In January of 2000 we moved from Surrey, BC (Vancouver) to Grande Prairie, AB, where we are today. So I’ve lived here for 16 full years.
It was a bit of a culture shock, let me tell you! First, the were NO Starbucks or other fancy coffee places – just Timmies (which gives me a stomach ache.) Shopping choices were somewhat limited compared to the Lower Mainland of BC. And a big lack of true ethnic restaurants. Thankfully things have improved since 2000.
Living and working here changed my daily habits – no more picking up a “second breakfast” when I got off the train, no more multiple vanilla lattes during the workday, and no more lunches out everyday.
I was taking my lunch to work so it was therefore a lot healthier. I wasn’t having lattes at all. And a complete change of routine including staircases at work or physical job requirements.
When I arrived in Grande Prairie I was a size 28. As most people of large size are wont to do, I had a wardrobe of things that fit, things that used to fit and things that never fit – but maybe one day they will.
It was a gradual change for the most part. Things would get big so I’d start wearing the “used to fit.” Then after a few years I realized I was in the things that “never fit” and had to buy new clothes. I gave away my whole pre-Grande Prairie wardrobe – except for one pair of jeans and a sweater that I wore to work when we moved here.
This is the sweater laying on a twin bed… I really wore that, and it fit me.
About eight years ago I realized I’d lost my ass somewhere. All my pants were baggy in the butt and women’s slacks just did not fit me properly. So I started buying and wearing men’s dress slacks and jeans as they fit nicely.
And clothing of my brother’s that I’d kept after he died, I could wear – Spiderman shirts, sweat pants – and actually do up the buttons!
Then I was taking care of mom after her stroke and wasn’t paying attention to myself as much, and my clothes got baggy again. Gave away stuff periodically to cull and bought a few new things here and there.
Then last summer during mom’s hospital stay and death I noticed that all my clothes were, again, baggy. But I didn’t have the inclination to buy new things at that point.
Then in December I discovered I had to change my diet for medical reasons, the result being a pretty quick drop of a considerable amount of weight. And serious problems keeping my pants up.
So… yesterday I was out shopping and as I hiked up my jeans for the umpteenth time decided to go buy ONE pair of jeans to tide me over until I plateau. So I went into the store and a salesclerk approached me right away. Told her I needed a pair of jeans that fit, as I pulled the loose fabric of the pair I was wearing out into wings.
She asked what size… no idea, so we started with a 20. And she had to make a couple trips for smaller sizes.
Total shock. Size 16… SIXTEEN. I think the last time I fit a 16 was 1979, after I’d lost 84 lbs in high school and enlisted in the army.
I dug my old jeans out of my tickle trunk to compare them to my new SIZE SIXTEEN jeans…
Then I got into my old jeans… in ONE LEG!
I’ve started morning workouts too, as well as the change to my diet, so who knows where this will end.