I never shop at Victoria’s Secret. It’s one of those places I just walk right past and don’t even give it a second thought. But I’ve had such bad luck buying bras over the years, and with my weight loss, I truly had no idea what size I was, so I knew I’d need help getting the right fit.
I asked my neighbor, and she said Victoria’s Secret was the best for getting fitted properly. I guess they have to, since it’s their primary business. I didn’t even think they’d have anything that would fit me, because the last time I ever went in – about 20 years ago – they didn’t have anything remotely close to my size. That was before my breast reduction, and even though I was smaller everywhere else, they didn’t have a large enough cup size. So I was pleasantly surprised that one of the saleswomen was my plus size and body type. Definitely made me feel more comfortable!
They do an excellent job of making sure you have the exact right bra. They measure you, have you try on what they call their “fitting bra”, which is what she said was their best bra. It felt like shit on me, though, because it’s underwire and has a thin side strap, which caused my side fat to blubber all over. But she wanted to get the right band and cup size for me. As it turned out, the band was the right size, but the cup was way too big for me. It was actually quite amusing to look down and see what amounts to two apples flopping around in two bowls.
They have a service button on the inside of each fitting room, and a “personal shopper” that helps you every step of the way. She picked out about 6 bras according to my specifications, and after each one, she came back in to figure out where it was right and where it was wrong. Took about 30 minutes total, from the time I walked in to the time I paid and left. I walked out with the new bra on my body, and my old bra stuffed in a small bag.
They give you a card that shows your proper size, the type of bra you bought, the saleswoman’s name and the helper’s name. Of course, there’s a recommended date for you to come back in for a new bra/fitting. Usually I would laugh at that, ’cause I’m not into shopping for a bra every 6 months … more like 6 years. But with my weight loss, I might have to go back in 6 months! Well, maybe a year. We’ll see. I spent $58 on the fucker, so it had better last me at least a year!😀
I will say that it’s worth the money. It’s not the prettiest or sexiest bra, but it does its job and feels good. And the lengths they go to in helping you get the right one is worth any extra I spent there as opposed to a 3 hour nightmare at Walmart trying on every bra in the store.
I swear, I’ve never talked so much about a bra in my life. I’ve also never looked down at myself and thought, “damn, I’m just boobin’ all over the place here!”😀 They’re where they’re supposed to be in a bra, and I don’t think I have ever had that experience before.
So yeah, Victoria’s Secret has my repeat business, that’s for damn sure.
30.9 to be exact. I’ve been at this weight loss thing for 200 days. At least I’m consistent! My first 100 days netted me a 15 lb loss. But the last 8 weeks have been a struggle of epic proportions.
Prior to today’s weigh-in, March 16th was my last good one. I had lost 2 lbs from the week before. I’ve been averaging about one pound a week, so I was ecstatic to see a two pound loss. Then on March 23rd, I lost zero. I was exactly the same weight. I was disappointed, but I figured that two pounds in two weeks was still a good accomplishment, so I didn’t worry too much about it.
But then, week after week, I was seeing less and less of a loss, I started to panic. My losses were .8 lb, then .6 lb, then another zero. I looked at my diet to see if I’d done anything wrong, I analyzed my exercise. I could find nothing out of the ordinary. I reached out to my social network, scared and frustrated that my body had hit the dreaded plateau. I ramped up my exercise in the hopes of breaking through that plateau. I dug out the Wii console, balance board and Wii Fit disc. I played some of the games and did the yoga exercises, in the hopes that it would resuscitate my body. I even chopped off half my hair, which was probably worth about 1 lb (yeah, I know, that’s cheating!). The next week, I lost 1.2 lbs, and I was hopeful that it was over, I’d broken through.
My excitement was short-lived. The following week I lost only .4 lb, and the next week’s loss was .6 lb. I tried not to let it discourage me, but self-doubt seeped in every time I thought about it, which was pretty much every time I ate something or exercised. To make matters worse, an article was posted about the contestants from the Biggest Loser who were studied, and not only gained back most of the weight they lost, but were now dealing with a metabolism much slower than they had before they started their weight loss journey. It was not encouraging news, to say the least. This slowed down metabolism wasn’t something that just the contestants had to deal with, but that every person who loses weight has to deal with. My spirits sank, and I felt hopeless for the first time since starting my journey. I felt the best I could do was just maintain my weight.
My 200th day came on Sunday, May 8th. Mother’s Day. The day that, 20 years ago, I became pregnant with my Son. My official weigh-in day wouldn’t be for another 3 days, but I couldn’t resist the urge to step on the scale and just take a quick look. I was stunned when I saw it was two pounds less than the previous weigh-in. Hope started creeping back in again. I had a bit of a spring in my step. Good things happen to me on Mother’s Day.
When I woke up today, my official weigh-in day, I couldn’t wait to step on the scale! I pulled it out, and stood there looking at it for a moment, when a jolt hit my heart like electricity, and I felt slightly sick to my stomach. “What are you waiting for?”, my logical side asked. My emotional side couldn’t answer, as it was too busy trying to keep me from throwing up. I let the two of them duke it out for about 30 seconds, while I hovered one foot over the scale. I couldn’t take the suspense any more. I stepped on it. The digital display flickered to life, waiting for me to be perfectly still while it calculated my weight. It flashed the numbers, and I couldn’t believe what it showed. I stepped off, reset it, then stepped back on again. Same numbers. I walked out of the bathroom, then back in again and stepped on the scale a third time, fully expecting to see something different. It flashed the same numbers at me again. 2.8 lbs lost!
In addition to my 30 lb loss, I’ve lost 4.8 inches off my waist, 3.5 inches off my hips, and 2.2 inches off my neck. My BMI has gone from 47.7 to 42.4, my body fat percentage has gone from 61% to 53%, and my A1C has gone from 7.0 to 6.6 (last tested in February). I’m pretty sure by this point in my journey, I’m very close to no longer being considered diabetic.
I hope this plateau is behind me for good, and that the next one is a long time away. I’m damn proud of myself for a change. This is a huge war, but I won this battle.
While doing research on my family, I came across this information on the Ancestry.com website. I thought it might be helpful for anyone researching their Quaker ancestors. The following text is copied verbatim from Ancestry.
This database contains Quaker monthly meeting records which are archived at the following Quaker colleges: Earlham (Indiana), Guilford (North Carolina), Haverford and Swarthmore (Pennsylvania). Quakers recorded a variety of details in their monthly meeting minutes which can be searched by name, location, and event date; or browsed by state, county, meeting, and record type. The format of meeting records varied from meeting to meeting and sometimes changed over time.
This collection marks the first time a major collection of Quaker meeting records has been made available online with a comprehensive index. Although the Quakers conducted meetings on four levels, the monthly meeting records hold the details of the most genealogical value for researchers. In order to best use this collection, you will want to understand the records and what you can expect to find in them.
Who are the Quakers?
Quakers are members of a religious group that began in England in the 1640s. The formal name is the ‘Religious Society of Friends’. Quakers did not separate religious life and secular life. They felt that all could live together in peace if they followed the Holy Spirit. Quakers, or Friends have been known for the religious testimonies against war and slavery, and in support of simplicity and social justice. Many early leaders of the anti-slavery, anti-war and woman’s rights movements have been Quakers.
What Can I Expect to Find in Quaker Records?
There are generally two types of monthly meeting records, minutes taken during the business meeting, and separate registers of births, marriages and burials. Later in the 19th century many meetings began to keep membership registers which incorporated more comprehensive information. Each meeting kept records for individuals and families as long as they remained faithful members of the meeting and within its geographical boundaries. When a family moved from one meeting to another, a letter (certificate of removal) was sent to the new monthly meeting they would be attending. Notice of the transfer was written into the minutes of the original meeting, and was also noted as received in the new meeting.
Meeting minutes contain a recording of all business conducted in the meeting. These include approvals of marriage intentions, records of discipline, disownment, requests for burial in the meeting burial grounds, and removal. Monthly meeting minutes rarely include information about births and deaths.
The Religious Society of Friends suffered a major schism in 1827, when the Society split into “Orthodox” and “Hicksite” branches. In many cases, two meetings then existed where there had originally been one, each using the same meeting name and each keeping records, as required. You may find your ancestor in either set of records, depending on where he and his family stood in the conflict at the time, so it is best to check both sets. The Hicksite-Orthodox separation, which lasted until 1955, was the largest of the splits, but was followed by a number of smaller and more regional splits. By the end of the 19th century, most American Friends were either Hicksite or Orthodox but there were also Wilburite, Conservative, Progressive, Primitive, Otisite, Kingite and other divisions for short periods of time. Records for these splinter groups did not survive in most cases.
Why does my ancestor’s name appear on an image, but is not part of the index?
It is possible that names of members which appear in various documents were not indexed. This occurs primarily when members were named to committees or attended weddings. Quaker marriage certificates were signed by all witnesses present at the time of the marriage. These names were only recorded in the minutes in the early years, and were not indexed. Non-Quakers were permitted to attend weddings and signed the marriage certificate, as a result some of the witnesses at a Quaker wedding were not members of the Society of Friends.
It is possible that during the time they attended a specific meeting, if a family or individual: did not serve on any committees, did not have children, was not married, did not move from, and was not buried, their names will not appear in the minutes.
Dates in many of the entries are recorded according to the Quakers’ system. Quakers found the use of traditional names for months and days against their Christian values since the names of the days of the weeks and most of the names of the months derived from “pagan” deities. So they devised a numerical system; First Day was Sunday, Second Day was Monday, Third Day for Tuesday, etc. First month, Second Month, Third Month substituted for the names of months.
Please keep in mind that before England changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, the year officially began in March. Thus First month, 1751 is March, not January. Since the English and English colonists in America were aware that many nations by this time used January 1st for the beginning of the new year, dates in January and February were often written as 1740/1741, meaning if one assumed the year began in January, the year was 1741, but if one was using the official English system, the year did not begin until March, so the year was still 1740. Be careful in transcribing the dates you see. We have made every effort to provide both the Quaker terms and the traditional dates in the hopes of being clear on what was recorded at the time. The majority of the records should contain a Quaker date and a translated date.
Today marks day 100 of my weight loss journey. I was pleasantly surprised by hitting one of my goals today: 15 lbs gone, hopefully forever.
I started my journey on my 45th birthday. I had an ultimate weight goal in mind, which would take me back to my weight around the time of my first marriage. That meant I had at least 100 lbs to lose. This was not going to be easy.
In 1992, I was a fairly healthy young woman. That’s when my body turned against me. I developed a medical condition called Meniere’s Disease, which causes vertigo, tinnitus, and hearing loss. It took 14 years to finally get a definitive diagnosis. During those 14 years, I struggled with mobility, because it’s difficult to be active when your world is spinning more often than not. That lack of activity also brought about weight gain. By 1995, I’d gained about 20 lbs. Not a huge amount, but because of my body’s small frame, it made me look chubby.
In 1996, I became pregnant. Naturally, I gained weight. I ballooned another 30 lbs. I wasn’t terribly worried about it, because I knew that once I had the baby, I’d lose weight. Or so I thought. I struggled for over a year, just to lose 5 lbs. I was mortified. I’d been experiencing severe migraines at the rate of about 1 per week. In addition to the vertigo, I was laid up for 1-2 days at a time because of the migraines. The only thing I could do to control my weight was diet, because exercise was something I was rarely capable of doing.
Fast forward to 2004. I’d learned how to somewhat manage the vertigo, and was learning how to do life with migraines that were getting worse by the year. I got a part-time job at Walmart, as a cashier. I was on my feet 2-3 nights a week, walking around a lot. 3rd shift cashiers don’t just stand at the register all night. We were responsible for so much more, which meant walking for several hours, and countless miles. I never did buy a pedometer back then, but I estimate I walked at least 5 miles every night I worked. I ended up losing about 30 lbs in six months. I was ecstatic. I could do this! I could get myself healthy again. Maybe it would even help with the migraines.
Then I injured myself. I slammed a shopping cart into the back of my heel. I thought I’d just bruised it, and it would heal in a few days, and I’d be back to normal (or what passed as normal for my body) in a week. But that didn’t happen. The pain became worse every day. Each step I took was excruciating. I was missing more days than I was working. I went to the ER, where x-rays were taken of my foot. That’s when the bone spurs were discovered. The shopping cart had broken off a piece of a large bone spur, and the broken piece was “floating” around inside. The spur was under my Achilles tendon, and every time I stretched it with normal movement, the floating piece was cutting through the tendon, and rubbing against the bone. The pain was unimaginable. I was sent to a podiatrist, who said there was a surgery that could be done, but he wasn’t willing to do it at that time. I went on a Leave of Absence from work. I never returned.
By 2008, having been unemployable for at least 2 years, I had gained back all of the weight I lost, plus more. I went to another podiatrist when I started experiencing the same type of pain in my other foot. X-rays revealed another bone spur, nearly identical to the other one (minus the broken piece). He agreed that surgery was absolutely necessary. I had surgery on one foot. I was immobile for 2 months, then had to re-learn how to walk on that foot again. It took 4 years and another 25 lbs to get to the point where I could go through the same surgery on my other foot. I was ashamed by how much weight I’d gained. The 2nd surgery had to be done in the hospital instead of the outpatient unit, because I’d gained so much weight, it wasn’t safe for me to be put under anesthesia outside of the hospital.
A year after the 2nd surgery, I had to have another minor surgery on the same foot, to repair a problem. It’s been 3 years since that surgery, 8 years since the first surgery, and I’m still struggling to walk like a normal human being. There’s a good chance I will never walk normally again. I have accepted that. I have accepted that the Meniere’s Disease is permanent, and that the migraines probably are, too.
What I have never accepted was the amount of weight I’d gained over the years. All told, I gained 106 lbs between 1992 and 2015. I am determined to lose it, no matter what it takes! I can’t walk every day. I can’t ride a normal bike outside. I tried joining the YMCA in 2014 to swim, but it didn’t work out, for various reasons. I knew that diet alone wasn’t going to get the weight off. We don’t have the money for a gym membership or diet plan like Weight Watchers. I started researching ways to lose weight, with so many things stacked against me.
I found an app for my phone. MyFitnessPal. I downloaded it, learned how to use it, and committed to doing what I could. I logged everything I ate. I downloaded a second app for my phone to record my exercise. MapMyWalk. I bought a new digital scale to replace the ancient, malfunctioning analog scale we had (and discovered I was 5 lbs fatter than I thought I was!). I bought a digital food scale, and I now weigh everything I possibly can, so my calorie intake can be as accurate as possible. We found an exercise bike through a local FreeCycle group. And lastly, I bought a used FitBit Flex from a local yard sale group.
I ride my exercise bike for at least 30 minutes a day. I distract myself by playing a game on my phone, or by watching tv (usually Biggest Loser). By the time I’m done on the bike, I’m in an excruciating amount of pain. Both of my feet hurt, my back hurts, my knees and hips hurt, my butt hurts, my crotch feels like it’s on fire. But I haven’t gone one day in the past 100 days without riding that bike. And it’s paying off. I’m losing, on average, about a pound a week.
The best part is that I’m doing this on my own. I don’t have a trainer*. I don’t have a dietitian. I don’t have a gym. I don’t have much physical ability. I have many physical disabilities. But I’m doing it. BY MYSELF. And it’s hard. I won’t lie, this has been one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. It’s also slow. I know it will be close to 2 years before I reach my goal weight. I still have a lot to learn. I know I will have to change many things in my diet. But I’m determined to be healthy and beautiful again.
* If Jillian Michaels wants to come train me, I’m more than willing to have my ass kicked by her!😉
Today marks our 10th anniversary. According to sources, it’s the “Tin Anniversary”. Since we don’t really buy each other gifts, and I want nothing to do with the modern gift of diamond jewelry, I’m thinking I’ll just throw tin foil balls at him all day. Added bonus: it’ll give the cats something to play with.
In all seriousness, though, we’re both quite shocked that it’s been 10 years already. It barely feels like 5. Where did the time go?
We met on my birthday in 2004. Officially met. I’d seen him around work prior to that night, but really paid no attention to him at all. He was just another face in the crowd at work.
It was a horrible day for me. One of my favorite Aunts had just died that afternoon. I was in no mood to acknowledge my birthday, or spend any time at all with a smile on my face. The custom at work was for a manager to announce birthdays over the intercom. It was just about midnight, and I thought I’d dodged a bullet, because nobody seemed to remember. Then, as bad luck would have it, my immediate manager happened to check the calendar and realized she’d nearly missed announcing my “special” day. Right before break, no less, so it was fresh in everyone’s mind when I walked in the break-room with tears in my eyes. Bill was one of the first people to cheerfully wish me a happy birthday. I put on a fake smile, but couldn’t hide my tears.
Later that night, at lunch, the usual group of people sat in the break-room. Back then, smoking was allowed in there, so most of us ate our lunches and puffed away on a couple of cigarettes for 30 minutes. Some spent lunch in silence, some read a book, some slept (how, I’ll never know), but most of us sat around and chatted. I typically sat with the guys. I’ve always been more comfortable being “just one of the guys”, as opposed to chewing the fat and gossiping with the women.
Bill and 3 other guys were my lunch companions that night. They were all trying to cheer me up, but mostly they failed. One of them asked me how old I was, so I told them they had to guess. I don’t remember their guesses, only that they all came fairly close to my actual age. Then they all asked how old I thought they were. That’s when things became funny. I’m pretty sure I got most of them correct (or very close), but when it came time to guess Bill’s age, I was way, way off. Embarrassingly so. I looked him up and down, mulled it over in my head a bit, and guessed that he was at least 40, maybe 45. He was only 32. He took it pretty well, considering I’d insulted him so badly. What’s worse is that he was 2 years younger than me!
It’s here that I should explain that he was already well on his way to a halfway bald head, which prematurely aged him. I felt terrible, and I kept apologizing. He was so sweet about it, though, and kept feigning emotional injury. Naturally, the conversation turned to hair. I remember them talking about age and gray hair. I’d been graying since I was about 18, which naturally, I dyed to make sure I didn’t look like I was 50. Bill snarkily asked if the carpet matched the curtains. Nobody thought I’d understand what that meant. Of course I did (remember, me being more comfortable hanging around guys than women?)! I snapped back, “what carpet? I have hardwood floors!” The other guys were shocked, but Bill just laughed.
Needless to say, the conversation came to a screeching halt at that moment. The other guys were visibly uncomfortable with the direction the conversation had turned. Not because they were embarrassed to be guys acting like guys, but because here was this woman who could keep up with them, and they didn’t know how to handle it. Not Bill. He looked totally at ease, not just with the joking around, but with me, personally. I ribbed him a bit more, pointing to the gold band he was wearing on his left ring finger, and asked if his wife would be happy with the way the conversation was going. When he told me he wasn’t married, I was confused and a bit speechless. (those of you who know me know how rare that is)
From that day on, Bill and I shared our life stories with each other. Neither of us can really explain why, but we felt like we’d known each other forever. We’d talk during our breaks at work, and even on the phone outside of work. A little over 2 months later, I moved in with him. 9 months after that, we were married.
And 10 years later, we’re still very happily married and very much in love. And neither of us can explain how everything happened as fast as it did. We’ve weathered many storms together. We’ve carried each other through some of the worst moments in our lives. We’ve celebrated the good times, and mourned the losses. We’ve taught each other, and learned from each other. We’ve grown together. We discovered we’re individually much stronger than we gave ourselves credit for, but we both know that without the other, our strength wouldn’t be as great as it is when we’re together. We fiercely protect each other. And we’re each other’s soft place to land.
I can’t imagine a better husband. He’s truly my best friend. I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years have in store for us! I love you, Bill, with every fiber of my being. Happy Anniversary, my love.
I found this doctor who says he can fix a few of my medical problems. I’ve been going to see him about once a week for a while now. He has me jumping through some hoops, though, before he’ll even start treatment.
I had to wear a monitoring device, so he could see what was going on with me at all times. In addition to that, I had to call him every day and update him on what my day was like. He basically wanted to know things like my emotional state, the things I was eating, exercise I was getting, etc. Even though he could see everything through the monitoring device, I still had to check in with him at least once a day.
After a while of doing that, I went back to him to discuss treatment. He started asking me all of these questions, like have I done any charity work, do I do good things for others, have I done anything illegal or immoral, how is my relationship with my parents, and how did I raise my kids. He was pretty much taking my life history.
I started to get a little uncomfortable and impatient. I asked when I could start treatment. He told me that I seemed ungrateful, and that even though he could definitely fix my problems, he wasn’t seeing enough from me, so he was having second thoughts about helping me.
I begged him to help, but he’s still not sure. I offered to get everyone who knows me to talk to him on my behalf, and he said he’d consider changing his mind if enough people called him, and if he started seeing some gratitude from me for all that he’s already done for me.
I’m really not comfortable with this. What would you do?
Elizabeth “Lizzie” SCOTT Holston
DOB: 12 March 1843    (possibly 1844   or 1845   ?)
Place of birth: most likely lower Delaware, USA      (possibly Scotland, UK ?)
Need birth certificate or record of baptism. Also need the name of her parents.
Need to know where she was from 1843 to 1870
► 12 July 1870: She gives birth to George Holston. (Why wasn’t he listed on the census the next day? Was she married to James Holston; if so, why is she listed as ‘Domestic Servant’ and not ‘wife’?) Need George’s birth certificate to confirm date.
► 13 July 1870: She’s 25 years old (should be 27). Living in Cedar Creek Hundred, Sussex County, Ellendale, DE with James J Holston and his 4 children. Listed as a Domestic Servant. Still using her maiden name “Scott”.  Need marriage certificate to James to confirm date.
► 25 September 1873: She gives birth to Charles C Holston.
► 1877: She gives birth to Messa Holston. (no date, year approximate)
► 2 June 1880: Listed on the census as “Lizzie”. She’s 35 years old (should be 37). Living in Cedar Creek Hundred, Sussex County, Ellendale, DE with her husband James, their 3 children, and her step-daughter. Her occupation is listed as “keeps home”. Her birthplace is listed as Delaware, as are both of her parents. 
► 4 November 1880: She gives birth to Frank Holston. 
► 28 February 1883: She gives birth to David Stayton Holston.
Need 1890 census, or information on where she was between 1883 and 1900.
► 13 June 1900: Listed on the census as Lizzie J Holston, with a DOB of March 1844; age 56. Living in Cedar Creek Hundred, Sussex County, Milford Town, DE. Marital status is Widowed. Her birthplace is listed as Delaware; her mother’s birthplace is Delaware; her father’s birthplace is unknown. She can not read or write. She’s renting a house. She has a boarder. Her occupation is “takes washing”. She’s given birth to 9 children, 4 of which are living.  (We know of 5 children, who were the other 4? Could the 5 deceased children be those who died in a barn fire, as relayed by her son Frank to his daughter? )
► 1905: Living at 2215 Latona Street, Philadelphia, PA. Her sons Frank and David live with her. She’s listed as the widow of James J. 
► 13 January 1906: Living at 2145 S 16th Street, Philadelphia, PA, for 1 month and 28 days. Was sick with breast cancer for 10 years. Seen by Dr. J T Williams at Presbyterian Hospital from 15 November 1905 until her death on Saturday, 13 January 1906 @7pm. DOB is listed as 1844; age 62 (which is mathematically impossible, unless she was born in 1843 ). Her birthplace is listed as Delaware, as is that of both of her parents. The names of her parents are unknown. She was buried on 15 January 1906 in Milford, DE. The funeral home was David H Bowen & Son, 813 South 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA. 
► Records from the funeral home somewhat confirm and somewhat contradict previous information.  However, it ties everything together. The information that I can read is as follows:
13 January 1906
Elizabeth “Scott” Holston
Widow of James J
Sons David & Frank
62 years old; DOB 12 March 1843
Residence – Milford DE (is that where she’s from or where she’s buried?)
5-7-19 (is that measurements?)
Sealed box (assuming casket?)
Time – Tues 7:40am train (to where?); Mon 2pm at office (for what? service? viewing?)
2145 S 16th Street
(The rest I can not decipher.)
► Another document comes from the Gerberich Collection of Gravestone Inscriptions. It’s from page 306. It says that Elizabeth Holston 1843-1906 was buried at Beulah Baptist Church, Russellville, PA (Upper Oxford Twp, Chester County). It lists her as “mother”, w. of James (wife? widow?), and her middle initial as “A”. 
At the FindAGrave website, it also has this listing.
(Is this a coincidence? Could there really be 2 women named Elizabeth Holston with the same birth and death year, both married to James?)
Sources (click on the links to enlarge pics):
Wolfram Alpha calculations