Down and out in the Karstadt changing room.

*Disclaimer: If you are male, you probably want to skip this one. Just a hunch.*

**Really, gents, skip this one.** 

Way back in April, I posted this thing about why I don’t exercise. And it was totally true. But what I didn’t tell you was that I didn’t throw in the towel. Okay, I did for a few weeks. But then I got back on it. This was for a few reasons:

  1. My August vacation, which would involve 10 solid days of beach time. And oh God, the horror of a swimsuit.
  2. I have to stand up in a wedding next year, and would prefer to not look like a sausage in a bridesmaid dress.
  3. I was considering the House Hunters thing, and rumor has it that the camera adds 10 lbs. 
  4. Some of the pictures from my trip to Berlin disturbed me.
  5. I live at street level.

What the hell does that mean? Well, this is what it means. I walk everywhere. And, I walk past a lot of glass/other reflective surfaces. And in the last few months, when I’d be walking past said windows, I had noticed my stomach reaching places before the rest of me did. 

Now I was really disturbed. Never has anyone said to me, “Gee Heather, you have a reasonably-sized chest.” Sooooo if my stomach was getting places BEFORE my boobs, we had a problem. Something had to be done. I try not to be super-girly about a lot of things, but I really wish I were one of those rare chicks who didn’t give a shit about how they look. Sadly, like most American girls, I’ve got completely unreasonable expectations, and therefore am not happy with a fair amount of how I look. So what to do?

From early May to now, I’ve been trying to work out. ‘Trying’ being the operative word. I did pretty well from mid-May to early July. The first month was shit; I’ll be honest. Pretty much no weight was lost, but I could see a difference. Thank goodness for that, otherwise I would have said “fuck it” for sure. But I could see a change, so I kept going. I’m sticking to my “no working out in public,” but I did my little videos right here in my living room, and added in some ab exercises that I snagged off of Pinterest. 

Mid-July to now has been a bit rough as well… I’ve just been so tired that working out has been miserable. But since I got the iPhone, I’ve been using the MyFitnessPal app, which has really been great. I’ve been sticking to my calorie limit for the most part… usually one day a week is a disaster, but the rest of the week is okay. The combination of the calorie counting + exercise really did the trick though. (I hate myself a little for writing that. Just so you all know.)

As of now, I’m down about 6kg, which is 13lbs. for the Americans in the room. So that’s positive. Buuuut according the the Accursed BMI Calculators of the World, it’s still too much. I’m happy about progress though, don’t get me wrong. In fact, I felt great the last few weeks, as I bought some shorts for vacation, and a great pencil skirt, all in single-digit sizes. Boom. 

Which brings us to today. Or, as I like to call it…

“Every Girl’s Personal Hell: Swimsuit Shopping”
The spoils.
I went into Karstadt feeling pretty good. I’d been getting into smaller sizes! I’m down pounds and inches! Awesome! 
Honestly, I needed to feel that way. The last time I had to wear a swimsuit was two years ago -or- when I went to Mallorca with ex-Freund (better known as Voldemort). At that point in time, I was in the newly-attached-everything-is-lovely phase, where your self-esteem goes through the roof. I didn’t give a flying fuck what I looked like, if Voldemort liked it, I was happy. 
And then you break up. And you feel like shit. And the next time you even think about a swimsuit, you want to throw yourself off the balcony. Side note: if any ladies out there have found a way to prevent this whole ‘self-worth-tied-at-least-partially-to-a-guy’s-approval’ thing, please fill the rest of us in. I know I’m not the only one. 
So I did the boot camp. I did the Pilates. Sit-ups, too. I was feeling good.
It’s this afternoon, and I’m in the ladies department of Karstadt. Being that it’s the end of the season, stuff was on sale. This is also good. I dug through the racks and pulled out an assortment of suits in the size I’ve been buying the last few weeks.
I get into the changing room. Not. Even. Close. 
Because I’m a masochist, I made an attempt to try them all. 
Not.
Even. 
Close.
I head back out onto the floor, and scrounge around for larger sizes. I load back up and head into the changing room again. On my previous trip, there was almost no one else in there; this time every room is full and there are some gray-haired German gents occupying the chairs outside. Sales assistants are running back and forth scrounging up sizes and advising on whether or not there is back fat hanging out over straps. Or at least, that’s what I think they’re saying.
This trip is slightly more successful, in that the sizes are closer. But the bottoms don’t go with the tops, or one is smaller than the other or…. aaaaaaaaaaaand there’s a woman talking to me. I don’t know what she’s saying and before I can formulate a “I’m okay” auf Deutsch, she’s sticking her head around the curtain! Fun! Nope, I’m good ma’am, please go now, danke! 
Yeesh.
I collected myself and thought I could live with at least one of the suits I found, but the bottom was fraying a bit already, and that alarmed me. So I headed upstairs to the sportswear department. 
I had a bit more success there. At least I found a few things that I thought would work, plus were on sale, so that’s good news again. Hopefully I’ll make it through the two weeks of vacation at least. 
I met up with my friend Joanna afterwards, and she made me feel a lot better. I had accompanied her on her pre-Tenerife swimsuit shopping trip a few weeks ago, and she had the same problems that I had today. You wear one size normally, all of a sudden you are 1-3 sizes larger than normal and you think that you expanded or something. Swimsuit makers are evil.
From my previous Euro-beach experiences in the south of France and Mallorca, I think I’ll feel much better when I’m there. Let’s put it this way: I would probably not consider wearing a two-piece in the U.S. I’d feel way too self-conscious there. Here, pretty much every one-piece is for the grandmas of Euro-land, so a two-piece is your only choice. And on the beach, you really see a little bit (or a LOT of bit), of everything. I really didn’t feel strange at all. Hard to feel uncomfortable when there are grandmas sitting down by the shore wearing their white granny panties and undershirts, which have become completely see-through. Thanks grannies!

Mallorca, 2010

I have to say though, my personal favorite in Mallorca was Speedo Rotisserie Man. Sadly I didn’t get a picture of him, but there was a…. slightly larger gentleman in a red Speedo who fell asleep for a while right in front of me. When he woke up, he found that he had quite the sunburn going (which conveniently matched his Speedo), except for two half-circles riiiiight under his man-boobs. So the solution to this? He stood, hands on hips, and slowly turned himself in circles. For at least an hour. Too funny. 

I’m not saying that going to the beach in Europe will give you an ego-boost, but in my opinion you feel much less judged. Or at least you might not understand if people are talking about you. Which has its advantages. 


Or if that’s not for you, head to the shoe store. Because shoes, God love ’em, always fit. 
New sandals for vacay. Just a little shine. 🙂
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6 thoughts on “Down and out in the Karstadt changing room.

  1. You can't start a post with “you should skip this,” and expect my curiosity to remain unpiqued.

    That being said, congrats on the 13 lbs… I'm always impressed by people with the discipline to actually do that sort of thing. I haven't unrolled my yoga mat once since I unpacked it back in December.

  2. Thanks Jan! It would be great to shop at home, unfortunately I don't think I'll be back in the U.S. until next June and some things just can't wait…. 🙂

  3. Haha. Sorry about that. And thanks… but I don't know if it was discipline so much as desperation. My yoga mat does double duty…. for exercise and a little extra cushion when I was trying to get my base tan going on the balcony. I figure it's serving its purposes well.

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