Style and fitness are the same thing

by Kim on November 7, 2013

…Or at least, that’s the impression I’m getting after reading Stacy London’s book The Truth About Style so soon after I read Chalene Johnson’s Push (which I owe you a full review of, btw).

stacy london

I got Stacy’s book not so much because I was interested in reading about style, but because I love Stacy (despite her occasional—IMO unnecessarily mean—“tough love” moments), and I love the way she uses clothes to change people’s lives on What Not to Wear.

I also knew that Stacy herself was both anorexic and overweight at different points in her life (she went from 90 pounds to 180 pounds in a 2-year period post-college), in addition to battling psoriasis and the crippling insecurity that comes along with it. Her background makes her uniquely qualified to tackle some of the issues that crop up frequently on WNtW, and it also makes her that much more inspirational as a transformation story herself.

Plus, sure, a little justification for all the new clothes I’ve bought recently (for. my. JOB.) doesn’t hurt either. (I just got two pairs of pants—dark skinny jeans and black dress pants—from the Loft for 40% off over the weekend and felt like a genius.)

For the record, I’m pretty sure Stace would back me up on all my buying decisions in the past month. I even found this gem in her book: “Everyone deserves to dress well and feel damn good about it.”

See?? Haha.

Anyway, it’s funny that what ended up striking me the most about the book was how much it sounded like a diet/fitness book.

Seriously: compare these two blurbs from Stacy’s and Chalene’s books:


“A style rut is a symptom…To cure the symptom, you have to treat the cause…When you tell a woman who wears too much black to change to an animal print, it’s like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet hole…But asking her ‘Why do you wear so much black?’ opens a dialogue that will take you to a core issue."

“There are a million examples of how bad style can be symptomatic of an underlying problem. Baggy clothes can indicate body image issues sometimes. A bulky sweater can be a security blanket. Wearing all black or ‘comfortable’ sweats can enable you to hide in plain sight. Overly sexy clothes can telegraph insecurity about what lese the wearer has to offer, or her fear of again of a hunger for acceptance.”

Stacy London quote


“Weight isn’t the problem—weight loss isn’t the solution…Your diet is a symptom. Your fitness or lack thereof is a symptom. They are not the problem, which why addressing those areas as the solution provides only temporary relief.”

…So yeah, reading Stacy’s book was basically 200 pages of déjà vu. Just swap out the examples—high heels vs. planks—and you’ve got the same book written two different ways.

Ok, slight exaggeration. But the parallels were pretty crazy.

Confidence. Self esteem. Empowerment. Being your best self. Living your best life. Looking and feeling good.

Same key points, different angles.

And both books are clear about the fact that neither style nor fitness are direct roads to any of those things. Most of the real work has to happen in your head. (Dangit! But I just went running and bought this new shirt…)

One problem, many symptoms. One cure, many treatments.

Time for a little emotional homework.

Have you read Stacy’s book?

How much do you see style and fitness as self esteem drivers?


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Rachel B @ Busy Mama Fitness November 7, 2013 at 8:59 pm

So I admit I have never heard of Stacey London (we have no cable or DVR or tevo, etc) but I HAVE read Push and I really liked it. I worked through all the days and have a notebook full of answers and goals and plans and crap and I did find it helped me organize and get some more stuff done for a while before I got distracted by life. :P I am very interested in this Stacey London lady now. She sounds very intriguing!
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Kim November 7, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Interesting parallels between the 2. I’ve already told you I love Chalean’s workouts (still haven’t read her book). I also really like Stacey London – I didn’t realize that she had experienced quite so much.
I do think that self-esteem is the key to pretty much everything and it sounds like that is at the root of both books.
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ErikaMC November 7, 2013 at 1:07 pm

Most days I’m comfortable with what I’m wearing (some days not and I really should just get rid of those clothes) but other days I feel awesome and I walk around wondering why nobody is complimenting me :)


Ali November 7, 2013 at 10:33 am

Those were really great points! I never thought about a bulky sweater as a security blanket or wearing black or sweats as hiding. That’s really interesting and there is more psychology behind clothing choices than are obvious!
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Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat November 7, 2013 at 8:01 am

Thanks for sharing this! I actually didn’t realize Stacy had a book out, but it sounds like a interesting read. I definitely need to pick it up!
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