Weighty Matters

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on October 13, 2013

I can’t believe it’s been more than a couple of days since I posted. I know I’ve had a string of days where I’ve been so tired at night that I couldn’t face turning on the computer and thinking, let alone write anything.

The Just Saying No worked well some days in some situations and not so much in a couple of others. However, I’ve been better overall food-wise and it makes me feel less like I was beginning to veer out of control. One step at a time. One day at a time.

I decided to take a day trip to Miami yesterday to go shopping. With my friend still staying with me, I knew she would be happy to let out the dogs and feed them. This meant that I could take my time and not have to rush home. I am going to a family wedding soon. Even though I already have a dress that I could wear, I just felt like having something new. Plus, I hoped to find some capris or shorts at clearance prices.

I’m sort of in a weird stage with sizes. The weight number is creeping down but the bike riding is definitely working off inches, as we’ve discussed before. My friend had a pair of 16W capris and size 18 misses shorts. My 18W shorts are definitely loose and I was shocked to find that her 16Ws fit me, as did the misses size shorts. So, off to shop I drove.

In the past I believe I’ve discussed my misanshoppic tendencies. I know I can only stand a couple of hours at most in a big mall and am much better off if I go to specific smaller stores. We started out with two favorite specialty stores — Lush and Sephora. Lush is small and does all these handmade, natural bath and body products. Bath bombs, bubble bath balls, and bath melts in wonderful fragrances. Massage bars, scrubs, lotions, cosmetics — the list is amazing. I selected several bath bombs that dissolve in the tub, a new massage bar, a shower scrub that I love and some great lip balm.

We then moved onto Sephora, which is almost as addictive. This amuses me because I don’t wear a lot of makeup. I start the day with a tinted sunscreen/moisturizer/slight foundation product to protect my skin with its 30 spf. During the week, I add light eye shadow and that’s it. If I go out to dinner or have other plans at night or the weekend, I do a light coat of mascara, maybe a little more eyeshadow, and do more on my face with Bare Minerals. Still, I always manage to find new, fabulous products that I love whenever I walk into Sephora. This time, I came out with a fantastic under eye concealer stick, some eyeshadow, and a tinted spf 15 lip balm gloss.

Two stores and I needed a break so we grabbed a cold drink and light snack while we talked for a bit. Then it was time to look for the dress. Gladiators probably entered the Coliseum with less trepidation than I approach a big department store like Macy’s. I feel like I’m running a gauntlet while I dodge the salespeople waving their perfume samples and trying to trap me at a counter for a makeover. I practically marched myself to the escalator to get up to the Women’s Department.

All I can say is that it was worth the trip. I found an absolutely wonderful dress that fits me great and flatters my curves. It’s from Ralph Lauren’s line for Women. Oh here. Take a look.


Yes, I know that the bare feet with the stark sandal tan lines complete the look.

I love this dress. More importantly, I love the way that I look in it. The material is soft and comfortable. The ruching (if that’s how it’s spelled) at the side really flatters. You can’t see then, but there are insets down the sides that give the dress even more style. Love. Love. Love. It was the first dress I tried on and, even though I tried on another dress in a deep wine color that looked lovely on, I knew I was leaving with my first choice.

To be completely honest, there are some lumps and bumps, so with the dress over my arm, we went over to the department where they sell Spanx and other “smoother” garments. I don’t think anyone calls them girdles or foundations any more. I have a full Spanx slip but it’s now a little big on me, so I wanted something more suffocating restricting smoothing.

The saleswoman was very helpful as she picked out a smoothing slip by a company other than Spanx. She carefully explained that it would be tight going on but I should sort of roll it up like underwear. It was decidedly more difficult than I expected and I thought I’d have to give up and go to a larger size. Then I realized there was an odd attachment she’d forgotten to mention. I can only describe it as a crotch strap. Constructed with the same hook and eye gizmos as a bra, it fastens between the legs to keep the garment from rolling up but it can still be unsnapped for when one needs to pee. No wonder I couldn’t get the garment all the way in place. It was at least marginally easier once I unsnapped the strap and straightened everything out.

If you’ve never worn a smoother, there’s a few things you should know. They do, indeed smooth. They are not only worn by overweight women but also by some of the most slender — like actresses and models. They are also, apparently, terrific for your posture, possibly because it’s very hard to bend over and continue to breath. I am fairly sure I will not suffocate myself while wearing it and, damn it all, it made the dress look even better on me.

After that, I half-heartedly looked through some clearance racks but didn’t see anything. We then proceeded to department store number two – J.C. Penny. I grabbed a couple of things from the Women’s sizes and a couple of things from the Misses Department. I couldn’t find anything small enough in W and the things from Misses didn’t suit for a variety of reasons.

At that point I hit a wall. In the grand scheme of things, I am a shopping lightweight. There are simply too many departments crammed with too many racks and too many people wandering around. I’d had enough and was more than happy to call it an afternoon and head home.

Before I actually hit the island chain, I stopped at a smaller shopping center and ran into Kohl’s to see if I could find a good pair of jeans and, maybe, some of those clearance sale priced capris. I cannot tell you how long it’s been since I owned a pair of 16W jeans, but I have them now! No capris, but I added a cute graphic “tee” with three quarter length sleeves and that was good enough for this trip!

I know that I’m going to need to invest some time investigating different departments in these larger stores. Honestly, more and more I find that it’s a challenge for me to find clothes that fit for the happy reason that my body has become too small for the departments in which I’m used to shopping. It’s a great problem to have and I’m not complaining. I’m just dreading the learning process. I really want to do a day with a personal shopper at one of the good big stores but don’t feel that I should spend the time or the money until I hit goal weight. Perhaps I’ll even wait until after my skin removal surgeries. It’s on my Promise List, but until the right time, I’ll muddle through on my own or with assistance and moral support, from friends.

5 responses to “Shopping

  1. Hope says:

    Mary, that dress looks fantastic on you! I can’t wait to see pictures of you all dolled up for the wedding. What are you going to wear for shoes?

    • Mary Stella says:

      Hope, I haven’t trusted myself and my knee yet to any really fancy heels. I have some black low heel open toe evening shoes and some close toed sling backs. They’re basic but will do.

  2. Mimi says:

    You look beautiful Mary! The dress is stunning and flatters you. I suggest you keep this picture and one of the “before you” close at hand. The next time you become frustrated with the pace of progress, it may help to look at the comparison.

    Congrats ,

  3. Skye says:

    Omigod, you look fabulous in that dress! And you look like you’ve lost a lot more weight than the last time you posted photos.

    I hear you on the shopping. Back when I was young and slender, I and my girlfriends used to spend entire days shopping. Older now and heavier, I don’t enjoy it as much. I did shop this weekend with my girlfriends because I needed sweaters and other warmer clothing for the winter, but we only shopped for about three or four hours — my apparent max these days. And we shopped at two thrift stores plus TJ Maxx. You might try thrift stores if you can: you can find good stuff in them if you put in a little extra effort and the prices are definitely right! Plus, at TJ Maxx, I bought a light-weight merino wool sweater for less than $30!

    Glad you are doing well and that you posted again; I was missing you. 🙂

    • Mary Stella says:

      Thanks, Skye. Unfortunately, the one thrift store in town is closing. I can’t tell you how many bags of clothing I’ve given them in the last year and a half! I just sent a couple of big bags home with my friend to a thrift store in Carolina. They also help outfit women who are returning to work so I included a couple of suits and “professional” outfits that are also far too big.

      I don’t think I’ve lost that many more pounds since the last pictures but the bike riding has taken off some inches and reshaped my body just in a month. I feel it in my clothes.

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