Weighty Matters

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Clothing Coolness – an NSV

I have a special event coming up in a couple of weeks and needed a new dress. The beautiful dress I bought for last fall’s wedding will be too warm to wear in the Florida Keys in mid-April. Besides, I’ve worn it for a family wedding, an evening event for work, and formal night on the cruise. Double besides, I don’t really need to justify getting a new dress. 😉

I’ve already discussed the wonderful non-scale victory (NSV) of being able to go into a local women’s clothing store and find sizes that I can wear. I used to have to scour the catalogs from plus-sized clothing companies, go online, or hope that I’d have a trip somewhere where plus sized clothing stores were located. Not just any plus-sized clothing store, but ones that had plus-plus-plus sizes and, even then, I’d have to pray that I would find something that not only fit but that also had some snap and style. Something that didn’t better suit someone 30 years older than me. Something that didn’t feel made of plastic.

Anyway, I went into a nice local store today. When I shopped there before my cruise, I’d seen a really snappy black and white dress but hadn’t tried it on. They still had the dress, but in a size smaller than I thought I could wear — a straight 16, not a 16 W. I figured I’d try it anyway, but also picked out a couple of other pretty ones too. I fell instantly in adoration with a really cute, fun, playful dress with tiered light ruffles in modern splashes of pink, gray and black. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever owned before and, while I wouldn’t wear it to the event in a couple of weeks, I thought it would be perfect for my trip to New Orleans in May.

In the dressing room, I first tried on the black and white dress. This was a sleek, form fitting dress with black panels down the sides and white, skinny ruchy (is that word) sort of striping in the center of the front and back. The good news first: Even in a straight 16, the dress fit. That was cool. Looking at myself in the mirror, I knew I’d need a really good Spanx undergarment (Because of the weight loss, I now have a significant sag of skin in the belly area, so compression garments in some outfits are my friend.) The not as good, but it’s my reality right now news: The dress made my ass look humongous. Seriously. I’m not being picky or regarding myself with “fat” eyes. It really wasn’t flattering.

That happens. Not every style is good on every figure, regardless on how good that figure might be. I’m okay with that. It’s real.

I tried on the second dress, which was not form fitting but has a nice cut and swing to it. There are some vertical navy panels alternating with a pretty navy and gray print pattern. It also had a short bolero-ish/shrug jacket which covered my also-sagging upper arms. I knew immediately that this dress would be perfect for the event in a couple of weeks and I am thrilled with how it looked on me and how I look in it. Score!

Finally, I slipped on the fun/flirty dress and, oh my stars, it also looks great and just made me smile. Even though I’m losing weight, it will not be too big on me in a month and a half. I already know that I’m really going to enjoy wearing it in NOLA, for sure. If I can find some sassy pink, comfortable sandals, I’ll be set.

Bonus for the shopping excursion was the terrific spring sale. 40% off the regular priced dress and an extra $25% off of the two already-on-sale garments. Woo hoo!

The clothing coolness NSV didn’t end with the shopping trip. I went off to an afternoon outdoor fundraising event for local pet rescues/shelters. When I arrived home later in the afternoon, I got my mail and flipped through it. I’d received a marketing piece from one of my favorite plus size clothing stores. We’ve never had one of the stores here in the Keys or in South Florida, but for more than 15 years I sought them out whenever I traveled. Seriously, if I knew I was going somewhere else in Florida, I went to their website’s store locator to find the nearest store. I knew where one was located in my home area in New Jersey too and always shopped there on my trips up home. This store was my mainstay for cocktail dresses, suits, sportswear — you name it and I could find it there pretty much any time. I once planned a six hour driving trip in Florida just to seek out the closest store because I needed a fancy dress for an event.

Today I pulled out the marketing flyer and suddenly realized something. A couple of weeks ago when I went to Clearwater for the spring training game, I drove right past the exit for the store that I’d gone too whenever I was up in that area. I never even gave it a thought that I should stop in and browse for clothes.

Now this is the big NSV. The store that I could not do without isn’t one that I need anymore! I’m jazzed beyond belief. Again this shows how far I’ve come and I couldn’t be happier.

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Clothing Convenience

I’m going on a cruise in a few weeks. I’ve been looking forward to it for months, but I’ve been so darned busy that I haven’t gotten down to the important preparation. This means that I have no idea what I’m packing for the trip, other than my bathing suit and snorkel gear.

That will make for a very casual outfit on formal night with a very strange accessory.

I’ve purged so many clothes from my closet because they were much too big to wear, but I’ve been careful not to buy too many new clothes while I’m still losing. Sitting here writing this, I honestly don’t know if I have enough appropriate outfits to cover all the events. Oh wait. In addition to the bathing suit and snorkel, I do have that great dress I bought for the wedding. That covers me for the “formal” dressy night. Whew. One night down, six others to cover.

So, here’s the really great realization that I had while musing over all of this. In the past, when I needed clothes, I had to plan several weeks in advance so that I could order from catalogues or online. Ten years ago, when I needed a dress for my nephew’s Bar Mitzvah, I actually drove more than four hours away to get to the closest location of my favorite plus-size women’s clothing store. Come to think of it, I made the drive the morning after a sleep dentistry session for a tooth extraction.

If this was two or three years ago and I was unprepared wardrobe-wise just a short few weeks before a major trip, I’d be a stressed out mess, frantically browsing websites and paying extra for rush shipping. Tonight I’m just thinking that I can hit that local clothing store on Sunday and pick up a few things. I’m that confident that I can find enough choices locally in my current size to satisfy what I need. How abso-freaking-lutely cool!

I also know that if push comes to shove, and I still need a couple of things after shopping local stores, I can go up to the mainland a day early and hit one of the area malls I love knowing this is the new reality. Being thinner is not only healthier, it makes so many aspects of live simply more convenient!

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Just wanted to let everyone know that Nat is greatly improved. He enjoyed going to the office with me today and was perfectly behaved. I suspect he dearly loved all of the attention, petting, and sympathy he got from the many co-workers who stopped by my office to ask him how he was feeling. Oh, let’s be honest. He looked up at them with his soulful, slightly droopy, spaniel-eyes and milked it for all it was worth.

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