Size Matters

Get your damn minds out of the gutter….

Some poeple can remember what they weighed, or what size clothing they wore WAY back when they were in High School, or even Middle School.  My best friend and I talk about this a lot.  She can remember what she weighed at all sorts of times in her life.  When we talk about it, it always makes me really think, because I really can’t remember things like that.  Personally, I think I blocked those numbers out of my head.

The only things I really remember are certain shopping trips to the good old Natick Mall. Headed to popular clothing stores, and hoping and praying they would have my size on the rack, so I could shop with my friends.

At one point in time, they did.  That was back when I wore a size 9.  I don’t know why, but I remember this number; Like, it’s engraved in my brain.  Size Nine.  This was back in my freshman and sophomore years of High School.  I even remember this cute little blue skirt that I had, that I was so happy to be able to wear.  It was light blue, and short, and had a cute little slit on the right thigh, and had a zipper back.  This was also the same skirt that my teacher told my parents I couldn’t wear, because it was distracting, so I would hide it in my backpack to change into, when I got to school.  NO ONE can stop a wanna be fashionista.  Not even a Spanish teacher.

Sorry, I am teetering off the mountain called ‘THE SUBJECT OF THIS BLOG’.  My apologies.  Anyways, size 9.  As health issues arose, and my body started showing it’s challenges, my size 9 became a thing of the not so distant past.  Numbers got bigger, and I didn’t remember any of the sizes of my clothing.  Like, if you asked me what size I was in senior year of High School, I wouldn’t be able to tell you.  However, I would be able to say that it SUCKED finding clothing.  Nothing fit.  Nothing cute, anyways.  Shopping trips with friends were complete inner torture.

Part of being Plus Sized means finding the right cut, and fit for clothing, and stores that sell them.  It took me most of my plus sized adult life to find Torrid.  Torrid is a store that services curvy girls sizes 10-?? (I forget).  All I know is, I spent all of my money there.  I had more clothing than I can explain.  I created a fashion style with their clothing.  In few words: I was addicted.

As I started to lose weight, I had to sell all of my clothing.  All of my pretty, well cared for, loved, beautiful, expensive clothing.  I also had to create a whole new wardrobe and learn to dress a whole new body.  Still trying.

Today, I had to go and buy nice black pants, for an event, because since I had to sell all of my clothing… I have nothing when I need it.

I’m in Express, and I try on some cute black skinny pants, and like usual, my awkward body makes clothing shopping challenging, and the fabric is swimming around my knees and ankles.  The cute little sales lad says, ‘What size are those?’

‘8’, I reply.  (STOP.  Right here… can you believe that??  I can’t)

‘Do you have some room in the waist?’ he says.

I proceed to stick my fingers into the waistband and pull the pants away from my body, just like my Nana used to do when we would do back to school shopping at Marshall’s.  Sure as shit, there’s space between me and the fabric.

‘Uhh… a little?’ I answer.

‘You should try a size 6’, he says (And I actually waited for him to snicker, but he didn’t.  He was serious.)

‘Listen…. if I am a size 6, then we are going gambling.  Cows are jumping over the moon, and pigs are actually flying…’ I reply, in true Ally style.

He looks at me like I have 10 heads, laughs a little to be polite, and walks out of the dressing room to retrieve the pants that surely won’t fit me.

When he returns, I take them into the dressing room (kind of dreading taking off my boots and jeans AGAIN), and I slide them on.  So far so good… but come on… they won’t button, will they?  Yes.  Yes they did.

Size 6.  A new number to engrave in my brain.  The shock hasn’t really worn off…. and even when I modeled them when I got home, it was a shock all over again.  Size 6.

Truly, the size doesn’t matter.  Seriously.  It’s how I feel about the clothing.  I never looked at the sizes in my plus size clothing and got sad thinking about what I wore… I was so happy in my clothes.  It’s just moments like today, when I will look back and remember how I felt.  Just like the blue size 9 skirt from freshman year, these pants will remind me of this feeling, forever.


I still think about that skirt….


“I See Land!”

I try really hard to not bring the outside emotions of my life into my sessions with Franz.  It seems like lately, the gym is my only constant place to be ME.  I focus, I smile, I have fun (go figure!).  So, when I have a lot going on in my head (which is always), I try hard to let it go, when I walk into my gym.

The other night, I couldn’t do it.  I walked in, and I. Was. Pissed.  I had had a tough day, and right before I walked into the gym, one more thing just set me off.  I was fuming.

I got onto the rower, and rowed faster than I ever had… until I couldn’t breath.  Then it was time to work out.  The whole time, Franz kept asking if I was going to make it, or if I was OK to keep going.  In between sets, I found myself slumped over and I would immediately start to think.  Tears of frustration and being overwhelmed, would well up in my eyes.  Then, Franz would say, ‘Are you ready?’, and I was back at it.

In some ways the frustration and anger and sadness made me want to push harder.  In other ways I would lose strength and confidence.  My emotions were clearly affecting me.

This was shaping up to be one of the worst sessions because I couldn’t even remember what exercise I had done; My head was OBVIOUSLY in another place.

This all changed at the very end…

Franz truly knows when I’m at my end.  When I can’t push any more.  When I’m at my weakest.  That’s usually when he makes me do the sled.

At the end of my session, Franz looks at the clock and says, ‘Good, we have two more minutes’.  He walks over to the sleds, grabs the biggest one (the same man-sled I have mentioned in the past), and drops a 45 lb weight on it.  As he turns around to get another one, I drag my ass over, hold onto the handle bar, and brace myself for the worst push of my life.  And then, in usual Franz style, he makes it worse.

He has this light bulb moment, takes the 45lb weight off of the sled, and STANDS on the front.

(This is going to be a small insight as to what Franz looks like… and what I like most about our alias ‘Franz’, is that it allows you to have your OWN idea of what he looks like… but thats ok.  This needs to happen.)

This tall, JACKED, 245 pound man, is STANDING on the front of an already VERY heavy sled.  Then he says, PUSH ME!

I am weak.  I am pushing with all of my strength.  He is yelling at me to keep going.  All I can focus on is how every single muscle in my body is being used, and I can’t do anything to relax any little bit of it.

Then he says…

‘I feel like Christopher Columbus!’

‘I see land!’

I’m. Dying. Laughing. For the first time in my entire session- hell, my entire DAY, I am smiling and laughing.  Unfortunately for me, the laughing took every bit of energy I had left, and it stopped me in my tracks.  To even get the strength to get going again, to finish pushing him down the track, and back to the beginning again, was hard enough.  Add in the fact that I had the ass of my trainer in my face, while he was just hanging on for a ride at my expense, all while trying to make me laugh; It was HARD.

We got to the end, and another person at the gym walked over and said, ‘Damn!  She’s tough!!  Go easy on her Franz!’.  Sometimes, that’s the kind of stuff you need to hear.  It’s proof that I really am working hard and doing insane things…

I may have told that kid that Franz calls me at the end of his day to come back and give him piggy back rides to his house.

Franz doesn’t think I’m funny.

Proof Is In The Numbers

I’m at the gym on training day.  I’m doing my first exercise of the night- throwing a medicine ball down as hard as I can, then picking it up, throwing it forward, walking to it, and doing it all over again.  I hate this work out.  HATE THIS WORK OUT… but something changed on my last throw.  A woman working out nearby saw the medicine ball and said, ‘WOW!  Twenty pounds?!’.  Franz said, ‘YEP!’.  I sat, confused.  This isn’t normal?  Is that a lot of weight?  Apparently it is…

That’s what’s so funny about working out with Franz.  I am pushed to do things I wouldn’t do on my own, and sometimes, I don’t even realize how physically strong I am.

So, let’s go over a couple of the numbers from this particular work out day.  After my twenty pound medicine ball throwing, I did 10 reps-4 times, of pulling 135 pounds back in what I call the ‘Pull Back’.  Good enough name, right?  Wouldn’t it be lovely if I knew (or listened) to the real names??  In between reps, I did 10 push ups.  Kill me.  Next up, was planking, but I had to plank on one arm, while moving weights from one side of my body to the other, and then switch to the other arm.  In between reps, I pushed a 25 lb weight over my head, one arm at a time.  Fast forward a few more fancy moves, and my very last ‘challenge’ was holding 40 lb kettle bells in each hand (90 lbs!!  (Almost) Exactly what I’ve lost!) , and walking back and forth down the track, for 2 minutes.  Sounds like it might be easy… it’s not.

Numbers don’t lie.  I don’t know where I started… but holy crap I can do a lot more than I thought I could, now.

P.S.- I am writing this and my arms are shaking.  The next two days are gonna be rough.

P.P.S- Today I taught the little boy I nanny how to show his muscles (and grunt while doing it).  Clearly an important skill.


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I’m sensitive.  Underneath the funny, sarcastic, fowl mouthed exterior, I am sensitive.  Sometimes I find these more serious Memes and my sensitive, sentimental side comes out. I think about where I have come from.  Ninety pounds ago, I thought I … Continue reading