Saturday, January 14, 2012

But what if the clothes don't fit??

Thanks to Karen for asking a question that has led to this blog post.

But what if it doesn't fit??
As an obese teenager and adult I dreaded clothes shopping.  I would take the largest sizes and roomy styles off the rack and walk to the change room thinking "But what if it doesn't fit?? But what if it doesn't fit??  what if it doesn't fit??  what if it doesn't fit??  Aaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!".  It usually didn't fit and I would get upset.  I wouldn't get upset in public, I would act totally cool and pretend I didn't like the piece of clothing.  I'd get upset once I got home.  I hated clothes shopping with my friends because I knew the clothes wouldn't fit so I pretended I didn't like anything so I wouldn't have to try things on.

As an adult when a cool clothing store for larger sizes opened up I was so excited!  Finally I get clothes that fit in styles I love.  The only slight problem was they were made for tall people and I am 155cm on a good day :)  So most of the tops were too low cut for me.  But at least I could put a funky outfit together in this store when I had to.

I don't know what fits me
I used to HATE clothes shopping with my friends.  Especially because I knew their clothes size.  When the shop attendant would ask "What size are you?" they would reply with "Umm I'm not sure".  I wanted to scream out "You're a size 12 and always have been!!!!!"  But I would smile graciously and let them have the conversation.

Then, finally for the first time in my life, in July 2011 I finally fit into mainstream sizes.  I thought to myself "Clothes shopping is going to be awesome!"  Boy was I in for a shock!  It was just all so confusing, like a whole new language.  Here's an example:
Me - "Could you help me for a moment please?"
Shop Assistant (SA) - "Sure, what size are you?"
Me - "Umm, I don't know."
SA  - "How about we try a 14"
Me - "Oh, ok"
I would take the size 14 and walk to the change room panicking in my head "what if it doesn't fit?? what if it doesn't fit??  what if it doesn't fit??  what if it doesn't fit??  Aaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!"  I would try the clothes on, get some assistance, get the right size and then either buy it or leave it and walk out.
I was totally shocked that even though I fit into mainstream clothes sizes, not everything looked good on me.  "I must still be too fat to wear them" is what I would tell myself and go back to the store when I was another 5 kilos lighter to try them on again.  Clothes shopping was not fun at all.  Here's some facts & tips for when you get to this disappointing point:
  1. You are not the same size in every store
  2. Just because the size fits, doesn't mean the style suits
  3. Take someone that will be completely honest with you, do not trust the shop attendant
  4. If you have never been a healthy weight before, you won't know what looks good on you and it could take months to work it out
  1. Just because you have always loved that style, doesn't mean you will look like a supermodel in it
  1. Be patient and find the styles and colour that you both like and suit you (it has taken me three months and I still have some learning to do).
  2. When you find a style that suits, remember it or the store and keep shopping there

I pretend I don't know what fits me
So for most of Round 3 2011 I was a size 12-14 average.  But do you think I could take just a size 12 into the dressing rooms??  Hell No!   My mind would go into panic mode "what if it doesn't fit?? what if it doesn't fit??  what if it doesn't fit??  what if it doesn't fit??  Aaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!"

So I would always take a size 14 as a back up.  Did I ever buy the size 14?  Rarely.  I found that if size 12 was too small, the size 14 was usually too big so I would lose a couple more kilos then go back and buy the size 12.

Mind in Slow Motion
It takes so long for your mind to understand what your body is doing and to "catch up" to it.   Understanding what "space" I took up throughout 2011 was the hardest thing ever.  I wish I could have appreciated me sooner.

When I was in the 80 kilo range people would say I looked fantastic, I got given all the "Skinny Mini/Tiny/Little One" nicknames but in my head I was still a big fat blob that couldn't move.  When I was obese I thought the majority of people I would come across day to day were in the healthy weight range or a size 10 to 14.  Now that I am happy with my size I understand that unfortunately most people I come across day to day are either overweight or obese.  You may think it is really horrible of me to say and I don't mean to offend anyone.  I thought that now that I am at goal weight I look like everyone around me.  But hearing "Skinny Mini/Tiny/Little One" every day drives me crazy as I think I'm normal now.  But in reality, I am smaller than most of them now and it's really sad to say that because technically I am still overweight as my BMI is 26.

Back to clothes shopping…

So what if it doesn't fit??
I am a size 10 shorts and size 14 dress at FCUK.  I am a size 10 dress and size large top at Portmans.  I'm in between sizes at Alannah Hill and am yet to be able to buy anything from there.  I'm a size 10 dress and 12 jeans at Jay Jays. I'm a size 10 dress and 12 shorts & jacket at Review.  I'm a size 10 pants and size 12 jumper from Esprit.

My point is,  I am yet to find a store where I am the same size in most of their clothing range.  So who cares if the size you take into the change room doesn't fit?  Walk an extra 20 steps back to the rack and get another size - this will also burn calories so it's a win-win outcome :)

Appreciate what you are
Looking back, I regret not appreciating my size sooner.  For 7 months all I saw was a shrinking number on the scales that was not my goal weight.  I wish I had of appreciated that that shrinking number also meant a shrinking body.  I wish I had of began appreciating it at 85 kilos instead of at 65 kilos.  But I'm making the most of it now :)

These pics are from a shopping spree on 30 October 2011.  
The far right dress is what I wore to the
12WBT Sydney finale party 10 December 2011.

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