Friday, July 19, 2013

Scarlett Who?

A year ago, I weighed 165 pounds and wore a size 16 Petite.  I was also 5'0, which I still am, and will remain until I start shrinking.  Today I weigh 133, and wear a size 10.  I lost a lot of the weight in the first few months, since January I've only lost around 5.  I'd still like to lose more weight, and doing it slowly is fine.

I have to say, I'm pretty proud of myself.  It wasn't easy to lose weight. I basically did it by using the LoseIt app to track all my calories, every day.  It made it possible for me to stay a few calories under goal during the week and have a big cheaty meal on the weekend without going over my weekly goal.  It made me realize how little food I actually need, compared to how much I was eating.  It helped me see the difference between eating until I'm not hungry instead of eating until I'm full.  I still eat potato chips and drink wine and have fried food every now and then, I just have to budget for it in my calorie total.

I apparently will never, ever be able to give up potato chips and wine.  

What a different experience shopping is now!  I used to shop only when I had to, and buy whatever didn't look too terrible.  The choices in a size 16 Petite are nearly non-existent, it's in that terrible gray area between Misses sizes and Women's sizes, and it's genuinely hard to find.  Now that I can wear a size 10 it has opened up a whole new world of options.

When I was in my late teens and 20's I wore a size 3 and shopped like it was my part-time job.  *sigh*

Now that it's kind of fun again, looking for sales and trying on different things to see what might be flattering, I've been going shopping more often.  Last weekend I was in the mall and I went past a Victoria's Secret store, which normally I just avert my eyes from in a spasm of self-hatred.  But this time I decided to go in.

Yuck, what happened to the Victoria's secret stores of the 80's, when they had romantic lacy naughty things like garter belts and teddies?  Are teddies even a thing anymore?  All I saw was neon-colored bras and panties and yoga pants and cosmetics.

But then I remembered the Frederick's of Hollywood store.  

I went in slightly uncomfortably, thinking maybe of getting a pretty lacy garter belt and some stockings.  I love old-fashioned, romantic lingerie.  I was immediately swooped upon by a sales girl (I say girl because I believe she was around 11) who smiled at me and used what was probably a lot of training to not only get me to feel comfortable but positively flattered.

"Instead of a garter belt," she said, "what about a corset with garters?  Oh, you would just love a corset," she assured me.

The other sales girl jumped in.  "You've never tried on one of our corsets?", she asked.  "You won't believe how good you look!"

I succumbed and followed her into the fitting room with a black corset, with garters on the bottom and laces on the back and a little row of ruffly lace across the top.  "You just call me when you have it on," the 11-year old said, "and I'll come and lace you up.  You'll love it!"

Okay.  I took off my Adam Ant concert t-shirt and my beige bra and pulled it on.  Hooking it up was pretty challenging, especially given that the hooks were up the side. The bottom ones kept coming undone when I worked on the higher ones. I finally twisted it around and pulled the row of hooks to the front, and managed, after a few minutes, to get them all fastened.

And then I stood there, looking at myself in the mirror, holding the corset against me, with the garters dangling down over my jeans.  What had she said?  Call her when I have it on?  How am I supposed to do that?  I peeked out the door, which was at the very back of the store, not separated at all.  I saw a crowd of people, including several guys, and I quickly retreated back into the dressing room.

Okay.  Surely she meant she would check back with me.  I looked at my watch, and waited.

Five minutes later it occurred to me that I could call her on my cell phone, but that seemed pretty weird.

Ten minutes later I realized the little dressing room had no AC vent, and I was starting to sweat a little.  All righty, that's enough, I thought, and unhooked the corset and put my bra and t-shirt back on.

"You know," I said as I went up to the counter, "I think I really do just want a garter belt."

"Oh no," she said, "I forgot about you!  We just got so busy," she explained, as she took someone's credit card to ring them up.

A woman standing in line saw me holding the corset.  "Oh!," she said to me.  "Did you try it on?  Didn't you just LOVE it?"

"Well, no," I said.  "I think I really just want a garter belt."

She started rooting through her giant purse.  "Oh," she said again, "you really have to try it on.  You would not believe what a difference it made in my life."  She stopped rooting and pulled her cell phone out of her purse.

I stood there, trying to listen politely.  What was she talking about?  And why was she talking to me?

"You know what I mean," she said.  "When you hit that certain age," she rolled her eyes, "everything just goes south, and then I gained weight, and my marriage suffered.  Seriously!  But the corset just pulled everything in and up and made everything look so good, I even took a picture!"

I laughed.

"No really," she said, tapping her phone.  "Here!"

And she held up her phone to me, and showed me a photo of herself -- neck to navel -- wearing the corset.  She did, I must say, have some spectacular cleavage.

"Oh my!"  I said.  "Oh, well, you do look… really good.  Really!  I mean, I see why you took a picture."

"You HAVE to try it on," she entreated me with all the passionate intensity of a Christian trying to save me from hell.

The 11-year old joined in.  "Go on, you really will like it," she smiled at me.

Well.  How could I say no, at this point?  The stranger had showed me her sexy camera photo.  I felt obligated.

"You just let me know when you're in it, and I'll come in and lace you up."

Uh uh.  I looked at the 11-year old.  "How about if you give me three minutes, and then you just come in, okay?"

So there I was back in the dressing room.  At least this time I knew to pull the hooks around to the front first.  I hooked, twisted, then waited.

The 11-year old showed up promptly, knocking on the door.  "Ready?"


She came in and started adjusting the laces up the back, and then yanked.  I actually staggered backwards a little.  "Wow," I laughed.  "I do feel a little like Scarlett O'Hara," I marveled, looking at the way it nipped in my waist.

"A lady said that to me yesterday, too!," the salesgirl said.  "Who is that, was she in the Avengers?"

I hesitated.  "Well, no.  She was in Gone With The Wind."

Our eyes met in the mirror, and I knew she had no idea what that was.  "Oh, right!" she faked. 

"Your pale skin looks so pretty with the black fabric.  Very sophisticated!"

I could just picture the binder of Frederick's of Hollywood Sensitivity Meets Flattery training materials.  "Thank you," I said. 

"There you go!"  She gave one last yank and tied off my laces.  She left me alone so I could admire myself.

Okay, I bought it.

This one, only in black.  And
I look exactly like this in it!

It really is awesome, even if Greg does have to help me get into it.