Well, guys, it's been an amazing last couple of days here in Pittsburgh PA.
First, yesterday I did something all of you know I hate to do: I went shopping. For clothes.
Now, it's easy to think I hate shopping because finding things that fit for my body type can be difficult. Sure, I'm pretty certain that influences my feelings on the subject; but, deep, deep down I hate shopping because I always have an -idea- of what I want and I can never find it. Now, since I sew people seem to think that shouldn't be a problem; but, there is a HUGE difference between sewing a costume and sewing something that you would wear in real life. (AKA not for a couple hours.)
Yesterday, though, I actually had a joyous experience shopping. It wasn't because I found what I was looking for (I settled. I got a dress, a sweater, and a belt. The dress I love. The sweater I'm pretty 'meh' about and the belt was necessary); but, because I did my first ever happy dance in a dressing room.
Ladies and Gentlemen I am officially the same size I was in high school. Size 14. Never in my wildest dreams a year ago would I have fit into a size 14. I just wanted to fit into a 16 comfortably. I just wanted to get away from that ever looming need to shop in the 'plus size' store. Don't get me wrong, I love that there is fashionable clothing in those stores; but, the fact that I had to go there to buy jeans? Or tights? Or slacks? It was humiliating. I think I spent the last couple years squeezing into a size 18 and looking like a sausage so as to avoid it.
I literally, no joke, did a happy dance inside the dressing room.
Then I took a photo, right there, and posted it to my Facebook. The caption? "Hello size 14, it's been 14 years since I last saw you." Now, if you're anything like me you have 200-something 'friends' on Facebook. They're people you've assembled from various segments of your life. People from High School, Family, acquantences from groups. Hell, some of the people I'm 'friends' with on Facebook I've known forever. Others I've only met a couple of times. So, the idea that a whopping 35 of them could 'like' that photo? Astounding. It's validating.
I can tell you this: None of them like it more than me.
As to the title of my blog the last recorded time I have myself weighing 216 is July 10, 2012. At that point I was just beginnning my journey. I remember how difficult it was to run three minutes at a time. I remember when running a mile was elusive.
Never in a million years would I have thought I could do what I'm doing now or be where I am. The thought alone is humbling. I really, really used to think "As long as I'm under 200 I can be happy." All I know is my thoughts have changed, because I know how good I feel now and how much better I will feel when I reach my goal weight. I also never want to forget how absolutely, positively HARD it was at that weight. It was hard to feel good about myself. It was hard to think that I could ever not be that weight. It was terrible and terrifying to go out and run in public. It was absolutely impossible to think that I would ever be much healthier than I was right then.
When I had club last week I spent about a half an hour in the fitness room prior to group, enteraining myself on the recumbant bike and catching up with one of the other girls in the study. We were talking and one of the things that hit me is that I still very much feel like I weigh 230 pounds. I still move in a way that I'm trying to diminish and squeeze myself places where I'm not exactly 'squeezing' anymore.
At 186 pounds and a size 14, I still feel enormous. I can't help but wonder when and if this feeling of being 'too big' will go away. I suppose that it doesn't help that I'm involved in running which is populated by naturally lithe people. It's okay, I like them and they're nice enough to let me tag around with them ;-)
I guess my question is: At what point does your perceived body image change?
Today I'm getting my three miles in on the treadmill. It's too cold to go outside and run today, that's for sure. Yeah it's 6 degrees out there - with windchill they said it's something like -8. Yeah, I'll risk public humiliation if it means that I won't suffer frostbite.
This is me wishing each and every one of you the same celebration I had in the dressing room yesterday - even if it's in some small way. Take joy in your victories because you've earned them!