My Halloween Costume

November 1, 2011

As promised at the end of yesterday’s post, here’s my Halloween costume:

I’m Jared, the Subway guy!

I’m wearing jeans under those big pants, and my shirt pocket is filled with pens that have the Subway logo on the. That’s a real Subway sandwich in the bag that I’m carrying as a prop. Well, almost a sandwich. I wanted to carry what looked like a sandwich, but didn’t want to make a mess or have anything ooze out over the course of the evening, so I went into a Subway with the idea that I would have them wrap up a loaf of bread as if it was a sandwich.

When I went into the Subway earlier that day, before I was in costume, and asked about buying a loaf of bread, the guy behind the counter looked at me quizzically. Then he yelled into the back room to his manager, who yelled back that they didn’t sell the bread on its own. Something about violating store policy. I quickly came up with a Plan B, which was to buy a Veggie Delight sub with just tomatoes and cucumbers, and eat them in the car, and wrap up the remaining bread. The employee started on the sandwich when the manager emerged, and asked why I wanted just a loaf of bread. I quickly explained my costume and my weight loss, and she started laughing, and agreed to sell me the bread. For $3 (cough rip-off cough). But hey, I got what I wanted!

A couple more pictures from that night. Here I am with my friend Rochelle (Black Swan), who hosted the party at her house:

And here I am with my friends Heidi and Tom, who co-hosted. Heidi is Medusa (with a hand-made snake headdress), and Tom is a platypus, which was one of my favorite costumes of the evening (he’s also wearing swim fins, which you can’t see in this picture):

I had found the Subway merchandise website, and that’s where I bought the Subway-branded pens, and I also bought Subway temporary tattoos. I applied about 6 of them to my arms, and one to my face, which you can see in this admittedly artsy-fartsy photo:

The best part of the costume is that the big pants I’m wearing are actually mine! I’ve gotten rid of most of the clothes I wore at my heaviest, but I held on a few articles, and for this costume, those 3XL pants came in handy. A costume that’s also a “Before” and “Current” photo op?

Keep it up, David!


My Incredible Shrinking Clothes – Jeans Edition

September 7, 2011

I’ve covered lots of different types of clothing in the “My Incredible Shrinking Clothes” series on this blog, from my swimsuits to my dress shirts (all six prior editions are archived on the My Favorite Posts page), but today’s post is about one of the most popular types of clothing that can be found in nearly everyone’s closet…

…JEANS.

Usually, these posts include a photo of a piece of clothing that I wore at my heaviest, which I compare to clothing I can fit into now, but this post is a little different, because I don’t have any pairs of jeans from when I was at my heaviest.  It may be hard to believe, but for a span of close to a decade, I didn’t wear jeans at all.  I didn’t even own a pair.

At some point in college I stopped liking jeans.  As my waistline expanded, I found them less and less comfortable.  Meanwhile, the pants in my closet that I grew to favor most had one thing in common: elastic waistbands.

Oh, elastic waistband, how I loved you!  You made my life so easy.  I never had to pay attention to my actual pants size, because elastic waistband pants aren’t sold by the number, they’re sold in basic Small, Medium, Large, and Extra-Large sizes.  I was a 3XL.  Plus, elastic waistbands are forgiving after junk food binges – you never have to worry about not fitting into them the next day.

As my love and reliance on elastic grew, my love for denim shrunk, and by the time I moved out to California after college, there was none left in my closet.  I found jeans with elastic waistbands at the big & tall store, but they were so goofy, unflattering, and ugly that I couldn’t bear the thought of wearing them.  So I went jeans-free.

By June 2010, I had lost around 80 pounds, and the thought started percolating in my brain that maybe it was time to buy my first pair of jeans in a looooong time.  Despite my 80-pound loss, I was still too big to shop at major retailers, so I went to the big & tall store and started trying jeans on.  I found a pair that fit that were 46″ around the waist.  A few months later, I was able to buy 44s.  A few months after that, I bought my first pair of 42s, and the bigger sizes ended up in the donation bin at Goodwill.  And so on.

Lately I’ve been noticing that my current jeans are a little looser, and then all my friends on the kayaking trip I went on last month came to the consensus that my jeans were just too big.  That’s when I started trying on jeans, and realizing that I was fitting into jeans that were one size smaller.  That’s an amazing feeling, by the way.  Even though smaller jeans were fitting, I wasn’t finding any that were quite right for me:  the cut wasn’t flattering, I wasn’t nuts about the finish or color, there was some other detail or stitching that bothered me.

The other day I went shopping with my mom, and I finally ended up coming home with a new pair of jeans.  It’s my first new pair in about 6 months, and yep, they’re a new smaller size.

Ladies and Gentlemen, take a look at my SIZE 36″ JEANS!

They’re Levi’s 514 jeans, waist 36″; length 32″.  514 jeans are called Slim Straight, which means the jeans are slim cut through the butt and thigh, but have a straight leg.  They’re comfortable, and even though you can’t see it in the picture, they make my ass look good!

While fitting into 36″ jeans is certainly a notable milestone by itself, there’s a greater milestone that I must mention.  Even though I wore elastic pants almost exclusively before I started losing weight, I went to a wedding two summers ago that required the purchase of a new suit.  The suit pants that I bought were size 56″ waist.  That’s right, folks…

…I’ve lost TWENTY INCHES around my waist!

Keep it up, David!


My Incredible Shrinking Clothes – T-Shirt Edition UPDATE

July 7, 2011

I watched a rerun of “The Golden Girls” yesterday while putting off going to the gym (I eventually went, so don’t you fret), and I’d like to take a little inspiration from Sophia and start this blog the way she would start her stories:

Picture it: September, 2010, Los Angeles.  A young man has lost 136 pounds in about 8 months, and notices that he has to rapidly replace his wardrobe, as he is getting way too small for the clothes he used to wear.  He sets aside a few token pieces of clothes that he used to wear at his heaviest, and donates tons of clothes – they literally fill up his trunk and the entire backseat of his car – to Goodwill.  Then, he creates a visual comparison by lining up a few of his t-shirts.  On September 25, 2010, just twelve days after starting his blog, this young man posted this photo:

The blue shirt on the bottom is size 3XLT.

The gray shirt in the middle is size 2XLT.

The orange shirt on top is size XL, and what the young man was wearing in September.

Now, 9 months later and 30 additional pounds lighter, that young man has an exciting Shrinking Clothes Update!

Okay – I’m tired of talking in the third person.  Obviously, the young man is me, and, yes, I’m referring to myself as ‘young’ even though I’m in my early thirties!

About two weeks ago, I wanted to buy a couple new shirts to exercise in.  I went to a store and tried a few on, but didn’t find anything that I loved, or that fit wonderfully, so I left empty-handed.  A few days later I went into a different store, and tried a few more shirts on, and, again – no luck.  Nothing seemed to be fitting.

Then, right there in the dressing room, I had an idea.  I had been grabbing XL-sized shirts to try on… could it be I was ready to fit into a size Large?  Only one way to find out!

About 6 minutes later, I was walking back to my car, with my new purchase in hand.  It’s a size Large, and I’ve already worn it, and love it.  Wanna see it compared to my old shirts?  Here it is:

The blue shirt on the bottom is size 3XLT.  (Yep, I still have it, tucked in the back of my closet – I saved it precisely for moments like this).

The orange shirt in the middle is size XL.  (The 2XLT gray shirt in the previous photo has moved on to a new life courtesy of Goodwill)

The red shirt on top is a size L.  A size L!  I lined up the bottom right corner of all three so you can see exactly how much my clothes have shrunk.

I love my red shirt.  I love it so much I bought it in two other colors.  You’ve already seen one of the other colors – I’m wearing it in the photo at the end of this post.

And you like this Incredible Shrinking Clothes post, you should check out my other ones, too!  You can easily find them by clicking on “My Favorite Posts” at the top of the page, and scrolling just a bit.

I’ve had clothes shrink before – thanks to the dryer.  But knowing that nowadays it’s me, and not the clothes that are shrinking… well, it makes me want to scream like Kermit!

Keep it up, David!


My Incredible Shrinking Clothes – Swimsuit Edition

November 22, 2010

I bought a swimsuit yesterday.  I haven’t bought a swimsuit since early 2008, before going on a family vacation to Key West.  I still have that swimsuit, so the first thing I did when I got home was take a photo to compare my new swimsuit to my old one.

This isn’t the first time I’ve photographed my Incredible Shrinking Clothes – check out the inaugural edition here and the workout pants edition here.

But before you go clicking on those links – check out my Incredible Shrinking Swimsuit!

I lined up the seam along the right side of the photo (left side of the swimsuits) to create the optimal comparison.   The purply-grey pair with the red side panels is a size 3XL.  I never liked the color – it’s hideous and unflattering – but I didn’t have many options at the big & tall store when I bought them.  I wore them almost daily to the pool during that week in Key West, and actually, now that I think about it, that may be the last time I’ve worn a swimsuit.  Almost three years ago.

When I was growing up, if I had been told that there would be a period in my life where I would go three years without wearing a swimsuit, I would never have believed it.  I practically grew up in water.  The house I grew up in had a pool, and I have memories of being in it before I knew how to swim.  I actually learned to swim as a toddler at the YMCA, and I have memories of that, too.  And then there were the 10 years of being on competitive swim teams, and 2 years of water polo – all told, I spent thousands of hours in the water by the time I graduated high school.

I bought the new swimsuit (the black one, which is a size XL) because later today I’m headed to Colorado to spend Thanksgiving week at my sister’s house, and she and her hubby take their kids to the local pool every Friday night, and I’m excited to go with them.  I was in Colorado last year for Thanksgiving too, and opted not to go to the pool, because I didn’t want to wear my swimsuit (although that wasn’t reason I told my family at the time).  If, a year ago, I had been told that in 1 year I would be excited to go to the pool, I would never have believed it.

Just because I was curious, I scoured the photos I have from that Key West trip to see if there was one of me in my old swimsuit.  There’s not, which doesn’t surprise me – I wouldn’t have allowed anyone to take a photo of me shirtless – but I saw other photos and decided to end this post with a ‘Before’ and ‘Current’ photo comparision.

Me in Key West (I was in a head-shaving phase):

Me now (another photo from a recent visit to see my friend Judie, who has llamas):

Keep it up, David!


My Incredible Shrinking Clothes – Workout Pants Edition

October 25, 2010

A month ago today I posted a really great photo that shows the difference in size between the t-shirts I was wearing when I was 402 pounds, and the t-shirts I can wear now (click here to see the photo).  The other day, while doing laundry, I decided to stage another photo, illustrating the difference in the pants I wear when I go to the gym.  Take a look at my incredible shrinking clothes!

I lined up the seam on the right side on all three pairs of pants, so you can fully appreciate the shrinkage.  The black pair on the bottom is size 3xl.  I used to love these pants – I would buy them from a big and tall catalog in 3 colors, all at the same time.  The blue pair in the middle is size 2xl.  I bought these at Casual Male XL (a national big and tall chain) in May or so.  I think they might have been one of the first items of clothing that I bought that were a size smaller, and I was annoyed because Casual Male only stocked sweat pants that were banded at the bottoms of the legs, which I hated, so I bought these, took them home, whipped out the scissors, and cut the elastic bands off so the pant legs hung straight.  The grey pants on top are size XL, and I bought on sale for $8.99 at either Sears or Kohl’s a few months ago.  They were maybe even a little small on me when I bought them – the pockets puckered out a little bit – but now, they fit perfectly, and are really comfortable.

What surprises me most about this picture isn’t that there’s a huge difference in the waistbands of these pants, it’s the huge difference in the legs.  Took a look at the legs on the right side of the photo (which would be the left legs of the pants) – the seam along the sides are lined up, and the black pant leg looks to be slightly over 50% wider than the grey pant leg – crazy!

I plan on staging at least a few more photos like this… In my non-drawstring pants, I’ve down about 16″ or 17″ so far, so that will be a fun photo to see!

Keep It Up, David!


My Incredible Shrinking Clothes

September 25, 2010

I’ve noticed twice, in the past day, that I put on clothes that were too big for me.  Not a shocker, since I’ve lost 136 pounds…  but what’s pleasantly surprising is that these aren’t my fat clothes, from when I was my heaviest – they’re the first round of skinny clothes that I started buying in June.

To satiate my naturally curious nature, and to provide a lovely visual aid for the blog, I arranged a photo op.  Here are three of my t-shirts.  I lined the bottom right corner of all three.

The blue one is from when I was at my heaviest.  It’s size 3XLT (the T is for ‘Tall’).  The gray one in the middle is one I bought in June.  It’s size 2XLT.   The orange one on top was purchased for me (thank you, Mom) on Labor Day weekend.  It is size XL.

Despite what’s implied by the photo, I’m not actually getting shorter.  What I’ve learned is that I don’t necessarily need to buy ‘tall’ clothes anymore.   The tall came in handy when I was fatter, because the extra length provided extra material to cover my belly – and I wouldn’t be caught dead (then or now) in a midriff-bearing shirt.  I think I may still continue to be comfortable in some ‘tall’ clothes, but it will depend on brand and cut.

One more final quick note:  That blue t-shirt is one of maybe 6 or 8 garments that I held on to from when I was my heaviest.  The rest went to Goodwill in mid-August.  I took a picture of everything I gave away before loading up my trunk – it was about 75% of my total wardrobe at the time!

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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