Friday, May 29

The Right to Bare Arms?

For the longest time, since high school actually, I have had a serious complex about my arms. My flabby jiggly arms. The ones that are connected to my round shoulders and barrel chest. I’m built like a linebacker who was endured a surge of estrogen, minus the hair, adding another cup. A little higher, of course. But not much. Stupid gravity…

As I have been losing weight, I have slowly been warming up to my less than graceful upper appendages, but I'm only lukewarm. Which leads me to a huge dilemma.

I have to attend a formal party next Saturday, and it’s like prom for grownups. Well, for the girls anyway. The guys usually show up in a nice shirt and jeans, which makes for an odd combination. Sequins and denim- like a bedazzler gone awry. And because I have to attend this party, which I am very much looking forward to, I must make a decision that could make or break me. Am I small enough yet to expose the upper parts of my arms to the world?

Part of this predicament is completely mute. There are only so many appropriate dresses that will go around the boobs and not make me look like I am aerodynamically incorrect. Not that Matt would mind, but come on, I have eyes, people, and they are hazel! But I also don’t want to look like a nun, pious and lacking any sex appeal whatsoever. So in finding the perfect dress that is a blend of streetwalker and kindergarten teacher, I am forced to make the big decision.

Sleeveless or sweat factory?

Because on one hand, the sleeveless is a light flowy fabric that has the wonderful capacity to breathe. It doesn’t need altering, and really, the dress doesn’t look too bad. IN MY MIND. But what if I get out there and everyone starts hurling on the spot because my less-fat arms are not as fabulous as I thought? What if my arms are the topic of conversation at every table but mine? What if they aren’t ready to make their public debut?

But on the other hand, I sweat like a pig, and that is not an exaggeration in the slightest. I pour out buckets, and as you may remember, the pits are sensitive to deodorant. I only have 2 kinds that really work, and after 2 hours, I still smell (so I suppose they don’t work that well). So if I wear the strapless dress that is a much heavier fabric with the long wrap to cover up arms, I am going to be comfortable with my pigs in a blanket, except for the fact that I can’t lift them up, or heaven forbid wrap my arms around my darling husband’s neck to romance like I want to. Nope, I am going to be in my own invisible straight jacket. Smelling like a linebacker right after practice.

So, I left the decision up to the only thing I could think of that would be impartial. THE SHOES. Yes, I put a most emotional and big decision in the hands (rather on the heels) of the one thing I could count on. I have gorgeous feet, if I do say so myself, and while we have marched into some precarious messes together, I know they will stand on their own and happily choose my path. It was a big step for me.

Before I left to do some serious shoe shopping, I took my measurements for the first time in 3 months. I have been dreading this because the last time I did it, there was not so much change and my nose got out of joint. It was like saying “You are doing all of this really hard work, and I’m throwing you a bone. But you need to work harder.” It has only been a change of 17 pounds since the end of February, and I wasn’t expecting much. Maybe an inch or 2… 5 tops. As I started tracking my numbers on the Excel sheet, I noticed that the auto sum at the bottom was adding up to double digits. By the time I was finished, I was floored to learn that I had lost 18 inches in 3 months! When I added up the total since the first time I measured everything on January 1st, I am happy to report a grand total of 30.75 inches!!! And I am proud to say that 1.5 inches were off those flabby arms I love to hate. Hmmmm….

I got in the van, filled with joy and courage, to fit the outfits with the perfect shoes and decide from there. I walked around 3 stores, tried on about 15 pairs, and got it narrowed down to a few pairs, but wasn’t in love with any of them. I’m sure looked glorious as I was trying on very formal shoes in my bright red sweat pants pulled above the knee, pretending like I was in one of the two dresses, spinning to see if I would fall flat on my shrinking butt.

That was when I saw them, the perfect shoes for the occasion. I loved those patent leather beauties from the moment I laid hazel eyes on them. And they were like stepping into a cloud, fitting me perfectly. (And I didn’t even have to buy an 8 wide! My feet must be getting thinner too!) Then I found the perfect jewelry, on clearance for $3 at Wal-Mart, and got myself a new bra (had to get a dark one) and a girdle. For those of you who have known me long, or been in a play with me, you know that I am all about the lycra, and have been known to wear more than one girdle at a time. Highest amount at one time was 4. But for this special night, I am only wearing 2. Feeling pretty happy about the shrinking body.

So, I am not going to tell you which dress won. You have to guess on the survey over to the left. Yep, I want to know what you guys think. You may be surprised! Only 3 people know which dress I am wearing, and Mom, Sheryl and Julia, you are NOT allowed to vote. I will post a picture of me in the winning dress on Saturday, the 6th, right as I am all dolled up and ready to go to the party, so you all can get the full effect.

By the way, I wanted to let you know about an upcoming Operation Shrink Charlie’s Big Butt special! I am going to do an interview with Mrs. Kelly O’Toole. If you don’t know who she is, then you are missing out on meeting a huge inspiration. She was the person who told me how she lost weight. And, people, weight she lost! Only 175 pounds. Yep, you read right! 175 pounds! Absolutely amazing! We are working on getting it together, and she is excited to share some of her experiences, thoughts and insights with us all. She saw me at a wedding on December 27th, talked to me about what she has done to lose such an incredible amount, and by January 1st, I was on the diet train, where I still am today. You can imagine how excited I am to share her story with you! I promise to keep you posted.

Until then, know that I am working out, eating right, and as always- having fun and dragging you along with me. Now go vote!!!

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