Overwhelming shopping difference..

Last week, I got some coupons from JCPenney. $10 off $10 or more. (I thought they didn’t do coupons anymore, but I guess I haven’t clothes shopped in a while…) Anyway, I decided that this would be a good opportunity to get some clothes on the cheap. I’m having an itch to get some bright, spring-y clothes, so I was pretty excited to see what they had.

I wasn’t sure what to expect though. This was my first time looking through the misses section in years. I’m talking since the 1990s, y’all.

Here’s a small vent I have about plus size sections in stores. The misses section of a store could have a whole darn floor in a department store, but the plus size section is usually 20ish racks within that floor. Oh, and within that plus size section, about half of it is for a more mature customer. So, the choices were very limited. Also, being a larger size in the plus sizes meant just automatically go to the back of the rack, hoping they had a 3X available. This is why I always hated shopping. It was seriously boring and depressing.

This past weekend, my husband and I went to the mall, and I was really excited to shop. This really never happens, y’all. I get excited to shop for gifts, but for me? HA! After we went to a couple of stores, it was time to face the misses section. My husband grabbed the first XL tee off the shelf, and recommended that I just try it on to even see if it fit. Not only did it fit, but the blue color looked awesome on me. It was a simple V neck fitted tee, which was only $6. Um…seriously? Simple tees in plus sizes are almost twice as much!

So, not only am I dealing with more choices…I’m also getting cheaper clothes? Awesome.

On the way to the fitting room, I also grabbed this bright, spring-y casual blouse. I’m a big fan of aqua/teals, so this one just called to me. This one fit as well. :-) Gosh, I love the colors in this blouse SO much!

I wanted to grab one more top, and my husband saw this fitted polo type of shirt. I just grabbed the XL, and we were off to the register before I could cause more damage to my bank account LOL! We found these three tops in one small section of the misses department. As we were walking out of the store, I was just overwhelmed by all of the clothing choices and possibilities (as well as the prices….you mean a work top doesn’t have to cost $40??!). This is just crazy to me!

Here’s the new tops that I purchased. Don’t they just scream Spring?

Overwhelming

Another purchase I made this weekend were these (my before size jeans are below these for a size comparison)…

Overwhelming

Lane Bryant was having an additional 70% off clearance sale for one day (Friday). Since my work pants were getting droopy, I figured I’d try my luck. Not only did I find a pair of work pants (for just $12, too!), I also got some guts and purchased my first pair of skinny jeans. Not just any skinny jeans either….teal colored skinny jeans! I felt pretty gutsy with that purchase haha! :-) And can I mention how awesome it is to shop in the 14/16 side of the rack vs. the 24/26? Just AWESOME!

Another great bonus right now is that I’m now fitting my little sister’s (before) clothes. My younger sister, Rachel, has lost 40 lbs. WHILE ATTENDING COLLEGE…yeah…she’s awesome. I asked my sister if she ever gave away any of her clothes, and luckily, her closet at home was still pretty full. :-) So, I told her if there were any clothes she no longer fits in that she doesn’t want, I’d definitely appreciate them. While my sister is 8 years younger than me, she has a ton of professional type clothes, since she’s a music major and has recitals/auditions/etc. I seriously hit the jackpot with what her & Mom brought me this past week.

Overwhelming

It seriously doubled my wardrobe, and made me realize I probably need to do another clean-out of clothes that are too big on me. :-P

Oh, and this is what I wore to the mall on Saturday. :-) The cardigan is one of those hand me ups. I love it…a simple grey cardigan with white polka dots! :-) Thanks sis (and Mom, of course, since she probably purchased most of it.)!  Some of the clothes are a smidge too small (and some are really small, since they included some size L tops), but I’m sure once this DietBet is over in March, most of these pieces will be part of my daily wardrobe. So awesome…my wallet totally appreciates it! :-)

Overwhelming

I’m so motivated right now! By the way, if you follow my Instagram, I’m sorry that I post a lot of weight loss related pictures. I’m worrying that it may be coming across as braggy. It’s more out of disbelief, I swear. I still can’t believe that this is all happening. :-)

A little more effort…

This isn’t a happy post. Just a fair warning.

Sometime over the weekend, I straightened my hair for the first time in months. Yep, you read that right. Months.

The whole not straightening my hair wasn’t a ploy to get my hair to be healthier, but rather, it was me just not caring anymore. I used to straighten my hair every morning, because I felt that it made me appear more polished during the day.

Lately, since the weight gain has happened, I just don’t feel pretty anymore. I don’t care enough to straighten my hair or even wear make-up to work anymore. I used to love make-up, but I honestly feel that I’m ugly, fat and make-up/hair won’t undo a 50 lb. weight gain. I’d just be fat with make-up and straight hair.

If you can’t tell, my self image of myself is at an all time low. I don’t really buy clothes or shoes anymore, unless they get holes and need to be replaced. I air dry my hair and pack it all in a hair elastic. I don’t wear make-up. Weighing in at almost 300 lbs. drains me (yep, I’m almost 300 lbs. at the moment…gained a LOT of weight), and I really just don’t care anymore.

I read fashion/beauty blogs, and I think man, those girls are gorgeous. Just gorgeous. However, they’re also thinner. I read plus size blogs too, but those girls are like size 14-18. I’m a size 26. I’m the second to LAST size that the average plus size store carries. Talk about a boost…yeah, right.

And yes, before you ask, I’m trying to lose weight. Starting C25K today, actually and have been logging my calories on MyFitnessPal. However, I’m 50 lbs. away from my wedding weight, where even then, I still felt fat. Not super encouraging, but I know I have to do something about this weight.

With the holiday season approaching, I want to so badly just be happy. I want to smile and it not feel forced. I want to walk in public without feeling like someone is watching me in disgust. So, I’m going to put in a little more effort this holiday season and see how things go.

I bought two sweaters yesterday. Two sweaters that were not replacing torn sweaters, mind you.

I re-organized my make-up and threw away the old stuff.

I have the straightener and blow dryer on my counter ready to go.

And today, for the first time in a long time, I wore mineral foundation, eyeshadow (one shade, mind you), eyeliner and mascara to work.

The effort took 10 minutes, but I find that I’m sitting up a little straighter today and also thinking about healthier lunch choices. Maybe it’s the first day drive to success or maybe, just maybe a little bit of make-up is making me care a little more about myself.

We’ll see.  

 

Because I’m cheap..

As you may know, I hate HATE clothes shopping. It’s absolutely depressing for someone my size, not to mention, pricey.

There aren’t many choices out there for plus sized women. I can go into JCPenney and the choices for plus sizes are about 1/4 of the choices for women in misses. Is this a silent way to tell me that I need to lose weight to get more clothing choices? Most of the time, as well, the plus sized selection is very mature. Not a fan. I’m 26.

There are other reasons I rarely shop.

  1. In my mind, I feel like I should be in misses. I want to boycott the plus sized aisle. I can lose this weight, right? No reason to waste money on new clothes when I won’t fit in them soon, right? WRONG..I’ve gained. Fattest I’ve ever been..agh.
  2. The stares. Explained better here.
  3. I feel like I ::never:: look good in anything. Why waste the money?

Well, it got to the point that most of the tops I wear at the workplace are from college. Some of the tops have recently started to get holes, and I have to just stop wearing them. So, I had no choice. Even the hubs pushed me to do this, because I needed new tops.

I’m REALLY hoping these tops won’t fit me next Fall/Winter season. I also REALLY hope they look decent on me, since I bought them online (Lane Bryant was having an early Cyber Monday sale yesterday).

1, 2, 3, 4

I’ll look ok, right? Can you believe that these sweaters/tops were regularly $40-$50? THIS is why I hate shopping plus size folks. Ridiculous. Thank God for a 50% off code yesterday. I just hope they are cute. :

Hilariously, when I told my mother that I bought new clothes, she said “THANK GOD!” on the phone. Apparently, I was long overdue for new clothes, but she didn’t want to hurt my feelings.

And yes, I realize I have a bad self image of myself. Most plus sized women don’t have the highest self image, so please don’t tell me I need to love my body. No way folks…not a fan of this body..not.at.all.

“Fatties” are people too…

I was a pretty skinny child. My passion for making my parents chase me around the house and yard contributed to my physique back then. Sometime around 3rd grade, though, I started to realize I wasn’t normal. I was getting fat.

I have no idea how it happened, but I look at my (now) size 24 self and realize that I am considered morbidly obese. I remember back in school, the kids would make my last name rhyme with fat. Fat A-(insert second syllable) was my name through most of school. I remember in middle school, this kid on the bus spit on my jacket, because he felt I was too fat to be on “his” bus.

Sounds insane, but it really happened.

Another big example I remember was waiting at the bus stop one morning, and one of the kids took my gym bag (actually ended up ripping it because I wouldn’t let it go), rubbed it in dog poop and told me that PE class wouldn’t help me so I shouldn’t bother bringing the bag to school. Bullying sucks…I don’t wish this type of bullying on anyone.

When I reached college age, bullying stopped. Everyone was magically more mature, but it was then that I realized maturity did not equal a fair society. The first time I went to the mall with my college friend, we were buying clothes. I remember going into Hollister and getting stares. I was a size 20 at the time. I could barely walk around the racks, since they kept them close together. I remember just looking at the regular sized clothes (helping my friend out), and when my friend went in the dressing room, an employee at the store told me they don’t carry my size, but Lane Bryant probably does. Rude, no?

When I worked at Lane Bryant through college, I realized that not all customers that shop there embrace the plus size. One lady came to my register to buy a gift card around the holidays, and while I was ringing her up, she told her husband if she ever fits in this store, she would just die.

I’ve seen it all…stares at the gym, stares eating out at a restaurant with my husband, even stares at the workplace…it’s everywhere. Society frowns upon the obese.

However, underneath my current size 24 body, I just wish I could wear a sign saying, I’m a person just like you. I have perfect blood pressure, good cholesterol, and while I eat ice cream from time to time, I’m making efforts to change for the better.

I’m sure most of you have read the Marie Claire article about the issues with an author accepting “fatties”. This article made me so sad. I actually was starting to love Marie Claire, because of their plus sized fashionista, who was starting to make me embrace the fact that I can still feel “cute” in clothes. However, since publishing this article, I feel like this was a huge slap in the face to the very readers that they have been trying to empower.

So, for the first time in a long time, I wrote to an editor. I had to. I couldn’t believe this article was published.

Ms. Schweitzer,
 
I recently came across an article titled “Overweight Couples on TV”, and would like to know why something of this nature was published. The author states that she finds it displeasing just for an obese person to walk across a room, and as an obese person, I find this saddening. I also find it saddening that she does not consider herself “size-ist”. If you think less of a person because of their weight, then that is a blatant discrimination.
 
I’ve been a Marie Claire subscriber on/off for quite a few years, and I’m just shocked that a magazine which writes about how a woman should feel more self-worth, is now publishing this. Do you not realize how many readers you may have just offended and brought down a few levels?
 
It’s hard enough to read magazines with size 0 women plastered across the pages, but now, to read this makes me feel like I am less of a person–compared to a stumbling drunk as she stated.
 
I really hope you will consider your audience when you publish articles of this nature. I’m fairly sure you’ve lost quite a few readers in the long run over this.
 
Sincerely,
::insert actual name::

That article brought back all of the bullying. It brought back the self-conscious feelings of “I wonder how many people find me gross”. It hurt, and it wasn’t fair.

The author tried to make up for it with an update (making excuses with her prior eating disorders and her perception of fat), but of course, you can’t take back how you really feel.

So, thank you Maura Kelly…thank you for making me feel equivalent to  “a stumbling drunk” and a “heroin addict” (her words…not exaggerating). And thank you for making those hateful feelings against “fatties” seem OK to have by having them written in such a huge publication. You kind of suck.

How do you feel after reading this article?

CoverGirl Blast: Review

As you might already know, I review some products as a BzzAgent from time to time. I received two products from the CoverGirl Blast collection to review: Smoky Shadowblast in Silver Sky and Shineblast (doesn’t say the color).

::pardon the iPhone pictures for this post::

Products

I have pretty oily skin, so I didn’t think this shadow product would work out. I put on some eye primer, used the crayon-like shadow, and well, it barely went on. Fail.

So, I wiped it off, tried again, this time putting a neutral shadow over the primer to give the crayon a more dry surface to grab onto. It worked a good bit better, but still not as pigmented as the powder shadows I use. I will admit, it was VERY blendable though to achieve a good smoky eye look. After I blended, I put some translucent powder to set the look.

Covergirl Eyes

Then, I used the gloss. I will say, I hate the taste of it. It’s supposed to be watermelon flavored, but something is just, well, off about it. It’s an OK gloss…kind of worn off about 30 minutes later.

Covergirl Lips

As a consumer, I wasn’t drawn to either of these products. If BzzAgent didn’t offer them to me to review for free, I honestly would have kept passing them up. Now that I’ve tested them, I would say these products aren’t worth what they cost in stores at all. The eyeshadow sticks aren’t very pigmented (I had to use a heavy hand to get anything “smoky”) and the lipgloss just doesn’t last.

I do thank BzzAgent for giving me the opportunity to test these products out though, and look forward to trying out more products soon!

**These two products were provided  to me for free by BzzAgent.com for review.**

Do split ends attract crude?

So, in case you are living in a cave, there was an oil rig explosion right off of the Louisiana coastline. 11 people died and many were injured. Working in the oil industry is a scary, scary thing.

My own father works for an oil refinery, and I worry for him constantly. In 1988, his plant had an explosion and apparently, all that was left of his office were oil splattered family pictures. He was due for work a few hours later. It’s scary and incredibly sad, so I’m constantly praying for those families who lost someone that day.

Now, there are millions of gallons of crude spewing through the Gulf of Mexico. Sure, it’s not Hurricane Katrina, but fishermen are losing their jobs, wildlife is dying and our fragile wetlands are diminishing at a faster rate.

Oh, and by the way, it’s almost June 1st. Hello hurricane season, Have mercy on Louisiana, because the last thing we need is the crude stirred up and brought further into land.

Ok, so now that I’ve lectured y’all,  there are ways to help. We’re all really limited though. It’s not like we can all just go out to the Gulf and help wildlife or personally stop the oil spewing out of the ocean floor.

You can donate your hair. Weird suggestion, but in fifth grade, I got a quart of crude oil to do a science experiment. I used human hair (got a haircut for the sake of a science ribbon), bird feathers (we had a bird house in our yard and well, there were feathers everywhere), spanish moss (hello, swamp!), and plant leaves. In the end, human hair and bird feathers (sadly) were most absorbent of the crude oil.

So, yes, hair really works, and salons are donating hair to make mats to absorb the crude. Also, PetSmart grooming salons are donating pet hair too. (Millie definitely needs a trim, too!) I found a salon near me that will donate hair, and I haven’t cut my hair since last June. So, needless to say, I hope my split ends can absorb oil.

Hair Clippings

I had about 3-4 inches to donate (depending on the outgrown layers) and wow, it felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I feel good about knowing that my hair, which is never long enough for Locks of Love, will actually benefit something so close to home.

Just ignore my 6th grader pimple face and focus on the meticulously styled coif. :)

New Hair Cut

Oh, also if you buy Dawn soap, there are codes on the bottle to enter online to donate $1 to cleaning birds. Easy enough..feel good about doing your dishes. I know I hate doing them, but heck, buying Dawn at least makes me feel sort of happy using up the soap. :)

Are any of you in the affected areas with the oil spill? Are you as worried as me?

Project 10 Pan

Most ladies can relate to me when I mention that I own too much make-up. I don’t have a HUGE collection, but I do have a lot of products that I bought a year or so ago that just need to be used up. Also, hubs thought it would be nice to buy me some new make-up last Christmas and got me a super huge palette similar to this.

So, needless to say, I’m not running out of make-up anytime soon!

Enter Project 10 Pan. Project 10 Pan is a personal challenge to use up 10 beauty products that you have before going to the store and buying more beauty products. It’s a great idea, and I’m going to do it. I’m not stepping foot into Sephora or Ulta until this is done!

I think this also forces me to be creative with the colors that I have, so if I have a certain look I want to achieve, I have to do it with products I already have, and more importantly, my 10 products that I need to use up! :)

I will admit, some of this make-up is older than it should be, but I paid pretty good money for it and I’m totally using it up! Here are my 10 products…you can tell I have a pretty bad lipgloss/eyeshadow habit.

So, the only time I’m buying make-up from now until this challenge is done are essentials like foundation (which I own only 1 bottle of), powder and concealer.

Are you a product junkie like me? Do you think you are going to try this challenge?

$10 for FREE?!

ruelala
Image source

Yes, you read that right. $10 for free on RueLaLa.com. Normally, they only give $10 to people who refer new members, but from now until Christmas Eve, if you join RueLaLa, you get an automatic $10 credit. No purchase necessary.

Just click on this link to join!

RueLaLa is an online designer’s outlet that you can join by invite only. They sell things from clothing, accessory and home designers for up to 70% off. It’s free to join, and it’s pretty fun to use.

I’ve made a couple of purchases myself on RueLaLa, and I’ve been lucky enough to get some credit to use so it is really a great deal!

This girl needed a good vegetable knife in the kitchen, and this little guy fits the bill. I also use it to cut into cookie dough rolls that I make!

The other thing I purchased was a Christmas gift, and I’m not sure if that person reads this blog, so I can only say it was a great deal and super cute!

I would make more purchases, but the clothes aren’t for plus sized women, and I’m not a huge accessory person. However, it’s great to find an occasional deal or just to window shop! Enjoy!

A Hidden High Cost..

Ever since I was in college, I’ve been getting my hair highlighted on a regular basis. I get it done typically every 3 months, because my hair is naturally a darker blonde, and the roots aren’t too obvious until then.

However, after years and years of doing crazy damage to my hair and wallet, I’ve decided to stop. How can I just stop, you ask? Very simply…

I purchased a $7 box of Natural Instincts.

Since it a semi-permanent color, I knew I wouldn’t have to deal with roots and it’s now serving as a color that is VERY close to my natural hair color. It’s also way less harsh than bleach, so my hair is currently happier because of it!

I can give you an idea of the before/after, but, like I said, it’s faded quite a bit to a more dark blonde color.

lightdark

Making this little change in my life is saving me $70/3 months or a whopping $280/year! Instead of me spending that money, I’m currently placing it in a savings account! (To note, that’s considered cheap for highlights for the length that my hair was at the time before the pre-wedding . I used to get my hair done at a salon school.)

Will I ever go back to blonde? Maybe…but for now, I’m considering this to be a fun change!

TGIF!

The weather is a-changin’, and of course, your summer shoes are past their prime. Oprah has taken note and is offering a coupon for 50% off your ENTIRE purchase at a Payless store through the end of today!

An amazing deal…think about the gift possibilities in their accessories section! I know I’ll be there after work, hoping it’s not too much of a mess! :)