Category Archives: Clothing

Gastric Sleeve Surgery: Day One

The process to be approved for weight-loss surgery is not short, but if the end result leads me to incredible health benefits it’ll be worth it. It’s slightly less overwhelming now that I’ve spoken to my doctor about everything I need to do in preparation, but it’s going to be a long road.

The surgeon sent me a checklist that must be completed before I can be approved, and the process has begun:

  • Clearance from Cardiologist with a recent EKG – I had an EKG a few weeks ago, and it came back normal. Whew! I still have to see a cardiologist though, which means I have to find one soon.
  • Psychological Evaluation – I’m in the healthiest place I’ve ever been in my heart and mind, so that doesn’t seem like a big deal. I just need to schedule an appointment.
  • Pulmonology Evaluation – I have to have a pulmonary function test and an arterial blood gas. I really have no idea what this means, but it sounds like it might hurt. Yikes!
  • Blood work with a TSH within the last 12 months – I did this a few weeks ago too, but if they need more blood I’ll let them poke me again. I think we’re good are though.
  • Physician supervised weight loss and exercise program for 6 months – My insurance pays for Weight Watchers meetings, which counts. I’m already doing pretty well there, so I’m going to keep it up. Today was my first of 6 appointments that will be specific to my weight-loss progress. I’ll see my doctor again a month from now, and I hope to be 8 to 10 pounds lighter.
  • Dietician Evaluation – This seems pretty straight forward, and I think I could benefit greatly from it. I’ll do that on the same day as my surgical visit.

I’ve been doing well with Weight Watchers lately, and I’m finally starting to feel well after a few weeks of pain due to skin issues. I haven’t exercised in over two weeks, but I think I’m well enough to start again. Unfortunately, there’s no prescription or remedy to completely fix the problem, so even though it hurts again I have to deal with it.

sleep studyTonight I’m doing a sleep study, which should be interesting. Thankfully, they sent me home with the equipment, so I’m not required to spend the night anywhere else. It seems invasive, but it won’t be nearly as uncomfortable as sleeping in a hospital or another strange place.

I typically sleep through the night and wake up feeling rested, so I’m guessing I’m okay. I’m just going to do every test they suggest with the hope that it will lead me to a healthier place overall.

This process feels overwhelming to me, but I’ve spent the last few weeks thinking about how life would be different. I already love my life! I have a loving family, a great job, a group of good friends, a boyfriend who is thoughtful, encouraging and understanding, a comfortable home and a bright future. I don’t want any of that to change; I just want my health to improve long-term, so I  can enjoy the life I’m already living. It would be cool to be able to buy jeans again too, but I think I’m pretty close to that right now.

 

 

 

 

 

Blood Work, Parties and Pictures…

My pain level has decreased significantly since my last post, and while I’m not 100% better, I feel well enough to exercise again and do the things I usually do.

My weekend started with friends and colleagues at a work party Friday night when I went to the Sizzling Summer Soiree, our biggest fundraiser of the year. We’ve been looking forward to it for months, and finally being there felt like a huge success.

Michael and MeMy boyfriend, Michael, was my date for the event (obviously,) and we arrived early with a car load of sushi that had been donated for the event. When we arrived he went to work as if he had been a part of the team forever. I love that about him. He’s incredibly intelligent, bright and successful, but when a job needs to be done he gets it done. No job is beneath him because he values everyone, which is such an attractive characteristic.

He already knows the folks I work with because we’re all friends, and they’ve known him since before we were really dating. The cool thing is that he would have worked just as hard or strangers. His parents definitely raised him right. Swoon.

Stacie and KenlieStacie, who has become one of our aforementioned close friends, worked tirelessly to make this event happen. I know others did too, but I saw the work she did first-hand. We definitely all breathed a sigh of relief as we saw the event come together, then she and I took our first selfie. Seriously, we’ve had some great times together, yet we had never taken a picture? We’ve talked about that a few times.  Aren’t we cute?!

After we took our first one we took a few more with our friends and awesome co-workers. (Why not?! We were all feeling snazzy without our ponytails and gym clothes. Haha We were only missing Haley, who looked gorgeous and sparkly from head to toe! )

YMCA Friends

Michael even took one of us that was not a selfie. Who doesn’t love a good group photo?

The Cannery New Orleans

Following the party Saturday and Sunday were the quietest days I’ve had in quite a while. Michael flew out of town for work early that morning and landed as I was waking up for the day (at 7:30 am) while I ran errands around town before returning home. I typically fill my weekends with activities and events,  but I chose to take a much needed rest from all the things.

I did some writing, cooking, reading, baking and shopping. I also watched Hillary and Kaine as she announced him as her VP and  picked up a ring that I had resized. (More on the ring later.)

I had such a quiet and relaxing weekend that I almost felt guilty about it, then I was reminded that sometimes I need that. I’ll get back to my regularly scheduled lifestyle tomorrow, but it felt good to have some rest after the last few weeks. I can’t say that I’ve been busier than usual, but I do have to say that everything feels more tiring and challenging when I don’t feel well.

Thankfully, I’m on the mend. I’m seeing my doctor again on Tuesday, and I hope to have a lot of questions answered pertaining to weight-loss surgery.

Oh, and my blood work came back normal. They tested my A1C (Yay! No diabetes,) thyroid, cholesterol and a long list of other things, and it all looked fine apart from my weight and blood pressure. (Both are higher than they should be, but I’m working on it.) I figured I was probably okay when I didn’t hear back from them immediately, but it’s comforting to know  that I’m alright for the most part anyway.

 

 

 

 

What Do You Do With Your Old Clothes?

After writing Wednesday’s post (just before bed Tuesday night) I woke up feeling much more rested than I have in the last week or so, and I think that’s a good sign though I plan to speak to the doctor today or tomorrow.  I appreciated the comments yesterday.  I always do, of course, but some of them yesterday made me laugh, a couple made me cringe and a few made me think that I should contact the doc so I am.

And now, on to other things…I received an email recently asking what I do with my clothes when they’re too big.  And I’ll share my answer, but I’d love to hear yours too.

What do you do with your clothes when they become too big?  Do you keep them, or do you get rid of them?

I’m not a fan of clutter.  I really don’t like it at all so when clothes get too big, they do not stay in my closet very long.  I’ve lost 10 to 12 clothing sizes since the beginning of my journey, and I’ve given away almost all of the old clothing.  I did, however, keep a pair of khaki pants and a few other pieces of clothing from my heaviest weight because I like to look at them when I feel like I haven’t done enough.  And I want to have that moment someday…You know, the moment that you hold them up to show what you wore before.

I think it’s important to recognize how far we’ve come so keeping a piece or two of clothing is a fantastic idea, but I don’t keep it all because I have no desire to go back.  Why even leave that option open?  Instead, I wear clothes that fit and flatter my shape now.  I picked up a few stellar pieces at Lane Bryant today with the help of  Danny, a fashion designer for LB that I plan to see again when I’m back in New York in January.

I have pretty good taste in clothes (humble, aren’t I?)  So it’s fun to share with friends and strangers who can benefit from the larger sizes.  I typically share with friends first, and if I can’t find someone who wants what I’m sharing, I donate it.

What do you do with your old clothes?  Do you enjoy the process?

Pretty Things

It’s not always easy to find pieces that make me feel pretty with a bit of glam, but this dress from Dillards definitely helped me succeed in that this week.  It was the first time in years that I was able to walk into that particular department store and find clothes that fit my body.

As a plus-size girl who likes to feel feminine and, dare I say…pretty, I love shopping for clothing that doesn’t look like everything else in my closet so the neck line and sleeves really appealed to me.  It’s the first dress I’ve considered wearing sans cardigan in as long as I can remember.

Close-up...

While I was out, I also tried on a pair of Jones New York cropped jeans that made me feel completely stylish and adorable!  Now I’m on the search for the perfect swim suit – as perfect as it gets when you’re not satisfied with your body.  Hey, I’m a work in progress, remember? 😉

Making a silly face...I know...

This tankini from Avenue is a few sizes smaller than the last swimsuit I bought last year, and it reminded me that I have come a long way even if I don’t always feel like it. At 50% off, it might just have to be mine soon…

My clothing options have opened up so much since I began losing weight, and it seems to grow a bit more with every pound I lose.  Add another one to the list.  I lost 0.8 this week! And while I’ve always enjoyed buying new clothes, it’s fun to choose clothes that are flattering for my shape as opposed to buying whatever fits!

Do you enjoy shopping for clothes?  Has your view of shopping changed due to weight-loss or weight-gain?

 

My Little Wish List

I love dresses! I wear the often because it’s so easy to slip one on and leave home looking well-groomed and stylish. And I particularly adore maxi dresses because they’re so flattering for my shape, and it’s as comfortable as walking around in my pajamas all day.

Here’s a peek at a couple of my favorite dresses on my Old Navy wish list right now:

Call me crazy, but I would love to own this Striped Halter Maxi.  It would be perfect for a day at the beach, don’t you think?  I usually wear a shrug or cardi, but I think I’d wear this dress just as it is with a pop of yellow or red…just saying.

Striped Halter Maxi

And this Ruffle Tiered Sundress is calling my name, but I can’t be sure if it will be flattering. For 20 bucks, it’s probably worth finding out. Don’t you agree?

Ruffle Tiered Sundress

 

But this Cross-Front Floral Maxi is my favorite.  I seriously need it, but $50 seems pretty steep for Old Navy, no?  I realize that we often pay a lot more for plus-sizes, but a sale would be nice!   I’ll be keeping an eye on this one because it’s great for Summer, but it can definitely transition into the Fall.

Cross-Front Floral Maxi

It’s Saturday so I’m going to enjoy the day, and I hope you’ll do the same.  What are your plans for the weekend? Are you looking forward to anything in the coming week?

 

Worth It

My workouts have not been a struggle this week. I’ve gotten them done relatively painlessly. There’s just something about getting new (heavier) weights that excites me, and I couldn’t wait to use them. Yesterday, however, was a different story.

Wednesday was one of those days in which I worked out in the pool in the afternoon hoping I could convince myself I had done enough knowing I had not. My heart was definitely pumping in the pool, but I needed to do more cardio and weight training so I did – after midnight.

A few days ago I was feeling impatient about my weight-loss progress, but the rewards of my diligence was enhanced yesterday when I bought new clothes. I bought a new pair of jeans, and while I enjoy shopping in general, I enjoyed this trip because I had to buy jeans in a smaller size. I shopped at Lane Bryant (where sizes and cuts tend to run much smaller than other plus-size stores like Avenue.) And I know I’ve talked about going in to buy smaller sizes there before, but it just doesn’t get old. And knowing that I can wear jeans that are no longer the largest size is a big deal! Just saying.

Before Lane Bryant I went to Avenue where I was able to buy an adorable dusty purple button-up shirt that will look great belted or left open over a tank. Yes..sometimes I wear over shirts. 😉 And I found a few other items while I was out that made me feel pretty so shopping was a success. 😉

Days like yesterday are filled with undeniable proof that I’m headed in the right direction. I go through ups and downs, but the fact remains that I have the power to change myself from the inside out which is exactly what I’m doing.

Today is weigh-in day, and I’m always nervous. But I’m also confident about the direction in which I’m headed. And I’m looking forward to the day when my new jeans are too big too. 😉

In other news, I logged 14 glasses of water today though I think I may have had 16 glasses. It got hazy after 14 so I’ll call it. Either way, I’m feeling good about it.

One last thing…I’ve decided that I definitely want to try Spanx, and now that I know that many of you wear them I want your input. There are so many options! What should be my first piece? I’d love to try this full body one, but for $88 I need to know it’s spectacular. Has anyone tried it?

Just Thinking Out Loud

I’ve been losing weight pretty consistently for over a year, and I’ve made a lot of progress so far. But on days like yesterday I find it hard to accept that I still have so far to go. I mean, I’m not interested in quitting. There is no option in my mind except to continue moving forward. But it’s tough to know that I’ve come so far and still have so far to go.

Then I remember how easy it was to jog on the treadmill at 4mph for 8 minutes yesterday. To some that’s no big deal, but to me it’s an awesome accomplishment. I also remember how hard it was to shop for clothes only a year ago because I had to squeeze into the largest sizes in the plus-size stores.

I think about how I used to long to ride a bicycle and how I can now ride mine anytime I want to. I also think about April of 2009, shortly after it all began. I was traveling to meet my niece who would be born hours before my arrival. I remember walking back into the rental car company (in the snowstorm) to ask for a car that had more room in the driver’s seat because I just didn’t fit. I remember the anxiety I used to feel each time I stepped foot on an airplane…and how awful I felt every time I had to ask to be seated in a different spot because I wouldn’t fit into the booth at a restaurant.

(Reading to my newborn niece in April of 2009 – 12 pounds into my weight-loss.)

I think about how hard it used to be to walk – waddle is a more accurate description. And I remember the constant anxiety I’d feel because I fell so often. I even fell down the stairs more than once.

(Now I don’t think twice about carrying her around the store because I’m strong and my balance is good.)

I think about how hard it used to be to walk – waddle is a more accurate description. And I remember the constant anxiety I’d feel because I fell so often. I even fell down the stairs more than once.

These are all things that no longer happen because I’ve lost over 100 pounds. Life is better; I am better. I control my habits, and I own them. Whether my choices are good or bad, I take responsibility for them. And I take pride in that.

So while I still have a long road to my goal, I am so much closer than I imagined I’d be when I started. I hoped I’d do well on this journey, and now I can look at myself and say that I have.

I’m proud of who I am today and confident in the person I’m becoming. Today I know that my goals are within reach. After all, I’m almost halfway there! It’s not just a wish anymore…it is my reality. Weight-loss is a mental challenge so instead of thinking about what I have not yet accomplished, I choose to be proud of everything I have accomplished. And just like that, I feel better again. 😉

I drank 18 glasses of water yesterday, and I’m feeling pretty good about that too! =) Check out this photo of Sean’s adorable mom as she rocks the water challenge. Isn’t she cute?! I can’t wait to hug her! 🙂 And don’t forget to send in your own water photo so we can show the world (or, ya know, the people who read our blogs) that we are committed to staying hydrated.


And because the PEWC is going so well Sean jokingly suggested that we consider having an ice cream cone challenge. I think we’re already all over that challenge Sean. Ha.. Our photos are proof. We should probably just stick to the water challenge, at least officially, right? 🙂

(I would guess that this cone was closer to 180 calories than 150. It was bigger than usual – and sooooo tasty!)

How’s everyone doing today? What’s for lunch? And what will you do to burn calories today? I hope whatever you’re doing, you’re making the most of your Tuesday!

Bottoms up Friends…

Clothing Confidence

I’ve had a lot of philosophical stuff going on inside my mind tonight, and I’ll probably talk about that later. But I’m really excited about some cute clothing that I bought at Lane Bryant today. Yes, I went shopping..can you imagine? 😉 Here’s what I bought…

A denim pencil skirt…Really? I cannot tell you how excited I was when I tried it on. When I saw it on the rack I figured I’d give it a shot, but I was not expecting to like the way it looked on me. I mean, it’s a pencil skirt. The fact that I could fit into it and feel confident that I looked nice in it is just eveidence that I’ve come a long way.


I also bought this belted safari jacket because who doesn’t need a safari jacket in their closet? 😉 Doesn’t it say “hey, I’m ready to go on a lovely picnic at sunset?” Yeah…I think it does.


I also bought this knit sundress because I can’t have too many sun dresses…seriously. My favorite summer item is the sun dress because it’s the easiest, most comfortable way to achieve a flirty, put-together look. I love to feel girly and cute so it works. 😉


I considered buying Spanx today too, but I’ve always been worried that they would be a waste of money. I was too big for them last year, but now I could “comfortably” fit into them – and not even in the largest size. So should I try them? Does anyone want to admit to wearing them? And if so, do you recommend them? I also need cuter (and smaller) workout clothes before my trip later this month. Any suggestions?

It was fun to walk into Lane Bryant and walk out with items that I had to skip before. Shopping for clothes is no longer the chore that it used to be, and while my options have opened up tremendously in the last year, I know that these purchases are just the tip of the iceberg. 😉 And I’m looking forward to the day in which I can shop for clothes everywhere. Oh dear…that’s going to be fun.

What Else?

I haven’t written a happy-go-lucky, gushy post since…well, yesterday. 😉 If you read my blog at all, you know that I often share the reasons I’m thankful. And today I’d like to share things that make me happy. I’d like to know what makes you happy too so share a few things will you?

  • Losing weight makes me happy. This is obviously my first choice because it has had such a positive affect on my life in so many way.
  • Music makes me happy. Music often expresses what my heart feels in a way that words cannot. I had that experience today as I listened to a song called “Edgewater” by Jim Brickman. To me, the song expresses contentment and longing at the same time which doesn’t really make sense in words does it?
  • My friends make me happy. They choose to love me just because, and I definitely do not take that for granted. I’m so lucky to have friends now that I hope to keep forever.
  • Physical contact makes me happy. I’d rather greet a friend or family member with a hug and/or kiss than a handshake or by waving. It’s just who I am.
  • Working out makes me happy. No, I’m not joking. I’m not always excited to go, but I am always happy when I finish. And most of the time I start feeling good shortly after I begin.
  • Shopping for shoes, clothes, bags and things that are glossy and pretty.
  • Traveling is one of my favorite things. It makes me happy because it’s usually quite fun. I love relaxing on beautiful beaches or visiting friends and family. I’ve been on some fab trips so far this year. And I’m looking forward to a few more this year. I’m going to Mom’s house, Dad’s house, back to Vegas and to Aruba again. I look forward to every experience. 🙂
  • Reduced-fat Lays Kettle chips…yep..they’re delicious – 3 WW points per serving.
  • Make-up and nail polish and other girly things.
  • Talking on the phone. Yah, I know…what can I say? I’m a girl. 😉 Have you ever known someone that you could talk to about something or nothing for hours just because? I know someone like that, and the phone makes it feel as though we’re not as far apart as we are.
  • Christmas. I love it. I love decorating my tree, baking cookies and making homemade cocoa and hosting my annual party. 🙂 I pretend to hate that crowds in Midtown, but I’m full of it. The truth is that I see the tree every year. It’s crowded, and people are obnoxious. But I think I’ll always love it.

The list could go on and on, but I think this is enough for now. 😉 What makes you happy?

Fashionably Sensitive? A Little? Maybe?

If you know me at all, you know by now that I love to shop. And the more weight I lose, the more fun it is. Yesterday I bought several items at Lane Bryant. It has taken almost a year of weight-loss for me to walk out of that store with clothes that fit me. But as I shopped with my bestie yesterday, I realized that I could wear everything I tried on! And I tried on several outfits. I didn’t buy it all, but I bought most of it – leaving a couple of things that I know I’ll be back to pick up.

The first thing I tried on was a black dress with a gigantic flower on it. I wouldn’t have considered it a year ago, but today I tried it on and loved it. I didn’t even have to buy it in the largest size! Bonus! 🙂


And I bought this short-sleeved shrug to wear over it because it gives the dress a put-together, funky look. This outfit looks as confident and girly as I feel these days. 😉 I’ll pair this outfit with a pair of Cole Haan black wedge sandals that make everything look polished.


I also bought a pair of white cropped pants – yes, white. And they look fab AND slimming! Just ask Char..she’s always happy to give her opinion in the fitting room. I also bought a pair of mushroom colored linen cropped pants. Linen that fits well? Really? Yes! (For the record, having an honest and loving friend makes my shopping adventures easier because I know she won’t let me walk out in an outfit if it doesn’t look fantastic.)


When we left Lane Bryant we went to H&M where I bought some adorable clothes for my niece then headed to Sephora. And I bought a Mark Jacobs Daisy perfume roller (for only $20) to keep in my bag because it smells like Spring to me. I still love my current perfume – The Beat by Burberry, but I won’t have to worry if I forget to apply it before I leave home because I’ll take this one with me. Does it get any better than that? 😉


I used coupons at Lane Bryant so I received $75 off of my purchase which was excellent. And I plan to use my new coupon tomorrow to buy an amazing pair of jeans and a yellow top that simply must be mine. 🙂 I didn’t buy those today because I refuse to pay full price if I can take $25 to $50 dollars off if I wait 24 hours. Even I can muster up such a small amount of patience…I think. 😉

Fashion doesn’t excite everyone, and I realize that. But it excites me lately because I’m starting to buy clothes that I like instead of buying them simply because I can button them. The more weight I lose the more opportunity I have to define my style through my wardrobe. I already do it with shoes, bags and sunglasses. Now I’ve begun adding my clothing preferences. It’s a great feeling, and I know that this is just the beginning.