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Sizes mystify me

Monday, January 14, 2008

Most of my adult life I've been a size 12, & most of my adult life I have been on the slim side. When I gained weight, I went up to a 14 bordering on 16; when I lost 25 pounds eight years ago, my 12s were loose & I bought most of my new clothes in size 10. Now I've been losing those 25 pounds again, & at this point most 12s are loose & 10s fit pretty well once more. I'm pretty tall, by the way--5 feet 10.

I think since I was a young adult there has been "size inflation": as women have become heavier throughout our society, manufacturers have moved their sizes up a notch to help us feel better about our weight. So the size 12s I wore when I was young were probably about the same as the 10s I'm wearing now. (The company that writes the SAT made a parallel move some years back, essentially adding 100 points to everyone's test score compared to scores when I was young.)

Though I'm cognizant of this inflation, sometimes when I read posts by other SP members about sizes I'm puzzled. There are lots of women here who wear size 12 or even 10 but weigh over 200 pounds. I don't see how it's physically possible, even if they wear their clothes tighter than I do. Maybe they think it's odd that I wear size 10 & 12 when I weigh 150!

It's nothing to lose sleep over (& I don't), but occasionally I do feel as if I'm living in a different country where size measurements are different. :-)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 1/16/2008 2:08PM

    Sizes ARE a strange phenomenon... I agree. I weight 300 soemthing and i wear size 30/32 and sometimes bigger if I can find it. I have to agree some of them must be tall and working out takes off inches and builds muscle so that may be a factor, but I have to agree, how 200 pounds can fit in a size 10 tall or short, inches lost or not is a mystery to me as well! :-)

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PJBOKC 1/15/2008 8:19PM

    I've noticed some brands seem to have changed their sizing where I can wear a smaller size - in slacks anyway. I'm not a good judge of sizes. Being a nurse, I wear scrubs to work and I like them comfy. I wear sweats, jeans, capris, sweatshirts, t-shirts at home. My church is casual so I don't dress up there either - sweater and slacks. I like all my clothes comfy. I can't stand tight clothes - so I don't know how wide spread the resizing is. I'm definitely an "apple" shape - not drastically, but I'm not a tiny waist person even when thin, and my hips and legs are slender. So I can't buy "suits" as I need pants smaller than the top. But there's a downside to the pants too - if they fit the waist, too big in hips; fit the hips, too small in the waist. Good thing I'm a nurse and scrubs have elastic! (HA!)

Ruth, if you're in a size 10, I'm sure you look great and don't need to lose any more. I'm not so sure about those who weigh 200 pounds and wear a 10 or 12. That's about where I am, and I couldn't begin to get any part of my body in a size 12! When my son got married in 2003, I worked out and dieted like a crazy woman - went to a trainer 3-5 days per week for 6 months. The lowest I could get my weight was 158 (I was 175 when I started). I really worked out hard and was very toned - so might have weighed less but for the muscles. The dress I wore to the wedding was a size 14 - it's the one I'm wearing in the picture on my sparkpage. I'm 5'4" - how I'd love to be tall like you Ruth!! If some are wearing a size 12 at 200 pounds they must be 6'2" or even taller.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could try on clothes, and buy what we feel good in without even looking at the size?

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ILYSE721 1/15/2008 12:39PM

    I agree. 15 years ago I was about 15lbs LESS than I am now and was wearing size 26/28 comfortably and 22/24 snugly. Now I wear a size 16 regular(can buy off rack now without trying on). Is it the scale that's different? My measurements are smaller than they were then as well.

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In memory of MARYLOUD

Sunday, January 13, 2008

In the living room earlier tonight with a lamp & a lit candle, thinking of Mary Lou & her desire to really live--to get healthy, lose weight, quit smoking, help her son master all his subjects at home this year. Especially of the tandem bicycle she started riding early in the morning with her husband in early December--how she loved it. Finally a form of exercise that worked for her--& the best exercise buddy!

Only a month later, she died in her sleep.

You can tell by her SP profile picture that she was a bit sassy; her humor had an edge to it, but it was never mean. It was one of her ways of coping with a tangle of medical conditions that caused chronic pain & insomnia. Porphyria was at the center of the tangle.

At SparkPeople, she let her teammates know when things were especially bad. She took a long sanity break from all the tracking & recording in December, but she returned in the New Year ready to refocus on her goals. Then we saw the note from her husband announcing that she was gone.

I pray for her family, whom she loved dearly: her husband Philip, with whom she cycled; their older son, with whom she struggled; their younger son, whom she taught.

Be near them, God with comfort, grace, & strength. Help them to go on without her, to live out the purposes you have for each one. Speak your love to them in the wrenching silence of their loss.

May Mary Lou's soul & body rest in peace. May she be welcomed into your eternal habitation.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 1/16/2008 2:03PM

    How thoughtful! In your tribute to her and your prayers for her family, may your heart be mended as well.

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ILYSE721 1/15/2008 12:34PM

    Amen sister.

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JANETELIZABETH1 1/14/2008 5:04PM

    I'm sure she will be sadly missed by all the teams that she was a member of.
May the Lord comfort the hearts of her family and all her SP friends, especially at this time.

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PJBOKC 1/14/2008 2:12AM

    Ruth - What a beautiful tribute you've written here for Mary Lou. If someone didn't know her before reading your blog - they could get a good picture of Mary Lou as we knew her on Sparkpeople.

I did a blog on my page referring people to read your blog today - telling them it is an intimate, beautiful and sensitive tribute to Mary Lou.

Thank you for sharing your gift with words to honor her.

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Saturday, January 12, 2008

I'm OK, but my day has been weird.

It started out well: I made muesli! While it was in its last minutes of toasting in the oven, I scooped out my normal half-cup & had it with blueberries, a banana, nonfat milk & a little honey. So good!

Then I put on warm exercise clothes & went out running. Went to the church to see whether the music team was practicing--apparently not. Continued to the library, where I checked out three books--& then came running home with them bouncing in my sling bag! I'm sure those extra pounds burned a few more calories, but SP's tracker doesn't give me a way to figure that. :-)

Later my husband & I sat down to work further on our household budget, which is one of our serious occupations these days. We made some good progress.

Afterward I started looking at some recent credit card statements & asking what a few of the charges were. We were puzzled about one $9.00 charge that I eventually figured out had been charged to one of our cards each month since July. We did some online checking & found that it's a very questionable enterprise associated with ticket purchases at Ticketmaster. I won't bore you with all the details, but when I called the toll-free number listed on the card statements, I got a recording announcing a different number which turned out to be an 800 phone sex line!

After a marathon phone call to the card's customer service, which connected me to the company behind all these shenanigans, I was promised a full refund. Whew!

It felt good to succeed, but I hate having to spend all that time on things like this. Both my husband & I ended up emotionally exhausted.

It's 5:20 now & I never did eat lunch. I'll go start supper, then take a shower while it's cooking. Then we can have a peaceful evening watching a movie together.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 1/16/2008 2:00PM

    Money matters ALWAYS exhaust me! In my household, there is just never enough to get the job done...

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ILYSE721 1/13/2008 6:30PM

    Hope today is better for you Ruth. I always hate straightening out stuff where you have to be on the phone for what seems like forever.

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PJBOKC 1/12/2008 7:50PM

    It's so mentally exhausting to deal with mistakes on our personal business. Back when long distance phone companies were able to change long distance providers without a customer knowing it - I got on somebody's list. I forget what they called that - scamming or something. Every month I had a new long distance provider with really high rates. I spent hours getting things straightened out every month. That's before you could get a set fee for unlimited long distance, and charges were by the minute. I was ready to disconnect my phone.

What a waste of our valuable time, and our mental energy!

Hope you guys have a wonderful evening! You deserve it!

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Feeling seriously stuck

Friday, January 11, 2008

I am still feeling stuck, since the scale remains stuck. It honestly makes me feel nervous to not be losing weight even though I'm staying under 1550 calories nearly every day & getting fairly regular exercise. It seems as if my metabolism has gotten super-efficient & is able to maintain my weight at this level of calorie intake--which means that if I ever start eating more, I'll gain immediately!

I don't have time to become an exercise fanatic & keep myself sweating for hours. And I certainly don't want to drop my calorie intake much lower than it already is.

Am I doomed to eat no more than 1550 calories a day for the rest of my life?

It really perplexes me. When I lost 25 pounds back in 1998, it just melted off so easily. Regular exercise was new to me, so my metabolism must have been jolted in a big way. But I don't have any BIG changes to make nowadays. And I'm already concerned about having to think too much about my food all the time--it has become a major topic of conversation at our dinner table.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 1/16/2008 1:58PM

    What does your docotor say? Sometimes I think our bodies get to where they want to be and then just stop.

I have also heard that if one will vary the amount of calories they eat each day, htat sometimes causes weight loss. Be careful that you do not allow your siappointment and frustration to cause you to be careless in anything.

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PJBOKC 1/12/2008 7:43PM

    Oh Ruth - I'm sorry! And I feel your pain. Let's hang in there together. I'm sure you're just temporarily plateauing (is that a word - oh well you get the idea). You know you can go lower because you did before Christmas. Did you try drinking extra water? My weight is such a mess right now that I don't feel credible enough to offer any suggestions. But in years past when I would get stuck, I'd cut back on carbs - not low carb, just less - 100 - 125. Don't know if that will work for you being an "almost vegetarian". Again, let's just hand in there together. We're eating healthier and exercising regularly. Something good has to happen.

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MY4MISFITZ 1/11/2008 11:30PM

    Hi- You may have already thought of this, but maybe try changing your exercise? So if you're a walker, maybe try stationary bike. Or some jogging? Good luck!

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Saving room

Thursday, January 10, 2008

First of all, I was back down a pound this morning, to that 150 my scale loves so well. That's at least the right direction.

Last night we took my stepdaughter out to a little pan-Asian restaurant as part of the celebration of her 21st birthday. My husband wanted to take a special beer to the restaurant, which is a BYOB place. On the way, before we stopped at the liquor store, I said I'd like to buy some REGULAR good beer so that I could celebrate without ingesting all those calories--the fancy beers he's been researching & bringing home are all really high alcohol, 9-10%, so the calories are about double those of regular beer.

He became upset & said that would put a damper on the celebration. Then I thought of a different solution: I could just drink half of one of the fancy beers.

When we sat down at the restaurant & he poured our beer, he told us the history of India pale ales & why they ended up tasting the way they do & having a higher alcohol content. I realized that he had spent a lot of time reading about this & had been looking forward to experiencing the beer with both his daughter & me. His earlier reaction became much more understandable.

I enjoyed every sip of my 6 ounces of this truly wonderful beer--Dogfish Imperial India Pale Ale, if you're curious!--& every bite of my dinner. I chose Kung Pao chicken as my main dish because it has plenty of protein & veggies, they're not floating in any heavy sauce, & rice is easier to divide in half than noodles are. (We eat a lot of rice in general, but I've needed to cut my serving down to a half-cup to stay within calorie limits.)

Having guessed at calories for that meal, I think I stayed within my limit for the day--& I did justice to the celebration.

It continues tonight: when I get home from work we're going to run out & get a chocolate cake to eat after supper with another exotic beer, one that is supposed to go well with dessert. (VERY unusual for beer!) My calories for breakfast, lunch, & the tea I sip throughout the day have come to 775, so I still have 775 to use as needed.

Celebrations--because of all the emotions & tastes & expectations of one's loved ones plus one's own--can be complicated to maneuver. I'm happy I've weathered this one so far without blowing my health goals.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHANSHE 1/16/2008 1:54PM

    That sounds exciting... Every beer I have ever tasted is just plain nasty! However, this was a unique and safe way to celebrate a 21st birthday!

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PJBOKC 1/11/2008 9:58AM

    YOU, TOO, ARE IN!!! I admire your committment, and your ability to analyze and plan. It seems you're on the go and participating in a lot of social activities, and you continue to stay on course with your plan. You certainly have the qualities to succeed, both in weight loss and relationships. You're an inspiration to me!

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