This week marked the start of the 90 Day Low Carb Challenge, sponsored by Lynn at Traveling Low Carb. The rules of the challenge are pretty simple. Participants are encouraged to track their food and log it into a journal. The main goal is to stay under 20 net carbs each day, throwing the body into ketosis and prompting weight loss. Even though I’ve been following the low carb/high fat way of eating for nearly six months, I thought this would be a great way to recommit to my goals.
Shopping for clothes has never been my favorite activity. Most retailers don’t offer plus sizes lines, and often those that do only sell them online. Local options are even more limited. There are a few places in the nearby malls to buy clothing, but many of those seem to stock items better suited to
older more mature women. I’m just not ready to start dressing in ugly prints and polyester stretch pants!
Because of the lack of variety, online shopping has always been the way I acquire the majority of my clothes. I’ve been a size 24 for over 10 years, so I’ve gotten a good handle on sizing for the online retailers I frequent. I know I’m a 1x in Full Beauty brands. I know I’m a size 3 at Torrid. I know to size down at Asos, putting me in their size 22. I know which cuts of jeans at Old Navy fit me best. The problem is that I’m no longer a size 24…and clothing shopping has become a nightmare!
Retailers generally offer measurements to guide sizing, but those usually leave me scratching my head. I’m not sure how to handle a guideline that tells me I wear 4 different sizes, especially when some of those sizes are larger than I wore before I starting losing weight. For instance, one retailer says that according to measurements, I should be wearing a size 28 in their jeans, but I have those same jeans in a size 22 (purchased a couple months ago) and they are starting to feel loose. What a confusing mess!
I have had some luck simply sizing down, but even that is a hit and miss option. Doing returns for online stuff can get expensive, as not all retailers offer free returns. It can take several weeks to get a return processed, meaning the money I spent is in limbo during that time. When doing an exchange for a different size, things often sell out and I’m left with nothing. Given all this craziness, I’ve been forced to resort to nearby stores.
Self-confidence has never been something I’ve had in abundance. I’ve always been shy and introverted, preferring to fade into the background. If I could choose a super power, I’d want to be invisible—not to do anything sneaky or forbidden, but just to rid myself of the perceived notion that people are staring at me. Being the center of attention is a nightmare!
For many years, my wardrobe consisted of items in shades of black and gray. I thought that if I wore dark colors, the chance of someone noticing me was lessened. I was incredibly uncomfortable with my size, fearing rude comments from others.
A couple of years ago, I had a burst of self-confidence and decided I needed to be true to myself and stop worrying so much about the thoughts and opinions of others. I’ve always loved prints, but refused to buy them because of the idea that they would make me look even larger or cause someone to give me a second glance.
In January, I decided to change my life. After years of being overweight and unhappy with myself, I knew I needed to take action. I’m still fat, but I feel better and am slowly making progress.
I’ve tried lots of diets in the past—from calorie counting to Weight Watchers—and had moderate levels of success. The problem was that after a certain amount of time, I’d revert back to old habits. After seeing the success of others, I decided to try a low-carb, gluten-free way of life. As a carb-loading, potato-loving, bread-adoring lady, this change was difficult!
The first few weeks felt like torture. I was tired and cranky. My energy hit an all-time low. All I wanted to do was nap and lounge around. My body ached like I had the flu. I wasn’t sure I could handle it, and the urge to give in to my cravings felt overwhelming. There were many times when I thought about eating a doughnut, a yeast roll, or a piece of pie. I wanted to throw in the towel and give up!