Basking in the Weight-Loss “After” Glow

By Karen

Through the decade of my 50s I spent fat, I had squirreled away some favorite “skinny” clothes with the slim hope of “What if…” They included 2 pairs of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans in 12 and 14 petite. But even after I had dropped 40 lbs., I still wasn’t even close to zipping those suckas, even though I was buying new slacks in size 10.

So we now know that Gloria Vanderbilt pulls sizes out of her ass.

I had blocked the jeans out as too depressing, until I was recently purging the closet of more “fat clothes” and found them again.

Today I’m sitting here, down 49 pounds (at 128 — I yo-yo between 128-130), and I’m pleased to announce I’m comfortably wearing the GV size 12.

It’s a freaking miracle.

Last weekend I was in Coldwater Creek buying blouses (yes, I can button blouses without them gapping) and the cashier took my driver’s license to get some info.

My DMV mug shot, taken in 2009, is downright scary. They don’t let you smile, and I look like some redneck matriarch of a family of bank-robbers…


The cashier did a double-take and exclaimed, “There’s no way I would recognize you from this. This is truly your ‘before’ picture!”

Wasn’t that sweet? Because here’s me today, with my rediscovered jawline…


Losing pounds is one thing, but I’ve been taking measurement since I started with Weight Watchers® in May 2012. Let me lay out what it’s meant to my overall mass…


177 lbs.

128 lbs.



















I’m not telling you this to rub your nose in my success, but to let you know that SUCCESS IS POSSIBLE, even after menopause. It’s not easy, but if you make up your mind and stick with it, you can make your driver’s license picture look like a bad memory.

And you CAN get back in to your skinny jeans.

21 Responses to Basking in the Weight-Loss “After” Glow

  1. leannenalani says:

    Wow those pictures are so different! That’s a great before/after. That reminds me that my license isn’t looking too accurate, either.

  2. Zappa's Mom says:

    Karen you are drop dead gorgeous.I have tears in my eyes. Congratulations!

  3. Zappa's Mom says:

    I just had to click on the picture again-the light in your face is amazing

  4. catsworking says:

    My driver’s license picture makes me cringe every time I have to let somebody see it. And I’m stuck with it until 2017!

    ZM, thanks for the compliments. I guess the light can shine through now that the fat isn’t clogging my pores. 😉

    I’m using the same picture on an online dating site right now (I know, it’s not a glamour shot, but I figured if I get any responses after they see me on a “normal” day, they may be a keeper). So far, I’ve gotten ZIP response. NOBODY. OK, well 2 in over 2 weeks, but they were canned responses with no followup.

    I’ll probably do a post on that after I have a little more experience with it. But does my pic make me look too wild and crazy maybe?

  5. Trisha says:

    Congrats, Karen. You look like a totally dif person! Not sure if you plan to do a post about AB’s latest epi “Tangier” but OMG I loved this one. This is the kind of show I want from AB every time. Of course it helps that Morocco is high on my wish list, but it was great seeing so much of the city, and the food (except the sheep heads and bloody hooves) looked amazing (I’m definitely trying the strawberry, honey, pine nut desert and some of the spice combos he mentioned when I next cook fish). I also like that instead of spending eons inside someone’s home, he was more out and about, and it was nice seeing the outdoor dinner party w/ ex pats. I could practically taste/smell the place – it was shot beautifully.

    One thing I found interesting, the antique shop owner complaining that tourists don’t talk to him or make eye contact. Not that that’s a good thing, but so often in my travels (even here in NY) when I go into that type of store with just one person working there, I get full on pressure to buy something. If I even touch something let alone ask the price, forget it, the person is on me like a mosquito. So I understand why people are hesitant to engage him. As for not buying, yes it is fun sometimes just to browse, I do that a lot. But I get that if everyone ‘just browse’d, he’d be out of biz.

    I thought sure AB was going to buy that necklace for his wife. Like her it was very in-your-face. lol

  6. catsworking says:

    Trisha, I missed the beginning of the Tangier episode, but taped it. Maybe I’ll catch it tonight.

    From what I saw, Bourdain did seem to take it to a new level. Clearly, he’s feeling the weight of the CNN affiliation and trying to open it up beyond food. I’m thrilled. He doesn’t have to get all political, but I love seeing him explore places and meet people that aren’t all about food.

    I wondered if he’d buy that necklace, but I could almost see the wheels turning. Ottavia’s neck has gotten really muscular from the MMA, and he knew it would be like putting beads on a bull and she’d never wear it (the $5K price tag aside – he once shelled out $3K for an Hawaiian shirt for himself).

    He did buy the mortar and pestle, according to a tweet. Wasn’t that $300? I can hear Ottavia saying, “Oh, great, you go halfway around the world and the best you can do is a planter?”

    I’ve had quite a bit of aggressive salespeople in various places in the Caribbean. I just smile and nod and never register that I understand English. After a few minutes of that, they give up and leave me alone.

  7. Trisha says:

    “putting beads on a bull” LOL! It’s funny to me that when he married Ottavia he had no clue that she’d turn into this MMA freak.

    What the hell kind of hawaiian shirt could possibly cost $3,000?! Of course to me that’s less insane than spending a huge sum on food – I think he said he once spent $1200 on a sushi dinner or more? At least with a shirt you get use out of it; it’s not coming out your butt in 12 hrs.

  8. adele says:

    Karen, you do look fabulous now; the jaw line is impressive, but I have to say that having seen you before you lost the weight, you didn’t look as much like Ma Barker as your driver’s license picture would indicate.

    The Tangier episode of Parts Unknown was wonderful — even friends of mine, who aren’t big Bourdain fans loved it. Of course, Tony seemed baked throughout the episode — ah, kif, ah hashish — I remember the ’60’s fondly. I’ve never read any Paul Boles; perhaps I’ll give him a try.

  9. adele says:

    Oh yeah, you do not look too wild and crazy in your “after” picture. You have a killer smile and your skin looks great.

  10. Zappa's Mom says:

    Trisha,you kill me!

  11. catsworking says:

    Trisha, the shirt was black with a white print, and he’s since worn it on many occasions on No Res. One thing about him is he’s no clothes horse. He seems to wear his stuff forever. It gives him that rumpled, world-weary look he always has.

    I think they first told him it was $2K, but when he got to the register it became $3K, and then he kind of felt on the hook about it, so he bought it. I think it may have been “vintage” or something.

  12. catsworking says:

    Adele, thanks for the kind words. I must have been having a really bad day when I went to the DMV for that picture. And now I’ve got to live with it.

    Staying out of the sun as much as possible since about age 21 (after spending the previous 20 years perpetually burnt) has helped my skin a LOT.

  13. Trisha says:

    I was curious watching the Tangier epi if pot is legal there in certain cafes, like it is in Amsterdam, legal to smoke anywhere, or if it’s like in Jamaica – technically illegal but tolerated. Anyone know?

    For a vintage hawaiian shirt to go for $3k it should have been worn and autographed by Wayne Newton. (Don’t think Tom Selleck would bring in that kind of cash.)

  14. catsworking says:

    Trisha, a quick Google search revealed that smoking pot is very common in Morocco, particularly among men, but it’s illegal, and possession carries up to 10 years in jail and a fine. But because it’s so prevalent, it’s pretty much tolerated.

    I forget what the hook was for the Hawaiian shirt. He buys it in the Hawaii episode of No Res. That’s one where we also got one of the earliest glimpses of Ottavia near the end, sitting at a distance in the background. You can pick her out by her brunette bob haircut.

  15. Trisha says:

    I just watched a couple of Cooks Tour epis and holy crap I am shocked by how bad they look, especially since Chris/Lydia of ZPZero were helming that show, too. The camera work is shoddy, shaky and is constantly up AB’s nose. Are they going for a record number of insanely extreme closeups? They’re still interesting and fun to watch (though it’s painful to see AB looking like a POW camp victim – he looks far better now) but just seem so amateurish compared to No Rez. Was Cook’s Tour the ZPZ folks’ first?

  16. catsworking says:

    Trisha, oh my, yes. I bet Cook’s Tour does look like crap compared to the more recent shows. I don’t know about ZPZ, but I’m guessing they were pretty green in those days.

    I’ve got a sticky note right in front of me on my monitor to tape it, but I keep missing it.

    Yes, it’s really amazing to see Bourdain’s physical progress in the years he’s been on TV. He did look underfed and scruffy around the edges back in the day, but that was part of his charm.

    Well, he’s still a bit scruffy, but now he’s got the silver fox thing going.

    Did anybody catch his wide, toothy grin during the Tangier episode last week? I think he was listening to some old guys play music. Oh, yeah, he’ll smile for them, but not for me. 😦

  17. Tuxicat says:

    Hi Karen! The cats here,Joan & myself say “Concatulations!”. You look very good in your picture and we say “Great job!”. A couple years ago Mom was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, hypertension & hypercholesterolemia, and she decided she’s had enough. She’s lost 25 pounds, but has a way to go yet. Before her hysterectomy in 2008, she gained alot of weight. But with losing some her doctor said to keep it up and soon he’ll likely be able to change her meds dosages and hopefully she can eventually stop them

  18. Tuxicat says:

    BTW, she’s just into menopause and the hot flashes are murder. But she is finding too her metabolism has gone up and that helps. Not sluggish like it had been. Give Adele, Cole & Max kisses for me! Love, Tuxi

  19. catsworking says:

    Hey, Tuxi! It’s been a while!

    Yes, I’ve lost about 52 lbs. now and it’s pretty stable, but I’m still following my Weight Watchers habits as much as possible, although not quite as religiously as when I was trying to lose.

    I’ve had all my meds dosages cut in half, although I question how long even that should continue if my BP and cholesterol numbers are low. Losing weight made a huge difference in everything. I feel so much better.

    Congratulations to your mom on her progress. She must be feeling better. I went through hot flash hell a while ago. Still get them, but they’re not as frequent or as severe. They used to keep me awake at night, but that’s no longer the case. But it took a good decade or so to get through the tunnel. So good luck on that!

    Adele, Cole, and Max say, “Wassup with the hat, dude?” and tell me not to get any ideas.

  20. Tuxicat says:

    Hi! the beret is part of the membership in the wlf, Whiskas Liberation Front, a group of international Socialist Cats. We’re a group, started by a British cat named Mr. Tibbs who promote animal welfare, charity (and parties to raise money for animal rescues and rescue shelters) and the good points of animals. We also like to “widdle” on bad humans during “Widdle Wednesday”!

  21. catsworking says:

    Tuxi, thanks for the heads up on the WLF. We will definitely look into it. Max and Cole say they would don the beret for the cause. (Of course, Adele’s would have to be sequined.)

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