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Small victories= huge motivation

Monday, September 13, 2010

It all started Saturday night. My fiancÚ finally has weekends off with me so for our first Saturday together we went to the gym first thing in the AM (yeah for both of us, he is living healthy now too and I am so happy) and busted our butts. Then we went to do some electronics shopping for him because we really needed a huge home theatre thingy that I can't even figure out how to use the control emoticon. Then we went to Target and saw Machete, it was hubbies turn to pick the movie. It was awesome and a great social commentary which surprised me. So by that point we were STARVING and he wanted seafood. The restaurant was packed and the sushi place was closed to we went for Korean BBQ which I love! Mmmm Bulgogi and kimchi, nom nom nom. Dinner was fabulous but the tables are fixed into the floor with the grill in the middle. I used to have to squeeze in the booth and it made me feel self conscious. When I sat down I realized I barely am half way to the table now. I just stared at my lap in astonishment. Even he noticed it without me having to point it out. It was so amazing. Then this morning when I got up it felt like fall and I thought, YEAH I can wear boots today. I grabbed some new straight leg jeans a friend gave me and I started to put them on thinking they couldn't possibly fit yet. They fit perfect and were a tad big in the waist emoticon. When I looked in the mirror I realized for the first time I can remember since high school I could see my rib bones. WTF is that!? When I stand up straight and "engage my core" you can very clearly see rib bones sticking out under my bra. I did it about 20 times and just kept staring in amazement. I am going home tonight and running in and ripping off my shirt to show the man. This is one of the most exciting things I have experienced in recent history. Honestly, it surprises me at this weight I am having victories like this. I know I am tall but I feel like I am still way too heavy to be the size I am and seeing the bones etc that I am. Times like this make me think about why did I live so unhappy for so long?? I can't wait to see what the next 10 lbs off brings me?!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MADEMCHE 9/17/2010 9:27AM

    So happy for you Ash!

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KATHLOW 9/17/2010 8:20AM

    hope you had fun with the shirt ripping!

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SMOCKON 9/16/2010 9:29AM

    So much exciting news! As an old married woman (almost 21 yrs. of marriage), I can say that it is truly wonderful that your fiance is getting on board with healthy living. If you start your marriage that way, you will probably stick with it. Super thrilled about the great body you are uncovering!

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NEENSTER1 9/16/2010 8:46AM

    Absolutely wonderful isn't it. It is real what you are seeing. It is really happening, yes it is. It just doesn't seem like it is. I understand exactly how you are feeling. Being able to sit in a booth so smoothing that is results. Fitting into jeans you thought naw I can't possibly fit them yet. What a wonderful feeling it is to see all the results. Keep up the hard work. emoticon Be Encouraged. emoticon blog.

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ANGELOO29 9/16/2010 7:24AM

    Awesome!!

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TRACYZABELLE 9/15/2010 3:44AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SANDHSMOM 9/14/2010 11:36AM

    Whoo Hoo! Awesome!

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RHONDA_11 9/14/2010 11:04AM

    emoticon

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LORKAT 9/14/2010 10:54AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
You are doing so amazing! Keep up the great work!
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CARILOUIE 9/13/2010 9:15PM

    You are just awesome. I loved the use of quotes around "engage my core" because I knew JUST what you meant. Ha!

My favorite part about getting healthy is the snowball effect of the little victories - today, rib bones, tomorrow, a new muscle, and soon... well who knows! That's the exciting part of this!

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TEACHERANG 9/13/2010 8:42PM

    AWESOME! You're doing SO great -- keep up the great work!

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HEALTHYONE2008 9/13/2010 8:13PM

    emoticon Isn't it amazing how you can wake up one morning and be surprised at what you see. I remember one day when my husband went to give me a hung and found that his arms could encircle me. Was he ever shocked!

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BTRTHANEVA 9/13/2010 5:50PM

    Ashley ~
All your hard work is turning fat pounds into muscle pounds, which take up less space but weigh more! Lesson to this story - your scale only paints part of the picture. How you FEEL and how your clothes FIT beat the numbers on the scale any day!

BTW, why stop with tearing off your shirt! Go for the full monty! You might wind up burning off some extra calories... hehehehe

CONGRATULATIONS!! (to the both of you ~ it's great that your fiance is joining you on your quest!)

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PELESJEWEL 9/13/2010 4:25PM

    emoticon Awesome!! LOL on doing it 20X's just to make sure you weren't seeing things! Hubby commented last night that I have 4-pack Abs!! I ran to the mirror and looked, and yes....I actually saw slight definition of a 4-pack. I couldn't believe it! I'll take it!! Woo Hoo!

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FRECKS96 9/13/2010 4:06PM

    Yay!! So happy for you! Non-scale victories are the best!

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JENN26POINT2 9/13/2010 2:55PM

    HOORAY FOR NON-SCALE VICTORIES!! I've been looking for protruding bones too! I'm glad you found yours! :)

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CHICAT63 9/13/2010 2:50PM

    Woohoo, ripping off clothes is always fun *lol*. No seriously, every small victory is amazing. You are doing excellent keep it up, and oh have fun later on *wink*. emoticon emoticon

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HOPERISING 9/13/2010 2:49PM

    Rib bones? How awesome is that??? I've never seen my ribs. Ever. I can't wait for ribs and collar bones and hip bones. Woot!

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GAGEJ11 9/13/2010 2:14PM

    Hip Hip HOORAY for rib bones!!! congrats these are more than small accomplishments great work keep it up!!!

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LAURENJAMIE816 9/13/2010 2:12PM

    That is SO WONDERFUL!!!! You must be feeling so amazing and proud of yourself :) It's true, you don't realize the small things until all of the sudden it hits you in the face!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!
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KISSIMS19 9/13/2010 1:37PM

    HOW EXCITING :) Congrats on all your victories this weekend!!!!!!! You are always an inspiration!

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SWELL10 9/13/2010 1:30PM

    Isn't it awesome! I noticed the other day that when I lay down I can feel my ribs and pelvic bones. Never could before! Yeah for these little victories!!! emoticon emoticon

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MAMADWARF 9/13/2010 1:16PM

    SOOO awesome Ashley!!!! Dont forget to yell,"RIB BONES, BITCH!" lol....

We saw Machete too, I was surprised by it and entertained as well. Lindsay Lohan needs to go away. She is pointless. LOL.

Enjoy the fall weather today and you are doing so great. I am so happy for these small rewards and being able to see progress! Makes it all worth it, doesnt it??

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LJRW170 9/13/2010 12:58PM

    That is fantastic!!!

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FLWRCHLD97 9/13/2010 12:53PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Great blog - thanks for your honesty and posting about your accomplishments. It's an encouragement to other sparkies :-)

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LUCKYDOGFARM 9/13/2010 12:53PM

    WooHoo! love skinny jeans that are too big and rib bones poking out! it's the little victories that help keep the motivation going!

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AEBROWNSON 9/13/2010 12:43PM

    At the gym last week I was laying on my stomach for an exercise, and my pelvic bones actually hurt me! No fat for protection!!!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/13/2010 12:39PM

    Fantastic! Isn't it amazing when those little victories sometimes mean so much more than 2 lbs on the scale!?! I had a similar encounter at Taco Bell. I was terrified to sit in the booth, but that's all that was left. I slide right in and started giggling! It's an awesome feeling! We're going to do this!
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GIANTMICROBE 9/13/2010 12:39PM

    All of that is too awesome for words. I too remember when I noticed the little things, it is an amazing feeling. Congratulations, you should be very proud of yourself!

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SPOOKYTHECAT 9/13/2010 12:36PM

    That is Such great news! emoticon & I need to hear good news today to keep motivated!

Keep going & good luck!! I wish we had Koren bbq where I live, because I've seen recipes online & it looks fabulous...


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5KLUKAT 9/13/2010 12:29PM

    That is awesome! Congrats on all your achievements!

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IMOM4GIRLS 9/13/2010 12:27PM

    Way to Go Ashley!! So proud of you! emoticon

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Relearning to Cook: Eggplant Parmesan (pics)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

I have mentioned a few times that I have been thinking about a blog series regarding relearning to cook. For the past few weeks I have been thinking about how I want to do it because I didn''t to start something I couldn't finish or did half way etc. Last week I decided to get going on it and then I realized it was a holiday weekend and probably not the best time to start something new. So here it is, the very first relearning to cook blog.
You see, food is my life, literally. I am engaged to a chef, I write menu's for the catering company I work for as I run the corporate catering division, I plan parties and events and I love to cook at home. I am one of those weird people who love grocery shopping because I love to see what is new and available. It is actually relaxing. Don't even get me onto farmer's markets, it is my own idea of paradise, and I am a religious watcher of the food network.
When I started SP I got angry. I felt like I would have to give up my love of food and restaurants. Then one day I was standing at my stove grumbling to myself about being healthy and I thought, why am I not making this another food adventure? I put so much time and effort in food in general, why not just put that same energy into healthier foods? It isn't like this is something all of you don't think about as well. So here are my rules...
At first I was only going to alter recipes and make a comparison but honestly that is way too time consuming to do all the time so I will do that but I am also going to make existing recipes that claim to be healthy and see how they turn out.
I will rate them on a 1 to 5 scale for...
Taste
Visual appeal-who wants to eat something that looks like cat food?
Texture
Time to make-I also don't see myself spending 5 hours to cook something on a week day
Difficulty-both in skill level and in aquiring the ingredients
Portion Size- nothing is more annoying than realizing the portion was not filling at all
I will also post the recipe and photos.
I am always looking for good recipes so pass some along to me if you would like that you might feel deserve to be lightened or that you just think are pretty awesome.
Also please feel free to let me know any parameters you think deserve rating as well that are within reason.
Please remember cooking is not an exact science so feel free alter things anyway you think will work better for you. I chose Eggplant Parmesan because it sounds like it can't be healthy with cheese being in the title, it will provide me with several freezeable portions for work and nights I don't wish to cook, it is vegetarian and even though I am not I am eating at least 1 meal a week that way now (need to work on saving the planet and my health), and it got a killer rating on cooking light. So here we go.

Recipe: Yiels 10 servings, serving size is 1/10 of the pan
Eggplant:
2 large eggs, light beaten
1 Tbsp Water
2 cups whole wheat panko (I could not find these at a normal grocery store so I just used regular)
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
2 (1 lb) eggplants, peeled and cut crosswise into half inch-thick slices (I didn't bother to peel it as that is where most of the nutrition in eggplant exists and I like the taste of the peel)
cooking spray
Several people have mentioned not liking or never having tried Eggplant. You could certainly use zucchini or portabello mushrooms for a veggie substitute, or chicken breasts pounded out for a meat option. Just remember this will change your cooking times. I hate eggplant normally but for some reason I like eggplant parm.

Filling:
1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (if you family doesn't like spicy food leave this out, I did not think it added significant spice but if you aren't spicy people it isn't necessary)
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
1 (15oz) container part-skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 oz thawed and drained frozen spinach (this was not in the originial recipe but I just love spinach and I wanted to boost the nutritional value of this recipe)

Remaining Ingredients:
1 (24 oz) jar pasta sauce, I try not to use jarred things as much as possible to avoid sodium and sugar so I made the sauce myself. It was also a cooking light recipe and was DELICIOUS so if you want the recipe let me know and I will post it. If you don't have the time for sauce making Muir Glen makes great healthy sauces
1/4 tsp salt
8 oz thinly sliced mozzarella cheese
3/4 cup finely grated fontina
(I bought a pregrated reduced fat italian cheese blend that worked great to save time and money on the last 2 cheeses, much easier and cheaper in my opinion. It was a 2 cup package and I just used half)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees bake.
2. To make eggplant combine 2 eggs and 1 Tbsp water in a shallow dish. Combine panko and 1/4 cup parm cheese in a second shallow bowl.

These eggplants where huge, I really only needed 1!

This is how thick I sliced it.
Dip eggplant in egg mix; dredge in panko mixture, press gently to make it stick. Place eggplant 1 inch apart on baking sheets coated in cooking spray.

Bake at 375 degree for 30 minutes or until golden brown, turning once and rotating baking sheets after 15 minutes.

Here is what it looks like all toasty brown.
3. To make filling combine basil through spinach in a medium sized bowl.

This is what it should look like
4. Assemble, spray 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray and spoon 1/2 cup of sauce into bottom. Layer half of the eggplant slices over pasta sauce. Spinkle eggplant with salt. Top with about 3/4 cup of sauce; spread with half the ricotta mixture (I just used my hands to kind of smear it around, worked fine lol) and top with half of mozzarella cheese and fontina, repeat.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes to brown the cheese.

Finished Product

A serving
Nutritional values
Calories 310; fat 15.1; cholesterol 99 mg; calcium 365 mg; carbs 26.8g; sodium 655 mg; protein 19.3 g; fiber 4.8 g; iron 1.6 mg
Because I made the sauce this sodium value would be lower, the addition of the spinach would also increase the iron and fiber content but not significantly alter the calories.
Rating
Taste- 5, this was delicious, hardy and comforting. Even my fiance who never likes Italian food raved about it/
Visual appeal- 4, Looked yummy, like the traditional.
Time to make-3, It was very time consuming. The recipe overall with prep etc took over an hour so I would say this is not for a busy week night.
Difficulty-2 skill, 2 for difficulty in finding ingredients. While I wouldn't say this is basic cooking, I don't think it was at all difficult and a breeze for a good cook. The only thing I couldn't find at a local chain grocery store was the whole wheat panko. If I see some I might pick them up somewhere but just too much of a pain to track down.
Texture-5 just like the traditional.
Portion Size- When I read the recipe I thought the portion sounded kind of small but I was surprised by how filling it was. When I finished my piece I really didn't feel any hunger. Add a nice salad and this is more than a generous meal.
I plan to freeze the rest and take some for lunch.
Overall, for my first blog, I would say this is a keeper recipe!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COOKWITHME65 9/27/2010 2:56AM

    Ashley, The eggplant parm looks delish. Would love your sauce recipe.

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URSULA125 9/25/2010 11:56AM

    I love your idea to have a relearning to cook blog. This looks delicious! I recently made a super simple and healthy version. It is very good, but I bet not nearly as special tasting as yours. emoticon

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SIMPLE_TAILOR 9/25/2010 10:22AM

    I made a healthier Egplant parm a couple months ago and it took forever (3 hrs) to make. It was worth it, but man, only on special occasions.

Have you tried any out of the freezer yet? This might be one of those things that you cook up a few meals ahead of time so that all you have to do on a busy evening is toss one in the oven while you are getting a few things done.

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PELESJEWEL 9/13/2010 4:21PM

    emoticon Looks yummy! Hubby makes a mean eggplant parm too! I'll have him take a look see at your recipe, maybe he'll get some 'slimming' ideas from it. I work with chinese eggplant alot, has a different taste believe it or not. Good stuff!

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FLWRCHLD97 9/13/2010 1:03PM

    I will have to try this, thanks!

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BROWNIEISLANDER 9/13/2010 12:57PM

    Great recipe...Just a bit different from ours over here...I'm an
Eggplant lover too!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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CYNDER 9/13/2010 12:09PM

    Looks good. I love eggplant Parma, and will have to try this recipe.

And I'm looking forward to the relearning to cook series.

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BEANPARKER 9/13/2010 12:01PM

    I LOVE this! What a wonderful idea! That you chose Eggplant Parmesan must be a "sign" for me! I love Eggplant Parmesan but have never made it myself. But Friday I decided to buy an eggplant and try it, I will use you recipe tonight.

I need this blog desperately also, I need to learn to cook period! I have never been a fan of cooking and have been eating prepacked and fast food most of my life. I am retired now and have the time to learn.

Thanks again for taking the time to do this, I will be looking forward to each new blog!

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JO2TOM 9/13/2010 11:27AM

    This is a great idea, Ashley. I have an eggplant at home, and was planning to make vegetarian moussaka with it. Found a low fat (we'll see) recipe, and bought the ingredients over the weekend. Instead of working on the moussaka, I made a large crockpot of chili with tons of beans, and a pasta dish with turkey sausage, spinach and tomatoes. It was actually kind of bland (didn't add salt) but I put parmesan cheese on top, and thought maybe next time I should add more garlic. Will make the moussaka later today or Thursday since I work the next 2 days.

I am going to try this recipe with my next eggplant. I will let you know how the moussaka comes out.

Thanks a ton.
Joanne emoticon emoticon

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BETHV10 9/13/2010 11:25AM

    It looks and sounds great. I like eggplant so I'm going to have to try this. Thanks for doing all the work. I loved the pictures. emoticon

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ROMNEY3 9/13/2010 11:19AM

    So nice to know I am not the only one who finds the grocery store relaxing.

Love the recipe idea.

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SANDHSMOM 9/13/2010 11:07AM

    Love the blog idea and love the way you have decided to set it up with recipie, and ratings and most especially pictures. I live my life at the family bookstore (or so it feels) and I can tell you for certain that pictures sell a cookbook.

Loving it.
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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/13/2010 11:06AM

    I've tried eggplant and I'm not a fan, but this lokos delicious! I may have to give it a second chance, thanks!

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WORTHEYMOM 9/13/2010 11:05AM

    I think my family will have to try this recipe! It looks very yummy! Trying new food is a new thing in our house!

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MOMTO6PLUS2 9/13/2010 11:02AM

    "Relearning to cook" -- what a fabulous blog! And I know I can trust you-- you know what you're talking about.

I love to cook and bake-- and I cook a lot (in quantity too-- I have eight children :) There are so many things that either I've stopped making, or times when I make something different for *me* (which is a drag)-- and I've felt like I haven't had the energy to search out new recipes to test.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

I'll be making this-- most likely tomorrow. I have roma tomatoes that need to be used up-- and way too much basil in my garden!

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Laura

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HEALTHYASHLEY 9/13/2010 10:33AM

    Thanks everybody! If you don't like eggplant try zucchini or portabello mushrooms as a substitute or even use chicken breasts. Just pound them out thinner. Very easy to adapt the recipe.

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JENN26POINT2 9/13/2010 10:11AM

    I've never had eggplant before but you certainly make it look oh so appealing! Beautiful meal.

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MRSGOFARR 9/13/2010 9:59AM

    wow. i am going out to buy ingredients today. thank you so much for sharing.

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AEBROWNSON 9/13/2010 9:43AM

    It sounds delish! The only problem is that it makes 10 servings...I live alone, so even freezing most of it, I would be eating it alot! Maybe I'll halve the recipe...

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GIANTMICROBE 9/13/2010 8:10AM

    I have never had eggplant and I'm nervous to try it because everyone I know says it's horrible, and my boyfriend hates it so I couldn't cook it for the two of us.

It's very pretty though- it certainly LOOKS good!

I love spinach too, it's one of my favorite veggies!

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TRACYZABELLE 9/13/2010 1:08AM

    So where can we buy your illustrated cook book?? Awesome!

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LUCKYDOGFARM 9/12/2010 11:17PM

    Yummalicious! wonder what i could substitute for the eggplant? can't stand that part!

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HEALTHYONE2008 9/12/2010 10:19PM

    Looks great. You can cook for me anytime. emoticon

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HOPERISING 9/12/2010 10:11PM

    This looks soooo good. Wanna come be my personal chef??

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KATHYJO56 9/12/2010 10:01PM

    I printed your blog. Anything that looks that good, has to be delicious. What a great way to share something this important with us Sparkers. Thank you so much.

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REM-CYCLES 9/12/2010 9:30PM

    That has to be delicious! Thank you for posting such a well thought out post with a great recipe!

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LOUFANJESSICA 9/12/2010 8:54PM

    Looks yummy! I have always kinda stayed away from eggplant because I'm not sure if I would like it or not but I'm seriously considering trying out this recipe. Thanks!

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MAMADWARF 9/12/2010 8:49PM

    Um I dont think I can tell you how excited I am for these blogs! recipes+pictures=Happy Jan! I love it! Thank you!

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MCSNYDER1 9/12/2010 8:47PM

    Looks delicious!!!

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SIMLIFY 9/12/2010 8:42PM

    OHHHHH! It looks absolutely wonderful!! emoticon

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New York Fashion Week Plus Size Show!

Friday, September 10, 2010

http://shine.yahoo.com/channel/beauty/at-l
ast-new-york-fashion-week-caters-to-fu
ll-figured-women-with-an-all-plus-size
-show-2388854/

It is about time that we celebrate women's beauty regardless of a number on a label. How exciting!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TRACYZABELLE 9/12/2010 2:53PM

    Sooooooooo exciting!~

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BTRTHANEVA 9/11/2010 8:37PM

    This is up there with the DOVE campaign which recognizes ALL women as being beautiful. As far as I'm concerned, beauty comes from within...



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MAMADWARF 9/11/2010 12:11AM

    awesome! about time!( have a great weekend, ashley!!)

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WORTHEYMOM 9/10/2010 1:36PM

    I too am glad to see that they are having a fashion show for us finally - but really a size 8 and up are plus - I don't think so people! No matter what size - we are all beautiful! emoticon

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LUCKYDOGFARM 9/10/2010 12:15PM

    that is great! now that i am a size 10, wow, i am still a plus size? that is crazy! Models should be more realistic, with lumps, bumps and curves just like the rest of us

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PELESJEWEL 9/10/2010 10:46AM

    emoticon I heard about the first ever Fashion Week PLUS SIZE show to be held at the Lincoln Center on 9/16. If I still lived in NJ I would totally be going to REPRESENT! It's about time!! I miss the East Coast!!! Waaaa emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/10/2010 10:48:02 AM

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AMOHAME2 9/10/2010 10:20AM

    I saw this story on the news and I was so excited! It's about time REAL women get celebrated for their REAL bodies and "haute couture" is no longer just for the slender no-curves women!

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HEALTHYASHLEY 9/10/2010 10:19AM

    I agree that the use of real women bothers me. We are all real and we should celebrate everyone.

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TYCA41458 9/10/2010 10:18AM

    Hey Ashley! Thanks for sharing this link! I'm so happy to see that they are doing something like this at long last! Did you read some of the comments??? I agree with a lot of the feelings that why did the author of the article call "plus size" women as "real" women? I think in order to be proud of who we are, we must also accept others the way they are, regardless of size... Rude and snarky size 00 they may be. Sorry, had to throw that one in.

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HEALTHYASHLEY 9/10/2010 10:18AM

    I agree that plus size is not a 10 or a 12. It is absurd.

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CYNDER 9/10/2010 9:57AM

    Likey emoticon

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40PLUSANDFIT 9/10/2010 9:47AM

    I know!!! Jody you are so right.. I can't believe that they would say size 8 is a plus... that's ridiculous, no wonder so many women have image problems. Good grief, I'm in an 8 and 10 and although I'm not SMOKING hot, I'm okay hot. I'm not PLUS size....

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JODY22002 9/10/2010 9:29AM

    I am glad to see that they are finally getting smart and looking to serve the average woman. If only they would stop saying everything size 8 and up is a plus size!!

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My new gorgeous black dress pic

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Here is the dress I blogged about last night. I could not seem to get a picture that does it justice. This was the best I could do. I feel so gorgeous in this dress. Every girl in my office today told me I looked stunning and one lady just stared at me and told me I looked absolutely lovely. I thought that was such a great compliment. I didn't even want to take it off tonight when I got home. Here is the link to it online if you want to see a better pic.
www.lanebryant.com/dresses-skirts/dresse
s/ponte-knit-drape-neck-dress/4031c138
73p65491/index.pro?Mcatn=Dresses&Mcatp
n=Dresses+%26+Skirts&Mcatg=category_ro
ot&Mcatp=cat_4031%406000&Mcat=13873%406000



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOUFANJESSICA 9/11/2010 10:47PM

    Both you and the dress are lovely!

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JEANNESERENITY 9/11/2010 10:56AM

    I can't wait to have dress like this...one that makes me feel beautiful. I hope you get to wear it all the time.

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JO2TOM 9/10/2010 9:20PM

    Wow! You look stunning! No wonder you didn't want to take it off. Hope the rest of your shopping was as successful. I am so proud of you!! emoticon

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MOMMYBYCHOICE 9/9/2010 4:00PM

    that is a hot dress......

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TKAYSMILES 9/9/2010 3:56PM

    Love the dress! You look wonderful! Congrats on your shopping victories!!

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SMOCKON 9/9/2010 10:54AM

    You're right: it fits you perfectly and is definitely sexy. Great purchase!

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KISSIMS19 9/9/2010 10:50AM

    LOVE IT!!! You look fantastic!

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KEJA34 9/8/2010 11:09PM

    Beautiful dress! You look AMAZING!

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HELLORITA 9/8/2010 9:35PM

    I love that dress. I am going to get one like it for a Saturday night out with the girls at a swanky restaurant. We have a Lane Bryant about 2 miles away from me. At least we live in different places so we wont run into each other. emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/8/2010 9:37:31 PM

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PELESJEWEL 9/8/2010 8:14PM

    emoticon Look at you!! How beautiful! You look so happy & confident!

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FRECKS96 9/8/2010 3:27PM

    Looking great! Keep up the good work!

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NEENSTER1 9/8/2010 3:06PM

    That is the perfect black dress. You look Gorgeous girl. You are rocking it. Feel beautiful, Look beautiful. Be Encouraged. emoticon

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MRSGOFARR 9/8/2010 1:20PM

    hey hottie. love your outfit!

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MICMASH 9/8/2010 1:09PM

    You look great. Funny thing I went to lane bryant last night with the hopes of buying THIS dress but they were out of my size.

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RIGBY31 9/8/2010 11:27AM

    Love the dress! Excellent lines, cute shoes. You can dress it up or down. good for you!

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SEESTARS 9/8/2010 9:57AM

    So glad you posted a photo! You look great!

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JENNFIT24 9/8/2010 9:05AM

    You look great:)
Work it sista emoticon

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AMOHAME2 9/8/2010 8:36AM

    Looking amazing lady!!

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KATHLOW 9/8/2010 7:55AM

    super!!!

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CHICAT63 9/8/2010 7:26AM

    emoticon hot Sista walking ! You look great, cute shoes too.

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WINDLEG 9/8/2010 7:05AM

    That is awesome for you!!! Thanks for sharing! Btw, cute shoes, too!!!

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MRSSIBRAT 9/8/2010 6:50AM

    you look great!!

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TRACYZABELLE 9/8/2010 12:27AM

    Beautiful!

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COLD_GOLD 9/7/2010 10:55PM

    that is just lovely, and you can dress it up so many different ways! What a great neckline! very flattering... you make that dress look good!

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THREEE 9/7/2010 10:51PM

    NEAT! emoticon

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IMKFOX 9/7/2010 10:43PM

    Looks great and it makes you feel great - it's the perfect LBD!
emoticon

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ANGELOO29 9/7/2010 10:25PM

    You look great!

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SWEETPEA0214 9/7/2010 9:36PM

    Love it and you look great in it. Way to go girl. All of your hard work is paying off.

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LUCKYDOGFARM 9/7/2010 9:29PM

    BEAUTIFUL Ashley1977, just like YOU!!

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PUDLECRAZY 9/7/2010 9:28PM

    Ooh, Honey, you are lookin' GOOD!

Really - fabulous!

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KATHYJO56 9/7/2010 9:24PM

    You look so beautiful in that dress. It is every bit as cute as you said it was and girl, you do it justice. emoticon

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HEALTHYONE2008 9/7/2010 9:20PM

    Looking good! You sure are beaming.

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DETERMINDCHICKY 9/7/2010 9:14PM

    Everyone needs a little black dress that makes them feel pretty and worthy. emoticon

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LOSIN4MYSELF 9/7/2010 9:10PM

    You look great!!! What a cute dress.

I will be posting a dress picture of my own after this weekend. There is just something very satisfying about putting on a dress and LOVING the way it looks and feels on.

You go girl!!!

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MOMTO3BOYZ2000 9/7/2010 9:08PM

    You are looking great girl!! But the absolute best part of the pic is the big smile across your face! You are beaming!

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CAROLX914 9/7/2010 9:07PM

    nice dress and you look AMAZING in it...

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LOSETHEWTIN08 9/7/2010 9:01PM

    You look amazing!

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TYCA41458 9/7/2010 8:57PM

    Love it! You look awesome!

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MUSTANGMISSY 9/7/2010 8:52PM

    Almost bought the same dress the other day! Looks absolutely gorgeous!

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CUATROMOMMY 9/7/2010 8:39PM

    Looks like you've found the perfect little black dress. You look great in it. I love the flip flops too. I'm a flip flop girl too.

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TEACHERANG 9/7/2010 8:37PM

    I love that dress! You look so beautiful and girlie!

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MOMTORISSA 9/7/2010 8:36PM

    Adorable!! Every girl needs a cute little black dress in her closet - and you found yours. Lane Bryant has some super cute clothes! Your hard work is showing!

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GODDESSLIL80 9/7/2010 8:17PM

    Love it! And you look so happy and confident too.

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RHONDA_11 9/7/2010 8:16PM

    Beautiful! emoticon Rhonda

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FIZZYBALL 9/7/2010 8:12PM

    You look fantastic!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/7/2010 8:10PM

    you look beautiful! emoticon

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MCSNYDER1 9/7/2010 8:06PM

    Beautiful!

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ROSEWCI 9/7/2010 7:54PM

    emoticon Look at awesome you!

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SWEETNEENI 9/7/2010 7:51PM

    Prettiness! emoticon

I just had a "black dress" moment myself on Sunday! It feels SO GOOD, doesn't it?

Wear it proudly! You look lovely!



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JMERLAU 9/7/2010 7:50PM

    whistles....cat calls.....you look great Ashley...CONGRATS!!

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My first post 60 lb weightloss shopping trip

Monday, September 06, 2010

I wrote a blog a month or so ago about the joys of my first shopping trip that I have enjoyed in recent memory. Clothes fit, no tears, it was pretty awesome. My second attempt at shopping, not so much. I went to Kohl's and I have to tell you the inferior quality of the clothing really does impact how everything fits. I felt like an obese freak in everything. The clothes just hung horribly. Just 2 months ago I would have left there in tears, a self defeated mess convinced I was too fat to ever buy normal clothing.
I sell catering which also means I am a party planner. Looks are very important in my line of work. I made a decision this past week that I will just buy nicer clothing but less pieces so that I can still look sharp without going broke. At first I wasn't going down in size very frequently but this past weekend my hunny and I decided to hit the labor day sales. My clothes have gotten so big that some are just literally falling off and belting them makes me look ridiculous. I had to face the fact that I desperately need some new items. Would you want to buy a 40K wedding from someone who looked like a hot mess? I wouldn't. So off to Lane Bryant we went. I have a love hate relationship with the good old LB. See I hate her because I feel like she is a symbol of being too fat to shop in an average store but I like her because the quality is generally good and I can find basic pieces there that are less golden girls than say Macy's. I did some window shopping on the website before hand so I could see what I was looking for. There was this really elegant black dress that is still sexy but work appropriate but still could be used in my personal life that I loved.
I still have that syndrome where I automatically grab a 28 off the rack even though I am not even close to that size. I wish my mind would catch up with my body a little faster. The biggest size they had was an 18/20. I turned to walk away and then I thought "what do I have to lose? It might fit". I grabbed it and other shirt dress I liked as well as a few sweaters and some dress pants. I tackled the dress I wanted first. I took a deep breath and pulled it over my head and guess what? IT FIT! Not only did it fit but it looking FLIPPING AWESOME. I froze and just stared at myself in the mirror. This is again the smallest size I have purchase in my whole adult life. Picture me break dancing in the dressing room. emoticon I am still in shock over it. A size that is in the teens! Woot woot. I went out of the dressing room to show the man who was dutifully sitting in his man chair and his eyes lit up. Even the girl in the next dressing room stared at me in envy and yup I loved it. I wouldn't have cared if anything else fit that day. That dress makes me feel so gorgeous. As luck would have it almost everything fit that day.
The best thing I realized on this trip is that now instead of beating myself up when something doesn't fit I shrug it off and think it just isn't right for my body shape. That has never happened before. The first item that didn't fit would be reason for me to give up entirely and berate myself for days. I feel so free. Free of self doubt, self hate, so many of my neurosis. It makes this all so worth it!
After that we did some shopping for him at Macy's. He got this great new cologne by Chanel called Bleu. If your men like cologne's check it out. It is tres sexy.
Then we headed over to Old Navy where the next most awesome thing ever happened. I wanted to try these really cute casual boots I saw on their website but I am weird about how boots fit on my calf. I don't like the stuffed sausage look. The boots fit great and my calves are definitely smaller. Score. On the way out I saw these adorable sweater and it was so soft. I touched it longingly, I am totally a tactile shopper, and started to walk away. Then I stopped and thought "why am I always willing to doubt myself?" I pulled out the biggest size and held it up to me. I knew it would fit. Already tired of shopping I decided I could return it if I didn't like it. My fiance, bless his heart, was convinced it would be too big. See why I love this man so much? When I got up to pay I won a ten dollar off my order coupon, score, so I had a pretty rocking day. When I got home and tried on the sweater it fit perfect. I BOUGHT MY FIRST SHIRT IN AN AVERAGE STORE. Granted it is a 2XL but screw the nitpicking. I bought it damn it and it looks so cute. Old Navy does not sell plus size in the store, only online, and there is no W after the size so it is average size clothing. Every little victory like this keeps me going. Woohooooooo. This journey is freakin awesome.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SIMPLE_TAILOR 9/16/2010 10:31AM

    I got the same feeling when I got out of the husky section. It is nice to be able to go pretty much everywhere now (except Abercrombie, but I don't like the smell in there anyway).

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GIANTMICROBE 9/12/2010 1:41PM

    This blog made me smile!!!! HOORAY!!!!

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POLKADOTREVIVAL 9/10/2010 2:38PM

    Sounds like you had an awesome day!
Congratulations :)

And Chanel Bleu smells so good.

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SKINNYPOWELL1 9/10/2010 1:58PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon I can totally relate. Good job on all your hard work.

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SWELL10 9/10/2010 12:34PM

    Isn't it the BEST feeling to buy smaller stuff!!! Makes ya wanna do cartwheels right there in the store! Rock on Girl! emoticon

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COSMOS 9/10/2010 9:45AM

  Buying a sweater in an average size store is a HUGE accomplishment! Yea!

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SMOCKON 9/9/2010 10:52AM

    I'm dancing with you! What a great feeling to put on something and feel fantastic in it. Go you!

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HELLORITA 9/8/2010 9:43PM

    I have found some cool things at the Dress Barn also.

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FARLEY_GIRL 9/8/2010 2:39PM

    Congratulations!!! LMAO @ the Golden Girls comment...so right on target!!!!

@Ribgy31 -- Nordstrom Encore? I think I'll have to look it up!!!

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KELI-RHODES 9/7/2010 10:53PM

    That is so exciting!!! I can't wait!!!!

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LOSIN4MYSELF 9/7/2010 9:18PM

    Girl, right up until the Old Navy part, I could have written this blog myself. Cant tell you how many dressing rooms I have walked out of in tears. And just this past week, I walked into Jones New York, and there was a BEAUTIFUL blue dress on the rack. I had to have it. I checked and the largest they had was a 20. Bummed, I decided to try it, determine if I needed a 22 or a 24 and see if they could locate my size at another store. Put it on, and it fit. I almost shreiked in the dressing room.

My point here is not to go on about me, but to let you know that I am feeling you, and what this shopping trip did for you. You are doing AWESOME, and I am sooo proud of you!

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ALLBW2U 9/7/2010 8:28PM

    Very, VERY cool!! Good for you!!!

I used to hate shopping, because nothing ever fit. Other people look good in nice clothes, but I looked horrible.

After dropping some weight, I was forced to buy some clothes because nothing fit that was in my closet. My first experience buying jeans went well and they came home with me.

My second trip started out terrible, because nothing fit. Then I discovered that the terrible quality control that goes into the manufacturing of clothes makes for a tough time buying clothes. Now when I find something that I like, I take at least 3 of the same size with me to the dressing room. One will have an inseam that is way too long. Another will be tight around the waist. And....if all goes well....one of the three will fit just right. So I don't let those lousy fitting clothes get me down. I have seen those that fit just right....and now I keep on looking until I find the next ones.

I wish you the very best as you continue to clothes shop....and work towards your goals.

Hope you have a great rest of the week.....Bill

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LUCKYDOGFARM 9/7/2010 5:00PM

    ASHLEY1977T,

Way To Go! do you realize that this latest trip to LB was your last? since you just bought the smallest size they sell, you are OUT OF THERE!!!!

WOOHOO!!

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LUCYSUNFLOWER 9/7/2010 2:52PM

    I am so happy for you! Your blog made my day... Thanks for sharing your clothes shopping story!

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PEARCEC5 9/7/2010 1:59PM

    I have went shopping with my wife many times now and I agree. Plus size stuff in the department stores always looks grandma'ish. congratulations on shopping successfully and for your tremendous job of getting healthier!

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LITTLEONEJLC 9/7/2010 12:30PM

    Way to go, Ashley! emoticon

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HEALTHYKIM101 9/7/2010 11:37AM

    You Go Girl! emoticon emoticon

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RIGBY31 9/7/2010 11:31AM

    Congrats! Shopping is sooo fun. I, too, didn't like the fit or quality LB or Avenue, until I tried Nordstrom Encore! Quality clothes and the pants truly fit my body.

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LOOKY-LOU 9/7/2010 10:51AM

    Loved this blog...it made me emoticon

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SEESTARS 9/7/2010 10:45AM

    Love it!

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KJDOESLIFE 9/7/2010 10:20AM

    Great job! Enjoy that dress!!

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MEEMMOM 9/7/2010 6:42AM

    emoticon

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KATHLOW 9/7/2010 4:40AM

    So nice to hear this! You are an inspiration, I want to go out and buy smaller sizes now (unfortunately not quite there yet ;-)).

Way to go!

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TRACYZABELLE 9/7/2010 3:44AM

    WOW!! That is awesome!! COngrats

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NANHBH 9/7/2010 2:45AM

    Ashley,

I LOVE your enthusiasm! Congrats on another successful, confidence-building shopping trip!

Be well,
Nancy
emoticon

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LOSING107 9/7/2010 1:39AM

    Kohl's rarely has any decent clothes unless you are no bigger than size 8 (or around that size anyway)!

I'm happy for you that you found some things you love, congrats on moving down to a smaller dress size!

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MOMTO6PLUS2 9/7/2010 12:23AM

    So happy for you!!

emoticon

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ROLLER-GIRL 9/7/2010 12:08AM

    Congratulations! That sounds like an awesome shopping experience! I love that you can get beyond something not fitting by shrugging it off and deciding it's not right for your body type. That's a great attitude and something I need to remind myself of when I can't squeeze my thighs into the jeans I want.

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RUNNINGOLLIE 9/7/2010 12:06AM

    Glad you had such a great shopping trip!!! Great job mutli-tasking and hitting all the stores in one day! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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AMETHYST73 9/6/2010 11:23PM

    Congratulations darling, what an achievement. Yay you!

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FORTUNATEFOOL74 9/6/2010 11:18PM

    Awesome! Way to go! It feels good when you realize it's the clothes and not you!

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13-1GIRL 9/6/2010 10:43PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MADEMCHE 9/6/2010 10:28PM

    So happy for you Ash! Way to go!

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BEFIT_WITHGUSTO 9/6/2010 10:20PM

    Congrats!! You should definitely post a pic of you in your sexy new dress!

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SASSYDREAMER 9/6/2010 10:13PM

    This is awesome! Way to go homie!!!

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HEALTHYONE2008 9/6/2010 9:50PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon You rock girl!

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RHONDA_11 9/6/2010 9:48PM

    emoticonThat is so great! Old Navy's stuff runs small too! If you are on facebook, look up Missus Smartypants. She gives great style tips and wants people to dress for their body and not try to hide under baggy stuff that is just unflattering. Woo hoo for you! emoticon

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TINA5318 9/6/2010 9:38PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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POOKAQUEEN 9/6/2010 9:21PM

    That's so awesome! Good job! Congrats!

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FIZZYBALL 9/6/2010 9:16PM

    woot woot...

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MUSTANGMISSY 9/6/2010 8:45PM

    Woo Hoo! That's awesome! I was as LB today too and saw some great stuff. I'm finally fitting into 18/20's too. Haven't been able to do that since 2000 so I know how awesome you must be feeling right now. So super happy for you, girl! You're doing an awesome job. Be proud!

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COLD_GOLD 9/6/2010 8:35PM

    wow! I am sooo happy to read this post! Good job! go 101010 team!

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SEANSAUNT 9/6/2010 8:23PM

    Woo hoo!!!! emoticon

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SHERRYLHBB 9/6/2010 7:52PM

    If you could see me now, you would see me cheering! Woohoo!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LINDAGRAVEL 9/6/2010 7:50PM

    emoticon emoticon

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SARAHSHRTY 9/6/2010 7:50PM

    That's awesome! Congrats girl! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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TARAH85 9/6/2010 7:49PM

    I think it's time for a picture! Great job!

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_COSMOPAULATAN_ 9/6/2010 7:49PM

    Congrats honey, that's amazing!

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HOLLYS_NEW_LIFE 9/6/2010 7:48PM

    Oh Ashley, I'm so happy for you! I had a similar experience at a store this weekend with a jacket.I bought it just because I was soooo excited that it fit, not because I needed it *tee hee* It's a wonderful feeling, and before you know it, you'll be in single digits! Where are the PICS?!?!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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KATHYJO56 9/6/2010 7:45PM

    Isn't that one of the most awesome feelings in the world to be able to buy things in a normal store at normal sizes and look great!!!! I am so freakin' happy for you! emoticon

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