Surprise moment in dress store yields joy

I had just finished co-hosting the annual Bookstock Best Award presentation – honoring fourth-grade essay winners and their teachers – and I was feeling really good.IMG_5452

Since I had a TV appearance the next day, and I needed something to wear, I dropped by Von Maur for a dress.

As I headed into the section I used to live in, a very nice sales clerk rushed up to greet me and said: “Oh, honey this isn’t your section. These are too big. Your dresses are over there.”

And she pointed me toward the section I hadn’t set foot in in 10 years, the section of single-and lower- double-digit-sized dresses. It was as far from Plus Size as it was possible to be and remain on the same floor.

The woman turned away, but even had she been looking, she wouldn’t have seen my internal Happy Dance.

I am not turning this blog into a weight-loss journal. But I had to share that story.

Since losing 62 pounds, my entire outlook and lookout have changed. I am feeling healthier and happier than I have in years.

So besides getting rid of every medication I had been taking and walking Desi in half the time each morning, I can now buy a single suit – not a separate top and bottom in whatever size is close, but a single suit. In a single size.

And I bought dresses that actually fit.

This new journey is still all about the health, but it is becoming more and more about the look. And soon, I’ll be OK with that.

(I’ll be updating with photos as I wear the dresses and suits!)

ROCHELLE RILEY is a writer whose essays here are about her personal adventures. No reprints without permission. You can read her columns at and follow her on Twitter @rochelleriley.