funny ha-ha

Every size I’ve gone down, I don’t think I’ve ever done that classic stand-in-the-dressing-room-and-cry move that you’re supposed to. You know, the one where you stand there in your new pants in front of the mirror and sob your heart out with happiness because you’re so damn grateful you’re not a big fat pig any more, and thank god the numbers on the tag of your pants justify your existence and your attractiveness and your accepted-ness into the ranks of polite society. No one will spit on you when your pants are the right size! God Bless America!

I was startled when I moved from plus sizes into misses sizes, and happy because it meant that I had a whole new world of clothes to choose from! And to be completely and one hundred percent baffled, bewildered and overwhelmed by. I have tried on one size, and had to go back out onto the sales floor and get myself a new size because I miscalculated the amount of weight I’ve lost. I’ve been happy to be sizes I didn’t expect to be, because it means the exercise is working, avoiding sugar is working, not fucking up is working, and all this, this past year and every time I’ve been hurting or miserable, it hasn’t been for nothing at all—here’s a result I can point to, huzzah! How nice for me.

Going down sizes has been fun, and it’s also been frustrating, because
fuck if I want to buy new clothes every ten minutes. I kind of want to
buy new clothes every ten minutes, because I do like to buy them, they
are so nice. When it seemed my weight was pretty much stable, and I’d
be a size 12 for the foreseeable future, I was pretty relieved.
Money-saving! Time for my skin to bounce back! Time to get used to
being this size and this shape and this weight! And then the scale
crept down a little bit, just five pounds over five weeks or so, and
suddenly my pants are too large for me, the black ones especially
hanging off my hips and ending up about an inch too long in heels, and
I had a sneaking suspicion.

Over my lunch break, I hit The Gap, which is close to my office and not
so expensive, and I selected a pile of black slacks, each in both a
twelve and a ten. They let me into a room, and I dropped the pile onto
the stool, and I realized I was afraid to try on the tens. The tens
looked too small—weird and doll-like, and abnormal. Twelve was a number
I could deal with. Twelve is still a large, or an extra-large in some
places. Twelve is average and, at some plus size stores, they even start at
twelves. Some designers don’t go as high as twelve. Twelve sounded
democratic and fair, about what I could expect.

See, when I was still big, I always thought, my whole life, that I’d be
happy to be a 14 or a 16. That sounded perfect to me. Still round and
curvy, but small enough to fit into more clothes, small enough to not
draw extra attention to myself. A happy medium that I could be happy
with, without needing to be a size medium. Then I dropped past those
sizes, and felt uneasy. Like I was tempting fate. A size smaller than
the size I thought my body would never go below—I was big boned, after
all, and my body clung to fat. I was bouncing down below my limit, and
then I’d gain weight back, and what if I couldn’t stop gaining? What if
I gained all the way back up to the 300s, and higher and higher and
then popped just like a balloon? It seemed completely likely to me. It
still does.

The twelves were loose; the tens fit. I broke into tears, standing in
the dressing room, wondering what had happened to me. How could this
have happened, losing this weight, so much weight, and becoming this
person I never, ever expected to be? I am being ungrateful—poor me,
I’m skinny, wah!—and you want to tell me to shut the fuck up. I want to
tell myself to shut the fuck up. But I need to express this, how
fucking weird this is, how unnatural it feels, and impossible, and
temporary. Above all, it feels temporary, and ridiculous, like a joke
being played on me. I bought the pants; I’m waiting for the punch line.

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  11 comments for “funny ha-ha

  1. sally
    November 8, 2007 at 11:07 am

    It’s ok, honey–(HUG!!!)

  2. November 8, 2007 at 11:10 am

    I didn’t see that ending coming. But I was with you all the way. Yesterday I went to a thrift store and impulsively picked up a swingy short black velvet dress, thinking maybe I might go out with my husband to a holiday party this year. I tried it on, it looked great and fit wonderful and it was a size 4. Now I am not a size four. I still weigh in the 170’s, but I tell you this, it sure felt good.

  3. November 8, 2007 at 11:43 am

    I could have written this myself yesterday. It is overwhelming and I am waiting for the other shoe to drop – and I am still 84 lbs from goal, but fast approaching 14, which I too would have (and will be) joyously happy to be wearing.

    It is a very very odd journey indeed, and I’m not sure who will be waiting for me on the platform at the end of the ride. I hope I like her.

  4. November 8, 2007 at 11:46 am

    That sounds unbelievably frightening and unbelievably awesome all rolled into one. Like if someone gave you a chocolate bar the size of your head, and of course that is great because, hello, chocolate! but not so great, because, hello, stomachache!

    Or maybe that’s a bad analogy.

  5. November 8, 2007 at 11:51 am

    i’ve never cried in a dressing room but have on the scale… when a number appears, that i thought i would never see, it’s overwhelming on so many levels… but it’s also a GOOD feeling and i think it’s nothing to be ashamed of… :o)

  6. anon
    November 8, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    I totally get this. Every single word. The good and the bad, the glee and the trepidation. I still live this.

  7. November 8, 2007 at 1:20 pm

    I have a tag on my bathroom counter from a pair of DKNY jeans. They are a size 10 and I cannot bring myself to throw that tag in the trash. I love the jeans, they fit great. And they are a 10 which means both nothing at all and absolutely everything.

    I tell myself that it’s just vanity sizing, because I was in a cheapo store the other day and some size 12s were unflatteringly snug. I tell myself that sizes have gone up over the years. Even though I think the last time I wore a size 10 I was 14 years old, I tell myself that’s not true because with today’s sizing that would have been a size 6.

    I love to shop. But I’m starting to hate the mind game of sizing and carrying the same pants in 3 sizes into the fitting room.

    I’m also thinking I should just start leaving “Me too.” comments on all your posts.

  8. Kung Fu Lover
    November 8, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    Anne,

    I have been struggling with the avoidance of sugar. There are just times that a slice of apple pie or a caramel shake from Arctic Circle are just more than I can resist. Can you give me advice on how to stay away from these things?

  9. November 8, 2007 at 2:32 pm

    I think that moment that you experienced is totally “from the movies”. It’s like tha tmoment where you are just outside of your body and you are just shell-shocked. It’s a great feeling, realizing that all your hard work is worth something…

    Anne: that sugar avoidance is tricky. I tried that last year, and it only lasted 2 weeks, and the whole time I had headaches and cravings like no other. I ended up binging like mad afterwords. So unless its a health emergency, I think maybe “easing” yourself out of the sugar dependency might be wise. Or try having a slice of pie now after you’ve been off sugar for a while and its crazy. It’s like being on drugs, you’ll never want to do it again.

  10. Salma
    November 8, 2007 at 6:20 pm

    It is seriously weird – yes. But have heart – the weird does wear off, eventually.

  11. November 9, 2007 at 11:20 am

    Reading this made me smile (Just like it always does). Its funny you wrote this, because last night at our monthly WLS support group a pre-op asked the post ops, What if this doesn’t work for me?

    No one spoke, everyone smiled. I just spoke up and said, “Everyone fears that hunny, even when you have lost to your goal, it will always be a fear.” Then another girl told her “Just think about all the clothes you will be able to buy from what you save from not eating as much!”

    Pshh.. all my money is going to protein shakes. I’ll be glad when I can afford to get the new clothes. I still have a while tho, I’m just now getting comfortable in my too tight clothes from pre-op. 50 less pounds later now, and two months out, they are finally starting to feel loose on me. :)

    Love ya, Anne. Glad you are doing so well.

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