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Style & Substance: Meet Audrey

Audrey isn’t just an amazing weight loss success story, she personifies what I call “true grit.” As she will tell you in this guest blog, she was a single mom struggling on welfare and 100+ lbs. overweight. Yet somehow, from somewhere deep inside of her, she found the determination to transform her life and her body. She has an incredible story to tell about weight loss and being fabulous and frugal at the same time, but let me step aside so she can tell you herself.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you my personal inspiration, Audrey.

unnamed-98I was on welfare when I began what was to be my final weight loss journey.

I was an unemployed, single mother of an infant; I dug through the recycling to find coupons, I counted change to make sure I had enough money to put gas in my car, and I kept my home a chilly 52o during the cold Maine winter in order to keep heating costs down. Every penny was scrimped, saved, and accounted for. At the same time, I began a weight loss journey during which every calorie was analyzed, maximized, and accounted for. Three months into my job hunt, I had lost 30 pounds. Preparing for an interview, I realized I had no clothes that fit me, certainly nothing professional.

My body, much like my life, was constantly changing.

With $10 I managed to save, I made my way to Goodwill in search of something to wear to the interview. After much digging, some frustration, and a lot of time … I found it! The dress. Putting on that dress, I felt confident and strong. I was Superwoman and I had just tied my cape. In that moment, I felt the accomplishment of my weight loss and felt proud that I had found the “extra” money to spend on this. I landed that job and after three months, I was off welfare.

As my waistline shrank, my savings account grew.

While my job afforded me more flexibility budget-wise, buying new clothes constantly wasn’t an option. As I went down in size, I donated the old clothes and sought out better fitting options at thrift stores. I grew to love the confidence boost new clothes gave me, and I loved the thrill of finding these treasures at a bargain. I would spend hours scouring stores, seeking out these gems.

Fast forward a decade and my situation is no longer dire – I am happily married and raising the most amazing daughter in the history of forever – but the memories I have and the strength I gained during that time are etched deep into my psyche.

Despite my much-improved circumstances, I am still a busy working mom, whose husband is gone frequently for work. The closest thing to “me” time that I have right now is my workout and the hour of quiet that I spend in bed before going to sleep. I don’t have hours to spend hunting down deals at thrift stores anymore.

And that, my friends, is where ThredUp comes in.

unnamed-95ThredUp is an online resale retailer that deals only in higher quality and designer clothes, shoes, and bags. The items are meticulously examined and sold at a fraction of their retail cost. You can browse inventory online, filtering for your size, preferred brands, or style. It is all the fun of window-shopping, but without the hassle of digging through racks (or even getting out of bed!). Their stellar return policy means that, if you don’t love it or it doesn’t fit, you can easily send it back. And let’s be real: there is absolutely no way that I could afford Coach purses, Uggs, Kate Spade, 7 For All Mankind, Marc Jacobs, Theory, or Michael Kors without this site.

Since using ThredUp, I have spent $576 and saved $2,534.55 off the retail price of the same items. That is a staggering 77% savings! I am able to enjoy high quality clothes that make me feel confident and – okay, I’m just gonna say it – HELLA sexy!

unnamed-96And when I’m done with them? I order a ThredUp Clean Out bag! The Clean Out bag allows me to send my used items for credit, which I can use to make purchases, or I can give that money to a charity of my choice! And the clothes that they don’t accept? I can either pay a nominal fee to have them returned to me, or they’ll be donated to charity as well.

It is a win, win, win!

Wherever you are in your body image journey, it is important to feel confident and attractive in your skin right now … not as you hope it will be someday. You deserve to feel good, and you deserve to do it without breaking the bank.

Check out ThredUp for yourself. Use this link and you’ll get $10 off at checkout to use on your second order. I’m betting you’ll find something for your own fabulous self that makes you feel like the Superwoman you are!


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