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It’s about time

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

This blog is about “time”.
And it’s about time we saw this fitness factor in its real dimensions.
And cross it off the list of excuses once and for all.

And I’m talking to you, the person who claims there’s no free time in your daily schedule for exercise. You’re too busy with work, family, errands and you just can’t find the time for a quick workout. Well, I’m sorry, your excuse is about to get self-destroyed!



Every creature on this planet is given exactly 24 hours daily. So, unless you live in a parallel universe where an ugly, torturing, time-eating monster is making your life difficult, you have the same amount of time as every other businessman, businesswoman, working parent, student, the list of busy people goes on. You need 20 minutes of your day to start a workout routine. That’s 1.4% of your daily time. And you need to repeat it 4 times a week which is 0.8% of your weekly time! So, you’re so busy you actually can’t devote less than one hundredth of your week in order to improve your health and the quality of your life? Are you trying to fool everyone around here or just yourself?



I know what you’re going to say. I don’t know, I have no right to talk, I’m a stay-at-home-mom, what do I know about busy schedules? I have lots of time to kill, I’ve been “accused” of that before. And you’re probably right. I have much more free time than you. But does this mean that you don’t have any? At all?

Don’t you ever watch TV? Don’t you log in to Facebook or Sparkpeople? Don’t you read the news’ headlines? Don’t you check e-mails? Don’t you ever read a book or a magazine? Don’t you talk on the phone with a friend? Whether you do one or all of the above, you certainly can trade 20 minutes of these activities for a healthier, stronger and fitter version of yourself, can’t you?

One of two things are happening. Either you don’t like physical activity and you’re just using this answer every time the subject comes up, or you have let this false belief - that exercise needs lots of time - keep you away from all the benefits that working out has to offer. If you belong to the first category, you should research your options once again. There are unlimited ways to put exercise in your life and maybe you’ll stop wanting to use the “time-excuse” if you find something that suits you.
If you’ve been led to a misunderstanding about time and exercise, and you’ve comfortably used it to avoid any fitness activities, it’s time to reconsider.



Your excuse is not valid anymore.

You can find a new one.

Or stop needing one.

Your choice.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAIREINPARIS 9/8/2012 4:03AM

    It is so true... Just like with anything when we like it or see how important it is for us, we find the time! If I had been told one year ago that I would walk/hike 500 minutes per week, I would never have believed it! And yet, now, I find the time... Thank you Elle for sharing this inspiring blog with us!

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WATERMELLEN 9/7/2012 9:05PM

    Tough blog: and bang on the mark!!

Thanks for your comment on my "grit" and productive failure blog: you're clearly one gritty gal!!

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TRIXIERUNS 9/7/2012 2:09PM

    Love this post!

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VIXSTERLU 9/4/2012 11:11AM

    Woohoo! You said it girl!!!

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JITZUROE 9/4/2012 11:00AM

    GOOD GRIEF Charlie Brown! : )))) this sure was inspiring!!!!!
What a FANTASTIC blog!
And so many wonderful phrases for me to store in my noggin (and whip out when I try to tell myself that I just cant do my exercise).

This was the best thing I could read this morning after logging on.
THANK YOU!
Bren

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ZANNBEE 9/4/2012 10:25AM

    So true, elle. We show what our priorities are by how we spend our time and how we spend our money. We can always find the time or the money for things that are important to us. Great blog.

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JOHNMARTINMILES 9/4/2012 10:22AM

    It has been my observation that people have just enough time to do whatever it is they want to do.


Make Today a Great Day!

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Finding the runner inside me

Monday, August 27, 2012

I still remember myself running in high school.
With terror.
And embarrassment.
And when the pictures come back to me I feel out of breath like I felt back then. As much as no other kid in school. And I still see myself being the slowest than any other kid and crossing the finish line last after everyone else had already cooled down. When I finished high school I was particularly happy that the physical education classes were a thing of my past!

Ever since then I never tried running for exercise again. And when I had to run for a reason, it always felt awful.
Watching sports that involved running, on the other hand, has always been my absolute favorite! Track running, marathons, sprints, hurdles, relays, you name it, I love, love, love watching! But I always believed that running is only for them. For athletes!

When I joined Sparkpeople and I met some of my best Sparkfriends who were experienced runners, I realized I was wrong all this time. Running is for anyone who has legs and a healthy heart. My heart has been playing games with me ever since I was 20 years old. That’s when those sudden, fast, heart-fluttering feelings started. But there’s nothing wrong with it. At least that’s what doctors have told me after many thorough exams for years. It’s just how my heart reacts to stress, physical or mental and it’s not at all dangerous. Yet, it happens, it’s frightening and it gives me another reason to be scared to run fast.

At the start of my fitness attempts while being a Sparkpeople member, I tried running on the treadmill once. It was so weird. I felt I would trip over and fall all the time! I thought it would take seconds for me to land with my face down like those funny compilation videos we watch on the internet – I never laugh with these by the way, I always feel sorry for them.

All of the above sum up my inner fears for running – for those of my Sparkfriends who were curious what I’m scared of. But this summer I was determined. I would go for my first run outside.

I hope you all runners out there won’t think I’m stupid that I chose the oddest circumstances to do so! High altitude, mountain village (either uphill or downhill – no straight road!) and on a humid day! Well, I needed inspirational scenery and that was the only choice I had. I put on my new HRM and I set off.
I chose downhill – the other way seemed scary. The beginning of the road was a bit steep so I walked to warm up and once it got a bit smoother I started running. It was late in the afternoon, the sun had begun to set behind the mountains and you could actually “see” the humidity around the sun rays escaping through the sparse clouds. It felt great! I had no music with me and all I could hear was the sounds of nature. It was just me, the mountains and their beauty. Exactly as I wanted it to be.
I ran for about 2 km. The HRM reading reached 180 at some point but I didn’t feel as much out of breath as I expected to. On my way back I chose to walk.
The next day I could feel the downhill road taking its revenge on my shins. But I really didn’t mind. I knew that if I had gone uphill instead, I would have been disappointed and maybe too frustrated to want to go running again.

Back to the city my options are limited to say the least. My neighborhood is not runner-friendly, I have to get two different buses to go to the closest park and all the track fields around are not open to public. But, at least I’ve got a treadmill. It’s not my favorite option but, for now, it'll do - as long as I manage not to fall! I just finished my first week of the 5K training. The plan is to finish it by November when the Athens classic marathon is scheduled and I’d really like to take part in the 5K race of the day. I have so many things to learn and I keep reading all my friends’ race blogs trying to find all the required motivation. I have to thank you all for the feedback and the invaluable support you’re giving me.

I’m trying to discover the runner deep inside me.
And in case she doesn’t exist, I’m going to have to create her!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CLAIREINPARIS 8/30/2012 4:26PM

    Oh dear we have the same memories from high school!!! :( It took me many years to give running a try because of these... I started running when I was over 30, as I got bored of walking downhill (I live in a very hilly little town) quite by chance really... I ran for several years, loved it so much that I am very much looking forward to running again when I can. I am so impressed you ran for 2Km, that is great! I really hope little by little, you'll start to enjoy running as much as I did. After the treadmill, when you get to run again in a park or in the countryside, it will feel wonderful!
Go Elle go!!! emoticon

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FITFORMYFAMILY 8/28/2012 5:57AM

    I am so impressed that you are giving running a try despite the fear that you described! Fear can be so limiting, but you're proving to yourself that there's nothing to be afraid of. I love it!
A lot of my running has to be done a treadmill, too, and though it's not as inspiring, I find it to be a very good training tool. I think as you get more and more used to it, you'll feel comfortable and won't really worry about falling.
I think you should register for that 5K now. Races are fun!

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TRIXIERUNS 8/27/2012 9:32PM

    Great post! I completely understand. I was you in high school too. I started running 2 years ago and I couldn't make it around the block!
I'm not running marathons or anything.. but I love to run. even if it's just 5 k.


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MOBYCARP 8/27/2012 9:05PM

    Good for you! It can be hard to discover enjoyable exercise after phys ed in the public schools spends 12 years teaching us that physical exercise = humiliation. Been there, done that, was awfully glad that graduating high school meant I didn't have to do it any more!

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MICHSTATE 8/27/2012 7:21PM

    Good for you!!!!!!:-)

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FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 8/27/2012 5:11PM

    This made me smile. You are trying something new, as an adult, my favorite kind of something new. Its easy to continue doing activities we found easy as kids and carry them in to adulthood. BUT to attempt something you fear, you have failed at in the past or have no desire to even try is amazing. You are amazing. Keep it up and who knows whats next:)

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KRISZTA11 8/27/2012 2:23PM

    I'm glad you enjoyed your first run, and I hope you will find a safe and nice place to run when you are back at home.
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BAKER1009 8/27/2012 12:42PM

    Sounds to me like you are off to a great start Elle! I was a runner in high school. I ran track, specifically the 4x4 relays and the 300m hurdles. I loved it, but I have not been able to get back into the fun of running since then. I keep saying once I am back on track after this baby, I'm going to start the Couch to 5k program again and give it another shot, and this time finish it...whether I run a 5k in public or not, I want to do the program.
You, and Nikki, are very inspirational to me when it comes to running!

Keep up the great work! emoticon

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Hugs,
Beth

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ROSEWAND 8/27/2012 12:28PM

    I love this blog. I was the same kid in high
school. I hated running. I hated gym.

I am happy to say that after many years,
I have found my runner inside. She
introduced herself very slowly over several
years. I encouraged, but did not push the
relationship. Even now, she is somewhat
shy and untrusting. Our relationship
can be a little rocky.

But the good news is she is here to
stay! emoticon

And I am amazed to know her. She has
changed my life. Our relationship developed
on a treadmill through interval training.

I started a walking HIIT over four years ago.
Now I run during my intervals as fast as
6.5 to 7 miles an hour.

So give her the time and space to trust you.
Use visualization to make her more real.
I can say with confidence that she is as
real as you are!

P.S. I love your Sparkpage. I have added
you as a friend.

Comment edited on: 8/27/2012 12:30:27 PM

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My summer vacation maintenance strategies!

Friday, August 24, 2012

I’m sure most of you can recall the following situation from some time in your past.

You’ve just come back from summer vacation. You had a great time! You went out, you had fun with friends or your family, and your good time involved lots of food and lots of drinks maybe. You tried some new desserts that you couldn’t resist, you overindulged in your favorite ice cream flavors and of course you couldn’t say “no” to one or two or more cocktails whenever you were in that beach bar. The past few days you’ve started to feel your clothes becoming a little tight on you and you know you must have gained some weight. “Well, it’s just a couple of pounds,” you think. “I’ll get rid of them in no time.” And you approach your scale to prove that your estimates are right. But once you get on it, your smile disappears and panic sets in. And unfortunately, there’s nothing wrong with the scale…
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There are many similar incidents in my adult life timeline. And not only after summer vacation. After Christmas, after Easter, after stressful periods at work. But this summer it was different. I wanted to prove to myself that I had learned my lesson. And I was determined not to relive the above experience especially after having almost reached my goal weight. A little less than three weeks was a long time away from home and I could easily get derailed. So, I made up a strategic plan that could help me enjoy my vacation but at the same time avoid a bad “reunion” with the scale!

First, I created the right mindset. Just before I leave, I joined the “At Goal & Maintaining” team. “You’re a maintainer now,” I said to myself. “You just can’t come back and have to start all over again. What will your new teammates think of you? Is this the motivation you want to share?” I kept the words in my mind and moved on.

Those were my eating strategies:
- I stopped tracking completely. This is not my idea of vacation. After all, I had no internet connection where I was and actually writing down everything would be difficult.
- Healthy breakfast was a must. No matter what had happened at dinner the night before, the day had to have a healthy start. But temptations were all around. My husband and kids would enjoy various things for breakfast, from bacon and eggs to muffins and delicious pies. So, for only two mornings I allowed myself to have a big chocolate-filled croissant. That’s the only thing I craved. No deprivation and damage kept to the minimum.
- At lunch, I followed the quarters’ rule. If my plate was divided in quarters, two of them had to be vegetables, one protein and one carbs. With my father’s organic vegetable garden, that was really easy to follow. Fresh vegetables available all the time!
- Dinner was the hardest part. We ate out with friends many times and their choices were far from healthy. But I always tried to choose the “least unhealthy”. And limit alcohol to a glass of beer or two glasses of wine.
- Snacks were always fruit, as many of them as I wanted. It helped with my sweet tooth cravings and with the occasional boredom bingeing.
- There were a few days when I just couldn’t follow any plan and would eat all the wrong things. It’s ok, it happened. I never allowed myself to do that for a second day in a row. Even if I ended up doing it every other day – which I didn’t – half the days would be healthy eating so my odds of maintaining would be 50-50. Well, better than zero, right?

Fitness strategies:
- I continued tracking. I used the “Cardio Trainer” app on my phone which uses GPS and I could track my hikes in the forest.
- For cardio, I planned to use every opportunity I had. Swimming while I was close to the sea, hiking while I was in the mountains.
- For strength, I knew I wouldn’t have any equipment available. So, before I left home, I created two 45-minute schedules of strength exercises based on body resistance like squats, lunges, pushups, crunches, etc. I hadn’t imagined how difficult they would be at high altitude!
- I grabbed every opportunity I had for exercise. I took my kids horseback riding and I tried it, too. I went on hikes in the forest whenever I could and… I went for my first run (blog coming soon)!!!

Everything worked out as it should have. When I came back, my scale greeted me with the same number I had left it. Post-vacation scale crisis successfully averted!

I shared my strategies with you in order to help anyone who’s going on vacation and is nervous about ruining their weight loss journey. Some tips may work for you and some may not. But they can give you ideas for your own strategies. All these things may sound stressful to some of you, but believe me they weren’t. After having been used to a certain type of healthy living for a period of time, some things just come naturally. You just have to remind yourself all the time of how far you’ve come and of what’s more important to you. And I guess that’s a rule of maintenance in general. Priorities!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITFORMYFAMILY 8/24/2012 7:18PM

    This is an excellent blog! It seems to me that the biggest reason that you had such a successful vacation was because you decided you were going to. Truly making up one's mind seems to be the biggest part of the battle. You did a fantastic job and I thank you for sharing your strategies. I also look forward to reading your first running blog!

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JESSNSTONE 8/24/2012 3:37PM

    I was so happy to read this blog. It REALLY is inspirational. I love how you set your priorities and stuck to them (with a little wiggle room). You should feel so proud of yourself. I am proud of you! WAY TO GO!!!

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WANT2BEFIT10 8/24/2012 1:26PM

    How awesome! This has become a lifestyle for you, and you are amazing to stick with this for nearly 3 weeks away from home! SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!

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VIXSTERLU 8/24/2012 12:06PM

    Great tips! Love the idea of getting exercise wherever you can! Horseback riding, I can only imagine how sore those muscles were the next day :) A good sore though!

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MICHSTATE 8/24/2012 11:18AM

    That's awesome!!!!!! I hope to be able to say the same thing at some point...my vacations are usually binge-fests, and I hate it!!!!
You ROCK!!!!!:-)

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*MADHU* 8/24/2012 10:56AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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My summer memories' treasure chest!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I was never the summer type. I don’t like heat, I can only stand sweat if it’s the product of a good workout and until recently the word swimsuit sounded like torture to my ears. Summer vacation was something I looked forward to only if it involved visiting new places, doing new things and going sightseeing. “New” was my synonym for summer vacation.

This year I visited no new places and I saw no new sights I had never seen before. My summer vacation was spent in places I’ve been many times in the past and there were actually no new things to see. Yet, I had one of the most relaxing and enjoyable vacation I’ve had in years. There were many reasons for this. One of them was that my children are no babies anymore and I didn’t have to run around them all the time fearing that they would do something reckless or dangerous and they would hurt themselves. I could do “grown-up things” – that’s what my daughters call them – with my children and that was really fun. We actually spent lots of time lying on the beach, sun tanning, reading our books – at last, we can all read now! – listening to music, playing and having fun!
Another reason was the lack of swimsuit-season-panic! Every year I would dread the time I would have to walk on the beach wearing a swimsuit. I would spend my whole summer thinking “Come September, I have to do something about my weight. I have to stop eating!” And my overwhelming feelings of disappointment would only cause me to eat more and more. This year I just had to maintain and check myself once more on whether I had actually made a lifestyle change. It seems I had! I’ll make sure to write a blog soon about my maintaining strategies.

Our vacation started by the sea. We visited a small seaside village on Evia island and stayed there for four days. What we actually did was staying on the beach all day. We just walked from the hotel room to the beach and back, nothing else! The weather was more than perfect and the Aegean sea was just calm and… perfect.
That’s where we spent our days.


I tried to experiment with my camera attempting to take a picture that would look like oil painting using some settings I had read about. I don’t know if I succeeded but I really like this picture. It’s like summer memories. Colorful and fading at the same time.


That’s the view from our hotel room at dusk.


Full moon! The view of the moonlight on the sea surface was stunning! Unfortunately I didn’t have an appropriate lens for that but I did my best with what I had.


Then we moved up to my favorite place in the world. My mountain village. I have never actually lived there but I spent there all my summers as a kid and a teenager.




We stayed with my parents for two weeks. We met friends, we went hiking in the forest, horse-riding and even river-fishing! – this one was just for fun, we didn’t actually catch anything!








We also visited Meteora again. For the children it was the first time. Meteora is a combination of huge rocks located right in the middle of country land near the town of Kalambaka. On them, there is a big complex of monasteries whose building started in the 14th century. If you ever come to Greece, don’t miss them!



Can you make out the huge net standing on top of the tower? This was used to take monks up and down back then!

Unfortunately, my camera battery deceived me on this day. Even though it looked full, it died when we got in the first monastery. Argh!!!
That’s the view from above.


I wish I could live so close to nature. It was very difficult for me to leave and come back to the city. I would wake up every morning by the sound of birds at my window and the first thing I saw was this:

It’s the view from my bedroom window.
I just didn’t want to leave this and go back to alarm clocks, traffic noises and tall, ugly buildings.

But… all good things come to an end. The good thing is that memories stay in our hearts forever. And they become our safe harbor when things get tough. We just sail into it, let the pictures, the sounds and the smells fill our mind and we make it through everything.

I wish you all have a small, golden treasure chest in your heart filled with this summer’s memories.
Thank you so much for reading.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

AEROBISAURUS 8/24/2012 10:26AM

    I'm jealous! Lol ;)

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VIXSTERLU 8/23/2012 12:41PM

    Thanks for sharing! Usually my summer is filled with adventure. Not this time (knee surgery), so I am glad to be able to follow others adventures :) I know next summer will be great.

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MINNA72 8/23/2012 3:31AM

    Elle, what a fantastic vacation! Beautiful pictures, too! Thanks for sharing!

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BAKER1009 8/22/2012 4:36PM

    Wow Elle! This all looks so beautiful, and peaceful, and just lovely. I am so glad that you were all able to go on vacation, because I remember at the beginning of summer you were so unsure if you would be able to.
It's also awesome to hear that it was one of your most relaxing vacations ever. You soooooo deserved that!

Now back to reality...I know. So glad to hear you are beginning a 5k training program. Go you!! I'm here for you all the way!
emoticon
Beth

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MICHSTATE 8/22/2012 4:24PM

    Sounds like an amazing vacation!!!!!:-)

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WANT2BEFIT10 8/22/2012 3:39PM

    It sounds like pure bliss! So glad you had such a restful relaxing vacation!

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FITFORMYFAMILY 8/22/2012 3:38PM

    That looks like a fantastic vacation! The mountain pictures are SO beautiful! I'm glad that you felt so much better about your state of health for this year's vacation. I definitely understand what you mean about the ability to relax now that your kids are a little bit older, too. Or should I say that I can imagine what you mean? Mine aren't there yet! Anyway... thank you for sharing!

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WILDASTER 8/22/2012 3:08PM

    Beautiful pictures, glad you enjoyed your vacation.

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JACKIE542 8/22/2012 1:41PM

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing. emoticon

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CLAIREINPARIS 8/22/2012 1:12PM

    What a perfect summer vacation! You make me want to go to Greece again... I visited the Meteora and found them amazing!
Thank you so much for sharing your vacation with us. I am really glad it was extra special this year for you. I loved the picture you took of your daughters in the sea, very artistic.
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ZANNBEE 8/22/2012 12:59PM

    Wonderful! Great pics. Sounds like a dream summer.

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Why I used to avoid shopping...for years!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

"I’m sorry. I don’t think we have anything at your size."

I was at my heaviest. 90 kilograms, 199 pounds. I was at a mall, trying to find a gift for my niece. I went into a store that I would never walk into if I had gone shopping for myself. You know the ones. Where you’re lucky if you can find anything bigger than size 10, and both the customers and the girls who work there look like they have come out of the pages of a fashion magazine? That kind of store. And my niece actually looks exactly as described before.
I was browsing through clothes that I would never dream of wearing, when a very young, very fit, very thin shop assistant came towards me. She wasn’t smiling as they usually do but she had that awkward look on her face which looked like a grin of arrogance and disgust mixed together. She just stood beside me staring at me and just because I felt I had to say something I said: “Is this one size?” “Yes”, she answered. And she added: “I’m sorry. I don’t think we have anything at your size,” completing her comment with a disgusting look at me from top to toes…

I was never the kind of person who would stand up for myself no matter how unfair a behavior was. I would just gulp down my feelings and run away. Only to make them disappear later in the day with lots of chocolate and ice cream but that’s another story. In this case, I did exactly the same thing. I felt the tears filling the lower parts of my eyes and just said “thank you” and left before one of them would escape and run down my face! I was feeling embarrassed, humiliated, insulted, angry and desperate, all at the same time. And I did what I‘ve always done best in my life. I blamed myself.
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Her words would sound into my head every time I would go shopping from then on. Her look had haunted me and would come right in front of my eyes every time I dared to enter one of these stores. I felt I had no right to shop there. I was unwanted.

Fast forward to last week.

Sales period just started here and having a very limited choice of clothes I decided to go shopping. Nothing fancy, just a couple of T-shirts and maybe some pants or a dress. I hadn’t gone shopping for a long time. Having got rid of almost 40 pounds and being officially in the normal BMI range, this seemed like a promising experience.

Or at least that’s what I thought so.

I soon realized that I felt exactly the same way. I saw a very nice dress at one of those “thin-girls’ stores” but I just couldn’t walk into there and try it on. The words echoed into my ears and the feeling of being unwanted there stopped me from going in. I chose another store that had clothes for women for all sizes. That, I could handle!

I chose some t-shirts and went into the changing room to try them on. When I came out wearing one of them, a very polite, smiling girl came towards me and said “It looks great on you!” I smiled back and she added giving out a sigh “When your body has the right standards, everything looks good on you!”

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???????
Is she really talking to me? I looked behind me to make sure there was no one there. Then I looked at her and I realized she had lots of extra pounds but you couldn’t tell at once because she was tall and with a very beautiful face. “So that’s where the sigh came from,” I thought. I went on to explain to her that I didn’t always have the “standards” as she had said but I worked hard for it. I don’t think she believed me, though.

For a moment, I felt like Julia Roberts at that “Pretty woman” scene where she walks into that store and asks “Do you remember me?” I would just like to go back to that store and ask that girl “Do you remember that you said you had nothing at my size? Big mistake, big! Huge!!!” Well, just a thought. I’ve already explained I’m not that kind of person. At all!

Have you had any kind of bad experiences when shopping because of your size? Use them! Promise yourself that you won’t allow anyone ever again to insult you or make you feel bad about yourself. No one has the right to look down on us unless we allow them to. You are much more than an image in the mirror and if you want to change this image, it’s because YOU don’t like it, not because other people don’t. And you CAN do it. Your way.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

WATERMELLEN 7/31/2012 7:56AM

    You hit a nerve with this blog: so many of us have been there! And I'm with 4A-HEALTHY-BMI: thrift stores are great, particularly while you're losing, but I got hooked and never stopped!

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4A-HEALTHY-BMI 7/30/2012 10:42PM

    Yeah, I remember those days, all too well.

When I was 2x-4x I bought everything online, to avoid that kind of treatment. I kind of miss getting stuff at Junonia. Their clothes were fun.

By the time I went under 2x I found I was dropping through sizes so fast it wasn't worth getting new things. I started treating my closet as a revolving wardrobe based on things found at thrift stores as I cycled through things, and when they became too big I'd just donate them back.

And I kept going to thrift stores because there's so much more choice in color, style, etc.

No snotty sales people, either.

And you can get pretty nice things in thrift stores. You should have seen the TODAY director's jaw drop when she said something about my outfit and I replied, "Thanks! I got everything except the shoes at Salvation Army."

(Written across her face in a kind of panic was something along the lines of, "OMG, you are just about to walk onto the set of MY SHOW in the next 5 minutes, wearing Salvation Army clothes???")

It was a priceless moment.

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Comment edited on: 7/30/2012 10:46:07 PM

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CATDUG19 7/27/2012 3:46PM

    I had to come read this after those nice comments you made on my blog about shopping for clothes. I had a Pretty Women moment all day yesturday because my hubby sat with a huge smile on his face while I showed off everything I tried on. I really connected with what you said about losing the weight but not feeling any better trying on clothes. I had a little aniety yesturday but I didn't let it stop me. I stopped looking at sizes and just tried stuff on. Stuff i would never have tried before.

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CLAIREINPARIS 7/26/2012 4:22PM

    I almost cried as I read your blog... and almost from the start I thought of that scene in 'Pretty Woman', I smiled when you mentioned it!
I am so happy you can now buy 'normal' sizes. I do hope that one day very soon you'll feel completely comfortable shopping anywhere! You deserve it after all your efforts!
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LILDREAMY 7/26/2012 4:36AM

    That's horrible! I'm the type of person that would have went off on her, left and then went to my car and started crying, lol. I can't stand people to do things like that. She apparently needed to make herself feel better for some reason. It's a good thing I didn't know you then and you tell me about that because I would have made it a point to take a trip to the store personally (or from here, at least call corporate). I love to be able to confront people like that. I'm so hot headed it seems like it helps to relieve some stress when I'm done. :-)

I'm so very glad you don't deal with that anymore and I like the stores that do have about every size. I don't feel like I'm being "as" judged there. It's so easy to get caught up in what others think when you're shopping. I just used to not talk to a sales person at all cause I didn't want their opinion... AND what's funny is even though I'd lost a lot of weight I apparently have this "look" that tells the sales people to "stay the hell away cause I'm mean" or something. DH tells me when we've been out that I give off this look when we're shopping and that's why no one every comes up to me. He says it's the same look I used when I was over weight and I just never got rid of it I guess. He said my whole demeanor changes when I get to the cashier. Lol.

Glad things are better now cause you are so sweet and have such a good heart and do NOT deserve to be treated that way!
Maybe that cashier will get married, have a kid and gain a bunch of weight and then that particular moment will come back to her and haunt her. :-D
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AEROBISAURUS 7/25/2012 9:16PM

    I so know that feeling of being unwanted in a store. My first memory of feeling that way was when I was in middle school. The store 5.7.9. Yep! Those where the only sizes they had in there. Plus it was a super popular store that happened to be 'in' and you 'where cool' if you had their clothes. I went in there once with my gf at that time. She was very active and did gymnastics and dance so her body was beautiful and perfect in my eyes. I was so overweight I was wearing women's petite sizes back then. I remember being a envious of my friend looking around the store and trying things on and that made me beat myself up and all I could think was 'I hate my body, I'm so fat'. I hated that store and I was never able to shop at there. Thank goodness my friend was encouraging and not judgmental of my weight. She was always very positive and complimented my personality and my talents. I looked up to her. That store has sense to my knowledge gone out of business! Lol, serves em right.

Anyways...

Funny how one instance or someones comment either overheard or directly spoken too can effect you for a long time. It's an emotional scar and those are the hardest to heal.

Glad you went shopping and had a good time! It doesn't really matter what size you are. Clothes will either be flattering or not! Even if it is in 'your size'! Lol :P

Good blog, I enjoyed reading it!

Xo
Nikki



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MISHAMW 7/25/2012 8:08PM

    Hey there!!! I have been reading your blogs through Beth for a while now, and thought it was time to finally comment ;)

I don't shop. I don't like having to try one everything, don't like being harassed by sales people, and don't like it general. But I used to work at one of those stores.

No, I didn't work at one of the skinny girl stores, but I did work for a competitor store that sold mostly to all sizes, and at the time I barely fit into the biggest size they had. It was horrible having to buy clothing that you hated, that didn't fit, that you didn't feel comfortable in, just to work in a minimum wage job where you where treated like crap from customers, even though you had a degree. Yes, I am the very poster girl for disgruntled retail employee.

So from a "retired" sales person's point of view I want to let you know something. She had no right, nor should have ever said that or anything of the kind to you. I have a firm believe that she was one of those girls working there part time for the discount and was quickly let go. Also, I have to say, you see a lot of bigger people coming into the store and wearing clothing that isn't their size either. It can damage the product (yes it happens a lot) which is a big no no in the money hungry retail world. But again, no way should she have said that.

Here are some tips though. Go in the mornings as soon as they open in the middle of the week. This way, they staff isn't stressed, less bitchy, and don't have to deal with returns from the weekend (Monday's a B*). Also, if you put things back exactly how they were (or better), you have a better chance of them not getting mad with you.

Hope this helps and congrats on losing the weight!

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BAKER1009 7/25/2012 4:27PM

    I never had a bad experience, but mostly because when my weight got that big, I didn't go to my favorite stores to shop. I think I feared this type of experience.

I'm sorry that you went through this. But I'm glad what happened with you last week, and what you were able to share with the sales woman. I think she might believe you, and I think your words might be sticking with her right now. You might have just sent her down a healthy road Elle, you just never know!! Regardless, I'm glad you told her. We need more people like you in this world!!

Hugs,
Beth

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GUITARWOMAN 7/25/2012 4:19PM

    Yes, I have experienced that, topping out at 212 at my heaviest.

It's awful.

I am still shopping in stores that have a wide range of sizes, but have also made successful forays into Lululemon and Levi's where I have found clothes that fit but where I am still uncomfortable. I find the cute little salesgirls in those stores encourage me to buy sizes that I think are too small for me.

Different standards, I guess.

I remember that I cried when I first bought a size 14 skirt that fit.

Now I can buy a (generous) size 4.

And you know where the cute little salesgirls can go......

Thank you for this blog!


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FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 7/25/2012 1:26PM

    oh wow. crazy how 1 experience can (hopefully) cancel out the other. you must feel great after that comment. great job!!!

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WANT2BEFIT10 7/25/2012 1:23PM

    Excellent blog! And OH SO TRUE!

I've so been there, and still haven't gotten used to shopping in "regular size" departments.

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NESARIAN 7/25/2012 1:22PM

    Great story and better message.

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JITZUROE 7/25/2012 12:55PM

    Yep, I have been made to feel like I was not 'worthy' of shopping in a particular location.
The comments can be said with a smile, but still bite at your heart.
Good for you on getting past the comments and finding nice clothes that work for you. Yeah!
Hugs!
Bren

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