Category Archives: clothes

The Challenges Of WLS – Keeping Inspired & Staying Focused Pt. 2

As promised, here is Part 2 of The Challengers of WLS – Keeping Inspired & Staying Focused.


This is the post where I discuss what helps me stay inspired  and keeps me focused on staying the course.

First, I want to say that this past year has been absolutely amazing.  The changes that have happened to my body, my health, and my life have been many.  People think losing weight through bariatric surgery is the easy way out.  Nothing could be further from the truth, and yet at the same time, it has sometimes been easy.

I have really ridden the emotional roller coaster from the moment I started this journey.  I had a lot ups and downs.  I dealt with a lot of very strong emotions before I had the surgery, and many of them were amplified after the surgery.  It was a difficult decision for me decide to have surgery.  I resisted it for many years even though friends suggested it and family begged me to consider it.  Once I made the decision to have surgery, I had no idea what I was in for.  I knew that through the surgery, I would lose a lot of weight, but I had no idea where the journey would take me, and the emotional ups and downs I would experience. This has been a hell of a journey, and although I’m not done yet, I have no regrets.

That said, how do I stay focused and keep inspired?  Here are some of the things that have inspired me over the last year. The first part of the list will be the people who have supported and inspired me over the past year.  They say when you face adversity, you really learn who your friends are, and I believe that is true.  The second part of this list will be the changes I have made and other things in my life that keeps me inspired.

  • My niece – I have to put this at the top of my list since she is, in part, the reason I wanted to take steps to drastically improve my life.  I have written in the past about how I have wanted to improve my health so that I could keep up with her and be there to watch her grow up and experience life.  That little girl has changed our entire family, not just my life.  She’s the first child that any of us had.  She is our next generation, the future of our family.  She turned this motley collection of adults into a family the day she was born.  She loves the new Auntie Colleen.  In fact, I don’t think she even remembers the old, pre-surgery Auntie Colleen. We go to museums together and hang out all of the time.  I love experiencing the world through her eyes. It’s like living life for the first time.  To think that I would miss watching her grow into a child, teenager, young woman because of my addiction to food broke my heart.
  • My sister Sandy– I have the greatest sisters.  I really do.  My sister Sandy lives about 20 miles from me.  She has been the greatest inspiration.  She changed her own life by changing the decisions that she was making.  She has her own incredible story.  But she also helped me change mine.  She confronted me about my health and my weight and begged me to do something.  Once I made the decision to have the surgery, she stood by me 100%.  She helped me with the many Dr. appointments. I stayed with her for a month after the surgery.  She bought me new clothes after I lost 100 pounds.  She writes my new weight and total weight loss on the wipe-erase board on her refrigerator.  She’s amazing.
  • My sister Jenny – Jenny is an incredible young woman.  I have seen her take terrible situations in her own life and completely turn it around.  She is another woman who has an incredible story of triumph over adversity.  But she has also been there cheering me on through mine.  When I tried out for The Biggest Loser show on TV, she drove to Richmond, VA with me and sat out all night on the sidewalk waiting for me to have an interview for the show.  She could not be here physically the way Sandy was because Jenny lives in Minnesota, but she texted me words of inspiration. We had many tearful phone calls as she talked me through some pretty difficult times.  She reads my blog all of the time, comments, sends me emails.  I know she reads my posts to her husband, (Hi Dean!!).  They are both wonderfully supportive.  She even cut, styled, and colored my hair for me for free.  I couldn’t have done all of this without her.
  • My brother & his wife – They have been so supportive of everything I have done.  While everyone else was cheering my decision to have the surgery early on, my brother was the voice of reason.  He expressed his concerns about the surgery and asked me some very difficult questions, making sure that I had truly considered all of the consequences of the surgery.  He was definitely worried.  He wanted me to improve my health, yes, but he also knew that this surgery can have complications. He was worried.  His wife was wonderful as well.  She helped me get a Baby Bullet so that I could puree my food.  She cheered me on and celebrated all of my changes with me.  And she’s always included me on every celebration with her own family.
  • My mom – My mom was so happy when I decided to have the surgery.  She was one of the people who had been asking me for years to consider wls.  She came here for my surgery and has celebrated all of my successes.  She also helps me keep things real when she thinks I might be falling off the wagon.  She knows how sick I was and does not want me to go backwards.
  • My friends – I really do have the greatest friends.  My best friend Jerry came to stay with me for a week a month after my surgery.  He helped me get my apartment set up after the surgery so that I wouldn’t have to exert too much energy to live my daily life while I healed.  He’s also been one of my biggest emotional supporters through this whole thing.  My friend Sushmita has also been a source of inspiration.  I have never met a more positive, energetic, happy person.  She inspires me.  My friends Lisa, Vicky, Jennifer, Joanna, & Lauren (hello my RHLS friends!) have also been hugely supportive; reading my blog; listening to me tell my weight loss stories; celebrating my successes; telling me how great I look, which I can never hear enough.
  • The Arlington Writer’s Group – Some of the people I mentioned above are members of the AWG, but I still have to make a special mention of this group of people.  The group has a whole has been supportive and celebrated my decision.  The day of my surgery last year, they had a writing session dedicated just to me.  They took words that described me and used them as inspirations for a writing exercise.  Then they mailed me the stories to read while I recuperated.  They have all also cheered on my successes.  Every week, they tell me how great I look; ask how much I have lost; given me exercise suggestions; the list of the support I have received from them is endless. I am so lucky to have them in my life.
  • My former & current co-workers – The day of my surgery, all of my co-workers at the time called all day to check up on me.  They came to see me while I recuperated.  They really cheered me on.  When I saw my former co-workers a few weeks ago, they all cheered on how well I have done.  My current co-workers also congratulate me on all of my success.  When I show them pictures of what I looked like before the surgery, they cannot believe it.  They all also comment on the weight I have lost since I started working there.

Those are many of the people in my life who keep me inspired focused.  Here are the other abstract things that keep me inspired and focused.

  • Pictures of myself – I can really see the difference in the before Colleen and the after Colleen.  I have never been able to see that in previous weight loss journeys.  I think that is pretty remarkable especially since the weight has come off relatively quickly. That is a huge change from my previous attempts to lose weight.
  • My breathing – I can breathe!  I have struggled with asthma since I put on so much weight.  I really had difficulty walking and moving because of that asthma.  That has mostly cleared up.  I know I still struggle a little with asthma, but it’s nothing like it was before.
  • Back pain – My back pain is nearly gone.  I could barely stand or walk because of back pain before the surgery.  Now, this does not bother me very much at all.  It’s still there a little bit, but it does not prevent me from doing what I want.
  • Walking – I can walk!  I can walk for miles and miles if I want.  Before I could barely make it a block before I had to stop and rest my back and catch my breath.  I do not have to stop for that anymore. Whenever I feel frustrated with my weight loss, I just talk a walk and revel in the fact that I can do it so effortlessly.
  • Clothes – I know this is shallow, but still, it is important.  I look good in clothes for the first time in a very long time.  I love that.
  • Cheese – I can each cheese again!  OK, I know this is a crazy thing to include, but it’s important to me.  I was allergic to milk and cheese for a very long time.  Some time shortly after the surgery, I started including milk products into my diet in an attempt to try to get some protein.  My allergies have apparently gone away for the most part.  That alone makes the changes I’ve made worth it.
  • Attention/Being Visible – OK, I admit it, I’m an attention seeker.  I have written posts in the past about the invisibility that comes along with being obese.  This is very isolating and lonely.  Now people see me.  I see men looking at me, which is  crazy to me.  Before men did not really talk to me much.  Now random men strike up a conversation with me.  One gentleman a few weeks ago talked to me in Starbucks for almost an hour continually looking for reasons to interrupt my writing and ask me questions.  Then later when he saw me in Trader Joe’s, he came running up to say, “Hey! I just saw you in Starbucks!”  And the whole online dating thing has been interesting as well.  So many of the men tell me how pretty I am.  I’ve never really had that much in the past, certainly not while I was obese.  Even if I never actually meet a man that way, but having the ones who see my picture tell me how pretty I am is a huge ego boost.
  • How incredible my life has become – I know this sounds vain, but it really has.  I am having so much fun.  My life has become so busy that I can barely keep up.  I am out all of the time.  Yesterday, I did some campaigning for the guy running for governor here in VA. Then I went to a political rally where Hillary Clinton (omfg!) was speaking. Then I went to my friend’s art gallery where I was one of the people speaking.  Every weekend is like that now. OK, maybe every weekend I don’t go see extremely famous politicos, but I am always out and about doing stuff.  I barely have time to clean my apartment and do laundry; or write in this blog.

OK this post is getting very long.  But I think you get the point.  My life has changed in incredible ways.  I have wonderful people in my life.  Nothing is better than seeing the joy in their eyes when they see how well I am doing.  I am doing incredible things with my life.  Even the simplest tasks that took so much effort before are a joy and inspiration.

I never want to be the girl who could not walk and breathe again.  I never want to look in the mirror and see the 300 pound person that I was staring back at me.   I never want to look in the eyes of the people who I love and who have supported me only to see their disappointment reflected back to me because I went backwards and gained the weight back.

I want to make the people around me happy.  I want to see my niece grow into a beautiful woman.  I want to be an inspiration for her to emulate.  I want to live each day to the fullest. I want to be open to whatever good things life has in store for me, for however much time I have left in this world.  I want to make it difficult for death to find take me from this world.  I will not go quietly from this life.  I want to spend the rest of my days raging against the dying of the light.

The fact that I see that as a possibility now, is the biggest inspiration of all.

When I Get Discouraged…

It is easy to get discouraged when the scale does not move or does not move as quickly as it did in the beginning.  I have amped up my exercise recently, and I am trying to re-evaluate what I am eating to make sure that I am staying on plan and getting the right kind of nutrients.  I’m thinking of cutting back on the cappuccinos and converting back to regular coffee instead.  Fewer calories in regular coffee, although I will miss the foam.

Sometimes all I see is how far I have to go and not how far I have come.  To test the waters and attempt to cheer myself up, I tried on an item of clothing the other day that I have not worn since high school.  Yes, I still own one or two things from high school.

Let me preface this by saying that when in high school, I weighed between 120-135-ish range, depending upon the year.  I still have my high school band jacket and a t-shirt from my first school play.  I was in the orchestra my Sophomore through Senior years of high school.  My skinniest, at 125, was my Sophomore year when the school did West Side Story.

So, I put on my high school band jacket just for shits and giggles.  I can put it on and almost get it closed.  I cannot yet, button it, but a year ago, I couldn’t even an arm through a sleeve.  (Pay no attention to my messy hair and room, please.)


It’s strange, because in high school I thought I was fat.  Everyone around me, almost everyone at least, confirmed this.  I was always being encouraged to diet.  I was always told how pretty I would be if I would just lose some weight.

Right before my surgery, my sister Sandy tried to put the jacket on.  She’s 5’4″ and weighs maybe 145 pounds.  She was always the skinny one.  She put this jacket on.  The sleeves were too short, and she could not even get it close to buttoned.

She turned around and looked at me and said, “Oh yeah, you were soooo fat in high school! Yeah right!”

If only I had known then what it was to be really fat…makes me sick to think about it.

So, when I’m feeling like I am making no progress, I put this jacket on.  I cannot wait until I can get it buttoned.  When that happens I will post a follow-up pic.  Maybe I will even put on my West Side Story t-shirt with it.  (I cannot believe I still have that!)

Happy Sunday, everyone and enjoy the start of football season!  I cannot wait until the weather cools off enough so that I can start wearing scarves and jackets.

Fantastic Updates

Well, I don’t know if the updates are really fantastic, but I certainly have two milestones to report.


In one of my very early posts on this blog, I opined the possibility of constantly replenishing my underwear supply.  I have only had to restock my supply twice so far, in part thanks to the Spanx I wear every day.  I wear a pull-over tank that comes down over my hips, so they hold my panties in place.  Otherwise, I’m sad to report, I would have difficulty keeping them on.

I have purged all of my older pre-surgery panties.  I only have the ones that I bought in January and those are really big for me now too.  I haven’t reached my goal weight, but I have lost 120 pounds so far, so another new set of panties are definitely in order.

I went to the store with my sister last night specifically to get some more undies.  I was pretty stressed out about this because I have no idea what size I am currently wearing and therefore had no idea what size I needed to purchase.  I didn’t want to get any that were way too small, although a little too small would be OK.  But I definitely did not want to get any that were too big.  I already have enough of those.

My sister told me her weight and what size she’s wearing.  I keep my weight very public, but just in case there’s any question, I’m currently still 178.  Then we spent a lot of time inspecting the underwear sizes on the packages. I usually get a package or two of Haines Her Way briefs.  (Is that an overshare?)  I compared the size of the panties to the size pants I wear.  After a lot of discussion, we went with a size 7, which is a large.  I figured that was probably right because I still wear a size 14 in pants.  Extra large is around a size 18, which while I still fit into a 16/18 tops, my bottom is a bit smaller.  To be on the safe side, I got two packages of size 7 and one of size 6.  I figured if the 6 was too small, I could just wait a few months and they will fit.

It turns out, the 7s fit just fine.  It is nice to have underwear that fits properly.  Now it’s time to do another panty-purge and get rid of all of the ones that are way too big.  And this next line is for my baby sister…yes, I am throwing them away, as in into the trash.  Happy now?

The other piece of news I have is that I have a full-length mirror now.  When I was out with my sister yesterday, she walked up to a full-length mirror the store was selling, motioned at it like Vanna White, and said, “Colleen, look at this!”  I walked up to the mirror, posed, and said, “I do look fantastic, don’t I?”

My sister cracked up.  Then I had to tell her that a friend of mine actually gave me a full-length mirror about a month ago.  I look at myself all of the time.  It’s nice to know what I look like in my clothes.  The worst part is, I had to hang it on my closet door, so I can see myself while I’m in bed.  I’m not sure I need to see what I look like first thing in the am, but I do love having the mirror.

It occurs to me that I have not updated the blog with a current picture of myself in a while.  Well, I promise to get a new pic up within the next couple of days.  I’m not actually at home right now, so I cannot get a pic of myself in front of said mirror.  Maybe tomorrow I will take one just before I leave for work.

Well, that’s all of the news that I have for now.  Enjoy this beautiful Sunday!

Rebooting My Diet

I have been feeling all out of sorts over the past few weeks.  I have been upset that my weight loss has really slowed down and really plateaued.  I have had a lot of emotional ups and downs.  And I have fallen off the wagon, so to speak, a couple of times.  Nothing too major, but enough that I feel I have had several setbacks.

I have decided that I just simply need to reboot my diet.  I got out the diet plan that the surgeon’s office gave me and I am going to examine the food that I have been eating to make sure it is in-line with the Dr.’s recommended diet plan.  Then, I am really going to focus on exercising.  I have been walking a lot, but not really doing anything more than that.


I still have not joined a gym, which I plan to do.  But until I actually can get in one to join, there are lots of things I can be doing.  A friend of mine suggested an app called Zero to 5K.  It is a running app.  I have no intention of running, but he suggested that I could use it to train for walking, biking, or swimming as well.  I love doing those things.  I downloaded the app today.  I will start tomorrow.

I also need to cook more.  I love cooking.  I just have not been taking the time to cook my meals consistently.  I have been eating out some and eating things I can grab quickly, like cheese.  I love cheese and I was not able to eat it for years.  But the truth is, it is very high in calories.  Maybe I should not have 2-3 meals every day.

So, tonight I am making my homemade chicken saag.  Chicken Saag is my favorite Indian dish.  I have a friend from Mumbai who helped me improve my own version of this yummy dish.  I took some to her a couple of weeks ago for lunch and she said it tastes just like authentic Indian cooking.  It should.  It’s her recipe!  I still have it simmering on the stove, but here’s a picture.  I promise to add the recipe to my skinny girl recipes tab.


Have You Been Here The Whole Time? – Question #4

Today’s question is from my friend Lisa B.  She asks:

Do you feel uncomfortable with the positive attention you are getting as a result of your weight loss, especially from men? Do you have a strategy for combating any suspicious feelings you have towards people to whom you are suddenly visible?  


She also added a sub-question:

 Another question would be do you have any misgivings about the dating world now that you feel freer to enter it (if you do)? 

More awesome questions!

OK, I will start by answering the first question…

Am I uncomfortable with the positive attention I am getting, especially from men?  

The answer to this is complex.

Am I uncomfortable with the over all positive attention I get from people in general?  No, not entirely.  In fact, part of me relishes it.  Friends and family, and sometimes strangers, tell me all the time how much better I look, that I’m smaller, that my face looks so much more open, etc.  And I know all of this is true.  I look at pictures of me before and pictures of me now, and I can see it, especially visible in pictures where I am with other people.  So when my friends (and here I mean specifically female friends or family in general) come up to me and say, “Wow, you look great!  You are so small!”  I sometimes respond with, “I know! I feel great!”

On a certain level, I truly love the attention losing 110 pounds brings.  Sometimes when I go out, I spend a little extra time getting ready to make sure I look good.  I will pick out a cute outfit, curl or straighten my hair, etc just to make sure I look nice.  I do this because I know I am no longer totally invisible and I want people to see me at my best.  I know, it sounds selfish and self-absorbed, and really it kind of is, but it’s the truth.

Attention from men?  This is where things get a little complicated.

I have written several times before about how attention from men makes me a little uncomfortable.  Not that I dislike attention from men.  Don’t get me wrong, I love it.  But it is unnerving and I know that I do not always respond well, especially if I might be a little bit attracted to or interested in the guy in question.

Mostly, if the guy is just a friend, gay, a family member, etc.  I’m OK with it.  If I’m a little bit attracted to him, or if he is overly effusive in his praise, I really do not handle it very well, I’m afraid.

I have caught several men, some I know, most I do not, looking at me in a way that made me feel unsettled.  When I was on a business trip recently, a random guy at a hotel very obviously checked me out.  I have witnessed this in other men in various situations.  I have seen more than one man on the metro during my commute look me up and down, or just simply stare at my chest.  (I have to admit, I’m kind of used to men staring at my chest.  When I was younger and thinner, I had a pretty big chest and men stared at it all of the time.  So, that’s not new.)  I was introduced to someone recently who when he shook my hand obviously checked me out from head to toe before meeting my eyes.  And recently, I was at a coffee shop with a male friend.  He got up from the table to get a refill on his drink.  He turned to me and rolled his eyes because the barista was taking forever to fix his drink.  I smiled and turned my head slightly to the right to see another man leering at me as he removed his jacket.  Then he smiled at me, nodded, and said, “Hello.”

My first reaction when something like this happens is always to think, “Seriously?  You’re looking at me?   Dude if you saw me six months ago, you wouldn’t even give me a second thought if you even noticed me at all.”  My second reaction is, “OMG! He just checked me out!  Woo hoo!!”  Still, it makes me a little nervous.  It doesn’t even matter if I would give the guy the time of day, the fact that the guy checked me out is enough to leave me feeling completely undone.

I have had a couple of my guy friends tell me that I am simply going to have to get used to the attention.  I am trying.  I’m not sure I’ll ever get used to the attention from you guys entirely.  And I may not always respond well.  In fact, I can assure you that I probably will not.  It’s not that I do not like it, because let’s face it, I kind of do.  And it’s not that I may not be interested, because I might be.  It’s just that I am not used to it and I’m out of practice.

Combating suspicious feelings I have towards people to whom I am suddenly visible?

I generally do not have suspicious feelings about people in general.  That said, there are a couple of people of whom I am suspicious, or at least wary.  That is mostly because now that I have lost a lot of weight, they are uncomfortable with the new me and are somewhat resentful.  This came as a shock to me, frankly.

I am thinking of one person in particular.  She is rather large herself and has a whole host of her own health problems.  I feel badly for her because I know exactly where she is health-wise and emotionally.  She always comments on the clothes I wear, my shoes, my hair, the food I eat with a bit of disdain and jealousy.  She makes it sound like she’s complimenting me, but in a backhanded way that is couched inside of an insult.  This is definitely a departure from her previous behavior towards me.

I think maybe she always saw me as someone with whom she could commiserate.  Or at least have a partner in crime for bad food behavior.  Now that part of me is gone.  I think she’s a bit resentful and maybe jealous because I changed and she is still in the same place.  I know that sounds conceited, but I think it is also true.  I do not like this change in our relationship and I wish things could go back the way they were, but I see that they cannot.  I won’t go back to being the person I was before.  I just won’t do it.  Not for anyone.

There are a couple of other people who have acted this way towards me, but not many.  Most of the responses I have received after losing 110 pounds has been overwhelmingly positive.  I am generally a glass-half-full kind of person, so I take most people at face value.  I see no reason to be suspicious unless they prove themselves to be suspect.

 Another question would be do you have any misgivings about the dating world now that you feel freer to enter it (if you do)? 

The answer to this questions is yes, I have plenty of misgivings about entering the dating word.  And no, I do not feel much freer to enter it.  I would like to enter the dating world.  Go out on some dates.  See who I might be interested in.  Find a long-term committed relationship that may or may not include marriage, eventually.  But there are many reasons why dating may be problematic.

First thing, my options are much more limited than they were when I was younger.  Let’s face it, by mid-late 40s and beyond most men are married, gay, in a relationship, not looking for a relationship, recently divorced and not looking for a commitment, or otherwise unavailable in some way.

The other thing that concerns me is this.  My body is not in the greatest of shape.  After 20 some years of being morbidly obese, I am horribly out of shape.  I may look good in my clothes, but that’s partly because of the weight loss, and partly because I’m being held together by Spanx.  So in addition to being 40+, single, and willing, the guy has to be super understanding of my age and general physique.  So, yeah I’m a bit nervous about the whole dating thing.  Doesn’t mean I won’t try dating, it just means my expectations may have to be moderated by a huge dose of reality.

So, do I have misgivings?  Sure.  You bet I do.  Will I let those misgivings stop me from trying?  Nope.  The only way to get what I want is to put myself out there no matter how scary.  The only sure way to end up alone, lonely, and disappointed is to stay home and do nothing.  I’ve had quite enough of that in my life, thank you very much.

What Is In A Look

photo (38)


I have experienced so many changes over the past few months it has been difficult for me to mentally catch up to where I am.

First, I forget sometimes that I am not as big as I was.  I sometimes have to do a double take when I look in the mirror.  I cannot believe how small I am sometimes.  I definitely sometimes experience a disconnect between the Colleen that is in my head and the one looking back at me in the mirror.  I also sometimes forget that other people see me differently.

When I was in Texas, I had a training class every day, so I dressed like I would for work.  I wore dresses every day except for my last day there.  My first day of training, I was walking from the shuttle through the hotel lobby towards the elevators to get back to my room.  There was a group of men standing in front of the hotel check-in counter.  I caught one of them looking at me as I walked through the lobby.  I watched as his eyes moved up and down my body and finally stop at my face.  He smiled and said, “Hello!  How was your day?”

My first reaction was disgust and I immediately thought, “Creep!”  My next thought was, “OMG! Did he just check me out? ME? Holy cow!”  Then I felt my face turn about 2,000 shades of red.  I simply replied, “Fine,” then turned away and walked a little faster towards the elevators.

I really did not know how to respond to that.  I’m not used to being looked at by men with anything other than disgust or disinterest.  Not that I think there was any real connection.  It was just a look.  But the look left me feeling unsettled.  I realized that I have no idea how to handle myself if anyone does one day show real interest in me.  To date, no one has.  I have noticed a small increase in overall attention from men, but no romantic interest.  And that’s OK.  I’m not sure I’m really ready.  Maybe I am.  Who knows.

When I returned to the room, I checked myself out in the full length mirror.  I do not have a full length mirror at home, so I really do not know what I look like in my clothes most of the time.  I can only see myself down to my waist in mine.  The first thing I noticed when I looked in the mirror was my dress.  The dress I was wearing was too big.  I immediately tried on one of my other dresses.  That one was too big too.  Then I tried on the rest of the clothes I had in my suitcase.   I could not believe the difference I saw in myself.

Still, I could not understand what the man in the lobby was looking at.  I couldn’t get beyond the fact that my dresses were too big.  I mean, my legs are definitely looking much thinner.  I lose weight in my legs and face before I lose anywhere else.  I’m smaller on the bottom than I am on top.  Always have been.  But that is all besides the point.

The point is, I need to recognize that I really do look different from before.  People notice.  People who have never met me do not see me as I was.  And I need to learn how to better handle the attention the new me is receiving.

The Return Of Spring!



Finally!  Spring has really arrived in DC.  I returned from Dallas to a nice balmy 79 degrees at 1:30 a.m.  Today’s high will be 81.  It might get a little bit chillier over the weekend, but all next week is 80s as far as the eye can see!  At last!  Granted, it may rain every day, but at least I will not be freezing.  I’m so tired of being cold.

I will be glad to put away the sweaters and scarves for the winter.  In fact, I may get rid of most of them altogether as I will need all new ones by the fall.  I love getting rid of old clothes.  Spring is a good time to do some closet purging, right?

I used to be a bit of a pack rat.  I have kept a lot of the clothes I have acquired over the last 15 or so years.  I was kind of glad that I did because it meant that I could have some clothes to wear as I lost weight.  But now that I have shrunk out of almost all of them, it’s time to let them all go.  I am hoping to get some of them to a used clothing store called Unique this weekend.  If not this weekend, definitely next.  I have a friend coming into town for Memorial Day and he can help me unload some of the stuff jamming up my closet.

Apart from that, I need to get my place ready for my out-of-town guest.  I am not sure what we are going to do other than reorganize my closet, but I know we will be out and about.  There will have to be at least one visit with my niece.  Probably at least one visit to the DC Mall or something.  And dinner with a friend of ours from college.  Maybe we will actually make it to see Rolling Thunder. 

I’m just glad the weather is finally getting better.  Bring on the shorts!

A B-e-a-utiful Day in the Neighborhood

Today is a gorgeous day and I just could not sit at home.  I found that I could not sit at home last night either.  I came home from work, changed my clothes, and walked down to the village to have some tea and read for a bit.  Shortly after I arrived and started reading, my friend Andy sent me a FB message asking me to watch his cat while he is out of town.

A bush of azaleas I walk by on my way to Shirlington Village.

A bush of azaleas I walk by on my way to Shirlington Village.

I let him know that I would be happy to feed and water his cat while he was gone, and by the way, I’m at the coffee shop, come meet me now.  He did and we sat and talked for quite a bit.  It took me a long time to actually work up an appetite to eat.  My work had catered lunch from a barbecue restaurant (Rocklands OMG yum!) and I was not hungry for a good long time afterwards.  When I could eat, I made my friend walk down to a local restaurant, which was just a block away.  I had chicken salad and fruit.  After another long talk, I finally paid my bill and we walked back over to where he had parked.  I then made the short trek back up the hill to my apartment.  He would have given me a ride, but I made it clear that I wanted to walk, especially since I had just eaten.

This morning, I was actually very lazy.  I had breakfast in bed, cheese and fruit.  I watched romance movie after romance movie.  That was such a bad idea.  I actually woke up at about 5:00 am and turned on the tv.  Never a good idea.  Out of Africa was on and I immediately tuned to that channel.  I just love that movie.  I fell back asleep with that show in the background.  I allowed the romance between Karen and Denys to influence my dreams and I awoke again to Karen reading a poem at his funeral, but in my dream, the poem did not have the heavy, bittersweet feeling of loss portrayed in the movie.  Dreams are strange that way.  Then, just before I was fully awake, I dreamed that I heard a knock on my door.  Three quick raps.  It was 7:00 am.  I went over to the door and peeked outside and of course no one was there, but now I was up.  The day began with a strange sense of hope and possibility.

I took my time getting ready.  I watched the last half of Sense and Sensibility as I had my breakfast and then showered.  I read a little bit.  Then put on another movie.  I did my hair and carefully picked out my clothes for the day.  I tried on a new pair of shorts that I bought at a second-hand store.  They are a size large.  They are snug, but they fit.  I was elated.  I’m not sure where “large” fits into the size-scale.  Does that make them a 14 or a 16?  I think they might be in the 14 range.  My size 18 jeans were practically falling off of me yesterday.  I think I’m solidly in the 16 size because my size 14 jeans do not quite fit me yet.  It’s hard for me to tell since I do not actually own pants that are a size 16.  I’m not going to worry about it though, as I will probably be a size 14 soon enough.

I finally drove over to my sister’s house.  By the time I arrived there, it was probably 1:00 pm and we went to lunch.  I insisted on sitting outside because the day is so beautiful.  I had salad with warm goat cheese and pecans.  So delicious.  Unlike me, my sister spent the morning digging and planting in her yard.  I don’t have a yard, just an apartment.  Once she ate, she was exhausted.  I took her back home and came here to Starbucks to write.

When my sister first saw me, she said she could not believe how small I was.  I looked in the full length mirror at her house and I was stunned.  I do look small.  “I look almost like a normal person,” I told her.  “Yeah, but you’re anything but normal, Colleen!”  Aren’t sister’s great?

me 4-27-13

I had her take this picture of me outside the restaurant.

I am not sure what other events this day will bring, but I am so happy the weather is finally warm enough to enjoy some outside time.


Shoe Frustration At DSW

So, I almost bitch-slapped the sales person at DSW Pentagon Row today.  First let’s start with the fact that all of the parking at Pentagon Row is metered.  It is also dreadfully difficult to find an open spot.  The only other alternative is to park in the garage and pay an a lot to park.  That already has me a little hot.

Then I spent about 20 minutes wandering around their store for shoes in my size.  As I have discussed in a previous post, I have wide feet.  I have always had wide feet, even as a child.  So, shopping for shoes is really a horrible experience for me.  I do not like to buy shoes online because they never fit.  I always end up sending them back.  I much prefer to go into the store and try them on.

Well, apparently, only girls with normal sized feet have that privilege at DSW.

After driving around looking for metered parking and then paying $2.00 to park in the garage, I get to DSW to have the snooty sales rep make a disgusted face at me and say, “Oh we only sell THOSE shoes online.”  And the look he had on his face made it seem as if I was asking for something so distasteful as to activate his gag reflex.


So, I said, “That’s discriminatory. What, you don’t think fat chicks wear shoes?”  I turned on my heel and walked right out of the store.

I am furious.  When I’m done blogging, I am going to their website and lodging a complaint.  I know it will get me nowhere, but still.  I am doing it.  I am so offended.  So, because I have wide feet, I have to pay for their shoes first and have them shipped to me before I try them on?  And if they don’t fit?  Do I then have to pay to ship them back to you and wait for you to give me my money back?

You know, I went out today with the intent to spend my money to do my share to keep the economy rolling.  If my money isn’t good enough to keep my size shoe in your store, I will shop somewhere else and keep that store in business. F#%k DSW.  Seriously.

I am tired of going to stores and finding either no plus sized clothing or one wall sparsely covered with the ugliest clothes I’ve ever seen.

I’m overweight, yes, but I still like to look nice.

I know I won’t be a plus size for very much longer, but I will still continue to be outraged by the sub par treatment larger women receive from clothing and shoes retailers.

Yet Another Closet Purge

Now that I have lost over 100 pounds, I feel the need to purge my closet again.  I am already up to three garbage bags of clothes that I need to get rid of.

I have to get rid of nearly all of my pants.  That means I am down to one pair of jeans that are too small.  My sister insisted that I buy a pair of size 14p jeans.  Not quite to a size 14 yet, but getting there.  I also have a couple of pairs of stretch pants and one pair of shorts.

I am going to get rid of all clothes, mostly blouses, that are a size 24 or above.  I’ve purged my closet of all sizes above that, I think.  Now I’m going to concentrate on the size 24s.  I want to get rid of size 22s as well, but I’m a little bit concerned because I will be running out of clothes soon.

Yes, my sister did just buy me $350.00 worth of clothes and I supplemented with another $100 or so, but still, my wardrobe is thinning.

I almost bought three dresses and a skirt at Macy’s yesterday, but that was another $150-ish.  I really cannot afford that.  I need to save my money for when I drop out of the plus size clothing, which I see approaching rapidly just on the horizon.  Now, my wonderful sister is going to be giving me a bunch of clothes that she has purged from her wardrobe, but they are a size 6-8.  I’m not quite in that size range yet.  Some of the blouses are a large size, which I may be fitting into soon, but still, not quite ready.  Not to mention, I don’t think I was ever a size 6.

I haven’t added a cat picture in a very long time.  Here is an adorable picture of my sister’s adorable kitty Oscar.  She is a Ragdoll and is so cuddly and cute.