Saturday, April 24, 2010

20 Pounds Down: A "Fashion" Update

I have finally lost more than 20 pounds (by like, 2 pounds, whatever) and for who-knows-why, these last couple of pounds have made all the difference. Suddenly -- and I do mean suddenly -- it feels and looks like my body's caught up with my weight.

My clothes are starting to not fit.

And if you were all like, "Oh my God, I can't WAIT to read all about Kristy's wardrobe" well then let me tell you: you are you in for a real treat.

Kidding aside, this is the reason we diet, right? The reason we lose weight? I mean, yes, we do this to be healthier and more active and all those fantastic additional benefits, but please: I want to look different. I want to look thinner and I want to be able to wear clothes I actually like.

How I look and what I wear is really where the weight loss rubber meets the road. You know?

Oh, I know you do.

Today, I took a step forward. (Pictures below.)

* * * * * * * * * * *

Win #1: The bagginess of my standard outfits is becoming noticeable. My tailored button-down shirt, for example, isn't tailored anymore.

Win #2: There's also (almost) nothing in my closet right now that I can't fit into. Because, of course. As so many women do, I've held on to pants and shirts from a few years ago in the knowledge that I would someday reclaim them.  I can't even classify them as my "skinny clothes" -- they are simply things that should have been too big for me years ago, and then somehow got even smaller. SIGH.

So the good news is that all my closet-pants all fit again. The bad news is that pants from five and six years ago are no longer what one would consider "fashion forward." At best they are "fashion sideways" and mostly they are "fashion dusty." So I am donating them. But that's not the point.

The point is, they fit. And I fit into the pants my sister got me for Christmas, that came in the size I believed I was -- but most assuredly was not.

I also fit into the aspirational (assperational!) jeans I bought in February, after I'd lost that first five pounds pre-Medifast.  Sure, fine, I can only sort of sit in them, what with the ridiculous muffin-top they create, but my rule is this: If you can button and zip up the jeans without having to lie down on the bed, they fit.

[Are you so fascinated with the report on my pants? I hope so, because here comes the shirt update! Ready?]

Shirts are the same way.


I love that all my old shirts are starting to get longer (a sure sign that my boobs are shrinking, too!). Uh, unlike my pants, however, I still have FOUR shirts in my closet I cannot wear yet. Two are shirts I have never been able to wear, in fact.

  • Shirt A: Cute t-shirt purchased at the Stanford gift shop, the first time that Ish and I visited his alma mater. We hadn't been dating very long, and we had some very interesting conversations about my weight then. I explained to him that I had no intention of staying the weight I was -- not that it mattered.  Perhaps as proof (perhaps just to myself) I bought a too-small t-shirt secure in the knowledge that I'd be able to wear it eventually. I did not think that "eventually" would be five years later, but la la la.
  • Shirt B: In a shockingly similar scenario, I bought a cute t-shirt in Las Vegas, when I was there with El_Gallo on our cross-country drive (when I moved from the East Coast to San Francisco). Almost nine years ago. BUT WHO'S COUNTING. We also hadn't been dating long, and because I was in my post-separation, pre-divorce days, I'd lost a good hunk of weight. And for some reason, I thought I would continue to lose weight, and that eventually I'd fit into that ridiculous shirt. (It is truly ridiculous, like something the Jersey Shore girls might consider wearing.)  I am still holding out hope.
  • Shirt C: This is a simple black t-shirt that I bought when I was losing weight in college. I thought it was exceptionally flattering, and practically cried in the dressing room when I fit into it. When, years later, I no longer DID fit into it, I couldn't part with it.
  • Shirt D: From the same time period, this shirt was one of my college boyfriend's. It was his high school wrestling t-shirt that he loaned me and that, for a gray t-shirt, looks hot on me. At least, it did. And I loved it, and him, and that time in my life. (Even though we parted emotionally and now he refuses to friend me on Facebook, rightfully so.) I am convinced it will once again look hot on me, even though wearing it will be inappropriate for about a million reasons. 

Win #3: This is the one I can't believe. I have had two pairs of knee-high boots in my closet for years that I bought, new, thinking they would fit my "wide calves" which I REFUSE to believe are SO WIDE that I need a special size, but okay. So then I conceded and bought "wide calf" boots and THEY DIDN'T FIT. And I was so mad and sad that I just kept them and let them sit.

A couple days ago, I decided to try them on. I couldn't imagine that losing 20 pounds (when my goal is to lose 80 and really I should be losing 100) would make any difference in my CALVES, but who knows how the body works.

And so they fit. Which is utterly bizarre, but hey -- I'll take it.

* * * * * * * * * * *
But here's the big deal. I went shopping today.

I did not have to buy the biggest size of everything at Old Navy.

Even better, though, was that I did go to a plus-sized store (Torrid), but was actually able to buy some things in their size 0.  Which means that soon -- SOON, hopefully this summer -- I should be able to leave plus-sized shopping behind. FOR GOOD.

Among other things, I picked up this tank top:

Which I will pair with this shrug, because I do not let my upper arms out in public:

I also got a silvery satin shrug that pairs surprisingly nicely with a simple white tank. Perfect for my version of going out, which always means looking for ways to fancify jeans. 

Because I still can't buy fancy shoes -- I still weigh too much and am too top-heavy to buy heels that don't make my knees ache, sadly but truly -- I buy jewelry instead. I got a pair of big dangly silver earrings. 

Last but not least, I bit the bullet and bought a stretchy black belt. For to pair with long shirts and...leggings? I still can't find skinny jeans that fit, so it'll have to be either leggings or regular jeans. 

Sort of like this: 
What is beneath the shirt? Are those leggings? Jeans?

Except none of my shirts are in this dreary blue color. 

So you know what? Boring as I'm sure this entry has been, I have never ever ever ever written so much about clothes I own in my entire life. It must mean I'm excited. 

Imagine the detail you'll get when I actually fit into one of the t-shirts! START HOLDING YOUR BREATH!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Promtacular! Update

Just wanted to let you know that Promtacular! has been cleaned, following the hack-attack of two weeks ago.

I understand that some of you still get warnings when you visit. If this is happening, it's for one of a few reasons, sadly:

  • If you've visited the site before, please make sure your cache and cookies have been deleted; this works for most people
  • In some cases, you may have gotten a virus/malware from Promtacular! OR from other sites that experienced this attack recently (like Awkward Family Photos). It didn't necessarily come from my site -- but it will be "activated" by visiting my site. Thus...
  • PLEASE be sure you have run your virus software (specifically stuff that looks for malware) and be sure to get rid of anything bad. A friend of mine writes:
    Try using Malwarebytes - it's free:
    and if you're running Windows, look for 
    C:\Documents and Settings\[username]\Application Data\Sun\Java\Deployment\cache\6.0\53\
    and delete anything after deployment\cache

I have been assured by Network Solutions, Google, WordPress and two of my friends who actually went through all of my files that there is no malware on the site...but whatever WAS there was a huge pain in the ass.

All that said, I've got a great weekend special for Promtacular! on its way!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

"Advertising On Facebook Doesn't Work"

I thought about maybe running an ad on Facebook for Promtacular!

I did some research and decided that it's a little early to go that route, especially since so many sources I read suggested that advertising on Facebook doesn't really work.

And then I couldn't help but notice the ads that DID come up while I was bouncing around doing regular Facebook-y things.


I may not be a professional copywriter, but I'm pretty sure that the phrase IF YOU DIED TODAY is not considered "good" marketing.  Not even for a funeral home. 

But in case you weren't horrified by the copy, they go and add an image of a devastated child. 

Message: You're going to die and your child will be left with nothing unless you click here.

Call me old-fashioned, but I prefer website advertising that doesn't put a price on my own mortality. Especially while I'm happily planting cartoon strawberries.

(I also think there's a subliminal message in this imagery. Namely: You need life insurance because when you die, which could be any second now, your child will need that money to outfit his GIANT feet in special-sized shoes.)

Here's another fantastic ad.

Oooh! Me! I Want to Become a...Police!

No, wait. No. On second thought, I Want to Become a SWAT! Yes! That's it!

Oh, hmmm. This is hard. Instead, maybe I should become a Manager! I want to manage! Things! People! I don't care! Manage! I can Manage!

To be honest, I don't know what site this ad leads you to, but I can't imagine one singular place on the face of the earth that can train you to be "a" SWAT, and a MBA, and a Police. Amazing!

Also, I love that "Bounty Hunter" comes right after "Child Caretaker."

If this is a school, it's got to be one helluva place. With um, lots of guns and shouting and helmets, plus with kids crying and obstacle courses and also paperwork and spreadsheets. Try not to confuse the Child Caretakers with the SWATs.

I love that to make their point even more "colorful," they use little illustrated icons. Like, you can tell that becoming "a MBA" is important because the illustrated non-face-having person next to the file folder is wearing black. 

Lastly, I show you this, albeit reluctantly:


This woman IS THE SCARIEST WOMAN EVER ILLUSTRATED. Forget clowns. Clowns used to be scary. Now I wish sweet Bozo was the only nightmare fodder in my life.

Instead, the new millennium has ushered in entry-level artists making minimum wage creating ads for Facebook and they are sick, sick people. I'll take a demonic clown over this nightmare any day.

Seriously, come on. WHY do her eyes have no pigment? Why is her smile too large for her face? Why do her lips look like they're bleeding into her skin? 


You tell me Facebook ads don't work? 

I believe it.

If you happen to catch a worse (or equally bad) online ad, please send it to me...or at least tell me about it. I'd love to collect them.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Oh, And Also, What Is THIS Bullshit?

For serious. I am going to write a mothereffing book called "Shit Nobody Told Me About Getting Pregnant."

You know I'm punchy when I'm using bad words all up in the header.

Also, that book title is Trademarked by me.

ALSO ALSO, probably if it ever did become a book I would have to spell "Shit" as "Sh*t." Because I am a lady.

I wanted to share something with you.

I spared you the whining I did when Eve turned five months old and *poof*, just like that, half of the hair on my head decided to start falling off.  (Well, let's be clear: I spared YOU. I did not spare Twitter.)  It was weird and freaky and I clogged the shower drain a few times.

It was convenient whenever I got lost, though, because I could just follow the trail of my hair clumps like breadcrumbs.

(Sorry, that was a gross thing to say. Funny though, right?)

Of course, I looked up why this was happening to me -- just to ensure it was normal and I didn't have some weird scalp disease -- but I don't know why I even bothered because the reason is the same reason all the bizarre shit happens to you when you're pregnant. HORMONES.  You can blame every weird, inexplicable, nonsensical, seems-like-it-might-be-a-lethal-disease thing that happens to you during AND (it turns out) AFTER pregnancy on "changing hormones."

Here is a sample chapter of my book.
Chapter Three

Right now you might be asking, Why is this happening to me?

The answer is, Because you, pregnant = your hormones at a rave.

There. Chapter Three is done.

No, but here is my issue.

After half my hair fell out, it started growing back. In hilarious sections, in every which way, RIGHT ALONG MY FACE.  I am not kidding. I have curlicue WINGS growing horizontally out of my head just above both ears. PLUS I have devil horns growing vertically above both my eyes.

Oh, the sexy.

I honestly can't tell you how awesome I look when I wear a ponytail.  BUT I CAN DRAW IT.

Here is my cute chubby face.

Please note that I have absolutely no idea what color my hair is. Blond? Brown? Red?

This is what I look like when I have my hair in a ponytail and am not sprouting hormone hair.

Hormone hair! This is what is happening on my head right now.

I mean, I still have my other hair, but I needed to highlight the "special" parts and didn't know how to draw both at the same time.

So yeah. In case you were wondering, my Sh*t book will be illustrated.

A Blargh Kind Of Day

I tend to like to write about fun things on Fridays, but this morning I just feel defeated.

I'm fine, things are fine.  I'm just having a rough couple days.

For one thing, was hacked this week.  And you know what? It's taking a toll on me.  Maybe this will sound stupid, but I feel violated. Someone did something mean to me and it hurt my feelings. I built something and someone's ruining it.  I know it's not personal.  I know it has absolutely nothing at all to do with me.  It's just something that happened.  But it still feels icky.

I also feel helpless. I don't understand the technical aspect of the site or Wordpress well enough to take care of business myself.  I've had to rely on friends and associates to help me figure out how to resolve the issue. And my friends and associates have been more than generous with their efforts...but the site is still hacked and unreachable and no one knows why.

It's stuck. I'm stuck. I honestly don't know what more to do.

Then there's the not-so-small issue of my weight loss.

On any given day, it is easy to look at this from a glass-half-full perspective or a glass-half-empty perspective.  Mostly I'm optimistic and happy and pleased to be moving forward and am coming from a glass-half-full place.

Today, not so much.

Ugh. It's just sloooooow.  Even though my weight-loss has been fast by normal standards (~4 lbs a week), it still seems slow. It seems slow for how disciplined I've been. It seems slow compared to some of the other folks also on Medifast whose weight seems to be falling off them. It seems slow because I'm pretty much at the 20 lb mark and...

I've said it before but I'll say it again because it keeps surprising me: 20 pounds should be SO MUCH MORE THAN THIS.

Nothing -- absolutely nothing, including pregnancy -- has made me more acutely aware of how much I actually weigh than losing weight.

Of COURSE I know it's better to be doing it than to not be doing it. Of COURSE I know that my progress is nothing to sneeze at and if I just stick with it, I'll eventually see the changes I want to see. I know that every little bit counts.

But some days it's hard to stay motivated when I'm looking at my real goal and it is so far away.

Also, sometimes I just have to face reality.

Yes, COMPARATIVELY I look and feel a lot better than I did a couple months ago. I do! And mostly that's what I focus on. Yay!

But it is, in the end, all relative. That's the problem. (Stupid reality!) Because OBJECTIVELY I am not thin, or in good shape. I do not fit into "normal" (non-plus) sized clothing.

I have made great strides on the one hand. On the other hand, I that hilarious, techno sad trombone bump, bah-bumpa bum buuum music still plays every time I get on the Wii Fit, just before The Scale shouts, "That's OBESE!" and inflates my Mii character so that she's plump and can't fit into normal-sized Wii clothes, either.

Talk about humiliation.

I guess what I'm saying, yet again, is that it's great that I'm fitting into smaller sizes, but some days it's hard to ignore that those smaller sizes aren't actually small. They aren't even in the small hemisphere.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


It was time for this fun subject to rear its head again, wasn't it?

A new study was just released, so reporters decided to find the most FLAGRANTLY MISLEADING CONCLUSIONS to draw from it possible, so as to make the report newsworthy.

Here's CNN's report: "Study: Lack of breastfeeding costs lives, billions of dollars"

Do you know what the report actually showed? It showed that almost 1000 babies die prematurely every year in the US from preventable diseases, and that breastfeeding has been shown to decrease the risk of these diseases.  (BY HOW MUCH, the report on CNN does not say.)

The babies who die prematurely cost billions of dollars.

So, the theory goes, if these 975 babies had been breastfed for the first few months of their lives, they MIGHT not have gotten sick and MIGHT not have died and then MIGHT not have cost so much money.

But of course, that's not an interesting finding. So you make it interesting by flipping stuff around and quoting out of context and making this about SCARING the bejeezus out of already terrified new mothers.

Let me restate my position on this.

I think that this country is totally and completely screwed up when it comes to the notion of pregnancy and birth and breastfeeding AND EVEN (to some extent) child-rearing, not to mention sexuality. All this kid-related stuff is vital to our perpetuation as a species -- you know, kind of basic -- and yet it's all treated as silly, fluffy, too personal, gross, weird, bleh.

And we all know: Excessive cleavage on display is perfectly awesome, but god forbid you try to use boobs for the purpose of nourishing your baby in public. Scandalous!

Blogging about raising kids is fluff, but writing a review about how fast you can play games on the iPad is Serious Business.

Where was I?

Oh, right.

This country is LOUSY at supporting new moms in general, and moms who want to breastfeed? Forget it. Our companies don't support us, our insurance companies don't support us, and our friends/neighbors/family members who gawk at the very thought of seeing a baby on our boobs don't really support us.

Let's fight that fight. Let's change that.

Oh, but you know what?  Let's not fight that fight while ALSO screaming at moms who formula feed. Just, please stop doing it.  You're obfuscating the point and polarizing the issue. It should NOT be about who's doing it wrong or who's doing it better.

The real fight is in finding ways to better support moms, period.

I humbly request that you to read my first rant on this issue, called OH MY GOD WITH THE BREASTFEEDING.  I think it's maybe one of my most measured rants ever.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Easters Remembered

We always had fun on Easter mornings in my house growing up, but our Grand Easter Tradition basically ended there. We weren't religious and so Easter basically meant waking up and looking for our Easter baskets and then spending the rest of the day high on sugar. In the late afternoon, we'd go to my grandparents' house in Darien, where the grown-ups would talk (boring!) and watch the end of golf tournaments (boring!) and then TALK about the golf tournaments (SO BORING!) and maybe play a couple games of the Jeopardy! board game until it was time (8 p.m.) for a formal sit-down dinner with dim lighting and a Tiffany centerpiece and roasted lamb with mint jelly and wine I wasn't allowed to drink.

When we got a little older, the most fun part about Easter was dyeing eggs, which became a giant production involving friends and family and anyone who wanted to stop by and help. We'd end up with 80 bazillion eggs and never knew what to do with them, until one year my dad decided he'd HIDE them for us to find Easter Morning. I now understand this was mostly a ploy to keep the kids occupied while mom and dad slept in, but it was a win-win proposition. We had a fantastic time looking for eggs because it turns out that my father was REALLY good at hiding them.

Of course, 80 bazillion eggs is a lot to keep track of, and there was never a year where we found ALL of them. Inevitably we'd find an egg months later tucked into a bookshelf or stuck in a decorative vase. They never seemed to smell bad, but then, we'd take GREAT care not to break them before getting them outside into the trash bins.

Two Easters in Connecticut stand out in my memory, for totally different reasons and neither of them are compelling stories, but I will paint you their respective pictures because this is my blog and I don't have much else to do today since I'm still on Medifast and can't use a religious holiday I don't really celebrate as en excuse to eat chocolate or drink wine.

Spring, 1994

I spent my first semester of college (1993) at The University of Delaware. It was a miserable experience except for being part of an all-female a cappella group called The D-Sharps. (Yes, for real.) Anyway, once I returned home for winter break I decided not to return for spring semester, but! The D-Sharps had planned a trip to New Orleans for spring break, and I saw no reason I couldn't go with them.  So I did.

The trip was really amazing in lots of ways, mostly because I had (until that point) led a fairly sheltered life. Nothing like spending a week in a New Orleans youth hostel with 12 other college girls to open your eyes omg.

I have no idea how it was planned, since these were the days before the internet travel sites, but somehow we got super cheap airfare by agreeing to be flown "indirectly." I am in no way exaggerating when I tell you we stopped THREE times BEFORE getting to NOLA. We went from BWI to CHICAGO to I don't remember, but I think it was North Carolina and then somewhere in Florida before getting to Louisiana.

We didn't really care how long it took us to get there on the way out because SPRING BREAK!!!! But coming back home was a different story. Spring Break was over, and worse -- the morning we left I woke up hungover AND with a severe head cold.

Taking off and landing once with a head cold is sad. Taking off and landing FOUR times is pure, unadulterated misery.

I finally got back home (after landing in BWI I had to drive myself the five+ hours back to Connecticut) on the Saturday before Easter. I spent the next four days in bed. On Wednesday, my ears finally popped.

Spring, 1995

I decided I had had enough of being overweight by the summer of 1994, following my freshman year of college. Now, at that time I was a size 14 and still able to shop anywhere I wanted. But I realized that there was nothing stopping me from being "thin" except me.

The following winter, completely unrelatedly, I took a part-time job working at an Italian bakery. This never undermined my diet because I was always able to think of the desserts as a commodity.  Every so often, I'd give myself a holiday from my diet and pick up something amazing and delicious from there, but rarely.

I was one of the few employees who volunteered to work the morning of Easter Sunday, since why not? Overtime pay? Sure.

It was a really cool experience.  As you can imagine, not only were the proprietors of the bakery Italian and Catholic, so were many of the patrons. Easter was a big deal. As was having traditional Italian food at your Easter feast.  So on Easter morning, there would be a line out the door and around the corner full of Church-goers and Church-comers picking up everything from your basic cannoli and biscotti to seven-layer cookies, rum baba, ricotta pies, sfogliatella, and struffoli.  I felt like I got to be an insider in someone else's tradition, and the morning was hectic and fun.

To get into the spirit of things, I showed up that night at my grandparents' house with a ricotta pie.

No one liked it except me.

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Clever Girls Collective

YOU are CLEVER! In fact, you should get stuff and be recognized (and compensated) for being so clever. Don't you agree?

Yes, well. Okay. So I've mentioned that I have recently joined The Clever Girls Collective. And I have! And maybe you were wondering what I will actually be doing with them. Or what they do.

(Or, you know, maybe you weren't. But pretend.)

Well, the baaaaaaasic gist is that they (we) are a new Social Media Marketing Agency and you can read all about the worky things we do here.  Including how the agency was launched a few months ago by three amazing social media ladies, Cat (@DearBadKitty), Sheila (@Xiaolinmama), and Stefania (@CityMama) who I first e-met because she wrote me almost five years ago TO THE DAY saying she thought that whole Fireman/Ass story on Craigslist was funny.  Soon thereafter, Stefania herself became quite a "blogebrity" and was kind enough to stay in touch with me over the years.


The whole reason I'm writing about this is because you should probably join the Clever 1000 network.

I mean, yes, I'm biased in thinking this is a cool thing to do, but I wouldn't be joining this team (especially after declaring I did NOT want to be a work-at-home mom) if I didn't think the Clever Girls Collective (CGC) was super smart and up to some really cool things.

I will even save you the trouble of going to the Clever Girls' website. Here's what we're looking for:

The Influencer is YOU
As you know - because you are one of them - women who engage in social media activities are some of the most authentic, connected, trusted, and vocal influencers not only online, but "in real life."

Whether you're blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, or just chatting up your friends over coffee, we recognize the power of your personal connections.

  • Do you love to share information, opinions, thoughts, and feelings across a broad range of social media tools?
  • Do you Tweet, Whirrl, Tumbl, Flickr, or Blip because it's fun to connect and share with others?
  • Do you make time for family, friends, to nurture your soul, and/or to pursue social justice issues because it's a priority in your life?
  • Do you value diversity, individual style, self-expression, and doing your personal best, more than following trends?
  • Are you an enthusiastic advocate for the products and brands you believe in?
  • Are you a go-to person for friends asking for advice on products to try or what to buy?
  • Do you have a million and one ideas on how to make your social media and blogging experience better, more rewarding, more helpful to others?

We Want YOU with US!
If you answered yes to some-or all-of these questions, then we think you're pretty Clever, and we want your help building a network of key influencers. And since Clever friends stick together, in return we will support your goals-whether it's building an audience, growing your professional network, making more money from your writing, or pursuing a kind of reward (monetary or otherwise) that is unique to you.

Introducing The Clever 1000
Clever Girls Collective is creating a network of social media-connected, natural networkers and influencers who want to have a voice in engaging with and enhancing your favorite brands-and be compensated for it.

We're looking for 1000 Clever friends who:

  • are passionate about their social media tool of choice-from FourSquare to Wordpress and everything in between
  • love trying out the latest products and services and sharing their experiences
  • thrive on connecting with brands at "in real life" events like parties or conferences
  • are interested in interacting with brands directly by placing ads-that don't compete with existing ad networks-on their blogs
  • just want to write. Or take photos. Or vlog. Or podcast. And get paid for it.

Join Us!
We are creating a group of beautifully diverse and savvy women like you. Women who are powerful networkers, who radiate influence, who share information because it's "what you do," and who thrive on collaborating with other like-minded women.

And, hey! We'd love to hear from Clever Guys, if you know any who'd be interested in working with us.

Want to join up? Learn more? Please fill out this questionnaire and you'll hear from us shortly.

In fact, you'll probably hear from me (though my current definition of "shortly" may need to be revised...).

So that's it. The awesomest thing (IMHO) is that you can apply to be a Clever Girl even if you don't have a blog, so long as you've got an active online presence somewhere. (And dear IIFs, I KNOW you are all quite busy on Facebook and Twitter.)

But I just wanted to put this out there because:

A) I really do think this is gonna be cool, and

B) It explains what I'm doing when I'm not writing here, or on Promtacular! or working on my a cappella group or on Twitter or Facebook or spending time with my family. HA!

Thursday, April 01, 2010



I feel soooooooo bad for the little boy!