Downsizing with Weight Watchers

By Karen

Part 6 – Getting Back Into “Normal” Clothes, Sort Of

So two weeks ago and 23 lbs. thinner, I walked into Macy’s feeling pretty cocky, wearing a pair of size 12 shorts I’d stashed away (pre-WW, I was wearing 18s).

I tried on a pair of size 14 slacks and couldn’t pull them up past mid-thigh. WTF??!! Got into some 16s, but almost fainted when I buttoned them.

A couple of XL tops fit OK but, on principle, I refuse to buy any more X sizes.

So I walked out of this HUGE sale empty-handed, feeling blimpy and demoralized.

But I think Macy’s sizes are all screwed up because 1) Lots of the stock is cheap quality, and 2) It’s made in Third-World countries where people aren’t super-sized like Americans.

Speaking of which, if about 66% of adults are overweight or obese, WHY do department stores cater mostly to the thin 34%? They don’t even carry much for regular women who would wear 10-14s. It seems like retail suicide, but it never changes.

Mainstream stores treat being large like such a shameful condition,  they often don’t even name the plus-size department. You have to hunt until you find a rack of X-sizes. If it has a name, it’s something like “Woman.” I think I’ve even seen a condescending “Missy” department somewhere.

WiseBread wrote more thoroughly on this.

But I digress…

Now it’s been 17 weeks and I’m down 24 lbs. I think I’m about halfway there. This weekend I bought 3 tops at Stein Mart that were Large and I was thrilled. My pile of discarded ridiculous-looking fat clothes is growing. A girlfriend tells me I look like I’m wearing my mother’s clothes — because they’re hanging on me. (For the record, my mother is tiny.)

I’m still unable to find any slacks because if they don’t have wide floppy legs and bag mightily in the ass and thighs, I can’t zip them. How the HELL do designers think we are shaped down there?

By WW measures, I’m only 12 lbs. overweight now, so I shouldn’t be having all these fit issues.

I’ve made my peace with WW so I no longer feel as screwed as at first — but preparing meals is still too labor-intensive.

On the other hand, the extra effort is worth it now that rejoining the 34% non-overweight minority is definitely on my radar.

And their clothes are so much cuter.

16 Responses to Downsizing with Weight Watchers

  1. Zappa's Mom says:

    CONGRATULATIONS!! You have inspired me so much! I have been going to 7 AM kickboxing class on Mondays and Wednesdays. Tuesdays and Thursdays there is a 8 AM class……maaaaaayybeeeee,we’ll see. I want to be cute like you!

  2. catsworking says:

    Why, thank you, ZM. ::blush::

    For the record, everybody, the last time I saw ZM, she was slender and looked about 20 years younger than her age. As I’ve been doing my 10,000 steps every night in front of the TV, SHE’S the one I visualize looking like!

    Now… kickboxing??!!! Are you going all Ottavia on us?

  3. Carrie says:

    Macy’s is horrendous! The dressing rooms with the awful lighting and those mirrors! I usually go home in tears calling myself “a big fat lazy sloth”. The quality has gone down a few notches as well over the years, but Bloomingdales gives me the hives when I even think about walking in there … UGH!

  4. catsworking says:

    Carrie, I don’t go into Macy’s a lot. I tend to hit the off-brand places because the clothes are more interesting. Macy’s departments are also poorly marked so it’s hard to tell which clothes are for which bodies, except for the petites, which look like Barbie clothes. I have to get petite pants for the length, and they do make me cry because the sizes are usually so screwed up. It’s like if you don’t wear a 2, they think you you belong in the “Missy” section.


  5. adele says:

    Karen, congratulations on your weight loss and sticking to WW! I can’t wait to see pictures. Perhaps you and Jennifer Hudson can be photographed together.

    Uggh! Macys. In Chicago, it more or less replaced Marshall Field’s,and although Field’s was in a decline when Macy’s took over, it still had a fair amount of well-made clothing at various prices. I find Macy’s shockingly expensive for poorly made (and I’m sure sometimes sweatshop made) clothing.

    And I hear you about the hideousness of most plus size clothing (at least you can kiss that good-bye). I constantly wonder why some store which carries larger sizes in classic designs and decent fabrics doesn’t open. As Carrie said, there is Bloomingdale’s, but who can afford Eileen Fisher?


    ZM, let me second what Karen says When I met you in DC, I assumed you were about 30 years old.

  6. catsworking says:

    Thank you, Adele. I am working my ass off to never wear them again, but I am outraged over the ugly shit plus-size women are forced to wear. Do you have Catherine’s in Chicago? It’s a plus chain, and just about everything in it has glitter, sequins, or beads glued all over it (forget easy care or appropriate for the office). Horizontal stripes. Huge, garish flowers. Pants with legs 16″ wide. Tops with absurdly enormous armholes. Bikini underwear in size 12. Like women LOVE having their fat cheeks hanging out and their paunch undercat by elastic. Now, you’d think any chain that SPECIALIZES in plus sizes would have a CLUE what looks good on big women. But no.

    I believe my side of Richmond is where all the retailers send their ugly, unsold clothes to die. Macy’s isn’t the only one. Every chain department store we’ve ever had has always carried more stylish clothes in the West End, which is supposedly the “posher” side of town, even though fewer professionals live there and the per capita income is lower. It’s considered “Old Richmond,” and South Side (where I live) has always been the wrong side of the tracks.

    The only department stores we have are Macy’s and Dillard’s (which has some nice stuff, but pricey). And there’s a Nordstrom (West End) and Saks (my side), but the only time I walked through Saks, all the help was staring at me like I’d crawled in trailing slime, so I never went back.

    Now here’s a riddle: Can plums make you fat? Last week I bought 3 large plums at Food Lion. Ate the first one and got terrible stomach pains and the shizzles. Figured it was something else I ate.

    Yesterday, I tried another one, same thing, and when I got on the scale last night, I was .9 lbs. UP!!! And the extra weight was still there this morning!! What GIVES? I haven’t eaten anything out of the ordinary, and I have only showed a gain ONCE since I started WW. I am so pissed.

    And before you ask, yes, I did wash the fruit very well before I ate it.

  7. adele says:

    Yes, we have Catherine’s, and believe me, the clothes are just as you described. They don’t even have things like classic blazers; everything is joojed up within an inch of its life.

    Here’s a hint about Saks — once a year, right after Christmas, they have a fabulous lingerie sale. Those rich women are vicious, but if you can stand your ground, you can come away with some really good deals. I once got a scratch on my face from a woman, who was reaching for the same robe as I. I got the robe, but I was bleeding.

    The plums are a puzzlement. I love them, but they’re almost sure to be an intestinal disaster for me; after all, they do grow up to be prunes. But not many people have my digestive issues. The one thing I do know is that they’re high on the glycemic scale, but one plum just doesn’t have that many calories. Perhaps your body decided to retain some fluid as a hedge against dehydration. Don’t let it get you down.

  8. catsworking says:

    Well, another day has gone by and that .9 lb. is still there. I’m fuming… I don’t feel like I’m retaining fluid. My rings are still going on, which is a sure sign.

    On the other hand, my scale (a WW brand) is another bone of contention. Once it shows a weight, it usually refuses to BUDGE for at least a week. And then the jump will be a pound or 2. Now you KNOW all that weight doesn’t come off at once, so why doesn’t the scale (which is digital and shows tenths) nudge down a tenth or 2 every few days as that weight is coming off?

    The day I was in Saks was shortly after it opened in this big upscale open-air mall we got, and you could have counted the customers on one hand. In fact, the whole mall (which also has a Tiffany’s) has been pretty deserted almost since Day One, except for the restaurants. Good place to go if you crave solitude.

    Yet at any time of the day, Walmart is PACKED. The money may be on my side of town, but it ain’t being spent on fancy lingerie and diamonds. But Mitt Romney and Eric Cantor will most likely carry this county. Go figure.

  9. adele says:

    We have a Saks on Michigan Avenue, along with Nieman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s; I haven’t been down there in years because I never feel that I’m dressed up enough. There’s a Saks in a suburban shopping center, adjacent to some of the wealthy suburbs, and it used to do a pretty good business, but if it’s like the Bloomie’s in the same shopping center, I imagine it’s pretty empty these days. I’ve never been in a WalMart as a protest against their non-union wages and outsourced merchandise, although I have stuff with labels that say “made in Pakistan,” or “made in Belize,” etc. so I’m not that pure. There’s no Walmart that close to me (Chicago is just letting the in to the city); it’s just easy to avoid.

  10. catsworking says:

    Adele, I visit Walmart maybe once a year if I need something I can’t find ANYWHERE else. But a few years ago, Walmart changed its store format and doesn’t carry anywhere near the number of items it used to, so it’s usually a wasted trip.

    I will say Walmart has great prices on most groceries, and their bakery dept. is really good (not that I ever buy that stuff anymore).

    Well, that .9 lb. of plum finally went away last night and I’m back to 24 lbs. lost. Whew!! I ate an apple yesterday, and maybe it kicked that plum’s ass. I hope so.

  11. Zappa's Mom says:

    Karen,Adele,you’ve made my day! You are too,too kind!
    Im not going Ottavia,I promise.I go to a gym 2 blocks away that does kickboxing,MMA and boxing classes all day long.Putting on boxing gloves and beating the shit out of a heavy bag makes me feel more Zen than any yoga class ever did.My father was a Golden Gloves boxer back in the 30’s.I think he would be proud of my left jab.

  12. catsworking says:

    ZM, be careful. You may soon find that the bag ceases to challenge you because it never tries to hit back, and you will crave the excitement of next level — beating the shit out of other women.

    I tip my hat to you for doing it. At my age, I’d probably shatter every bone in my hands. When I was ballroom dancing in my mid-40s, I got a stress fracture in one of my toes and couldn’t wear a regular shoe for 3 months. Amazing how a microscopic crack in a bone can cause such excruciating pain.

  13. adele says:

    Karen, glad that .9 is gone. I’m having a terrible stomach week and am existing on fewer than 800 calories per day — chicken broth, the occasional saltine and the occasional coke, and my absorption of nutrients is so bad that I’m giving myself weekly B12 shots. I haven’t lost an ounce, but I’m barely moving since I have no energy. The game’s not fair. You have no idea how good an apple sounds right now.

    ZM good for you; I’ve often thought it would be a great release to hit a heavy bag, and Karen, though I can’t imagine you doing it, you have such tiny hands that I’ll bet your boxing gloves would be adorable.

  14. catsworking says:

    Adele, sorry to hear about your tummy troubles, you’d do better to increase the chicken broth and eliminate the Cokes altogether — forever. Haven’t you been watching the news? They’re learning that soft drinks are one of THE leading culprits for weight gain. And when I think of the people I’ve known who said, “Oooh, I could never drink diet. It tastes terrible!” and how much they weighed, I see a connection.

    It’s easy for me to talk, sodas have never been an issue for me. I only drink one when eat out (once a month?), always order diet, and never finish it. I’d rather have booze. 😉

  15. adele says:

    Actually, I was never much of a soda drinker either, and I know the dangers of sugary soft drinks. My favorite drink is iced tea with some Equal, but when my stomach is acting up, artificial sweeteners are a trigger. Last night, I remembered that when I was a kid,and we had upset stomachs, my mother would give us sips of blackberry brandy. Of course, I had no blackberry brandy in the house, but I do have some Calvados (a not too sweet apple brandy from Normandy). I poured myself about an ounce and sipped it, and it was remarkably soothing. I may try substituting that for the coke — it certainly has less sugar and fewer calories.

  16. catsworking says:

    Brandy for upset stomachs. Well, that’s a new one for me. I guess my family remedy was ginger ale. I hate the stuff. Actually, anything with ginger.

    Jumped on the sale yesterday and was stunned to find another 2.3 lb. loss. Yippee!!! Down by 26.6 now. I’m only .4 lb. from my all-time personal best for dieting. When I was 42 I lost 27 lbs., and that got me back into size 6/8s. So you can see how far off the wagon I fell when after losing almost as much, I’m just squeezing into size Large tops and 14 pants are still a bit too snug. (Went to Dillard’s yesterday and tried on some 14s, but I’m still another 5 lbs. or so from being comfortable in them. And they weren’t all baggy in the butt!)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: