There is space in my closet.
Not too long ago, my closet was crammed full of clothes in a variety of sizes. From the 32′s I was wearing in December to a size medium t-shirt that I’ve never worn, years and years of yo-yo dieting and wishful thinking come together in a relatively tiny space. Hangers that used to be crammed together like Kardashians at a ho convention are now inches apart. My clothes are beginning to have room to hang properly. Why?
Because the size 32′s have officially left the building! I can’t wear them anymore. I swim in the tops and walk right out of the bottoms. They’ve all been packed up and donated. I’m too small to wear them.
Does that sound silly? How many 339 pound, size 28 women do you know who have ever said they were too small for anything? Probably just me…but it’s important.
Looking back over years and years of diets and failures, I remember how much I absolutely hated to be told that I needed to appreciate and celebrate the little victories along the way. I just wanted to be smaller…healthier…and less self conscious. I just wanted to shop in a normal store for once. I just wanted to live a regular, non plus sized life. NOW!
I didn’t want to have to care about the little victories…so I would patronize myself and say “Oh, yes, Dianne…good job…you lost a pound.” I told others that I was happy with my progress because I knew it was what I should say. I didn’t really feel that way, though. Inside, I was really thinking “Big effing deal, you lost a pound…lose MORE…you’re a huge cow and I can’t believe you did this to yourself. I hate you!” Inside, I was trying to figure out how to lose 5 pounds a week and still have a Twinkie once in a while. I just wanted to get through to the end…I didn’t give a rat’s ass about the middle. Slowly, I’m beginning to realize that the middle is the best part – not unlike the aforementioned Twinkie.
It was hard in the beginning. I started this whole thing with only one goal: never quit. I’ve quit a million times before and it’s only ever gotten me fatter. It’s like that Seinfeld episode where George Costanza realizes he’s been a loser his entire life…and he decides that from that point on, he’s going to do everything opposite – because if all his past decisions were the wrong ones, then going against his own judgment should pay off. And it does, at least for a little while.
In the beginning, I would lose a pound and my auto-pilot would kick in and I’d think to myself “So what…big deal…you’re still huge. It’s one pound out of over 200…Jesus! Look what you’d done with your life!!” As soon as I realized that negative crap was going on, I forced myself to say “Knock it off! Shut up!! You’re done! You’ve gotten me nowhere!!! I’ve lost one pound and I’m going to accept it and be happy that it’s one less pound I have to work off. So shut your pie hole, bitch!” Yeah…it was like that.
As I progressed, it got easier and easier to stand up to my auto-pilot a lot faster. I’d feel the negativity creep up and would think “No! Knock it off!!! That doesn’t help…I know this sucks right now but just deal with it and keep moving forward. You’re not going to think horrible things about yourself anymore and I’m not putting up with it!” It sort of felt like I was disciplining an unruly teenager.
If you’re trying to lose weight like me, I hate to tell ya…I think it’s incredibly important to celebrate all the victories you can along the way. But you’ve got to FEEL it, peeps. You can’t go through the motions because you know that’s what you’re supposed to do. You have to actually feel it. In the beginning, it will feel awkward and it will be hard…but just do it. Look at your situation and find something good about it. Say “Okay…I hate where I am right now, I admit that – but I’m not going to hate me. I hate that this feels so hard, but if I don’t try I’m just going to keep being fat. I will try. And when I feel like quitting, I will refuse. Quitting keeps me fat. I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to get going…so I’m going to look at this half pound I lost and I’m going to be happy with it. I know it will turn into a whole pound, then 2 pounds, then 3…as long as I refuse to quit. I just have to get through the beginning and it’ll get easier…so today, I’m going to be grateful for this one pound.”
The ability to find the silver lining on your plus sized cloud will help make this process a lot less painful. I started to see a light at the end of the tunnel when my gratitude for the little victories eclipsed the frustration I felt with my fat. It’s still tough…but it’s a lot less tough than it was in the beginning. There’s nothing special about me. If I can do this, you can too.
Back to my closet for a bit. There’s a certain top in there that I’ve never worn. You might think it was a cute little fitted thing in a size I can wear when I hit my goal weight, but you would be wrong. It’s a 26/28…and I’ve had it for about 4 years.
When I bought it, I was a size 32 and not feeling very good about myself. I was only clothes shopping because I was too big to fit into most of the clothes in my closet and I needed some decent looking tops for work. I wasn’t eating very healthy and I was feeling plenty guilty about it. I didn’t like myself very much.
Everything in the store was either ugly or inappropriate for a professional office. The more I moved through the racks, the more I hated how big I was. There was just nothing that I really liked. And then I saw this top. As soon as I saw it, I heard myself say “Ooooh!”
It doesn’t quite come off in the picture, but the entire neckline is sparkly (and y’all know how much I love all things shiny). And it’s pink. I love pink. I automatically went for the back of the rack where the biggest sizes always were. Imagine my disappointment when the biggest size available was a 26/28. I asked the store clerk for a 30/32 and was told that the 26/28 was the biggest size it came in.
I bought it anyway. That’s how bad I wanted it. I’ve never been able to wear it. That is about to change. :-)
I should be able to wear this top in about ten more pounds. This is perfect, actually, because hitting 329 is going to be a huge milestone for me…so I deserve something pretty to wear that day, don’t I? This top has waited patiently in my closet for 4 years. It’s about to have a hell of a coming out party.
Count on it. :-)