Years ago I read in an article that sometimes people who lose weight struggle to buy clothes that fit because they still think of themselves as overweight.
I remember thinking that the phenomenon was completely ridiculous, that if I ever got down to a smaller size I would not have that problem.
First of all, I’m not an idiot. I figured that any reasonably intelligent person would be able to recognize that weight loss means smaller clothes.
Second, even though I’ve been overweight practically my whole life, I never identified as fat.
It’s one thing to know you’re overweight, it’s another to let it determine who you are.
But apparently I am an idiot. And being overweight was a bigger part of my identity than I realized.
Until recently, I had a system for clothes shopping. I’d head directly to the “woman’s” section of the store, or the “fat ladies clothes” as I like to call it.
Once there I’d start at the biggest sizes and worked down until I found clothes that fit.
Now that I’ve lost a few pounds, I can’t seem to break the habit of picking up the largest size on the rack.
It seems I have lost all perception when it comes my body and I’m unable to persuade myself that I’m not an XXL girl anymore.
When I do succeed in taking a sweater or shirt in a smaller size into the dressing room, I take a bigger one just in case.
“I better take a larger size in with me since this one definitely won’t fit,” I say.
Then I’m surprised when the smaller one does in fact fit me.
The other day at a concert, the tour manager offered me a t-shirt from the band’s merchandise.
She held up one in medium. “This is one would look good on you.”
“I think I need an extra-large,” I told her.
She looked at me with skepticism. “Are you sure?”
“Absolutely,” I assured her , thinking that there’s no way a medium t-shirt would fit me.
She gave it to me, but I could tell she wasn’t convinced.
And she was right. The shirt is too big.
I thought that losing weight would open up a world a fashion to me.
I would be able to shop at more stores, have a bigger selection. I pictured myself in every makeover scene in every chick flick every made, trying on one fabulous outfit after another.
Instead I’ve lost all sense of myself and often leave empty-handed because I have no ability to determine what fits and what looks good.
I think it was easier when I could stick to the fat ladies clothing.