Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Perils of Progress

Today I am down a total of 90 pounds.  Holy shit.  I mean, really. With another 26 pounds to my goal I'm not there yet, but the descent has begun.  And truthfully, I'm in a weird place right now.

This past weekend my friend Amy got married.  Being broke as I am and not having any disposable income to buy new clothes, I hit the thrift stores (of which there are MYRIAD in my neighborhood) to see if I couldn't find something to wear.  A wedding is always a good excuse to buy something new (or new-to-me, as it were), but I had zero luck finding anything.  I came close a few times, but nothing that really said, "you should spend ten bucks on this because you look amazing in it."

Defeated, I went home and resolved to find something in my closet and make it work.  I pulled out all my dresses and began trying them on.  First up, the dress I wore to my cousin's wedding in July.  Too big.  Next, the dress I wore to another cousin's wedding a couple years ago after I'd lost a bunch of weight.  I remember feeling ultra cute in it, but when I put it this time on it hung on me.  That went into the "no" pile, too.  Then I tried the dress I wore for my Master's graduation in May 2011.  Loose, but not too bad since it had some stretch to it, and a possibility if I dressed it up with some funky jewelry to distract from the fact that it didn't fit me quite right.  That went into the "maybe" pile.  Dress after dress was tossed onto the "no" pile until I had nothing left to try.  Then I started with the skirt and blouse possibilities.  Nothing.  The only combo I found that fit me reasonably well and looked nice looked far more appropriate for a job interview than a fun wedding in a funky urban brewery.  Sigh.

Finally I remembered the tote of spring/summer dresses I'd packed away the week before and decided to dig it up.  All of the dresses in that bin were smaller sizes (thanks to recent thrift, clearance, and clothing swap acquisitions), but I knew there was one in there that might fit me now.  I pulled it out, put it on, and luck was on my side. It fit.  It was a summer pattern, made of cotton with a peekaboo crinoline slip, but I figured if I dressed it up with a sweater and some black tights I could make it work for a fall wedding.   It worked indeed, and I got a lot of nice compliments.

Take THAT, potential fashion faux pas!

My friend Katie was at the wedding, too.  At one point during the evening we started talking about the last time we had been at a wedding together,  back in February of 2010 when our friend Nicole got married.  I had started Weight Watchers a couple weeks before that, and by the time Nicole got married I'd lost 11 pounds.  I remember feeling kind of awesome about myself, too.  I was wearing a nice dress and nice jewelry, my hair was freshly cut and colored, and I felt pretty.  

When I got home from Amy's wedding and uploaded the pictures from my camera,  I placed one of Katie and me from that night next to an old one of us from Nicole's wedding.  I was absolutely astounded at the difference:

Well at least my hair looked better then.

What's more disconcerting, I think, is that in between then and now I've lost 75, gained 65, and lost 90.  In three years.  And this is part of why I'm in a weird place.  

I'm in a weird place because every time I've lost weight I've gained it back, and I somehow always gave in to my self-destruction - and I'm still worried that could happen again even after all I've been through this time.  I'm in a weird place because I'm getting compliments all the time and I'm never quite sure how to accept them with grace (that's a whole other blog topic in and of itself) - not because they're not nice to hear, but because I feel like I don't deserve them (see first sentence about self-destruction).  I've gotten better about it, but it's still weird.  People are noticing, and it wasn't until I saw the above side-by-side comparison that I realized just HOW noticeable it really is.  I'm in a weird place because I still can't believe I don't wear plus-sized clothes anymore.  And yet...I'm still overweight by 26 pounds which, in the grand scheme of things, isn't THAT much, but it's still enough to bother me and make me feel fat most of the time.  I'm in this limbo between being "thinner than I was" and being actually thin.  I'm in a weird place because this all happened so damn fast, even though it feels like eons ago that I was waking up in that hospital bed with most of my stomach gone.  It's just weird.  I don't know if it will ever stop being weird.  

But I'm progressing, and that's all that really matters.  Right?


  1. It must have taken a lot of will power

  2. A) get a used sewing machine, and check out your local craft stores - most of them have free sewing (and alteration) classes. Plus, youtube has about eleventy billion videos on the subject
    B) you won't, can't ever gain it all back. unless you drink milkshakes through a straw for every meal and snack for the next 10 years
    C) Say thank you. Full stop. Done
    D) Why weird about not being weird about plus size? be fucking ecstatic about it?
    E) Fuck the last 26 - it may never happen. Or it will. Who cares?
    F) To be very direct here - because I've been there - do you think you're creating these issues to deflect from your success? I had the same thing happen to me, and it takes a long ass time to realize that this isn't your life, just a part of it. Relax, and enjoy the life that you are living