I am so overanalytical. And that's not a good thing. I'm not just analytical, I'm overanalytical. I think that's why it's so hard for me to stick to anything. I can never decide which gym to join or which food program to follow. I went back and forth on a gym recently, and I finally decided I wanted to join the YMCA. It was big, they have tons of classes, they have a pool...what's not to love? Well, I went one time and I couldn't figure out the touch screen on the bike. I think mine was not working properly because I'm actually very technically savvy. But the gym was really crowded and I felt like an idiot. I just rode the bike on manual for 30 minutes and I went home. I never went back. Except last week when I went to cancel my membership after one month. Now, I'm thinking I want to go back to Lady of America. I have insurance with BCBS and they have a discount program. You pay $25/month and you can go to any of the fitness centers on their list. LOA and Curves are both on there. So I can pay $25/month and I can go to both of them if I want to. I had actually thought about doing this before so I went to check out LOA to see if it has changed any since the last time I was a member a few years ago. The girl that worked there was so pushy and weird I decided there was no way I was going there and joined the Y instead. And now I'm thinking I should have just done it. It's cheaper, only women can join and the machines were made for women so they're smaller and a lot less intimidating. Why, oh why didn't I just do this in the first place?? If I don't do something about my health and weight now, I just know something really bad is going to happen to me. I'm already falling apart. My neck is all out of whack and I think it's because I'm so heavy that it puts pressure on my spine when I sleep. And my feet hurt all the time and it's really hard to find shoes that are comfortable because I'm so heavy that the balls of my feet are in constant pain. And they're so wide and swollen that I can barely fit into shoes as it is. I finally found really comfortable peep toe wedges that I can wear with dresses and I was so excited I bought them in 2 different colors. However, the peep toe part rubs on my big toe and makes it bleed. Not fun. My friend told me about these pad things you can put on your shoe to keep that from happening. I'm hoping that will work. But my point is, I would have a wider variety to choose from if I lost weight. So, I just have to buckle down and pick a gym and actually GO TO IT and pick a food program and FOLLOW IT. I'm going to Florida in 3 months with my whole family and I'd rather not look like a beached whale when I go.
So, Friday night I went to JCP to shop for a dress to wear to Wicked with my poor stepson in tow. Talk about a champ. He could have gone home and stayed with my husband, but he chose to go shopping with me instead. And he was a perfect kid the whole time. Not one whine or gripe or complaint out of this kid. I tried on a ton of dresses. Most of the 18s fit ok except for the shoulder and waist part, it was always too big. But I did find one dress I really liked. It wasn't what I wanted to wear to Wicked but I got it for work. And I found a pair of pants on clearance for $10 and a shirt on clearance for $5. The next morning I went to Dress Barn to see if I could find something more appropriate for Wicked. I found a BUNCH of stuff. I'm used to having to try on 50 things and maybe 1 will be a winner. At this place, I tried on 50 things and about 40 were winners. I was pretty amazed. I even had to try on a size 16 in one of the dresses! Woohoo! I realize I'm not a 16, but boy was that fun! And the even better news, was that it was so much more affordable than Lane Bryant. Sure, they had some expensive dresses, but some were actually pretty affordable. And the pants were $30-35 for the most part. That was AWESOME! The first pair I tried on were so great I couldn't believe it. I was having a hard time choosing what I really needed and what I could live without. I was on an extremely tight budget. I'm just not used to having so much to choose from. I was totally overwhelmed. I was in the dressing room so long, at one point, one of the ladies told another that I had left and they needed to clean out my dressing room. When they knocked and I answered, they were surprised. Oops. I ended up only getting the pair of pants and a black cardigan so I felt really bad for what I left in the dressing room. But wow, it sure was nice to know that I finally have a place I can go and find clothes without breaking the bank too badly. AND, they even have LAYAWAY! What the??? Too great. I felt really good after that shopping trip. That was a new and strange and wonderful feeling.
Here's my dress! I'm also wearing the "Mom" necklace and earrings Casey gave me for Mother's Day. Please excuse his blue sno cone teeth. The bottom pic is Lexy and me going to Wicked.
Shopping for plus size women is EXPENSIVE. I live in Texas and since it's May, it's getting warmer. Well, it's supposed to be, anyway. Even though today's high is only in the 50s. But, eventually, it will get warmer. And I have no warm weather clothes. Everything I own is either a sweater or long sleeve shirt. I rotate between 2 pairs of pants every single day. And I don't even get Casual Friday where I work so I don't get to throw a pair of jeans in the rotation. I would like to start wearing dresses because they just seem so simple and easy. However, I have noticed that being big, it's not as easy and comfortable as some women make it look. I have to wear Spanx with most dresses and that is SO not comfortable. Putting on Spanx is such a process. It takes 10-15 minutes to get the damn things on and once they're up, you can't even adjust them because they're so freaking tight. And you always need to adjust them because they're so twisted and bunched that they cut into your skin and are extremely painful. By the time you get them on, your hair is a limp mess, your makeup is smeared and you're all sweaty. So much for trying to feel pretty wearing a dress. And even if you get the things on, put on your dress and feel kinda good about yourself, once you start walking and HEAR your thighs rubbing together and feel the heat rising, you're pretty sure they're going to burst into flames at any moment and you KNOW everyone else around you can hear it, too, you don't feel so sexy anymore. And don't even get me started on trying to use the restroom once they're on. Who wants to have that party in the stall at work? Not me. And are they kidding me with the "pee hole" in them? How could a woman possibly pee through that thing? You might as well just pee all over yourself. And on top of all of that, a good pair of Spanx is almost $40. Why would I pay $40 just to torture myself with pain and agonizing embarrassment? You ever tried to put on a pair of Spanx in front of your husband? Don't do it. Your inner sex kitten will be sucked right out of you in an instant.
And I haven't even gotten to shopping for an actual dress. As I said, I would like to start wearing dresses because if I could just throw on a dress and go, it would save a lot of hassle. You only have to buy one garment and your whole outfit is done. Awesome, right? This weekend, my daughter and I are going to see Wicked and I really wanted to dress nice. I looked for a nice cocktail dress but the cheapest one I found is $82. I didn't want to spend that on a dress I'll only wear once. I realize most cocktail dresses are about this price, even in "regular" sizes. But "regular" size people can find cheaper alternatives. Plus size women, not so much. I went shopping with my daughter last weekend at JC Penney for some dresses for the summer and we found dresses for her for $15-$25. You can't find that for plus size people. I did find one dress I thought was really pretty and tried it on just for fun. I thought it looked really pretty. Unfortunately, it was totally see through. What the hell? Are they kidding me? WHY??? So, I have been looking online at Lane Bryant and Dress Barn and the simple sundresses at LB are $69.50!!!! What??? How is that fair?? It's so ridiculous. The same style dress at JCP for "regular" size people was $15!!! It's an outrage. So, here I sit, in Texas, in May, in winter clothes. Oh, to be a "regular" size person again.
I know that most people, especially women, are very hard on themselves. We are definitely our worst critics, and I'm one of the biggest offenders there is. When I tell people how awful I feel about myself and that I feel masculine or like a man in drag, they are always very shocked. Several people have told me they think I am very feminine which really shocked the hell out of me. When I walk around in public or even down the hall at work, I am very self-conscious and feel frumpy and embarrassed to be seen. But people always tell me they don't see that at all. They say I carry myself very well and would never know that I wasn't confident. When I tell people how much I weigh, they say they don't see it. And when I look at myself in the mirror, I know I'm fat, but when I see myself in pictures, it's even worse than I thought.
When I look at my daughter, all I see is beautiful. To me, she is truly the most beautiful woman in the world. She has the perfect hourglass body. But she doesn't see it. All she sees is cellulite and fat. When we go shopping, she stands in front of dressing room mirror making horrible faces and berates herself the whole time. It hurts me to hear it and honestly, it's extremely exhausting to listen to it. Now I know how everyone around me has felt for the last 25 years. And I apologize to all of those people.
On my birthday, my daughter said she didn't have any shorts that fit her. I went to my drawer and pulled out my Levi's my mom gave me on my 21st birthday. They're my sexy short shorts and I keep them as my goal shorts. When I wore them, I thought I was so fat. I was always so embarrassed to wear them in public. As I took them to her room, I felt very emotional. I handed them to her and felt butterflies in my stomach. I waited anxiously as she pulled them on...and they buttoned...and they fit her. My eyes teared up. I can't even say why. I'm not sure what was going on inside except that maybe it was finally a piece of concrete evidence of what size I actually was back then, back when I thought I was a whale. My daughter, who has the perfect body, fit in my shorts perfectly. Which means, that's the body I had back when I was 21. And I had no idea. I was just flooded with emotion. It's one thing to see yourself in the mirror, it's another to see yourself in pictures, but to see, physically, what size you were at one point and have a solid comparison, was very eye-opening. All that time I spent loathing my body and hating myself when I could have been proud of my body and loving myself...what a waste of life. And feeling that way just caused me to gain weight. What if I had just accepted myself and loved myself back then? Could I have avoided a 100 pound weight gain? Maybe, maybe not. But why couldn't I just love myself the way I was? Ever? My husband told me that just proved how warped my vision of myself has been my entire life. My poor 21 year old self. I feel bad for how mean I was to her.
My daughter sent me this link the other day. http://www.upworthy.com/2-people-described-the-same-person-to-a-forensic-artist-and-this-is-what-happene?c=bl3 It made me cry. I thought of myself. I thought of my daughter. I thought of my sisters. I thought of my mom. I thought of my friends. All of us who see ourselves as fat or ugly or repulsive or worthless or undeserving or all of the above. While the rest of us look at the others and just see beautiful and feel so helpless and frustrated that she can't see how gorgeous she is. I realized I wasn't alone in the way I felt about myself. But it also made me very sad to know that so many of us spend our lives focusing on negative, ugly thoughts instead of just being happy.
My favorite band in the whole world, Sister Hazel, came to town tonight to play at the Main Street Arts Fesival. I had such a great time. Those boys are not only amazing musicians, but they are hilarious entertainers. They always crack me up. I was pleasantly surprised when they played well over an hour. And afterward, Ken Block, the lead singer, came out to talk to people about a new cause they are supporting called Feed the Children (visit www.sisterhazel.com for info). Of course, most of us accosted him and waited in line to take pictures with him, and being the gracious entertainer that he is, he stayed and posed for our photos. Ken and I go way back. I've stalked him for several years. I'll spare you all the details but it all started with a crazy fan letter which led to free tickets to a concert. We met him and he remembered my letter and my name without me telling him. We drove 4 hours to see them in San Antonio and he sang John Denver to my stepson (at age 2) while Casey danced for the first time on a table. He told my daughter "if he had hair like hers he'd be a rockstar" (which is funny because he's bald and he's already a rockstar). He hugged me after a concert when I told him that Casey was in treatment for cancer. And tonight, he said he still remembers us. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't. But it was nice of him to say he did. Sister Hazel has been a huge part of my family's life for a very long time. They are one of the very few things we can all bond over. My husband and I left the arts festival on cloud 9. On the way back to our car, he pulled me over and kissed me on the abandoned street in downtown. I don't usually allow myself to do PDA, but it was very romantic and very nice. Until I felt like we were about to be the next victims on Criminal Minds. Of course, we were perfectly safe, no one was around, but you can't be too careful.
This is Ken and me. The quality is bad because someone else was taking a picture at the same time so my camera got their flash as well. Oh well.