My Incredible Shrinking Clothes – Jacket Edition

January 26, 2011

It’s been a while since I’ve done an Incredible Shrinking Clothes post (see the most recent one here, or go to My Favorite Posts to see all of them), but I have a good one for today.  I decided that I needed to clean out my closet and dressers again.  I have a lot of clothes that I’m no longer wearing because they’re too big, and I want them out and gone from my house to make room for new clothes.

While going through the closet, I pulled out an old winter jacket that I used to wear at my heaviest.  I didn’t wear it often – I don’t think ever in Los Angeles – but since I’ve gone to Michigan every Christmas, and I’ve spent many New Years in Chicago, it’s come in handy then.  It’s a size 4XL (!) and it was part of – get ready for this – George Foreman’s clothing line at Casual Male XL.  Yep, he doesn’t just hawk countertop grills, he also has a clothing line for big and tall men.  Well, he used to, at least, I don’t know if he still has the line or not.

Anyway – I tried on the jacket one more time before tossing it into the “donate” pile:

Wow.  That’s a big jacket.

A few weeks ago, I got a new jacket, as a Christmas present from my parents.  It wasn’t a surprise – I helped pick it out with my mom and sister, but I love it and wear it all the time.  Ladies and Gentlemen, check out my new jacket:

It’s not real leather, which I didn’t realize until we got home from the mall, as it feels and even smells like leather, and you bargain-hunters will be happy to hear that, all told, it was 70% off.  Score!  Oh, and I nearly forgot – the size is XL.

Keep it up, David!


Day After Christmas

December 26, 2010

It’s been 5 days since I’ve last blogged… my apologies to anyone that stopped by hoping for something new!  It’s been a fantastic 5 days – lots of family and lots of fun, and Christmas as well!

I haven’t worked out this week as much as I would have liked.  I decided to make the 22nd a rest day, because my shoulder was acting up.  I have recurring pain in my shoulder – little flare-ups about once a month that stem from a rotator cuff tear earlier this year.  When I first started experiencing the flare-ups, I mistakenly thought I could push through the pain and work out like any other day, but nope, I can’t.  It only makes it worse.  On the 22nd, the pain was tolerable, and I knew I had to rest it instead of worsening it.

On the 23rd, I just didn’t make it to the gym.  My brother was in town, and we were sharing a car, and it just didn’t happen.  On the 24th, my shoulder was feeling great, and my sister came along with me to the gym, and together, we did 45 minutes on the crossramp elliptical and then some sit-ups.  I didn’t exercise on Christmas day – the gym was closed, and plus, it was a busy, family-filled day.   Earlier today my sister and I went back to the gym, and I did a more varied workout:  I ran a mile on the track to warm up, then did 23 minutes on the crossramp, followed by 35 minutes on the bike.

My eating during the week has been pretty good, with the exception of Christmas day.  The other days, I was mindful of proportions, and while I indulged in seasonal treats, I didn’t go overboard.  On Christmas day, I was grazing and munching all day long, and on lots of stuff I normally wouldn’t eat (or, at least, wouldn’t eat nearly as much of):  Cookies.  Nuts.  Fudge.  Baklava.  I got back on the wagon today.

I haven’t done a weigh-in since the 19th (1 week ago).  I know I’m up a couple pounds, and I’m okay with that – I just don’t need to know the specifics.  Tomorrow I’m off to Mexico – My sister’s birthday is in a couple days, and she planned a birthday trip for family and friends.  So I’m gonna wait until I get back to LA after the new year before I weigh myself again.  My goal is to stay even.  Oh – and I may or may not blog from Mexico… we shall see!

Now on to a few photos.   My sister brought to Michigan a shirt I had accidentally left at her place in Chicago the last time I visited her there, over the summer.  It’s a 4XL – the size I was wearing at my heaviest (and was still wearing when I visited her, as I had yet to do much shopping for smaller clothes, despite having lost around 85 pounds at that point).  It’s heading straight to Goodwill, but I thought I’d take a photo wearing it before sending it off:

Very tent-like – I love that!  I’m wearing XL shirts now, and earlier this month even bought a size Large hoodie!

I was given a new (and badly needed) wallet as a Christmas present, and tonight, I transferred everything from the old wallet into the new one:

I was able to toss a bunch of stuff during that process.  Most of it was old receipts and notes to myself, but there were also 2 things of note that I no longer need:

On the right is my Casual Male XL Rewards card.  Basically, I got a $15 gift certificate for every $200 or $300 I spent in the store (I forget which it is).   For the past 5 or 6 years, I was getting an average of 2 of those certificates a year.  But no more.  I no longer have to shop at a big and tall store, so my rewards card has a new home: in the trash can.  You can read about my final visit to Casual Male XL here – it’s one of my favorite blog posts!

On the top is my card for the local Bally Total Fitness gym that I joined when I arrived in Michigan on the 9th.  it was a great decision to join that gym – I went to it 13 times in 17 days, and since I only paid $20 for it, it divides out to only $1.54 a visit!  Those visits include taking 2 different classes (Step and Powerflex) and doing 6 swimming workouts, during which I swam a combined total of 12,250 yards.  That’s 490 total lengths of the pool, and 6.96 miles!

Keep it up, David!


An Open Letter to Casual Male XL

September 20, 2010

Dear Casual Male XL,

I wanted to take a minute to let you know that you’ve lost a customer, for good.  You’re my favorite big & tall retailer, and I’ve been a loyal shopper for nearly a decade.  You’ve sold me clothes when I was a 2XLT, then a 3XLT, and you’ve even sold me a few items sized 4XL.  But not any more.   Now that I’m 134 pounds lighter, I’m buying clothes sized XL, and, as you’re aware, I can buy those pretty much anywhere.

Today I visited your Glendale, CA location for the last time:

As I blogged about last week, the reason for coming was to use the $15 coupon that I earned through your Rewards program.  I intended to buy 2 black pairs of boxer briefs, size XL, but, alas, this location didn’t have any in stock, although your associate there, Dana, was very sweet and even looked in the back for me.  I took your lack of inventory as a sign that this was how it’s supposed to be.   As for the coupon, I used it on socks instead.

I’ve probably spent thousands of dollars at your store over the years, and am quite familiar with your brands and product lines.  As I looked around at your wares today, I realized that I wanted to thank you for a number of things:

Thank you for consistently selling clothes that I felt comfortable in, and always carrying my size.

Thank you for selling fashionable clothes, so I could find things to wear that were flattering and not outrageously off-trend.

Thank you for selling “waist-relaxer” pants that have hidden side elastic panels, giving the waist a few extra inches, allowing me to buy pants in my size, but knowing that they’d stretch a little as I gained weight.

Thank you for hiring employees that never looked me up and down when I walked in, realized I’d never fit in the merchandise there, and ask who it was I was shopping for (yes, that’s actually happened to me).

Thank you for making my shopping experiences a little less painful and frustrating.

You’ve been good to me, Casual Male, and I appreciate it.  But it’s time to move on.

There you are, in my mirror, as I left your store for the last time – and I’m NOT looking back.

Keep it up, David.


What Do I Do With This?

September 17, 2010

Got this in the mail today:It’s a rewards certificate from Casual Male XL, a big and tall shop that I have frequented used to frequent for years.  When I was at my heaviest, and for years and years before that, Casual Male was one of about 3 stores I could go to and be assured they would have things in my size, so I did a lot of shopping there (I also did a lot of catalog shopping too).  I’ve been a member of their Rewards program for years as well, and this $15 coupon was sent because I had spent $300 dollars there in recent months.  I shopped there enough to get one of these a couple times a year for the past 3 or 4 years.

Here’s the good news:  I don’t need to shop there anymore!  I’m elated to share that for the first time since, I don’t know, college, I’m small enough to start going to pretty much most retailers (some may not have many options for me, but still!).  The last time I was at Casual Male, a few months ago, buying a belt (apparently spending enough to cross the line to send me a Rewards coupon), I had the thought while I was leaving that this could very well be the last time I step into this store.

But now I have $15 free dollars there, and I don’t pass up free money.  But what do I buy?  Do they carry T-shirts small enough for me now?  Come to think of it, I am ready to size down my underwear… so maybe I’ll just buy some boxer briefs.  I have to admit – it’s a dilemma I don’t mind being in AT ALL.

Keep it up, David!


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