“Dress Shabby and they remember the dress. Dress impeccable and they remember the woman.”
(picture of me in one of my standard blue (color varies a little) long sleeve shirt and black pants)
This is not what Coco had in mind.
When I took this picture it was May of last year and I am wearing black pants. Why? Black is slimming, of course. My largest area of concern with my fat is my thighs so I am always trying to wear the most slimming thing possible where they are concerned.
The blue shirt is the constant shirt of the moment (throughout my life various tops have taken on this role and only left the scene from pure exhaustion). I originally bought this shirt as a genius packing idea for a trip to Europe. We were gone 2 weeks and didn’t want to do laundry and also didn’t want to check bags. 15 of these shirts proved to be cheap (Thank you TJ Maxx). These shirts fold very well and don’t get too wrinkled and you can wear them anywhere. Also they are just the right weight to make it through most warm or cool weather. But when I got home and gained even more weight (2014 fall/winter) these shirts shifted into daily wear and I haven’t stopped wearing them since. This pattern has recurred in my life many times. I buy something for some “good reason” – an event that I need to “get through” and then that article of clothing becomes my go-to for everything! But No More!
I made a promise to myself in my mid-20’s that I would have “My Look” together by early to mid-thirties and lo and behold, I’m 34 and no ‘look.’ Why? Because I have spent my entire life waiting for that day when I would have my weight under control and could count on that weight and thus be able to buy clothes that I would keep forever not just for my current weight.
I’ve been living in limbo waiting for the day when I would look in the mirror and see the perfect body. But that day hasn’t come . What I do see is women of all shapes and sizes all around me looking gorgeous. They may be bigger than me, they may be smaller than me, they may have the exact same body type as me. It doesn’t matter. They find what works for their body and celebrates their shape and personality and they go out into the world and they strut. And I want to be just like them when I grow up.
Well, I grew up a little more in 2015. After working with my Nutritionist and reading A Course in Weight Loss: 21 Spiritual Lessons for Surrendering Your Weight Forever, I realized I had been using my weight as an excuse to not live my life full out. With other goals I would say, “I’ll really focus on that as soon as I lose weight. But right now, I need to focus all of my attention on the weight loss.” And that way of thinking bled it’s way into every single area of my life. Inside my own head, I found myself saying things like, “I can’t go out with them because I can’t wear the right clothes for that event, because I’m fat”.
I mean, what is that?
I can’t go to a party because I’m too fat?
And maybe I never said it exactly like that, but that’s what I meant.
So not dressing well is much more than not dressing well.
It’s me not acknowledging all the beautiful parts of me that exist in spite of the extra weight.
It’s me not wanting to be seen by people. And this one really gets in my head because on the one hand I feel like all my life I’ve been screaming to be seen but on the other hand – I hide. ???? I’m still working through that last one and it may take some more time. But today I am beginning with the dress.
I want to stand out. I don’t want to hide anymore. Because when I hide I am not being true to myself and I feel bad about it and that leads to eating to hide my pain. It’s a vicious cycle and a huge piece of this cycle can be broken by me working on improving my appearance.
I’m going to wear my hair down more. I’m going to wear more jewelry. I’m going to wear heels (in moderation) and I’m going wear a red dress. That’s right. Red. Bright red.
This post is a little past due and in fact I already started working on this journey and I’ve had much success.
I started wearing skirts this past summer – bright beautiful skirts that show off my small waist and flare out away from those areas that make me the most nervous (hello, thighs!).
And you know what I realized? Deion Sanders was right.
“When You Look Good, You Feel Good. When You Feel Good, You Play Good. When You Play Good, You Get Paid Good. When You Get Paid Good, You Live Good.”
He was so right. I feel great. People see me dressed nice and they smile and I smile right back. When I leave my house looking my absolute best, I have a more positive attitude about the day to come. I’m so much more present at work. Afterall, a girl who came into work wearing a dress with flames on the bottom had better come with it. 🙂 I’m just saying. Absenteeism can not part of the program. Obviously the girl who picked that dress came to play full out.
I’m smiling all day because I’m out there. People can see me. They notice me without me talking loudly (like I’m known to do) or being a frantic, crazy person (hello me ages 18-24!). No, they notice me just as I am because I am beautiful and I am showing the world that I care about how I present myself and I am standing in light unafraid and unashamed.
I still haven’t figured out “my look” at least not completely and I’m fine with this being a process but at least the process has officially begun. No more waiting for my weight to go down. Instead of worrying about money and buying clothes now that may have to be replaced, I’m working instead on buying clothes that I love and that can be taken in when I reach that goal.
And every day is not easy. Some days I feel like by buying clothes for my body now I’m secretly saying that I am satisfied at this weight and it’s okay if I stay here. But that’s just a story I’m telling myself and so I’ve decided to change the story:
“I am beautiful now and I am going to show it. And when I lose weight I will be beautiful then too.”
That’s the new story I’m telling myself. So far it’s working.
I will continue to update you on this portion of my journey if for no other reason than to post pictures of my pretty new wardrobe. 🙂
Life is a journey not a future event. And part of this process is learning to be happy right now, just as I am, while knowing that I am working to become an even better me, better than before.
How about you? Is it hard for you to dress your best in the middle of your weight loss journey? Do you find it hard to live in the present? Let’s talk about it. Leave a comment. I’m listening and so is everyone else who struggles with weight loss. We’re all here, listening.