As you could imagine in the last year I’ve spent a good amount of time in clothing stores for one reason or another. There is not a single item of clothing that I wore last year that I can still wear normally with the exception of socks. So as I have gotten smaller I have had to make various trips to the store for items, some needed some desired to make sure that I don’t look weird when I’m out in public. This has been a challenge and a point of pride at various moments, it has also like many things come with a few lessons.
The first couple months were easy, clothes that had been tight began to loosen, and then were actually lose. Belts got brought in a couple notches, and then when there were no more holes new ones were put into the belts. I just wore my favorite shirts even though it was beginning to show that they really were too big for me. As the second month was ending it was very apparent, I needed to buy a few things that would fit me better. The first clothing items that I would buy to replace my now way too big items was some blue jeans, and cargo pants. Heading into the store I had no idea where I was size wise so I walked around a big and noticed an odd thing as I went over to the dressing rooms. All the clothes that I had picked up were in my old sizes. Over the years I had gotten so used to finding clothes in the larger size that even though I knew that I was no longer that big I had picked up my old sizes. A trip back out to the rack and I had picked up a few sizes that I thought might fit me. Back in I went and everything was still way too big. Back out and repeat process. It took me three more attempts to find jeans that fit. When I did I had purchased two pair that were eight inches smaller than the pair I walked in wearing.
The process described above is one that would repeat itself over the coming months again and again, although generally with less of a difference between sizes. I purchased a new set of clothes in early September which I just described the beginnings of above. I would be able to wear those clothes for two months before they began to show that they were really way too big, by that time I needed to go down to an XL shirt, and another size down in the waist to a 36. Taking advantage of the Black Friday Sales with mom I was able to get a lot of good stuff on the cheap and had a solid wardrobe to finish up Student Teaching in. By the time that I was getting ready to have another birthday I was down another shirt size and about another size in pants. From February on I purchased what I currently do, Larges for shirts because my shoulders are so broad, and 34s in pants.
It took me until round 3 of replacing my wardrobe to actually go to a rack and pick up the right size. Even in November I was picking up shirts that were 2 and 3 XL because that’s what I had done for so long, and I had to remind myself that I’m not that big anymore. It is one thing to change your life to lose the weight it is another to make sure you know that you aren’t that size anymore and begin to act like it. Over the last few months I have found myself acting like the person that my body type shoes, I no longer think of myself as the “fat kid” of the group as I once did. Finding clothes in new sizes has also allowed me to reinvent myself in ways that I was unable to when I was larger. Simply put there are now far more options available to me now. I now comfortably fit into clothes that can be found at any store, I can find clothes at thrift stores even. For years I could never find things that fit when clothing wise when I went into a thrift store of any kind. I took to finding kitchen things and other fun stuff but never cool clothing. Now that has changed, at my current size there are many options to choose from and I’ve been able to play around with my style in ways that I didn’t think possible before.
Overall the new experience of being what I would call “normal size” has given me a lot more confidence in the clothing that I wear and let me be playful in choices I make. This year I bought my first tank top since I was a kid, first pair of white shorts, and I spend lots of time outside and even look forward to going to the pool. Understanding that I am not the same size that I was has been a bit of a long road but a good one. Now I can accept myself for the way I look and while I’m still working on some things, generally I’m pretty happy with where I’m at.