Weighty Matters

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Starting Off Right

It’s 8 a.m. on Monday morning.  I don’t normally compose and post to the blog this early in the day, but I feel the need.  I’ve had several physically and emotionally draining days.  I almost constantly wanted to eat from the stress.  Most of the time I was able to block the compulsion.

Hopefully this week will be less stressful, but since I don’t control the universe, there may be things done by others or just events that unfold that will potentially affect me.  Like I said, I can’t control that, but I can manage my reaction.  Every morning, every day, heck, in almost every minute, we have the ability to choose our attitudes and responses.

This morning before I got out of bed, I reflected on events of days past and thought about what the week might hold.  Then, I made a decision that I was going to choose an attitude of positivity and not one of dread.  I’m going to smile at adversity.  If an unexpected challenge comes my way I’m going to laugh, shrug, and meet it head on.  I’m going to remember that nothing is going to happen that I can’t handle with or without help.  Most of all I’m going to go through the days as I begin them– with the attitude that I am grateful for the blessings and lessons that come my way.

I’m also not going to let anything or anybody trigger me to eat inappropriately.  I’m not going to stress about how much weight I may or may not lose between now and my next doctor’s appointment on the 26th.  I’m just going to stay with my food program and exercise activities and trust my body to do the rest.

It’s going to be a great week, my friends.  More to the point, I’m going to have a great week, no matter what.

Who’s with me?

Have a wonderful Monday, everyone.  I’m off to walk the dogs before I go to work.

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Finding New Ways, Part Two

I only just decided to do another post on Finding New Ways, hence the Part Two when there was nothing to designate the previous post as Part One.  I figure you’d all just roll with me on it. 🙂

Yesterday, I was thinking more along the lines of finding new ways to cope rather than running to food.  Tonight, I’m more focused on finding new ways to take care of myself.  These are probably flip sides of the same coin and I don’t mean to repeat myself, but I think there are some subtle differences, or at the very least, shaded nuances.

Yesterday, the massage helped me cope with the stress.  Today, I’m in need of some self care.  I have to choose whether to indulge in chocolate and pretend it’s a way of caring for myself or finding another way.  I’m choosing a good soak in the bathtub with the latest book written by one of my dearest friends.

Sometimes it really sucks that I have assigned so many roles to food in the past.   I started to write that thought as, “….sucks that food has played so many roles in my past”, but I decided it was necessary to take responsibility.  Honestly, it’s not like food auditioned to be my drug of choice, my reward for good behavior, my punishment, my consolation, and the club with which I beat myself.  I cast it in those parts and then directed its performance.

Now I need to keep food in one, appropriate, role — nutritional sustenance.   It’s allowed to taste good and be enjoyable to eat, but I need to not give it any more importance than being fuel for my body.  I can find other, healthier ways to reward or comfort myself or just make myself feel better.  Notice I’m leaving out the whole punishment and club aspects.  I’m done beating myself up for stuff.  I’m a good, human being with a human being’s normal amount of fallibility.  If I screw up sometimes, then I screw up sometimes.  I don’t ignore the messes and do my best to hold myself accountable.  This doesn’t mean I need to garb myself in sackcloth and replace cosmetics with ashes.

New days, new ways.  That’s the ticket.  How do you take care of yourself?

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Finding New Ways

I just realized that I last posted on the 9th and it’s the 11th.  The last couple of days are a blur of work, commitments, stress-inducing crisis, and more work.  I’m physically and emotionally exhausted.  I can’t speak in depth about the stress-inducing crisis because it involves an organization with which I’m involved, but I can assure you that it isn’t the one where I work.  I feel a tad overcommitted this week, and by tad I’m underexaggerating.  Not only did I work every day but I had evening meetings on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.  Even Tai Chi on Wednesday wasn’t its usual relaxing self but something else I needed to do, somewhere I needed to be.

I am so glad to be home tonight just puttering around the house, cuddling the dogs and watching my Phillies play the Miami Marlins.

Whenever I had weeks like this in the past, I used food and overeating to help me deal.  There is no empirical evidence that compulsive eating every actually helped me deal with anything even once, but it was my crutch so, excuse or no, I used it.  That’s not my way anymore.

Recovering from any addictive disorder means not falling back into the addicting substance or behavior.  When the going gets tough, the tough need to develop new coping mechanisms.  This week, I decided that I would treat myself well with a massage.  I earned it, I deserved it, and, most of all, I needed it.  I went this afternoon after leaving work and it was worth every minute of time and every dollar I spent.  My body feels so much better and I’m definitely not physically holding onto the stress any more.

I passed the cupcake bakery on my way to and from the massage therapist but I didn’t stop in and buy something with too many calories to console me for my tough week.  Although I thought about it, I decided that the best tasting cupcake in the world wasn’t worth eating when I’d worked so hard to lose weight this week.

Food wise, I had an excellent week.  Yes, even with all of the crap going on and my general, over-extended busy-ness, I stuck to my plan to eat mostly “full” liquids for breakfast and lunch and then low carb meals for dinner.  Honestly, I didn’t eat very substantial meals for dinner either, often having some yogurt or fruit or something light.  Tonight I could have put together a salad (see recipe that appears below) but I wasn’t all that hungry when I got home and had a couple of carrots and some hummus for dinner instead.

It isn’t always easy to find new ways to deal with the random stuff that often comes with life.  I’m glad when I can pick a substitute behavior instead of eating, and that’s honestly the key thing to remember.  What I do is not as important as what I choose not to do.  Whichever coping mechanism or coping assistance I employ, the only sure thing that I need to lock onto is that I need to choose not to overeat.  Everything else is secondary.

Now for the recipe, that I absolutely plan to make for dinner tomorrow.  I have the ingredients prepped and ready to go.  This recipe comes courtesy of Karen (Betty Bear).  Many thanks!

Kale Salad

1 bunch of kale (the original recipe asked for lacinato, aka elephant, kale, but curly is easier to find and tastes just as good)

⅓ c. pine nuts, toasted

⅓ c. dried cranberries or cherries

3 oz. ricotta salada cheese, grated (mild feta works fine)

1 T. minced shallot

1 ½ T. lemon juice

5 T. extra virgin olive oil

Whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and shallot. Wash kale and remove stems. Slice horizontally VERY thinly. Toss kale, pine nuts, cranberries and cheese. Toss with dressing.

Notes: this makes a LOT of salad, enough for 5 or 6 people. If you’re making for yourself, prep everything else but only do as much kale as you want for your salad and add other stuff accordingly.

 

 

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Fresh Produce

First of all,  let me say that I had a much better day with significantly less anxiety.  Working it out on the blog really helps.  True dat!

Now onto today’s topic.  I know that Fresh Produce is a clothing line, but that’s not what I’m talking about.  I mean the real deal, not just comparing apples and oranges, but actually discussing apples and oranges!  Right now my home smells of baking apples.  I’m making my favorite homemade apple sauce.  It’s a recipe I gleaned from Ina Garten aka The Barefoot Contessa.  It’s easy with delicious results.  Plus I’m using all organic fruit.  One peels, cores and quarters the apples and then mixes them with some fresh orange juice and lime juice, a bit of brown sugar (most of which I omit), cinnamon and all spice.  Pop it in a covered baking dish for 90 minutes and remove when the fruit is soft.  You then use a whisk to break the apples into a chunky sauce.

Several co-workers and I belong to an organic buying club.  Every two weeks a large truck arrives at work with bunches of fresh organic produce that gets split into whatever shares each of us purchased.  I get the mini fruit share.  This week it contained Braeburn apples, pears, navel oranges, grapefruit, strawberries and bananas.  One of those oranges got zested and juiced for the apple sauce.  I have more grapefruit than I can eat right now, so I’m going to juice some of those.  The berries and bananas will be used for smoothies.  I predict that sometime this weekend, one of those pears will be spotlighted with goat cheese and toasted walnuts over mixed greens for a yummy dinner salad.

In addition to the fruit share, I added kale and collard greens.  Some of the kale will be added to my smoothies and the rest will baked into chips.  I haven’t decided what to do with the collard greens yet, but I’m sure I’ll find a delicious recipe somewhere.

Fresh produce is a wonderful addition to my life.  I used to eat fruit sporadically and was usually  sometimes  pretty fairly good about adding veggies to my daily meals.  I’ve never been a fan of canned vegetables, but didn’t shy away from the frozen brands.  I don’t know whether it was laziness or what, but fresh produce often seemed to be too much effort.

This is strange when I think about it because I grew up in southern New Jersey where farm stands were plentiful, particularly when I was a kid.  Corn that had been on the stalk in the morning could be on our plates that night for dinner.  I picked my share of strawberries and blueberries too.

Now that I’m buying and eating more organic items, I’m so into the fresh taste, the crispness, and the great appearance of the produce.  I enjoy using it in recipes, and even researching new recipes that I’ve never tried before.  When it comes to fruit, I’m trying to retrain myself so that, when I crave something for “dessert”, I don’t automatically wish for cakes, cookies or ice cream.

This doesn’t mean that I can stuff my face on sweet fruit, but it gives me healthier options.

Even a diet can benefit from “freshening up”, don’t you think?

Do you have a favorite fruit or vegetable?  What was the last, freshest thing that you ate?

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Food Anxiety

Before I get all of the way into the topic, here’s a recap.  The weekend was terrific.  I loved how I looked and felt in my little black dress.  I didn’t mind the panty hose at all, except that they were supposed to be sandal foot and weren’t which annoyed me.  I should have folded the toes of the hose under my foot and taped them there, but I ended up just saying f*&k it, it is what it is and went about enjoying the celebration.

I realized when I looked at the photo, I no longer automatically think, “You’re fat.”  I look at that photo I posted yesterday and others from the night and think, “Wow, I’m totally rocking that dress.”

Yesterday I did my planned shopping trip.  I bought a new  scale, under the brand of Weight Watchers.  It not only does my weight but claims to measure my body fat percentage, the number of pounds of my overall weight that are made up of fat, my hydration and bone weight.  The rest of those things are superfluous to me on a daily basis but they’re nice to know.  I guess if I keep stalling but see the number of fat pounds reduce, which means that my muscle weight is growing, it will be a good mental boost.  We’ll see.

Since I was “off the rock” and shopping, I ventured into Kohl’s.  This was a first time visit.  What a nice store.  Even the restrooms and dressing rooms are nicely decorated.  The Woman’s Department could have been a little bigger and I didn’t love a lot of the styles.  Many seemed to me to be more “plus sized for older women” rather than “plus sized for fashionable not-quite-as-old women”.  (If that makes any sense.)  Don’t get me wrong.  I believe in dressing age-appropriate.  I just don’t think that, at 55, I should wear clothes that someone even older might find appropriate.

Whatever the case, I found two pairs of size 18W shorts, which I badly need because my other shorts are bagging off of me and I wear shorts to work pretty much every day.  I added a pair of navy capri length pants which will go with so many things.  Then I picked up some stone cropped pants and a single top.  All on sale.  I’m now done.  Even with weight that I plan to lose in the next three weeks, I have enough variety between yesterday and a few weeks ago to get me through an upcoming conference.  I’ll be able to wear clothes that fit well and are stylish and I didn’t break the bank.  Plus, they’re freaking 18Ws!  This adds weight, pardon the pun, to my belief that even though my total weight is taking it’s own damn sweet time to go down, overall my body is, indeed, getting smaller in inches.  This helps keep me from getting discouraged.

Now on to the actual topic.  Food Anxiety.  I know I discussed this last summer when the hurricane was approaching, but that was in a different context.  Then, I talked about how I’d always want to horde food ahead of a storm because I always got anxious about being able to get to my binge foods during storm events, or about running out of food.

Right now, I’m experiencing a different kind of food anxiety.  Last week I decided to jump start my metabolism by taking in more of my nutrition in full liquid form for a couple of weeks.  I realize that some of my motivation for this is a flashback to whenever I’d need to go to the doctor’s appointment.  I would want to produce the best weight loss number possible to avoid getting scolded by the doctor.  It’s almost like I needed to produce a false positive.  Speaking of flashbacks, wow, I just had a big one!  Pardon me while I digress.  When I was 15 or 16 and working for my Dad’s medical practice, there were two good looking resident doctors training with him.  They decided that they were going to put me and the radiation tech on diets.

This was humiliating and painful, particularly because I had a huge teenage crush on one of the doctors.  I can’t remember how long the effort lasted before they gave up, but the weekly weigh-ins were agonizing.  One week, in a desperate attempt to produce a better number, I biked to my grandparents’ condo a day or two before the weigh-in and stole a water pill/diuretic from my grandmother’s prescription bottle.  Wow, again.  I haven’t thought about that in decades.

Back to the present.  I know that I want a good weight loss before I next see my surgeon on April 26th, and that’s part of this “full liquids” effort, but there’s more to my motivation.  I Just. Want. These. Last. 60ish. Pounds. Gone.  If taking my nutrition in more liquid form for a couple of weeks can help me knock off a bunch of pounds more quickly than I’ve been doing, then so what?  I’m monitoring my protein intake and deliberately not putting myself into “starving” mode.

Some of this is about reducing my choices by defining the boundaries of what I will take in.  For some reason, this is easier for me to do in this way.  Smoothies, protein drinks, and blended soups satisfy me without making me want to instinctively round out the meal with potato, rice, bread or pasta.  I do not expect to lose 20 pounds in two weeks, the way that I did when I went onto full liquids and only full liquids before the surgery.  I just want to lose as much as my body will reasonably, and healthfully tolerate.

But I’m anxious.  I’ve had some doubt creep in about my ability to see this through to the end.  I don’t know where it’s coming from and I don’t even think the fear and doubt are particularly valid.  They’re like false negatives, if that’s even a term.   However, every once in a while they show up and make me anxious.

Take today for instance.  I planned everything in advance.  Smoothie with protein powder for breakfast.  Small serving of classic tomato soup in late morning.  Protein drink mid-afternoon.  Some green tea a couple of times throughout the day.  An appropriate serving of flat iron steak with veggies for dinner.  Some grapefruit sections tonight.  For the record, I’ve been right on the money with the plan all day.

But I’ve stressed about it here and there.  Mostly, I worried as I sipped the soup that it wouldn’t be enough to satisfy me and then I would jump the gun and have the protein drink too early which would throw me off schedule.  Anxious, worrisome thoughts spinning in my brain like a hepped-up hamster.  I started wishing that I’d brought in my snack mix or a cheese stick, just something that would calm me down because I’d know that I had the food if I needed it — even if I never ate them.

Even when I wished those things I had to call bullshit on myself.  I know damn well that if I bring in snack mix, a cheese stick, a protein bar or anything else on a “just in case” basis, I will eat them “just because” they’re present.

I’m so grateful to have established this blog so I can come here and work out this process instead of giving into the anxiety and old food patterns.  Because I’m thinking and writing about the issue instead of eating off the plan, I believe that I will be stronger and calmer tomorrow.

Tonight I am turning over the anxiety to the Universe and my Higher Power and letting go.  I also firmly resolve that I will not take the anxiety back tomorrow. 🙂

I have my plan in place for tomorrow and will follow it for the day.  Whether I experience anxiety is irrelevant.  I can experience it throughout the day but not need to eat over it.

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The Little Black Dress

I’ve been away from home a couple of days for the completion of a leadership program. Last night was our graduation dinner which was the reason for my purchase of the black dress and panty hose.

I’m pretty darned happy with the results!

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I Need a New Scale

I don’t want to complain (much) but these last 60 pounds are kicking my ass.  The weight came off soooo much more quickly and easily in the first months after weight loss surgery.  Now I feel like it’s all stop/start, lose a little then plateau, lose a little, flatten out.  At least I know from the changes in my clothing that I’m still losing inches and building muscle, but really.  It just plain sucks.  I want it gone and I want it gone now

For the next two weeks, I’m going to try to shake up my metabolism a bit by consuming more of a “full liquids” diet with less bulk solid food in meals.  Protein drinks, smoothies, no fat Greek yogurt, soups, sugar free gelatin — that kind of stuff which will still deliver the protein that I need without lots of carbs, sugar or fat.   This starts on Monday.  I’d start today but I’m involved in two days of business related functions away from home this weekend and I can’t control my food choices to this degree until I get back.

Before I start, I also need to break down and buy a new scale.  Mine is driving my nuts because it can vary two to six pounds depending on where I place my feet or if my weight is accurately centered.  I end up weighing myself three times in the morning and then taking whatever is the heaviest weight.   I bought the scale several years ago from a company that specialized in all sorts of products for obese and super obese people.  They had everything from airplane and car seat belt extenders to foot stools and beach chairs that bore more than 400 pounds without buckling to tools that assisted with maintaining good personal hygiene and dozens of other products that you probably don’t even think of needing unless you’re really, really overweight.

There are many scales on the market.  Many of them are not at all accurate if the person weighs more than 200 pounds.

I have many more options now and I think I can find a new scale at Bed, Bath and Beyond.  So I’m going to take a little shopping trip after my official activities are over.  This is the Florida Keys.  We have very few big box chain stores.  There isn’t even a BB&B in Key West where they at least have a Ross, Sears, Champs, and Pier One.  I have to go to Florida City, about 90 minutes away to find the BB&B, but that’s okay.  They also have a Petco so I can pick up some special stuff for the pups.  I might even stop into Kohl’s and entertain myself by seeing if there are clothes in their that I can fit into.  I’ve never shopped at Kohl’s before.

Saturday night is my graduation party from a seven month business-related program.  I have a sassy little black dress to wear that hits slightly above my knee and has a belt at the waist.  I’m psyched.  I bought the panty hose that I need to mask my “shrinkles” (Love that term, courtesy of Pink Pelican.)  I’m not even dressed in the outfit yet, but I feel excited and terrific.

Onward and upward, my friends!  I might be stalled in my efforts right now, but I am nowhere near defeated.  I will be victorious against these last 60 pounds.  On this I am determined!

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Picking

I was so proud of myself the other day for deciding to make my own snack mix.  I’ve bought the pre-mixed containers of nuts and fruit, but then decided that I could do better myself, particularly if I bought stuff from the health food store.

So, I brought home the ingredients and dumped everything into a large, re-sealable bag.  Today, I filled a smaller container with some of the mix to take and keep at work for one of the snacks that I eat a day.  Remember that I eat something every couple of hours so that means I need a mid-morning snack, something for lunch, and then a mid-afternoon snack while I’m at work.

All of this was a supremely excellent plan in theory.  In practice, however, I forgot one elemental thing about how my eating disorder manifests.  If I get into picking mode, I don’t instinctively stop.  I’ll keep going back time and again.   Even if I only eat a very small amount each time, those small amounts add up until, pretty soon, I’ve overeaten.  I don’t need to be hungry.  I can all too easily lock into a pattern and keep repeating when the snack food is so easily available — like in my desk drawer.

The thing about this compulsive pattern that’s even worse is that once I’m in the zone, it is very, very difficult for me to break the behavior.  Even when I recognize what I’m doing and consciously discuss it with myself, I may still continue.  The compulsion doesn’t give a good damn about rational, conscious thought.  It laughs in its face and continues on its happy, munching way.

Suffice it to say that I’ve had far too many nuts and craisins today.  My stomach feels like I’ve consumed pebbles.  My head’s just saying, “You idiot.  You know better.”

That kind of accusatory thinking does me no good, so instead I’m trying to decide on a workable plan of action.  I can pick up the rest of the large re-sealable bag and empty it into the outside garbage can.  However, not only do I not want to waste the stuff, but it’s basically a good, healthy snack.   I think in the long run it is more helpful and healing for me to have a strategy that allows me to have this mix in my orbit without sliding into eating it compulsively.

I don’t think that it’s the actual food item that triggers the behavior.  Unlike pizza, over which I have no control and will always binge on it if left alone with it in my house, I can live with snack mix in my pantry cabinet.  There seemed to be something about having a full container in the close proximity of my desk drawer that made it easy to reach for snack after snack while I was working.

So, here’s the solution I’ve worked up.  I’m not taking a container to work with me again.  Instead, when I’m planning my other food choices for the day, I’ll put only a single snack’s worth of mix into a small bag and bring that to work.  I can’t eat what I don’t have, right?  If I really want to control the behavior, I’ll keep the snack bag in the fridge with my other food for the workday.  The distance between my office and the kitchen makes it more difficult to give into picking and picking as a compulsion.  I have more time to interrupt the pattern before I jam another handful into my mouth.

If I do these things, I should be okay.

What food or behavior challenges you?  What have you done, or can you do, in order to meet the challenge?

 

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Like Nobody’s Watching

I always hated feeling like people were watching me and judging me on my appearance and weight.   It’s one thing if you’re a performer of some sort and you’re out in the public eye because you want all eyes on you.  That’s okay.   In the course of your day to day normal life, when you’re obese, it’s easy to become incredibly self-conscious.

Depending on the degree or intensity of the self-consciousness, you can learn to live small.  It’s a protection and a safeguard.  If you don’t put yourself out so that people notice, they won’t have the opportunity to judge, to make inappropriate, if well-meaning comments, to give you those looks that you immediately interpret to mean, “Oh, she’d be (fill in the blank).  What a shame she’s so fat.”

Marianne Williamson reminds us that playing small doesn’t serve the world.  It doesn’t serve us either.  I work in public relations/marketing/media.  I can’t do my job if I play small.  Honestly, I’m naturally an extravert.  For much of my life I’ve been able to put myself out there externally, even if I wanted to shrink and tremble emotionally.

I also know that my weight didn’t only effect me.  It couldn’t help but have an impact on the family and friends who love me.  I regret the years of upset, pain and worry.   I can’t do anything to restore the time to them.  The only thing that I can do is move forward with my healthier lifestyle and choices and know that I’m not creating hurt and concern for them anymore.

I know how fortunate I am.  In my job, I sometimes need to represent our organization on camera.  I don’t remember how my boss and I got caught up in a particular conversation — it didn’t start out to be about me — but it gave me an opportunity to acknowledge my gratitude for the support of my work family.  Through the years, they never said, “We can’t have her doing interviews, she’s too fat or she doesn’t look right.”  That is just not who we are as an organization.  However, I am still grateful and I’m glad that I got the chance to express this.  In the same conversation, I also had a chance to acknowledge and honor the concern that they had for me through the years as well as the phenomenal support they gave me when I made the decision to have the surgery.

They continue to support and encourage me now, while they cheer my progress and recovery.

I’m rambling a little, so let me get back on point.  I’ve been thinking about how much better it feels to now have my internal emotions in synch with my external activity.  It’s not that I’m more confident, but that I’m so much more relaxed and at ease.  I no longer worry about what people are secretly thinking about me when we meet or when they see me.   I’m much more free to simply be.

In a few weeks I’ll reunite with many friends at a fun conference that includes several dance parties.  I’ve always loved to dance and have usually managed to block out the worry over what other people thought about my big body moving around on the dance floor.  I did my best to dance like nobody was watching and just have fun.

I think this is going to be easier now too.  I’m living my life without worrying what people are thinking or how they’re reacting.  If I’m not dancing like nobody’s watching, at least I’m dancing as if I don’t care that they are.

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Stylin’

I don’t want to obsess too much here about clothing, but it’s really in the forefront of my mind.   It takes adjustment, let me tell you.

When I was a kid, I absolutely hated to go clothes shopping.  It was torture.  There are so many more companies that have clothing for plus sized women today than there were when I was a kid.  In our little town, one forward thinking woman opened up a specialty store for overweight kids that was actually called The Chubbette Shop, or something like that.  I remember she talked my mother into talking me into modeling for her in a fashion show once.  But I digress.

The same woman also had a boutique for adult women with lots of large clothing.  She was pretty fashion forward and the clothes were perfect for more mature adults but they weren’t hip or cool or great for my age when I was a teen or in my 20s.   the other choice was pretty much Lane Bryant.  I think for most of my life, I wore clothes that were “too old” for me and never really felt all that stylish.

It hasn’t been so awful in the last 20 or so years.  Like I said before, as time went on, more stores opened which meant more choices.

But, and this is a big but, (not butt), that was nothing to the veritable vista that’s opening up before me now.  I am so not used to getting a random catalog that is not from a company that primarily targets plus-sized women, opening it and finding clothes in my current size, along with the full range of smaller sizes too.  Really lovely garments in different designs and styles that aren’t meant to hide and cover like sacks.  I saw at least a dozen things I would love to order and try on.  I wanted to play with the clothes like I never thought possible… like I’ve always seen smaller, more “normal” women do.

Yeah, I hate that word normal, too.  Normal is the setting on a washing machine and should not be used in any way that makes anyone feel bad about themselves — including if that anyone is me.

Back to that point.  I wish that this company could just send me one of anything to that I could experiment.   I need to discover what my style is going to be from here on out.   Tailored and/or preppy, free flowing, romantic, edgy, retro?  I have no idea.  Maybe it will be a combination.  I want to find out what suits my newly evolving body, what fashions I like, and what fits my heart and spirit.   What will I choose for casual wear and what for professional outings?

I know that I’m not in my “final” stage yet, so I’ve decided that I will just play here and there and, more importantly, be willing to try out new and different looks.  I’ve done that already with the little black dress that I bought and the dress with the banded waist that I ordered in the smaller size.  I think I just need to keep moving in that direction and dare to at least try designs that I never chose before because of my largeness.

When I finally reach goal weight I’m going to do one of the things that’s on my Promise List.  I’m going to a major department store and make an appointment with a personal shopper.  I think that experience will help me learn and assist me in developing a new eye and attitude for styling.  At the very least it will be an entertaining venture.

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