In my pre-fat life I loved shopping. I enjoyed spending an afternoon looking in store windows, having a cookie and a diet coke, and shopping for clothes. It was pretty easy to find things I liked. After all, during my early marriage I was an average weight and size. Not everything I tried on was fabulous, but enough of it fit and looked decent, that I felt that shopping for clothes was a pleasant experience. John and I could waste a whole afternoon wandering around the mall.
Things got a bit more complicated after the birth of my first child, during whose pregnancy I gained 74 pounds. After her birth, I didn’t realize how big I had become until I tried to fit into some of my pre-pregnancy clothes about 2 months after she was born. Sadly, the only item of clothing that fit was my shoes.
John felt bad for me, and convinced me I really needed to go shopping, so we went to a department store. Once there, I had go from shopping in the regular sized departments to the plus-sized women’s department – known back then as “women’s world.” The first trip into “women’s world” wasn’t at all like a trip to Disney World. Oh no. Here, there was no magic. There was no fantasy. There was just harsh, cold reality. It started with the number 18 on the tag and got worse from there. These days there some more fashionable choices for the larger woman, but all those years ago, I wasn’t quite so fortunate. Ugly shirts, garish colors, and horrendous prints were the norm in “woman’s world.” No cute skirts or jackets. Here the mu-mu reigned supreme.
It was a hard day, but with John’s support and my desperation to have some clothes that fit me, we came away with some basics. A few jumpers, some stretch pants, several sweatshirts with flowers on the front and the requisite t-shirts. It was depressing and embarrassing and frustrating. Sadly, that wasn’t my last visit to “women’s world.” Oh, no. There were many more to come, not because my clothes wore out, but because I outgrew them. As I got bigger and bigger, I would have jumped up and down for joy to see the number 18 on a tag. Instead I went from 18, to 20 and then all the way up to 26/28. Then I really had a problem.
There was no size 30. I reached a point where size 26/28 didn’t fit. Even the stretchiest of pants wouldn’t encompass my hips. No matter how hard I tried I couldn’t get them on. I was stuck, and I didn’t know that there were mail order places that would help me with my problem. I resorted to making my own clothes, and stopped wearing pants completely.
Shopping was torture.
As I lost weight and started shrinking out of sizes, one thing I did was get rid of any clothes that no longer fit me. When those homemade jumpers got too big out they went. When the size 26 pants started looking like I could fit an inflated balloon in there with me, they were gone. Over and over again I gave away or threw away clothes that were too big. I didn’t keep them “just in case,” because I knew there was going to be no “just in case.” I’d encourage you to consider getting rid of clothes as you shrink out of them!