How to Dress for a Trip to Urgent Care…

I’m getting old a helluva lot faster than I thought I would.

Remember the old commercials for the Life Alert? Help! I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up?

Yeah. That was me almost two months ago. Minus the falling part.

Life alert - Help I've Fallen and I Can't Get Up

We all know my lumbar spine hasn’t exactly been the envy of all 29-year-old backs. First there was the velociraptor back jonesin’ for some queso. Then the show-offy yoga back that drank too much. And most recently, the panty-dropper back that decided I should have gone commando (and a whole bunch of other back injuries from my youth…).

So when I was nursing my L5 back to health, my doctor tried putting me back on the crazy meds…other than being the only time I’ve cried about the anxiety of wedding planning, they didn’t do shit this time around. So, I got an X-ray and referral for a chiropractor. While I was waiting for the referral to come through (this is maybe the only time an HMO sounds like a bad health insurance plan), I had a hot date to meet up with Andra Watkins, Lea Grover, and Christine Organ while Andra was visiting the Chi. I was initially planning to attend a magical-sounding literary festival in the far west ‘burbs, but woke up feeling a little pain, and even though it was definitely on the mend, I decided to take care of myself. Not to worry, I’d planned to stretch a little and rest a lot, and be ready to meet up with them for cocktails in the evening.

So I reached for a summer frock (I like to wear summer dresses in the winter as my “house clothes” because comfort, ease, and no pants) in the closet, and squealed in pain. Apparently the reaching part was a baaaaad idea. All of a sudden, the going out at all was becoming less and less a possibility. But I thought I’d wait it out a little longer.

While binge-watching Gilmore Girls, I couldn’t seem to find a single comfortable spot on the couch, and I could barely move…so I took to the only place I thought I might find comfort: The floor.

The first relief I’d had all day, I was able to have a lovely nap on the carpeted floor of our front room, while the Gilmores played on. But when I decided it was time to try getting ready for drinks with some writer friends, I realized with no uncertainty that getting off the floor was a near-impossibility. And so I texted Andra and told her to throw back an extra drink for me while I cried a little bit inside (partially because of the pain, and partially because of Andra, who is amazing and doesn’t live here like the other two ladies).

Brian heard me writhing on the floor trying to get up and came running (he doesn’t do this often because he’s so accustomed to my screams of pain). He attempted to help pull me up, but I was afraid I was either too big for him to pick me up or that he would break me. Mostly the second one, honestly. I take back everything I ever said about the previous pains I’ve experienced because this one topped the cake in an entirely different way.

Much like the past pain, I felt as if I had no control over the center of my body. The core is an integral part of functioning, people. If you lose that, you lose the ability to move. In addition to this inability to move, the muscle spasms were throbbing and nearly trying to kill me. It took 25 minutes and a LOT of effort on my end, plus help from Brian, to get myself off the floor.

As soon as I stood as best I could, I looked at Brian and said, “I need to go to urgent care.”

This from the girl who puts off going to the doctor until she really thinks she’s dying, because hypochondria makes her fear the results from the doctor. The decision was swift and immediate. Brian helped me put socks and slippers on, grabbed my purse and handed me my fleece. I was ready to do this thing. Dressed like a Polish war bride…again. I had no bra on, a summer dress, winter slippers, Brian’s man socks, and a fleece-oh and had super greasy hair. Obviously, it was perfectly appropriate for the middle of January.

I got into the car slowly, aiming to produce as little pain as possible (which was near impossible) and found a position that was only mildly debilitating. It took about 15 minutes to get to our destination, and the whole time, I was whining on the phone to my mom. My nearest urgent care clinic is on a busy road, two blocks from the downtown area of the town in which I grew up. With the speed in which I was walking, holding my back as if I were eight months pregnant, at least 40 cars whizzed past us, and I had Brian take a few candid snapshots because I was going to think it was ridiculous one day instead of painful.

How to dress when you're on your way to urgent care

It was…special.

They took me in right away, and Brian had to help me change into the gown they made me wear. I was pouting the entire time. Brian took pictures this time without my asking.

Urgent care is not fun for anyone...

Finally, the doctor came in, gave me a shit load of drugs, injected something into my thigh, and even laughed at my joke about how the last time I let a doctor give me a shot there, I gained 30 pounds and decided I was never taking a hormonal birth control again. (I actually love this part of going to the doctor. It’s like I have a captive audience to practice my own personal stand-up show.) And then she sent me on my merry way. It was just as painful to get back into the car, but at least, there was supposedly some relief coming soon.

A few days later, I was finally feeling better. And physical therapy was just around the corner (by a couple of weeks, because it takes fucking forever to get an appointment). And now, several weeks later, I’m able to laugh at my little visit to urgent care.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Making an Impression on the Garbage Man

Being at home this week has been…interesting. I’ve been working hard on finishing stuff up for school and run a couple of obligatory errands, but mostly I’m home alone. I’ve forced myself to shower, but other than that, grooming and regular maintenance have been…lacking. I even skipped out of cap and gown pictures with a fancy college backdrop because I hadn’t washed my hair or put on makeup.

This morning, as I returned home from driving Brian to the train like a good little housewife, I realized that I needed to collect the 27 thousand cardboard boxes that the wind was whisking down the street. Brian had placed the garbage can on top of said boxes to “secure” them, but the can just fell over. Luckily, it was packed with styrofoam from our new TV and not much fell out. So I meandered down the driveway wearing my boyfriend’s long sleeve grey t-shirt, a bright purple pencil skirt and black faux patent leather flats. I was not wearing pants to cover my wooly mammoth calves, nor was I wearing a bra. I was pretty much the epitome of the Polish war bride look, as my dad would say.

My original plans (and the reason for my ridiculous ensemble) were to roll out of bed, get in the car inside the garage, drive Brian to the train, get out of the car inside the garage and go back to bed. But life never works out the way you plan. Even quick morning jaunts to the train station.

As I walked down the driveway, I took stock of my outfit as several cars drove past, and I mentally flipped them off for judging me. I don’t normally dress like this! And then I thought for a minute…oh…wait…STOP JUDGING ME. 

Sometimes I make a strong impression on people like the garbage man...it's not always a good impression though

So there I was, running up and down the block bending over to pick up cardboard boxes with a wonky back, a crazy outfit, and quite possibly rocking the commando thing, worrying about what my neighbors would think of me if any of them happened to look out their windows…when the garbage truck pulled up.

I shouldn’t have been surprised. I mean, it was garbage day. He greeted me with a smile (or a smirk) and I started walking back toward the house. He called to me, and said, “You may want to bring these cans in now [so they don’t blow away].” And so there I was, dressed for success, making polite conversation about the weather with the garbage man as he dumped two weeks worth of trash into the bin. Bloody spider webs, stinky food, lady things…you get the picture. It was awkward. I watched him pull the garbage stickers and throw them in the bins before dumping each bin. I thought about asking for his name; I thought about leaving him a tip at Christmas like my parents do. I thought about a lot of random things as this very pleasant man with the radio blaring from the inside of the truck trashed my trash. Instead, I thanked him each time he handed me a can, and I made my way back up the driveway. Thankful that if I wasn’t wearing pants, at least I had a fur lining.

Do you randomly throw on clothes from your clothes pile in the morning? What’s the strangest outfit you’ve left the house in? How do you handle awkward conversations?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Where’d You Get Those Crazy Ass Yoga Pants?

For the last several months, you’ve seen me prancing around Instagram, blog conferences, and, let’s be completely honest here, real life in the most amazing (or obnoxious) pants known to man. And for the most part, I’m pretty sure you love them as much as I do. Many people have asked where I find my yoga pants (which are really just my daily drivers, because I work in a surprisingly lax office that lets me wear tie-dye and bright patterns). I’m not a fashionista by any stretch of the imagination, but I am real…and I’ll give you the DL on my yoga-wear obsession.


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My personal preference is to wear cotton yoga pants, as they stretch nicely and fit comfortably without digging. I’m also a huge advocate for the fold-over waistband so that I can 1. smooth out the area from my waist to my hips without some horrible elastic waistband creating more rolls and wrinkles and 2. not have a horrible elastic waistband digging into my belly.

I have spent the last 8 months on the hunt for the best plus-size yoga pants around. These are my favorites.

And to be completely fair and transparent, I’m going to tell you my pants size. I wear anywhere from an 18 to a 22.

The OG Pants (Victoria’s Secret Most Loved Yoga Pant – size large)

My go-to leggings, yoga pants, and shorts have always been Victoria's Secret. They also double as dress pants.

Green top – Victoria’s Secret, White top – Soybu, Swimsuit – Swimsuits for All, Sports Bra – Bare Necessities

Unfortunately, as of March 2017, these are no longer for sale on the VS website. And my heart is pretty much broken. The Most Loved Yoga Pant from Victoria’s Secret was my be-all, end-all favorite. I have them in legging, cropped legging, capri, and short version. To say I live in yoga pants is an understatement. I wear them under skirts and dresses or on their own. The fold-over waistband is amazing (I always unfold that waist band up to my waist). I wear a size large. I’ve tried the extra large pants, and they’re not tight enough for holding my shit in if you get my drift. Pro-tip: If you’re going to keep the waist unfolded, opt for the non-sequined versions.

Tie-Dye Dream (Shining Shakti – Classic Pant – size large)

I love the colors and designs of Shining Shakti yoga pants and leg warmers.

Shorts – Victoria’s Secret, Swimsuit – Swimsuits for All, Tee – Victoria’s Secret PINK, White tank – Soybu

My first pair  of funky yoga pants came from Shining Shakti, a retailer based out of the Chicago suburbs. The website is shut down, but you can still find a few rogue pairs here and there (like on yogadirect and Etsy). My yogi girlfriend is BFFs with the former owner and told me I absolutely HAD to try them. I was skeptical because…size. She promised they were super stretchy, much like my beloved VS pants. I discovered they went up to size XL, and was ecstatic, fearing they would be ridiculously tight. When the owner saw a photo of my yoga-ing on Instagram, she told my pal I should start with a large. I did, and went back for 3 more pairs plus two pairs of leg warmers to spruce up my VS pants.

Banana Pants and Other Fan Faves (Couture Tee – Fold-Over Flare and Legging – size extra large)

I am obsessed with Design Your Own Yoga Pants by Tristan Christopher - I seriously wear these Couture Tees yoga pants everywhere. (1)

Teal cami and black tee – Torrid

I ordered a surprise pack of these magical pants and was not disappointed. The Etsy shop by Tristan Christopher takes several months to make, dye, and ship your pants, but once they arrive, you’ll be thrilled with the product. The were definitely worth the wait. Not only will it be exciting the day your pants arrive, but you’ll also have the added joy of surprise designs! If you give them your measurements, the designers will guarantee a perfect fit, so I highly recommend you do that. They recommended an extra large, and the pants fit me exactly as I wanted them to. The surprise pack also goes up to a size XXXL, so girls of any size can rock these amazing pants.

I've been a Fabletics subscriber since March, and I'm really enjoying the sports bras, shirts and yoga pants.

Salar fold-over capri and sports bra – Fabletics, Green tee – VS PINK and Lima capri – Fabletics, Black cami – Torrid and Salar capri – Fabletics,   Yellow backless tee, sports bra, and Salar crop –  Fabletics, Black tee – Torrid and Salar fold-over capri – Fabletics

 

Pants with matchy matchy sports bras and tanks (Fabletics –  Salar Capri Fold-Over and Ayni Sports Bra – size XXL)

I’m a Fabletics junkie (that link is for a referral that earns me $10 if you sign up and is not an affiliate link). I used to max out the sizes here, and sometimes it was hard to catch the XXL before they were sold out or waitlisted, but now they go up to 3X, are easier to catch, and are oh so comfortable! When I catch the ones I want, I love them. These aren’t cotton, but they’re still pretty comfortable. I’ve tried some of the other pants, but my fave is the Salar fold-over. The sports bras are ideal for me (racerbacks tug on my neck and shoulders thanks to my boobs, so I prefer sports bras that have different strap options).

 

You will occasionally see me don other colorful pants from other brands, but I don’t fully stand by those brands just yet. These three are my tried-and-true lower body besties. They hug me on the daily. These are the ones that I would recommend to you. If you want a complete list of the brands that haven’t worked out for me or that I’m still trying out, you can send me an e-mail and I’ll hook you up with the rest of my legging and yoga pant finds.

No one asked me or paid me to write about my love of yoga pants. Some of the links are referral or affiliate links so if you click through, I may earn points or money to buy more yoga pants. Oh and keep this blog running smoothly.

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

Maybe You Guys Can Figure Out What This Meant

So I was garage sailing this weekend and walked up to a house with a guy in his late 30’s-early 40’s. I did a quick lap and noticed all baby things, and was about to check out (as obviously, I don’t need any of those things), when the guy said to me, “You look like a Baby GAP person.”

I’m sorry…What?

This comment has resonated with me for 2 days now. Because I can’t seem to figure out what the hell he meant by that. I was wearing all Victoria’s Secret PINK clothing and Skechers gym shoes. What about that screamed GAP? Even more so, what about me screamed “baby?”

Was it an insult or a compliment? I didn’t examine the clothing closely, so I don’t know if he had a vast selection of Baby GAP crap or not. My response was just, “nope, no babies.”

What do you think blog friends? Compliment or Insult? Or just plain weird?

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!