14. Debbie Klausing
    May 15, 2019 / 5:17 am

    This outfit is one of my favorites on you that you have featured.! Put together and stylish. Also like the tote.
    Definitely cannot tell that there are a few extra pounds.
    Wish I could wear black without looking so washed out. I do wear makeup, but maybe not enough.
    Enjoy your trip!

    • May 15, 2019 / 6:31 am

      I wear a pretty good amount of eye makeup everyday, but more when I wear black. It can easily overpower my coloring if I’m not careful.

  15. Diana
    May 15, 2019 / 6:01 am

    Soooooo appreciate your honesty here. We leave for a three week trip to China in a few days. I think I have my comfy clothes together but may need to do a quick shopping trip for pull on jeans. Definitely understand the muffin top issue. Have a great cruise, Jennifer.

  16. Sue P.
    May 15, 2019 / 6:12 am

    I feel your pain! We went on three “eating” vacations this winter. I have a class reunion to go to in a couple of weeks and have managed to lose all but two of the extra pounds I had gained. I am also buying more pull on jeans or higher waist jeans. I can’t wear mid-rise jeans as they give me instant muffin top. I did find some nice pull on dressy ankle pants from Christopher Banks. I ended up buying both the black and the navy as they are so comfortable. They are called Signature Slimming Modern Fit Ankle if anyone is interested. You did the sensible thing to buy some comfortable clothes for the trip. Comfort is essential when traveling.

  17. Brenda
    May 15, 2019 / 6:14 am

    You look gorgeous! I would do exactly the same!

  18. gayle olson
    May 15, 2019 / 6:15 am

    I had my annual checkup before our recent 9 day cruise, Doc said, enjoy, but make good choices! It was easy to eat delicious food that was healthy, but the wine and champagne was abundant. I didn’t gain any weight (I have a lot to lose, theough) because we walked miles on tours and in the ship. You look great in this pic.

  19. Mumbai
    May 15, 2019 / 6:22 am

    don’t believe the gym is waiting after your cruise. It’s an illusion and you will only outwit yrself.
    Start now…you have 2 weeks to lose 2 kg. Eat fish and salad,
    vegi soups till you burst and stop eating after 5 pm. Breakfast should be at 9 a.m next morning.
    Do spent money for a biger size on clothing will make you not happy , because you will perhaps never wear it
    after your travel. 2 kg less and you will enjoy your cruise , b.t.w. most of the ships have a gym where you can
    spend 30 min/day to keep your weight. Have a wonderful unconsidered cruise.

  20. Nancy
    May 15, 2019 / 6:40 am

    I know you realize that your problem is universal for us older ladies. I also find pull on pants are a good solution because of the stretch, they certainly are comfortable but I hate that they hardly ever have pockets! I like pockets in everything. If you find some that look great, and have pockets please let us know! Still, nothing really replaces traditional jeans.

  21. Rose
    May 15, 2019 / 6:42 am

    I appreciate all your great advice. I have to really look into pull up jeans! None of mine feel comfortable! I’m like you if I go up a size they are too big everywhere else. Where do you purchase yours?

  22. Diane B
    May 15, 2019 / 6:49 am

    We just got back from a 21 day cruise. I told myself that I would enjoy the whole experience and deal with the consequences when I got home. It was fantastic. There were two dresses that fit at home and I had taken on a couple other cruises, but when I put on later in the cruise,were a little snug. Who wants to sit at a dinner and show with constricting clothes, so back into the suitcase with no regrets. I did take lots of skirts because that is what I love to wear to dinners and around the ship.After we got back home it was salads and healthy food right away and I have lost half of what I gained on the cruise. By the way, the cruise director told us that the average weight gain on a cruise was a pound a day, well that was not so for us and we just walked. Have loads of fun and relaxation and think about the weight later. Looking forward to hearing all about it. We have not done Viking yet and are thinking about them. By the way, I never try to limit my cruise wardrobe, just love the experience.

  23. May 15, 2019 / 7:11 am

    Smart woman! No sense in NOT enjoying your special vacation!

    I always swear I’m going to lose 5 lbs before our next vacation and never do, LOL!

  24. Elaine
    May 15, 2019 / 7:38 am

    Love, love , love your attitude. Enjoy the trip, I look forward to the photos!

  25. Summer Hartzog
    May 15, 2019 / 7:46 am

    I’m right there with you and I love your plan! Pull on jeans are great, but I’ve also invested in some size larger items and new shoes for an upcoming vacay. An ill-fitting travel wardrobe sure can put a damper on my enjoyment of the experience not to mention the photos. While my husband will be pulling out the same Tommy Bahama Hawaiian shirts, linen shorts and boat shoes he’s worn on vacation for the past 10 years, I’ve been shopping and list making for the last couple of weeks. I’m glad I’m not the only one!

  26. Joanna
    May 15, 2019 / 7:52 am

    I would do exactly what you are doing – go shopping. If your clothes don’t fit you’ll just be uncomfortable and unhappy. No sourpusses on the boat! 😉
    We cruised the Danube last spring. I had gained a couple of pounds before leaving and then a couple on the trip. By the last night my LBD barely fit. I zipped it up and topped it with a short jacket. Phew! Moral of the story- take clothes that will allow you to enjoy all the food and drinks you want to indulge.

  27. patval
    May 15, 2019 / 8:08 am

    Have a wonderful vacation. You are right not to let weight spoil your special time. Thank you for being honest. This is something I have struggled with for years. By the way J jill has pull on knit jeans that are super comfortable. patval

  28. May 15, 2019 / 1:50 pm

    I think the extra lbs are a universal problem after a certain age and terminal muffin top…OMG. Shapewear to the rescue! I have no problem going one size up temporarily! I refuse to be a slave to a particular size. Who knows what size we wear anyway? I know I wear one size pants in some brands and another size in other brands. As long as they look and feel good, no problem! Pull on jeans or knit pants are life savers when the gym is calling me to get back to zip up jeans shape.
    Enjoy your vacation! Eat, drink, be merry! Life is short, enjoy it!

  29. May 15, 2019 / 1:55 pm

    The struggle is real! We just returned from 2 weeks in Argentina/Uruguay and I ate so much differently than I usually do. It also didn’t help that we went with two other couples and I was talked into lots of pastries and cocktails that I might have been able to resist if it had just been the two of us. The saving grace, lots of walking!!! One particular day I got in 20,000 steps! My next splurge is going to be some Eileen Fisher stretch pants. Enjoy your well deserved vacay.

    • May 17, 2019 / 7:26 pm

      That sounds amazing!! I swear by those pants. They’ve been all over the world with me and worn around town. All. The. Time.

  30. Gail Schwartz
    May 15, 2019 / 2:05 pm

    I am leaving on a cruise at the end of July. My husband and I had a heart-to-heart. He encouraged me to go to WW and Pam had such good results, I was inspired by her. I’ve been surprised by the new program. It’s much easier than it was 50 years ago when I first reached my Weight Watchers goal. I set a realistic plan to lose just one pound a week until the trip. Wish me luck!

    • May 17, 2019 / 7:23 pm

      Good luck!! That’s awesome

  31. Juliet
    May 15, 2019 / 2:39 pm

    Love your attitude, Jennifer! As a tailor once said to my husband, ‘you’ve gotten more properties since your last fitting.’ I’ve tried to adopt this attitude to my spreading waistline. When my teen nieces focused on clothing size rather than fit, I encouraged them to buy what fits and go straight home and cut the tags. I doubt there is a piece of clothing in my closest with a size tag! Enjoy that cruise and be comfortable!

    • May 17, 2019 / 7:22 pm

      I love your attitude Juliet!! Bravo

  32. Mary
    May 15, 2019 / 3:47 pm

    You are my favorite blogger because you keep it so real and relatable. I finished treatment for breast cancer at the end of February (caught early; ladies, don’t skip your annual mammogram) and since I live in a city with frigid winters, I spent lots of time indoors in resting mode. I’m paying for it now with a few extra pounds. But I’m trying to be kind to myself, steer away from negative self-talk, ease back into a daily walking routine, and eat more fresh fruits and veggies. If the pounds don’t come off, so be it. You look fantastic, Jennifer….so enjoy that cruise!

    • May 17, 2019 / 7:20 pm

      Sending healing thoughts your way Mary. I’m so very glad you caught it early. In the scheme of things, a few extra pounds are less important than your health and happiness. It sounds like you’re doing all the right things. Xx

  33. Nancy
    May 15, 2019 / 3:49 pm

    I have gained 18lbs since Christmas. Usually I gain a few and they go away after a holiday but these lbs are having babies.
    But I have boobs!! Wow! Well, it’s just not worth all these new clothes AND new bras.

  34. May 15, 2019 / 4:25 pm

    Weight is a conundrum at my age. I lost about 10-12 lbs about a year ago and though my body looked better…guess what? My skin sagged evern more. I have gained a couple pounds back and my skin looks a bit better. You can’t win at this age!

    • May 17, 2019 / 7:16 pm

      My face looks much better with this added weight. You’re right, it’s always something.

  35. Janet Williams
    May 15, 2019 / 4:29 pm

    I love your attitude! Bottom line: life is short, embrace it! ✈🌴🍷

  36. May 15, 2019 / 4:34 pm

    You look great and have a wonderful attitude! It makes me sad that so many of us have this constant weight worry. There is enough to worry in life without rushing out to buy new clothes and planning to eat smarter and exercise more. But, c’est la vie.

    Have a fantastic time! I am another loyal fan who has learned much from you, is still learning, and appreciates that you share your personal challenges honestly with us. It’s reassuring to read your solutions and all the comments of fellow readers.

    It would be fun to see photos of others on the cruise and their outfits as well as some fashions of locals where you’re traveling. Really fun would be Would You Wear It on foreign mannequins!

    • May 17, 2019 / 7:15 pm

      Thanks you so much. I love my readers too. I’ll try to share what I see on my cruise but hate to share a woman’s look without her permission. I’ll be on the hunt for mannequins for you.

  37. Jana
    May 15, 2019 / 4:39 pm

    I know this is not the platform for asking questions, but I’m new to blogs and not sure what is! I read in one of this blog’s previous posts a comment about style recipe, a trademarked term. Is there a great site out there for determining your style?? I’d love the ‘recipe’! Thank you

    • May 15, 2019 / 8:54 pm

      Every woman’s “style recipe” is unique to her. We each home ours by trial and error, trying new things and deciding what looks make us feel fabulous.

  38. Heidi
    May 15, 2019 / 5:54 pm

    We’ve been on two Viking River Cruises — loved both, and bet you will love yours. I want to echo what another person requested: show us what you are packing. This is a huge help to others as we face our own “suitcase moments”. Also—would LOVE to see “would you wear this?” from foreign shops!

    • May 15, 2019 / 8:51 pm

      I will share! Would you wear it from
      Foreign shops is on my agenda.

  39. Diane
    May 15, 2019 / 8:28 pm

    This is a great reason as to why I enjoy reading your blog. I am at an age where life is too short and I want to enjoy pleasures like sweets and comfortable clothes:) Thank you for sharing:)

  40. May 16, 2019 / 5:38 am

    Sounds like a wonderful trip to celebrate your anniversary Jennifer! Enjoy! As for weight management, at some point we all have to find that balance that allows us to enjoy what we eat with enough activity to keep a steady weight. As we get older and our metabolism slows we have to accept that we need to move more to keep the scale where we want it. What used to be enough may no longer keep the scale in check.

    • May 17, 2019 / 7:12 pm

      I’m finding that very true!

  41. Kelly Novak Montano
    May 16, 2019 / 2:12 pm

    After a long 3 mo. stay in Cabo San Lucas and returning home, my favorite boot cuts wouldn’t zip. We still had snow….So I am doing what you are. I’m wearing alot of dresses, my BIGGER pants aren’t now….but its early and I’ll get the extra 5-7 lbs. off before mid-summer…..and if not, I’ve got a closet full of dresses.

  42. Diane
    May 26, 2019 / 5:44 am

    Bravo to you for shopping/wearing by feel, not size labels. I just got back from a Viking Seine River cruise (with and extra 3 days in Paris) and can assure you that dieting is not an option! Hopefully, all the walking we did balanced some of those calories. Scarves are de rigeur in Paris, and I was happy to add to my collection with wearable “souvenirs.” Enjoy your travels!

    • May 27, 2019 / 7:20 am

      I like how you think Diane. Wearable souvenirs are always on my list when traveling.

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