Apr 302012
 

I had a really good, really busy, productive weekend. Don’t you love it when everything just falls together smoothly? Saturday morning’s workout was stellar. I feel so confident when I have a successful workout with no bumps in the road. I started out with a run on the treadmill and had to increase the speed because it felt too slow and my entire run I was completely disconnected my legs. It felt as though they were doing all the work for me and it was too easy for them! I never felt fatigued or slow, or like I needed a walk break. I ended up doing 2.80 miles in the blink of an eye.

My weight lifting was great too! No complaints here. I felt strong and also had to increase the amount of weights on several machines. I have to say that my new favorite machines are the ones that work the biceps. I think that’s because that is where I am seeing new muscles developing and it’s really encouraging to see progress!

I am sooo ready to take my running outside!

Gym Stats:

Time: 1:27
Calories Burned: 736
Mileage: 2.80

For lunch I made a quick sandwich out of a toasted bagel thin, cream cheese, Black Forest ham slices and half an avocado. I added a side of cottage cheese. Lunch was delicious and I devoured the messy sandwich; avocado tends to do that.

I spent the afternoon with my friend Sam at the mall, doing some shopping. Sam’s birthday is coming up and I offered to help her find the right outfit. I haven’t been to the store Torrid in probably 6 years. It was one of the places I liked to shop in as a plus-sized girl but back in the day the clothing style they sold was different than what I saw this weekend. Back then it was basically the plus-sized option of Hot Topic–leaning more towards the gothic type clothing that I often wore. Now it seems to be simply a plus-sized store.

While Sam was trying on the clothes, I wandered around the store. Something else had changed since the last time I had been there. They had different sizing than the standard clothing stores. Everything in Torrid was size 0-4. That means that size 0 was like 12-14, 1 was 16-18 all the way up to 4 which was I think 24 and up. At first I wondered if that vanity sizing worked; I mean, didn’t people see right through that advertising tactic? But as I was standing there, I overheard a girl with her friend comment “This is probably the only time I’ll ever be a size zero!” And I realized that Torrid was brilliant in their vanity sizing.

It was a truly strange experience being in Torrid after so long. There were several times where I grabbed something off the racks thinking “This is super cute, I should try this…” and then realized it wouldn’t fit me. It was almost as if I forgot what body I was in. Strange how I’ve swung onto the other side of the pendulum; gone are the times when I struggled for years to find clothes that were “big” enough for me.

Sam bought an adorable shirt for her birthday party and then we left the mall. I was feeling unsettled after Torrid, almost like I’d been somewhere I shouldn’t have. Part of me wondered if any of the shoppers looked at me and thought “why is SHE shopping here?” If only they knew the old me.

Saturday night Michael and I met up with another couple for dinner over on NE Alberta at a place called Branch Whiskey Bar. We had a Groupon for the place that was expiring soon.

The place was hip and cute. Their menu was fairly small, which I was surprised about, but the food ended up being a real treat. Our friends wanted to get the pate appetizer plate so we all shared that. I’d never had pate before, but was willing to try it. The tray came with pate, pickled beets and onions, sardines, an unidentifiable fruit, a spicy ground mustard, apple slices, bread, and a few other random things.

How was the pate? It was just ok. I didn’t hate it, but it wasn’t something that I was blown away over. It was almost like a meatloaf. I imagined pate to be a creamier texture, like a spread.

Michael ordered the Branch Burger with bacon and gruyere cheese with fries. The “bacon” turned out to be like canadian bacon, or just a big slab of ham. He didn’t like that, but he loved the burger! I also ended up ordering a burger. The Black Truffle Mac n’ Cheese sound fantastic and intriguing, but I had a ravenous craving for a burger.

I got the Alberta Burger, which was supposed to come with blue cheese but it ended up having gruyere (which is fine because I prefer it). My burger also had caramelized onions and a spicy remoulade–which is just a fancy word for special mayo I think! I got the salad instead of fries and it came with a sherry vinaigrette that was delicious and tart.

I LOVED my burger!  It was smoky and the remoulade was spicy and it all went really well with the sweetness of the caramelized onions. The burger wasn’t monstrous in size and I didn’t feel like I ate too much when I was done. It was definitely a burger done right. I do wish we’d had room for dessert, though, because their special that night was a whiskey chocolate mousse. Oh well, next time!

Sunday

Michael went out of town for a few days, leaving Sunday morning. I lazed around with the cats, went swimming, then took care of chores around the house–cleaning, laundry, etc. I also got caught up on some of my shows on the DVR (Grey’s Anatomy, SVU, NCIS).

Sunday afternoon I went to the movies with my friend, Kat. We saw “The Five Year Engagement.” I pictured it to be a typical chick flick, but it was darker than I was expecting. It was really funny and I cracked up at many parts. It was good, but don’t go expecting a warm and fuzzy movie.

All in all, it was a good weekend. I felt like I had a healthy balance this weekend and it made me feel satisfied with my life. Isn’t it nice when you feel like all aspects are clicking?

QUESTION: Tell me the highlight of your weekend. And have you seen that movie yet?

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Oct 182011
 
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Did you see any of the controversial coverage of plus-sized model Nancy Upton? She was offended by American Apparel’s search for a plus-sized model so she entered their contest on her own. And guess what? She won.


She won the online poll for their new plus-sized model but American Apparel chose someone else as the winner because she was “mocking” them. She explains why she was offended with their campaign strategy:

“How offensive the campaign was. How it spoke to plus-sized women like they were starry-eyed 16 year olds from Kansas whose dream, obviously, was to hop a bus to L.A. to make it big in fashion. How apparently there were no words in existence to accurately describe the way American Apparel felt about a sexy, large woman, and so phrases like “booty-ful” and “XLent” would need to be invented for us—not only to fill this void in American vocabulary, but also make the company seem like a relatable, sassy friend to fat chicks.”

- Nancy Upton

Let me say, I’ve never shopped at American Apparel, at any size I’ve been, and I have no idea what their usual marketing strategy is. I think as a general rule any company that is trying to provide people of all sizes the opportunity to buy what they want, that’s a good thing–even if their press release is obnoxious.


She was trying to make a statement about the plight of plus-sized people. Her photo entry wasn’t accepted by everyone, though. She states in the interview that a fellow plus-sized model who had entered was upset with her:

“…She shamed me for hurting the world of plus-sized modeling and turning something she took very seriously into a big joke.”

I started looking around to see what kind of issues come with stores providing plus-sized clothes–like is this really that big of any issue? Is there controversy? I found a website with an article about the topic. It’s the opinion of the writer who used to work in retail, so take it with a grain of salt, but here it is:

‘ “Larger women as a whole are viewed in society as not acceptable and not needing cute clothes. If you start marketing to a larger size group then in some ways, you will be known as “catering to those that are larger and can’t fit the smaller sizes like they should.” ‘ (source)

I guess I don’t understand why having a selection of sizes over 12 in your store will mean you’re suddenly “catering” to larger people. Does it mean the store has to carry less clothing in smaller sizes? No. Does it mean the store will lose money? Um, no, I think they would entice potential customers to come INTO their store and spend money if they offered what people want.

When I was wearing a size 24W in jeans I shopped at Walmart. The only reason: they offered my size. It wasn’t my preferred place to go clothes shopping but jeans were jeans. I also shopped at Target until I no longer fit in their biggest size (XXXL I think?). None of the clothes I bought were what I’d call cute. In fact, I just wore a lot of “big” clothes. Big shirts, long skirts that covered me, jeans and a big t-shirt on the weekends.


I was able to find a few really cute dresses at places like Ross and Marshall’s. Their selections were slim for plus-sized but at least what they had was kind of cute.


I never really shopped at Lane Bryant, Catherine’s, Avenue Plus, etc. Their plus-sized clothes were stylish and cute but they were expensive. Once in awhile I bought clothes at Torrid, but again it was an expensive place to shop. When you’re a young 20-something with a limited income you can’t be spending hundreds of dollars on clothes.

Thinking back, would I have liked to see more plus-sized options at stores I liked to shop at? Hell ya! The clothing options were never that great when I was shopping. I took what I could get. I wore a lot of black. I wore very plain clothing because it fit and I thought it was slimming.

I don’t buy the argument that stores can’t afford to provide plus-sized clothes because it was cost more for them to make due to the extra fabric. If a store was buying the clothes from a sweatshop in India for 50 cents and charging over $60 for it in America, you’re still making a profit. So why not provide clothing to a group of people that will spend that $60 to buy it?

As for Nancy Upton…I’m still not sure how I feel about her statement. I want to get behind a plus-sized person who is trying to be a voice for the other plus-sized people out there….

QUESTION: Where do you stand on this issue? 

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