|This is my niece's, complete with leprechaun hot tub.|
|This is my nephew's, complete with our namesake whiskey.|
Apparently the traps were sprung and the cookies were eaten, but no leprechauns were caught. (Dollar coins were left for them, though. Generous leprechauns, will you leave us some?)
I had a bit of a milestone today. I went shopping. At a clothing store. For probably the first time in two years.
I have worn roughly the same size for the past 10 years. I have fluctuated gradually by about 20 pounds, but due to the cut and stretch of the clothes (and due to the fact that those 20 pounds are on top of 320 to 340 pounds, so they don't make as big a difference in inches) I've been able to wear the larger or the smaller end of my wardrobe without any major shopping. What I've done, instead, is to build a collection of investment pieces and staples that work within my own personal style. This is actually a challenge as a plus-sized woman. I have about 10 different stores I can buy from (mostly online) and the selection is limited. So it's been kind of a hobby for me. A labor of love.
And now it's all going away.
I still have a few months with some of the pieces. My very kind mother-in-law has offered to do some tailoring for me, and I've got my bags of baggy ready for her. Plus, I'm soon to get back the smallest pieces from my wardrobe, which I had loaned to a friend. But once those are gone... I'm SOL. I'll have to build a transitional wardrobe, which will be much smaller, and will need to be much less expensive. I feel like I should be excited about this. I mean, hey. I love clothes. They'll look good on me. I'll eventually have a wider selection. But somehow, there's a touch of grief in this. (Plus, whoa, budget.)
With this process, I felt like I needed to warm myself up for it. So today I treated myself to a window-shopping (and gift-card shopping) trip. I bought some equipment I needed for working out: a new swim cap, a pair of nalgene bottles, and a snorkel. Yes, a snorkel. I suffer from the dreaded Powers family freestyle hyperventilation, and I urgently want to incorporate freestyle in my swim workout.
I also stopped into a Lane Bryant. I haven't been too interested in their wares recently - I wear their jeans and their intimates, but the 26/28s had not been cute or comfortable. I buy the bulk of my clothes elsewhere. (EShakti, Old Navy, B&Lu, Igigi, among others.) But since those stores are mostly online, I figured it might be a good idea to try on some items in person, to see how I'm fitting things these days. I grabbed a range of clothes in a range of sizes, and headed to the dressing room.
Figuring I'd still be on the slightly larger end, I started with the largest items. I was wondering, in fact, if anything would fit at all. And, no. The 26/28s didn't fit.
The 22/24s did.
Surprise - 22/24s! I haven't worn that size in... well, as long as I've known Tom, at least. I couldn't resist purchasing two shirts on clearance. They were cute and would still work once I lost a little more weight. Pictures to come as I wear them.
There's something that isn't quite registering with me about my progress. I mean, yes, I feel much stronger in class or in the pool. Yes, most of what I was wearing last year is too baggy now. Yes, I am conscious about all of the changes we've made, and yes, I see what the scale says. But somehow, I had trouble believing that would translate to new clothes!
I wonder if the rapid loss has caused a touch of body dysmorphia. I'm having real trouble identifying how large I was and how much less large I am, in terms of visual space. I saw that picture of me on Sunday, and I was actually surprised I was as "small" as I am. And I remember the opposite happening in the past - seeing myself in a photo after a gradual weight gain, and being surprised at how large I was.
This will all shake out, I know. I'll continue to progress, and my brain will eventually click in, and recognize that I look different. I probably need to look remarkably different before that can happen, but a girl can hope. For now, I'll wear my newly smaller blouse, keep calm, and carry on.