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!  🙂

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.