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What Not To Wear

Shopped Until I Dropped

I had a really, really intense and unique (for me) experience today.  I went clothes shopping for… seven hours!! It was craaaaaaazy!  My friend A., who is totally a clone of Stacey on What Not To Wear, offered to take me clothes shopping and hold my hand and give me advice since I am such a total deer in the headlights.

A. has taken me shopping a few other times in the past ten years- but those times, it was because I was feeling hopeless about being overweight and she was trying to show me that I could still find things that looked decent even if I didn’t feel great about my body. This was the first time that I have gone shopping – I think in about thirty years – where I actually got any pleasure from it.

My relationship with clothes is almost as complicated as my relationship with food!  Basically, my “before” wardrobe consisted of everything that was either black or brown, shapeless, drab, with no “adornment” (A’s word).  She used to describe my clothing as “mouse-colored pajamas.”

I owned (until today) four pairs of shoes. A pair of Dansko clogs for everyday, a pair of really ugly slip on sandals for warmer weather, a pair of Uggs for super cold weather, and running shoes. THAT IS IT. My feet are really really wide, and my arches are flat as pancakes, and most shoes out there are very painful.

We spent two hours in the shoe department alone, and my head nearly exploded. But I did prevail and I actually bought three pairs of shoes – that fit me, were comfortable and actually nice looking. Here is one of my new pairs of shoes. Check out the little gray and pink flowers! They look sort of sandallish, but guess what – they are really clogs in disguise. Which is why they feel magnificent.

It’s funny. Our plan was to meet around 11:30. I figured we would shop for maybe half an hour, have lunch, shop for maybe an hour more tops, and that would be MORE than enough. When I was staggering around with 20 pieces of clothing about an hour in, and said, “I think this is plenty,” A. just looked at me and laughed. Clearly she was just getting started.

I probably tried on fifty pieces of clothing. My main objective was to purchase a festive outfit for our friend W.’s wedding celebration party tomorrow. (the actual marriage took place a while back, this was a post-wedding party) Casual, but festive. It’s going to be at their house and yard, where they have goats. Not super formal by any means.

As we passed by a rack of dresses, A. pointed out this navy blue Cleopatra kind of dress with all sorts of gold “adornment.” I nearly wet my pants from laughing. “Yeah RIGHT!” She ignored my close-minded attitude and swept it up, putting it onto the three foot high pile in my arms.

When I literally could not hold up the quantity of clothing any longer, we went into a dressing room and I started trying on things at a manic pace. My friend sat and “evaluated” each outfit, why it “worked,” why it didn’t. It was truly a revelation. For one, I never had any concept of what might look good on me  – my motto was, the bigger and floppier and more nondescript, the better. But here she was talking about my shoulders, my “waist,” (ha ha ha!) my legs and butt and all of it.  And I started understanding more about myself and why certain things actually DID look better than others.

I tried on the gold-adorned Cleopatra dress. She said, “O my god, that looks great!” and I had to take a double take in the mirror. It actually did not look bad. But ME? Wear a GOLD-ENCRUSTED dress?

Let me pause here and say that I HAVE NOT WORN A DRESS IN FIFTEEN YEARS. I have one dress that I bought for a wedding fifteen years ago, and it is so ancient and ridiculous I have had to swear to both my daughters that I will never wear it again and not in their presence.

So here I was wearing a gold-adorned Cleopatra dress. And pigs were flying past the dressing room door, and hell was freezing over. But hey, Barack Obama is now president. ANYthing is possible, right?? 🙂

I bought the dress. Along with a bunch of other things, some of which I adore more than I can say. I bought some Romanesque sandals to go with the Cleopatra dress.

I am going to post pictures. Yes I am! But I realize that these pictures will not have much impact unless I post my “before” pictures first.  I’m going to do it. So here’s the befores. You’ll see the Cleopatra outfit tomorrow, and then the rest of the clothes later next week.  Macy’s (where all this debauchery took place) is having some crazy storewide 25% off sale (YAHOO) but the catch is that you can’t actually HAVE the clothes until April 29th. Don’t ask. I don’t understand really, but I was willing to do that since I saved a bucketload of money.

The one thing we did NOT do was visit the makeup counter. Another place where I get incredibly nervous and feel like I am eight years old and playing grownup. We’ll have to save that for another time.

PHOTO UPDATE: Here are my hideous “before” pics, along with some pics of the Cleopatra dress.

3 Day Limbo

Now I know I have diabetes. But I’m not really doing anything differently until I have my first diabetes education class on Tuesday. I know that I’m going to have to start Testing on that day. (they told me to bring my little blood-testing machine) I know I will survive all that, but sometimes I get overwhelmed with thoughts of having to prick myself and draw my blood X number of times per day, like… for the rest of my life? I’m experiencing these last three days of somewhat ignorant somewhat bliss, my fingertips intact for a little while longer. I have to admit I am feeling some grief over this. But in the midst of this, I’ve also had some incredibly happy times.

The Springsteen concert on Wednesday was awesome. And last night my friend E and I went to the newly-refurbished incredibly beautiful Fox Theater to see… The Moody Blues!!! To say that it was a TRIP is an understatement. I don’t even think I could describe it in a way that would give it justice.  Crazy psychedelic graphics, and hundreds of grey-haired hippies, pulsing flowers and floating clouds, and just… groovy, man. E and I had our mouths gaping in complete disbelief. Also shock that we KNEW 85% of the songs BY HEART even though we had not heard them in probably over 30 years. It was just… trippy.  And way more fun than I’d had in a long time. It felt good to laugh and dance and be goofy.

My Couch-to-5k training continues to go well. This morning I wanted to get in a run/walk before WW and my friend M wasn’t available so I went with my trusty iPod and ended up definitely running more than my 2nd-week workout dictates. I’ve discovered that my PERFECT jogging tempo is to Cat Stevens’ “Wild World.” (la la la la la la) I really felt like I could have kept going a long time. But I had to go to my meeting and…

I lost another pound. That was a good thing. One more to TWENTY! I don’t think I’ve ever lost 20 consecutive pounds before. (just the same ones, over and over) I’ve weighed less than I do now, but after starting out at a lower weight, so I never lost that much.

In spite of the weight loss, I have to say that WW really turned me off today. The leader was talking about food substitutions, you know, to deal with still be able to eat our “old favorites.” And she said her favorite, most awesome thing was a Diet Soda Cake. I was like… wha?????? She said it basically consists of taking a box of cake mix (ie box of chemicals) and switching out the egg and oil for… a can of diet soda!!  So it’s basically nothing but a chemical cake. I’m thinking, could ANYthing be more gross than that??

And it just kind of underscored my feeling about WW really just hawking prepared foods filled with crap. The idea made me wince: a box cake made with DIET SODA? Okay, I’ll stop ranting now. But ugh.

Yesterday I went to visit another friend who is one of the most fashion-savvy people I know. She is my personal “What Not To Wear” consultant. Anyway, she was purging her closets and gave me 2 bags of unbelievably COOL clothes! Including a very adorable Little Black Dress and a cute grey skirt. Now, I have not worn either a dress OR a skirt in probably 15 years, so to try these things on and not be repulsed beyond belief was a milestone that made me incredibly happy. And really nice jeans! And a plaid jacket with A BELT!! It’s probably been 15 years since I’ve worn a belt of any kind, other than a bathrobe one. 🙂

So, I’m carrying on. I’m hanging in there. Part of me is trying on the idea that maybe this diabetes thing could be some bizarre Gift-In-Disguise.  It’s not going to let me off the hook.  Which is what I really need.

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