Exciting News!

I have some very exciting news that some of you may have heard if you follow me on instagram or twitter (or perhaps my new facebook page!) I was notified this week that I have been accepted as a brand ambassador for Enell Bras!

Enell Ambassador

I am hopeful that many of the larger busted women out there are already familiar with Enell Bras by now.  I like to think of mine as my Kevlar.  When I wear mine I feel like I am strapping in.  These bras must certainly have superpower because seriously they are SO supportive.  I don’t have backpain, or bounce, I feel “packed” when I am in there.  YES they are BIG, the boobs and the bra… but that is okay.  The hooks looked intimidating the first time I took the bra for a spin.  One jumping bouncy workout in the bra is all it took for me to know my life in sports bras would never be the same.

I have in my life done everything from duct-taping my breasts down to double or triple “bagging” them to stay in place.  I had tried what I thought was every style of sports bra in the book before finding Enell.  My very worst experience, the one in which I thought my working out days were numbered for sure what when I ended up with blisters from my bra.  Both from the wire in my sports bra (yes… as if wires weren’t uncomfortable enough in everyday bras I thought a wired sports bra was a good idea) and a blister from rubbing together.  I was horrified!

Enell has been my savior, It allows me to not feel encumbered by my chest when I work out.  I hope that if anyone has questions about the bra or the company that you will feel comfortable coming to me to ask.  I am more than happy to speak with you about my experiences on a private basis if you have personal questions.

Thanks Enell for the opportunity to represent your brand as I move forward with my journey to a healthier life!

That Thing No One Talks About

So many of you have probably heard the best part about losing weight is getting a whole new wardrobe right? As a big girl lets face it, our selection of clothes was pretty slim.  It was the only thing slim, am I right?  The bigger you get, the fewer choices you have.  When I was topping out at 430-ish I was a 32/34W.  I don’t wish to offend anyone, but I was HUGE!

My jeans would cost more than $65.00 USD a pair.  Any normal person would need more than one pair right? So when one of those wore out, which they were prone to do fairly regularly it was expensive!  Getting tops that would fit was also a challenge.  This is why much of my wardrobe consisted of men’s pocket t-shirts.  They could be purchased fairly cheaply, were comfortable and practical.

As the weight has come off I have shrunk in sizes obviously.  However depending on how fast the weight is coming off keeping myself in clothes that make me look non-slovenly has proven to be a challenge.  There have been times when my pants have been two sizes too big!  I have shopped secondhand stores, but even those the larger sizes are often the fastest to fly off of the racks.

I am not ashamed to wear clothes someone else wore.  I know there are a lot of people who are turned off by the idea of hand me downs, or thrifting but honestly if you think about the cost to buy a new wardrobe every time you change size it get expensive.  I make purchases of key pieces that I need from places like Target and Old Navy but thankfully my friends have been so wonderful to pass on their old clothes to me.  I have gotten over my feeling guilty for saying yes when people offer me things.  My pants no longer cost $65.00 Unless I am trying to buy something fancy, they are more like $30.00 It is much more manageable, but is still an investment when you consider I am not planning on staying in this size forever.

So have you encountered this in losing weight?  Do people ask you how excited you are to get all new clothes?  I get asked all the time how much I like going shopping for all new clothes, and I just say the new clothes are awesome because they really are.  I love shopping in my friends closets, I just hope they don’t grow to resent me for taking their old stuff and not being able to pass them anything in return.  Do you have any tips for saving money while changing sizes?  Do you have a favorite thrift store find that you would like to tell me about?  I would love to hear about it!  🙂

Cha Cha Changes…

So Saturday night it was time to once again purge my closet. There are many reasons that I am purging things from my life. It has been a few weeks full of turmoil and mixed feelings about many things, and I needed to get rid of some of the bulk that has been holding me down. I was thinking about the pictures of the Katrina victims from when I moved to Minnesota as the disaster photos roll in from Joplin where people lost everything. Also the local photos from our very own neighbors here in Minnesota.

I thought about the bigger individuals who during Katrina were forced into things like trash bags because they had no clothes that would fit them. My heart broke for those people, and I sent off clothes whatever I had that didn’t fit, or that I didn’t wear. My heart breaks now for people who lost their lives and their things. So I bagged up everything that I had that was too big, or nearly too big and lugged it off to a donation site today.

As I sifted through my clothes I noticed something, a shift in my wardrobe. When I was larger I would buy, and wear pretty much anything that fit. I joked that I was in shape, because “Round is a shape!” Haven’t most of us made or at least heard that joke? If you were to inventory my wardrobe, up until I am guessing 2-3 months ago you would be very confused as to whether r not I was a guy or a girl. My clothing consisted mostly of mens pocket t-shirts and women’s jeans and two pairs of shoes. Yes there was cute undies and plain white ankle socks and bra’s too.

As I have shed some weight, something has shifted… and it has been a drastic shift in the last tiny bit of time, that has allowed me to change how I present myself.

Who are you to tell me that I’m less than what I should be? You don’t define me! I am seeing a new reflection.” ~Excerpt of Lyrics to Mirror by Barlow Girls

When I looked in the mirror before I never saw much of anything. I saw a big blog of fat fatty unhappiness. As I have been changing I have struggled to see the changes, but I had not ever changed my style at all. I downsized my clothes… but was still in the same style. Mens t-shirts and jeans. I would look in the mirror at the gym and still see the same person. Everyone from water aerobics would tell me how great I looked, and how much my body was changing. They would know… you can’t hide much in a bathing suit right? So when I would occasionally find a top in my wardrobe that was not a pocket t-shirt and wear it, I would be shocked by how different I looked from the pocket t-shirt girl.

So why do I wear the pocket t-shirts? Well because of my job in large part. As a courier and a dispatcher I need to have easy access to my phone a pen and a place to put my paperwork when I am in charge of the phones. My employer supplied us with company issued mens pocket t-shirts. They really are the best thing to wear as far as functionality is concerned. My dear friends however are HORRIFIED to see that I enjoy my pocket t-shirts as much as I do.

So in the purge as I evaluated my wardrobe it has been brought to my attention that I now own more GIRL clothes than Boy clothes. I have clothes that flatter my shape. Yes I still have my pocket t-shirts for work. I can’t not have them, however they make up a very tiny percentage of what I wear now. I have been actively working to change the way that I dress. I spent the entire #PriorFatPack weekend showing off the ability I have to dress myself not in pocket t-shirts! I am working on embracing the fact that I have a shape that is not round, it is in fact hourglass. I always had a shapely figure, it is just… less large than it was.

I have become more feminine as my weight has come down. I am unsure if this is related to the fact that I am just figuring out who I am, or if I am trying to learn how to relate more to my peers. I have always struggled to be more girly, and being as large as I was it was more natural for me to just be one of the guys. I still feel as though I am one of the guys, however I am finding that I am garnering more attention than I had previously.

So I am working to be more girly as this is what I feel I want… at least right now. So I present… something that is rarely seen… Kris… looking like a girl!

dressup

iPurge!

iPurged!

So last night I came home from the gym, after only doing water aerobics not any kind of crazy workout marathon like I had done Monday and Wednesday.  Not beating myself up.  Any working out for me is a step in the right direction.  4 days at the gym is a perfect week for me. 

I sat on the bed thinking… okay, 153 pounds are gone now… 150…. 150. It is time. I grabbed bags from under the sink and started stuffing all the 4xl shirts that I had piled in the closet into the bags, and the 3xl shirts into the bag.  Fighting back tears as I said See Ya! Fuck You! I will NEVER be that big again as I got rid of each shirt.  Robb joined in and helped me toss the last of them away, up until the last shirt with I balled up and slammed in like I was a Champion… oh wait I AM ONE!!!

I was going to wait to do the pants… because it was a big undertaking to get to them… but about an hour later Robb needed to get to the spot where they were so guess what… It was time. 

We tossed all the pants on the floor… the pile was HUGE.  My god, there were still tags on some of the size 30’s.  How liberating, yet depressing.  I mean, the money I wasted because when I bought those pants with the tags still on them… they were too small for me.  Now they are too big! So I grabbed more bags and stuffed them full of pants… I grabbed the biggest pair out of the pile and set them off to the side.  You always see those photos in the commercials… I lost X-Pounds in Y-Days.  You also see the photos of someone standing in just one leg of their pants, well…

There I am… The photo does NO justice to the amount of room there is in those pants.  I really wanted to cry when I put them on and could fold the material around me.  I still have a ways to go.  I am sitting at 275 pounds, I WILL get smaller, but those pants are going to stay tucked into my closet a reminder of how far I have come.

The purge was liberating.  I feel secure having let go of the clothes that have now been too big for me for a year.  Now I just need to focus on rebuilding my wardrobe a few pieces at a time, but just not blowing a lot of money because I am still shrinking.  Luckily just before Christmas I caught a sale at Old Navy and snagged a few long sleeve shirts for $5.00 a piece! My god, clothes that fit for that price… A-MAZ-ING! 

I struggle to see how much weight I have lost.  I struggle with the concept of just how much 150 pounds is.  Every once in a while it hits me, as I struggle to dead lift a 65lb box at work into my car just how much that is, and that I have lost more than two of those, and that I had more than TWO of those on my body… HOW could I have that on my body and still move?  That is just incredible.  I don’t know how I did it.  Do you have a way that helps you visualise how far you have come?  How do you track your progress?

Now if only I could find the pair of size 16 first Goal Pants that I bought a while back, I think I may be getting close to fitting into them.

18 Again!

Mall of America Entrance Sign

Image by cliff1066™ via Flickr

Oh to be 18 again.  No Thanks!  The words young dumb and naive come to mind when I think about when I was 18 years old… but that is not what I am referring to ladies and gents. Today I went to the Mall of America… And here is my adventure!

I was a woman on a mission.  Mostly on a mission anyway.  I only worked out one day this week at the gym.  My body has been a hellish place to be the last few days, which of course leaves me feeling like crap.  If I don’t move I feel worse but if I do move I hurt more.  Double edged sword.  So today I decided I needed to head out and get at least a little holiday shopping done.  Some walking, stretching, standing all in the climate controlled shopper filled holiday atmosphere of the mall. 

A few months ago Groupon had a deal for The Body Shop, spent $20 get $40.  Pretty good deal if you ask me.  So my goal was to head there.  I know where the store is located from where I park… the other side of the mall.  This is good news!!! This means I will have no choice but to get some walking in. 

So I was greeted with the ear-piercing sound of the bell-ringers after parking my car, and made my way into the rotunda where there was caroling going on.  Awesome! I groove on holiday music.  Yes I am guilty there are carols on my iPod that I do listen to when I work out this time of year.  I also sneak in a listen when I am bummed out.  (James, Mary, I guess that is part of my Nourisment Menu right?)

Anyway I made my beeline to get my task done, and made a killing stacking my Groupon with a Buy one get one free coupon! Heck yeah! After that I headed to Harry and David‘s To stock up on some more Sahale Snacks I have an order in with the SnackShack.com but you can never have too many of these tasty treats! I first found them from PriorFatGirl’s event and have been addicted ever since. (There are Still Tickets Available for the next Event!!)

After going through a few more stores, feeling like a teenager bounding from store to store, I headed to Lane Bryant to check out the clearance racks.  I don’t buy full priced clothes while I am still shrinking, at least not unless I need something specific. 

So I tried on a 24 which is what I was sporting… Too big… I strutted back out of the dressing room and back in with a 22.  Back in with a 20, and back out to grab an 18The 18 was a bit loose but OMG IT ZIPPED… I grabbed a 16 and it zipped too!!! I was muffin topping something awful, but it zipped too! I will always muffin top I am sure, the way I am shaped it just works that way.

But did you read that The size 18 ZIPPED. Now I have clear memories of it being the summer before 6th grade and I could not fit into the 18/20 pants that I had.  We had to go and buy me new jeans.  It was that year that I broke my hip the first time, that year that they told me I was not allowed to participate in gym or exercise.  That left me with a lifetime really of, You cannot go near a gym or you will hurt yourself forever fears. 

It has taken a lot of work to overcome those thoughts.  I know I still need to be careful with the activities I do.  But My goodness, what an amazing feeling sitting the tag on what had to be a generous cut but an 18 none the less.  I bought those pants! Slowly I am Shrinking as I grow.  Progress in the right direction. 

Shopping bags in hand I walked around the mall a little bit more, knowing I would not make it to the gym tonight because I had work obligations.  I held my head high knowing how far I had come. I am still a work in progress, we all are.  My journey is not over, it has only just begun.  But Santa… don’t look for cookies this year… remember those carrots I leave for the reindeer? You’re getting them too! Hummus is in the fridge to dip with and the Brita Pitchers full of nice ice cold filtered water!

I NEED a Wardrobe Makeover!

I like comfy clothes.  I work in comfy clothes.  My work dress code is fairly relaxed as an Independent Contractor Driver.  I usually sport a mens pocket t-shirt or on occasion polo shirt with the company name (or not) and jeans.  When I go out to do errands, what do I throw on… same thing.  So what does my wardrobe look like?  T-shirts with pockets (mostly) a few without pockets for the gym and jeans, I have a few (very few) nicer tops, that I can (and do) wear when I am going out somewhere nice.  The green one in my Blog-bio photo, is like most of my clothes much too large for me now it was a v-neck stretchy t-shirt type material.  I loved the color on me.  I have a few other pieces here and there a black skirt that is quickly becoming much too large for me, it hangs on my hips and will soon start sliding right past them to the floor.  A few tops that I like to mix with that skirt or jeans to go out in but that is about it.

Recently, and by recently I mean the last few months, I have concluded that part of why I had been unable to SEE my weight-loss for so long is because it was hidden.  Hidden under my bad clothing.  I was a lump! A lump of blah!  At 400+lbs It really did not matter what I wore, it was a band-aid on the problem.  My bra was likely ill fitted (now that I know what a good one feels like i know it was), my jeans, well I was lucky that I could find ones that fit right? I was a big round lump.  Now I glimpse in the mirror as I leave the gym and I see my bag pull my t-shirt across my smaller self and think, HEY you have a shape! You look like a person, you have collar bones now, and a neck! You have an hourglass from the front, show it off! and from the sides you don’t look bad either! Why are you dressing in baggy clothes? You look like a sad sack!

So how do I learn to dress with a shape? I am still losing weight.  I still have another 100 pounds I would ideally like to shed.  I don’t want to blow a ton of money on new clothes.  So I have been buying a new pair of jeans here or there.  Mostly because, seriously… I can only wear the old ones for so long, the belt and 3 size too big pants just looks BAD!  I keep an eye on the clearance racks at the fat stores and women’s sections at the other retailers , but because I am in a common size I end up not finding much. 

I did take the first big step.  I have a good everyday bra, I have a good sports bra being shipped to me.  So now what? I am on a limited budget.  So what am I to do?  Anyone out there have any ideas of key pieces of wardrobe items that would help define my shape? Show me that I have a better body? Help me appear as a trendy woman?   I don’t spend a lot of time at super fancy parties, but I do go out on occasion and would like to at least look nice.