Tag Archives: clothes

An Amazing Photo Shoot (or Dress Like A Woman)

I know I’ve talked before about trying to not be too political, but I think we are in a time where you can’t just sit back and hope for the best. We need to make sure that our voices are heard by our elected representatives and that we are involved. I’ve been guilty of not doing that much in the past but I’ve realized over the past year how I cannot do that anymore. So I’ve been slowly getting more and more involved in things. I’ve joined Facebook groups and other online communities, I’ve been sending emails/snail mail and calling politicians, and I’ve been more vocal about issues that mean a lot to me.

I know it can be scary to put yourself out there like that, but I was inspired by others do it so I hope that I can inspire others to do the same. Sometimes I don’t know what to do, but I’m lucky that I know people who I can turn to that can give me ideas. And I’m very fortunate that I have friends who come up with amazing ideas that I am able to participate in. And recently, I got to participate in a great photo shoot with Adam Emperor Southard , who did my most recent headshots.

Adam posted on Facebook that he needed some women to participate in the next photo series he wanted to do and it had a political twist to it. That’s all he posted, but I said that I was in and was really excited to hear what it was all about! When he finally shared the idea with all of us who wanted to participate, I was so happy that I took the chance to be a part of it. The idea came from the statement about how President Trump likes women to dress like women when they worked for him. There had been so many posts about what dressing like a woman means since there are so many ways women dress for work. And that’s exactly that this photo series was about.

It was tough for me to think of an outfit that I wanted to wear that represented to me dressing like a woman. I tried on some of my favorite dresses that I don’t get to wear that often, but it didn’t seem right to me to wear something that I only wear on special occasions. I also thought about wearing my working clothes since I feel so empowered while wearing them. But in the end, I wore comfortable clothes that I wear when I’m working (if I’m not wearing workout clothes) including the new hoodie I got that showed to me that my work toward weight loss was paying off.

When I got to Adam’s house for the photo shoot, I was pretty ready to go. I was in the outfit I wanted to wear and had done my hair and makeup at home before going over there. But I wanted to add one more thing to my look which was the new lipstick that I’m in love with. I’ve never been a bit lipstick person, but the first time I tried this color on I felt so beautiful. So I wanted that in my photos.

The first photo was without the pink hat (which Adam had there since I didn’t have one of my own) and it was interesting taking photos that I knew weren’t going to be headshots. I experimented more with my facial expressions and poses and didn’t worry about looking pretty or thin. And the second set of photos was with the hat and I knew it would be a close up. So I thought about all the things I wanted to say to President Trump and let my expression speak for itself.

After I was done with the shoot (it only took a few minutes), Adam let me take peek at some of the photos that he took and I was shocked by how I looked!

I never feel like I can look fierce, but I felt like I really did in these photos! I looked tough and not sweet (like I normally do in photos) and I was so happy with how they looked. I had to wait a few days to see the finished image, but I could not have asked for anything better to be my photo in this series.

I shared this online right away and if you want to see all the photos in this series you can see them on Facebook. And if you are in LA and want to be a part of the series, Adam is still doing more photos so please reach out to him on Facebook!

I know that me doing one photo shoot isn’t going to change the world. But between all the women participating in the series plus all the other work they and I are doing, hopefully we can make some noise and get some people to listen to us.

Lunch And Shopping (or Proof My Work Is Paying Off)

I’ve been trying to keep up with staying social with my friends when I have free time. It is one of the things I’m focusing on this year so I don’t go too long without seeing friends (which can happen pretty easily). I used to see my friend Lindsay all the time because we would go to the same classes at Orangetheory. But since her schedule changed, we have to make more of an effort to see each other. We did run into each other at Orangetheory when she was taking a class after mine, but that’s not really enough time to catch up. So when she asked if I wanted to get some lunch this past weekend, I said yes right away!

We ended up meeting at 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica, which I usually avoid since it’s so touristy. But for a nice Saturday afternoon, it ended up being not too bad. We met up in front of a store and immediately walked to figure out where we wanted to get some lunch. We went to Steak ‘n Shake since it was a place that neither of us had been to before. Sadly, it ended up being a bad choice (we waited over 20 minutes for our burgers to be brought to our table and the food was cold when we did get it), but since the focus of our hangout was catching up and not the food, it was fine.

After eating, Lindsay had some shopping she wanted to do and I’m always happy to join a friend for shopping. I’ve gotten so used to not being able to try things on at the stores that my friends shop at, so I’m just happy to be the person who shares her opinion on the stuff others try on. Lindsay was on the hunt for some shoes and we checked out a couple of stores. She wasn’t able to find what she wanted, but it was fun checking out a bunch of different stores since so many places were having sales.

Toward the end of 3rd Street, there is an Athleta store. I’ve never shopped there before, but I’ve gotten their catalog before and knew that their clothes wouldn’t fit me based on their size guide. They do sell some plus size clothes, but I don’t believe they carry those in the store (so many companies only carry the plus size section on the website). But I do love shopping for workout clothes so I was happy just to see what they had and maybe I would find things that I would want to get when I was able to fit in them.

When we went into the store, someone greeted us immediately and told us that all sale things were discounted even further, and we decided to see what there was since you can’t do much better than sale items being on sale. The sale section was organized by size and I was looking at the XL stuff to see if there was anything that looked big enough to fit me. I found a zip up shirt that looked cute and realized that it might be something perfect to wear when I have liver surgery (I’ve read online that since my stomach will be very sore, it might be tough to lift my arms up to pull shirts on). I decided to try it on over my shirt to see how it fit and it was a little baggy on me.

I found the same shirt in L and tried it on. It was a bit snug, but Lindsay had me try both the XL and L on and she agreed that the L was the way to go. I was so shocked to fit into a L! I know that there is vanity sizing and all that, but Athleta is owned by the same parent company as Old Navy (where I have been getting all my workout stuff) and I’ve been wearing XXL in those. I’ve been wearing those shirts for a while and I started to think that maybe I could fit into smaller clothes than I’ve been wearing.

I looked through the rest of the sale stuff in L (the non-sale stuff is out of my budget for now) and found a cute sweater that I wanted to try on. And I was shocked to see that it fit too! It’s a little tighter than it shows on the model online, but it fits and I feel really cute in it!

I know that I shouldn’t buy stuff just because I like what the size on the table says, but it was pretty amazing to know that I was buying 2 shirts that are not a plus size but just a regular L. I’ve plateaued lately with my weight loss and even though I’m still down quite a bit from even a few months ago, it can feel like I haven’t changed at all in the last year. So getting shirts that prove me otherwise is a really nice thing!

After that shopping stop, it was time for Lindsay and I to each head back to our cars to head home. I’m so glad that she and I were able to get together. Obviously I love getting to catch up with friends, especially friends that I was so used to seeing twice a week before. But I’m also so happy that she convinced me to try on some clothes when I was so sure that there was no way they could fit me. She pushed me out of my comfort zone and it ended up being a great thing for me!

A Major Cleanup (or Saying Goodbye To The Old Me)

A long time ago, I wrote about how I was having issues getting rid of my old clothes. Every single thing in those under bed storage bags had sentimental value to me. There were dresses that I loved, the perfect jeans that I found and bought in every color (it’s not easy finding jeans), and fun clothes that I got as gifts over the years.

I’ve always figured that if I got down to those sizes again, I’ll pull the clothes out of the bag and wear them again. But that post about not getting rid of my clothes was over 3 years ago. I’ve been holding on to those clothes for over 6 years. I don’t have a ton of storage space, but since they were kept under my bed I didn’t think too much about it.

But the other day I just got fed up. I don’t need to keep reminders of who I was when I was at my skinniest. So I took an afternoon, opened up the bags, and started sorting things out.

There were some things that I knew I wouldn’t get rid of. Those included my high school prom dress, my absolute favorite pair of jeans from my skinniest (but only one pair), 2 designer dresses that I got at a discount store and had tailored to fit, and a workout jacket that I love. But almost everything else in those bags I felt could go. I don’t care about a lot of the shirts and sweaters I had been storing. I don’t need to have jeans in every size. So many things aren’t really in fashion right now. And it’s not just that. When I lose weight, I might lose it in a different way so even if I got down to that size again I wouldn’t necessarily fit into those pieces.

After going through my under bed storage and closet (I had a couple of things in there that I didn’t need to keep), I moved on to my entry closet where I keep coats, shoes, and purses. I wasn’t going to get rid of any shoes (I had done that lately and while I have more shoes than some, I don’t have a ton). I got rid of some hoodies that I got at old day jobs and a jacket that I got on clearance but never really loved.

And I seriously had too many purses. I pulled out some of the fancier ones and I have friends who are going to trade me or buy them from me. But I had a lot of purses that I got at a cheap store to wear with a particular outfit and never used the purse again. Or they were so small that they weren’t really ever used because I couldn’t put my phone in there. Like the clothes, there were some purses that were kept for pure sentimental value. I have one designer purse that my grandma gave to me after she heard me say how much I’d love to own one one day (she had the purse and never used it). But I probably pulled 10 purses out of my closet to donate.

In the end, I had 4 very full bags of clothes and purses to donate to people who could really use and need them.

Clothes Donations

It felt so good to get all that stuff out of my house. I don’t miss them at all and things feel less cluttered than they did before. And I’ve rediscovered some clothes and purses that I had forgotten about because they were buried under all the other stuff.

After getting rid of all those clothes and purses, I also felt inspired to work on clearing out my fridge, freezer, and pantry. I’ve bought food that I felt that I should eat. I had some frozen fish, different veggie patties, and other quick meal things. I never ate any of them because they don’t taste good to me. There’s no need for me to keep healthy food in my house that I don’t eat. So a friend of mine took the perishable food from me and I donated the non-perishable stuff. I didn’t replace it with unhealthy things, but I wanted my healthy choices to make me happy and not make me feel guilty that I should eat them. My healthy options don’t have to match everyone else’s.

I probably spent a good chunk of my afternoon and evening cleaning out things from my house, but it feels so amazing now that it’s done. My clothes are only things that I wear now and make me happy. And my fridge and freezer doesn’t make me feel horrible when I’m looking for something to eat and nothing seems good to me. I’m making my house make me happy, and it’s working and I feel the results from that already.

A Week Of Workout Wins (Or 3 Days Of Awesomeness)

I might have only had 3 workouts this week (I’m not trying to make 3 workout weeks a habit but my schedule is tough right now), but I really had 3 amazing workouts. And it wasn’t just what I got done in the class, it was a bunch of other things too.

To start with my wins in the workout, I did continue to push myself on the treadmill a bit more. I was able to do more on Monday than on Wednesday or Friday because I started the increased dosage of Vyvanse on Wednesday (so I had to be careful with my heart rate). I wasn’t able to push myself with the weights as much as I would have liked, but I did experiment with a heavier weight and heavier medicine ball for a bit. I wasn’t able to do it all with the heavier things, but at least I tried.

Now for the things that totally made my workout week.

On Monday I was hanging out in the lobby waiting for the last class to end so I could go into the room and get my treadmill (I’m particular about what treadmill I use). I noticed that there was a guy who looked familiar in the room, but I couldn’t get a good look at him. But I looked up at the heart rate monitor screen above the treadmills and saw my friend Sean’s name up there! Sean and I worked together at Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Studios years ago and I haven’t seen him in forever!

After his class ended, I went up to him to say hi and he seemed pretty happy to see me too!

HHN OTF

He actually was talking to people in the lobby during my class so when my class ended he and I got to catch up for a bit. That really made my day on Monday!

Then on Wednesday I got to Orangetheory and signed in. The manager said that she had something for me. She brought out a box that had old ink cartridges in it! I had mentioned a few weeks ago to the owner that I recycle ink to help pay for my Disneyland pass and he saved their inks for me! That was so awesome and made me feel so special! Now I have another $10 toward my pass (and they said that they would continue to save inks for me).

OTF Ink

And finally, on Friday I had a non-scale victory (which I needed because I haven’t had a lot of victories on the scale lately). I’ve gotten all of my workout clothes from Old Navy. They really seem to be the only company that has cute workout clothes in my size (and workout pants that don’t look like diapers on me). I’ve mainly bought workout pants in black so they go with any of the tank tops I own. I’ve gotten a couple of pairs of patterned workout pants but have never looked how they looked on me.

I recently took advantage of a promo code at Old Navy that you could use on clearance clothes. I was able to get workout pants for about $10 each! I got some basic black ones and another pair of patterned ones. And this past Friday, I finally felt comfortable enough to wear them to my workout!

Old Navy Pants

I’m kind of in love with those pants. They were so comfortable and I think they looked really cute too! I’m thinking about trying the other patterned ones that I have and have only worn at home again. Maybe now I can be confident enough to wear them in workouts (which is why I bought them).

I love that this past week of workouts were so positive for me. I haven’t really been in a workout slump but I did hit a bit of a personal slump lately. I working on getting out of that as quickly as possible. Hopefully with my workout being so awesome it can now spread to other things being awesome as well!

Workout Clothes Addict (or Didn’t I Used To Complain About Workout Clothes?)

I’ve talked about my love/hate relationship with workout clothes on here before. I’m still super annoyed that a majority of workout clothes do not come in my size (or even close to my size). I’m always seeing really cute workout clothes and they claim they come in larger sizes. But more often than not, those “larger” sizes are up to size 12.

That’s just stupid.

Fortunately, Old Navy still continues to make workout clothes in my size. And they are getting more and more options for workout clothes. So my workout clothes collection is getting pretty decent.

Workout Clothes

And of course, Old Navy was doing a pretty awesome online sale over the weekend so I ordered a bunch of new workout clothes. I’m trying to find more bottoms that are something other than black. I do have one pair of printed workout capris, but I don’t have a top that goes with it. So I also ordered a plain white workout top so that I can wear that with the patterned pants.

I have had to expand my workout clothes collection in the past because I was working out more and more. When I only had 3 pairs of workout pants, I couldn’t work out 4 days in a week unless I wanted to do an extra load of laundry in the middle of the week.

I’m also finding that I’m wearing my workout clothes more often than “normal” clothes. On the days that I work out in the afternoon, I wear my workout clothes for the day. When I wake up, I put on my workout clothes and wear those while I’m working. Then I go and work out and when I get home I shower and put on pajamas for the evening. So I don’t wear regular clothes then. And on my off days, I’m usually in workout pants and a shirt because I’m just going to be sitting at my desk for several hours. Also, being in workout clothes makes it easier for me to get in my steps for the day (usually done while standing in front of the tv or computer).

I never thought I’d be the person who lives in yoga pants, but I really am becoming that person. Some of it is due to laziness, but honestly I feel more confident and happier in my workout clothes (or at least my workout capris/pants) than I do in my regular clothes. I know that this should be a bad thing, but my workout clothes don’t make me feel like I have fat or skinny days in my clothes. I know that some people say you shouldn’t live in stretchy pants because you won’t notice when you gain weight, but for me I need to not notice those little changes. It can be due to so many things and I don’t want a weight gain due to salt or something make me think I’ve screwed it all up and then eat a bunch of food. These pants almost help me feel a sense of normalcy.

Obviously there are plenty of times I have to get dressed in real clothes and go out into the world. But I really don’t see a problem with being in clothes that are both comfortable and make me feel good. Soon, my workout clothes will overtake regular clothes in my closet, and I’m good with that.

An Evening Out With Friends (or An Excuse To Dress Up)

On Saturday evening after my 4th workout of the week, my friend Rayshell was throwing a party.

The party was because she and her boyfriend had an out-of-town guest visiting, but Rayshell is such an awesome hostess that I think that she could use any excuse and make it a fabulous party.

I haven’t been going out a lot lately. My days are filled with working (and looking for work) and then going to work out.

On days that I work out after I’m done at my day job, I never wear “normal” clothes. When I wake up, I change out of my pajamas and put on my workout clothes. I see no need to wear another outfit while I’m working from home.

After my workout, I come home and shower and then just put my pajamas back on. All I’m usually doing after a workout is eating dinner, watching some tv, and doing any work that still needs to be done. Again, no need to wear another outfit while doing that.

So each week when I do my laundry, it’s pretty much all workout clothes and then 1 or 2 “normal” outfits (I repeat things since I’m just wearing them while I work from home).

So when I have an excuse to dress up, I take advantage of it!

I was super exhausted after the workout, but I wasn’t able to take a nap. Right before the party, Rayshell sent me a text that she forgot something at the store and was hoping that I could pick it up. So I left and got the supplies she needed and made the drive over to the valley.

I was the first one to arrive at the party, and that’s what usually happens. Mainly because I am not a late owl so I’d rather be there early and get a chance to hang out with my friends than show up late and only be able to stay for a little bit.

It was a pretty casual party, but so much fun. There were several people who I knew there and a bunch of new people who I met. I was there for a few hours before I started to feel really tired. I knew that I needed to head home before I was too tired to drive home safely.

So I made my round of goodbyes and made the drive back (at least there was no traffic). Pretty much as soon as I got home, I fell asleep.

Having fun events like this to break up my week really help to revitalize me. And I had another fun event this past weekend as well. But that will be for another post.

Getting Rid Of Extras (or Cleaning House)

I live in a pretty small house (it’s about 400 square feet). When I moved into the house over 3 years ago, I was coming from a 2 bedroom apartment that I had shared with roommates that was about 3-4 times the size. So I did a lot of downsizing before I even moved in.

But as I think everyone does, as I’ve lived here, I’ve collected a lot of stuff. Some of it is amazing (like artwork and furniture that makes living in a small space feel more homey). But a lot of the stuff I’ve collected is just stuff. So this weekend, I spent some time getting rid of things that I didn’t need anymore.

I started with my shoes, since I have so many. With the exception of specialty shoes such as my hiking shoes, any shoes that I haven’t worn in 1 year are gone now. Most of the shoes that I got rid of were sandals that used to be comfortable and aren’t now or shoes that no longer fit. I managed to get rid of 4 pairs.

Next, I went to purses. I followed the same rule as my shoes. I took out 5 purses and still have a bunch that I’m debating about. I tend to use one purse all the time until it starts to fall apart. I have a couple of special occasion purses and one that my grandma gave to me that I will keep no matter what, but there are a couple of purses that I’ve used within a year but I question if I’ll use them again.

While I was on my cleaning streak, I also decided to clean my email. We all get emails all the time that we just trash immediately. So I went through the trash mailbox on my email, and I unsubscribed to a ton of things. I lost count after 20, but at least now I won’t have as many emails to deal with on a daily basis.

I didn’t get to my kitchen yet, but that is next on my list. I know I have at least 7 or 8 reusable water bottles. I should be able to survive with just 2 or 3. I also have other kitchen gadgets that I don’t use that often and I want to find a place to store them so I don’t have to take up room in my kitchen.

There are several more projects that I want to do with cleaning up my house. My closet is something I’d like to tackle but I know it will be hard. I have a lot of clothes, mainly because when I find something that fits and is cute, I don’t want to get rid of it. It’s not easy shopping for me. But I’d really like to try to get rid of some things (and use GwynnieBee to supplement my wardrobe).

This project will take several more weekends (mainly because of the sentimental value of the other things I’m trying to clean out). But hopefully in the end, my house will seem less cluttered (and easier to clean as well).

Renting A Dress (or Testing Out Gwynnie Bee)

I got a lot of compliments on the dress that I wore to the wedding this past weekend.

IMG_1884

The dress was by Kiyonna, a store that I’ve written about before. But this time, it wasn’t a dress that I owned. I borrowed it from a service I’m trying out called Gwynnie Bee.

Basically, Gwynnie Bee is like Netflix for plus sized clothes (sizes 10 and up). You pay a monthly fee for a certain number of items out at a time, and you send back the outfits when you are done with them. I’m currently in a 30 day free trial (you can start your own trial for free at this link).

My trial is for 3 items at a time, so I filled my virtual closet with dresses so I’d have some new things to wear for the wedding. I got 3 dresses to my house this week. One dress didn’t fit so well (but they do include cards that you send back with the items to say any issues you had with fit), and the other one was a little casual for an evening wedding. Inside the box with the dresses were pre-paid UPS bags to send the items back.

This is pretty awesome! Clothes aren’t cheap, and in a way, this is a way to try clothes on that you can sometimes only find online.

On the Gwynnie Bee site, there are a lot of dresses and cute tops. I think that most of the clothes are cute and things that I wear. My only hesitation is that I pretty much live in jeans and t-shirts. I sometimes go out in cute clothes, but when I’m at my day job, there’s no need to dress nice.

I don’t know if I’d want to wear nicer clothes at work because when you are sitting in a chair for 8 hours on the phone pretty much the entire time, you want to be comfortable.

I’m sending back the dresses that I have at my house this week so I can try some other cute clothes. Maybe I’ll decide to wear cuter things at work. But if you are looking for some new clothing options, you should totally sign up for the free trial.

Full disclosure: if you sign up for a free trial from the link I provided and then decide to keep the membership after the trial, I do receive compensation in the form of a free month of my personal membership. If you don’t want me to get a free month from you signing up, please go to their main page and sign up through there. Gwynnie Bee did not give me any compensation for this post. All opinions are of my own.

Is It Too Early To Be Spring Cleaning? (or Out With The Unused)

I’m been on a bit of a cleaning spree lately. I don’t keep a messy house, but when you live in a place that is about 400 square feet, it always seems like I have a lot of stuff.

I’m always jealous when I go visit my friends with big apartments and the amount of open space that they have. Everything looks so much cleaner that way. No matter how much I clean, my house always seems a bit crowded just due to the lack of space.

So I’ve been working on going through my things and trying to make some more space in my house (and no Mom, I’m not just cleaning because you are coming to visit soon).

I still can’t seem to get rid of my old clothes, but since those live under my bed I’ve decided that they can stay for now. And most of the clothes in my closet are things that I wear. If I haven’t worn them in a year, they go, but I don’t have anything like that right now.

I’m slowly going through my purses and shoes. I know that there are plenty of things I can get rid of. I donated 3 bags of things, which included some shoes and purses, but I know there is more that can go.

The one thing that I’ve been struggling with getting rid of are my books. I have an e-reader that I use 99% of the time and I hardly ever read an actual book. There are some books that are signed or are very special to me that I will keep no matter what, but I can’t seem to get rid of the others yet. I think that I just have to take the plunge and empty my bookcase out (and then I can use it for other things).

I think part of the reason I’m cleaning like crazy is the less cluttered my mind feels the less cluttered I want my house to be. I’m finally having some clarity in my life and I want that to reflect in my house too.

And yes, maybe I do want my mom to be extra impressed when she sees my house in 2 weeks.

Plus Sized Workouts (or Are Clothing Companies Trying To Keep Me Heavy?)

Shopping for clothing in general for me is tough. I’ve talked about that a couple of times.

But shopping for workout clothes that fit me seems to be almost impossible.

I have a couple of t-shirts that are junky enough to be gross and sweaty, and for spinning I’ve been wearing tamis from Old Navy (no joke, when I went to grab this link, I saw that tamis were on sale and bought 4 more). Those tamis are nice and long on me, so when I’m bent over the spin bike, I’m not worrying about them riding up.

But workout pants are have always been weird. Not only do I need to find some that are big enough, I’m short so I need to find them in petite (or hope that they are short enough to not look weird on me). The first time I was trying to lose weight as an adult, I bought some workout pants at Lane Bryant. And nothing against the store, but those workout pants were beyond ugly! I might not have the world’s cutest butt, but those pants made it look like I was wearing a diaper.

I’ve tried the stretch capri pants at Target, but even their largest size was a little small around the waist for me. And on one of my magical trips to Old Navy (I swear that they are not sponsoring or paying me for this post at all), I found these great workout capris.  I love the fold-over part at the waist because it makes me feel like my stomach is being held in a bit.

In the store, they only have regular length, so I bought one pair of those to hold me over. I ordered 3 more in the petite length, and those 4 workout pants can get me through any week.

(this is where most guys will want to stop reading)

Sports bras are tough for almost anyone. It doesn’t matter what size you are, it seems like you can never find one that is right. I ended up going to a store for a professional bra fitting. It was a fancy store on Ventura Blvd (but I can’t remember the name of it) and they did a great job fitting me. If you’ve never had a proper bra fitting before, I recommend getting one done. I’d also recommend going somewhere like a lingerie or department store where they have more than one brand of bra. Also, be warned that a bra fitting is very touchy-feely and hands on (I have no modesty issues and even I blushed once or twice).

Sadly, most of the regular bras there were over $150, so I didn’t get any of those. But they did have 2 sports bras (one for low impact and a compression one for high impact) that were on sale. I got those, and I have to say that my boobs don’t hurt anymore when exercising (which is not the easiest thing to accomplish).

I wish that clothing companies were more accepting of all sizes, especially for workout gear. It’s tough when you want to lose weight but all the workout clothes are for people who are already a couple of sizes smaller than you are. But I’ve found something that works now, and one day, I’ll fit into all the cute gear that I see in other stores!