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!