If you have never been really overweight, you more than likely have never shopped at a plus sized store. I however, have been shopping at plus sized stores since about the age of 11.
I don’t really know how to describe the experience to someone who has never shopped at one. First, I will say that it wasn’t too long ago that I didn’t even fit into clothes that were in plus sized stores, I had to find stores that were EXTRA plus sized. Me and my ass really were not even welcome at the average plus sized stores.
About a month ago I threw away my first pair of jeans. I contemplated keeping them as evidence of how big I was, but really just wanted to get rid of them. The sad thing is, they once were my “skinny” jeans. There was a time that I could not get them up over my thighs, no less zip and button them. But last month my husband looked at me and told me it was time to get rid of them. This was after we were walking along the beach and I kept tripping over them, because they KEPT FALLING DOWN.
A few weeks ago I decided to go into a plus sized store, one that is actually half way decent, and does not have a variety of sweaters with cats and apples on them. (for some reason fat people are expected to wear large cliche’ first grade teacher clothes in some stores). Anyway, I went into this store, where apparently I had filled out some kind of size profile not that long ago. I was looking for a pair of jeans at the time, and really, who likes trying on jeans? I mean you get into the fluorescent lit dressing room, that you barely fit into to begin with, and you muscle your way into a pair of jeans, like you were trying to change in an airplane bathroom. After all the huffing and puffing, you squeeze yourself into the jeans, and you walk out of the dressing room to be confronted by a three way mirror, only to notice the very large muffin top that is now hovering above your waist line. All the while, a sales woman is telling you “OH MY they look SO nice” and you just want to slap her because 1. NO they don’t and 2. You are too embarrassed to buy a bigger size, so you are going to have to buy the damn jeans that make you look like you’re a stuffed animal that got stuffed in all the WRONG places.
Anyway.. So I told the lady that I wanted to look for jeans. And she said “Do you have a size profile” and I say “Is that something that the government keeps now” and she didn’t get it, and we moved on. Apparently I did have a size profile. The last time I went in I apparently got measured, and I do not recall this, which means I was THAT traumatized by it.
But the lady looks at me and then looks at the screen in front of her, she does this a few times. She was sizing me up. And I thought “Oh damn, she’s looking at me and thinking to herself how to tell me that I am clearly larger than what the profile is telling her”
Finally she says: “Oh, I think there is a mistake, you are definitely not these sizes”
I thought “see! I was right! She is about to take out the measuring tape!”
But then she says “You clearly are MUCH smaller”
WHAAAAT!? Smaller? Really? She then proceeds to come over to me, and she has a clip with her. She takes the clip and bunches up about 1/2 of the shirt I was wearing and clips it behind me. She smiles and says “Honey, you have to get some new clothes.”
Have you seen “What not to wear” I felt like one of those sad people who have all of these clothes they think fit great, and then is told “no, you look like crap, get stuff that fits”
She then pulls a few things from clothes racks that were 6 SIZES smaller than what I had on. SIX. And I look at her like she’s just taken hits of something that I could probably have used at them moment and I tell her “No way these will fit!”
She ushers me to the porta-potty sized dressing room, and I start trying the clothes on. And what do you know? They fit. Like they actually fit with room and I do not look like muffin top girl. I was so happy I walked out with a skirt. A skirt! The last time I wore a skirt I think Reagan might have been president.
I felt so good about myself! But the happiness parade did not stop there. Yesterday I was at Old Navy. Old Navy, which is not a plus sized store. I was looking for clothes for my husband when I noticed a rack of clearance items for women. So I thought, I should look for gifts for people! I picked up something and this sales woman says “oh that would be cute on you!” to which I said “HI, I’m a plus sized shopper!” (okay not really) but I did kind of chuckle. And then she asked if I wanted to try it on. And I thought, sure why not, I can see how much weight I need to lose to get into the cute thing I picked out, provided I don’t make the thing bust at the seams.
I get into the dressing room and try it on, and I seriously thought for a moment I was being punked. It fit. I swear to you, there were trumpets playing. And the big kicker, it was sleevless and cute. And it was not tight. And I got 2.
I have a lot more weight to lose. When I’m at my goal I will have lost well over 200 pounds, so far the official number of pounds lost is 124. That’s easily like 15 runway models. But today at Old Navy I had this huge realization, even the small seemingly insignificant parts of my life are changing. For the past 20 years of my life I have hated shopping for clothes. I cried when I had to wear a dress from a plus sized woman’s store for my 8th grade dance. I cried when I could not find a prom dress, I cried when I could never wear anything that I really wanted to. I have dreaded every single trip to a clothing store for the past 20 years. I have settled on what I could wear, because nothing ever fit. And today, I stood at a check out counter and I bought two items of clothing that look good on me. And I can tell you, that if you are wondering if that feels good? HECK YES. It feels awesome, and it’s a feeling that I want to keep having over and over and over again, until I can go and buy a cute sexy little black dress somewhere, and then proceed to wear it EVERYWHERE for like months.
Yes, losing weight, reversing diabetes, getting healthy, not dying young, all really really important. And that little black dress that I will one day wear? Also really important to me. I am going to be one sexy vegan. And finally in my life, there is nothing stopping me. I finally unlocked so many years of trying so hard, and I will say this again, it’s been so much easier than I would have ever imagined, and the outcome? I wouldn’t trade this feeling that I have right now for any thing.
If you are thinking about going vegan especially for weight loss. Know that nothing that you are eating right now is worth the feeling that you will have when you are standing in front of a three way mirror in something you never thought you could put on. You are worth all the effort, and all of the change. I promise you, you will not regret it.