Category Archives: jeans

Strange Encounters

So, I am going to take a risk and describe an odd encounter I had this weekend.

As I posted before, I went to Pittsburgh this weekend to help my mom.  I took her out for coffee Saturday night because she kept asking me if we were supposed to go out and do something else that day.  I could not remember any specific thing we had scheduled, but I took her questions as a desire to get out of the house for a bit.  We went to the evil corporate coffee bar down the street from her house, which despite its innate evilness, I really secretly like.

She ordered her cafe mocha and I had my cappuccino with a liberal serving of cinnamon sprinkled on top.  We sat there for quite a while talking about books, movies, life, etc.  when a man approached my mother, pointed to her broken arm, and asked if the other guy looked worse.  He was an attractive, middle-aged man, I’m guessing late 40s early 50s, (my mother is nearly 20 years his senior).  We all laughed and my mother implied that she pulverized “the other guy” in the mythical fight he was implying she had.

He then talked to both of us jokingly and then went off to his own corner of the coffee shop.  I continued having a nice long talk with my mom.

When we got up to leave, he came running across the store.  He told us that he is a writer and had been working on an essay.  He wanted to know if we would give him our thoughts on what he wrote.  My mom interjected, “Oh really! My daughter is a writer!” she exclaimed, pointing at me.

“Well, I’m trying to be one,”  I stated shyly, a little embarrassed that my mom overstated my writing career in an overly obvious attempt to get me a date.

We had a brief conversation about my nonexistent writing career and went over to his table to review his essay, which he insisted on reading aloud to us.  I would have preferred to read it and give him my comments, but whatever.  It was a pretty good essay and I gave him my thoughts.  Then we talked about his book.  He had a copy of a book with him which he had “compiled.”  It’s a book of inspirational quotes.  That’s not really my cup of tea, but I do know some people who like that kind of thing.

Throughout this whole encounter, I thought he was flirting with my mom.  She is a beautiful woman, but she’s 19 years older than him.  Some guys go for that, I guess, but I still found it a little strange.  My mom, on the other hand thought he was flirting quite a lot with me.  She said it was obvious he was just being nice to her hoping that if he made a good impression on the mom, that would go a long way to getting in with the daughter.

I don’t know.  I am not good at knowing when men are flirting with me, mostly because I am not used to it.  Nobody really flirted with the fat girl I used to be.  Plus, I looked horrible on Saturday.  My hair, which I had not washed that day, was pulled up in a pony-tail, and I was wearing a t-shirt and jeans.  I was not wearing appropriate date-finding attire.  He did give me an autographed copy of his book.  (He did not give one to my mom, a fact she has continually pointed out.)  Which makes me pretty sure he was mostly digging for a good rating on Amazon, which let’s face it, I’d do a little  bit of flirting myself if I thought someone would read my (nonexistent) book and give me 10 stars on Amazon.  A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right?

Although, he did give me his business card and asked my opinion on where I thought he could send his story to be published.  Clearly, this is a sign.  OK, maybe not.

Still, it was nice to be flirted with even if just a little bit.

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Momentous Occasion

To say my weight loss has slowed down to a crawl would be a huge understatement.  I have been bummed because I gained three pounds while in Texas and it has taken forever for me to lose anything at all.  I have hit plateaus in my weight loss before, but this one seems to be the only plateau that has brought me down.  Mainly because this plateau has lasted almost a month.

That aside, I have good news today!

I lost the three pounds that I gained while in Texas.  Furthermore, I have lost two additional pounds on top of that.  I am down to 188.  This brings my total weight lost to 110 pounds!

Whatever else is going on in my life, this is good news!

I celebrated this week by getting a mani-pedi and a hair cut.  I took a day off of work.  I had lunch with a friend who I have not seen in what feels like forever.  I met another friend for coffee and reviewed a portion of a book he’s writing.  I just had a pretty good week and losing a total of 110 pounds is a great way to cap it off.

This weekend promises to be fun as well.  I am having some friends over for breakfast on Sunday.  Tomorrow I am supposed to be doing a “girls night” with my sister and my sister-in-law and possibly my niece.  Originally, the niece was not included, but she heard us talking about it and started crying because she wants to go to girls night too.  For girls night, we plan on getting all dressed up in our nicest clothes and go out somewhere.  I have a pretty dress for which I have no purpose other than I wanted it.  And the “buy the cocktail dress…the party will come” theory is not working, so I need to make my own plans.  I want to wear it somewhere before I shrink out of it.  The dress is a size 16.  I am already wearing a 14 in jeans, but still a 16 in shirts and dresses.  So, I have the dress, the shoes, the mani-pedi, and haircut…time to party!

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feet

We thought about doing high tea, which is generally at 4pm.  It could be fun if we find a place that has hats and gloves that we can use.  I went to a place like that once for tea and it was fun.  The five-year old would really enjoy something like that I think.  Most likely, we will just do dinner.  It’s hard to find a tea house that does gluten-free, egg and milk free sandwiches and treats.

It will probably be a pretty tame girls night out.  None of us are huge drinkers.  I cannot drink at all and my sister-in-law never really did drink.  My sister is pretty light-weight and it only takes her one or two glasses of wine to knock her on her butt.  Plus, we might have the kid with us.  We all adore my niece and relish having her around, so I don’t see her presence as a barrier to fun, but Mommy may want a night off.

We’ll see how it goes.  But in either case, I am glad that I am where I am with my weight loss.  I am hoping to kick up the weight loss for the summer by joining a gym.  I have not yet, but I hope to this weekend. I need to really start focusing on toning and strengthening.  I have been walking a lot, which is good.  But it’s time to kick it up a level.

Have a great weekend!

Shopped Till We Dropped

My phone rang promptly at 930am today.  I was awake but still in bed thankful that it is Saturday.  I recognized the ringtone right away, my sister Sandy.  She lives in Sterling.  She has been calling me every week asking me how much weight I have lost.  She marks it on her wipe-erase board that she keeps on her refrigerator.  She’s been waiting for me to reach the 100 pound mark.  Today I am still only at 95 pounds.

Finally she says, “I can’t take it anymore.  I’m not going to wait another 5 pounds.  We’re going shopping today!”  She promised me a while back that when I reached 100 pounds lost she would take me clothes shopping.  She figured by then I would definitely need new clothes, and she was right!

I was always planning to check out some dresses this weekend just to see what I could find. I did not expect an entire shopping extravaganza.  I drove all the way out to far away Sterling, VA and we went to Dulles Town Center.  We must have hit about a dozen stores.  In total, she spent over $350.00 on me.  That’s right, my cool younger sister bought me $350.00 in clothes.  I did not really expect that.

She knew that I would never spend that much on myself.  Not at this point.  I am saving up for a big shopping spree when I am done losing weight, but I do not see the point in spending that kind of money now.  We must have bought 10 items at Old Navy alone.  Some of the stuff we bought does not even really fit me yet.  She made me buy a pair of jeans from JC Penney’s that I cannot even button.

She just said, “Get them, you’ll be wearing them in a month!”  She’s probably right.  We bought jeans, blouses, dresses, sweaters, and skirts.

I have some complaining to do, though.  (Not about my sister.  She totally rocks.)  I had a really hard time finding dresses that I like.  When was it decided that fat women only like to wear sleeveless dresses?  I mean seriously.  I know summer is just around the corner, but could we throw in some short sleeve options, please?  Not all obese women want to show off their arms.  Mine definitely are not ready for prime time.  I’m trying to exercise them, but I still have a long way to go before they are in shape for sleeveless dresses and shirts.  I could have come away with a bunch of dresses if only a couple of options had short sleeves.  I’m really disappointed.

On a good note, Dress Barn is really an awesome store.  After going all over the mall, my sister and I decided to try Lane Bryant which was across the way from the mall.  There was a Dress Barn next to Lane Bryant.  We went into LB to see if there were cool dress or skirt options.  I did see two skirts, but I thought they were way to expensive.  So, we did not get them and went over to Dress Barn.  Dress Barn had the cutest stuff.  The dress that I bought was a size 16 misses.  I did not have to buy a plus size.  I bought it in the regular women’s section.  In the plus size section, I bought a blouse that was a size 14/16.

The dress was a tiny bit snug in the tummy area.  The sales woman at the store told me I needed a bigger size.  I laughed and said, “Um, no, I”m not getting a bigger size.”  By next month, it will not be tight at all.  I explained to her about the surgery and how much weight I’ve already lost.  She was then like, “Oh!  Stick with that one then.”

The next time I decide to go shopping, I’m going directly to Dress Barn first.  Then maybe Old Navy!  Plus, by then, I will hopefully be out of the plus sized clothes and into normal girl clothes and will be able to shop anywhere I want!

Days Like These

I sure have been writing all of wonderfully positive posts recently.  Maybe the rain in DC today has me feeling kind of glum, but I feel the need to write a counter post of sorts.

I do not want to imply that everything I have experienced these past few months has been  unbelievably positive.  It is true that I feel great.  I have lost 88 pounds.  I fit into a size 20, which is down quite a bit from the 26-32 range I was originally.  I look better.  My blood pressure is controlled without meds.  I can breathe. I can walk.  I can breathe and walk at the same time!  Life is good and I feel good.

Part of why I started this blog was to give a realistic picture of what losing weight by having a gastric by-pass is really like.  There are a lot of great things happening that I love.  I do not have to stress about eating too much.  That pretty much takes care of itself.  I am losing weight pretty much effortlessly.  There are also some things that are a struggle, however.

HAIR

Over the past couple of weeks, I have noticed that I am shedding a lot of hair.  I am starting to freak out.  I know that many people who have had a gastric by-pass suffer tremendous hair loss and start showing bald spots.  I have been very worried about this.  I am diligent about my protein intake and my vitamins.  I though that I had managed to stave off any significant hair loss.  It could just be now that spring is coming, I am just doing some natural shedding in preparation for warmer weather, but I am very worried.

I made a few changes over the past month in how I get my protein and vitamins, which could be part of the problem.  I have been eating more protein bars instead of drinking shakes.  Pure Protein makes several very good protein bars.  I sometimes like eating them for two reasons.  One, less cans.  I hate drinking stuff out of a can.  Such a waste.  Yes, I recycle them, but still.  Two because they help in staving off hunger sometimes.  They are a little lower in protein, but not significantly.  I also changed my b-12 vitamin.  I was doing the melt-aways, but I got a good deal on the chewable kind.  Turns out, that may not have been a good idea.  Apparently,  you do not absorb as much of the b-12 in a chewable form.  I also ran out of the biotin shampoo and have been using regular shampoo and the biotin conditioner.

I have given up the protein bars and returned to the Pure Protein shakes.  I am heartened by the fact that I can by a large tub of Pure Protein powder at a store called Wegman’s.  Yeah, it’s a high-end fru-fru type grocery store, but a 16oz tub of the Pure Protein powder is only $9.99, which is much cheaper than buying it in can form anyway.  I also bought some more Unjury chicken broth protein.

In addition, I went back to the melt-away form of b-12.  The b-12 I bought also has folic acid and biotin.  I still need to buy more biotin shampoo, but I think I have enough conditioner to see me through until I get online and order some.

Constipation

I am still suffering through bouts of constipation.  I have been taking a stool softener sometimes and for emergencies, I do take Dulcolax suppositories.  I hate taking the Ducolax.  I have to be at home when I take that, which means if I have constipation during the day, I have to suffer until I get home.  Constipation is quite painful and even using the suppositories are painful.  Once I am done, however, I feel so much better.

I just do  not know why I keep getting constipation.  Maybe I am not getting enough fiber or liquid.  Who knows.

I suggested to a friend that maybe I was eating too much meat.  She immediately replied, “Yes, you are.”

I came back with, “But you do not see what I eat, how would you know?”

She answered, “You’re eating meat.  I’m sure it’s too much.  You should have more lentils and spinach.”

Now how could I argue with that.  She’s not a vegetarian, but she fully believes in the curative properties of vegetables, so I shall defer to her expertise and eat more lentils and spinach along with drinking luke-warm water and massaging my belly,  (her other suggestions for dealing with constipation).

I am really getting tired of dealing with this.  I was pretty sick and uncomfortable this week because of it, which is why I have not been up to blogging much.  I am doing better now, but  am still in a little bit of pain.  My stomach is a little bit sore even and I find I am not that hungry at all.  I really have to force myself to eat.  It’s kind of irritating.

I am also getting a little bit worried about having to use a supplement to go regularly.  I do not want to become dependent on them.  Plus, the pain and discomfort is so horrible, I can kind of understand how someone can develop a dependency on that feeling of release when you finally do clear up the problem.  It is such a relief and I feel so cleansed afterwards.  I can almost understand how someone with bulimia can become addicted to that feeling.  I would hate to go through all of this only to replace one eating disorder with another.  I have an appointment with the surgeon next month.  I am going to discuss it with him.

Coordination

I was never one anybody in their right mind would ever call graceful.  My mother used to joke when I was younger that after all, she did not name me Grace.  But as I am losing weight, I find that I have become even more clumsy than before knocking everything over, bumping into stuff, and dropping things.

The other day, I was walking to the Metro station after work, trotting along at a pretty good pace, feeling pretty good that I can walk to / from the Metro station every day and not get out of breath at all.  I went to step up on a curb after crossing the street, and BAM!  I was face down on the pavement.  I smacked the crap out of my knee and the laptop that I was carrying cross-body fashion hit me in the back of the head.  Fortunately, it did not hit me hard, but still.

I wish I could say my pride was hurt more than anything else, but I was really afraid I had done some serious damage to my knee.  A nice gentleman helped me up off of the ground and offered to call an ambulance.  I declined the offer, but he insisted on at least a cab.  I declined that as well, but came to my senses a few minutes later and hailed one myself.

Fortunately, my knee is fine.  Just slightly bruised.  My shin is a little sore and pretty scraped up.  And my head is fine, well at least as fine as it was before the fall.  It is my hope that after I reach a somewhat normal weight, I will get used to how I feel inside my own body and will be slightly less of a klutz.

Clothes

I am getting kind of tired of the whole clothes situation.  Most of my clothes are too big for me.  I did purge my wardrobe of anything larger than a size 24.  Now I am going to get rid of the 24s as well.  That will leave me with just clothes int he 20-22 range.  And I will be down to one pair of jeans and two pairs of yoga pants.  Not good.

I feel like I am at a crossroads.  I do not have enough clothes that fit me, and I do not want to spend any more money on clothes that I will only be able to wear for a few months at most.  I have decided that I will buy a few outfits.  I am not happy about it, but I am going to do it.  I need new pants and skirts to get me through the next few months.  And I need some new blouses and tops.

My sister gave me a gift card for my birthday and I bought a cute dress and a cardigan sweater.  I need sweaters these days.  Soon, it will be too warm for a jacket and I feel I need a sweater to get me through from spring to summer.

OK, I think that will be enough whining for now.  I did have a fairly rough week, which I think has really left me feeling exhausted.  I am looking forward to a good weekend, though.  St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday.  I love St. Patty’s Day.  There will be no green beer on the menu, which s good because I never could stomach green beer, but I will wear green and a button that says, “Kiss Me I’m Irish”.  Who knows, maybe somebody will.

I will be celebrating my sister’s birthday with the family tonight.  I am picking up her gluten-free vegan chocolate birthday cake, which I cannot eat, and we have having dinner at Carabbas, my sister’s favorite restaurant.  They actually have a gluten-free menu.  Her favorite dish, the Chicken Bryan, is on that menu.  She will have a very good night.  I have not had the Chicken Bryan in years, and now that I can eat cheese, I may have it too.

Happy St. Patty’s Day everyone!

Closet Clothing Finds

I am now down to a size 20 in blouses.  I can hardly believe it.  Today, I wore a shirt that I purchased the last time I was a size 20.  I think that was in 1999.  Yes, I have some old clothes.  But I am thankful that I saved those clothes because I can wear them now.

I tried to get a good picture of me in this blouse, as I do not have a full length mirror, this was difficult.

blouse

I love the blouse and it looks good on me.  I have few outfits I feel I can say that about.  As I have been losing weight, I have been trying on different outfits in my closet that I have been holding onto for years.  Some of the clothes I bought when I was thinner and only wore a few times.  Some of the clothes were a gift from a friend who had the surgery herself.  These are three of my favorites.  Not great pictures, but trust me, cute clothes.

 

I love finding these clothes in my closet.  Of course, finding them was made easier by some of the pre-surgery purging and cleaning that I did.  Yes, I had a bunch of clothes in storage bins in my closet, but because I purged a lot of clothes that I either did not wear, that I hated, or that I thought was no longer wearable because of stains, holes, or other damage.  Or if I just thought something was ugly and had no intention of wearing it ever again.  Once I made room in my closet by purging the crap, I was able to take all of the clothes that I had in storage out in anticipation of being able to wear them during my weight loss.

Well here I am, deep in the throes of my weight loss, and I am enjoying finding new clothes to wear every day.  Now that I a working in DC, I have a place to wear these outfits.  Many people are encouraging me to go out and shop now for clothes.  I really do not want to spend money on clothes that I will not be able to wear in a month or two.  That seems like a huge waste of money to me.  Yes, I’m running low on pants and skirts.  I will need to replace those as I lose, definitely.  While I saved every blouse or dress I ever laid my hands on, I did not do the same for pants.  I just got rid of a pair of jeans, three pairs of dress pants, one pair of casual pants, and two skirts because they do not fit anymore.   I also have two other pairs of jeans, the size 24 jeans that I purchased in December and excitedly blogged about, that are on their way out.  I can barely keep them up.

I will then be down to, one pair of jeans, two pairs of yoga pants, one pair of leggings and three black skirts.  I do have about 6 other skirts that I can just about wear, which is good, but no additional pants.  So, unless I want to wear skirts everywhere, or run around looking like I’m in my jammies, I will need to get more jeans and pants as I continue to lose.

Once I get down below a size 14, I will need to basically need to replace my entire wardrobe.  I have nothing below a size 14 in my closet.  My sister has some clothes that she will give to me, but she wears a size 6.  There are a lot of sizes under 14 that I need to go through to get a size 6, if I ever do.

But before I get to the shopping spree or the hand-me-downs, I am enjoying finding cool outfits in my closet that I am able to wear again.

 

The Fashionista Inside of Me

scarf

I always knew there was a Skinny Girl lurking somewhere inside of me.  But what I did not expect that I also have an inner-fashionista.  (My sister Jen would be so proud!)  Now that I have purged my closet of all sizes 26 and above, I am anxious to start shopping for real clothes.  This feeling was further compounded today by my trip to the local shopping mall.

As an aside, I guess I have not been to the mall in a very long time, but my last two excursions to two different malls left me shocked by the preponderance of designer and high-end, high-fashion stores like Louis Vutton and Gucci.  Yes, the Gap and other stores are still there, but seriously, when did everyone but me start to think they should dress like Brangelina?  I guess being a fat chick for so long, I missed out on the social significance of being a fashionista, but I seem to be catching on quick!  And what the heck, why don’t these designers make clothes for larger girls?  I mean, we like to be fashionable too!

But I digress…

Today I went to Tyson’s Corner Mall, I guess it’s really called Tyson’s Fashion Center or something like that.  My original goal was to go see Les Miserables before the Oscars tonight.  Well, the movie starts at 335pm, which left me plenty of time to get some walking in, drink some fruffy tea or coffee at Barnes and Noble and write a blog post.

I parked at the part of the mall closest to the main roads.  AMC is at the furthest point from that location.    I figured this would give me lots of walking space, which it has.  And, I could stop at a store and get some panty hose and/or tights for my new job, which I start tomorrow.

What I did not count on was the effect “window shopping” would have on me. Seriously, I could really empty my bank account at this place.  Fortunately, I stuck to two pairs of tights, some tea and the cutest scarf from Free People (see pic above).  That store certainly appeals to my inner bohemian.  But I was sorely tempted to buy the clothes at Ann Taylor Loft even though I cannot yet fit into them.  Fortunately, I held off.  The LL Bean store did not have the shoes I like in my size, but the sales associate kindly reminded me that I could order them online.  The woman at the Spanx store wisely talked me out of buying any more Spanx until I lose more weight.   (The 3x I have is quickly becoming useless to me, but I cannot quite fit into the 1x I bought online).

I actually had a funny exchange with the sales girl at the Spanx store.  I guess it is their policy to approach people by asking them if they have ever tried a Spanx product instead of saying, “Can I help you?”  It’s clever, I’ll admit.  “Can I help you?” is pretty cut and dry.  Yes or no, that is all that is required.  The people who say “no” actually mean, “Leave me the bleep alone! If I have a question, I’ll ask you!”

Asking if they have ever tried the product is still a closed question, but if you say no, that is an invitation for the sales person to explain the product to you.  Sneaky.  One side of me likes that.   Another part of me is still irked that they are trying to sell me something.  Well, my response when I was asked was, “I’m wearing one now,” which you know, I am.  That led to a conversation about why I’m wearing one and ultimately led her to advise me to wait to buy any more.  Maybe not their original goal, but my wallet feels better.

All I know is that I had better start saving now, because when my weight loss is complete, I am going on one heck of a shopping spree!

C-c-c-changes

OK, so yeah, I stole from David Bowie right there with the title of the post.  I have not written in a while because I have been afraid that I would spill the beans about something before I was actually able to talk about it.

I have been going through so many changes since the surgery.  I have lost 78 pounds. and I am creeping up on the momentous 80 pound mark.  I am now able to wear clothes that I have not been able to fit in for years.  I had my hair done, cut and colored.

You never know though what one little change in your life can bring about once you get started.  Yes, I have lost a lot of weight.  I have made big changes in my personal lifestyle.  I am walking more, breathing easier.  All of these things I just love.  I had also anticipated a lot of these changes.

There is a lot that will happen that you may not expect once you start making changes in your life.  Friends of mine have told me that I am much more energetic, that I am happier and bubblier and more confident than before.  One of my writer friends at my writer’s group told me that when I critiqued someone else’s work, I was much more confident than I had been in the past.

But the biggest change of all happened a couple of weeks ago…I got a new job!

I can hardly believe it myself. I have not put this on Facebook, my blog, or any other social media because I wanted to make sure that I had left my old job and given them the appropriate notice before announcing it to the rest of the world.  I have no hard feelings about my old employer.  They were very good to me.  But this new job a big promotion for me.

I was not actively looking for a new job.  I found this job through a friend of mine who recommended me.  Then the company pretty actively recruited me for the job.  That is a nice feeling.  I went in to the interview completely relaxed and really not even that sure if I wanted the job.  The more they told me about the job and the company, the more excited I became.   They made me a pretty good offer.  I thought about it for a long time before accepting, at least a couple of days.

I had a lot to consider.  I was with my old company for eight years.  I had accrued a lot of vacation time.  But I did not see a lot of advancement opportunities.  I would not say I was unhappy with my old job, but I was starting to get kind of bored with it.  If this job did not seek me out, I could see myself in that job in another year, maybe, before I started looking around if things had not changed.

I am convinced that the 78 pound weight loss had a lot to do with my getting this new job.  If I had not had the surgery, I might not be looking at this new opportunity.  Well, that and the new hairdo…obviously!

Another thing I have changed recently is my closet.  I have finally decided to get rid of all of my clothes that are a size 26 and above.  Most of the pants I had before the surgery were a size 26.  Some tops ranged from 26-32.  I had only kept the clothes that were in good condition in my pre-surgery closet purge.  So the clothes I have decided to get rid of this time are in really good shape.  I am currently looking for a place or person to give them to.  I reached out to a friend of mine to see if she has suggestions.  If that does not pan out I may just give them to Goodwill or a women’s shelter or something.

In another ten pounds, I will start getting rid of the size 24 clothes as well.  I figure around 210-200 range, I should be looking solidly at size 18-20 clothes, if memory serves me right.  Once I get below 200, I will be moving into the 14-16 range.  After that, I will be in the strange limbo between fat girl clothes and skinny girl clothes.  Once I move beyond that, I will be in territory I have not been in since college.  Wish me luck!