Tag Archives: clothes

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.)

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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.

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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!

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!

Feeling Pretty

It has been a long time since I have felt pretty.  Not that I ever felt very pretty very often.  I always thought that I was fat even when I was not.  I never really liked how I looked.  I was too short.  I never liked my nose.  My smile was never big enough.  My chest was too big too early in life for me to feel comfortable.  I never liked my hair.  I could go on forever, as could just about every woman I have ever met. 

I can think of a small handful of times that I actually felt pretty.  One, I was in kindergarten.  I had the most adorable Winnie the Pooh dress.  I loved that dress.  I felt really cute wearing it, too.  I was 5.  Who isn’t cute at 5?  I would have worn it every day too had my mother allowed it.  I think we agreed on once a week.  When first grade rolled around, I pulled the dress out of my closet to put it on so that I could wear it my first day of school.  My mother told me that I had grown and it no longer fit me, but I was determined.  Try as I might, I could not make it fit.  I was crushed and cried at the loss of my favorite dress. 

The next time I remember feeling truly pretty, I was a junior in high school.  I went to the homecoming dance with my brother’s best friend.  I had a gorgeous purple and white dress.  I spent days looking for just the right shoes.  I spent hours doing my hair and make-up.  I felt good and I thought I looked pretty good.  There was a photographer at the dance taking pictures of all of the couples, which he then sold as packages.  As we stood in line waiting to get our picture taken, the photographer came up to me and whispered in my ear, “I love the way you are poured into that dress.” 

OK, he was a creep and I immediately backed away from him.  Nonetheless, that did reinforce the idea in my mind that I was looking pretty that night.

Regrettably, I no longer have a picture from that dance.  I lost my copy over the years.  I think my mother has a copy, but I’m not sure.  I know my date does, at least he did a few years ago.  I’m still friends with him.  I just need to remember to ask him if I can borrow the picture and scan it.  (Mental note to self)

My most recent encounter with feeling pretty was this Easter.  I decided to wear a dress to dinner.  I had not worn a dress in a very long time.  I have two dresses from forever ago when I weighed about what I weigh now.  I felt pretty good that I could fit back into them.  My brother and his wife picked me up from my place so that we could all go to the in-laws for dinner.  When I got into the car, my five-year old niece told me that I looked pretty in a dress. 

She has commented on my appearance before.  One time she told me my clothes are getting too small, (she really meant too big), and asked, “What are we going to do with you?”  She knows that I was in the hospital, and that I have a tummy boo-boo, but apart from that, I do not think she really understands my weight loss.  Still, I love that she comments on my appearance changes. 

I know that I still have a long way to go in my weight loss journey.  And I could sit here all day and tell you what is wrong with my body and what I’d like to fix.  But nothing in a very long time has made me feel so good as to have my niece tell me I look pretty in a dress. 

(Sorry…had to cover up the kids.  I do not have their parents’ permission to share their images.)

 

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I have decided that I like wearing dresses.  I have another dress that I am wearing today.  I feel good wearing it too, which surprises me.  I have pretty much decided that for the summer I am going to wear more dresses.  It will be easier to deal with than pants and I can wear them longer as I lose weight. 

The only problem with this plan is that I only have two dresses.  I went to Macy’s last night to see what they had.  Nothing good.  Well, that’s not entirely true.   That had lots of nice clothes, but I’m not spending $79 on a dress I am only going to wear for a month or two.  I tried to order a dress from Kohls, but they never sent it to me.  I ended up cancelling the order and fighting with them over who would pay for the shipping charges.  So, I’m going to do some more looking around to see if I can pick up a handful of nice summery dresses to get me through the next couple of months.

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!