Note: This post sounds way more whiny than I intend it to be. But I had these same feeling a when I lost weight the last time. It could easily derail me completely, so I’m validating my right to feel this way by writing about it.
You are supposed to like buying new clothes, right? Isn’t that one of the perks of losing weight? Not for me. I hate it. Mostly because I can’t really afford what I want/need, but also because:
I really like my clothes. I don’t but a lot but I buy what I like. So when a favorite shirt or jeans are rendered unwearable by virtue of being so big they fall off my body, I feel awful. I just tried on every shirt in my closet and found only two that are able to be salvaged.
I hate trying on new clothes. I never know what size I am so I have to bring 3 or 4 sizes into the dressing room. And then, invariably, I end up between sizes. Take the pants I tried on yesterday: 12s are too tight (muffin top) and 14s are so baggy I can put them on without opening the zipper. If I thought I’d be staying this size for a while I’d definitely get the 14s but I just can’t see spending $40 for pants I will only fit in for a few months. But what if I get the 12s and I don’t lose more weight. Them I’m stuck in tight pants that feel uncomfortable.
Dressing rooms lie. It is partly the harsh lighting and weird mirrors, but it is also partly psychological. Things I think look great in the store I hate once I get home. Or nothing looks good at all. I swear I was this close to deciding I could get away with size 16 for a few more weeks (I really can’t. They won’t stay on without a belt).
I feel like an impostor. I don’t feel comfortable shopping in “regular size stores” (this one’s the kicker). I feel much more at home in Lane Bryant or the Avenue, or the “women’s” section of any department store. When I’m in a regular store I feel like everyone is staring at me thinking What’s she doing here? It’s like I don’t have a right to be there.
All of this is in my head, I know. Part of it is because I’m still fat and always will be. Regardless of what I look like, or what the scale says, I’m permanently fat. Part of it is that we have such segregation in fashion. Even stores that sell both regular and plus size have to segregate the clothes. “You can’t shop over here. Fat people shop in the back (or downstairs, or behind lingerie).” The front of the store is for normal people, obviously. Maybe normal people won’t buy clothes if there are fat clothes on the same rack.
And obviously some styles are only for really thin people. At Lord & Taylor for example I saw this super cute Betsy Johnson dress. It was red and I rarely wear red, but I thought the shape would flatter my figure. Plus it was on sale. I thought I’d try it on for fun. Except I found out it only came in sizzle 00, 0, and 2. In fact none of the dresses in that cute section right by the door came in anything larger than a 4. So normal people get shunned too, to some extent.
If I had more money it would be easier. I’d buy a ton of clothes online and send back what I don’t like. I’d probably also get some of my favorite clothes tailored to fit me. But I’d still have a lot of these feelings.
Final thoughts: I keep thinking I’ve made all this progress with body-positive and self-love. And then a trip to the Gap reminds me that I can’t undo 40 years of fat shame at once. I have more work to do.