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!

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.

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.

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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.

 

The Fashionista Inside of Me

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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!

Sisters Weekend and the New and Semi-Improved Me

My baby sister Jenny lives in Minnesota.  Well, this weekend, she was in Pittsburgh visiting my mother.  My other sister Sandy lives not far from me.  We carpooled up to PA to visit with my mom and our baby sister.  None of us have seen Jen since her wedding, (see previously posted pic of us at her wedding).

We were all very excited to get together and have all the girls together again.  I wanted to get my hair done before going to town.  Jen is a hairstylist.  I did not want to go to see her with that mess of a hairdo I have been sporting since the surgery.

Photo on 2013-01-21 at 21.09

She called me before the trip and told me she was bringing hair cutting supplies with her and she wanted to celebrate my 73 pound weight loss with a new hairstyle.  She also planned to stop by a beauty supply store and pick up some professional hair coloring to cover up my gray hair.  She also wanted to do Sandy’s hair.  Neither one of us are fashionistas like Jen, so we really appreciate her bringing us up to speed.

In addition to being a hairstylist, Jen has her certification as a Master Colorist.  Impressive.  As a funny aside, the day she received her certificate, she was so excited.  When I found out I called and left her this voicemail message:

“Jen, I have a serious problem and I need the help of a professional.  What two colors do I mix together to make purple?”

Yeah, I was teasing her, but that’s my job as a big sister.  We older siblings reserve the right to torture our younger siblings for being the youngest and getting all the things we were not allowed to have like their own room with a phone and lax rules for staying out on weekends.  Granted, the rest of us had moved out by the time she was a teenager, but that’s no excuse.  But I digress.

Nonetheless, Jen did not miss a beat and came back with, “You have a pen handy?  Write this down.  Red and blue make purple, crazy girl!”

In addition to getting my hair done, she and my mom wanted to take me clothes shopping for new pants since all of my pants either do not fit me at all or are starting to feel a little big, even the new jeans I bought in December.

We went to the mall on Saturday and checked out many stores.  We walked so much, we wore my mother out, which takes a lot.  We were all kind of tired except for Jen who can keep going forever, I think.  I went to many normal clothes stores with them.  Of course, there was nothing for me.  I did see a lot of clothes that I can wear after I lose a lot more weight, but nothing that I can wear now.

So, then we went to Kohls and Target on Sunday to try to find pants for me.  I do not know why we did not hit Lane Bryant or The Avenue while we were at the mall, but we did not.  I also did not want to spend a lot for pants since I will be losing more weight over the next few months.

We went to Kohls first and we could not find the plus sizes anywhere.  We finally found the section upstairs way in the back.  One or two walls filled with the ugliest clothes I have ever seen.  The only “activewear” pants they had were made from velour.  Not happening.  We were hoping to get some more yoga pants.  So, we left there and went to Target.  Again, very difficult to find the plus sizes.  Then one tiny corner of semi-OK clothes.  I did get a pair of cute purple pants, size 22!  And one pair of yoga pants in a 1x.

In December, my new jeans were a size 24.  The purple pants fit me perfectly.  The yoga pants fit me perfectly in a 1x as well.  For those of you who do not know, a size 22 is the equivalent of a 2x.  A size 1x is about an 18/20.  I am still wearing a 22-24 in tops.  I also got a light spring jacket, which my Jen insisted that I had to have since my purple jacket and winter coat are way to big for me.  The jacket is a little small, but it will fit me in a month.

As we were walking away from the plus section in Target, Jen said to me, “No offense, Colleen, but the clothes for plus sizes suck!  You get the teeniest section with the worst looking clothes.  Geeze even fat girls want to have cute clothes!”

I responded with, “Don’t I know it!  Welcome to my world!”

She went on with to say that somebody should do something about that.  I told her to let me know when she gets that fixed.  And while you’re at it, please let the clothes makers know that not all fat girls are nine feet tall.  Even the petites go down over my shoes much of the time.

My mom treated me to new pants and Jen did my hair.  I think she did a great job on my hair.  I was not in Pittsburgh for very long, but I sure had a great time!  Please enjoy the before and after pictures of me and Sandy.

I love my new hair!  It is a little Marlo Thomas-esque, but very cute.  Sandy went from gray to platinum blonde.  A true Targaryan if I ever saw one!

Me and Jen BEFORE

Me and Jen BEFORE

 

Me and Jen AFTER

Me and Jen AFTER

Sandy and Jen BEFORE

Sandy and Jen BEFORE

Sandy and Jen AFTER

Sandy and Jen AFTER

Colleen Jen and Sandy looking good!

Colleen Jen and Sandy looking good!

I Can’t Believe I Did It!

I know for most people walking is not such a big deal.  I’ve written about this before.  Walking is reflexive for most people.  You want to go somewhere, you get up and walk.  No big deal.

Well, for the past few years or so, walking has been very difficult for me.  My back hurts a lot, my feet hurt, and I have asthma caused by my obesity.  I have to stop to take frequent breaks and walking is very difficult and close to impossible for me.  Until recently that is.

Since my surgery, I have been told that I must exercise.  I cannot do any strenuous exercise yet, but I have been advised to walk as much as possible.  Usually, I have been going to malls or stores and walking around.  Now with the Christmas shopping season upon us, going to Target or the Mall is just a crazy thought.  Any walking to be done will be mostly pushing and shoving or standing around waiting to walk through aisles due to the throngs of people clogging up the place.  So, I have been walking down the hallways of my apartment building mostly.

Since the surgery, walking has become a bit easier.  I’m breathing better, my back hurts a lot less.  My feet still hurt, but I can usually go quite a distance before they start bothering me.

Today I was sitting around my apartment listening to music and reading a book.  It was getting close to the time where I should start walking through my apartment building.  I was really dreading it.  I did not want to go shopping, but I did feel like leaving my apartment.  I really needed a change of scenery.

I wanted to go down the street to where the shops are and walk around.  The problem is, how would I get there.  I live at the midway point up a very large hill.  I do not own a car. I don’t live far from the shops, but since walking has been difficult, I was a little bit apprehensive about walking there.  Normally, I would take a cab, which is really kind of ridiculous.  There is also a bus, but the shops are one stop away and that also seemed a little silly.  Plus another bus was not due for an hour.

I decided to suck it up and try to walk down to the shops.  I had been doing much better now that I’ve lost some weight.  Plus, I figured if I had too much difficulty, I could always pick up some groceries at the supermarket and take a cab back.  So, I bundled up and put on my walking shoes and started my trek.

Walking down the hill was surprisingly easy.  I had no problems whatsoever.  I was cold, but I was not out of breath and my back was not bothering me.  I rewarded myself with a steaming hot cup of decaf coffee at the coffee shop.  I continued reading my book, (yes an actual book with pages bound together), and enjoyed the warmth of the overcrowded sole coffee shop in this part of town.

Once I had read a few more chapters and drank as much of the coffee as I could, I donned my hat, coat, gloves, and scarf and headed back out into the cold.  I walked around for a little bit, passing all of my favorite restaurants enjoying the smells of the different foods.  I thought the smell of the indian food would make me crazy, but what did me in tonight was the smell of bread and oil coming from the newest italian/pizza place.  I wanted the fresh hot bread dipped in olive oil so bad! OMG it smelled good.  But I kept on walking until I reached the bus station.  All that was left was to decide how I was getting back up the hill.

I checked the Next Bus app on my phone and there wasn’t a bus due for a long time.  Walking down the hill was easy.  Walking up the hill, I was a little bit worried about.  I decided that I could wait an hour or so for a bus so that I could go one entire stop, try to hail a cab, or just tough it out and walk up the hill.  I decided to walk.

There is a bench about midway before the entrance to my apartment building.  I did stop and rest there, not really because I was tired or needed a break, but because I was afraid of how I would feel by the time I reached my building if I didn’t stop.  When I did reach my building, I did have to stop to catch my breath.  Walking up hill is much harder than walking down.  I did not have to stop for long, though.

Now that it is done, I feel great!  One month and 38 pounds ago, I could not have done this.  I never would even have attempted to walk down to the shops let alone walk back up!  I really feel like I have regained a bit of my own independence.  I’ve hated the limitations that being so heavy has placed on me.  Being able to walk to the village and back makes me feel like I really will be able to get my life back!  Yay me!

Today’s picture is a piece of art work from one of my friends in my writer’s group.  Her name is Sushmita Mazumdar.  She’s an artist and a writer.  She writes children’s stories mostly based on her own life in India, which she then makes into hand-made books.  All of her stories are true stories, although sometimes the main character will have a fictional name.  She also makes all kinds of art, much of which is made to represent a story book she has written.  She recently had a show at Glen Echo Park in Maryland, which I went to see.  This painting is about a story about a kite.  This is my favorite painting of hers.

If you’re interested in supporting artists or into shopping local for the holidays, check out some of her books and artwork.