9

I Just Can’t Quit You, 2XL Pants

As quickly as I’ve gone through clothing during this journey, there are a few pieces that I just can’t let escape from my closet.

In some cases, the reasons for letting these too-big reminders of my pudge days stick around are easy to understand. For example, my pair of 2XL purple pajama pants have escaped the trash bin because a) they’re extremely comfy and b) they match my bedroom decor. I’m a big loser; I like things to match. It makes me squee with creative joy when something that’s in my bedroom (in this case, my legs in purple pants) matches my bedroom.

Or, there are my sorority shirts. More commonly known as “letters,” I used to have enough of these to wear every day of the week during college, if I so chose (and often I did). If you’re a newbie to the fraternal world, throwing away letters is simply unacceptable. Doing so is the equivalent of using Old Glory to bag and toss your dog’s excrement on your evening stroll around the neighborhood. So I carefully bagged most of my letters and have them in storage with the rest of my old clothes, even though it’s not permitted to sell your letters to someone who is not a member of your sorority.

One sweatshirt remained at the back of my closet, like a stretchy gray reminder of my flab-but-fun days gone by. I reasoned that I kept it because, really, can sweatshirts be too big? Hardly. But recently, I felt empowered to let it go (to someone on whom it will also be too big, but let’s not go there).

Most of my previous bar/hookerwear wardrobe has remained unscathed as well. The glint of sequins and regret kind of seems to wink at me from the far reaches of my closet every time I open it. Tank tops, halter tops, extremely odd-strap tops… all worn previously (with a shrug sweater) to highlight my one good feature, my extreme cleavage. (As if my flashy bewb-age would somehow disguise the fact that I was fat from the eligible bachelors in the establishment? A.k.a. Look at my DDs. Be hypnotized by them. Don’t notice my fat rolls underneath. Oh, Old Lisa’s logic. So sad.)

Hiding in shame in a garment bag is my bridesmaid’s dress from my sister Stacey’s wedding. Don’t get me wrong, the dress is beautiful; I just regret the size on the tag. The process of trying on bridesmaids dresses was painful. Sample dresses did not come in my former size. Often, I was left to hang out and consult with my sister as the other two ‘maids slipped on dress after dress. I am grateful for the bride’s kindness, though; if there was a sample dress that I might possibly fit into, she asked me to try it on, even if I knew there was no way she could be considering it for her wedding. (I remember one particularly hideous pumpkin-colored number. Gag.) But on the day of her wedding, even if I hated my weight, I felt beautiful in that dress, with that makeup, that hair. So I keep the dress as a reminder of both celebrating a wonderful day with a wonderful couple, and to remember that there were days, even pre-Weight Watchers, that I felt like a beautiful person.

Size 20 remnants aside, it’s fairly rare for my clothes to actually fit me, anyways. As I type this I’m wearing a tank top that’s too big, layered with a t-shirt that’s too tight, pants that seem to be okay, and undies desperately trying to cling to my hips. Let’s not even broach the topic of my other lingerie item; I don’t think I’ve owned a brassiere of the correct size since this whole thing began. Either my cup is half-full or my cup runneth over, if you know what I mean.

That’s one of the things I really look forward to at goal weight – staying one size. Not having to shop for clothes and think “Okay, I have to buy this a little small because if I don’t, it will be too big in a few weeks and I’ll have wasted my money” would be fab. I can’t wait to buy a dress or a pair of jeans because they fit my body at that time, without worrying that as my shape/size changes, that particular piece of clothing won’t look as good.

So while my current wardrobe contains a pack of misfits, I’m content with the knowledge the someday soon, that’ll all change. Goal, here I come!

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7

The Start of the Stack

Yesterday I finally gave up on my favorite pair of jeans.  Having to practically hold a death grip on the belt loops every moment to ensure they wouldn’t plummet to my ankles and let out Victoria’s Secret was so frustrating, and I hoped that at 25 pounds less than I’d started, I could buy a pair of jeans in a smaller size than the ones I had.  My former faves are size 20s from Deb.

My new faves are size 16 from Old Navy.

I had tried on the same pair a few weeks prior.  Then, as I checked myself out in the dressing room mirror, I blinked in horror: in those jeans, my legs looked like hefty sumo wrestlers trying to escape a cheap duffel bag. This time, miraculously they slipped on, zipped up, and even made my ass look good. Bonus!

Those jeans aren’t the only thing in my overstuffed closet that no longer fit.  They’ve been piling up, actually; so I’ve decided to start what I’ve termed “The Stack.” 

I'm throwing a party when the stack reaches as high as a mirror.

I'm throwing a party when the stack reaches as high as a mirror.

“The Stack” is even going to get its own page – every time it grows, I’m going to snap a photo. The Stack contains all the pants, shirts, and dresses that absolutely don’t fit me anymore.  I’m hanging onto all my t-shirts to wear to the gym, and I like pj pants the bigger, the better. Everything else, however, is going into this stack.  The day that I hit negative 100 pounds, I’m taking The Stack to Plato’s Closet, turning it in for a few bucks, and going shopping.

2

Plus Size Clothing Nightmares

This week I put in what will hopefully be my last ever order to a store that specifically caters to plus size women.

Don’t get me wrong, I love this store.  I’m also grateful to them for recognizing that young women who are overweight don’t want to wear voluminous sweaters with kitten appliques, multicolored stretch pants, or muumuus.  Torrid, an off-shoot of Hot Topic (popular with the eyeliner and heavy metal crowd), first caught my attention as I was strolling through the Mall of America.

That particular day, I had no specific item in mind, but as I was passing through the crowded walkways, I spotted a gigantic pink sign and store windows hung with posters of girls whose bodies looked like mine.  Jackpot!  A sense of epiphany, heaven, euphoria, and all that fabulousness hit me.  I had finally found a clothing store to call home.

Previously, shopping was fun, but frustrating.  It was an epic battle through regular stores, poring meticulously over rack after rack, including buckets of tears in the dressing rooms, to find just one thing that both fit me and I actually liked.  Racks filled with sizes medium and small, but mysteriously devoid of that magic XL would frustrate me to the point of slamming hangers while moving to the next item.  When I did find that one item of clothing (or if it was an awesome day, TWO items! Wow!), I’d bring it to the check-out line like it was a trophy studded with precious gemstones.  Price was no object, I had clothing that fit me!

Few stores take larger people into account, though we’re becoming more and more of the population.  As I’ve gained more weight, my choices have dwindled considerably.  Now I pretty much only shop at Torrid, Old Navy, Target, and occassionally Kohls and JcPenney. 

While it’s comforting to know where I can purchase clothes, I want to expand my horizons a little: I want to shop at Hollister.

What? you may ask.  Buy overpriced clothing marketed towards anorexic teenagers, whose sizes seem to give everyone who wears them a sense of panic because they run so small?  Yup, them.  I want to walk past those twiggy sales girls, pick up a pair of jeans, take them to the dressing room, try them on, parade about, and then put them back on the rack and walk out.  I want to know that I could wear them if I wanted to. But I’ll be saving my denim cash for these: http://www.fidelitydenim.com/