There is a no-man's land, or should I say, "no-woman's land," in women's sizing. It is that funny area when you get to the top of the misses sizes and the bottom of plus sizes, where numbers start to not only get bigger but also gain a W at the end. And you learn that a size 16 and a size 16W are two different sizes.
This is the land I currently reside in. It is thrilling to be at the bottom of the plus size section, and in some stores, OUT of the plus size section. I almost don't know quite what to do when I go shopping. But at the same time it is frustrating to be a 16W, because you aren't a 16. The difference between a 16 and 16W isn't just the fit, the curving. At one national retailer, I tried on a dress where the 16W was roomy enough for me to consider grabbing a 14W. Yet, over in misses land, the size 16 dresses wouldn't zip completely. At a different national retailer, size 16 misses skirts fit great. Size 18 dresses crush my bust like a bad corset. Go figure.
Right now, I'm happy to not gain weight over the holidays. My schedule has gone crazy, the sweets are prevalent, and it is way too easy to eat on the run and overindulge. With the schedule chaos, too, gym time becomes compromised. Talk about a one-two punch that can be devastating to my progress! So although the scale hasn't really dropped in the past month, I'm trying to not be too disheartened by it.
There are two things I have helping me stay that way. First of all is remembering that muscle weighs more than fat, and I can tell by how my body responds in various classes and situations that my muscles are becoming stronger. I can also see increasing definition, especially in my legs. Secondly is realizing when I look at a piece of clothing that I am indeed that "small." Last week I purchased a set of long underwear, as I'll be attending an outdoor pro football game on Sunday and the temperature will be about 20 degrees. I went by the size chart and my "old" mindset and bought a size 2x. The next day I was back, returning them, because they were too big. Not a little too big, but way too big. Yay for those kinds of victories!
I don't know how best to completely adjust my perspective, if the "fat girl" in my brain will ever be completely silenced. I've never in my life been able to shop in the regular sizes, and I'm about to turn 35. Talk about teaching an old dog new tricks; it will be like a whole new world. And one that I am ready to enter -- and stay in!