Progress.

Hi, friends!

After yesterday’s anxiety-ridden post, I figured I owed you all another blog today to update you on how everything turned out.

Thanks to some of my incredible blogging friends, I actually did pull myself together enough to go shopping! So thank you so much to those of you who reached out to me after reading my last post. Your kindness truly astounds me, and your words of wisdom and encouragement meant more to me and did more for me than you’ll probably ever realize. Thank you, thank you, thank you—sincerely.


I decided to hit Old Navy first yesterday, and that was… an experience. I’ve never shopped somewhere before where the plus size clothes and the “regular” size clothes were mixed together. I had to do a couple of walks around the store to understand that concept. Once I finally figured that out and I pushed past the anxiety I felt from having to search for jeans right alongside a couple of very thin, very pretty women, I grabbed two pairs of “skinny” jeans (What?! Uhm that’s a first!). A friend warned me beforehand that Old Navy jeans tend to run a bit small, so I just grabbed both in a size 20 — one size beneath that of the jeans I came in wearing. At the last minute, I also grabbed a really cute striped, blue maxi skirt that had a slit up both sides. I grabbed that in a size large.

Once I took my haul back to the fitting room, it took awhile for me to work up the nerve to actually try everything on. I just stood there, looking at myself in the mirror for a good 10 minutes or so. Eventually I started mumbling to myself like a crazy person: It’s OK if they don’t fit. It’s OK if they don’t fit. It’s OK if they don’t fit.

I slipped on the pair of black Rockstar “super skinny” jeans first, and they fit like a glove! Everything was fine — I could button them and they were a comfortable fit. However… I hated them. They looked like they were painted on, and they were not flattering — on me — in the least. NEXT!

I tried to slip on the light wash Diva skinny jeans next, but they were cut completely different than the Rockstars were, and they didn’t fit at all. I couldn’t button them, and they didn’t fit me height/length-wise either. NEXT!

I slipped on the maxi skirt last, and that was… fun. The skirt itself looked OK on me at best, but it was still nice — really. To be perfectly honest with you, I haven’t lost enough weight yet to wear jersey material — that was quite obvious — but it was still a fun experience because it was something that I could totally see myself wearing down the line. Right now, my body doesn’t have enough shape to wear something like this, but 30 lbs. from now, I really think I could make a maxi skirt look good! So this got me pretty excited, and I filed it away in the back of my mind. This will be a someday soon purchase. 30 lbs. from now, I’ll come back and try it on again. If my body has better shape to it by then, I’ll buy the skirt as a reward for myself. 🙂


After that, I decided that Old Navy jeans are not for me and that it just wasn’t meant to be. Even when I’m smaller than I am now, this isn’t a place I see myself buying jeans from. They’re overpriced, and they are stuck on this stupid “skinny” jeans fad. I want to be afforded more cut selections than that, Old Navy. Sorry.

I did, however, decide to try on a couple of shirts! I was able to get into a size XL long sleeve sweatshirt-type thing, which made me very happy, but I didn’t purchase it because they only had my size in blue, and I just didn’t care for the color. I then tried on this black and grey, striped, hooded t shirt/sweatshirt thing, and it was perfect. It fit great, it looked great, and I just absolutely loved it, so I bought it! It was marked as an XXL, but when I held it up against the other sweatshirt, it was the exact same physical size, so go figure. Moral of the story? Old Navy sizes are weird and not at all universal. I also ended up buying this hot pink tank top in a size XL. It was on clearance, and I figured it’d make a perfect workout shirt.


So that was Old Navy! The best part of the whole excursion was the fact that although I walked out empty-handed jeans-wise, I did so by choice. I wasn’t forced to walk out of there because nothing fit — I walked out because I didn’t like what they had to offer. That was awesome! 🙂


By this point I was exhausted (I had spent hours at Old Navy), but I knew that I still needed to find jeans somewhere, so I made a decision that some of you might think is a copout, but in the interest of full disclosure, I’m going to tell you anyways.

The store I mentioned yesterday — the one that I’ve made all of my clothing purchases from for the last 10 years? Yeah… I made the 45-minute drive to their new location to finish my shopping.

If trying on jeans at Old Navy taught me anything, it’s that I’ve been out of the whole fashion/style game for too long (or, to be honest, more like forever). I am not a fan of this “skinny” jean craze. I don’t hate them (we’ll get to that in a minute), but I want more choices than that. I should not be forced to squeeze myself into painted-on-looking jeans if I don’t want to! I shouldn’t!

So I went to my trusty standby thinking they’d have a bigger selection for me… and ugh… what do I find? More freaking “skinny” jeans! Give me a break!

I grabbed two pairs of those stupid “skinny” jeans (because the universe had obviously decided I needed to buy a pair) — one that was an 80s whitewashed-looking pair that I basically tried on as a joke, and one dark washed pair. As chance may have it, I also found a pair of curvy flare jeans (much more my style!), and I grabbed those, too.

I decided to try on a smaller size here; I grabbed a size 18 in both the dark wash skinnies and the flare jeans, but I had to try on the whitewashed skinnies in a 20 because that was the only pair available.

The whitewashed “skinny” jeans were a joke. They looked awful, but believe it or not, they fit me very, very, very well and were pretty comfortable. They just looked too bad to be taken seriously, though. NEXT!

I tried on the Angels curvy flare jeans next, and they fit me perfectly and they looked so, so, so good! I actually started jumping up and down in the fitting room once I had these on. There may have also been some fist-pumping… 😉

I can wear a size 18! Unbelievable! I haven’t worn a size 18 since I was about 16-years-old or so. So, as you can probably guess, I bought these jeans. They were too good to pass up. 🙂

Finally, I tried on the Series 31 “super soft” pair of dark washed “skinny” jeans, and would you believe that they weren’t half bad? The 18s were actually a little big on me — I probably could’ve worn a size 16 in those. However, because they were a little big, they didn’t look painted on like the other skinny jeans I’d tried on did. They were comfortable, and they didn’t make me look like a stuffed sausage. I debated a little bit with myself about these because they were, after all, “skinny” jeans, and I’m really not fond of that cut… but I finally decided to get them. They fit. They feel good. They look pretty good. Why not buy them? Old habits were really the only thing holding me back, and once I realized that, I decided it was time to try new things.

After that, I tried on numerous shirts, all of which were between sizes XL and 2XL (seriously, sizes must get weirder as you get smaller because they were not consistent across the board whatsoever). I found loads of things that fit, but I didn’t really like much of it. I finally ended up with a really cute quarter-sleeved graphic t shirt, though. It’s white with black sleeves and says Wild Spirit on it. There’s also a feather on the front with pastel-colored accents. It’s very cute, and I’m glad I bought it. I also found another workout appropriate tank top, this time in black.


So that’s it; that was my shopping trip. I bought a few other things while I was out (a scarf, a pair of mittens, + a pair of shoes on clearance for $10), and it was actually a pretty fun day.

All in all, it was a really good experience once I got going. As those of you who commented on my last post said, my anxiety was all for naught. I was just fine when it was all said and done.

Yesterday definitely reminded me that the hard days are not totally behind me, though. Lately, I’ve been cruising along. I’ve been making great choices and things have been feeling much easier. It’s easy to see now that I got a little ahead of myself, though. I’ve still got a long way to go, and there are still situations that are going to cause panic and fear. I’m just glad that I turned to my blog rather than to half a dozen double cheeseburgers this time!

Progress!


Thanks again for your help, and thanks for reading this much-too-long post.

I hope you’re having a lovely week.

rachaelxoxo

Advertisements

20 thoughts on “Progress.

  1. It makes me sad you couldn’t find any jeans at Old Navy. I’ve been shopping there for my bottoms for years. The cuts you picked (diva and rockstar) are actually fitted through the hips and thighs. The sweetheart and flirt are much better suited for plus size women, (I wear these styles in boot-cut) as they are relaxed in the hip and thigh. I’m not sure what your body shape is but for me I cannot wear any style of skinny jeans because I carry a lot of my weight in that region. I am glad that you were able to find pants at your original store. I would rather shop online than drive 45 minutes for jeans lol You are a trooper!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hi, Brittany!

      I am a total novice when it comes to clothes shopping. I’m embarrassed to admit that, but it’s true. Growing up, my mother was a workaholic, and she was rarely home. My dad always took me clothes shopping, and that was always a very awkward thing for both of us. He did the best he could, but thanks to his influence, I’ve never really been great at picking out clothes or understanding fashion!

      I didn’t realize that I picked unflattering cuts at Old Navy — knowing that may have helped just a bit! I watched a lot of plus size OOTD videos on YouTube the week prior to going shopping, and a lot of them talked about those Rockstar jeans, so that’s just what I went with. Like I said in my post, they fit well — I just didn’t care for how they made me look or feel.

      I only saw skinny jeans and bootcut jeans, but I couldn’t find any larger sizes in the bootcut — all of the bootcuts they had were size 12 and smaller. I typically wear flared jeans — that cut is very slimming on me. I have a seriously flat butt, and flare jeans give the allusion that I’ve got more going on than I actually do! 😉

      I would love to be able to online shop, but I am the type of woman who MUST try things on before purchasing. I don’t seem to have much luck with getting stuff online that actually fits or looks good on me. I need to see how it looks and feels and how it fits in-person before I pull the trigger on a purchase.

      Anywho — thanks for the support and advice about Old Navy jean cuts! I really, really, really appreciate it! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so, super happy for you. You had a very positive experience all in all. I have to think that walking away from jeans that fit because you WANTED to had to feel good. As we lose more weight, the world of fashion becomes larger and larger to us. It’s lovely to have choices.

    In part based on your inspiration, and in part based on the fact that I really don’t have pants that fit, I am going clothes shopping today or tomorrow. I’ll post the results on my blog. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Bobby!

      Walking away from the clothes because I wanted to and not because I had to felt SO good! It was incredibly liberating! 😀 It feels so good to finally have choices!

      I am so glad you decided to go clothes shopping, too! I saw that you posted a “fashion show” blog already, so I’ll head over to your page in just a bit to check it out! I hope you had great success picking out new pants! 🙂

      Like

  3. I am also not a fan of skinny jeans. My calf muscle is too much for those things. :P. I am glad you were able to go out shopping! Going down a size in any clothing type is a great accomplishment! I have read that it helps motivation to be able to see your progress in the clothes you wear. It’s too easy to just forget about it and give up if you’re wearing clothes that don’t show your body how it is.

    I have always gotten my jeans from Kohl’s, but I can hardly find anything there aside from skinny either when I go. I have no desire to wear those, so I just wear my jeans until they have holes everywhere and then order a pair online if the need arises.

    I look forward to reading more of your progress! Great job! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much, Amber!

      I am glad that I’m not the only one who is not fond of skinny jeans! I think that you actually have to be SKINNY to appreciate them! Ha! The reason why I kept putting skinny in quotes in my blog is because I don’t think they should actually be called skinny jeans when you’re not actually skinny! How is something in a size 18 or 20 skinny?! It’s such a contradiction! Personally, I would rather wear something flattering than wear something that makes me look like a stuffed sausage! I don’t want to just buy something simply because it has the word skinny in the name! The whole thing is freaking ridiculous to me!

      I didn’t realize how much of a confidence booster it’d be to see myself in well-fitting clothes, though. Once you get to a point where you need to change sizes, I seriously recommend doing it. You will feel so much better about yourself! I actually look pretty darn good in these new clothes, if I do say so myself! My old, baggy clothes made me look SERIOUSLY frumpy. I feel good about myself in these couple of new outfits now, and it’s really nice to be able to say that!

      Thanks for your support and encouragement here! It means so much to me! ❤

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much! ❤

      I know I was acting a little crazy in that last post — I was just overcome with anxiety. I really appreciate the fact that you stuck with me even though I lost my head there for a second! 😉 So thanks!

      Like

      • I understand 100% – I think most of us have been there one way or another. It’s always good to express your feelings, both good and bad, and a great place for that is a blog! 🙂

        Like

    • Thanks so much! ❤

      I really, really, really appreciate your support!

      And yeah — having to shop next to the hot skinny girls was not a fun experience. Like I said in my post, this was my first time shopping someplace where the plus size clothes weren't off in their own little section. So typically when I shop, the people in my section look like me, and that helps so much! It's definitely different to shop with skinny girls! 😉

      Like

  4. Let me tell you my secret for getting away with not-so-flattering and clingy material in skirts and dresses: a SLIP! It sounds old-fashioned, but I NEVER wear a “flowy” dress or skirt without a slip. It skims that material out and away from your body and smooths things. You wouldn’t think so, but it’s seriously amazing! So many people cram themselves into Spanx and body shapers, and it’s really not necessary (though I totally own an honest-to-goodness girdle, thanks to my vintage clothing obsession). I was rocking Old Navy maxi skirts and dresses at 350 pounds with a slip… and based on your clothing sizes (I’m still a size 24-ish in pants), I assume you must have an apple shape? You apple shapes can get away with more skirt and dress-wise than us pears, I’m sure of it! I would suggest wearing the skirt high on your waist to pull in that area, and you would be amazed! Maybe accessorize with a high-waisted belt.

    So, those are my two (three?) fashion tips for the day. Gahhhh, I love clothes! My girlfriends at work call me the fashionista, lol. Oh! And I just posted on my blog about a new site that I found (Gwynnie Bee). It’s like the Netflix of clothes, and the first month is only $10! I think it’s a great idea, especially for those of us who are losing weight. Lots of clothes in the right size without actually having to buy them!

    Also, I am SO PROUD of you for stepping outside of your comfort zone and going shopping. I also have a hard time buying pants because I am so petite with thunder thighs, and my waist is SO much smaller than my hips. That’s why I wear so many dresses. Plus, who really wants to wear pants? haha

    I’m sorry, this turned into a major ramble!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Alison, I wish we lived nearer to one another! I need a woman in my life who understands fashion and could help me dress my plus size body! I don’t know ANYTHING about fashion, and it embarrassed me a little bit when I read some of the responses on this blog because I am just so clueless!

      I looked up body shapes and types, and I’m going to say that I am most likely an apple or a brick. I am very, very, very top heavy — I wear a size 48F bra. My mother is the same way — she is very thin but she has to wear size XL tops because she has such a large chest! The area that I am most self-conscious about is my upper body. My arms are HUGE. I have massive bingo wings. I always wear quarter sleeves or long sleeves because my arms look so bad in short sleeves. If the sleeves are too short on my shirts, I wear jackets or sweaters. I honestly don’t even know how to fix that. I think I need to start lifting weights or something. My arms are atrocious.

      My thighs are by no means small, but they aren’t terribly huge either. I have no butt whatsoever — it’s flat as a pancake. None of my weight ends up there. I do have a belly, though, which is why I like to wear jeans. If I buy higher waisted flare jeans, I look really good. The flare makes me look curvier than I actually am (and it makes me look like I sort of have a butt!), and the waist on the jeans holds my tummy in place.

      So yeah… I *think* that makes me an apple, but I did find a silhouette online of a brick body type that looks fairly similar, too. So one of those for sure!

      Maybe I will look into getting a slip. Where do you buy yours? I am not sure where to get one in my size. I looked into getting some shapeware, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money (it’s way more expensive then I though it’d be!). I never wear dresses or skirts because I just feel like they don’t look good on me. I need something to contain my stomach and give the illusion that I have a nicer shape. If a slip could do that for me, I’d definitely like to wear a maxi skirt or a dress! It would help me look and feel more feminine. I work for a local magazine, and work attire is super, super casual. I am a jeans and t shirt girl all the way — that’s basically all I own. It would be nice to wear something a little nicer and prettier! My coworkers might drop dead! Ha! And some of the guys might actually give me a second glance!

      I don’t know. This is hard. When I get to goal (not if, but when, because I definitely WILL get there!) I know I am going to have a hard time with this. I don’t know how to dress myself. I’m such a disaster in this department. I had to wear a school uniform from kindergarden through 12th grade, and that combined with the fact that I was always so big made me just dress to hide. My whole closest is one big pile of black and grey. I don’t wear colors really because I don’t like to call attention to myself, and plus, black and grey are slimming…

      Obviously I’m not quite as excited about fashion as you, so thanks for the tips and the help! I appreciate it so, so much! Really! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • I have been meaning to get back to you about this! Can I just start out by saying that I am in awe of you bosom? Haha, here I am in my little ol’ 40Cs… as I lose weight, it will just be sadder and sadder in that department 😉 At my highest weight, I was anywhere from a 44B to a 46C, so I’m really just not top-heavy at all. Everything is in those hips and thighs, though I also have ginormous arms.

        What I do know about apple shapes (my best friend in college was a 6’0″ apple shape, and she blew my fashion sense right out of the water!) is that you want to create the illusion of a waist in order to balance yourself out. Belts are your friend! Wrap dresses will draw the eye to the waist, but also kind of cinch it in and balance you, OR even a shift dress, which is straighter and would give the illusion of a butt. Also, you mentioned maxi dresses/skirts, and I know you could rock that – not to mention, there’s absolutely nothing more comfortable than a maxi! Old Navy has some really great ones.

        My college roommate always dressed to hide herself, and in the process, it usually ended up making her look bigger than she was. I think the key is to learn to properly dress your body, by accentuating the good bits and camouflaging the “undesirables.” There is a lot of underlying body acceptance talk here, but that’s a spiel for another day, haha. The two really go hand-in-hand, though. Almost like the chicken or the egg. Will you love your body because you’ve learned to dress it up, or do you learn to dress it up because you love it? By the way, that roommate has since gone from 240 pounds down to a healthy 160. 🙂

        As for slips, I pick them up wherever. My favorite one, I bought at Ross like 8 years ago. I’ve also had good luck at Kohl’s and Target. I don’t like the super stretchy ones, but that is probably just a personal preference. It seems like everything these days is so stretchy!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, and it’s also probably worth mentioning that I’m 5’8.5″ in height… So I’m on the tall side. That makes me carry my weight a little differently. I didn’t realize when I was reading your blog earlier that you’re much shorter than I am! It makes more sense now that we are different sizes. 😉

      Like

  5. I’m so happy for you. I agree about the skinny jeans. Yuck! The great thing is that you rejected the clothing because you didn’t like the way it made you feel. It wasn’t that it wouldn’t fit you. Always, always buy what makes you smile when you look in the mirror. Never settle for “just what fits.”

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Thanks so much, my sweet friend! ❤

    It's so nice to finally be back at a size where I have more choices. That's why I was jumping up and down in the fitting room. I'm at an 18 now — 3 sizes to go until I can maybe buy clothes off the rack! A lot of places carry size 12s! It'll be nice to have even more variety soon!

    I am so used to having to settle for what fits that I've forgotten what it's like to genuinely like something. I have spent so much time analyzing what looks good and what fits well that my own taste has failed to develop! Hopefully that'll soon change!

    Thank you so much for your encouragement, Deborah! It means the world!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s