Monday, July 1, 2019

Mirror, Mirror

My pinup outfit
I have a problem.  I don't know what size clothing I wear.  It has been an issue for years. 

Post-gastric bypass, you can imagine that it might take some time to get used to a new body and clothing size.  I went from 350 pounds (size 28) to 180 pounds (size 12).  It was actually overwhelming to go from shopping a small store like Lane Bryant to being able to fit in clothes on multiple floors of a store like Macy's.  Studies have shown that it can take your brain a year to realize your body is smaller.  Therefore, you may turn sideways in a crowd to fit through an area you can actually walk straight through.  Apparently, 15 years later, my brain hasn't caught up. 

Chubby Lori
I am currently a pretty solid size 16.  I generally wear an XL, although sometimes I go up to a 2X for comfort.  I am talking about American sizes, not those weird Chinese sizes where I'm sometimes a 4X and sometimes a 12X.  I certainly shouldn't be wearing a 3X in American sizes for any reason.  Tonight, I opened a package of clothing I ordered awhile back.  The dress is a 3X.  It swims on me.  The bathing suit is a 2X even though I've ordered from this site multiple times and a 2X is always too large. 

I was in Hawaii two weeks ago and I participated in a pinup contest.  I went to a pinup clothing website and spent an insane amount of money on an outfit for this contest.  I read the sizing instructions carefully, didn't believe them, sized up, and had clothes that were swimming on me.  These are not clothes you want to be too large.  They should have a fairly snug fit.  I couldn't return them easily so I spent $200 on clothes I probably won't be able to wear again (unless I want to spend more money having them altered). 

"Skinny" Lori
When I worked in San Francisco, I remember often wearing baggy slacks and a shirt that was easily two sizes too large.  My friend said to me one day: stop dressing like a homeless lady.  I don't know what my deal is.  I think I may know what happened though.  When I was going through my first year of weight loss in 2004/2005, I was losing weight so quickly that I was losing an entire size each month, and was essentially needing to replace my wardrobe every few months.  When my clothes were baggy, I felt skinny.  When I would size down to clothes that actually fit me, I suddenly felt fat again.  So I think I now associate baggy clothing with feeling thinner.  However, in reality, when I see photos of myself, and get feedback from friends, baggy clothing doesn't accentuate my assets and actually makes me look larger than I am.  My brain does not comprehend.  I don't know if my brain still equates too-large clothing with being skinnier, or if I am so terrified that tight clothing might show off a fat roll that its just easier to deal with the baggy clothing. 

I was recently talking to a friend about body dysmorphia.  Body dysmorphic disorder is when you are so obsessed with a perceived flaw that you are almost unable to function in life.  I always felt like my issue was special to me being a larger person, but my friend is 111 pounds, and she battles it as well.  The old me would have hated on her for thinking she's flawed or fat at that weight.  The new me recognizes that we all have our issues that we are trying to deal with and I respect that this kind of shit wreaks serious havoc on our brains. 

I'm actually at a weight that would historically make me feel fat and unhappy.  Perhaps I've just gained muscle, but I feel great, my clothes fit fine, and I like what I see when I look in the mirror. 

Golden Gate Bridge photoshoot
The thing is, mentally, I do feel good.  Really good.  Like, I've probably never been this content with my body in my entire life.  I do have fat rolls, loose skin, stretch marks and scars, but I don't have any issues wearing a bathing suit in public, or putting myself in skimpy pole outfits.  I mean, I get that thinking I'm chubbier than I am doesn't mean I can't also love my body regardless of size.  Maybe it's actually a good sign that I think I'm a 3X and I'm still cool wearing whatever I want to wear.  Last weekend I did a photoshoot with some friends at the Golden Gate Bridge.  I didn't hate any of my photos.  I felt gorgeous in every single shot.  In fact, I usually have a weird thing about which side of my face I want photographed, and I even liked both sides of my face!  (More on that coming soon.)

I am extremely grateful for my current mental state.  I have certainly battled some serious demons in the past over how I look and feel.  The truth is, I feel great. 

Sharing my fat with the world

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