The Sunday Soapbox : 200 lb. Elephant in the Dressing Room.

So I’m roughly a size 12-14, and mostly consistently these days weigh around 200 lbs. Yup 2-0-0.  I never throught I would let myself get to that number. For whatever reason that number held with is so much bad weight ( literally) that when I creeped past the 199 so suddenly – It depressed me. Shopping was so much more difficult. The dressing room happened to be my arch nemesis. Anytime I would raffle through some of my favorite fashions, I would approach the lady running the dressing room and proudly ask for the number 29 for all my items, bustling with excitement that I had found so many great finds. But after spending about an hour trying on piece after piece and most notably getting stuck in a shirt that accounted for at least 10 minutes of that time ( I was too embarrassed to ask for help as I wiggled against the wall trying regain my freedom ) I sadly returned with no items to keep. The clerk looked at me annoyed that I had brought half the store into the dressing room and took none of them with me. I rushed back to my car swearing that I would never eat another ( fill in the blank here ) again and I was going to work out more than I already did. I would spend hours in the gym DAILY, counting calories, declining invites to dinners, and frustrating the hell out of my husband because I would cook nothing for dinner ( my lack of cooking had more to do with the fact that I hate to cook than me trying to lose weight but I digress).

After half a year of hard work, I returned to the store, hopeful that this time I would be able to fit into my favorite pieces. Surely I would be smaller and be able to get into what I wanted to wear. The same scenario ensued and I had to face the fact that I, to the rest of the world, was plus size. I believed that made me into some lesser category of woman. That shopping in plus size meant that I had failed the game, I was less of a person, and I didn’t deserve to wear nice clothes because most of the plus size options were god awful moo moo shapes with prints that made me look like I had settled down in hawaii for life. I was angry with myself, spewing whatever hate speech I could at myself in the mirror and breaking down in tears, sobbing that I indeed was the fat, ugly, rejected piece of crap that got stuck in a shirt I couldn’t fit…again. Sitting there knowing it was all my fault.

I picked up a fashion magazine for workout motivation, staring at the gorgeous waif women that were stunning and clothes hung on them like hangers. I would go on the highest speed of whatever machine I was working out on and them look in the mirror and see that fat girl staring back at me. I was determined that she wouldn’t live to see summer and her sexier skinnier twin would be shed from her layers and finally be able to wear a two piece. And again, year after year, the fat twin stayed around dominating her skinny twin with her fat ass. What was I doing wrong? I had been gluten free, sugar free, meat free, fat free, fat only, protein diet, water diet, shakes diet – the gamant…. and still fat.

I went through some old pictures a few weeks ago. I saw some photos of me from high school. I shuffled through the dusty photographs admiring my old physique. “God, I was so skinny” I reminisced about what happy days I must have had being that thin. But then I remembered how much I hated my body then too. How I starved myself, made myself puke, worked out 4 hours a day and to me a size 4-6 was “so fat”. I wasn’t happy then either. What was going on?  I remembered that I did an audition for a kids acting thing when I was seven and complaining to my dad that I weighted 60 lbs and knowing that was too much. What seven year old even knows how much they weigh! This had been an almost lifelong pattern. That this ability to look in the mirror and hate what I saw was something that I was conditioning for a very long time.

My mind needed a major overhaul. I suffered from a very common disease called “Bad body image”. They say beauty is only skin deep, but I think it’s deeper than that. I think it goes deep into your mind. What you think about you bring about. What you focus on you get more of. Whatever you resist, persists. I have known this for a long time but for some reason, never applied it to my weight goals or perception of my physical status. Being fat, this was all in my head. Being plus size meant nothing to anyone else as much as it meant to me. Not matter how much I tried, all I focused on was what I didn’t like instead of what I love about myself. And believe it or not – it does make you more of what you don’t want. The mind is a powerful thing and after coming to this realization I could recognize when I was sabotaging my own goals. Because I kept saying ” I don’t want to be plus size” somehow my mind was programed how to keep that being the truth. That I would keep being plus size so I could keep hating it. Wild theory, I know, but it’s the truth. How many girls that you hear say ” I hate being single ” Remain the single the longest? ( I know this from my own experience).

And just to note a small disclaimer here…There are SO many plus size women out that that I think are wildly haute. And I’m not dissing on anyone who weights 200 lbs or more or less or whatever. But just highlighting that my perception was that they looked amazing like that – but I didn’t. Holy double standard right? Ironic that I have a blog about loving your size and am openingly admitted that I’m not comfortable where I’m at. But I think that is the key. It’s a process to get to a place where you accept who you are RIGHT NOW. That you learn to love who you are RIGHT NOW. It doesn’t mean you’ve giving up on being whatever number you’ve determined that will make you happy or comfortable- but remember that it’s just a number. It’s just a measurement of your waist – not your beauty or intelligence or love or contribution to the world. And don’t think this post is leaving out the skinny minis either. They struggle with their self love too. Maybe it’s their bra size they wish was bigger, or wished that all these campaigns weren’t telling them that they aren’t real women.  Either way, our dress size doesn’t define us. Remember that whatever size you are TODAY, that you deserve to feel good and you deserve to look Haute.

I will end this blog with a email I received from a girl last week.

” I came across this blog via your pinterest. I just wanted to tell you how excited I am about this blog. A handful of years ago my body got a little “curvier”. And if I’m honest I cared a lot about how I looked and the things that I wore. I stopped going out, stopped wearing cute things and was so embarrassed by how I looked because I couldn’t fit into the old clothes I wore. I LOVE fashion but when you’re constantly inundated with skinny girls wearing beautiful clothes and you can fit into your favorite dress it’s hard to think that you can be apart of the “club” or feel attractive wearing those outfits because I’m scared people will think “who does she think she it?”. Well here we are today, I’m 30 and the same weight I’ve been for the last 5 years. A few weeks ago one of my close friends sat me down and was like “look, you’re not the same person you were 5 years ago. You’re smarter, more exciting and you should stop trying to squeeze yourself into those old looks. Go out and buy things that fit and look fabulous” It was definitely a girly moment but she gave me the permission I was refusing to give myself. And after seeing this blog I feel so encouraged and unshamed to love fashion and more importantly love it on me. Hah. That was a rather long rant but I just wanted to give you the virtual thumbs up and tell you that I am SO excited about this blog. Can’t wait to see more of your posts! And that crop top and skirt combo? Killa! I literally walked past that skirt in Target and wished I could wear it-now I think I’m gonna go cut up a t-shirt and buy that skirt! ”

I wish all of you luck when you go shopping- that the fitting room angel will watch over you, and make sure you don’t get stuck in a shirt. Much Love….