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Seeing the ex

Despite my sacred vow never to shop at a Lane Bryant ever again, I found myself picking through their clearance racks this weekend. I had a very good reason though. I was helping a friend find clothes for her father’s funeral. I did not purchase anything myself, so we are still technically broken up. It was more like seeing an ex at a party and being polite enough to make small talk, but remaining chaste enough not to jump back in bed with him.

I eventually touched almost every single object of clothing in that store searching for something that did not make my friend look like a goth hooker and was available in her size. It brought back all the trauma I used to experience shopping at LB, knowing that if we didn’t find something there we were pretty much screwed. The only other option was to buy a black sheet, wrap it around her like a sari and claim she’d converted to hinduism, despite the fact that the funeral mass was held in a Catholic church. We eventually found something after some yelling and door slamming (which was completely justified) and Robert Smith of The Cure did not try to pick her up at the funeral.

Traveling always brings on eating challenges. I was 2 for 3 on food battles this weekend. I skipped the bourbon chicken and smoothies my friends had for lunch at the food court. We needed to eat in preparation for the dastardly Lane Bryant shop which was as exhausting mentally as running a marathon is physically. However, I was a bit blindsided when we went out to dinner and ended up having a four course meal – bread, appetizers, soup, and the main course. The more people I eat with, the more I eat. People may be afraid to eat alone at restaurants, but it does wonders for your portion sizes. My friend is actually very sensitive to my new eating habits and goes out of her way to make sure there is food for me when I visit. But there are certain social situations you just can’t avoid during times like these that end up making you eat more.

I redeemed myself later though. At the luncheon after the funeral there was a dessert table that was full of chocolate cupcakes, heavenly pieces of angel food cake, chocolate chip cookie bars, German chocolate cake, and silver foil cupcake holders filled with cheesecake and topped with gooey cherries. I foolishly chose a seat that directly faced this monument to gluttony, staring at it for about as long as an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Remarkably I walked out of the church gymnasium with only eating one cupcake. I typically think willpower is overrated when it comes to dieting, but it was sheer force of will that prevented me from greasing my tummy with butter wedges and belly sliding down the table surface catching all those treats with my mouth.

The strangest thing about the weekend was my bladder seemed to take the day off. I went to the bathroom at about 4:00pm after arriving in town and didn’t have to go again until 9:00am the next morning. I even drank 3 glasses of water at dinner. I was afraid I was suffering kidney failure and they’d be holding my funeral later in the week. I mentioned this to my brother today and he said that my body was retaining the water because I had started lifting weights the day before my trip. The only similar story I’ve ever heard is when a friend visited the Middle East and drank bottles of water all day, but didn’t have to pee because she sweated out all the water as sweat.

I was looking forward to my first kickboxing class tonight to start working off these mourning calories, but the weather gods decided to dump a load of snowy diarrhea on the city and class was cancelled. So, it’s gonna’ be a bad week for my weight loss. With the extra food I ate this weekend, any water I’m retaining from lifting weights, and now my canceled kickboxing class, I would be seriously surprised if I don’t gain this week.

The good thing is that I’m aware of these problems and I’m going to work immediately to get back on track. This is one of the advantages in weighing daily. I can start damage control before the problem gets too out of hand. It’s a lot easier to lose three or four pounds than it is to lose forty. There’s no way I’m going to let myself get back over 200. Nuh-uh. Ain’t happening.

Chocolate & Vicodin: My Quest for Relief from the Headache that Wouldn't Go Away
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Janice Bridge • February 13, 2007 at 7:37 pm

Delightful imagery PQ. . . Large goth hookers belly sliding across dessert tables in the Church basement. . . . Definitely my laughs for the day . .

I regret the reason for your friend’s most necessary search, however. How sad to have such a difficult emotional time of her life further complicated by the pain of shopping!!

I have 45 years of memories of the frenzy that can rise as you search the racks for something, desperately knowing the result of failure. I lived for years knowing that if I found something that was suitable for general occasions, and it fit, I needed to buy it then so that I would have it when the emergency arose. Needless to say, it is a hard mind set to change now that I am wearing ‘normal’ sized clothing, and can purchase in almost any ‘normal’ department store.

Some words about the Tyranny of Lane Bryant however. . . ‘she’ is not the only chick in town!

Coldwater Creek has a store at Keystone Xing in Indianapolis and an outlet store on Executive Drive in Edinburgh, IN. Coldwater Creek is also available on line at http://www.coldwatercreek.com Dresses, skirts, tops, slacks, and sports wear is sizes to 26 (3X).

There are also two Catherine’s stores in Indianapolis – one at 4871 West 38th Street and the other at 6054 East 82nd Street. Catherine’s carry up to 3X in most stores and will order up to 6 X if you get a good sales person.

I don’t know WHY Lane Bryant has such a negative attitude toward is customers – nor why it trains its people to be obnoxious, rude, and insulting, but I have shopped in Lane Bryant stores in nine different states – as last resorts in emergencies – and have had the same horrendous treatment.

Large women need clothing. Large women KNOW value and good materials. Large women expect to pay money for what they buy. So WHY so much discrimination against our needs???


Debbie • February 13, 2007 at 8:27 pm

Maybe it was the thought of having to shop at Lane Bryant again that gave you the willpower to avoid all those desserts. Whatever it was, you did good, pastaqueen.


Mymsie • February 13, 2007 at 8:33 pm

Isn’t the weather AWFUL? And now Panera is giving away cookies? Dear God – help me!


the veggie paparazzo • February 13, 2007 at 10:17 pm

Love the imagery–the belly-sliding consumption idea is hysterical.

Sometimes willpower is the only defense left.


Josie • February 13, 2007 at 10:28 pm

You know how I know you’ll never regain the weight again? Because YOU know you’ll never regain the weight. Your newfound self confidence and self esteem are enviable and wonderful and all that I dream of possessing someday. Congrats on the book deal. I’ll be in line to grab a copy when it’s on the shelves!


Mary • February 14, 2007 at 4:56 am

Pasta Queen! I’m currently over in Japan and have been reading the blog for somewhere around a year. Kudos girl! I am so proud of you, and see you as an inspiration. Just wanted to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day, as it is in full swing over here. Good luck on this most evil holiday. And keep up the good work!


kalmia • February 14, 2007 at 10:10 am

I’ve experienced something siimilar whenever I get back into building some serious muscle. I usually gain weight right away, far too soon for it to be muscle weight. I feel a bit bloated and swollen all over. What your brother says makes perfect sense. I haven’t noticed not having to pee, but I’ve sure noticed the water retention. It takes my body a while to adjust.

I guess the thing to remember is to have to have faith in our body’s wisdom. If we eat well and exercise sensibly, we will eventually get there. At least this is what I’m telling myself. Right now my weight loss seems stalled. Typically, this would be all I’d need to give up in despair. But this time I’m hanging in. I’m just going to give my body time to catch up to the new world order I’ve imposed on it.

Have fun with the kickboxing and weight lifting. Although it might take a while before you notice the fat burn, that kind of muscle-building exercise eventually does the trick in my experience.


dee • February 14, 2007 at 11:39 am

it saddens me that i only found this blog about three weeks ago – the reason… because i have thought, felt and wanted to do everything that you are writing here – plus, you are so damn funny – the visuals that you provide in your writing are fantastically amusing! i can’t wait to begin my journey in 9 months (i’m preggers, with about 60 pounds to lose), and i hope that you are still writing to provide the support you do for so many of us. This only wants me to have another really healthy pregnancy (i only gained 19 pounds with the first baby) and get out the gate running when the baby arrives. Thank you for being you – honest, courageous, strong and providing this blog for all of us to enjoy.


Flora • February 14, 2007 at 12:46 pm

Congratulations on staying civil with LB after the breakup. I too have a love-hate relationship with the place: their tops are too big for me, but I still buy pants there.

If you think LB is skanky don’t even think about Torrid: it’s 100% hippie peasant hooker shit (an expression I love, from Diet Girl). Not a stitch of real clothing in the place.


Vamp • February 14, 2007 at 6:30 pm

Good job on your willpower at Lane Bryant! I can hardly wait for the day when I won’t have to shop for anything starting with “plus” or “extended”. I also just wanted to say thank you for writing this blog, I just found it last week and was ready to give up on my recent weight loss efforts. I’m at the beginning of the journey that you’ve been working on for the past couple of years (and hilariously might I add) and need to lose 1/2 of my current body weight too. I’ve been inspired to get back on the treadmill and go back to eating healthy and start my own blog too. Thank you so much!


Drina • February 14, 2007 at 8:16 pm

Reading your post tonight gave me the willpower to walk by the vending machine on my way out of work and not spend $.90 on a Big Texas cinnamon roll. Usually this daily trip ends with me inhaling something that rhymes with knickers or flix. I consider this a little victory. Thank you.


english muffin top • February 15, 2007 at 5:34 am

I really LOVED the mental imagery of belly sliding down the dessert table, You’d be finding bits of cake in your bra for days after.

Reminds me of how it cracks me up when people do knee slides across the dancefloor at weddings in their new expensive trousers! Shame its not as socially acceptable eh? mmm cupcakes.


BrightAngel • February 15, 2007 at 9:43 am

Found you a couple of weeks ago, and have been reading your comments for inspiration to help me in Maintenance. I have been on your journey many times…(with a 271 high..I am 5’0″), and for the past 12 months have been successfully maintaining my ideal weight of between 115 and 105 lbs (which I have chosen as my maintenance weight range). You are a talented writer, with original imagery and I look forward to reading your upcoming book.


K • February 15, 2007 at 3:57 pm

Aha, you’re back ;)


Meredith Curry • February 15, 2007 at 8:41 pm

Girl, even when I was a size 8 I loved Lane Bryant. They got some cute accessories and socks in size 11. Good lord, a place I can buy socks in my size?!!

My sister wears a 22 and man they have cute trendy clothes that come in season faster than any other store. LOL!


Rah • February 16, 2007 at 4:09 pm

“Goth Hooker!!” I brayed in a loud voice and spewed coffee everywhere. I am a college professor and this kind of behavior is not, uhm, well it’s just not professorial. (Thankfully, the day you sampled the cat food my office door was closed.)You are one of the few writers who can make me laugh aloud!

Now that you’ve uncovered LB’s secret marketing strategy they’ll have to come up with something even more incongruous. My personal favorite plus size clothing was a line of jeans that (I swear) had a big old label on the butt pocket that said “Buffalo Junction.” :-)

Thanks for your ongoing inspiration.


Comments are now closed on all PastaQueen entries. The blog is an archive only so I don't have to deal with spammers. For fresh discussions please visit my new blog at JennetteFulda.com.

Man looking into telescope

Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JennetteFulda.com now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

Disclaimer: I am not responsible for keyboards ruined by coffee spit-takes or forehead wrinkles caused by deep thought.

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