Monday, December 7, 2009

Cookies and Clothes

You can probably tell by my size in my "before" pictures that there was a time when I had given up watching what I ate and just accepted that I was a big person. Ahh, good times...at least when it came to eating. Because once I went with that attitude, life was great, especially this time of year! I never worried about how many homemade treats I was eating. Cookies, pumpkin bread, peanut brittle, See's Candies, Harry and David treats - you name it, I ate it...and LOTS of it! It really was fun to eat with no restraint and very little remorse. I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed being able to have my cake and pie and eat them, too.

Now, I will admit that there were some, shall we say, consequences that came along with my "eating with abandon" plan. Of course there were the medical issues, like high blood pressure, and severe heartburn and acid reflux, but there were pills for that, right? The main thing that I hated having to face was the clothing issue. Because let's face it - you can be big, you can be happy, but when you are under 5' 2" tall, and 100-plus pounds overweight, you are very roly-poly. And you pretty much look like crap in clothes. I know I've written before about the trick mirrors in the Lane Bryant dressing rooms - you know, the ones where you are trying on size 24 pants and tops and you look in the mirror and think, "hey, that doesn't look too bad" and then you buy said clothes, bring them home, all happy and hopeful that you found a cute outfit...and then harsh reality hits when you go to wear the outfit and get a look at yourself in your own mirror and wonder what the hell happened to that cute outfit?!? Yeah...that was one of the least fun things about my plan.

For the longest time, I owned black pants, black capris, wildly-printed tops (because that would make my size blend in, right?) and a few tunic-length sweaters. That was it - no dresses, no skirts...nothing fun or dressy or "just right" for that certain occasion. I made do with what I had, and in fact, dreaded social events because I never had the appropriate outfit. Of course, one reason why is that I didn't want to spend money on clothes that I might only wear once or twice before changing sizes (which I was doing on a pretty consistent basis...and the sizes weren't exactly going down, if you know what I mean).

I guess I wanted to say all of this because I know it seems like I'm always posting about new outfits and such. It's like I'm a kid in a candy store when it comes to clothes right now (sorry, bad analogy!). But for me, the clothes are part of a trade-off. This holiday season, I am making a lot of conscious decisions to NOT EAT the homemade goodies that are popping up at work. It isn't easy and it isn't automatic. And I will admit that it's getting harder and harder to keep turning the stuff down - with so much yummy-looking food at work, some days I am just going hour-by-hour in making those decisions. A couple of things are helping: For one, I remember what happened last year...it started with a few cookies and before I knew it, three weeks had gone by where I had indulged over and over, and not only did I gain weight, but it was really hard to stop those sugar cravings. I don't want to go through that again this year!

The other thing that is helping to remind me that I don't eat like that anymore are clothes - I have clothes, people! And I enjoy getting dressed every day! It's fun to put outfits together...I finally have a nice selection to choose from, and I like how I look when I put them on! No magic Lane Bryant mirrors needed - my clothes look as good at home as they did in the dressing room! And I really like going shopping and trying on clothes now. Get this: clothes fit - more often than not! I have choices now. It's fun to drop by my local TJ Maxx once a week and see what new things they've gotten in and grab a few items to try on. Sometimes I buy something; most of the time, I don't - but when I do, I absolutely love it, as that is my "new" rule of shopping. You see, before, if something actually fit, I bought it, because it was such a rare occurrence. But now, most everything fits, and since, like most of us, money is tight, I have to really really love whatever I'm considering buying.

So, without further ado, I present to you my newest acquisition - a sweater dress. Yes, a sweater dress - something that is unforgiving when it comes to the lumps and bumps on a body - I actually bought a sweater dress! Can you say woohoo? Because I sure did in the dressing room!
I have loved and coveted sweater dresses for years, and even though Lane Bryant carried them in my ever-expanding size, let's just say that for once, their magic mirrors did not work when I tried them on. Oog, it was bad! So when I saw this at TJ Maxx the other day, I had to try it on...and darned if it didn't fit! I loved how I looked in it from all angles - a first for me! I knew it would be perfect with black tights and my 100-pound boots...and Saturday night, I wore it to a nice dinner with my co-workers and ex-boss. I felt like being able to wear this dress was a great reward for turning down all those cookies! And I will remember how I felt in this dress over the next few weeks, when more and more goodies will, no doubt, tempt me.

P.S. Please excuse the lack of ornaments on the tree - we finally got it decorated on Sunday!

36 comments:

  1. w
    o
    w

    you look so happy. entirely. emanating from the inside out.

    I laugh that one (well I laugh NOW) halloween in college a male friend asked to borrow black stretch pants for a costume.
    when I initially was confused what he wanted to borrow he said:

    YOU KNOW THOSE PANTS YOU WEAR BECAUSE YOU THINK WE WONT NOTICE YOUVE GAINED WEIGHT.


    ouch.

    who knew they noticed til then? :)

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  2. Shelley - congratulations on your new purchase - the dress looks amazing on you! And I love how you think of the dress as a reward for turning down all those cookies - what a great way to put those daily choices into perspective. You are inspirational to me!

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  3. I had to laugh when you were talking about the mirrors at TJ Maxx. In the store that I go to, their mirrors are anything but the trick skinny mirrors. I'm convinced that they magnify!

    You sweater dress is cute. It would look great with one of those oversize necklaces too-my new favorite accessory.

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  4. Cute dress. It is SO hard not to buy all the cute clothes now that things actually fit. My whole style has changed and it is great to not have to shop in the womens (1X, 2X) department...I never even knew where the regular sizes were in Macys and the section is HUGE...way too many cute selections and I just buy buy buy. Gotta stop..but it's SO FUN and I do feel like I EARNED it with 60 pounds down and 15 to go!!

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  5. Shelley - You look great in that dress. And horizontal stripes, even! I think that wearing horizontal stripes must be a sign of success. Only thin people, such as yourself, can get away with that.

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  6. Ohmygoodnessme! You look just GORGEOUS in that dress - love how you are enjoying the taste of new clothes as opposed to the taste of seasonal food. I shall copy that and I might just make it through!

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  7. No cookie will ever taste as good as the good feeling you get from wearing that new dress, with the hot Mama boots! Congrats!

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  8. It makes me so happy to see that you are being good to yourself because it means you are appreciating your own hard work! I am totally with you on making the conscious effort to just say no to the goodies. So far, I'm okay but the closer we get to Christmas, the tougher my choices will be.

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  9. Darling dress! And you look adorable in it.

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  10. You are so rocking that jersey dress and you can wear it...looks so good on you.
    This is the firs time ever that I have boots, was never obese but could never get the zip over my huge dancers calves, now that I've really slimmed down I can wear them and I am also loving them and the new clothing I'm able to wear...
    So good that you enjoying this stage...have fun and never take it for granted.

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  11. You look absolutely amazing. Not only is your outfit adorable, you look confident and happy. I'm so proud of you Shelley and you've inspired me to get on the elliptical this morning!

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  12. You look fabulous! And in a sweater dress, no less! What a great post to remind us of the rewards of hard work and the consequences of too much holiday eating. Good for you, Shelley.

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  13. You look beautiful!! Hooray for the sweater dress!

    I went with pants for my party - still a few too many bumps to pull off a sweater dress like you - kudos!!

    I think I have to add more strenth training to my cardio :D

    Happy Monday Shelley!

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  14. You are looking fabulous!

    I can totally relate to your feelings and experiences about clothing when you are 100lbs overweight and kinda short. I so was experiencing that too when I was overweight. Damn those trick mirrors! Luckily now I don't have to worry about it cause I can look good in lots of stuff now. I used to hate clothing shopping and now I thoroughly enjoy it....a little too much now cause I want to buy new clothes all the time.

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  15. Fantastic dress! Fantastic look! Fantastic idea about using the new clothes to make up (mentally/emotionally) for the lack of goodies we can enjoy! I gotta use that! Thanks, because today is BROWNIES Day at work! I kid not! eek!

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  16. Clothes have always been the big issue for me too. I don't want to buy new clothes, b/c that would mean that I'm accepting that I am actually that size.
    Congrats to you! That's wonderful. :-) You're an encouragement for me.

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  17. That is so very, very cute!
    Don't ever apologize for posting about clothes or workouts or whatever and how you feel about them. I still do that and I have been in pretty much the same size for a year. I don't know if the newness will wear off or not.

    Still hasn't and you should feel so very proud at what you have done and continue to do. Every person needs their own personal accountability, whatever the method.

    Woo hoo to you!

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  18. I love the dress, it looks so good on you! You're beautiful!

    I love clothes too but I don't like it that most of my pants are too big now and I don't like wearing them anymore. Today my friend forbid my to wear a pair of trousers because it was much too big for me now. But like you I have to watch my expenses and I can't buy al new clothes. So I'm searching Ebay to score cheap clothes in a smaller size and I will buy new pants between Christmas and new year, till then I will mostly wear my skirts and dresses.

    And I do know the feeling about resisting all the good stuff in the food section. I find it hard too but I find it much harder to work it off afterwards so I hardly take anything nowadays.

    Big hug from Holland!

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  19. Woo Hoo!! You look great! Congratulations on the cute dress.

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  20. Sweater dress + boots = sweet

    Isn't it great to indulge in something that creates lasting good feelings? I'd take a sweater dress over a cookie any day. Keep indulging in the clothes...it feels great to look great, and it's ok to say so!

    I, too, have been pleased with clothes shopping, whereas before I dreaded it. I retired outfits that I used to wear over and over again for years simply because they were black and "fit." Now, my closet is running out of room with all the new clothes coming in.

    It's great being a hoarder, huh?

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  21. I'm so glad I found your blog. I love all the pictures. Love the dress!!! And the boots are fab.

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  22. You know... this really is the first time I've seen you in a dress Mom, and you're looking fantastic to boot! Can't wait for Christmas with you all!

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  23. Great dress! And you look fabulous in it! That is definitely worth skipping over a few cookies. The first (and last) time I lost all my extra weight, I loved clothes shopping for a couple years. It was just fun.

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  24. I get you on enjoying clothes. I still am not much of shopper, but I do really put some thought into what I am going wear...most days.

    You look so cute. I could totally see me wearing something like that next year!

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  25. I could totally relate to the Lame Giant parts of your story. You were describing all the outfits I used to wear. Oh, and the foods I used to eat with abandon. Though I would say I always felt remorse. Even still. Wild-printed tops. (LOL) Why clothing/fashion folks want fat/larger people to look crappy, I'll never know. Even those decorated holiday sweaters!!!
    OMG.
    Kill me now.

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  26. I can so relate to you and your clothing/food delema. At one point I had lost 25 lbs and was down to an XLarge. It was so wonderful to buy clothes in the regular sizes. The choices were unbelievable. Unfortunately, I've now gained all the weight back and am having to shop for 2x's again. Once again the selection stinks and nothing ever looks the way I want it to. I just can't seem to give up the freedom I have to eat whatever I want. I'm awaiting the day that I'm ready for change.

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  27. WoW, just found your blog and can I say I am your before picture and your first 2 paragraphs to a T. I hope someday I can wear a sweater dress and kick a$$ boots:)

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  28. Dress looks wonderful on you...that and your new hair... what you look fabulous and happy!

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  29. Um, I think any cookies that you are being very good about not eating I'm shoving in my face. I did so good last year and this year it seems I can.not.stop.

    I must think of how strong you are being and regain my self control!

    (I love your dress!)

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  30. So happy for you! You look amazing, and are reaping the benefits of all your hard work! Great job Shelly!!

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  31. What a sweet feeling it must be to be able to enjoy wearing clothes that fit and look fabulous. A sweater dress is a HUGE accomplishment and you have every right to feel good about it!

    Thanks for sharing your journey. It's a big inspiration for me to know that it can be done and is totally worth the journey!

    ...Shannon

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  32. I absolutely love that dress!! You look fantastic!

    I am also doing pretty well with turning down all the treats and goodies...thank goodness!

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  33. You look SO great!! I love the outfit but even more I love the smile and confidence that just radiates from you :)

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  34. The dress looks so much better on you than the cookies did!

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  35. So cute, Shelley! JUst the right length too! I will keep my new dress in mind when I go back to work and am hit by all the goodies in the breakroom!

    And I sure remember those days of buying clothes just because they would cover me up enough...

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  36. You look absolutely great in that dress, Shelley! I totally agree that inability to find anything reasonable to wear is one of the worst things about being heavy . . . thanks for the very inspiring reminder of how very worth it the discipline is.

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