My city is notorious for crazy weather changes. You could easily wear a parka on Monday and then be lying on our sad excuse for a beach on Thursday. I find the older I get, the more I hate winter. But I hate summer even more. Big bodies get hotter faster, sweat more, require more energy to move, even BREATH sometimes! While it is perfectly acceptable to combat some of those problems by donning lighter and even less clothing options, I gave up wearing shorts when I was 15.
Some people can rock their size no matter what! Crop tops, bikinis, short shorts. Some women exude confidence and pull it off effortlessly. Not me.
I would suffer through the hottest days in the summer wearing jeans because I didn’t like my legs. When I did try shorts they would just rise up while I walked and were a pain the neck. I even rocked a farmers tan for years because I hated my arms so much I would stay in t-shirts all summer long. In high school I started getting spider veins, the horrible raised ones too. I was ashamed and embarrassed. I didn’t want anyone to see.
I can actually recall the last time I wore shorts. It was on holiday in Collingwood, Ontario. Me and my family did the whole scenic caves hike. I remember the way my thighs rubbed together as I walked. My shorts kept riding up and I had to constantly be fussing with them. At the end of the day I got to deal with raw, chapped inner thighs. It was horrible. Of all the clothing I have saved over the years, those shorts have hung around the longest. They were the only pair I owned at 15 and so in an emergency situation or maybe just to do laundry at home, I might break them out. I tried them on for the first time in years in preparation for our spring/summer transition. They fell off me. Right to my ankles. This told me two things. One, I am smaller now than I was when I was 15. And two, I better get my butt to the mall and go shopping!
Shopping in past years has never been a favourite activity of mine. I dreaded going. I knew I could only find my size in just a few stores and even if I had money to burn, I would probably only walk away with one or two things that I actually felt ok in. It got to the point that just finding something that fit was enough – didn’t matter if I didn’t like the colour or pattern. If I needed the clothing article and I was lucky it fit, then I bought it.
Shopping is massively different for me now. I’ve even got a bit of an addiction with it. Which I feel has really perpetuated itself. When you are constantly a different size month after month, you HAVE to keep buying clothes – so really it’s not my fault! Wink wink.
I am no longer forced to shop at just 3 stores, I can shop at them all – except the plus size stores! With all these physical changes happening, I find the changes with my mind a bit slower. The weight is falling off of me faster than my mind can cope. Walking into a standard sized store, I still feel like the sales people look at me and think “Why is she shopping here?”
I have been told by some friends that they don’t understand why I would have any hang ups at all about how I look in clothes now. But I spend so much of my day focused on my body. Either how it looks, preforms or feels. There is a good chance I am still just as critical about it, maybe more so, than I was when I was obese. The reflection in the mirror is definitely a different one and my confidence is still adapting to it. So yeah, even though my thighs are smaller, wearing shorts is going to be a big deal for me this year. I might not be 100% comfortable wearing them, but I am getting there. My body is still changing and is not “perfect”. I still see my “flaws” but I have more courage now than I have had in a really long time. I might actually enjoy summer this year.
I am really proud of getting to this point. I keep reminding myself that real change happens at the end of my comfort zone. That change applies as much to my body as it does to my mind.