I Hate Buying Clothes

I was actually intending to do a post on motivation today, but I just need to vent.  I absolutely hate clothes shopping.  Post tummy tuck/breast lift, I really need new clothes.  I had almost run out of clothes after I got to goal, but had been slow on buying new stuff because I knew I was going to have the surgery and didn’t want to buy stuff that might not fit later.

Well, later is here and I have next to nothing that fits me.  I used to love wearing really loose T shirts and sweatshirts.  I don’t like clothes that are tight, especially around the neck.  But, things are getting ridiculous now.  When I went to get my hair straightened the other day, the hairdresser told me I need to get some clothes that fit.  I was wearing an extra large sweatshirt and, yes, it was way too big.

So, the past few days I’ve been trying to correct things.  I ordered a few T shirts and sweatshirts online.  These are brands I’ve worn before so I know my size.  But, the pants situation is getting dire.  I have a couple of pairs of workout pants (well, one of them is a little loose but is barely OK).  I have one pair of jeans that fits and that is it.  I have one pair of “nice” pants that I can wear if I wear a top that covers the waist, since the pants are too loose.

I’ve been wanting another pair of jeans and thought I would go to Old Navy to get a pair of black jeans.  That shouldn’t be difficult.  I am now a perfectly average size 10.  I don’t like skinny jeans (that whole not liking tight stuff) and I need a short size since my height rounds up to 5’4″.  Well. [Read more…]

Saturday Update

Usually I post a weigh in on Saturday, but not today since I weighed in on Tuesday when I got to 148 pounds and could weigh in and be free lifetime again at Weight Watchers.  But, I thought I would post about the week overall.  From a food standpoint it was a really good week.  I stay on track the whole week and ended up a little below the 1200 calories a day average that I shoot for.

Activity was down a little since I took two days off from exercise.  Most weeks I take off one day, but sometimes I take off two and this was one of the weeks I took off two days.  On the days I did exercise, things went well.  I did two sessions with the personal trainer and those went great.  Today, I went to the Y and did another session on my own as well as doing the elliptical.

I did find that knowing I won’t weigh in most likely until July 11th takes away one tool in my arsenal that I use to stay on track with how much I eat. Since I’m no more than 2 pounds over my goal weight, I don’t weigh in again during June and must weigh in at the first meeting I attend in July.  Normally, that would be next Saturday.  But, next Saturday is July 4th.  So, I’ll probably attend either the meeting tomorrow and it will still be June so I won’t weigh in.  Normally, when I know I will weigh in the next Saturday that does keep me focused on staying within my points/calories since I like to have a loss when I weigh in.  And, knowing I won’t weigh in until July 1th I haven’t had that motivation to keep on track.

I did stay on track.  I just couldn’t rely on that motivation.  My self talk was different.  Instead of focusing on the short term loss over the course of the week, I talked to myself more about eating well overall over the next two weeks. It was perhaps a subtle difference, but was definitely a little different than before.

What else?  Oh, I am a little annoyed I seem to be between sizes right now.  Currently I have two pairs of pants that I wear a lot of the time.  One pair is size 14 petite jeans.  These jeans are way too loose.  In fact, I can take them off without unbuttoning them, let alone unzipping them. I also have a pair of size 12 black pants. I noticed the other day that I can now pull them off without unbuttoning or zipping them.  I am an apple shape so if these had a higher waist I don’t think I could do that.  But, they fall fairly low on the hips.

So, I was at the mall the other evening and decided to check in at Old Navy.  The size 12 jeans (a little higher waist than the black pants) were … OK, but a little loose.  It wouldn’t take much and they would be too big.  I didn’t want to buy jeans that I might wear for less than a month.  I then tried the size 10 jeans.  And, they gave me a muffin top.  So, I didn’t buy either one. I need to go check some other stores.

Shopping and a Food Experiment

Two things to post about today.  I’m going to a family wedding out of town in a couple of weeks.  I needed to buy a new dress for it because I got rid of all my too big clothes and don’t actually own a dress other than my wedding dress.  I still don’t own one, but now I do have a skirt.

The Shopping

I actually hate clothes shopping, but especially when I am pressed for time and feel like I have to buy something whether I like it or not.  That is how I ended up with several outfits in January that I don’t love.  I decided to not wait to the last minute this time so I could come back on another day if I didn’t find anything.

I hadn’t really planned to shop today, but I had to go close to the mall to get my allergy shot so I thought it would be a good time to at least start. I headed first to Nordstrom’s which just opened in this mall a few months ago.  I had high hopes for it.  Those hopes were quickly dashed.  I had in mind to buy a sheath type cocktail dress thinking that would work best since I could wear it out to dinner later.  I quickly found that depending on style, I could wear a 12 or a 14.

Almost everything was sleeveless (I like sleeves).  I could have bought a little jacket or wrap, but I really wanted something with sleeves.  Most of those with sleeves, had deep V-neck backs and I didn’t want that either.  I did find a blue sheath that fit me and had sleeves and a back and was on sale.  I almost bought it, but I thought about the KonMari decluttering book and recognized that I felt no spark of joy when I held that dress.  I just felt resignation.  And, I decided that I was done with buying clothes that I didn’t love.

Then, I went to Macy’s.  There was a section there that had evening clothes that were separates.  I could even have bought a top with evening pants (standing still with my legs closed, they looked like a long skirt).  I was tempted, but decided I would go with getting a dress – or rather a top and a skirt.  Finally I found this one (I’ve cropped my head out since I didn’t know I would be doing the photo and I have no makeup on and my hair is messed up from trying on clothes.

Dress

I liked this a lot, and it has sleeves!  You can’t really tell in the picture, but the top is sparkly with a light amount of glitter.  That feels festive.  The jacket can button, but I like it better unbuttoned.  The skirt is black, a little sheer and swirls lightly at the bottom (there  is a liner underneath).  I had not planned on a long skirt.  I tried on a skirt that was calf length, but liked this one better.  I actually took a pic of both of them and texted them to my husband to ask his opinion (he liked the long skirt).

The other thing I like is that later on I can buy some nice black pants and wear this out to dinner.  But, that wasn’t even the most cool thing.  When I took it back to the dressing room, I brought a Large in both the top and the skirt.  That top (not the one pictured) was a little wrinkled.  I went to find another one, but all they had were either Medium or Extra Large.  The top had felt a little loose, so I got the Medium.  I decided if I was going to do that for the top, I would also try the medium skirt.  I went back and put them on and took the above picture.  So, I ended up buying the Medium in both which is a huge deal to me. I haven’t done that is over 20 years.

I still have to buy shoes, a new bra, and figure out what jewelry I’ll wear (I don’t have to buy it, but I do have to decide).  The thing about this outfit was that it made me smile every time I touched it.  I felt that spark of joy.

The Experiment

I had thought about doing this experiment a week or so ago, but was chicken.  But, the stars aligned where I decided it wasn’t a big risk.  So, I’m trying it.  I may fall flat on my face, but we can learn from failure just as much as from success.

Last Saturday I did lose 1.2 pounds which was great.  Over the last 3 weeks I’ve greatly increased my aerobic exercise and am burning a lot more calories, and I’ve been carefully tracking and am still keeping my calorie intake within an average of 1200 calories a day.  Even with last week’s loss, I’ve lost less than half as much as I “should” loss given my calorie burn and what I’ve eaten.

I tend to think that it is mostly due to water retention from increasing exercise, but it has been a bit worrisome that I haven’t lost more.  And, as of last night I was up about 2 pounds so far this week, even though I had averaged 1204 calories a day and Fitbit was telling me I had an average calorie deficit of 614 calories a day.  I know that none of those numbers are exact, but I should be down, not up.

Last night, my husband and I decided to go out for dinner.  Our anniversary had been in February when we were both sick.  We had decided to postpone it.  And, with this and that, we had never gone.  Finally, I had in mind to do it last night.  I already knew that I wasn’t going to my Weight Watchers meeting this Saturday.  With Sunday being Mother’s Day, I had decided not to eat out on Saturday as we usually do.  And, I knew I would be annoyed if I was still up on Saturday even with a good week.  So, I decided I would stay home on Saturday and work on the decluttering and go into Mother’s Day with Saturday having been a good day from a calorie standpoint.

We started out to eat at Texas Roadhouse, but it had a huge long wait.  So, I suggested Carrabba’s.  We had gone there on my birthday, but I had been really wanting their Chicken Trio which is on their dinner menu.  We ended up having a great dinner, but I ate too much.  It started out OK.  I like their bread and decided to have a limited amount of it with the oil.  That went fine.  I was going to order the Chicken Trio, with grilled asparagus and a cup of the Sicilian chicken soup.  That was basically OK.  The Chicken Trio (without sides) was 939 calories, which is a bit much, but I figured I wouldn’t eat all of it.

Then, the waiter asked us if we wanted an appetizer.  I hadn’t really planned on it.  And, truthfully, with the bread and the sides and the entree, I wasn’t really needing it from a hunger standpoint.  But, I could see that my husband wanted something, so we ordered the Bruschette Caprese, which is almost 900 calories.  I ended up eating half of it.  And, I ate my soup and my asparagus.  I did only eat about 70% of my entree because I was stuffed by then.  The whole meal  clocked in at almost 1400 calories and 36 points.  I ended up at 51 points for the day (1914 calories).

Afterwards, I was uncomfortably full.  I made a couple of errors.  First, I should have had the bread or the bruschette and not both (or only a bit of each).  If I wanted some of the bruschette, I also could have had only a small piece, instead of half.  Also, it was a mistake to order the Chicken Trio.  I usually order one of the small chicken dishes which is a lot fewer calories and is plenty to eat.

Anyway, having made the mistake, I decided to try to salvage something from it and conduct an experiment.  I’ve read various places that one technique to deal with a plateau (or lack of expected weight loss) is to temporarily eat higher calorie for a couple of days and perhaps decrease activity.  For some people, this seems to then lead to a quick weight loss when you go back to your regular eating.

I’m not sure why this works for some.  Some people think it works because your metabolism has slowed down a bit while eating low calorie and doing that with high exercise can make it worse.  Note, I don’t believe in starvation mode, but I do believe that eating low calories can slow down the metabolism some (that is called adaptive thermogenesis). And, some feel that if you eat higher calorie for 2 or 3 days, then that can help.

Having already eaten higher calorie yesterday, I decided I would also eat higher calorie today.  I’m not eating as high as I ate yesterday (I should finish today between 1400 and 1500 calories) and I will still have a calorie deficit today (not yesterday).  I didn’t exercise yesterday or today.  I did have more non-exercise activity today since I went shopping and then came home and worked on some more decluttering (makeup, bathroom items, jewelry).

I’m only doing this for yesterday and today.  I’m way too chicken to do it for 3 days. But, I am curious to see if it does anything for me.  I probably wouldn’t do it if I was going to my meeting on Saturday.  But, since I’m not I don’t have to be crazed by this causing me to go up in weight for a couple of days.

I will go back tomorrow to my normal eating averaging 1200 calories a day. I figure that if this doesn’t work, it won’t do much damage and I’ll learn this technique doesn’t work for me.  If it does work, then that is great.  We’ll see.

Clothes Gone and Organized!

Following up on my previous post about the book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, I tackled my clothes today.  Kondo suggests gathering all the clothes from anywhere in the house.  Then handle each item to see if it sparks joy.  If it doesn’t, then it goes.  In my case, I needed to actually try on most of the clothes to find out which ones were too big.

The result was a closet where the top row is almost empty.  It is strange to realize that the closet I thought was too small is now almost too big.

Full Closet

I ended up with a bottom row of often worn clothes.  The top has some seasonal clothes in the back and one lone T shirt that is just a tiny bit too small for me.  Well, I also ended up with 2 full trash bags.

I discarded clothes for 3 basic reasons.  A lot of clothes were just too big for me.  I’ve lost 55 pounds over the past couple of years.  I’ve thrown out a lot of stuff over that time, but there were some things that still remained.  I wear a lot of T-shirts and I’ve always liked them loose.  The other day my hairdresser noticed my weight loss from a month ago when she really wasn’t noticing it before.  She noticed it because I wore a T-shirt that actually fit rather than one that was voluminous.

So, I got rid of almost everything that was too big for me.  The one exception was a few T-shirts that were in good shape (no holes, not worn looking) that were comfortable to be sleep shirts.  They will only be worn for sleeping. Other clothes were just worn out (most of those were also too big).

And, some clothes sparked no joy. They fit, but I just just didn’t feel the joy.  The flannel shirt that I bought where the pocket isn’t deep enough for my phone and it fits, but just doesn’t feel right.  The T-shirt where the embroidery on the front is too heavy and seems to weigh down the shirt.

The only clothes that were really hard to discard were the Ao Dais that I had custom made for me in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Purple Ao Dai

An Ao Dai is a traditional Vietnamese outfit.  There are pants and then a long, form fitting top over the pants.  I always loved my Ao Dais because I could wear them to dressy occasions and didn’t have to wear a dress.  This one I loved because it is purple with  beautiful flowers painted on it.

I also loved this black one because it has a dragon on it.  I mean, a dragon!  Who wouldn’t love it?

Black Ao Dai

Not only did I love these, but they also have a sentimental pull on me.  In 2000, we and our then 5 year old son, spent a few weeks in Vietnam where we adopted 2 siblings.  While we were in Hanoi, I had the Ao Dais made for me.  So, it was hard to get rid of them.  But…. I weighed almost 175 pounds when these were made.  They swim on me now.  I took the pictures above, and away they went.

Kondo recommends that clothes in drawers be stored vertically not horizontally.  I was a little uncertain about this.  Having now folded them as she suggests, I am now sold on this idea.  Here is a drawer that now holds underwear, sleep shirts, shorts, swimsuits, and a winter hat:

Drawer Clothing

Before, I basically had underwear in the drawer and nothing else.

And, I had a drawer that had only my socks in it.  The socks always ended up separated, so I was constantly having to forage through the drawer to try to find the other half of the pair of socks that I wanted to wear.  The drawer was full.  I did discard a few pairs of socks (no joy there!), but I kept most of them.  This is the result:

Sock Drawer

The 4 socks laying by themselves in the back are those that I couldn’t find the other half of.  If I don’t find them by the time I get the rest of the house done, they will go.  What amazes is how much less room it takes to store socks this way.  I have a lot of empty room in a drawer that was full earlier today.

One thing this exercise did show me is how much I need to buy clothes.  As I’ve been losing weight I’ve resisted buying much because I didn’t want to have to replace clothes as I lost more weight.  And, there were some things I discarded that I bought when I weighed 25 pounds more than I weigh now.  I needed them then (having lost 30 pounds), but they are too big for me now.  Still, they were there when I needed them and now I don’t need them any more.

Still I recognize that my wardrobe has some real holes in it.

Clothes

The only clothes I now own other than the above and the ones in the drawers are one T-shirt that is a tiny bit small, seasonal clothes (winter sweatshirts and jackets mostly) and my wedding dress.  I actually tried on the wedding dress since I weigh only a few pounds more now than I weighed when I got married.  I didn’t expect it to fit since my waist is bigger now than it was back then when I was this weight (higher body fat percentage, alas) and I had to wear control undergarments to get into the dress back then.  The good news was that it is closer to it fitting me than I thought it would be.

Anyway, as you can see, I don’t have a lot of clothes.  I have 3 tank tops.  Two are black and OK, while one is multi-colored.  I don’t actually get much joy from the multi-color one and should have discarded it according to the precepts of the book.  On the other hand, I bought it fairly recently to tide me over until I get to a smaller size.  I was desperate to find something at the time and this was OK.  In another 5 pounds or so, it will be too big so I kept it just to get through that time.

I have numerous black T-shirts (all with something on the front that I like) and a few T-shirts of other colors.  I wear T-shirts about 95% of the time. The ones I’ve kept fit me and are not as loose as what I’ve been wearing. I have exactly one short sleeved denim blouse that isn’t a T shirt.  I was conflicted a bit about it.  I love the front of it.  It has a bunch of embroidered cats on it.  But, it is short sleeved.  When I wear a T-shirt I also put a jacket or a long sleeved shirt over it.  I can’t do that with the denim shirt.  So, I’ve kept it and will see if I end up wearing it, now that I’m thinner (I’ve had the shirt for about 15 years, but only now can I wear it again).

I have only 5 pairs of pants – 2 pairs of knit pants that I wear mostly around the house, blue jeans (almost too big), black jeans, and black “nice” trousers.  That’s it.  Pants don’t last me as long size-wise, so I buy as few as I can get away as I’ve been going down the scale.

Finally, I have a few jackets and a Chambray shirt (I just bought it at the Gap last week), that I wear over T-shirts.  A couple of the jackets I don’t actually love, but they are like the multicolored tank — bought not too long away to tide me over.  In a few pounds, most of those will end up being replaced. I bought most of those a few months ago when I actually needed to go into my office and needed to wear something appropriate for the office, instead of jeans and a T-shirt.  My old office clothes were way too big for me and needed to be replaced. I usually work from home so I don’t need many office-type clothes any more.  When I used to work full-time in the office, suits were most of what I wore.

No, I own no skirts or dresses (except for the wedding dress).  I will soon own a dress since I am going to a family wedding in late May and will be getting a dress for that.  The area where my clothes are really deficient now are nicer casual clothes.  I plan to really work on this when I get into the 140s.

But, mission accomplished.  Kondo says to do books next.  I actually did books before I got this book.  I will look through the books again (to find any that don’t give me joy or that I really don’t think I will ever read) and then it is on to papers.

Saturday Weigh In

I was definitely put out by my weigh in Saturday.  My calorie deficit on Fitbit says I should have lost .3 pounds.  Now, this was not a great week — actually I had 6 good days and one day that was bad.  And, sometimes, I’ve noticed what Fitbit tells me may not show up for a few days.  So, if I had woke up on weigh in day with a .3 pound deficit on Fitbit and I had stood on my scales at home and had a gain I would have been OK with it.  But, I didn’t.  My scale at home would have been consistent with a loss of around .2 or .4 pounds (closer to .4 than .2 actually).

My scale and WW scale are not exactly the same but the relationship between them is usually consistent from week to week.  My current scale tends to weigh a little heavier than the WW scale so I keep that in mind.

Anyway, I got to Weight Watchers and weighed in at 160 pounds for a gain of .2 pounds.  This was aggravating since my weigh in at home led to expect either 159.4 or maybe 159.6 pounds.  I was utterly shocked to have a gain.

The next morning I weighed and was down .6 pounds!  Of course, that was at home and not Weight Watchers.

After the meeting, we went to Genghis Grill for lunch (always easy to eat within points there) and then went clothes shopping.  It was a weird day for weather.  It was windy and little cool.  Not awful, but it was freezing in the mall.  I went to Macy’s and saw literally nothing that I liked.  And, I was so cold I finally told my husband I just wanted to leave.

We then went to Dress Barn and I was able to find a few things that will tide me over for the next few months.  A few casual jackets and tops and a pair of nicer black pants.  I was at a weird size in pants.  The 14s were all too big for me.  There was one pair that was….OK … but I knew that if I lost a few pounds it would be too small.  The 12s were mostly OK…but a tiny bit tighter than I would like.  Some of them were just way too tight.  I could fasten them but didn’t like how they looked.  I finally chose 12s that looked OK on me although the waistband is just slightly tighter than I would prefer.  But, they looked OK on me and I felt would last longer than the 14s that were already quite loose on me.

I still need to buy a few more things, but at least I’ve gotten some nicer clothes that will tide me over for the next few months!