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It's Been a Day.

nimiety

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Oh, man, is my closet a bad scene right now. I got a few things on clearance at Asos and they came in the mail yesterday. Their sizes generally run fairly big, but it was hard to estimate, and I think one thing is going to have to go back. There's another I'd ideally have preferred a 16 in, but it wasn't available and I liked the skirt enough to try the 18, and that works fine. It's not form-fitting or anything, and it's a tiny touch too long, but it also doesn't emphasize the saggy-lower-belly situation, which is a mercy. Nothing that thrilled me, and I felt grumpy about that, because that's the whole problem with my closet right now. I open it, and there's nothing I'm really excited to put on, nothing that makes me feel polished or put-together or well-dressed. There's a Kiyonna maxi dress in my laundry bag that I'm excited to put on, but I think that might be the only thing in my whole closet right now, which is...a shitty ratio. I don't know, there are a few things in the laundry, I guess, so I should do the damn laundry already, but then there's the task of going through it when it gets back and facing each item of clothing that I like and felt good in and spent time finding and money buying and good nights in that's now too big. It's unexpectedly wrenching to watch my wardrobe bite the dust. I'm mad about it, and sad about it. And even the stuff that does fit doesn't fit well. Nothing fits well right now. Except that Kiyonna dress. Okay, laundry goes out tomorrow so I can have it back. (But it needs hemming.)

I just want clothes that fit me that make me look like I want to look; is that so much to ask? Yesterday I left the house in a too-springy pink dress that had been too small last summer and I put a cardigan over it and thought it would probably be fine because that's always been a strategy that's worked for me but both the cardigan and the dress were too big, drooping at the neckline and hanging too far away from my body, making me look sloppy and shapeless and also bigger. I was in a high dudgeon by the time I got home, hence the tear through the wardrobe so I don't have to stare my frustration in the face every morning. But that just means there's less in my drawers and closet. I can't productively try stuff on at straight-size stores yet, but I'm bumping up against the bottoms of plus ranges (which is in and of itself irritating because given my arms and also my sagging belly, the proportions of a plus garment really do work better for me). Old Navy is really the only option going for me to try on stuff that fits me, and every now and again I hit with something there (I had an incredible sweater dress from there for which I paid about $8 and which lasted me like the better part of a decade) but mostly it's enh. The quality's not great, and a lot of their stuff feels a little juvenile. I've filled carts and abandoned them from Gap, H&M, and Eloquii—internet shopping is extra tricky right now because of size guessing and predicting. Who knows what size I am at any given moment, or how long it will take me to become some other size? It's so frustrating. I'm so used to understanding my body, to knowing it minutely, to dressing it capably and strategically, and now I can't because it's changing, but still somehow despite the destabilizingness of the speed of that change it also feels frustratingly slow? Like, I look in the mirror and I still see pretty much what I've always seen, and it distresses me? Except my arms, which are worse than they have ever been, and that distresses me even more?

It's been a day.

I am comfort-talking myself, reminding myself to just keep putting in the days. I have been putting in the days. Aside from not logging last Saturday (when I ate and drank out all day, although quite moderately), the last two weeks have been solid and consistent. My numbers (calories and protein grams) are right where I want them, and I'm hitting my water and vitamins. I ran up the stairs of my fourth-floor walk-up after taking the trash down today, and I was excited to see how far I could get before getting winded and having to slow down (the third floor—I was slowing on the last half-flight). I'm stalled up a few pounds from the low I was seeing a few days ago, though, and because I weigh myself too frequently or because I'm impatient these stalls always feel aaaaagonizing. And how can I be up anyway, when I'm barely hitting a thousand calories on a high day? (Water balance. I know this. That doesn't make it any more fun.)

So I'm anxious and antsy and impatient and irritated and bummed out and grumpy and sad and confused and frustrated.

And yet.

At the same time, I'm taking care of myself. I reorganized and cleaned my entire kitchen over the course of this week, and it's already working better for me. It's a pleasure to be in there right now, and I've been finding excuses to wander in there and admire the relative order into which I've wrangled my tiny and low-storage kitchen, and that means that my fridge is in impeccable order and I have eaten really well lately. Pleasurably and productively. The big FreshDirect coupons have helped, but it's also just that I like cooking and I like organizing my own life. I don't do the thing that we are now calling "meal prep," because I like having feeding myself as a part of my day and hate microwaving things (and also don't own a microwave) but I do batch-cooking and I do strategize for the week. In my refrigerator right now, I have batches of salmon salad (ready to eat—it's poached salmon with cornichons and yogurt dressing), poached chicken (combine with whatever for an easy meal), delicious chicken broth, a slow-cooked Italian-American red sauce, and a basic yogurt dressing (0% Fage, dijon mustard, apple cider vinegar, season with your preferred profile). All those things mean I'm never far from a satisfying home-cooked meal. I'm enjoying my time in the kitchen. When I was crossing the street this evening, headed for the deli for rubbing alcohol and toilet paper and thinking of all the fairly junky food I have bought at that deli over the years I've lived in my apartment and reminding myself no, not a Diet Coke, no, not a bag of sour cream and onion Utz chips, nope, sorry, I was thinking to myself, yes, I could eat basically like this for the rest of my life, why not? I mean, I hope I end up with a little more caloric leeway, but I'm doing fine here.

Did I mention it's been a day?

It's been a day.

But tomorrow will be another one.


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This is a great post. I hear you on the closet. I finally bought jeans that fit, o decided fitting right now was good enough. They feel tight in the legs but apparently the fabric is supposed to touch your skin!

Congratulations on filling the fridge with excellent choices. I hope today is a better day.

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Ah, the wardrobe conundrum. I really liked your earlier post about your strategies for dealing with clothing (wrap dresses, etc). This is pretty similar to my philosophy on plus sized clothing (why would I wear jeans at my size - they look awful and are uncomfortable!). For the diminishing period, I've got several cotton knit dresses that that are sort of fit and flare (but not too fit, more flare) and sweaters to go over them. I'm hoping that they will take me several sizes down before they look dumpy. Belts will probably figure in there somewhere. That awkward between period from 16W to 16R will be problematic, I know. I hope you manage to sort out something to wear - the positive side is that you're in this pickle because you're so much thinner! And clothes are so much more fun to wear/shop for once you get down to about 12. Most things start to look good. Tolstoy said that happy families are all alike but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way - I say thin people are all alike, but each fat person is fat in her own way. That makes finding clothes that fit well harder for the plus sized. It'll get easier!

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8 hours ago, KMFL28 said:

This is a great post. I hear you on the closet. I finally bought jeans that fit, o decided fitting right now was good enough. They feel tight in the legs but apparently the fabric is supposed to touch your skin!

Congratulations on filling the fridge with excellent choices. I hope today is a better day.

Yeah, at some point I think you do kind of just go "the hell with it, at least it will fit right FOR A MINUTE." That'll be easier once I can try on clothes in straight-size stores, because that way you don't have the online-ordering guessing game. I actually bought 7 things on clearance from Forever 21's website the morning after I wrote this post, mostly stretchy skirts and dresses in size 14, which probably will be a little to significantly too small when they arrive, but will give me something to "shrink into," so no immediate gratification but a good wardrobe extension.

Today has been a better day already—thanks so much for your kind wishes. 

 

5 hours ago, Jen581791 said:

Ah, the wardrobe conundrum. I really liked your earlier post about your strategies for dealing with clothing (wrap dresses, etc). This is pretty similar to my philosophy on plus sized clothing (why would I wear jeans at my size - they look awful and are uncomfortable!). For the diminishing period, I've got several cotton knit dresses that that are sort of fit and flare (but not too fit, more flare) and sweaters to go over them. I'm hoping that they will take me several sizes down before they look dumpy. Belts will probably figure in there somewhere. That awkward between period from 16W to 16R will be problematic, I know. I hope you manage to sort out something to wear - the positive side is that you're in this pickle because you're so much thinner! And clothes are so much more fun to wear/shop for once you get down to about 12. Most things start to look good. Tolstoy said that happy families are all alike but every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way - I say thin people are all alike, but each fat person is fat in her own way. That makes finding clothes that fit well harder for the plus sized. It'll get easier!

Yeah, my strategies have carried me pretty far, but I am reaching the end of their tether! The wrap dresses are biting the dust now (nearly 7 months and 100 pounds out) because I don't fill out the tops anymore, not because the adjustable-waist thing isn't helpful. My sack dresses still work (especially the ones that were smaller to begin with, obviously), and yeah, I do that fit-and-flare skater-dress silhouette too; I like it. The drapery gets problematic when the waist hangs away from the body, alas. Belts do help a bit.

This would be easier if I weren't so broke, but it would still be hard. Honestly, I could rant for days and days about the clothing situation, and how grumpy it makes me—I put on a cardigan in a 2x to go for a walk with a friend this afternoon and it was pretty okay when I put it on but then obviously I moved and it stretched and now it's dumpy and I went from feeling cute to feeling like a drab hausfrau in the space of like thirty seconds when I returned home and passed my mirror.

Here's the thing about my personal deal: I have really invested, emotionally and energetically and financially and personally, in my wardrobe, in part as an extension of a fat politics that means a lot to me. I have loved fat shopping—because even in its terriblenesses it's also so creative, so generative, and so bonding amongst the tough, interesting, driven women who pursue the ability to invest in and decide what they want to look like in a world that tells them that they're not worth looking at no matter what they do because they're fat. I love fat women, and fat girl-talk, and fat shopping, and politicized fat style, and the odd idiosyncrasies of the variable fat body, and my wardrobe is the manifestation of much of that, and losing it hurts my heart. I already know that my relationship to clothing and fashion will change—it will no longer be this kind of vital site of resistance, of that kind of adamant, stubborn insistence on self-determination; it will be more something else. I know that something else to be pleasurable. But resisting was also pleasurable. I loved it. I will miss it. (I will find other ways to resist, but I still feel the loss of this one.)

I'm fast approaching that 16W/16R gap (the 14s and 16s from Asos are pretty much right, the 18s a little too big, but I'm using a pair of Gap jeans in a 16 as measurement pants right now even though I haven't actually worn pants anywhere but the gym in the better part of a decade—those button, but muffin-top me in ways unfit for human eyes, so deeeefinitely not a 16R yet), but dresses do make fudging things a little easier. I need to find a cardigan or three that fit well, which is tricky because I have disproportionately large upper arms, but if I do manage it I'll have more flexibility with dresses.

Anyway, I made a hair appointment. Tuesday morning. Because at least I can be cute from the chin up, and the hair loss has taken a toll. I've definitely been taking more care with makeup as my clothing options have diminished. The transition is rough, not gonna lie! But yes, it will get easier, definitely. 

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I understand your dilemma about leaving the fat acceptance/celebration environment - I'm sure it's much healthier than the self-loathing strategy I've been pursuing. I've never worked hard on my fat wardrobe. It's like as soon as I hit a certain weight, I just want to hide in my mostly black drapey wardrobe. Having dieted myself down to 140 lbs about 10 years ago also made it hard not to see my struggle with re-gaining as anything other than personal failure tinged with shame. I have friends who are much more fat positive than I am, and I have to say that they seem a lot more at peace with themselves than I am. It will be interesting and probably disconcerting for you to walk among the land of the thin as one of their own. I had a hard time being the thin one when I was, seeing the fat girls who I'd been comfortable with before giving me the side eye. I get you sister, I wanted to say. Be ready for people to treat you differently: the world is kinder to thin people. Thin privilege is real.

In the meantime, I hope you find some cost effective solutions to your wardrobe problems. A good haircut goes a long way, too ;) 

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2 hours ago, Jen581791 said:

I understand your dilemma about leaving the fat acceptance/celebration environment - I'm sure it's much healthier than the self-loathing strategy I've been pursuing. I've never worked hard on my fat wardrobe. It's like as soon as I hit a certain weight, I just want to hide in my mostly black drapey wardrobe. Having dieted myself down to 140 lbs about 10 years ago also made it hard not to see my struggle with re-gaining as anything other than personal failure tinged with shame. I have friends who are much more fat positive than I am, and I have to say that they seem a lot more at peace with themselves than I am. It will be interesting and probably disconcerting for you to walk among the land of the thin as one of their own. I had a hard time being the thin one when I was, seeing the fat girls who I'd been comfortable with before giving me the side eye. I get you sister, I wanted to say. Be ready for people to treat you differently: the world is kinder to thin people. Thin privilege is real.

In the meantime, I hope you find some cost effective solutions to your wardrobe problems. A good haircut goes a long way, too ;) 

Yeah, I think one of the most interesting things for me about the way surgery interacts with a sense of self is how that varies based on orientation towards fatness, and also size track record. I'm a lifelong weight cycler, but I've identified stably as fat since I was a small child and was actually fat starting perhaps in middle school—none of my mid-scope weight losses ever made me not fat. Fatness for me is a foundational part of my self-concept, and because I've never been thin, I don't have that to compare it to. My therapist and I are talking about ways to cope with the possibility of "passing" in the world of the unfat—because while of course I'm intellectually aware of the difficulty of fat stigma, I know that that's not the same as being personally prepared for the reactions to the visceral realization of it.

For me, fat-positivity stuff was an absolute lifeline, and it helped me get my *&^% together in so many ways. It's a part of my feminism and a part of my politics more generally, and it also helped me start to learn to validate my own individual self and needs and possibilities—it helped me grow into myself and start to grow up. It made me think about what kind of woman I wanted to be, and gave me a way to do that that wasn't foreclosed by fatness. I'll be grateful for it and its thinkers and makers and reimaginers until the day I die, and I have a lot of mixed feelings about surgery to do with no longer having that commonality with (other) fat women. 

Edited by nimiety

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