Today is one for the books. Today I woke up and achieved more than I ever thought possible, and really, I didn’t do much!
This morning, my Rotary Club had our annual fundraiser out at a local shopping center. It was an Amazing Race type competition, and racers had to figure out clues to be able to move from station to station, where they had to complete certain tasks. I arrived at our home base this morning to receive instructions about what my task for the day was and to see if anything else needed to be done there. I saw that everyone in my club had on t-shirts that indicated they were volunteers and I thought, well I should probably get one. So I approached the table where they all were and scanned the offerings: medium, large and extra-large. The guy who was in charge of ordering the shirts came over and immediately began apologizing, saying that because the shirt order had gone in late, that a XXL would have cost extra, and the budget was only so much, the biggest size available was an XL. I said, “Well a couple of weeks ago my husband bought me a t-shirt in XXL and it fit baggy then, so I bet this will fit. No worries.” Then I grabbed a shirt, took off my jacket and put it on over the shirt I was wearing at the time.
I couldn’t believe it. It fit.
And it wasn’t even snug.
I haven’t worn an XL that fit like this since middle school. Seriously. In college, the frats would sell party t-shirts and I’d buy them because some of them were actually really neat–one of my faves was a Pike winter party long sleeved shirt, followed by a Kappa Sigma party tee that I loved dearly. But they were all really snug XLs. I washed them and hung them to dry, pulling and tugging on them to stretch them out so I could wear them without them being too tight, but I knew in my heart they really didn’t fit all that well yet I insisted on continuing to wear them. I just wanted to be like everyone else. And when you’re in your late teens/early 20’s, who doesn’t want that?
But now I am older, wiser, and victorious. See?
Knowing that I can now wear a t-shirt in a size that I don’t have to pay extra for is pretty freakin’ awesome.
After that, the rest of my day couldn’t possibly be bad.
The station I was assigned to was a taste testing station at a cupcake bakery in the shopping center. My partner and I had to sit at a table with 4 dozen cupcakes all day and wait for racers to come by, where we would instruct them to taste the cupcake and identify the secret flavor (it was pomegranate–very tough for everyone to guess). Those cupcakes sat in front of me all day long until each team had come to claim theirs, and at one point we’d run out because more teams had registered the day of the race than previously anticipated. So the girl working the counter hurriedly went into the back and put together some chocolate cake pieces with the mystery frosting so the remaining teams would have something to taste. I estimated we’d need 6 more cupcakes, so 6 pieces of cake were brought out Once all the teams had come through our stop, there were a couple of pieces left. The urge to want to eat the cake slice was very strong, but I decided against it. What I did do instead was use the knife available and I scraped the teaspoon of pomegranate frosting off the cake slice and tasted it. I wanted to know why our station was so difficult as the racers had complained that ours was a tough one. After I tasted the frosting, I understood why. As I tasted it, I made sure I savored the flavor of the frosting so that I could try to taste the pomegranate myself–I spread a little of the frosting on my tongue and pushed my tongue against the roof of my mouth to disperse the flavor a bit. As I tasted the last bit of frosting, I held the cake slice in my hand and began walking it to the trashcan, thinking to myself I could just take this knife, eat a tiny piece and track it, right?? Then I thought better of it and put the piece in the trash, and pushed it down with the knife.
A small victory scored, and one I could feel good about. The pre-surgery me would have felt really bad about tossing the piece of cake in the garbage, and would have likely bought a cupcake from the shop to make up for it. The fact that I felt absolutely no guilt about putting the cake in the trash must mean that my brain is slowly but surely starting to catch up with the rest of me in this battle of the bulge. I’d been told quite often that the brain is the last of your organs to get on board with the changes surgery makes to your body post-op. I totally agree with this assessment!
After the fundraiser was over and I got home, my husband and I went out for dinner. We went to a local steakhouse, where I got a chicken, shrimp and caramelized onion appetizer, some steamed veggies and a little bit of vegetable beef soup. Once we finished dinner, we went across the street to the mall where I needed to exchange a sweater I’d bought about a month ago for a new one since the first one had a hole in the sleeve. I went into Talbots to make the exchange and afterward, decided to look around a little bit. They had corduroys on sale, which I love but haven’t been able to wear in a long time. Last week after taking my measurements, I’d checked out the sizing chart on their website to see if I was anywhere close to wearing pants from there. I saw that I was *this* close and decided to see if the cords they had would fit me. I took a pair into the fitting room, asked about the inseam (it was too long) and tried them on anyway.
Other than the inseam being about 3 inches too long, they fit. And they were not too tight, did not pucker and did not pinch.
I looked at myself in the mirror and nearly burst into tears. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was wearing a pair of pants in a size I hadn’t worn since I was 15 years old.
I came out of the dressing room grinning from ear to ear. I said, “Victory is mine!” as I approached the sales counter and felt giddy. I was going to buy those damn pants because they represented something so monumental, something so significant that I could not pass them by. Even though I will need to have them hemmed up, I. Don’t. Care. They are 3 sizes smaller than I was wearing 4 months ago, and back then, I was wearing a tight size 30W.
The salesgirl and manager celebrated with me as I explained to them why I was feeling victorious. They were very excited for me, and congratulated me on what I’d accomplished. As the transaction was completed, the salesgirl and I bonded over weight loss stories, being given nicknames by our families/friends, and growing up Hispanic. She too has had an ongoing battle with her weight and has lost a significant amount of weight, which I congratulated her on, especially given that she is so young. I encouraged her to stay the course. The conversation closed with both of us saying that eventually we’d get to shop the other side of the store–it is the straight-sized Talbots–and be the hottest bitches in the place.
These things that have happened to me today are no small faits accomplis. These are things I have been waiting to happen to me for a long, long time now but didn’t realize would happen so fast. I feel like I’m driving on the Autobahn, and the vehicle I’m in is my life. But I feel like the vehicle is changing every so often as I drive, from an old beater to a performance car. I can’t really describe how surreal all of these changes really are. I didn’t realize just how small I looked until I saw the picture above of me in the t-shirt and really just LOOKED. I am so much smaller now than before, and I am having a hard time reconciling what I look like to my physical eyes to what I look like in my mind’s eye.
I need my brain to catch up a little more, because this self-image distortion is not doing my ego any favors.
Today was a good day protein-wise: 92 grams.