So by now some of you know I bought new clothes today. However, there is more to the story and first I needed to let myself celebrate the victory of smaller clothes because this is a non-scale victory worthy of celebration.
The part of the story I held back is part of my story with my body is dark. Today, in that dressing room, that darkness was triggered.
Though never diagnosed I have always displayed many of the traits common to body dysmorphic disorder.
For me one of the things that happens is I lose the ability to “see” myself. Today when I brought the wrong size into the dressing room there was a moment of terror that I am not seeing myself through real eyes. It is one of the reasons why I love this #GiveIt100 video project because it forces me to not only see myself but let others see me too.
Remember the story of “the dress” I told you a few days ago. The photograph of me in that dress was the first time I really realized who and what I see does not always match who and what others see.
Generally I am a fairly good judge of what will fit just by looking at it so today when I judged so wrong it scared me.
As that fear rose, all I could see were negatives.
I was in the dressing room a long time.
I was mostly reminding myself my first reaction to the second set of clothes were positive and good-tear-filled. I even stood staring at how small my waist looked in the pants. I’m not talking “healthy weight” sort of small just really seeing the difference between the pants I was wearing and the ones I was trying on. Honest to goodness it is the sole reason why I decided to buy them because despite losing over FOUR INCHES off my waist since July until that moment I could not see it.
In the same moment I knew I needed to buy the jeans incorrectly judging my top size flipped that all upside down.
Since July I have lost 8.25 inches off my waist and 5.25 inches off my chest (bra strap)!!!!!!!! HELLO GIRL, THAT IS ONE MOTHER OF AN NSV!!!!!!!!
Those two body parts alone means there are 13.5 inches missing from the body I started with. For some perspective, that is almost how much hair I donated to Locks of Love almost three years ago.
See it. Feel it. Never, ever, never forget it.
Granted other than my dress and blouse for my birthday this is the first non-workout clothes I have purchased in about a year but if I am not seeing my body with real eyes I could be headed for real trouble.
I am never going to be the 700-calorie-eating-five-hours-of-exercise-doing-girl-with-broke-eyes again.
I know part of the way I became that girl was being so ashamed of my body.
A few days ago a high school classmate posted the yearbook page from our senior year. I was momentarily horrified.
With 26 years of perspective, I was able to look at my picture with real eyes. All the photos were cropped the same so it was easy to compare. On the page were several cheerleaders and athletes and me who always wanted to be both of those things.
Do you know what I noticed in those head and shoulders shots?
I was not the fluffiest one on the page…not the fluffiest one.
How the hell did that happen?
Other than about two weeks growth on what was a very tragically short haircut, she looked a lot like the skinny girls. Until that moment I never noticed how similar the shape of many of our faces were.
So today when I could not see the right size, I almost freaked out.
Frankly, I am not in the mood to go back to the girl so I convinced myself it is okay to be happy with new clothes.
I swear if you could see my closet you would know how utterly hilarious it is that I needed any convincing at all. I am a wee bit of a clothes horse.
While I was concentrating on being happy, I was also letting myself think carefully about what happened.
One of the mistakes I think I have made happened with good intentions. Between the holidays, my slow weight loss, saving for our cruise, a new smartphone, and everything else I have going on in my life I decided to not buy clothes just to have something new. I was waiting until new clothes were necessary but I had not defined for myself what “necessary” is.
Today they were necessary. I suspect they were necessary at some point before today but when.
That is the million dollar question.
I am not going to make myself crazy answering it tonight because honestly I am loving the way these new jeans feel. They are so soft. But, to keep myself able to see me with my real eyes I do think I need to come up with an answer before I am able to take these jeans off without unbuttoning or zipping them like the ones I wore into the fitting room. Yeah, they are that big. But, I do know I need to work on an answer.
Now that I have put this all out there I am also posting a photo of the labels on my clothes and a before and after with little notes to me. I need to not just wear the labels but feel them all the way to my eyes.
Dear Tanya, Do you see these two pictures? I want you to remember them. There is less than 90 minutes difference between the lives of these two women. You need to better appreciate you hold all the power to be either of these women at any moment in your life.