3.14.2010

Size is just a number.....

There is one advantage, and yet at the same time a disadvantage, to losing weight: you have to put together a new wardrobe. That is, if you are losing significant amounts of weight. Some clothing fits fine, even when too big. Some does not. I saw this in photos of me last week wearing a black suit for a gig. I thought, upon mirror inspection, that the jacket was ok (not great) because of the seaming and structure, even though it could be taken in 4" if not more. Seeing the photos I realized that the excess just made me look like I was swimming in black fabric and had no shape whatsoever.

Fortunately for the first time in several months, I have a little bit of extra money with which to purchase clothing. This is a good thing, since I'm now down to about 2 pairs of jeans I can comfortably wear that aren't overly baggy, and no shorts that fit to take with me to Florida. Even my belts are too big, and given their styles can't be adjusted just by punching new holes. Knowing that more weight loss is inevitable, I headed for Old Navy, where I wouldn't feel too guilty about spending money on clothing that I know, or at least hope, that in a few months will be too big.

The downside to shopping after a big weight loss - I'm down around 45 pounds so far - is that you don't know what size you are. I used to know at Old Navy I was a 20, but not all 20s there would fit me, and the same was true for the size XXL. Knowing, walking in, that my current favorite jeans are Old Navy size 18s, that's where I started. I ended up purchasing a maxi dress, size XL (not XXL), a blouse, again XL, and a denim skirt, size 16. Yes, 16. I tried on and fit into a dress that was a size L. The XL was a bit big, the L a bit small, so I didn't buy it. But there was no denying the ego boost. I almost broke down in tears - the good kind - in the dressing room.

The next day I was out at the mall, looking for concert wear for next week and a dress for an audition and possible photo shoot. I almost bought a black blazer at Dillard's that fit wonderfully, and was a 16W. I ended up buying a similar blazer at Penney's for less than half the price. The tag on that says an 18, but I tried on other things there, mostly dresses, that were 18s and they were a little big. Not so big where I'd honestly consider a smaller size, but I knew in the back of my head within 2 months they would be too big and weren't worth the investment at this time. With less expensive clothing, sizing is more inconsistent. I did buy a gorgeous dress at Dillard's off the clearance rack for the audition/photo shoot that was a 16W. A cocktail/dinner dress for $27? Even if I only wear it twice I'll have gotten my money's worth! The last dress I bought that was a 16W, I was 21 or 22 - some 12 or 13 years ago.

I still have a very long way to go. It would be awesome if by this fall I wasn't shopping in the big girls' departments any more, something that would really be a "first time in my life" situation. As my body changes shape, it seems each time I look in the mirror I see something new I dislike, be it emerging cellulite or something that now looks ill-proportioned. But then I look at the tags that say sizes that no longer start with a 2, and I look at the bigger picture. Size may only be a number, but right now, seeing those numbers get smaller is the best ego boost I could ask for!