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8 is the new 14

Today’s post is about…clothes!!

I had a shocking and weird experience in a clothing store last week. I was checking out some jeans – I have really never had any “nice” jeans – just big, floppy “casual fit” Levi’s that sort of hung on me. The saleswoman came over and asked if she could help.  I said I probably needed a size 12.

I have worn pretty much a size 14 for the past 5-ish years, and before that, 12.  I have really never worn a size 10 in my adult memory, and NEVER anything in single digits.

She looked at me skeptically and said, “No way are you 12.” I said, “Yes way.” So she gave me a 12 and a 10. I went into the dressing room. The 12 was indeed, way big. The 10 fit pretty well. I was happy. I came out of the room. She appraised me and said, “You need an 8.” I started laughing hysterically. I said no. She shoved an 8 into my hands and thrust me back into the dressing room.  And… THEY FIT.

I didn’t buy them because I was in too much of a state of shock, and I also didn’t like how high the waist felt. They came up wayyy over my navel, which felt weird. So I didn’t get them. But I spent the rest of the day muttering to myself in disbelief, “I wear a size 8?!?!”

But I have remained dubious. My theory (not even a theory, it’s fact) is that clothing sizes have gone down, down, while remaining the same size.

And last night I proved it. I went on a romp through my closet, trying on everything I could. The good and crazy/happy news is that I could not find a SINGLE PIECE of clothing that doesn’t fit me because it’s too small. (several too big now) That was trippy. I mean really hard to even believe.

But I noticed that the OLDER that a piece of clothing was, the larger the size.

Finally, I found an old pair of shorts, maybe 15 years old. Tried them on. They fit me sort of snugly, but fit OK. JUST LIKE THE SIZE 8 JEANS in the store. I looked at the tag on the shorts. SIZE 14. I swear!!!!!!!

Another thing. I got married in a size 12 wedding dress. This was in 1988, 21 years ago. And guess what? I weighed 19 pounds LESS than I do now. There is no way that I could squeeze into that dress today. A size 12.

So, sizes have been shrinking while clothes stay the same. I find this incredibly annoying but of course I understand the marketing concept behind it. Women will be ecstatic to THINK they wear a size 8 when they are actually a 14 from 1988!! Ugh.

I really think they should abolish these arbitrary stupid sizes and just make everything the true number that it is, based on inches. Size 30. Size 35. Whatever.

If the numbers had stayed true to 1988, I would have probably been up to a size 20 or something, which would have alarmed me a lot earlier. But I think I felt like 14 was “bad, but not TOO bad” – ie I could still shop in “regular” instead of “plus sized” stores.

The whole thing is just weird. So while I am mildly excited to be fitting into those size 8 jeans, part of me knows it’s just bogus.

20

Twenty. Twenty twenty twenty twenty twenty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I haven’t been at this weight in over twelve years.

That is all the news for today. 🙂

Upcoming Blog Topics

Ooh, there is too much I want to blog about, a LOT on my mind lately, and not enough time. But I want to write about the following in the next few days:

  • people who have successfully lost weight/kept it off without counting calories or points
  • blaming one’s weight gain on others (entities, people, situations, etc)
  • my first run/walk around the local lake AND my first Couch-to-5k session (done!)
  • what people are talking about when they say “dealing with your issues” re food/emotions and why this year might be the first year in my life it might actually happen
  • this week’s episode of the Biggest Loser
  • changing up trainers/exercises/workouts

SO — that’s what’s been on my mind this week! I want to write about it all eventually. What would YOU vote for, for me to write about first?

My Experimental St. Patrick’s Day Feast

I’m a real sucker for holidays. And after reading about Michelle Obama’s St. Patrick’s day celebrations, I thought, we are going to  have a St. Patrick’s day FEAST! Whole Foods was having this big SPD extravaganza, so I went down there and basically went wild. (no, I did not cook all of this myself, in fact not one bit of it!) I got:

  • corned beef and cabbage
  • mashed potatoes
  • roasted root vegetables
  • turkey shepherd’s pie
  • beef stew
  • Irish soda bread
  • Guinness Stout (for hubby, I don’t drink beer of any kind)
  • cute little mini cupcakes with green sprinkles

I also made a lovely mache salad when I got home. (my only contribution to the meal!) I think my family was a bit stunned by the spread. It looked awesome!

I had a plan. I was going to taste everything, not eat anything I didn’t love, and savor in small amounts what I did love. Oh, and attempt to put down fork in between bites. That is a TOUGH HABIT to break, people. I don’t think I’ve unclenched my fork-holding fingers since I was about… two.

So. First off, the corned beef wasn’t very good. It was brownish rather than pinkish, which is what I recall it’s supposed to be. I didn’t like it. STOPPED after one bite. Then, the root veggies, which were so colorful and pretty. But they were undercooked and hard. One bite, done.  Didn’t even go to the cabbage; I don’t eat it unless it’s cole slaw.  Ate a bunch of mache salad because it was super fresh and yum! With french feta crumbled in. OK, on to the beef stew. YUMMMMM. Heaven. MMMMMMM. Ate it very very slowly. Ate a bite of turkey shepherds pie. GOOD. Focused on really enjoying those two things. Took a little mashed taters to mix with the yummy savory gravy from the beef stew. MMMM. Decided to pass on the bread because I knew I’d want butter, and then I’d go all “If You Give A Mouse A Cookie” on it.

The other family members tasted the cupcakes before I got to mine. The review was “dry, and the icing is funny.” NO THANKS. I didn’t even taste it.

So ultimately, I really had a bunch of salad, about a cup of beef stew and 1/2 cup of turkey shepherds pie (and 2 TB of mashed potatoes). Also had a big glass of sparkling water. So I finished just FULL. And happy that I had had a yummy dinner. And not gross feeling!

My goal was to “thoroughly enjoy a special St. Patrick’s Day Feast and STILL LOSE WEIGHT this week.” Weigh in is on Saturday, but I am feeling pretty darn good.

I have to run now, but just want to give major props to Dinneen at Eat Without Guilt for even introducing the concept of eating like this.  It was an amazing and new experience!!

Assessment: Two Months Today

Two months ago today, on January 17th, I got my wake-up call and thus began my… what? My New Life? My Healthy Journey? I keep trying to think of how to describe it. I think I shall call it my Turnaround. Also Turnover. I began turning over all of my old habits, thoughts, fears, activities (and lack of) and really trying to examine what got me to that point. It’s been a very busy two months.

Here’s my little self-assessment after two months have passed. In the tradition of the maddening “narrative progress reports” that my kids used to bring home from school, because the poor little darlings were’t thought to have enough self esteem for letter grades:

What’s Going Well:

  • Well, I’ve actually lost 16 lbs! That’s no small potatoes. And I intend to keep going. I’ve been through a plateau or two, and a day or two of discouragement, but the trend is steadily downward. And that can’t help be encouraging.
  • I haven’t had a major bout of Emotional Eating since Jan 17th. I can’t even describe how shocked, incredulous and frankly moved I am by this. Previously I would not have thought this possible. I truly have found ways in which to ride out the emotions, write them out or talk them through. And they have passed. In the many times that I’ve dieted in the past, THIS part was never really addressed. So it’s huge. HUGE, I tell you.
  • I am pretty happy most hours of most days. Which I can say has not been true for YEARS. I mean, I used to have some happy moments in what were either “regular” blah or downright bad-feeling days. NOW, I have moments of absolute ECSTASY within days that are mostly happy or at least content, with little blasts of unhappiness now and then. I don’t know whether to attribute this to the endorphins from exercising, to the fact that it just feels comfortable and nicer to be smaller and fitter, or the fact that I am channeling my emotions properly rather than using food. Probably ALL of the above.
  • Most importantly, I think I am improving my health. I have been able to discontinue my blood pressure medication that I have been on for over five years. I think I’m going to have more improvements when I next see my doctor in April. I’m moving in the right direction.

What is Going Better But Could Be Improved:

  • Low-level anxiety that This Cannot Possibly Last.
  • Insecure in my new habits (this is echo of first point)
  • Probably too much focus on the scale

What Needs Major Improvement:

  • Eating breakfast. I’m getting tired of eggs, not wild about many other breakfast foods, etc. I KNOW it is the most important meal and that it jump starts your metabolism and all that! I really need to work on this one. I am going to experiment with eating lunchy/dinnerish foods in the morning and see if that helps any.
  • (more echo of point one) “Breakfast like a queen, lunch like a duchess and dinner like a pauper.” This is what I’ve read repeatedly but still dinner is THE MAIN EVENT around our house. I wonder how much it would help if I could actually implement this style of eating. We did eat like this in Latin America, where the main meal is at noon, then dinner was more like what we’d call a “snack.” And I did lose 26 lbs while living in Central America, but that was probably the hard labor and turista. 🙂

Conclusion: All in all, things are going shockingly well. I have to say that I am cautiously optimistic. But nervous, you know, because I’ve never done this before.

Good Day!

  1. My home scale showed the lowest number yet this morning, which happens to = the number that is on my DRIVERS’ LICENSE. YAY!!!!  I am halfway to my weight-loss goal. 🙂 I think I can safely say that the “step it up” approach was a good choice.
  2. Went to Weight Watchers, (SO much better to go on a Saturday morning than Sunday morning), lost 2.0 lbs on their scale, and got a star for losing 6.2 total since I joined up with them. (I had already lost 10 on my own before going to WW) My inner five-year old was very pleased with the star, and the applause.
  3. About to go for a walk in the nice cool woods. (edited to add: it was so cool out, and my iPod was so hopping, I ended up racewalking 60 minutes and jogging 20! and it felt great)
  4. Going to celebrate by making daughter’s favorite chicken pot pie tonight. Just calculated the points at the WW site and realized that a serving (INCLUDING PIE CRUST) is only 4 points!! Woo hoo!!! It’s back on the menu rotation. She’ll be thrilled. Now what I have to remember is to only have one serving (rather than 3) and to NOT serve it over a big heaping mountain of rice. 🙂

Giveaway Reminder!

Reminder! Tomorrow is the random drawing for The Instinct Diet book giveaway. Comment (there, not here!) for a chance to win this book. It looks very sensible and well-written.

Good luck!

Biggest Loser Top Chef: YAY

Y’all know that The Biggest Loser and Top Chef are two of my favorite reality shows EVER. So last night I was just squeeing with glee to see Rocco Dispirito, frequent Top Chef guest judge, on the Biggest Loser! It was set up totally Top-Chef style. It was like the merging of two perfect elements, except a lot funnier. I LOVED it. First, Rocco laid out the nutritional reality of many fast foods: pizza, burgers and burritos. It was super gross and mind-boggling to see him scoop up the amount of fat in a burger and fries meal. Shudder. Great visual.

Anyway, the challenge was for the BL contestants to make healthy and tasty versions of those three items.  I was enamored of the bison burger with feta cheese and portabello mushrooms. (and yay, it won) I just happened to read an article about bison in Eating Well magazine, which I just discovered yesterday. I am kind of intrigued and might go see if they have bison at our local Whole Foods.

Another part of the show featured one team going to do a shadowboxing class with Sugar Ray Leonard. Man, that guy was awesome. He talked about the mental and spiritual challenges being just as if not more important than the physical part. He reminded them to remember their POWER:

Persevere
Overcome
Win
Every
Round

and also talked about having “tunnel vision” – just focusing on one’s goal and not getting distracted by outside things. Everyone was very emotional and teary watching him and so was I.

There’s been a fair amount of controversy about coach Jillian yelling at Laura, who has been a bit of a slacker and whiner. I have mixed feelings about this. She HAS been a slacker and whiner. My own trainer has never yelled at me and I am not sure I would be appreciative if he did. But I’m much more of a Kristin than a Laura – if he tells me to do something, I do it. Today I even asked for MORE because I was feeling so pumped up.  I’m not sure if it was the rest day yesterday, or watching BL last night. I always seem to have good workouts on Wednesdays.

In not-so-good news, the scale gave me 2 extra lbs this morning. Does that mean I have to change my weight-loss graphic thingie back to 13? I think not. It will just have to wait for me until it catches back up to 15. I’m not totally surprised or freaked out because there are some hormonal things going on but still, one hates to see that number go UP.

In other news: I now officially weigh a decent amount less than my husband. At one point I actually weighed more than him, and I cannot even express how NOT OKAY this was. He is six or seven inches TALLER than me. And he’s a guy. So for me to weigh more than he does, was just soooooooooo unacceptable. I want to weigh a LOT less than he does, but for now, the little distance is a big improvement.

Ten Pound Reward

I guess I can safely say I’ve lost my first ten pounds. And my clothes are definitely fitting differently.  A friend of mine, the friend of mine who has the most fashion sense (and I have absolutely none) took me on a forced clothes shopping spree the last time I lost (the same) ten pounds. I bought two pairs of pants that fit me in a shockingly nice way. Who knew!

I am also the kind of person who haaaaaaates to spend money on clothes. I will spend money on many many other things: travel, FOOD (of course!), presents for other people, books, music, entertainment, but clothes are not my Thing at all. I literally have about five pairs of shoes- one of everything: Dansko clogs (for every day), a pair of New Balance athletic shoes, one pair of sandals, one pair of dress shoes, a pair of Uggs boots and a pair of Tevas. That’s IT. Part of it is that I have super wide feet and I can never ever ever find comfortable shoes. If I find something that feels good, like Danskos or Uggs, that’s it, I’m done.

Anyway, now that I’m back to the weight of my two pairs of nice pants, I thought, I KNOW these fit. I know they work for me, and I know what size.  So I did an online search and found that a fancy department store nearby sells them in JEANS form. Well, they’re not at the store so I can’t try them on. But I know these pants work for me.

It was a big leap. Let me see they cost… more than $100. This was painful for me. I can’t deal with the idea of spending that much on JEANS. But they are nice jeans, so I guess I can call them semi-nice pants. OK. I ordered them! They were my reward for the first ten pounds.

I can’t wait for them to come so I can try them on!

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