Category Archives: shopping

Awesome Saturday

So far, today has been pretty great.  I made plans with a friend of mine to do a morning walk along the bike path.  I got up, had breakfast and walked down the hill to the shops and met her.  Then, we walked for more than an hour on the bike path.  I rewarded myself with a nice large steaming cup of cappuccino with cinnamon sprinkled on top.  Isn’t everything just better with cinnamon sprinkled on top?  Even chocolate, which really does not need improvement at all, tastes a teeny bit better with some cinnamon.

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Then I walked back home and showered, changed, and went back out to buy beauty supplies so that I can color my hair later this weekend.  Then we went to lunch at Busboys & Poets where I had about 1/3 of a cobb salad.  OMG yum!

Now I’m going to rest for a bit and wait for my sister to call me.  She and I are supposed to do something today.  If she bails, I am going to an art show with a different friend of mine.  At some point, I really should take a nap I think.  But I feel so good, as if I have accomplished so much!  I never could have done this much so early in the day before.

I really do love my new life!

What Is In A Look

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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!

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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!

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.

Seriously?

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.

A Girl And Her Shoes

I have never been a big shoe person.  I will buy one or two pairs of shoes and wear them until they fall off of my feet.  I know I’m not a typical girl.  I do not gush over Imelda’s expansive collection, nor do I try to imitate it.  This is not something new and it did not start when I gained a lot of weight.  I have always struggled with shoes.

Part of the reason I shy away from shoes is I have odd feet.  Even as a child, I had wide feet.  I was a small kid, too.  My parents could by shoes at any old store for my brother and sister who have normal feet.   But because mine were wide, they had to take me to Buster Brown’s and get special, more expensive shoes.  And even those shoes hurt my feet. 

For a long time, I refused to even tie my shoes I found them so uncomfortable.  Teachers in school followed me around attempting to showing me new ways to tie my shoes.  They all assumed I did not know how.  I knew how to tie my shoes.  I just didn’t WANT to tie my shoes.  The problem was I wanted the shoes to stay snuggly on my feet.  When I tied them, they loosened and then slid off my heels.  I figured if they were going to slide off my heels, I just would not tie them at all.  Kid logic.

I did eventually get over the whole shoe-tying thing, but as a result, I never really developed a love for shoes.  The problem persisted my whole life.  I was happy when I reached an age where I could wear clogs and slip-on shoes.   I still struggle today with shoes.  I am comfortable with sneakers and some slip-ons, but I really hate shoe shopping.  If I could go barefoot everywhere, I probably would. 

Now that I have purchased some new, springy-summery type clothes, I find I need new shoes.  My black clogs won’t really work well with these outfits, especially my new dress.  I do have a pair of brown mary-janes, (a shoes style I love, btw), but they don’t really go either.

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I have been shopping online for shoes today and I am really less inspired to shoe shop than I was before.  I did find one cute pair of shoes that I totally love, but they do not really match the dress.

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See what I mean?  But, I could wear these all summer and be totally happy.  Well, I couldn’t really wear them to work, actually, but everywhere else, sure. 

I also found these shoes, which I could work with.

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I suspect that I will always have wide feet.  I had them as a child.  I had them in high school when I weighed 120 pounds.  And I have them now as an adult.  Frtunately, there are many options today for girls with wider feet.  Wider shoes are not always the ugliest shoes on the market any more.  Smetimes, but not always.  I am glad I have more to choose from, but what I wouldn’t give for normal, pain free, skinny girl feet.

My New Obsession

Ever since the shopping spree with my sister, I have become obsessed with shopping.  I spent a lot of my weekend surfing the internet looking at new clothes.  I have decided that I want to wear dresses this summer.  I found very few suitable dresses as I will not be going sleeveless any time soon.  I only found one suitable dress while I was shopping with my sister.  Shopping online, however, I have many more options!  Oh God don’t even get me started on shoes!

I found this awesome dress at Dress Barn.  I have nowhere to wear it, but I’m not sure I should let that stop me.  I remember a commercial a while back for one of the outlet malls near here.  Their tag-line was “Buy the half-priced cocktail dress.  The party will come.”  Corny, but why not?  OK, I know that’s not really a cocktail dress either, but I think it’s a bit much for work.

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This one is OK.  I can wear it to work at least.

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The Avenue also has many dresses on sale right now.  I checked out the Land Bryant website, but really, I hate their cloths.  They are also horribly overpriced.  Who can afford $98 for a skirt, especially one that will not fit me in a few months?  Not this girl!

I have to admit, I’m hesitant to buy any more plus-sized clothes.  I can wear anything from a 14-18 now.  I’d say another 10 pounds and I will solidly be in the 14/16 range.  Another 20-25 pounds and I may be out of plus sizes altogether.  Then I will definitely need to go shopping again! 

I have to admit, I never thought I would see the end to plus sized clothes.  I’m kind of excited and a bit nervous to be back shopping in the regular women’s clothing stores.  That will be a glorious day, for sure!  No more Manatee Gray for me!  (F#@k Target.  Seriously!)

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!