What Not to Wear

Peek into any woman’s closet, and buried underneath all the clothes is something that almost every woman hangs onto. She strives to wear it again someday, no matter how unrealistic or out of style it may be. What is it?…”Skinny” jeans!

Whether yours take the form of pants, swimwear or even an old suit or dress, women and men alike keep these too-small clothes for years. Some are even brand new, tags attached, bought as inspiration to lose weight so that garment would fit.

I must confess that up until last week, I, too, had my own little accumulation of one-day-I-will-fit-into-these-again outfits. So in an effort to save my own sanity, I decided to do a little closet cleansing.  I did get rid of a few things that have become too big (yay!!) and also had to come to grips that it would be best to get rid of some of my extremely skinny clothes for right now too.  While my original thought was that seeing those reminder-of-a-skinnier-me items would motivate me to get back into them, I’ve found that for the most part it’s having the opposite effect….Why? Well keep reading and I’ll tell you…

They have become a constant reminder that I am not at my “ideal” size. While it may have seemed initially motivating, seeing those beautiful little garments of demin have begun to lead me down a destructive path to lower self-esteem and self-worth.  It’s almost as if they are mocking me with their stupid single-digit size. “Haha you can’t wear me! Look who’s too chubby now!”  Seeing them hanging there is a reminder of what used to be, what I let go, what I fight like hell to get to again. Granted I know I’ll be in that size again, I just don’t need to be mocked daily by Mr. Levi on my way there.

Keeping clothes from yesterday is a symptom of living in the past. Only after I let go of the past can I learn to accept myself in the present with self-confidence and a sense of empowerment. (And besides, it was about time to ditch the fraternity mixer shirt from 2001…as comfy as it might have become, I’m not quite the 19 year old sorority girl anymore.)

Your skinny clothes may not be in style anyway.  As much as I hate to admit it, among the piles of clothes that were packed up and delivered to Goodwill – were a pair of…wait for it…wait for it…Tapered, pleated pants – aka the mom jeans. Ahhhhhhh! I know…just the thought of it frightens me as well! Aside from mullets, stirrup pants, and side ponytails there was never a more horrid crime to fashion than the tapered leg pant. You give me one person that looked good in them and I’ll give you $100. Heidi Klum would even look like Rosie O’Donnell in these things.  Moral of this story: Getting back in those skinny pants would have been an offense of humanity and fashion.

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When your skinny jeans don’t fit, you can feel like a failure, even when you’re making real progress. I’d occasionally try them on…just to see if they were a little less tight. And if I still got that stuck-around-my-thighs-cutting-off-my-circulation result then I’d convince myself that I wasn’t getting any smaller. Blasphemy! I’ve lost 34 pounds…I’m in a smaller size. I will not let a restrictive pair of pants keep making me feel like a failure.

And yes…I am now officially at 34 pounds lost!

 

 

I will not allow the size of my clothes to determine my self-worth and neither should you!  Clothing size is just a number…and whatever that number is will not define me.

Today, I encourage you to open your closets and drawers. Gather everything that doesn’t fit you TODAY, especially clothes that are too small. Free yourself from the past and the silent criticism of your skinny jeans once and for all!

 

“If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”  ~Mary Engelbreit

Say Yes To A Dress!

What a week!

Still hobbling around on an injured foot..I have transformed into a redhead..and the skin of on my limbs is coming off like a molting animal following a fun experience with 2nd degree sunburn following my trip to the beach.

I finally stopped being a slacker of a sister/maid of honor and made it to Charlotte to assist my sister in bridesmaid dress selection and to see her wedding gown.  All I can say is wow.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen her so beautiful, and I know it is only a fraction of the beauty she’ll have on her wedding day as she walks down aisle toward her sweet, sweet fiancé.  (Absolutely adore him and adore how happy he makes her.)

The bridesmaid dress selection was interesting…there was a beautiful array of dresses and I would have enjoyed the entire process much, much more if I was able to comfortably get into one of the samples.  I’m not sure why ‘sample dresses’ aren’t made created for an average size.  It’s significantly easier to clamp a size 12 onto a size 6 woman than to have a size 12 woman squeeze into a size 6 to attempt to get an idea of the perfect dress. It’s tough to find that perfect dress when you can’t breathe, the dress is hugging onto every inch of bulge you might have, and your back fat is gaping out of the zipper in the back. Well – that was my experience anyway.

I want to go to a store eventually and slip everything on like it was made for me. This I-think-I-can-fit-it-over-my-hips-slowly-without-ripping-the-fabric thing has got to go!  I even got stuck in one of the dresses. Thanks to my mom and the sales girl for freeing me from certain suffocation.

Speaking of the sales girl – I feel so sorry for her! In trying to get a better idea of the ‘fit’ of the dresses we liked the most, she offered to clamp the dress to my bra so I could at least see what it would look like (or try to see) without holding it up. Little did she know I would be shedding skin from my sunburn like I had the worst case of body dandruff ever, or that she’d be trying to figure out how to clamp the dress to my Aaaah Bra (afterall – my itty bitties don’t need underwire).  She claimed not to mind – but I wouldn’t be surprised if she requested to move to the tuxedo section as soon as I left.

After finding the dress I of course gave the store the answer that I’m sure many women give a dress shop when needing to be measured: “I’m planning on losing weight so when is the absolute latest date I can come in here to get measured?”

How many times have I made this promise to myself? I’ll lose weight before Thanksgiving 2008…didn’t happen.  I’ll lose weight before my 10-year reunion…didn’t happen. I’ll lose weight before summer 2009…and 2010…and 2011…didn’t happen.  I always come out of the gate with such gusto only to lose sight of my goal somewhere along the line…and what I had been striving to achieve doesn’t happen.

How do you stay on track when you’ve got a goal in sight? Whether it is weight loss related, or academically related or anything…I’d love for you to comment on how you keep your eyes on the prize.

Glad to say that I’m finally going the right direction…

 

My focus of late has been on reminding myself that I don’t want to be the embarrassment of my sister’s wedding photos. I don’t want to look through all of them and only like one of 200 because the rest show me from a horrendous angle. I’ve got to transform myself physically before May.  I adore my baby sister and want to do everything in my power to make every single aspect of that day perfect for her. I know she would never tell me I needed to drop a few, nor would she tell me I looked bad in a picture, but I owe it to her to match her beauty.  Or at least try…she’s stunning so I’ve got a lot to live up to!  I’m tired of standing out because I poke out.  Time to keep taking the bull by the horns and say I made it happen this time and my goal is complete.

“Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.”  ~Margaret Mead

It’s Opposite Day – And I Lost Weight!

I’m sick and tired of all this weight-loss mumbo-jumbo. I come on here every week and write something silly or pen something sappy, and you come waste your time skimming over whatever hodgepodge gobbledygook I happen to push out.

Happy Opposite Day!

I take my Opposite Day seriously and think I’ll head to the weight-loss blogosphere today and pass on some really horrible advice.

So in the spirit of completely phoning a post in, here are some tips to make sure your next weigh-in doesn’t drop you too, too much…

  • You don’t have to workout on days that end in “y”.
  • Dog paddling can burn up to 10 calories an hour; dog paddling in water will burn even more.
  • Driving by a YMCA earns you three activity points
  • That tuna salad could use a little more mayonnaise
  • Wearing sweatpants in public isn’t always perceived as a sign of giving up
  • Low energy can cramp your style… and nothing provides a quicker energy boost than Twix bars dipped into a can of vanilla frosting.
  • Most Mexican restaurants will keep bringing you baskets of chips if you ask.
  • Most scales are generally five pounds “off,” so be sure and take that into account before registering your numbers
  • If you go to one of those fancy gyms with the treadmills with the TV sets built right in and you just stand there and watch the Soap Opera Channel for an hour… hey, that still counts.
  • Eat smaller meals throughout the day… roughly every 20 minutes.
  • If you have a good weight-loss week, you deserve to blow it out over the weekend.
  • If you’re looking for a substitute for butter on your toast in the morning, why not try fudge?
  • Staying up all night farting around on the internet is just as good as sleeping eight hours.
  • People will tell you that eating too many carbs is bad for you, which is why I encourage you to quit listening to people so much.
  • If you wear a wide belt, nobody will notice that you have your pants unbuttoned.
  • A glass of half-and-half has a tremendous amount of calcium.
  • If nobody sees you eat it, it doesn’t count against you.
  • Make it your goal to be more like Jillian; that is, be a total bitch to everyone around you.
  • You know what’s a good appetite suppressant? Belgian waffles and syrup! I don’t know why it works, but it does!

Why such a sarcastic mood this week?…well…1) my vacation is over…2) look at the freaking results of a ‘week off’:

Ugh!!! Apparently the peanut M&M’s didn’t help…or the alcohol….or the 90 pounds of shrimp I ate a day…or the butter that said shrimp were dipped in.  But…nonetheless, it was vacation after all. Not that being on vacation gives me an ‘official’ excuse…but telling myself that it’s all ok is making me not beat myself up quite so badly.

I am motivated to get back on track though…especially after I had a reminder of what I could look like this past weekend…

Anyone that has ever been overweight will tell you, having a friend that is your same size makes a huge difference from a confidence standpoint.  I used to have that friend….

Aside from the fact that she was significantly more “chestily” endowed than I was (which I always hated her for) we were very similarly built. People always thought we were related…some even questioned whether or not we were twins. We shared clothes; we shopped in the same stores. I won’t call her my fat friend, because neither of us was necessarily fat, but we weren’t skinny either.

We spent many summers at the beach together…I didn’t care what I looked like because I knew she wasn’t judging me and vice versa.  I didn’t worry what she was thinking if I ordered French fries, and she knew I’d never criticize her for ordering the same.  We both had a penchant for The Biscuit Factory and could both destroy a plate of Japanese food and a cup of white sauce.

But it wasn’t all about the food. I felt comfortable around her. I felt safe around her. I didn’t feel self-conscious…Well…That’s how I used to feel.

Fast forward 10 years and my previous not-fat-but-not-skinny friend is now extremely thin. Like size 2 thin. And she looks AMAZING.

I am so jealous of what she has morphed into. I am so angry with myself that I didn’t follow the same journey and we can’t both relish in being each other’s skinny friend.  The girl that used to share my disdain for shorts now looks like a knock-out in them.  The girl, who used to swear that she’d only feel comfortable in a bikini around me, now looks like a model in one. The girl whose clothes I would borrow with no issues, now wears pants that wouldn’t fit around my left ankle.  I now look like a giant ogre next to her.  Her petite frame easily overshadowed by my un-flat belly that we used to have in common.

I want to hate her…but I think I’d rather just look like her.

We vowed to do everything in life together. But I failed on my end of the bargain…She got skinny. I stayed fat. It makes me so upset with myself when I realize the insecurities about myself I didn’t fix because I had someone else to share the same ones with. I no longer have that fat friend…and my insecurities are as raw as they come.

Part of me wants someone to be envious of my physique. I want someone to watch me walk down the beach and be green with envy over my figure. I want for someone to be jealous of me like I am of her…

And as it turns out…I hate that we’re different. So, Amanda…I’m coming for ya…and we’re gonna do this skinny friend thing together…till we’re 307 – unless we kill each other first.

“A true friend is one who thinks you are a good egg even if you are half-cracked.” ~ Author Unknown

I Am Not Alone

I’ll get the ugly part out of the way first…another gain. Definitely time to refocus on the diet.

 

 

The next weigh-in will be different…and lower….I promise. (Headed to the beach next week and won’t have my scale, but will have a post.)

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Now…to this week’s topic…

I’ve had a few people in the last few weeks question why I do this blog.  Why I bitch week after week about my weight struggle. Why I post my weight for the world to see.  One person actually told me she was surprised I post a picture of the scale, and that I was glorifying being overweight, and that I needed to exhibit a bit more discretion.

Well first off…in case you were not aware, you are not forced to read this blog. It’s not shoved in your face as punishment.  I don’t expect everyone to agree with what I’m doing, but I certainly never expected to be chastised for opening up about something I’ve battled for most of my adult life.  If you think what I’m doing is stupid or immature or disgusting, then stop reading.  That simple.

Secondly, I am not attempting to glorify being overweight.  There is nothing glorious about my muffin top or my overeating.  There is nothing charming about weighing over 200 pounds or wearing plus sizes.  There is certainly nothing splendid about my cellulite or my poor self-image.

So why do I do this?

I write this blog not only to help myself, but to help others that might be struggling with the same thing.  Someone that might be fighting a weight battle or fighting a battle to be healthy.  Someone that might be struggling to find happiness in themselves when they look in the mirror.

I know what it’s like to feel like no one understands.  I know what it feels like to feel you’re fighting a battle on your own.  And I’m not just talking about food or weight…although it’s all sort of tied together for me.

As I have touched on in past posts, I have long struggled with depression.  It is quite well managed now, but I have certainly been through a serious roller coaster.

It all started in college. Off to school, not a care in the world, and certainly much more trusting of the world than I should have been.  I was happy…I was satisfied that I had graduated 6th in my class and was a freshman at UNC.  I was on top of the world…and that would soon come crashing down.

This next revelation is something that I believe I’ve only divulged to my sister.  The spring semester of my freshman year, I found myself as part of a frightening statistic.  I was the victim of date rape…I went out on a date.  I walked away from my drink, and ultimately paid the price for my lack of judgment.

No, I didn’t go to the police.  Yes, I felt at fault for the entire chain of events.  The aftermath and the emotional struggle that ensued sent me on a downward spiral in every aspect of my life that took years to overcome.  I fell into a deep depression and became extremely unmotivated.  I withdrew socially from those around me.  Since that horrifying incident in my life, I have discovered that the US Department of Justice says that one out of every four college women is the victim of date rape.  This statistic makes me sick to my stomach. It was an atrocious, disgusting crime that I kept inside.  This is the first time I have truly opened up about it in 10 years, because like many other women who fall victim to this crime, I blamed myself for its occurrence.

Hurting and embarrassed, I ate to suppress my feelings.  Food became my security blanket.  Food didn’t judge me or hurt me or leave me.  It became my safe place…and I went to it often.  I subsequently gained 60 pounds, which only fueled my self-hate and self-loathing.  Once on medication, the depression got better.  I sustained for a few years, and then felt like since I was feeling better, that I could stop taking anti-depressants.  You can guess what happened.

I continued on an up and down cycle for years.  I would stay in bed for days.  Depression ignited my overeating and overeating led to my depression.  I would cry for no reason, and then I would be on the biggest high for no reason.  I felt worthless.  I blamed myself for many things… being fat, being raped, not having my dream job.  I had even managed to blame myself for my great-grandfather’s death; Convincing myself that if I had called him like I was supposed to when my mom told me to, that he wouldn’t have died.  But since I got busy, karma fought back and he passed away.  I did things without any regard for consequences.  I had a hard time breaking through self-defeating dialogue I’d been replaying in my head since I was young…repeating over and over again if I messed something up that I was a “stupid ungrateful bitch.” That everything gone wrong was my fault.

I have been at the absolute bottom more than once.  It is a place that I hope to never go back to again.  It kills me to say that I know my darkest times have damaged more than myself.  I destroyed every ounce of trust with my family.  I temporarily devastated the relationship with my mom. I take full responsibility for the destruction.  I take full responsibility for the hurt and the pain I caused.  I have enormous amounts of regret when I reflect upon the turmoil that surrounded me a few years ago.  Depression has robbed me of a lot of things, but I wouldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t gone through the depths of hell.  I’m thankful for my faith in God and constantly reminding myself that I would never be handed more than I could handle, even though at times I was not so sure.  I thank God every day for those amazing women that shared their stories and their struggles with me through 30 days of rehab, and helped me understand that others understood my pain.

I get emotional now as I type this, not because I’m embarrassed or upset about the things of my past. I am emotional because I have come so, so far from where I was, and I am so blessed.  I know now that there are no such things as failures, just different levels of success.

I want to be sure to mention one thing. The purpose of tonight’s post is not to gain sympathy.  I’m not writing any of this so you feel sorry for me. I’m not writing it to bring you down either. I’m writing this for the same reason I write about my weight loss struggle…so you know someone out there understands.

I have written all of this with a heavy heart.  I lost a friend from high school last week.  He unfortunately did not see that light at the end of the tunnel, and he succumbed to his struggle with depression.  He may have felt he was at that place I had been so many times…the place where you feel like no one comprehends your pain…no one comprehends your hurt and your despair. I wish I had reached out to him, I wish I had shared my story.  I wish I had portrayed to him how certain I was at one point that there was no way out – but there ultimately was.  I made it out.  Emotionally battered and bruised, I made it out.  And I made it out because I discovered I was not alone.

So why do I write this blog….because I can only hope that through sharing my stories and my struggles, not only tonight but in previous posts, that you know you are not alone either.

In memory of Scott McCreedy

12/2/81-7/22/11

“You can’t have rainbows without rain.”  – Unknown