This happened today:
Last week, I’d put out a call to my peeps online asking where to buy a winter coat. I knew that I would need one, as the two winter coats I currently have in my possession are 4 and 6 sizes too big for me, respectively. My requirements for a winter coat were that it had to have a hood, a zip out liner, be long enough to cover my butt, and be water repellent if possible (this was not an absolute necessity).
So today we had gone to the mall so that I could drop off my recyclables at Kiehl’s (and pick up some more body butter; theirs is awesome). At this particular mall, it is easiest to go through Nordstrom to get to the Kiehl’s, so we did. I stopped to browse in the women’s section because I just wanted to look around. I picked out a couple of long-sleeved blouses to try on, which fit and looked great so I decided to get them since it was triple points day (!!!!). Then I saw The Coat.
I was not expecting to buy a coat today. I wasn’t expecting this one to fit. It was a misses size large, and I’ve been wearing extra large in my shirts and sweaters because that is what fits. I looked through all the coats on the rack and no extra large was to be found, so I was a bit disappointed. I kept looking at the coat thinking the shoulders would not be wide enough for me.
My husband, ever helpful and optimistic, said, “Try it on.”
I said, “I don’t think the shoulders will fit.”
He nudged gently and said, “Just try it.”
So I took it down off the rack, slipped it on, and lo and behold, it fit. It even buttoned up. I couldn’t believe it.
I wanted to cry tears of joy, but I am not a crier like that. I looked down at the buttons and belt and said, “FOR REAL??!?!?!?!!!” while thinking in my head OMG IT FREAKIN’ FITS.
The salesgirl seemed a bit puzzled as to why I was so excited. I explained to her about my weight loss and ended up showing her the picture below:
She was impressed. I said, “So this coat represents so much more than just a winter coat.”
I never in a million years would have imagined that I’d be able to walk into a store, try on a coat, have it fit, and walk out with it. NEVER. The Fat Girl that takes up real estate in my head is in deep denial that Thinner Girl exists, and that was no more evident than it was today for sure. My mental block about trying on the coat in the first place is proof. I just find it so hard to believe that I am actually the size I am because for so long, I was so large. So large, so unwieldy, so inelegant, so lacking poise.
Now, 229 pounds later, I still feel that way sometimes. Even though I am now smaller than many of the women I see daily, I still feel like I weigh 440 pounds. Even though I know these things:
- I move so much differently–I am so much faster
- I look so much different–I turn heads now (both men and women now actually pay attention to me!), and many people I have known for a long time don’t recognize me
- I am so much more active–I get twitchy when I haven’t exercised
I still negotiate the world physically and mentally like the 440 pound woman in the photo above. When will this stop so that I can really truly enjoy being in this new body? When will I finally learn that the body I now inhabit is what I was meant to be from the very beginning?
Most importantly, when will I figure out how to negotiate the world as the new me?