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Archive for the ‘clothing’ Category

I woke up this morning with a full-fledged cold. I’m whiney and I want my Mom and a hot cup of tea and a good book and a nap. As the Rolling Stones sing, “You can’t always get what you want…” I’m a Mom, first and foremost. We all know that, as a Mom, my responsibilities just can’t be shelved for a day while I wallow about feeling unwell. I have to do what needs done for the children.

This lifestyle journey of mine is another way that I do everything I can for my children. Being healthy, active, and happy is akin to when I put my little ones before being a sucky baby with a cold. There are times when I don’t want to workout but while I may not feel up to it but I have to commit to it for my children and for myself. To give it my best effort sets a shining example for Tobias and Kaia. It lengthens my life and makes me happy. Being happy means I can give more to them emotionally too.

Speaking of lifestyle, health, and happiness, I figured I’d step on the scale this morning to see where I am at. I know, I know, I said I was going to avoid the scale but I could not resist. Remember? I am obsessed. I’ve felt my body changing and that was most evident when I bought the dress last Saturday. It wasn’t just about the size on the tag, which actually was a bit of a pleasant shock to me, but it was how it looked on me and how it made me feel on Monday when I put it on to show my girl friend. I decided that perhaps I should just take a little peek at my weight and I even justified it with wanting to update my weight in DailyMile so that value for calories burned in each workout has some accuracy.

The result? You expected a number didn’t you? Let’s just put it this way… I am at the smallest I’ve been, from a height-weight perspective, since just before my 14th birthday. That’s a mere 29 years ago. I am proud but more importantly, I am happy about the message that leading a healthy lifestyle is sending to my children.

And… I have 27 pounds to go before I am no longer considered overweight by medical standards. Of course, that number is a BMI calculation and muscle vs. fat ratio will play a definite role in the final outcome but it gives me an idea of how little I have left to lose. I couldn’t be more proud of myself. I have come from being in the category of Class III obesity with a BMI of around 53 to being in the overweight category with a BMI of 27.2.

One word comes to mind… Awesomeness!

(is that even a word? lol… oh well, it is now)

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Did I mention that I dislike shopping? Nothing has changed. I decided, rather than realize my worst nightmare by braving the mall, to head to a local ladies store that specializes in plus-sized clothing.

When I walked in I grabbed a few dresses off the rack and was heading towards the change room when a kind and very bubbly staff member intercepted me. She said she’d take the items back for me so I didn’t have to carry them while I looked around. Then, after taking a quick glance at my shape, told me that they were much too large for me. The nice lady went and fetched more appropriate sizes and whisked them off to the dressing rooms. Upon her return, she spoke to me about what kind of dress I was looking for.

She showed me a trendier dress with an off-white and gray to black pattern that reminded me a little bit of the tie-dying I did as teenager, without all the wild colors. In the centre of the chest was a black section of fabric in a diamond shape; embellished with sequins reminiscent of gemstones. I liked the fabric but I wasn’t sure about the gathering that leads to the decoration… right between my breasts. My girls are big enough without drawing attention there. I don’t know if it was the way I looked at the dress with horror or the pallor of my skin that tipped her off but she said, “Trust me; this will look perfect on you.

I won’t even get into a discussion about how I feel when the words “trust me” are uttered. I was positive that this was not the dress for me. I reluctantly headed into the dressing room where I now had ten frocks to try on. “Let’s get this over with” I thought with a grimace. I started with my favorite; well at least it was my favorite on the mannequin in the store—a purple dress with ruching and three-quarter length sleeves. Sigh. This was definitely not the dress for me. It clung in all the wrong places. Next was one with a white background, an intricate black pattern, and a red block along the bottom section. I put it on and it made me look old. Not that I am a spring chicken but it was a bit matronly.

My frustration levels were rising when the oh-so-cheery clerk came back to see if I needed any help. She asked if I had tried on the dress that she thought was the one for me. I politely said “no” as I really didn’t have any intention of trying it on. Next, I put on the tummy-tuck dress that is apparently supposed to make you look an inch smaller. I loved this one on the website, not so much in person. I don’t have enough of a derriere to make the skirt hang right. Compression in running pants is a good thing, in a plus-sized dress, not flattering at all. This was followed by several other dresses. Too big. Too clingy. Too shiny. Too long. Too expensive. Too short. I was out of dresses, except for one.

By this time I was feeling pretty dejected about the whole experience. Screw it! I decided to try on the dress that the sales clerk had been trying to talk me into. Fabric feels nice. This makes my silhouette look good. It hangs right. It didn’t make my breasts look any bigger, however, it didn’t make them look any smaller either. The length was perfect. The neckline was good.  Hmmm. The oh-so-cheery store clerk was right… this dress looked awesome on me and check out my legs!

I bought the garment and then proceeded across the parking lot to the shoe store. Luck would have it that I found a great pair of shoes to go with the new dress. A low heeled pair of open-toed, sling backs that would look amazing with the dress. They fit nice and were comfortable and they were even on sale. I paid for them and sent Bryan a text to come pick me up with coffee from Tim Hortons to soothe me.

So I did it. I bought a dress and it isn’t even a solid colour. I bought shoes with a heel… and I made it through the ordeal relatively unscathed. Bryan thinks it makes me look “sexy”, so that’s a plus. My next adventure… maybe hair and make-up or maybe I’ll go hiking instead.

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me... in a dress

As I went through my closet and dresser this morning I came to the realization that I don’t ever dress up or at least not very often. I tried to rack my brain and think of the last time I dressed up for anything. June 4, 2010. Almost 2 years have past and Kaia is practically 22-months old. Shocking, isn’t it? I was 38 weeks pregnant and had a sudden craving for Steak Oscar so I made Bryan take me to The Keg and I, for some reason, decided to wear a dress. When we arrived home he took a photo of me which is actually one of the few photos I really like of myself.

That sleeveless dress and shrug still hang in my closet. I figured that they’d still fit, after all I didn’t gain very much weight when I was pregnant. The reality of it is, I need to donate the set to charity, it hangs off of me. Grrr… that means I need to go to the mall! Why me?

I hate dress shopping or any shopping for that matter, but it is a necessary evil. I have events coming up that require me to embrace my feminine side and not in cute running clothes with pink accents. I considered putting it off until next weekend, but the stores are closed for Good Friday, Saturday is Tobias’ 11th birthday gathering, and the stores are closed Sunday. Monday, Bryan leaves for Quebec and will be gone until late Friday. So, today and tomorrow are the only opportunities because I don’t want to be dealing with a toddler in the change room.

I usually shop for clothing at MEC, The Running Room, or REI. Nine times out of ten I do it online. My style yo-yos between camp mate and running girl. At home you’ll catch me in jeans and t-shirts. I have about 15 different colors in the same style of t-shirt. All of my jeans are black or some shade of charcoal. I have some cute skorts that I wear with… can you guess? T-shirts! Most of what I own is baggy except for my running garb. Even my hiking pants are several sizes too big now. My son refers to me as “The Baggy Pant Princess” from time-to-time.

So… with trepidation… off I go to find a dress or two. I probably need shoes as well.

I’ll report back later, if I make it through the ordeal.

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Today’s post is a clothing review and is geared towards the ladies… so guys, you might want to go read something else unless you like reading about sports bras (and the answer is “no, you won’t find a picture of me in my underwear in this commentary” – lol).

A week ago I was planning a trip to one of my favorite stores, Mountain Equipment Co-op in Burlington, with the intent of buying a sports bra. I’ve had dozens of styles in the past and except for one by Lunaire, which I can’t seem to find anymore, they’ve all given me a giant uni-boob. Others have lacked adequate support being more akin to a t-shirt than a bra. That is, until this one.

Before we went I browsed MEC’s website and saw this double layer sports bra by an American company called Moving Comfort. After reading over forty very positive reviews on the manufacturer’s website I decided the “Maia” was the one for me. I went through their sizing guide only to discover that it was a little out so I went with the size I was currently wearing. I checked MEC’s stock and had a black one put aside.

When we went to pick it up I tried it on because I’ve learned the hard way that brands vary greatly. So there I am in the change rooms and I can overhear a lady in the next stall chatting on the phone with someone. I put the garment on and started jumping up and down as if I was using a jump rope. I’m a DD girl so I had to check that this bra did indeed reduce the “bounce” as it had claimed. Clearly the lady thought I was nuts as she commented about the person making a racket in the next room. Too funny! My breasts were very secure in this bra and even better… no uni-boob!

I love the double layer construction which adds to the support. The cups have an underwire but it seems sturdy and it doesn’t poke at all. I hate pokey underwires and I can’t imagine running with one on. The best part is that this bra is adjustable and I’ve found that many styles claiming to be sports bras are not. I am on the widest setting so I will be able to make it smaller as I lose weight or as the bra starts to wear. The front of this bra reminds me of a tank style swimsuit as it is quite high. That was also one of the few complaints in the reviews I had read earlier. My running t-shirts are crew neck so I’m not overly worried about it.

The real test was at home, running on the dreadmill. The “Maia” by Moving Comfort passed with flying colors. My DD’s were well supported and kept in place. The bounce was minimized greatly and there wasn’t any chaffing, digging, pinching, or the like. I’ve only bought one, for now, but will likely purchase one more in the coming month.

Definitely a good buy if you are a plus-sized or amply bosomed lady who needs full and comfortable support.

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