Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Bye bye bathing suit....

The part of this journey I was most excited about was none of my clothes fitting and getting to buy new clothes. That was supposed to be the fun part. But just like so many other things, I was wrong.

Well the first part was right, it is very cool that my old clothes no longer fit. I gave away 8 bags of clothes to charity on February 7th and have another 2 bags ready to go again. Doing that was a little scary, part of me felt that urge to hang on to them "just in case" but as many people advised me, I needed to remove the "just in case" option. So I did. My closets looked so empty. It felt good and to know that that much of my past was gone and behind me. But life with new clothes has been much more of a challenge than I realized.

Shopping - Buying new clothes has not been nearly the amount of fun so far I had hoped. In truth, it is really stressful.

Let me explain how you shop when you weigh 338 pounds. You find any store you can that has the clothes your size, and if something looks acceptable you buy it. You cant be picky when your shirts are 4x and your pants are a plus size 12 (equivalent I think to around a women's 34). I got lucky a few years ago and found the Catherine's chain and have always been able to find clothes there, for work and play. They weren't the most stylish, but they were ok. And I did find jeans and pants there that fit my weird body type and also my weight.  And since my body stayed in the same size range (within 2 or 3 sizes) for a bunch of years, shopping was easy. Go in, grab that size and go. No questions no concerns. This works for me as I don't have a lot of patience with shopping (I dont think most large people do).

That ease is gone. At this point I have dropped to an XL shirt in most styles, and my pants size has dropped 6 sizes. Don't get me wrong, that makes me ESTATIC, I am not in any way complaining about being smaller. But it has made shopping challenging, because I have no clue what size I am at when I walk in a store. This also presents a challenge with ordering on line, a must I will get to in a minute. Also I am finding the styles I had grown acustomed to, are no longer being made (because I bought them so long ago). I nearly cried when I went to buy the jeans I love in my smaller size and they no longer make them.

Mind/body disconnect - The next challenge of clothes right now, is that I am learning I don't know what looks good on me and I have little confidence in my choices (shopping or what to wear out of the closet). I think alot of this is coming from the disconnect I am still feeling between the results on the scale and what my brain sees in the mirror. I don't know how to dress this body yet. The size that they claim fits seems extremely tight and showy to me (after hiding in baggy clothes for so long) and the size I feel is where I am is huge and does nothing for me. Where are Stacy and Clinton when you need them????

Clothes don't last - The other lesson I am learning is that every time the scale drops after I get done celebrating I seem to be back at the store. A pair of pants lasts about 2 weeks, shirts about a month, before they are headed for the "too big pile" awaiting the next drop off to charity (and as a couple people have pointed out, the shirts probably shouldn't be lasting that long either as I am wearing them to way too big). It's expensive and a little frustrating to be going through clothes this fast, but at the same time it makes for some good stories after the fact.

Like my adventures getting dressed for client meetings! The lesson I have learned on this the hard way (twice....who says I can't learn *grin*) is not to wait until the morning of an important meeting before figuring out what I am going to wear. Both times I did that I got up at 6am and got dressed and my pants fell off. Once I made a colleague run to the store with me before a meeting just to buy something to wear.

To combat this I now have started an every two week ritual of trying on my key pieces just to see where they are at so I can be prepared. Someone really needs to come up with an automatic shipping program for people losing lots of weight *smile*.

Workout wear - Ok my greatest advice for someone about to embark on serious weight loss. Plan ahead, think about where you live and be prepared. There is nothing harder than finding plus size shorts in the middle of January in Minnesota! Oh wait, yes there is, finding a new bathing suit the first week of March in Minnesota!!!!

Workout clothes were never a staple of my wardrobe to start with, so I came into this with precious few to be doing this 7 days a week with anyway. But what few I have have long ago stopped fitting right, but yet they soldier on waiting for the warmer weather when I can find new ones. Multiple people have suggested shopping on line, but as I mentioned earlier, when you don't know anymore how anything will fit and you are buying styles you never have before that is nearly impossible.

Swimwear - I titled this entry "Bye bye bathing suit", because for an obese woman that is the hardest piece of clothing to find and to be ok with. No matter who makes it or what the style, when you are over 300 pounds a bathing suit will never look good. So when you find one that you feel even mildly comfortable in you hold on to it for dear life. The thought of throwing it out is terrifying because you never know if you will find another one to fit.

Well my friends, the time has come to deal with this. I have to let go. The bathing suit I wore at 338 pounds long ago stopped fitting right, the butt is sagging, the material is hanging and it basically looks like I stole someone's clothes. But yet I continued to wear it. Finding another one here in MN in the winter is not a likely find. But today I have decided that regardless I have to let it go. 64 pounds gone and it just doesn't fit any more. It is going in the garbage can as soon as I finish this post, maybe. *sheepish grin*

I have another one that I can get by on til I find one, but this is still the hardest piece of clothing I have had to let go of. I now have 2 months to find one that fits right before I go on vacation, but that seems like a short time given the season and given my size.

Otherwise I guess Irwin will be helping me find that naked beach in Tel Aviv...now there's a visual that should render you all blind for the night *grin*.


  1. Shalom Pam,
    If you want to go to the nude beach here let me know and I'll find out exactly where it is and we'll go. Bsthing suits are a problem for men also who are heavy cause the ones that fit usually make you look like an old man and the Speedos are really not attractive when you have a belly hanging over the top of them. Nudity is the way to go cause no one really cares what you look like and the freedom of being among all body types and ages is really liberating.
    I threw away all my "fat" clothes except for one pair of pants that i keep as awarning in case I ever find myself sliding back into old habits. T-shirts that are too large are no problem, I just wear them over my shorts instead of tucking them in. They also make great sleepwear and when they get ratty, torn or just worn out they make great rags for dusting furniture.
    Most of the bathing suits that the girls wear here have less material then in my handkerchief and the older women wear them too-which is not exactly pretty most of the time. But it gets real hard(no pun intended) not too stare at some of these gorgeous young women, that is why the nude beach is really better cause everyone is naked, and some of the women just go topless.
    Anyway, whatever you are most comfortable with is fine by me, i just love the beach and the sun and the water.
    See the new you soon,

  2. Irwin....wouldn't happen if I weighed 50 lbs!!!!!!

  3. I was invited to a nude beach once...but just don't have the nerve for that...nope..just can't do it, LOL. Pam NC has bathing suits on sale right now, LOL. And my daughter always has to help me shop as I have 0 fashion sense....

  4. I'm with you, Pam!!! I could have a supermodel figure, and STILL not be able to do a nude beach!!! (I wouldn't mind visiting one (ha) but not participating)!!!

    By the way, love your blog. I think I've always told you that you have a great style of writing.


  5. Go to Victoria Secret and have a professional bra fitting. It will make you feel great and give you some persepective on your new body. It's an easy first step and will make a huge difference in how your clothes fit.

    Good luck.

  6. If someone does get Pam to a nude beach, please take a picture. We need an updated photo for her employee web page. ;^)

  7. And you want to know the sad part of that lost comment (about the web page) I think it was made by one of my bosses!!! Personally I dont think client development would find this a good strategy for keeping the company running *smile*

    But I did make Gui a deal today when we were talking about this comment, when I hit my next MAJOR milestone (250) I will go get my professional shots done and replace the picture I have on my profile here (and FB).