fantastic

It’s not all I think about, any more, but it’s fascinating
to me that clothing is suddenly an issue that takes up so much of my
time. Having it, buying it, wearing it, it fitting or not fitting, from both ends
of the spectrum. I mean, I have always enjoyed clothes, and the wearing of them
to cover my nakedness and the looking good in them, though I have never been very
good at them, at any aspect of the choosing and the buying and the wearing. I
have never been able to figure out appropriate dress, even back when I actually
had clothes to cover my nakedness. I
would wear a dress to a party, and find everyone in jeans, wear capri pants and
flip flops to another event, and find everyone in cocktail dresses and
stilettos, show up wearing a snowsuit, and everyone is in construction hats and
flippers, and it is so embarrassing.

Not having a wardrobe of clothing to choose from anymore is
making it all the harder. My flippers are falling off me, my cocktail dresses
have all been donated, and I was this close to winding a sheet around me as I
flew out the door to Heather’s engagement party, except that it is very
uncomfortable, and tends to just short-circuit the conversation the tiniest bit
when you’re attempting to make witty and charming small talk with a stranger
and you both look down to find a corner of your blanket dangling in their
hummus.

When I went shopping, lo those couple of weeks ago, I
tried very hard to pick pieces that would work for me for a while, even as I
lost more weight, and would be versatile, easy to mix and match and blend with
my current, virtually nonexistent, wardrobe. Classic, elegant, day to evening,
timeless. I stalked to the store with a plan in mind, a very specifically
specific plan to which I would adhere at all costs, but what happened, once I
walked through the door of blessedly inexpensive Forever 21 and got over my
overwhelmitude, is I went "wheeeeee!" and I just toted home armfuls
of anything that fit me.

I left with a dress, a shirt, another shirt, and a skirt.
I’ve got a couple of T-shirts and a skirt, and a dress that will not fit me
for much longer, and two blouses. From this, I must create a wardrobe that does
not make me look like I am able to carry my entire closet around on my back in
a tote bag, and it’s frustrating. For the first time in so so long, I want to
dress well, and dress up, and feel good in my clothes. Instead of saying,
"You’ve lost so much weight!" people are starting to say, "You
look fantastic!" and it is lovely–I have to admit to you that it is so lovely,
and I like it so much, and sometimes, most of the time, I am okay with that.

Sometimes, most of the time, it also makes it so hard to not
go out and buy everything in the world, to keep looking as fantastic as
possible, to look in the mirror and say fuck yes, I am totally fantastic and
who cares about my excellent personality? I love me for my body, right now. I
love what it can do, the hills I can walk up, and the buses I can run for, and
the buses I let pass by so that I walk home through the park, instead.

And I love that I have a small waist and the curvy hips and
my bosoms are still hanging on. I have embraced the roundness of my arms and my
neck, and the sharpness of my collarbones. My wrists are a little knobby, and
my fingers are slender and my elbows are pointy and my ass is still a hell of a
lot of ass and that will never go away, and all of it looks pretty goddamn okay
in a sleeveless dress that nips in at
the waist and swirls around my knees, which I have always hated for being
chubby, but fuck that. I don’t care about my chubby knees, because look at this
dress. I look good, and I feel good. Love me for my body, by God.

I know I’m
ridiculous, and I’m going to go ahead and embrace that. I try on clothes, and I
don’t want to cry, half the time, when I look at the full-length mirror,
because I am starting to really goddamn love my body, even–no, let’s say
especially–with its thighs and arms and knees and big ole butt. I’m starting to
believe I look fantastic.

But I do not have the money to spend on a wardrobe that is
going to be, more or less, disposable. Poor me, my diamond shoes are too tight.
I know! I know.  So I try so hard with
what I’ve got, to look good, to not embarrass my friends at their housewarming
parties and birthday parties, and it always feels like a triumph when I manage
to pull it off.

Last night, to the engagement party, instead of a
hummus-streaked sheet, I wore a polka-dot dress and knee-high boots and I walked out the
door feeling cute. Three blocks later I thought well, maybe I am too fancy for
her party and I should stop and get them fancy champagne so it will be a theme,
kind of, and I felt self-conscious walking through the door.

Heather, who was gorgeous as always, took my coat and
admired the dress and I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror on the back of
her closet door, and I looked good, I thought. I looked lovely, and it is
amazing, what thinking well of your appearance will do to your spine and your
neck and your chin, and your small-talk skills. Like having that first glass of
wine, before it is even poured, and just as intoxicating.

7 Replies to “fantastic”

  1. I am in my smallest clothes since RNY in February. I find myself culling my closet every week so I won’t wear too-big items because I am comfortable in them. I have a couple of work staples that are going to have to go soon because I can’t wear my (required) cell phone on my waistband without having it end up around my hips.

    I have sold some items to friends and next month I’m going to take my professional wardrobe of 18-24 size clothes in to consign. I’m going to invest prudently with that $ in some things I can wear to work from consignment shops. If I am able to reach my goal weight, I’ll be a 10 or a 12 and I don’t want to re-buy the same wardrobe twice just because I have nothing smaller than an 18 in my house.

    It’s very weird. Like this shouldn’t be me. I even had to have a link taken out of my watchband.

  2. Hi, been lurking and lurking since ‘hello I am fat’ days. I live in SF and love when you mention the N and GGP.

    A while back I lost a bunch of weight and man, isn’t it the best trying on clothes and feeling so good about the way you look!

    Anyhow, since then I’ve chubbed up a bit, quit working in an office, and had a baby, etc, etc. I have a bunch of clothes I won’t wear again in 12-14. Can’t remember where you are now size-wise? I know it’s not the same as shopping, but I might have something to tide you over. Email if you want. If not, no worries.

    Oh and I left my husband after I lost the weight. I felt like a cliche, too, but it was a long time coming. I think once you do one really hard thing to take care of yourself, it’s easier to do more.

    Thanks for all your thoughtful writing!

  3. Let me know when you get to the other “L-word”: Laundry. That’s where I’m at with clothes right now, washing mine and other peoples. People brought to you by the letter “L”: Latvians. No time to shop for clothes – just keeping them in food and clean clothes and me in dissertation mode is the full time job just now. Love polka-dots, which don’t start with “L” but have lots of that sound in them. Llllllllll.

    *SL*

  4. I do not pronounce the L in the polka dots! I think that means I am not posh.

    Janice–thank you so much! That’s about where I am, size-wise. Your page isn’t loading for me, for some reason. Will you email me when you have a chance?

  5. I love this post. I love that you’re in love with your body. Oddly enough, though I haven’t lost a single pound in months & still weigh more than most NFL linebackers this “love yourself” feeling has slowly been cracking through my own comfortable cloak of lifetime self loathing, perhaps it’s from reading journal posts like this one. I’m spending a lot more time thinking of the good things my body allows me to do, despite my abuse of it, and a lot less time holding back from doing all things I’ve always wanted to do. And the more I embrace the good stuff, the more good stuff seems to come into my life.

    Anyway, thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I don’t have many things left to wear either, so this made me smile. It’s true that it can be a big problem, and even more so when you know you’re not at goal yet, may lose a couple more sizes, and so on… (My sister, in her usual blunt way, put it quite well: “That jean is too big now, it makes you look like you’ve got a dick!” Well, thank you, sis. But you’re right. It’s definitely too big now.)

    Are there perhaps thrift stores in your area? Goodwill, or whatever it is named in the USA (here in France we have Emmaüs, and yes I go there; I’m a student on a half-pay, after all)? I know it might sound weird, but when there’s a lack of money and a real need of something, it’s better than the blanket… ;)

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