Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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How Do I Know What Fits Me?

I shop for clothes by myself and I have no idea what I really look like in what I wear.  It’s not a good combination.  I’ve read that it takes a year for the brain to catch up with every 25 lbs lost, and that certainly resonates.  Oh, I understand that I’ve changed and that I’m different, but the eyes  don’t recognize what properly fitting clothes look like on ME.

After watching Stacy and Clinton for years, I know a lot about what styles and colors work best, but the FIT doesn’t make sense.  My brain knows that tight = too small, and loose = fitted, which doesn’t always translate to looking right.  I’ll try on a top and see nothing clinging to the lumps and bumps, and think it’s a good fit when it’s really baggy.

Since many plus size ladies also shop alone, we give each other feedback and can see “too big” clothes on other people that we don’t recognize on ourselves.  And sometimes, sure, they are wearing “too small” clothes because they are blocked by the sizes/number and not by how things fit.

But yesterday was totally different.  I went looking for some casual pants for fall, mostly just to see what was out there.  Catherine’s is no longer an option for me, since everything in the store is too big, too long, too boxy, or just not my style.  Or maybe all of the above.  So I went next door to Lane Bryant, a store I usually avoid because I don’t like the clothes.  They do have lots of pants, though, so it seemed like a good idea.

Over the course of the next 45 min, three sales women of different ages and 2 customers gave me feedback on how I looked in what I tried on.  I mostly stayed in the dressing room while they brought me pants in different styles, colors, and sizes.  My job was to put them on and come out and model.   Mostly I tried on jeans or pants out of a denim or denim-colored fabric.  I haven’t worn jeans for at least 20 years.

One pair felt as though it was painted on, which caused my watchers’ jaws to drop.  They thought, to a person, that the pants were too loose, which totally shocked me.  It happened over and over.  They made me stand in front of a mirror and said, “Look at yourself. See yourself as you are NOW.  You are not the same size you were before.  These clothes FIT.”  And they were right.  Stacy and Clinton were mentioned frequently 🙂

I ended up coming home with 3 pairs of pants, in 3 different sizes, all on sale with coupons for extra savings.  One is a pair of gray knit pants that will work for the office and for casual wear, size 14/16.  Another is a pair of jeans in size 16, and a third a pair of “jeggings” in size 18.  I’m not completely sure about the jeans, but know that as I lose more weight, I will feel more comfortable wearing them.  Plus I will practice at home before I let anyone see me.

What this reinforced is that I need to go shopping often now – not to buy, but to try on sizes, colors and styles and really see what I look like when I try the same thing on in different sizes.   The sales floor is often quiet mid-week, and taking an afternoon off to shop should let me have extra help and feedback.

I’ll be choosy about what I actually buy; I don’t want/need a lot since I know my size will change, though it’s going slower now than it was earlier (which doesn’t bother me at all).  But as the new season approaches, I know I have next to nothing that fits and I refuse to start the fall in baggy clothes.  The trick is knowing what’s baggy and what’s not.


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Feeling the Restriction

I had my second saline fill almost a month ago and am finding it much harder than I’d anticipated after fill #1.   There definitely is restriction and I find that I’m PB’ing almost every day, so I’m watching food very carefully.  I think the problem today was eating too soon after having taken a pill (which is hard by itself).  Every day it seems that something goes wrong, but I really don’t know why I couldn’t keep down yogurt.  I mean, how can you gag on yogurt?

So I was anxious going to Boston this weekend, since it meant eating out and being away from normal routines.   I stocked up with some NuGo Chocolate Peanut Butter bars for the train rides (it’s a 2 1/2 hr train ride from New Haven to Boston’s Back Bay station, only 2 blocks from my hotel; no way was I going to drive).   I also brought a water bottle I refilled often, and a blender bottle with individual packets of protein powder.   I rounded out my meals with Greek yogurt parfaits from Starbucks, which was right in the hotel.  I’d hoped to be able to have a crab cake appetizer at Legal Seafood, but given the state of my tummy, the yogurt and protein worked out better.  Plus they were lots cheaper.

But being in Boston was wonderful.  I’ve only been back once since moving away in 2007 and it was great to see old stomping grounds and do a little shopping (zilch at Filene’s Basement, which doesn’t have many fluffy lady sizes at all but scored a pair of on-sale womens petite pants at Talbots that fit perfectly).  Didn’t really feel like spending much time in the mall, though I walked around for exercise, but I finished my Friday getting a hot stone massage at the spa, which was awesome.

Saturday was Family History Day, co-sponsored by Ancestry.com and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.  They had hoped to get 350 people and ended up getting another meeting room and topping out at 731 people, the max that the fire code would allow in the spaces.  It was a totally awesome event with 6 different classes (2 offered twice) on topics on immigration and naturalization, organizing materials, getting the most from your ancestry.com subscriptions, Family Tree Maker software, and resources available through NEHGS.

They also brought in professional equipment for free scanning of documents onto individual flash drives as well as offering free individual consultations with professional genealogists.  I took advantage of both – they were great opportunities and were booked up through the day.   I’ve been playing around online with new eyes and am starting to figure out how to better track what information I have and what steps to take next.   The event was so worth it on many levels.


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Cooking Again! Okay, Just a Little Bit

I made mini crustless quiches yesterday, a recipe from my WLS blog friend Eggface.  She has about 50 variations of these little bites, as she calls them, but Sunday I made the Breakfast Bites. Each one has 45 calories and 3g of protein, and 3-4 make a serving, depending on what you’re having with them.  They’re full of eggs, swiss cheese, chopped ham, onions and ‘shrooms, baked in a mini muffin tin. It’s nice to have variety for meals and I’ve been getting sick of 2 oz of cottage cheese or yogurt for breakfast.

She also has dozens and dozens of recipes for all kinds of foods that are WLS-safe but equally appealing to non-ops.  (The bites, for example, would be wonderful appetizers for a party.)  Next on my list to try is protein ice cream.    Or maybe the pizza bites. We’ll see.

I also made pudding yogurt, this time with a protein boost. I mixed a tub of plain non-fat yogurt with a box of instant sugar free vanilla pudding, one scoop of vanilla protein, and 4 TB of SF Torani gingerbread syrup.  I’ve made this stuff for years with just yogurt and pudding, but adding the protein powder kicks up the nutrition value without changing the taste.  The Torani syrup takes care of that, in a good way.  I went a little crazy ordering SF Torani flavors that I couldn’t find locally and am eager to try out.

I went out and about late morning to shop for a few things before the cold rain started – toys for the Toys for Tots drive at work, warm gloves & scarf for the Cold Weather Clothing drive, also at work, and some whey protein to give my nephew for Christmas.  It’s not the biggest size tub but I’m pretty sure he’ll appreciate it and at least it does fill up the “under the tree” space.

Most of my shopping is done, though I plan to pick up some things at the Union Square Christmas Fair in New York City this week on a day off.  Holding my breath that the weather behaves coz I don’t really want to mill around NYC in snow, rain or sleet.  Yes, I’m a wieather wimp.


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Cold and Blessed

Shivering in the coldIt’s hard to type with a bandaid on my thumb. Why do I have one?  Because my cold-induced frozen brain didn’t remember that knives have a sharp side and that I shouldn’t grab the pointy parts when doing dishes.   Oops.

Last weekend I was wearing sandals and a light jacket when I went about my Saturday errands.  Yesterday I had on the puffy coat, scarf, fleece hat, and insulated gloves.  Warm weather is gone until late spring and the kitty and I are having problems adjusting.  She wants me to have the door open so she can pretend she is outside freezing.  I want to close everything and crank up the heat.  I have the opposable thumbs (even if one is in a bandaid) so I’m winning this one.

I went out in the cold yesterday to run some errands, including a stop at Avenue to return something purchased online that I didn’t like in person (yayy for saving money and not keeping it just because it was already there).  At TJ Maxx/Home Goods, the store was full of people who were doing more looking than buying; clothes were the most popular thing found in carts, not the aisles of fancy schmancy Christmas decorations.

The grocery store was a nut-house with people shopping like crazy for Thanksgiving dinner and extended entertaining.  I managed to stick to my list except for lima beans which were inexplicably missing from the frozen food section.  Why would a store sell out of LIMA BEANS?  I only use them for one recipe and would never want a little serving of just limas.  Oh well, I’m substituting edamame in today’s Brunswick Stew recipe instead, because it was already in the freezer.  Plus it will add some additional protein.

The local fire department was outside the grocery, soliciting donations for the food bank.  Much as I want to donate food to the pantry, I’ve had a hard time finding actual physical locations to take stuff so this was perfect.  In addition to my own stuff, I added in pasta and meat sauce, a big can of ravioli, a bunch of jars of baby food, and canned fruit, which I added to their boxes as I left the store.  Plus $20 to help buy turkeys for families.

I have so much, am so blessed with a home, food, and money to buy what I need.  Watching stories of the newly homeless, the folks without medical care or making choices between food and electricity, food banks with empty shelves, and so much more, has made me feel helpless and sad.  But I’ve decided that I can do something with the money I have — it’s not a cop out to donate to organizations that actively help people.  The Food Pantry and the Salvation Army are two that I’m choosing to support this winter, not just once, but often.  Since we’re scaling back Christmas shopping, I’m going to just channel the “extra” money into donations.   It feels good to know that I can help.


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Shopping and Other Heavy Thoughts

I’m having a hard time right now living in my body.  My knee hurts a lot and I actually bought a folding cane this week to have in case I need it.  I’ve been aware of my size and feeling uncomfortable physically but also in my head as I see myself in a mirror or think about the fact that finding clothes that fit and actually look pretty is usually an exercise in futility.

Today’s outting to do that ended in a little mini-meltdown at the Avenue over a display of sweaters that were too long, too ugly, and not in my size.  I’m not desperate enough to buy just something to cover me – but I do need some new things because the clothes from last fall are snug around the hips.

The right solution is to magically adhere to a food plan, watch the weight drop off, and skip happily into the future as a thin person. But that’s not happening.  Right now I’m hanging on by my teeth to staying in one place on the scale.  The idea of working the WW plan just seems to have a reverse response in that I start sabotaging myself as soon as I try.  So I’m not.

There’s a difference between being fat and accepting that you will always be fat even though there are health and other issues associated with it, and being fat and trying to change it.  I’m somewhere in the middle between them right now, I think.  I’m really really tired of defining myself as my body size.  And I also want to be able to accept myself in this body size without turning that into a decision to stay at this supersize forever.

Many of you have suggested/recommended/advised that I get some therapy help.  And I do understand where that comes from.  I am making the choice not to.  Twice before when I asked for help from someone in a therapy role, I was abused, once physically and once emotionally.  I’m not going there again.  Instead I’m going to listen to my friend Amy in Hawaii, who is the most positive person I know.  She’s focused on living her dreams, not dwelling on the things that get in the way.

I don’t even know what my dreams are anymore; I’ve been too focused on my body and not my heart.  It’s time to pay attention and ask myself some questions.

UPDATE — Head over to Beula’s Dear Ethel site and read Friday’s post on Self Respect. Great list!


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Where are the Petite Plus Size Clothes?

It finally warmed up today enough for people to shed coats even if we still wore sweaters while we were out in the sunshine – something new and different, really. So I went clothes shopping. I wanted to pick up a few new spring things that fit me well where I am right now, which is up over last year, and was willing to fork over some $$ to get new stuff. Being a large round person, I know that there are limited options for shopping but I know where they are and where to go for what.

It was a frustrating day.

I went to two different places and tried on a bunch of things in each one – tops, dresses, pants – casual and work appropriate. Nothing fit. Not because they were too small – I was shopping in the Big Girls Store – but because they weren’t designed for short people. It’s infuriating.

Clothes for regular people are cut a particular way. Tall people and short people need different proportions, not just having the length be made longer or shorter. I tried on dresses and the shoulders were too broad, the back sagged, the fullness of the hips hit 3″ too low, and they fell to my ankles. It was totally ridiculous.

The one store used to be a great source for pretty petite clothes. There was a small section where they were all pulled together, easy to find, and ranging from dress pants to jeans to jackets to knit tops. It was wonderful and every time I went, I’d come home with something that fit me well and looked good. A few years ago the store policy changed and those petites got spread around the store, making them harder to find. Now they hardly have any at all.

How can I dress in cute clothes that fit me well, even at my large round size, if they don’t make them for short people? There are lots of short, fat ladies who need clothes and who would buy them if they could find them. If you know of any good spots – online or in person, though online would be better – let me know.

—- Edited to add —–

I’ve watched enough What Not to Wear to know the kinds of things that will suit my body type (triangle, with hips larger than the top part).  But they don’t make tops that are fitted at the top and nice and floaty on the bottom (i.e., not clingy) for petite plus sized people.  Somehow they think that boxy shapes work well for anyone who is large.  Not to mention the insistence on horizontal stripes.  What is up with that??


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Comparing Grocery Stores

Grocery Store AisleThere are two big grocery stores within a mile of my house, essentially across the street and down a few blocks from each other. Both are on my way home from work so it’s easy to stop and pick up a few things. But which to choose?

Store A, on the inbound side of the road, is next to Petco so on days when I need to pick up some of those cans of smelly cat food that Tessie loves, I go there and let one parking spot do double duty. Store A also has my favorite white grape fizzy water and a better supply of Fiber One bars and I like their ready-to-go rotisserie chicken better than the place across the street. Produce and meat are about the same. None of my boxed Corn Chipotle soup in this one, which is a bummer, and they turned their “Natural Dairy” case into something for other liquids but left the sign up which always confuses me. They do, however, have more variety of larabars.

Store B, on the outbound side of the road, is my choice when I need Fage yogurt. They are also the only chain in the region to carry Kim’s Light Bagels which are yummy and low cal/carb/fat/points. The natural food section seems smaller but has more stuff that I like, including my soup. They also have a special aisle where all the specials for the week are, which makes it easier to find them.

Prices in both stores are comparable, with sales on different things at different times. Both let you scan and bag your own groceries, though pretty much I end up bagging them whether a cashier checks me out or not. But Store B has a really cool service that I find I use most of the time now — a little hand-held scanner that you use as you shop, getting a running total as you go. Scan, bag, move on. By the time you’re finished, it’s a simple scan at the register to close the order and you’re on your way. It’s funny to be in an aisle and listen to the little “ca-ching” sound from carts and people around you.

So I find that I’m going to Store B more often than Store A, unless I want fizzy water – or catfood. It’s nice to have choices.