body image, plus size fashion, shopping, weight loss

medium rare

This past Friday I went shopping.

This statement, by itself, doesn’t really mean much. It was Black Friday, after all (and today is Cyber Monday and the last day of the sale in my Etsy shop! Free worldwide shipping on jewelry, ornaments 10% off. Deals expire tonight). Honestly, I had no intentions of purchasing anything while we were out. I really just wanted to go to a particular store in our hometown as I wanted to check out sleeves for my new Nook (yes, yes, this librarian finally joined the e-Reader craze and, believe it or not, I can’t remember why I held out so long). Anyway, after looking and deciding on one to let my mom know I’d like as a Christmas gift, Sissy wanted to head over to Ann Taylor Loft. 
I have never shopped at a Loft before, but as we walked in I was excited, thinking that maybe I’ll be able to fit into their clothes finally. 
Perusing the racks, I asked Sissy how their clothes are cut. That is, are they large, small, true to size. In the end I grabbed a few L and XL just to get an idea and went for the dressing room. 
Here’s where things get….interesting. 
One of my finds was a lace dress. I grabbed a Large. Only, when I put it on it didn’t fit. It was too big. And I don’t just mean, like, it had a bit of give. I was drowning in this dress. The next dress I put on, also an L, was also like wearing a tent. And don’t even get me started on any of the XLs. 
A few weeks ago I went to Target and bought a new hoodie, sized Medium. I thought it was a fluke. Just the way Target (or, well, Merona) sized clothes.
No, ladies and gents, it is not a fluke, as I ended up buying the second dress (a gorgeous red sweater style) in a Medium. I also was thisclose to buying black leggings in a 14 (until Sissy pointed out I’d be able to find leggings just about anywhere and way cheaper. Old Navy ended up having theirs on sale for $5 and I had a $5 reward. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner).
In the past almost-two-years, I have gone from wearing XXL to wearing M. My pant size started at 28 and I’m now at 14. Shoes. Oh, shoes. I’ve gone from wearing 9s to wearing 7s. 
I don’t know what to do with this information. It’s overwhelming and a little bit absurd: if asked, two years ago, if I ever thought I’d get to this point (down 119.8 as of this morning) I would have said no. In fact, when people ask me now if I ever thought I’d get this far, I laugh and say “fuck no.” And I’m not even done yet. (It’s also overwhelming to be comfortable wearing things like leggings and sweater dresses. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, indeed.)
The thing is, when I look in the mirror, I don’t see it.  I know what the scale says. I know what my clothes say. I have collar bones popping out and defined cheek bones and a dangerous curve to my figure, but I still can’t quite see a woman who wears Mediums. When I get attention from men it leaves me stunned, for when I try to see myself through their eyes, all I see is the old me.
Kelly over at CurvyFitGirl said the fat girl is still in her head and I think that’s my problem, too. It’s a struggle, adjusting to this new body and accepting what I actually look like. Never having been this thin, it’s not as though I have memories or pictures of what it was like before. This is all new territory and while on the one hand it’s very exciting, it’s also, to be perfectly frank, fucking terrifying. And I worry that complaining or being uncomfortable makes me seem ungrateful or whiny or like I’m fishing. When people point out that I’m now skinnier than them I never know what to say: I’ve never been skinnier than anyone before. 
Even now I’m struggling to describe what goes through my head these days. The physical aspect of losing weight I’ve got covered. Now I guess I just have to work on the mental aspect.
Anyone else know what this feels like? 
Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

5 thoughts on “medium rare”

  1. Sounds like an awesome shopping trip! I think it's always hard to celebrate our success when it can seem like it's coming at the expense of someone who has struggled, or when it seems that people sometimes take it as a marker that we're “better” than they are, but you have always been VERY vocally supportive of loving yourself at any size, embracing the warrior woman in your body, and loving healthiness for its own sake. So maybe some of what you're experiencing is people reacting to your newfound level of confidence- it's not all about the weight, but about the fact that you seem to be really satisfied and happy with who you are right now (even before hitting your goal). And some people may be truly happy for you but struggling to show it properly- for 15 glorious months after my daughter was born, a hormonal glitch combined with a fat baby with a big appetite meant that I got very, very skinny- with numbers I hadn't seen since I was 14 and curveless on the scale. But when people tried to tell me how great I looked, I was skepitcal of their motives or tried to size up whether they were somehow judging me. And since I had been the same size for over a decade before her birth, I could not for the life of me get the hang of shopping for clothes in the right size. I guess the mental aspect of weight loss, in some ways, isn't much different from the mental aspect of getting used to a new promotion/great career or any other achievement. From my perspective, you've been humble, open about all the hard work required to get yourself where you are, and caring and supportive to others in any stage of the same journey. I hope that that, coupled with good old time, get you where you need to be mentally. Good luck!


  2. “I think it's always hard to celebrate our success when it can seem like it's coming at the expense of someone who has struggled, or when it seems that people sometimes take it as a marker that we're “better” than they are”

    I think this is a big part of it. I also think people are perhaps having to shift their own identities as related to me and my weight, if that makes sense. Insecurities are coming out and are maybe unintentionally being directed in the wrong way.

    It's one of those awkward situations (and it happens in more than just weight loss) where you want to be happy for the other person, but their success seems like a failure on your part even though they aren't at all connected.


  3. I keep looking at photos of myself and see changes that I don't see when I look in the mirror. I still have a long way to go but I still find myself choosing a 2X or XL tshirt when signing up for an event. I actually would be okay with a large at this point but I don't find myself believing it.

    You are doing great! Congrats on the shopping victories!


  4. Ah, yes, event t-shirts. My last race I went for a L just because I didn't think there was anyway I'd fit a M and it's def a bit too big. (Which is a bummer, 'cause I really like the design on the shirt. Might need to repurpose it!)


  5. Hello, I happened upon your blog today via 3fatchicks.
    Congrats on all the great changes you've made to get you this far. I am on a bounce up from a year ago when I felt very similar to what you are describing. There was so much discomfort in my new smaller size along with excitement. I didn't feel like anyone could relate.

    I don't know what to say other than I hope you continue to treat yourself so kindly with your healthy lifestyle. I regained some weight and am back on track these past few weeks just because it feels better to take good care of myself. I am having a hard time making myself really want to lose weight, but I know changes in my eating and exercise will result in weight loss. I suspect it will be uncomfortable again when I'm wearing those medium shirts and dresses. Something about being a smaller size than I was even at my thinnest in high school is disconcerting to my brain, and not in the good way it feels like it should be. I hope I can just feel the discomfort until I get comfortable with it next time. Thanks for this post–it made me feel less alone about feeling this way.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s