Thursday, November 3, 2011

Entry #11 - Ugh, Clothes Shopping

-- Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
-- Mark Twain

It is a well known fact, among my friends and family, that I detest clothes shopping. It is the bane of the fat person. You have to go try on clothes that often don't fit. Not only that, but when you are as big as I am, many of the clothes you desire do not come in your size. One of the saddest events of my ever growing size was when I no longer fit in clothes at the Casual Male store, also known as the big and tall store even though I have never seen tall people in there. :) I was forced to buy clothes from an online source and often received clothes with loose threads and sometimes even holes in them. Being a captive audience and having immediate need for the clothes, I would often just keep these shoddy garments and deal with the fact that they were sub-par.

Let's start with the positive. The reason I was clothes shopping is my current wardrobe is becoming a problem for being too big (there's a new experience)! The neck holes of my workout shirts are so large that I am often in danger of having them expose one shoulder, giving me the appearance of a dancer from Olivia Newton John's "Let's Get Physical" video. While I enjoy the '80s, this is a look I can do without. Additionally, I decided to try to shop at the Casual Male again. A store I have not so affectionately called Omaha Tent and Awning. I was happy to find that I was once again solidly in their "big" category, but able to buy their clothing. One final positive of this affair was that I was happy to find that in most clothing items I was two sizes smaller than I had been a few short months ago. While on this journey, I must revel in these moments to motivate me to future successes.

-- They can because they think they can.
-- Vergil

Now to the negatives. I hate, hate, hate clothes shopping. It is a hassle to go and try on clothes. It is always an aggravation to deal with the limited options that they have there. Plus, the Casual Male has clearly decided that all fat men are either comic book nerds, drunks, or happily fat people because all their t-shirts seem to either be superheroes, alcohol advertisements or statements meant to shout out "I'm fat and I'm proud" (a feeling I have never shared). However, the biggest negative I've found with my shopping is that the Casual Male KNOWS that you have to shop there. The lack of other options for the fat person means they can charge you anything they want for their clothing. Now, being a capitalist myself, I am willing to admit that there should be some markup for the fact that we do require more fabric in the making of our clothing. But $70 pants and $50 shirts make me want to scream. These are not designer labels. They are not made of gold thread! Why is it acceptable that my 1 shirt, 1 pair of workout pants, 1 pair of jeans, and a belt would cost $280?!?! I don't have a lot of money and this made it so I could not replace all the clothes that I needed to replace. So, I will have to continue to risk the appearance of the '80's female aerobics chick at all my workouts. I am sure there will be pictures if I do.

That being said, I am happy that I am fitting into smaller clothes. I have also managed to get enough clothing to deal with the cold weather and get myself to Christmas where I will be asking my family for new and smaller clothes.

-- As you grow older, you'll find the only things you regret are the things you didn't do.
-- Zachary Scott

On to a happier subject .... Halloween! A lot of my bootcamp family were worried about this holiday, especially those with children. It is a problem for the food addict to be surrounded by that much candy. They must find ways to work around this because no one wants to rob their children of the joy this holiday can be. So what do you do? Many gave out candy and then when the hour grew late, they just dumped the remainder into a child's bag. While this probably made some kid's day, it probably annoyed their parents. :) Those with children bringing home candy were making plans to lock it up and let their less addicted spouses control the flow of candy from locked cupboard to child. This is a great plan. I am fortunate enough not to have to deal with this problem and ... oddly enough ... candy really holds no power over me. I rarely crave it and don't feel deprived if I don't have any. In this regard, I am extremely fortunate.

This Halloween was a landmark holiday for me. I have four nephews and one niece ranging in ages from 1 to 15 years of age. This year marks the very first time I was in good enough shape to walk the neighborhood with the trick or treat troupe!! I could focus on the negative side of this and be depressed about the years of trick or treating that I missed with my older nephews. Those are years and events I can never get back. Instead, I rejoice at my ability to carry Super Brandon (dressed as Superman) and watch SpiderBen and Princess Elizabeth go door to door. In the end, I did not go far because SpiderBen lost steam early so I took him and SuperBrandon home while Princess Elizabeth and her dad continued on the incredibly important quest for candy. However, I am happy to note that I was not too tired to continue. I could have gone to many more houses if they had wanted. I am so excited that this is one of the moments that I can now share. No longer will I be forced to stay at Erin's house passing out the candy to kids I don't know while everyone else goes out for the fun. I am also happy to announce that I made it through the evening having only eaten one M&M. 1-year old Brandon thought it would be nice to share and shoved one in my mouth.

-- Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.
-- Walter Elliott

Lately, I have been battling a strange fatigue with my workouts. It isn't that I don't want to work out. It isn't that I hurt. It is just that when I go to my workouts my body doesn't seem to want to do as much as I want it to do. I think it is probably diet. Additionally, the pounds have not been coming off like I would like them to do. I have broken away from journaling so I have rededicated myself to that act in hopes of getting back on track with rapid weight loss and to track the foods I am eating to see if there is a nutritional reason for this fatigue. In the final analysis, this is simply a plateau. I need to work myself through it and keep going. Have I gained weight? No. Am I still losing weight? Yes. So things are still moving in the right direction. I just want it to move faster. At this pace, it would take years to get to my target weight. I understand it will take time, but I would like it to be as quick as humanly possible.

I continue to be hopeful that this blog will be helpful or inspiring to others. I have received some nice feedback from many people about it. My bootcamper family says that it does help them and I dearly hope that it does. And yet, I am not satisfied. I am ever hopeful that it will spark other people into starting this journey. I know what it is like to be overweight and all the negative self images and feelings that go along with that. I am a first hand example of the nearly immediate change these workouts can do for those images and feelings. If I could simply implant my mindset into the minds of others, they would join immediately just so they could experience the change from depression and hopelessness to joy and hope. Food addiction and depression really don't stand a chance when viewed with the positives of shopping for smaller clothes and walking with the children on Halloween. Someday, I hope I can impress upon all my larger loved ones that their lives will be changed by the simple effort of trying. One success leads to two. Two lead to hope. Hope leads to a future.

-- Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.
-- John Wooden

How many of us large people have had the thought "I just have to live with the fact that I will always be fat. I will die younger than I should and that's just the way it is." IT ISN'T TRUE! You can do something about it. You don't have to run out and do a marathon. You don't have sacrifice your body to the effort. You simply have to be willing to move and change. Move your body and change your habits. The changes come more quickly than you might think. Choose life rather than accepting what is. Choose action not victimization. Choose hope over regret. It will make all the difference in the world.

-- Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
-- Dylan Thomas

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