Monday, November 30, 2009

Size 14 jeans? NO WAY!!!

I talked to another person who lost a lot of weight (but not as much as I have). He lost 45 or 50 lbs in 3 months. "It felt weird," he said.

I've lost 92 lbs and it feels VERY strange because I've never lost this much weight before in my life.

I look at photos and my first reaction is "someone narrowed the photo to make me look slimmer and it doesn't look right.". But no one narrowed anything except my body.

Then, there is the clothing problem. NOTHING and I mean NOTHING fits me. Well, I did find one warm suit which fits - I apparently had gotten it small because I needed it and that was the only size available. In the very low 200's I could wear it snugly (which worked for the playing job outside on New Year's Eve I had where I had to wear blacks, many years ago). Now I can wear it comfortably so that's great for bicycle riding in the cold.

I have no idea what size I take and my favorite store of several decades has nothing for me (Lane Bryant's).

We ventured out on Black Friday and came home with one package of undies. They do fit but then I thought they HAVE to be too tight and went out Sunday to buy larger ones only to find the smaller ones DO fit. Oh well, one size larger is going to be a lot better than 3 sizes too large which most of my "small" undies were.

I looked for jeans on Black Friday and found - none. Most of them were hip huggers. Yeah right, I'm 65 years old and I'm NOT going to wear hip huggers. Forget it.

Last time I tried on a pair of jeans, they were size 18 and I was thrilled to get into those because I hadn't been able to get into them for years and when I DID wear them, they grew tight quickly. Of course, I had had to put them away months ago because they were so loose they looked bad and even WITH elastic waist, were falling off me. And it's not so long ago, that my size 20 jeans were too small. I remembered how thrilled I was to get into those even though they were a bit tight.

Yesterday we were out again in a different store and hubby asked if I wanted to look for jeans. I wasn't super enthusiastic but at last, acquiesced. I found one pair which was nice looking, NOT hip hugging and something I'd wear. Problem was it was a size 14. I remembered being on the low fat diet in the 1990's and getting down to the low 200's and taking a 14 in some regular clothing and proudly, buying a pair of size 14 jeans.

I couldn't even get my lower legs into them let alone my butt.

That memory haunted me as I moved fearfully toward the fitting room.

Oh yes, another "fun thing" not- is the fitting room. The harsh lights reveal EVERYTHING you have. Fitting rooms had not been a part of my life since my jaunts to Lanes because sizing there is very predictable - you can buy off the shelf.

I removed the baggy pants I was wearing (are spandex but of course, have been baggy for quite a while - were skin tight when I was larger). As I climbed into the size 14's, I said "no way... this is ridiculous". And by the way I had finished saying that, I had easily, zipped them up.

HUH? They FIT? But this cannot be... size 14 in JEANS? EVEN if a 14 now is about the size of a 16 in the 1970's, mostly even in slimmer days, 16's were too tight on me. I walked out of the fitting room and everyone's like "those look good on you". I went back into the fitting room and thought "I betcha I can't sit in them." But I could and they fit snug but they are supposed to be a snug fit... I COULD sit in them. I sat there for several minutes not really knowing what to do... I couldn't BUY THEM... they couldn't be fitting me...

I ended up taking them home with me.

Still somewhat traumatized. I had hubby take my photo in the jeans (the photo with this blog) and looked at the photo and my first reaction was "that's not me!"

Looking at the ladies at the desk watching the fitting rooms for support, I told them I'd lost 92 lbs and felt strange. They were like "that's wonderful" and "you should be proud of what you did!" Few understand how strange it feels when you've been a certain size most of your life. I didn't lose this weight fast but it caught up to me and seems that suddenly, I have a new body... one which is still elderly and arthritic, but just unfamiliar.

If those around me are not too happy for me LOSING the weight, they are REALLY not happy when my enthusiasm wanes. I'm supposed to be dancing around like they do in the commercials on TV. Well, sorry but TV is NOT reality.

I realize the two times previously, in my life I got very slim, I didn't like my body either... it was too strange. I wasn't used to things like bones sticking out. My backbone sticks out now at least in my neck. I've felt that several times and it feels wrong somehow...

No one tells you that it's going to be something to get used to. It's supposed to be all good. But a change even FOR the better is hard especially at my age.

I do find that Weight Watchers meetings ARE supportive of this type of thing so they must have seen it before in lifetime members.

I still have a way to go. As I realize I RAN BACK TO the comfortable, familiar FAT other times in my life, THIS time, my program is for health, not looks, so going back isn't an option. I will eventually get used to the new me. I hope. :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

life on the other side of the mountain

I had my first weigh-in for lifetime membership two weeks ago (first week in November) and weighed in at 5 lbs below goal. My leader smiled and said this often happens when the pressure is off for achieving lifetime membership.

Now, the harder job seems to be getting used to "things".

I have lost 90 lbs from my all time high but am down 60 lbs from the weight I've been most of the last 35 years!

The last time I was at THIS weight was in 1974.

And I find there are several issues to deal with. My new size has made some things nicer and I generally like the look way better but...

First, I find that I have not much which fits me in my collection of clothing which I have amassed over the last 20 years. And what does fit is very loose on me. This was brought to my attention the other day when my doctor teased me about my baggy spandex bicycle pants. The problem is that I've been basically between 2 or 3 sizes most of my adult life and so wearing stretch clothing covered a lot of evils. Now I am faced with buying a whole new wardrobe and truly speaking, I haven't a clue just how to do this! My doctor suggested buying on line which sounds viable but then it's sight unseen type of thing.

I sure miss "UNITS" - this was a store of "one size fits all" and I loved it. Getting a new wardrobe of "Units" would be easy... you just pick the color and go for it.

To make things much more confusing, what was a size 16 when I was last this size, seems to be now, a size 10/12! But then, the sizes are very inconsistant and can vary from garment to garment. Women's clothing shopping seems more of a nightmare than it was years ago. I remember sewing most of my own clothing because of extreme frustration with clothing shopping but although I have a sewing machine, it's been "buried" in stuff for years and I cannot find room to put it where I could use it even if I un-buried it.

Frankly the idea of replacing my wardrobe, frightens the heck out of me.

Second problem - I seem to be fighting "ghosts" which I fought in the 1970's which are a bit harder to fight now because they are very buried in my subconscious. "Protective layer of fat"? Maybe there is some truth to that one. It's almost as if I've lost my bearings a bit (the disability from my stroke doesn't help things).

You know, I have loose skin all over my body. Not just my middle (which isn't so bad since I do ab exercises and yoga and have exercised daily for the last 15 years) but places you wouldn't expect it like my lower arms - it just hangs there. (MY upper arms are definitely "bye bye" arms but we won't go there). :) I have loose skin on my thighs - just all over. But this is the least of my problems although adds to this strange new feeling I get in my own skin. I understand that plastic surgery can help there some but it's very expensive, not all that safe (under anesthesia for many hours doesn't seem a good idea for looks) and from the befores and afters I've seen on TV, doesn't necessarily look that much better than dealing with the loose skin, especially in my case where it isn't super obnoxious.

Bottom line, I have to admit to myself that I have a sort of new body - I haven't gotten rid of the arthritis (old age type) nor the damage from a mini stroke I had last year but it's new for me and I guess it will take time to get used to it. I certainly do NOT want to get fat again especially as the last time I gained a bunch of weight (after the 3rd attempt at Weight Watchers in 2003-2004), I appeared to be not leveling out even though was not eating that much... I wasn't journaling daily but journaled some and averaged from 2000 - 2200 calories a day with no fast food, junk food, soda etc. and was rapidly approaching the weight of 300 lbs!

Would it be easier if my "new body" were 20 years old and size 0? Probably not as I realize a change, even one for the better, is still a change and something to get used to.

But it will take time. I just have to be patient and endure... this too will pass..