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Onederland Attained: and 113 Reasons Why It's Great to Be Here!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This is the blog I've been waiting to write for a LONG time. 113 pounds of collecting reasons why it I will NEVER go back to where I came from and incentives to keep right on going. This is the final chapter in my Onederland Blogs.

1. I haven't given up anything I really love - but the things that I REALLY love have become more clear to me now. I like cheeseburgers, but I don't think that I ever really LOVED cheeseburgers. And that's a revelation to me.

2. I have a cute chin! (Just ONE cute chin).

3. My feet have shrunk. I've gone down almost a whole shoe size already with more to lose.

4. I don't snore anymore. The sleep apnea was getting really bad at my heaviest and now I sleep like a baby.

5. Add to that - better sleep. I don't wake myself up in the middle of the night anymore and I wake up feeling relaxed and rested. I'm actually TIRED, both physically and mentally when I go to bed, so my sleep quality reflects that.

6. I'm not scared of public bathroom stalls anymore. I can actually fit in all of them. It used to be that I would head to the accessible stall first so I had enough room to turn around and close the door. Now that isn't a problem anymore.

7. I don't crave greasy food anymore. I CRAVE cherries, and watermelon, and lettuce - believe it or not. I still crave chocolate, but I don't crave Chipotle like I used to, and certainly not McDonalds or Wendy's.

8. I believe that running a marathon is possible and I plan to sign up for and run Chicago 2012.

9. I have clearer skin. Far fewer breakouts and the ones I do get don't stick around as long.

10. My body doesn't hurt anymore. I haven't had a bought of plantar fasciitis in over a year, my back is much happier in the mornings and the only time I really HURT is when I give myself DOMS from kicking some workout ass!

11. I take up less room on the bus. And this still surprises me every time! I always shy away from the middle seat cause I don't think my big butt is going to fit in it, but lately, it has and it does!

12. My eyes appear bigger and my eyelashes appear longer. This is awesome, and something that totally shows up in pics of my face.

13. I don't look like this anymore:

14. I can run for 6+ miles without stopping and I plan to run for much longer and further than that!

15. I have amassed a large collection of safety pins from all the races I have done over the past year.

16. When I sleep, my bed doesn't sink to one side as much anymore. I don't have to flip my mattress as often from the wear.

17. It is SO MUCH EASIER to shave my legs and my bikini area - let me tell ya. Hoo boy!

18. I have collarbones!!!

19. I can see ALL THE WAY to my toes - without sucking in or bending over.

20. The last time I bought a bra I actually went UP a cup size! My rib cage has gotten so small that my boobs are actually bigger. SCORE!

21. My morning stretching routine has gotten easier and I am much more flexible again. I used to be very flexible as a dancer when I was small, so I am loving rediscovering my flex!

22. Men have really started to notice me again and I am being flirted with and hit on all the time now. Definitely something that takes getting used to, but it can be flattering as long as it's not obnoxious which it has been in the past. The types of men who are flirting with me have changed, so it's less creepy now.

23. No more heartburn! I used to live on one Prilosec a day! I haven't taken one of those babies in over a year.

24. I'm not afraid to go to the doctor anymore. In fact - now I WANT to see her cause she gets so darn excited every time I go in. She's very proud of my accomplishments and so am I.

25. My blood pressure is normal. Finally. I have battled high blood pressure for years already and now it is exactly where it should be.

26. Money that I used to spend going out drinking and eating I now spend on new tech gear! I have quite the collection. It's a new addiction.

27. I don't look like this anymore:

28. I have dimples! (And not just the ones on my butt).

29. I am training for a 10K and a 15K that I will run this year (though I'm planning on being able to run a Half distance by the time I get there anyway).

30. I know what it feels like to be hydrated. And my body now knows when it needs water. I always thought drinking 8 glasses a day would be the most difficult task, but now without it, I can't function properly in my day and I often drink way more than 8.

31. I used to claim that I couldn't eat certain foods because of a sensitive stomach - fatty foods, salty foods, some types of lettuce, etc. etc. used to give me horrible indigestion and send me running for the bathroom 30 minutes after eating. Turns out it was my body's way of dumping all the crap I was throwing down there. I can eat WHATEVER I want now with hardly a repercussion, the difference is that now I don't want to!

32. I don't think twice about walking a few blocks to get somewhere anymore. I used to be a perpetual bus waiter. To think of the amount of time I wasted waiting for buses when usually I can beat the bus wherever I'm going if I just put one foot in front of the other.

33. And to that note, I take more of that extra time I have these days not waiting for buses, but smelling the flowers. Quite literally. I will opt to walk home and just enjoy the beauty of the city, the smell of the blossoms or the grass. I am clearly loving life and appreciating the little things and it is such a wonderful transformation.

34. I can pull my knees all the way to my chest now and wrap my arms around my legs. That used to be a pipe dream for me!

35. I LOVE HUGS! At my heaviest, a hug was usually an awkward negotiation of boobs and spare tires and how those squished up against the other person resulting in a two second, manly, back-tap session. Now I am quite happy to throw my arms around an individual and SQUEEZE! And I love, love, love when that individual can fit their arms all the way around me and squeeze in return. Hugs are awesome.

36. I can paint my own toenails without passing out from sucking it in and holding my breath to bend over.

37. Ummm, shhhhh - I LIKE FREGGIES!!! Like, a whole lot. Like, I already told you I crave them. Kale - you sweet, sweet nectar of the gods. Excuse me while I go make out with this peach....

38. I can feel my ribs. Holy crap, that's awesome.

39. My monthly cycle has finally normalized and has now become completely predictable. In learning how to listen to my body, I have learned to listen to that rhythm as well and it has made cravings and pains and the monthly rigmarole so much easier to deal with. Not to mention they have gotten so much lighter and shorter, it's not as much of a hassle any more.

40. I can sit cross legged in my office chair. Like indian-style cross-legged. I'm that tiny. Hahaha. I've gone from worrying about even fitting in it with my thighs touching both sides and sometimes hanging over the edges giving me attractive side-thigh bruising, to being able to fit another whole person in the chair WITH me. Yes!

41. My boyfriend LIFTED me this past weekend. Like, scooped me up and carried me. Granted, he is a former body builder and Strong Man competitor (cause I still weight almost 200 pounds), but HE FRICKIN PICKED ME UP and I just about died from a) hotness, and b) disbelief.

42. I order race shirts a size smaller than I am when I sign up because I know by the time I get there, it should fit.

43. I have a lap. My cats LOVE this about me now. So does my plate of food at summer BBQs.

44. I have been looking forward to shorts and tanks and bathing suit season. I know - I'm crazy.

45. I lose clothes to the "Too Big" pile every time I do laundry.

46. I am wiser about this whole journey to a healthy life thing, but I still make mistakes. There will always be set-backs, but the difference in me now is that the set-backs don't make me want to give up, but instead make me want to push harder to keep going.

47. I have learned the importance of REST DAYS. My body works better when I allow it proper time to heal. Resting is not a bad thing, and it should be part of the weekly schedule.

48. I hate to say it, but fat people (sometimes) have a smell...and I had that smell. And I was terrified every time I smelled it. It's the smell of not being able to reach all the places that need to be cleaned and/or having sweat and dirt and other matter collect in places (ahem...belly button) that then fester and ferment. Happy to say that on the cleanliness front, I can now reach and clean ALL my places. Phew!

49. I actually jumped at the sight of my shadow the other day. I thought someone was following me cause the shadow was long and lean and seemingly much taller than me.

50. I don't look like this anymore:

51. I have learned the importance of stretching every day. Not only to keep my muscles and joints limber, but also so that I can appreciate the changes happening in my body from a non-scale perspective.

52. My fingers and hands have shrunk so much, my high school class ring that didn't even fit my pinky at my heaviest, is now falling off my middle finger.

53. My boobs don't suffocate me anymore. Nuff said.

54. Airplanes are more comfortable - I don't have to worry about belt extensions, I don't have to worry about spilling into my neighbour's seat and I can get the food tray ALL the way down with room, thus not having to worry about spilling my dinner all over the place from having the table resting on my gut.

55. I'm not afraid of climbing ladders anymore - which I have to do frequently at work.

56. Speaking of work and seat room - I can go to see a show at the theatre without having to worry about spilling into the next seat and making my neighbour uncomfortable.

57. My health insurance premium went down! Make sure you get yours adjusted as well if you lose a significant amount of weight. It makes a big difference!

58. I've learned the importance of planning out my weeks, budgeting my food and my exercise, recipe planning, and making my lunches. When I don't do it, I get off track easily - so it's just as easy to plan and be prepared.

59. My calves no longer touch. Thighs - I'm coming for you next!

60. I have continued with my therapy through my loss - it is one of the main reasons that I am capable of doing this and why I believe I have been able to accomplish things so quickly. Therapy helps me through the mental battles that we all fight so I have room in my life to worry about the physical battles.

61. I know what it's like to cross the start line and finish line of a HUGE organized race. I still haven't decided whether I truly love racing, but I know I love running, and having those token mementos from races is kinda cool.

62. I have learned the importance of cross-training and how that affects my overall athleticism. I swim, bike, run, Zumba and strength train and have found this to be the ultimate combination for fitness and speedy weight loss.

63. Stairs are easy now! I still dread them and the novelty of the escalator will never grow old for me, but at least I know I can climb a few flights now and not even be winded.

64. I can cross my legs! I can't tell you how long I have been waiting to be able to do that. I actually feel like a proper lady.

65. I am more sure-footed. I'm not afraid of falling all the time (which I used to be because I used to do it all the time). Going down stairs used to terrify me because I was so afraid of falling, but now I can run up and down without even thinking about it. I have my dexterity back again.

66. I used to think (and say) that my brothers lucked out and got the "hot genes" in the family because I never felt like I measured up to them physically. I don't believe that any more. I am discovering my own beauty every day and I'm feeling darn lucky now to come from a great gene pool in every way.

67. I know the difference now between being physically hungry and emotionally hungry. I still don't always eat at the right times, but knowing and feeling is half the battle.

68. I can now shop in ANY store I want. It's overwhelming and exciting, but DAMN, it is SO AWESOME!!! Size M-L off the rack and still losing!

69. This is the sex number, and everyone says something about the sex being better, so why disappoint? SEX. IS. AWESOME. And so much more bendy.... that is all.

70. I don't have to fret about booth or chair when we go to a restaurant. Booths are just fine now - and quite comfy!

71. I don't look like this anymore:

72. I'm surprised almost daily by my endurance level. Both in every day things and in planned exercise. When I can push for that extra mile and attain it - it's such a great feeling!

73. My fear of death and dying has gone away. It's a horrible thing to live with. And I had gotten to the point of dreaming about death as well. Now it's all about life! And living every day to the absolute best of my abilities and dreams.

74. I know if I eat an extra cookie, it's not the end of the world. And chances are, if I run far enough, it won't even slow me down. Indulge in life - you only get one opportunity to live it. And cookies are awesome.

75. My laptop actually fits ON MY LAP. Huh. Novel concept.

76. I'm a scale cheat. There I said it. My scale only has one direction - DOWN. If I'm up on a week, I'm up. But I don't record it. The disappointment over not losing weight in a week is enough, I don't need to punish myself with recording a gain. So I leave the ticker where it is and work even harder the next week to get back to that number and keep right on going. Feel free to use this method for yourself - I think it works great.

77. Rewards and timing of rewards are very important. Sometimes you're not close enough to a goal to give yourself an award, but you really need a little something to Spark your motivation. So do it. Find a way to reward yourself anyway - because we ALL deserve it and should have everything we want from life and then some.

78. I actually like having photos of myself taken now. I'm surprised every time it happens at how good I look - haha! There's no "good side" of my face anymore, no more straining to make sure that my angle is flattering, resulting in a forced and awkward smile and a twisted torso. I smile from the heart now and I mean it.

79. Like this:

80. I am planning active trips and vacation time and I LOVE it. I am beside myself with excitement about my trip to Africa in August where for the first time in my life I will be able to keep up with my highly active brother and our cousins, camping, backpacking and roughing it through the Kenyan and Tanzanian Safari. Also planning a camping/hiking/kayaking trip for the long weekend with my new boy that I am SO excited about. I want to get out and play instead of laying in a chair in front of the tv all weekend and that is a huge accomplishment and sign of the change in my life.

81. My sit bones get sore if I sit for too long, so I have to get up more and stretch and get more water from the water cooler. I have a boney butt y'all!

82. I ride my bike to work. That's crazy. I'm saving bus money and getting exercise and I actually LIKE it. Funny that.

83. I have discovered a ton of new, healthy recipes here on Spark and I have loved getting to know my kitchen again. I am addicted to cooking, and I am reaping the rewards of doing it the healthy way.

84. My iPod is full of "get up and go" music. When I buy music anymore it's because it makes me want to move and I look forward to getting that next new running song. P.S. The new Gaga album is brilliant for long runs. Loving it!

85. I don't look like this anymore:

(and neither does Kathy! Hot Mama!)

86. My already-started Christmas list and birthday list and general wishlist is majority fitness related. I can't walk through the Active Wear section in a store without drooling. What's gotten into me?

87. I buy Febreeze Sport like it's being discontinued. Seriously, sweaty people, if you haven't tried this stuff, you need to.

88. I have gone through 4 Zumba punch cards (that's 40 classes and at least 20 more NOT on a card) since I started attending classes. My instructor wants to do a weight-loss feature story on me that will go out in her monthly e-blast. It's not only Zumba that has contributed to my weight loss, but in her I have found a true friend and inspiration and I love the sport of Zumba now cause it's so darn much fun.

89. I have discovered the importance of sleep and getting enough of it. I mentioned before how well I am sleeping now, but knowing when it's time to turn off the lights and call it a night and when to wake up in the morning have also greatly helped my weight loss efforts.

90. I now know the proper size and fit of a sports bra. This is essential.

91. I have started a blissful new relationship with someone who is as active and health-involved as I am because I am capable of being in a relationship like that. I realize that I am now attractive to the types of men that I have always wanted to be attractive to, but that I was never in a league to play with before.

92. I have discovered the joy of blogging and find release in my blogs and a wonderful camaraderie with my dear Sparkfriends from doing so. Though my blogs will always continue to be for myself and to document my own journey, I value each and every "weigh-in" from my friends along the way. Sometimes (as I found out only a couple of blogs ago), all I need to do is write about it and it will happen!

93. I am rejoicing in being a "normal sized" person. It still doesn't feel like I am. I still have a long way to go. But in today's society, I am normal. That doesn't say very good things about us as a culture, but for me, it's a nice change.

94. I don't look like this anymore:

95. Doing chores around the house isn't such a burden anymore. I don't break a sweat doing laundry, I don't wheeze when I'm vacuuming and bending down to clean the tub doesn't result in popping a gasket.

96. I can get up and down from a bar stool when I go out with my friends now with ease. I'm still a short-ass, so it still requires a little jump manoeuver, but I can do it without flashing the bar or tipping over the stool or having to wipe my forehead once I make it up there.

97. When I get home from work at night, instead of running straight for the television or the fridge, I pour myself a nice, tall glass of water and head outside to enjoy some time in the evening watching my cats play in the grass.

98. I'm muscular. Even though the extra skin has started to collect in areas that I know will continue to be a problem, I'm ripped in other places! My arms and legs are really starting to become defined and I love feeling my muscles work, and work hard.

99. I have spent the last year getting to know all of you as well as myself. It is an honour and a privilege to be doing this alongside one of the best and most supportive communities in the world. Thank you for all you have done for me. I only wish I could begin to repay the love and gratitude.

100. I have lost (so far) a total of 113.4 pounds and counting.

101. I have lost 10.5 inches off my waist.

102. I have lost 10.5 inches off my hips.

103. I have lost 3 inches off my neck.

104. I have lost 6 inches off of each of my thighs.

105. I have lost 4 inches off of each of my calves.

106. I have lost 4.25 inches off of each of my upper arms.

107. I have lost 8 inches off my rib cage.

108. I have dropped 12 dress sizes (from a 26 to a 14).

109. I have dropped 12 shirt sizes (from a 24 to a 12 or M-L).

110. I have dropped 12 pant sizes (from a 26 to a 14).

111. I have amassed over 14,500 fitness minutes since starting Spark in April 2010.

112. I have no doubt that I will continue towards my goal and achieve every last thing that I want to out of this journey and out of life in general. Things are so beautiful right now and I have the spirit and drive and sense of adventure that I have always had, but now am able to access and use to the best of my abilities.

113. And now I look like this:

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LYNCHD05 2/20/2012 9:37AM

    Congratulations! What an awesome story and so well written. i am still learing my way around and just discovered my emails and here you were! You are an inspiration and I will return here very soon! emoticon emoticon

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MYYEAR51 2/5/2012 2:04PM

    Thanks for posting! It is such an inspiring read. Just what many of us need.

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DALEROG 12/16/2011 2:02PM

  Fantastic! Congrats on your journey so far and, not that you need it, good luck on the rest of the journey.

You are truly an inspiration and anyone who says "I don't have a personal trainer or a chef like the celebrities do, so there is no way I can do it..." You have proved them wrong!

Keep it up! emoticon

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CAMEO2011 11/29/2011 1:16PM

  me i need to lose 200 lb and i try every thing but need inspiration and help to know how to start and step how to do, i don't understand this site, can you help me too.

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LADYDOWNSIZE 10/15/2011 4:21PM

    This is the single post I have seen of yours (so far). It was a Spark People message from someone in the Calling All Canadians group. I admit it was sent back in July and I hadn't checked these messages until today. My total weight loss goal is 200+ pounds, and to date I am nine down. I don't remember how long now I've been struggling to lose and then gotten off track only to gain and start all over. I guess the plus is I DO start all over.

I love the list you've written. I can relate to so many of these things and have asked myself often, "Will ... always be like this? Will I be a success story one day?" Your list has helped me realize that "It could happen!" That is my all time favorite line from the movie Angels in the Outfield. "It could happen" because anything is possible for those who believe.

I struggle with so many things right now at 360, and get so disheartened by the lack of progress.

Thank you for the list and for pushing yourself to make such progress. You are an inspiration.

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CHIPITE 9/22/2011 1:05PM

  Wow!!! Congrats!!!! :)

Fun to read... and REALLY, TRULY inspiring!!
Continue your good "work".... Enjoy LIVING!!!! :)

Thanks for sharing!!!


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  Wow what in inspiration, I keep falling off and this past week I have made up my mind I can do this. After reading your blog I KNOW I CAN DO THIS... thank you for the encouragement to keep on track. Every time i feel week I will read your blog again, and again. Thank you so much for sharing.. it is people who succeed and share that makes it all worth while... thanks again for the inspiration...

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TLYNN30POUNDS 9/7/2011 7:39PM

  I LOVED this! I've been really down in the dumps latelly (AGAIN) and this was such a blessing to read. You are so inspiring. Thank you!

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ARCHIEMITCHELL 8/29/2011 10:01AM

    Congratulations. You are an inspiration. emoticon
God's bless you.

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TRACEYLY2001 8/23/2011 12:02PM

  Wow, you are a true inspiration. What you have accomplished is awesome.

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SHANNAH317 8/12/2011 8:09PM

  114. One word describes you now: Fabulous!

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HDHAWK 8/3/2011 10:14PM

    Congratulations! Anyone who thinks losing weight is only about fitting into smaller clothes needs to read this! Inspiring!

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BROADBRUSH 7/29/2011 7:16PM

    very touching, funny and inspirational. good for you - i admire all you have done for yourself - you deserve your success , you worked very hard for it. BB

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JANGREG1 7/29/2011 12:56PM

  You inspire me...I read every word with hope and excitement that one day I will experience the same joy and success. Thank you for sharing and congratulations. Your smile says it all... emoticon

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SEONAG 7/29/2011 8:23AM

    I loved your blog and I can relate to many of your achievements. Unfortunately, I fell off the SP wagon due to some health and life issues. Hearing your experience is motivating me to get going again.
Thanks! emoticon

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GIRLLOVESGOLF 7/29/2011 7:06AM

  Wow. Goosebumps. And I can relate. emoticon

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LYN-EDWY 7/28/2011 9:29PM

    Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us.
Those of us who are not as gifted with your insight into yourself and able to put it in words.....thank you.
I got to my goal weigh over a year DH said..."OK babe...that's enough..." meaning he liked me a little on the chubby side.
Somehow....I don't really know why....I abandoned SP.
Now it is so hard to come back.
But am going to try.
Thanks again for the inspiration.

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BOYZ2CRZY 7/28/2011 5:08PM

    This is so inspiring! Congratulations on all your hard work, and your renewed life! You are simply gorgeous, and you zest for life is truly evident in your face! I am halfway through my journey, and needed a pick up like this to get me back on track. Thank you so much for sharing! ;)

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SPARKYCARLEY 7/27/2011 6:54PM

    Thank you for this blog. I've read it before, but I had to come back and read it again. I did one much like this back in 2009 after I reached my goal weight the first time (75 lbs lost). I arranged it as 'what I gained and what I lost as a result of my weight loss'. I gained back some of my weight (25 lbs), because of some extreme stress in my life and because I went back on medication. But I'm determined to get there again (plus 10 more lbs for a total of 85 lbs). You inspired me to re-read my own so that I could remember where I was before. I've re-written my blog entry and I'm saving it to post when I get to my new goal weight! Anyway... thanks for the inspiration.

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SALESSE 7/26/2011 10:39PM

    congrat. you did so good. Keep it up
like you say not always easy but it is certainly worth it

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SPETETBAY 7/26/2011 7:45AM

    Your blog is so amazing!! Thank you for being so frank, so sincere, and your joy jumps right out of your words and touched my heart. I have been really struggling to stay focused and your words of encourage have inspired me tremendously!! Thank you!!!!!

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ROXYHON 7/25/2011 2:31PM

    Way to Go!!! How amazing...thank you for sharing your journey and inspiring me. Congratulations, be proud!!!!

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GOGETTERGIRL 7/25/2011 5:09AM

  O my word! What an inspring blog. You are just incredible and you look radiant! Congratulations emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ZARAHBB 7/24/2011 4:44PM

  I love your blog. I love looking at your "I don't look like this any more photos" and I couldn't wait to get to the end to see what you look like now. I love your list. I love how you put it together. You are such an inspiration and quite a writer. Keep up the good work. I'm truly impressed

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EHARROD1 7/24/2011 4:11PM

  I love that list!!! I espesially LOVED how you put in so many of your old pictures in the list. So fun to see the transformation. Thanks for being an inspiration to other :-)

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CINDYDAWSON58 7/24/2011 12:55PM

  WOW, amazing!

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HELFRICH5 7/23/2011 10:46AM

  Wonderful - You look great! emoticon

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KYLA9493 7/23/2011 12:12AM

    wow that is so inspiring!!! Congratulations on all your hard work! I signed up with spark people around the same time as you and I have only lost the weight that I gained after signing up. You knew what you wanted and you got it done! I'm so happy for you!!

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DONNAD222 7/22/2011 12:43PM

    Congratulations! I am so proud of you and your accomplishments. You are a wonderful inspiration!

Comment edited on: 7/22/2011 12:56:16 PM

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RPRAKASH1 7/21/2011 7:11PM

    emoticon and emoticon for sharing your journey.

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KELIZ11 7/21/2011 11:01AM

    Wow - what an inspiration! Congratulations on your hard work and success!!

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CRES765 7/21/2011 7:40AM

    Wow congrats for your success. emoticon

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ANNYKEYZ 7/20/2011 7:01PM

    Congrats! Great blog! Enjoy your success! emoticon

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WYND10 7/19/2011 9:54PM

    I've been away, but couldn't wait to read your blogs when I got back. Jen I am so freakin' happy for you. Congratulations girly. You're a friggen rock star. Also, #69...WOOT! ;)

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HELLAS2 7/19/2011 7:34PM

    Wow! amazing! terrific! Congratulations!
That is such an incredible transformation.
You are an inspiration to all of us and so positive.
You look great. So happy for you! And proud of you!
Love your sense of humour about the whole ordeal.
You must post a picture again when you reach your final goal.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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XRAYLADY65 7/19/2011 12:43PM

    you look great

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AHEADRICK75 7/19/2011 8:53AM

    Congrats!! You look fantastic!!

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DEIRDREKH 7/18/2011 8:58PM

    What a great blog! Truly inspiring! Thank you so much for sharing!

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KELLY-ANNE8 7/18/2011 10:32AM

    That was a great blog.Congrats to u!you seem to be an inspirational person.Thank-you so very much.took a lot of guts to write some of the things u pionted out,I can relate.once again thanks. emoticon

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LADYPIEALOT 7/18/2011 1:06AM

  Just going to say "WOW"!
Congratulations :-)

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PRAIRIE_MUM 7/17/2011 11:38AM

    You are such an inspiration! Reading your blog entry today has filled me with positive energy!!!
emoticon emoticon

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FRANKKI1 7/16/2011 6:47PM

    Holy wowzers, girl! What an awesome accomplishment! You look fantastic...and I just loved your blog...very moving and inspirational *sniff*. Great work.


Comment edited on: 7/16/2011 6:51:36 PM

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DEBRAC219 7/15/2011 3:43PM

    What a wonderful blog! You are truly an inspiration to all of us who have gone at a healthy life in fits and starts, wondering if we could really make it all the way there. This fantastic blog is one of the many reasons that SP helps all of us to hang in there and discover the real life that awaits all of us. GREAT job! emoticon

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MAMAJENC 7/15/2011 3:00PM

    Wow!! Tha was one of the best blogs I have read!! You are so inspiring! And you sound so happy!! I am so incredibly amazed at what you've accomplished and your growth as a woman!! You rock!!

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MIESHKA 7/15/2011 2:55PM

    Sweet geezus *dabdab* that made me cry a little bit. You are amazing in fact I wanna be you when I grow up! emoticon

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    I loved yur blog. Congratulations...Where to continue from is where I begin...Thank you soooo much
Carolyn in Barrie, Ontario

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KRICKET57 7/15/2011 9:32AM

    Congratulations, this is a great blog! You look great.

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CWHEATLEY 7/15/2011 8:21AM

    Absolutely the most inspiring blog I have ever read. I am so appreciative of you sharing this with all of us. Congratulations on all of your acheievements, you have done such a fantastic job and I hope with lots of determination that one day I can write a blog similar to yours! Great job!!!

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REDSPICE18 7/15/2011 3:02AM

    Must have took a while to write, but every point is important. Good for you, girl.

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JANIEWWJD 7/15/2011 12:43AM


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Running Into Onederland!

Friday, June 24, 2011

So remember how I was whinging less than 24 hours ago about not being able to gallop across the Onederland mile marker?

I woke up this morning and decided to take matters back into my own hands and laced up for a run. The goal? 4 miles. Since I haven't done more than 3.5 since I ran the Shuffle back in April, I figured that was a lofty enough goal for before work.

I realized that I haven't taken or posted many pics of myself recently, so I snapped these before I took off:

The weather this morning was PERFECT for a run. Hovering around 60 degrees, overcast, a nice cool breeze. I had spoken to a friend of mine on Tuesday who has run 3 marathons now and she gave me a couple pointers on breathing that I wanted to try out. I also just got the new Gaga album and decided to run to it in its entirety this morning. The combo was unbeatable. The breathing trick really worked and by mile 4 I was SAILING (and too far from home to quit yet) so I pushed out another whole mile, finishing a whole 8K. 5 miles in 57 minutes. BOOM! I couldn't have been happier. It was one of the best runs I've ever had.

But then it DID get better. After peeling off my sweaty clothes and taking a nice cool shower, I decided why not jump on the scale again...just to see.

Well here's what I saw:


I'm not calling it official until it sticks for the weekend. It IS a post-run weight so I know it can tend towards lower after I've just lost a bunch of water, but it's as good as there!

As soon as it's official I'll post the Onederland blog that I've been waiting to write for a whole year now. Stay tuned! I'm dubbing these "The Onederland Blogs" - a series of 3 blogs leading up to the big event, the "Will I Ever Get There?" blog, the "Whoomp There It Is!" blog and the "Success, At Last" blog.

But for the rest of today I'm just gonna smile and enjoy this. I'm living life, I'm finding love and I'm STILL losing weight. There's a party in my heart right now - it feels like it's about to burst!

Thank you all for your encouraging remarks on my blog from last night. Maybe all I needed to get here was a written release and a little help from my friends. Well friends - it's duly noted and I thank you all for your continued love and support. I may not be around here as often as I would like because of how busy things are lately, but I think about all of you every single day. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I'm DONE with the Terrible Twos baby! Won't see ya later Two Town. I have left your land forever for cleaner, brighter, happier waters. Can't wait to see all of you here with me!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WORDLILY 6/28/2011 6:14PM

    Excellent! Congratulations -- on the run and the scale. :D

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    Congrats on your journey to ONEderlad. What were the breathing tips you used? I struggle with running, and breathing is also major.

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TO_BE_FIT 6/28/2011 4:19PM

    Congrats!! Great job on both!

I would be very interested to learn what breathing technique you tried. My legs can go on forever but my lungs fade quickly.

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PIXIEMOM13 6/28/2011 3:51PM

    That is awesome! Both with your run AND Onederland. (I'm so close myself I find myself seeing a lot of blogs concerning that milestone and of course I have to read every one!) :D

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MRS_ROSS 6/28/2011 3:26PM

    Congratulations! Reading your blog brought back all those awesome memories of reaching "One"derland myself! :) Way to go!!!

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MILLIE5522 6/28/2011 3:25PM

    Great! emoticon

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MOTOGIRL2 6/28/2011 3:24PM

    emoticonI can't wait for onederland

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JENNSWIMS 6/28/2011 3:06PM

    This makes me really look forward to my C25K tomorrow.

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SANDIE63 6/28/2011 3:04AM

    Congratulations - and welcome to Onederland! emoticon

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ALOFA0509 6/28/2011 2:15AM

I'm overjoyed for you sista!!! Amazing job, YOU LOOK FANTASTIC!!! emoticon emoticon

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    SO SO SO Happy for you!!! I know the joy of seeing that 1 come up on the scale at long last! I didn't run there, but I did walk there, and it was well worth the walk!

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TEMPEST272002 6/27/2011 4:11PM

    Woot! Woot! Look at you go! Congratulations on crossing into onederland. You've come such a long way & you deserve to enjoy every moment.

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JGAL8123 6/27/2011 3:07PM

    FANTASTIC job - you look amazing!

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MARATHONBOUND 6/27/2011 2:47PM look FANTASTIC!!!! This was so inspiring for me to read, thank you! emoticon

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MAMADWARF 6/26/2011 11:26AM

    Hey listen. IT COUNTS! And congratulations! SOO happy for you!!

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DIASTER 6/25/2011 8:51AM

  Have been following you journey from the beginning, what a trip and now what an inspiration. Yes it can be done!!

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FITMOMMY18 6/25/2011 12:55AM

    Awesome! So happy for you!!!! XOXO

I love the terrible two analogy!

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NANASAMM 6/24/2011 11:50PM

    emoticon emoticon Wow, that was fast. I was hovering around my goal as well and finally hit it the other day. I was so excited I took a picture too. Congratulations!

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MICHSTATE 6/24/2011 10:27PM

    Yay!!!! Yay!!!! Yay!!!! Good job!!!!! :-)

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REDDIRTRUNNER 6/24/2011 9:04PM

    emoticon emoticon


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WYND10 6/24/2011 8:54PM


That is all.


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CHICAT63 6/24/2011 7:27PM

    OMG, OMG so happy for you. That is so AWESOME - Woohoo !!! You look fabulous by the way.

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TEAM-SARAH 6/24/2011 5:41PM

    Yaaay so exciting! Congrats! you have worked hard for it, so enjoy every minute! I love weighing myself after a workout hehe :)

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LAURIETAIT 6/24/2011 4:49PM

    I'm totally impressed that you could run 8K on a Friday morning, never mind the business about your entrance into onederland! You're looking pretty terrific!

emoticon emoticon

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MOCOHOLO 6/24/2011 4:38PM

    Woo hoo!!! Awesome news!

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KKINNEA 6/24/2011 4:33PM

    Yay, congrats!!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 6/24/2011 4:07PM

    Awesome - I am very excited for you! I can't wait to be back dancing in wonderland myself. Congrats on your run as well!

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AMBERLEIGHM1 6/24/2011 3:57PM

    Count it, even if it's water, your continued success will make it stick. You are going to love Onderland, I can't wait to get back there; thanks for being an inspiration. I look forward to your blogs about your experience of achieving this goal.

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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/24/2011 3:54PM

    You look fantastic, and congratulations on reaching Onederland!!!!

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HOPE2011 6/24/2011 3:37PM


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    Jenn, did I not just tell you last night that you are a strong beautiful woman. Wow, you look fabulous in this mornings pictures, and what a great run. Do you feel like you conquered the world this Friday morning? If not, you should!

Have a wonderful weekend!


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MISSCURVY24 6/24/2011 3:15PM

    You look fantastic, and congratulations on reaching Onederland!!!! Wooo!!! I am hoping for the same results when I weigh in tomorrow morning - I'm so close I can taste it! LOL

Keep up the great work!

Also, what tips can you give on jogging/running? I am just starting out with jogging on my treadmill, and really need to get the breathing part under control.


emoticon emoticon

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KRAWRS 6/24/2011 3:14PM


My squeal of excitement for you!!

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LOTUSFLOWER 6/24/2011 3:04PM

    Jenn, that is INCREDIBLE!!!!! Congratulations and you look AMAZING!!!! What a strong, confident woman that stands looking in the mirror. I am SO PROUD OF YOU!!!! emoticon You sure kicked THAT door down!

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JOEYSGIRL71 6/24/2011 3:02PM

    Woot Woot!!
Good For You!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Onederland, The Elusive

Friday, June 24, 2011

I thought I was going to hit it this week kids. I really did. But sadly the scale is still bouncing daily between 201.2 and 203. I just can't seem to get it to budge any lower.

Not that I've been giving it optimal conditions to do so. I can't REALLY expect to enter Onederland haphazardly - maybe exercising, maybe eating properly, maybe getting 8 hours of sleep a night and 8 glasses of water a day. There is no MAYBE at the gates to Onederland. You gotta seize the reins and conquer Onderland. Take it by siege and never look back. THAT'S how I want to enter Onederland. And right now, I'm too doped up on dreamy dates to concentrate all that much on taking anything by storm. Really. Something about a Trojan Horse and a beautiful woman that made the warriors stupid in the head...I'm feeling like a blitzed warrior right about now.

But the good news is that my spirits are so ridiculously high because of this gushy giddiness that I'm not super depressed about it taking since April to lose a "measly" 13 pounds. For anyone following my progress from last year - that's a LONG time for me. Well maybe not so long. I've lost track. Did I mention I have a new man in my life? Haha.

So here's what "sucks" about finding new love whilst attempting to also achieve a HUGE personal goal:

- New love is all about sleep deprivation. Lots of late night talks on the phone. Lots of long dates talking about everything under the sun. Lots of cuddle time, forgoing sleep to stay awake with each other just a little while longer

- New love is all about dates. Marathon dates, short dates, bar dates, car dates - most all of them assuredly involve eating - and not the stuff you PLANNED on eating, but yummy restaurant food eating

- New love is all about alcohol. It's the dating thing - dates are more fun with social lubrication, so glasses of wine and bottles of beer and a cocktail here and there have certainly crept into my daily nutrition calculator more than I would like them to

- New love is all about new schedules. When do you see each other? When do you stick to your regular schedule? And no longer having weekends completely to myself has made me understand just how much I was using my weekends to plan and prep for the week ahead and catch up on sleep and exercise

But here's why I'm not actually complaining about ANY of the above (and why it couldn't possibly suck any less):

- I have found a man who I adore talking to, who is interesting and smart and educated and foreign, and not at all hard to look at! Who I would give up all the sleep in the world right now to talk to for just one more hour. I will catch up on my sleep - eventually. But for now we are negotiating a relationship, and that is just as important as sleep to me.

- I have found a man who excels on dates. He makes me feel like the only woman in the entire world every time I am with him, both in public and in private. He showers me with affection, and treats me like the lady that I am - more often than not picking up the tab for dinner, drinks and the rest. I LOVE dating him because he makes every time I see him so special.

- I have found a man who supports all of my efforts here wholeheartedly and is proud of all of the accomplishments that I have made so far and who wants to see me go even further for myself. Not to mention he's into all the same stuff I am. He's a runner, having completed a number of half marathons, he's a biker and bikes regularly to work like I do, he has competed in strong man competitions in the past and has a mind for fitness and health - EXACTLY what I want to have in a mate. But he also wouldn't care if I didn't change a hair. He likes me right now for who I am, not for who I might become (but I can't say that he won't like who I might be a year from now, cause I'm pretty sure he'd like that too).

So I'm not losing as fast as I could be if I were still single. That's ok. This is life - and this is an important part of life, and I have to be able to live it. And the achievement will come, soon. And when it does, I now have someone to really celebrate it with. And that's really cool.

The best part is that everything I'm doing or not doing right now is MY decision. Sure dating is fun and I tend to over-indulge because I only get one chance to do this with this guy, so I'm going to enjoy it. But there is no pressure from him to eat or drink or skip exercise. In fact, it is the opposite. If I want to order water with dinner, he's cool with that. If I want to stay in and cook dinner instead of going out - even better. And I'm looking so forward to our planned fitness dates in the future. We have already started talking about training for a half together. He wants to run another one, and I want to get to that distance this year, so I think we're going to start running together pretty soon. And we're excited to go biking together and hiking together and are planning a camping trip for the long weekend that I couldn't be more thrilled about.

But until then, I'm just going to keep holding down the fort and making room for this new thing in my life that I wasn't sure if I had space for (but now I know I do). If Onederland is going to continue to be elusive for another week or so that's ok. The rest of my life is worth it right now. And I'll be ready to stampede across that threshold when I really do get there.

In the meantime I've had a couple of big non-scale victories this week including a couple of people commenting that I look thinner from even last week, and standing in a fitting room tonight trying on BIKINIS!!! Sadly the loose skin has really started to accumulate around my abs, so I know it's going to continue to be an issue from here on out. But I was incredibly proud of how I look in a two piece, and so I bought it! Onederland or not - I look better than I have ever looked. I'm healthier and fitter and prettier than I have ever been and it's only going to get better from here.

Bring it on life! Onderland, The Elusive...I'm coming for you! In a two piece bathing suit!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MELISSAJANEY 6/28/2011 1:48PM

    Your blogs make my heart happy!!!

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ALOFA0509 6/28/2011 2:22AM

My cheeks hurt from smiling!!! emoticon .. Whata wonderful happy blog-- Cheers 2U sista emoticon

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NANASAMM 6/24/2011 11:30PM

    Sounds like you are having the time of your life...Onderland will come when you aren't looking and surprise you! Life is good!

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MOCOHOLO 6/24/2011 1:43PM

    Awesome blog!!! And awesome attitude!!! Just one question, does your fella have a brother?

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JENJESS48 6/24/2011 12:58PM

    I'm so happy for you! New love is amazing, and it's even better with a guy that just fits. And I'm really glad that you're finding a good balance between your healthy journey and love; it's super important. You rock, lady!

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LAURIETAIT 6/24/2011 12:53PM

    You have absolutely the right attitude about this little stall on the road to onederland. Having someone special to share the milestone when it does occur will be worth the wait. So glad you have that someone special in your life now. I have stumbled on the road to onderland as well but I don't have a really good reason. I think the giddy rush of a new relationship is beyond my reach. Instead I have the warmth and comfort of an old slipper. Unfortunately I've been wearing the slipper more than the running shoe lately!

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KKINNEA 6/24/2011 12:47PM

    Rock on girl, it'll happen for you!

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TEAM-SARAH 6/24/2011 12:08PM

    Bottom line is you are still losing weight. You are LIVING and enjoying yourself and reasonably indulging and the scale is still going down. I think it's a damn good trade off to lose the weight a little slower than to have losing weight be your hobby!

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LOTUSFLOWER 6/24/2011 11:53AM

    OOOH, Jenn, I loved reading this blog!! I am so incredibly happy for you! This guy sounds amazing, and how fun to train and run with him!!!!! It sounds to me like Onederland is in your definite immediate future, but that also that's not the most important thing to you, nor should it be. You will get there, guns blazing NO DOUBT!!!!!! emoticon emoticon

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MOMMASCAR 6/24/2011 11:10AM

    You deserve to be happy. You will eventually find balance with this change in your life, and Onederland will be yours before you know it. Enjoy yourself.

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PAMEDEN 6/24/2011 10:53AM

    Sounds wonderful!!

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SLFRISBEY 6/24/2011 9:37AM

    I could not be more happier for you! This new man sounds amazing! Can he teach my hubs some tricks? haha! This is so exciting! YEA!!!!! And Onderland, I feel like I am never going to get there, so tell me how it feels!

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REDHEADMOM2U 6/24/2011 9:34AM

    Loved this post! Onederland will come...enjoy the road and process!

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KRAWRS 6/24/2011 9:19AM

    I was just going to nudge you for an update! I'm incredibly happy for you! You deserve all these good things! :D HAVE FUN and keeping on doing what you're doing!!!

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    I am SO HAPPY for you!! Reading your blog it reminded me of when I met my hubby back in 2009...belive it or not we were married 9 months after we met!!!
Enjoy your life girl, your man sounds like a keeper!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    You are rocking you world. Being happy and finding the joy in life is part of the ingredients that make a healthy lifestyle. You will get to Onderland, but you already are a strong beautiful woman. Enjoy every step of the journey, because it is an ongoing journey. And soon you'll be celebrating Onderland also.

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MAMADWARF 6/24/2011 1:14AM

    Isnt this an exciting time?????? Good for you. I know you will find balance soon and I like that he supports your lifestyle and he is invested in living healthy too. Things take time (sometimes more than others! ) but you are knocking on the gates of onederland and it will be there when you go crashing through.. save me a spot!!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/24/2011 1:00AM

    Life is Beautiful!

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    Good for you for not getting discouraged. You definitely are going to have to watch out for those sneaky date calories - we've all been thru those! But you are doing great - you've acknowledged that they are there and are working to keep them under control.

You'll get there - I know it!

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Met A Boy...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

...and he took me shopping!

OK, so it wasn't exactly the scene from Pretty Woman, but it was a pretty damn good day and I'm feeling really great about where this is going.

Saturday was an epic date - 12 hours from start to finish, we basically had 5 dates in one, after which I was completely exhausted...and just a little smitten.

So for all my girls who want the sordid story, this blog is for you:

We made quick plans for another rendezvous after our great Cheesecake Factory date on Thursday night, so by the time he put me in a cab to go home, I knew we were seeing each other on Saturday and that he was planning on taking me on a picnic.

*Record Scatch!* - hold the phone! Yes ladies, HE suggested the picnic, and HE wanted to do the cooking and show off his culinary skillz. (And I can officially say - he's got some serious culinary skillz!) Haha.

I told him that I wanted to do some clothes shopping on Saturday and that I was interested in hitting up Macy's, so he agreed to meet me there with lunch in tow to start our date.

I woke up early Saturday morning for my Zumba class, showered and dressed in a cute jean skirt and white t-shirt, frowned at the crappy weather outside, and took off for downtown.

The weather was not in our favour. Cold, windy and drizzling in the morning - but the sun was fighting hard to clear it off, so we opted to stick with the plan. By the time he arrived on the 5th floor of Macy's to meet me (in the Petites section!) I already had selected a new pair of jeans, a couple of tops and a couple of dresses that I needed to try on. Keep in mind that this is my FIRST "real store" shopping experience where I walked in and pulled what I wanted off the rack, AND ALL OF IT FIT!!!! Holy crap. It was already going to be a good day. I ended up going with the Levi's 515 Bootcut jeans (so far so good - I need to wash them once to see what happens with their shape, but after 2 wears they seem to be doing pretty well in the stretch department). I also bought an adorable dress (Size L) that I can wear on dates (in fact I told him if he wanted to see it, he had to take me somewhere nice - haha) and to my theatre benefit in July.

After I cashed out, we decided to head towards the lake. The sun had come out and we had a bit of a walk through Millennium Park to get there, so we made our way through the crowds heading to the Blues Festival and finally found a quiet patch of grass by the water. He is Indian, and had made delicious chutney sandwiches with a variety of toppings - cucumbers, tomatoes & potatoes. Really wonderful. And for dessert - watermelon tossed in traditional Indian spices, which was also very good and a change from what I'm used to. I'm digging this cultural mash-up. I'm a WIMP when it comes to spice. But he made the chutney very tame for me :) We'll have to see how I do with the next round of spice!

Unfortunately, our picnic by the water was cut a little short because it got very cold & windy again. After he went chasing a bag that blew away, he offered me his jacket (so sweet) which I gratefully accepted, but then he got too cold again, so we had to pack it up and go. We decided to head for hot chocolate, and took off for the Mag Mile in search of a cafe that I had been to a few years ago.

Sadly that cafe was under construction, so we crossed the bridge and found a bench overlooking the Wrigley Building and, sheltered from the wind at this point, had a great discussion about his work and studies (he's half way through his MBA right now, so I got a better idea of where he's headed and what he wants out of his career).

The need for hot chocolate won out again, so we continued on our way and finally came across Goddess and Grocer - perfect! One hot chocolate and one skim chai latte later, we were huddled up in the restaurant together talking while he tried to figure out how to put my puzzle ring back together again. Haha. I finally had to show him the trick.

Once we had worn out our welcome in the restaurant, we decided that seeing a movie would be the next best thing to do. After a toss up over X-Men vs. Thor (X-Men won), we headed out into the misty night again in search of food on the way to the theatre. As we were walking back up the Mag Mile we passed Express (which he had mentioned earlier he'd like to visit for a new pair of jeans). So we stopped in! I helped him pick out a couple pairs of pants and then headed to the ladies side of the store and started pulling stuff off the racks. Every single thing I pulled fit. I modeled a couple of tops for him and he chose a couple that he liked, so I bought them. We joked around trying on sunglasses in line - so much fun. I have never had a shopping date with a guy before. Usually it's the guy sitting in the car or on a bench while you beg him to try on clothes, he settles on a couple of polo shirts that you insist he needs to buy, and that's it. This one has a sense of style, girls. Like, actually LIKES clothes, and it shows. He is definitely put together and pays attention to how he looks. LOVE that. And add to that my complete and utter excitement at shopping off the rack for myself for the first time ever - I was completely elated!

We checked out from Express and continued to the theatre, making a pit stop at Dominick's first to grab some sushi trays and what was left of the fried chicken sandwiches and home fries (I'll let you guess which food choice was mine!) for dinner and sailed out of the store just as they were closing. Got our movie tickets almost an hour early and held a bench hostage outside the theatre while we ate our dinner together. And talked, and talked. We didn't stop talking all day (besides for a few stolen kisses and the movie, of course).

The movie was great. Since I had never seen any X-Men movies before, I thought it was pretty awesome. Him, being a big comic book fan thought it was only so-so. But he confessed to me later that he didn't really care because he was with me and he was just wishing the movie was longer so he could have 10 more minutes with me. (How adorable is that???) Neither one of us wanted the date to end. But since it was pushing 2am, it had to. He walked me to the train (hoping out loud that my train came first so he didn't have to be the one to leave me - gah, ridiculously romantic). Mine did come first, so he kissed me, saw me on the train, and waved goodbye as the train pulled out of the station.

*Le Sigh*

Seriously. Trying not to be completely besotted, but this guy is kind of a gem.

We're seeing each other again on Thursday. Is it Thursday yet???

Cue the cooking date! I get to show him my skillz this time, though I'm gonna have to do it in HIS kitchen. This is gonna be fun :) On the menu - Melted Mozzarella Turkey Burgers on Foccacia Bread. He's taking care of the dessert. Wish me luck. Though, something tells me I don't need it.

Jenn = Happy Girl

I'll keep you posted *wink*

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEATRIZ269 6/29/2011 10:41AM

    I really liked your blog and very happy to see you attracted a really great guy for yourself who knows to treat you well because you treat yourself well and seem to very happy from the inside out. emoticon emoticon emoticon

Congratulations on buying off the rack too!!!! emoticon

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SHEILAB64 6/28/2011 4:25PM

    Sounds like you found a keeper! Very cool story.

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    Rawr. I'm jealous. :P Sounds like a SUPER catch!

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THINWITHIN18 6/22/2011 11:48PM

    Your glee is so evident: congrats and best wishes for your next adventure with him.

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JECKIE 6/22/2011 9:48PM

    Sounds awesome! (and secretly I'd marry an Indian man for the food alone. Oh how I miss good Indian food!)

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EMSJOURNEY 6/22/2011 9:40PM

    couldn't help but beam ear to ear the entire time that i read this. finger AND toes crossed for you girl!! =)

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HDHAWK 6/22/2011 9:35PM

    I married a guy like that about 9 mos. ago! Congrats on the shopping too!

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TEENY_BIKINI 6/22/2011 9:10PM

    Hey now! That's sounds fabulous! Congrats on the Levis 515's - I love them! It must have been such a rush to just pull stuff off the rack and show off that awesome body that you have worked so hard on.

You deserve all of the lovin' and shoppin' and anything else that comes your way.

You sure do!

Go hot stuff.


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LINJO66 6/21/2011 11:33PM

    Such a wonderful marathon date!!!
I had one of those too oh so long ago and we just celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary!!!!
Good luck. He sounds amazing!!!
So happy for you.

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NORTHWOODSMOM8 6/21/2011 9:06AM

    He sounds GREAT!

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SHARON-MARIE 6/21/2011 9:02AM

  This was so fun to read! I hope everything goes well for y'all on Thursday!


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CHICAGOHEALTHY 6/21/2011 12:04AM

    So there are still nice guys out there? Jenn he sounds like you two are great together. Hope you had a wonderful date on Thursday, and that it was a top chef evening!

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ALOFA0509 6/18/2011 6:21PM

Soo much fun!!! Shopping, Kissing, food, Movies= GR8 Date emoticon

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WYND10 6/16/2011 11:30PM

    EeeeeeeeeEEeee! I am so excited for you!!!!

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SNOOKUMS19 6/16/2011 4:36PM

    Ahhhhhhh new love! So endearing! I'm celebrating my 19th wedding anniversary this month and it is wonderful to bring those moments back to mind. Maybe we need a new love date night! Thanks for the tip!

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MOCOHOLO 6/16/2011 12:57PM

    What an great date!!! I hope you have another super one today!

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TEAM-SARAH 6/16/2011 12:13PM

    Wow sounds like a keeper!! I don't think I knew you lived in Chicago either, nice!

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NANASAMM 6/16/2011 10:29AM

Have fun! I can't wait for date #2.

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SHELLYBABE2 6/16/2011 7:31AM

    How romantic, plays out like a movie, enjoy every moment and hope all your dates are as good! Look forward to the next installment - yay it's thursday already! :)

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RONOSOF 6/16/2011 7:23AM

    it's Thursday! Have fun:)

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STEPH-KNEE 6/15/2011 11:43PM

    Wow, this has given me faith that REAL dates and GOOD guys still exist! :D

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BALOOSMUM 6/15/2011 5:45PM

    Oh what a date! *swoon* I'm totally adding you so I can be sure to hear the next chapter of the story.

P.S. Shopping at Express?! Congrats!

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JENNSWIMS 6/15/2011 5:32PM

    Oh my gosh, while I read this I was transported back to my first giddy dates with my hubby. The adult version of a mega crush.

I'm so pleased for you! Woot woot. And seriously, shopping at Express? That's like my big dream, because I love the French inspired stuff they have in the window right now at my local mall. Way to go!

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THEAPPLESASS 6/15/2011 4:47PM

  so wonderful!

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JENJESS48 6/15/2011 2:05PM

    OMG, how emoticon!!!! It just doesn't get any better, does it? Congrats, girlie - you've so earned a nice romance!

Comment edited on: 6/15/2011 2:06:11 PM

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LAURIETAIT 6/15/2011 1:40PM

    Ooooo! He sounds like a keeper. Have a wonderful Thursday!

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MOMASAURUS 6/15/2011 12:41PM

    That sounded amazing! (I am melting in my desk chair) I hope that Thursday is just as (or more) amazing.

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MERETHOMP 6/15/2011 12:17PM

    What an amazing date! I'll keep an eye out for updates!

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MANLEYSANDY 6/15/2011 11:48AM

    What a great date!

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KKINNEA 6/15/2011 10:48AM

    Sounds like a great day!

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FYREDRAGYN 6/15/2011 10:28AM

    Wow, sounds like a totally awesome date. Have a great time on Thursday, though it doesn't sound like that should be a problem. emoticon

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KATYMACK 6/15/2011 10:26AM

    What a great date. (now I am hopeful in my own dating future) Have a great time Thursday. Congratulations on your shopping, I'll be that feeling was amazing.

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LMLOPEZ 6/15/2011 10:20AM

    Wow, Jen, sounds like a really great time and a keeper!! Can't wait to hear about Thursday!
I used to be a spice wimp too-then I met my Hispanic husband. Now I'm addicted! Enjoy the culinary eye openers he has to offer!

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KRISKECK 6/15/2011 9:31AM

    Awww that was a fun date! Vicarious enjoyment = the next best thing to having my own fun date! Can't wait to hear more!

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KJDOESLIFE 6/15/2011 9:10AM

    Sounds awesome! Have fun on Thursday!!

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SLFRISBEY 6/15/2011 9:08AM

    wow!!! he sounds wonderful!!! He shops, cooks and is romantic??? Can he teach my hubs that stuff??? :) You deserve a wonderful guy! So excited to see where this is headed! *wink*

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COMMUNITY10 6/15/2011 8:11AM

    What an awesome date! A boy who enjoys shopping?! What a weird and non existant thing. Thursday sounds like it's going to be a fun date too! Enjoy!!

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KIMBYUT 6/15/2011 7:53AM

    ohhhh that's so fun, and exciting! He sounds like a gem so far :) I want one!! LOL ;0)

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STFRENCH 6/15/2011 4:15AM

    How sweet! That sounds like one heck of a good date emoticon

Hope you have a lovely time on Thursday (btw, I'm liking your menu! Yum! emoticon)

Take care emoticon xx

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MELLABELLAS 6/15/2011 12:42AM

    Sounds like you had a great day!

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MANDUCIA 6/15/2011 12:28AM

    such a fabulous blog! Good luck Thursday eve!! emoticon

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KRAWRS 6/14/2011 11:20PM

    omg i'm SO excited!!! What a lovely story. :D I can't wait to hear more! Bask in the glow, woman!

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    Sounds like you had a great time! I hope it goes the way you're wanting it too!

Oh - and Thor, was AWESOME. I can understand why he thought the Xmen was so-so, I loved the first ones, with all the original actors (Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, etc.). :)

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LOTUSFLOWER 6/14/2011 10:53PM

    oh, and I LOVE comic book guys, they are the BEST kind. I can't wait to see X-Men myself, I'm sort of a comic book gal :) Love ya!

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LOTUSFLOWER 6/14/2011 10:52PM

    How awesome and amazing!!!!!! I love it, he sounds like a fun guy to be around, AND he cooks? AND he can dress well AND he can help YOU shop? My, my, my, he sounds like an absolute find, and really quite perfect for you Jenn! I'm so happy for you and not just for the dreamy guy, but the shopping experience, too. WOW on all fronts. You so completely deserve all the happiness your wonderful heart can hold! emoticon

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PAMEDEN 6/14/2011 10:23PM

    That is so wonderful!!

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KT-NICHOLS-13 6/14/2011 10:12PM

    Wonderful all the way around. Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy!

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REDHEADMOM2U 6/14/2011 10:00PM

    ahhhhhhhh, soooooo nice to read this! Great day! Great date! I'm glad for you!

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ROXELLS_WARRIOR 6/14/2011 9:57PM

    This is a beautiful story of an awesome marathon date between a wonderful guy and an incredible woman. WOO-HOO! You got this! And it's great to hear about your shopping success. At first I was thinking about your previous blog and I was thinking to myself, "Don't tell me she shopped for bras on this date..." :)

Have fun next time!!!

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My Favorite Things

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Oh how I wish this were like the Oprah show where I could get a bunch of free stuff just for playing at home! But alas, this is not that blog. It IS, however, a blog asking for your best suggestions for a few things that I need to go out and buy this week. So here we go Sparkers - give me down low and dirty details on your favorite...

I'm obsessed with Lane Bryant Cacique bras and I'm SOOOO sad that I'm going to have to shop for another variety, and soon. I love Cacique for their sexiness AND all-day wearability! I usually wear push-up (I'm a big girl, but the girls need a little extra oomph here and there), and I like the low cut variety so I can wear low cut shirts that still look awesome. What are some of your go-to brands?

I detest Old Navy jeans. There is so much lycra in them they bag out and make my ass look 5 times bigger than it is in about an hour of wear. I've heard similar things about the Gap curvy fit jeans. No surprise since they come from the same family of manufacturers. I'm still a petite 16 in regular stores (inching towards that 14 really soon) so I need jeans that still fit big behinds, but that look great wear after wear after wear.

Same deal on the stretch factor. I've bought out Old Navy's stock of everything I remotely like. I have a coupon for Gap outlet. I've also hit up Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Anywhere else I should be looking that has good deals on summer stuff?

Like the bras, I have sworn by Lane Bryant Cacique underwear for years. I'm terrified at the idea of trying to find a new brand that I love as much as them. I like classic, cotton thong underwear (which you will know if you wear it needs to fit properly so as not to be uncomfortable!). I guess this one is really going to be touch and go for me since usual sizing guides indicate that I should be wearing a size that is way bigger and baggier than I find comfortable. So I'm gonna have to try a few and see how they work. What do you swear by?

Can't wear cotton thongs all the time. When I run and do zumba classes I need stuff that covers everything and is breathable and sweat wicking. Send me your best finds!

Now - here are some brands that I LOVE and fully endorse!

I won't wear anything but SmartWool. Even in the summer. I got a couple of pairs of these for Christmas and there is NOTHING out there like them. They're cushiony and soft for long runs, but my feet are never too hot or too cold and they NEVER stink! Gotta love that!

Land's End basic swim suits are the BEST for laps. They last forever, don't wear out too quickly from the chlorine, are high enough cut in the leg and low enough cut in the neck not to look dowdy, but they tuck everything in nicely to cover trouble spots. You can get them with extra tummy control if you want and with or without a water bra for added support. They also come in lots of fun colours and are one of the cheaper suits on the market.

So there's my list. Let me know what you like and what I should be out there looking for! I'm planning on doing a bit of Saturday shopping!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DHALYIA 7/6/2011 5:40AM

    Bras at target, good selection of cute big sizes. Levi jeans all the way. The Loft for tops and t's. Undies are Hanes boy short, comfy for running, no picking. I'm running in bamboo fiber socks, ill look for the smartwool. I needed a good swim suit, ill look for your brand

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CHICAGOHEALTHY 6/21/2011 12:09AM

    Thank you for mentioning smartwool running socks. I found some this past weekend and bought a few pairs. I wore a pair for my 7 mile run Sunday. I like them! emoticon

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JENJESS48 6/12/2011 4:59PM

    Oh man, I'm sorry I didn't get to your blog until today! I LOVE and SWEAR BY Vanity Fair brand for bras and panties and can usually find great deals at Kohls. I also buy my Lee jeans there. If you can afford it - or find a good sale, which are blessedly common - I like Ann Taylor Loft's Julie fit for both pants and jeans. This may arrive too late for this time around, but maybe it'll help for next time. How'd you do with the shopping?

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SNOOKUMS19 6/12/2011 9:45AM

    I love Target tanks and tees. They really have adorable sundress too. I wear Jockey thongs. I alway hit the outlet for them. Good luck! Enjoy your awesome shopping time!

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NEWNECK 6/11/2011 2:13PM

    I'm right there with you on the smartwool running socks. Oh how I love them. I was just thinking this morning that I'd devote an entire sock drawer to them if I could, and I've made a good start. Sierra Trading Post online sometimes has really great deals on them (like 70% off).

For t-shirts and casual tops I've done well with Eddie Bauer. I think the quality/weight is good and they hold their shape. Deals are okay at the online outlet or during sales.

Jockey Classic is my go-to for underwear. But I like the french cuts, don't know about their thongs.

For jeans I have done okay with Eddie Bauer (which shocked me) and Liz Claiborne (ages ago). In addition to my rear and thighs, my issue in jeans tends to to be length, since even petite/short styles are often too long for me.
But those worked. Now I'm actually loving some women's Carhartt colored jeans that I found for $12 so bought a bunch of sizes. They're very casual, borderline "work" jeans, which works for me but probably wouldn't for you.

Good luck!

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CHEETARA79 6/11/2011 11:17AM

    I too loved Cacique bras and undies. Recently I tried on some Chantelle bras at Lord and Taylor and I fell in love. Then I looked at the price tag and put them back on the shelf. However, since every bra I tried in my size fit so well, I felt confident in buying a Chantelle bra on eBay for 1/4 the price it was at the store. HTH

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WYND10 6/11/2011 12:25AM

    Heya Jen! I had to do some new bra shopping recently, and I really like "The Incredible" bra from Victoria's Secret. Very comfortable, and it comes in a push-up version with a low plunge for those sexy low cut tops. I've also been wearing their underware, but not the thongs so I have no idea what they are for jeans, I've been going to JC Penney for mine. I don't know if they have those in Chicago, but they have a great selection of clothes, especially their a.n.a line. The rest I am afraid I would be of little help...oh! Kohl's. They have a great selection of jeans, dresses, and shirts, and they always have a ton of sales.

Good luck! And enjoy shopping!! :)

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LAURIETAIT 6/10/2011 1:51PM

    I got George low rise bootcut jeans at Walmart. I have had a few compliments on the fit. They are cheap (under $20.00) and there are some other cuts as well. I was in Grand Forks a few weeks ago and I noticed that the Walmart there had a wide selection of summer workout gear. As for underwear I've had some great success in Superstore. It's inexpensive, comfortable and I don't lose it when I'm running. A very important consideration for a phys ed teacher! good luck in your search.

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TEAM-SARAH 6/9/2011 6:42PM

    All of my jeans are from the gap. I have curvy ones and I love them, probably just depends on what works for your body shape. The Long and lean are my favorite ones... nice and high in the waist with a wide boot opening. i dont have a 'go to" for any of the other things, im kinda random in my purchases in those areas!

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FYREDRAGYN 6/9/2011 11:43AM

    I like a good basic Levi's jean, that's all I have anymore. They fit great and don't get the sag the Old Navy one's do.

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MERETHOMP 6/9/2011 9:56AM

    For clothes - They carry sizes 1-24, and most of their stuff is pretty reasonably priced (the jeans I wear are $34- the Orchid boot cut). If you have one in your area, go to the store and try stuff on to figure out your sizes, because they're a little funky (in plus sizes, S-XL is 0-3), but you can also order online and return if need be. I love their stuff - it's a little more fun and younger than LB or Avenue.

I'm going to come back and check the recommendations you get for underwear - I need new stuff in that department as well (I'm a Soma girl right now, but want to try new brands).

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PJH2028 6/9/2011 8:49AM

    As ususal, you put this out there with true panash! Thanks much, cuz I sure do need that jeans advice myself!!

As for bras... I recently went shopping/hunting and, for me, while some other brands are sexier/prettier perhaps, WACOAL has a very fine selection of larger cupped bras, with and without seaming, with and without lace, in a variety of fits/styles. For me, turns out I really love the Wacoal Minimizer -- comes in black, nude, white -- soft comfy fabric that somehow holds the girls close and up to reduce gravity similiarly to but more attractively than to sports bras (the minimizer is a 'full coverage' bra, which probably means this one will not work well with plunging necklines). I also really liked the Susan B Komen (breast cancer gets part of the proceeds) damask fabric bra with added strap comfort. There were prettier Wacoals that I loved for style, but right now I'm wanting LIFT.


Let me know what jeans you find!!!

You're terrific. Brava!!! xo

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BLONDEJESS1988 6/9/2011 1:41AM

    Underwear- Hanky Panky thongs! They are literally the only undies I wear, and I have them in like 30 different colors. I even wear them to work out in, they are soooo comfy. They are lacey and cute, but they are well lined with cotton, and I swear they are the best ever. They come in a one-size-fits-all.... and I wore them when I was 150 lbs, and I wore them when I was 191 lbs and they always fit.

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    I really like Not Your Daughter's Jeans. I found it upto a 12 but I think they have bigger sizes. Really good fit and tucks in your tummy!

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LMLOPEZ 6/9/2011 12:29AM

    Try Macy's-I do like the DKNY jeans; not too pricy and just a touch of lycra. Last for wash after wash and fit those of us shorties that are endowed in the backside :)
I'm no help with the bras and such-still looking for some comfort from those as well. Good luck!!

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ROXELLS_WARRIOR 6/8/2011 11:33PM

    For bras, Olga Christina has some pretty ones that are great for us well-endowed women. (Up to DDD) They have your basic everyday nude/black tones plus some sexy/fancy/cute/pretty styles that are still SUPER comfy and don't cost a fortune. Plus if you have a Macy's near you, they often have "buy two get one free" sales, and they carry the line. I think Kohl's also carries them.
R>For jeans, Donna Karen New York (or DKNY) are my favorites, also at Macy's or Dillard's. I'm a curvy 12, used to be 14, and these fit me when nothing else did. You can also get them in short/average/tall.

Have fun! I just got home from Macy's :)

Comment edited on: 6/8/2011 11:34:00 PM

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    Sorry I'm no help either. I shop at Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Target mostly these days. Target does have some cute tanks and t-shirts. One opened within walking distance from so I can check in often to see what is on sale and is in inventory.

Comment edited on: 6/9/2011 1:07:10 AM

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FITMOMMY18 6/8/2011 9:35PM

    Sorry I'm not much help with the shopping. But, I can't wait to get some of those socks!


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MIQUEY73 6/8/2011 8:46PM

    I clearly am not a shopper. I get most of my purchases at Fashion Bug and couldn't really tell you brand names. Good luck in your search!

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CLAYARTIST 6/8/2011 8:16PM

  what a shopper...

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KRAWRS 6/8/2011 8:15PM

    omg i LOVE Cacique bras. My fave! I just bought jeans from a store called Avenue (the AVenue? not sure) and I love them! I don't know how they will be over time as I just bought them, but they are SO comfy!

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