Tag Archives: shopping

Fantastic Updates

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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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.

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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.

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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.