Dresses and downsizing

Don’t get me wrong. I am thrilled that I’m down nearly 20lbs since March. I’m finally starting to notice it in my clothes. All of my summer shorts and work pants are clownishly big. I’ve taken to wearing dresses (a trick I learned from QuestionsforDessert and FatBridesmaid) because they last through size changes without looking too huge and goofy.

Friday night, Evan and I went to a wedding and I wore a size 16 dress from Land’s End. I felt pretty cute at the time. I loved the dress–it was comfortable, cute, classy and looked pretty darn good with the yellow patent leather heels I decided to wear. I especially loved that it was a size 16–not 18, not 16W (W indicates a wider cut)–especially since when I first discovered the dress a few months ago, the 18 was the size that fit.

As we were getting ready, I realized it was actually a little too big on top. The shoulders were a little too wide and the dress gapped under my armpits. I should have gotten a size 14. The dress is full enough in the skirt to accommodate my pear-shaped lower half. But my brain can’t fathom me being a size 14. In fact, when I went dress shopping at Kohl’s a couple weekends ago to stock up on summer work clothes that actually fit me, I bought all XLs. I didn’t even consider trying on the Ls. But they would have fit me. My aunt gave me a sized L dress that weekend (also from Kohls) that fits perfectly. My favorite workout pants are a size L–and they’re not my favorite because of the size. I have XL pants that are falling off and easily need to be downsized.

Yesterday, I bought a couple pairs of shorts since the two pairs I already owned were so big that if I put my cell phone or wallet in the pocket, I’d get plumber’s crack. Not attractive. The shorts I bought: all size 16. 16 regular. I tried on shirts that were size 12. These are average sizes for American women. Sizes I haven’t been in a decade.

I really don’t feel that small though. In fact, Evan and I took a goofy photo at the wedding, which had an awesome photo booth set-up. He’s lost 35 or so pounds and looks it. His face is slimmer–especially in his chin, neck and cheeks. You can definitely tell in his waist and in his stomach. At the wedding, I noticed his pants were trying to slide down to his hips, if not for his belt’s desperate hold keeping them at waist level.

I, on the other hand, look at the picture of myself and see the saggy arm skin and still wide hips. I used to be a size 24 pant, so a size 16 should be freakin’ tiny. I definitely feel smaller than I did when I started this weight loss gig 70lbs ago, but I don’t feel 70lbs smaller.

Originally, regardless of what the scale says, my goal was to be a size 10/12. I couldn’t possibly imagine myself smaller than that because I don’t remember ever being smaller than that. Now I wonder if that will feel right. I wonder if I’ll still feel and look chunky, despite the 100lbs I will have had to lose to get to that size.

I wonder what will be good enough.

10 responses to “Dresses and downsizing

  1. That’s a whole bunch of sizes 🙂 Congrats!!!

  2. That picture of you two is soooooo cute. I had no idea you had curly hair. 🙂

    I am so happy for you and the downsizing! I know that it must seem so strange right now and it may take time for you mind to catch up with your body, but hang in there and relish in the smaller sizes. You look great.

  3. You look adorable in that wedding pic. Please be careful playing mind games with yourself. Some of your post sounds very anorextic ( if that is a word). Remember good health is the goal and you are doing great!!!

  4. Thanks, Liz!

    Yeah… I’m not completely satisfied with where I am in the mental game right now. I’m not unstable, but wishy-washy and trying to parallel my body image my self-image. Although I’ve always had confidence in who I am, my view of how I look has always been skewed. (For example, I didn’t realize how big I was getting until I got there either.)

    I’m a work in progress… one that is currently laying her clothes out on her bed before she puts them on and saying “Seriously? I am that small now!” as a way of helping it all sink in.

    But, as http://www.operationbeautiful.com says “Scales measure weight, not self-worth.” I believe the same is true of pants size.

  5. It is easy to be dissatisfied with the way we look and the progress we make. I think ultimately we all just want to look in the mirror and go “yeah, not bad”.

    Why not put on some of your old clothes to help you gain some perspective?

  6. I think it takes a lot for your mind to wrap itself around losing weight. I’m down 28 pounds this year and I know I need new pants, when pants I’ve been wearing in a smaller size I can take on and off without unzipping them.. My friend at work said to me “Don’t wear those pants again, they are TOO baggy!” We’re probably around the same size, I started in 18/20 and now my 16’s are loose, but I don’t feel I’m ready for 14’s yet… Although I should just try on some and see what happens! You should feel great though about all that you’ve accomplished so far, I think that’s great!

    I found you through my twin sister Biz’s blog! (Diabetic loser)

  7. That is such a cute picture of you guys! Hey, I just realized Jenn found you – hi sister! 😀

    You should be so proud of yourself!

  8. Ha ha! I guess what they say about twins thinking alike is sometimes true!

    Jenn–buy new pants! I discovered it’s really fun to try on smaller sizes. Besides, flashing coworkers when your oversized pants fall down may make a great blog post, but is probably a little embarrassing! 🙂

    Sometimes, I wish I belonged to a weight loss group so I could do a clothing swap shop with all of these good clothes I’m shrinking out of.

  9. I am in the same place as you – wondering when my vision of myself will catch up with the reality of my weight loss. I think buying clothes in smaller sizes is a reality check when you don’t really SEE the changes, you know?

    Anyhow, keep it up – do some visualization to see yourself smaller, both now and at your goal weight. It will help, I promise.

    And if you need to get rid of clothing that’s too large for you, I’ve got a clothing swap page on my blog for people to leave comments about what they have to give away to other “needy” weight loss bloggers!

  10. You’ll know. 🙂

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