Anxiety about sizing OUT of a plus size store?

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Weird, right? But yes! I'm having some anxiety about this.

Yesterday I was pretty down about my recurrent hernia and beginning the process of surgical consultation all over again. But after some prayer and emotional re-grouping, I am trying to rest in the belief that God sees the big picture. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change...." Yep, I've been praying that a lot. I'm instead focusing on things I can change and do.... like eating well, exercising consistently, and.... buying jeans that FIT me!

A couple weeks ago I was SHOCKED that the size 16 jeans fit me. Unfortunately, we didn't have the money to buy them, but I was still thrilled about fitting. But my 18's have been getting looser and looser and are just plain uncomfortable at this point! So back to the mall our family went today.

Lane Bryant has been my "go-to" store for 22 years. When I was too large to fit in anything they carried in-store, I was a faithful catalog shopper (remember when we called to order stuff rather than just doing it with a few clicks of the mouse?). As I lost some of the weight, it was the store I went to and knew that I'd be treated kindly as I looked for clothes that fit me. I know what styles/designs, etc fit me in that store. I'm COMFORTABLE with that store. And frankly... being comfortable can be your enemy when you are trying to change. Why? Because being comfortable lends little motivation to change.

So today I'm in my comfortable little Lane Bryant world, trying on jeans. There's a great jeans sale going on, and so I thought I'd buy the 16's that fit great now, and buy a 14's for later. But in the dressing room, I grabbed the wrong pair. I accidentally tried on the 14's.... and they zipped & closed! Now, don't get me wrong... they weren't pretty, but they went on me. At first, I was ELATED! WooHoo! I can see my body changing right now, although the scale is moving only in spurts.

And then it hit me.... anxiety. Why? Because I already bought the smallest band size bras they carry in my favorite design. And I've been too small for their shirts for months. And now I'm able to close their smallest jeans???? I'm sizing out of my favorite store??? This should bring joy! This should bring elation! And in some ways, it DOES. But it also brings anxiety.

I don't know how to not be a "plus size" girl. I've been in 18+ sizes since I was about 16 years old. I'm going on 39. That's my entire adult life defining myself as such. And beyond the pride in myself (which is there!), and the excitement about shopping in more stores (which is there!), if I'm honest, I have to admit I'm also scared. Because I have to start re-defining myself, and challenging the image of myself I have in my mind.

Some days this journey is just plain weird.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Wow, do I know how you feel. Several years ago, when I lost 40 pounds, I had the same problem. I had a shape emerging, & had no idea where I was going to shop. I told 2 girls in my judo class that I didn't know where to get "normal size" jeans. I have an odd shape--no hourglass figure for me, I'm more like a Rockstar energy drink can--straight up and down. They were very sympathetic and recommended Old Navy, because they had 3 different style fits for pants. I went there on a fact finding mission, and lo and behold, got jeans that fit. It was so strange, standing in a trendy store, shopping off the same shelves as the skinny people. I also got clothes from my diet buddy, who is shorter, and smaller than I am. Her fat clothes became my thin clothes (after I let all the hems back down). Ease into it, do a little trying on each week, you'll find the right places to go. Congrats!
    1929 days ago
    I so get it. I felt the same way. I LOVED Lane Bryant! Think of it this way.. Your options are getting soooooooo much bigger as you get smaller. The selection of cute clothes will be wide open to you. Enjoy the journey and most importantly......get rid of the clothes as they get too big... You WILL NOT fit into them again! I love to frequent thrift stores, especially as I was going down in sizes. Why spend lots of money on something that you will only wear a couple of months. emoticon emoticon
    1932 days ago
    Girl I just love your enthusiasm!You are doing great,I will pray for your speedy recovery!
    1933 days ago
    I can definitely relate to what you posted. Lane Bryant has also been a safe haven for me. However, I have noticed them getting much more expensive as of late. A $50 shirt! No, thank you! Not only will we feel great when we can buy in regular stores, our wallets will thank us. Congrats on your progress!
    1935 days ago
    Congrats on reaching such a difficult milestone!! In a little while, you'll embrace your newfound freedom to shop! emoticon
    1935 days ago
    I completely understand!! I went through this this past summer. It was the weirdest feeling while looking at a Lane Bryant catalog and thinking about do I like this top, those pants, etc...then stopping myself and realizing, wait a minute. I can't shop there any more! It's very strange - you're developing a new sense of self.

    It's all GOOD changes, though! Like everything else on this journey, tackle it one step at a time.

    Just tonight - walking through Target while running errands, I walked right past all of the clothes because I've never been able to buy anything there. Then it hit me, wait a minute, I CAN look at these clothes now! This time, rather than that weird feeling - it DID put a smile on my face.

    You're doing great! Keep it up!

    1936 days ago
  • SUGAR0814
    emoticon Congrats!
    1936 days ago
    I went through the same thing as I lost 70 pounds. I was a Talbot's shopper, but I always shopped in their Women's store. I lost more than 25 pounds while I was laid up with a broken ankle, and once I was walking again, I headed to Talbot's for new jeans. The Women's jeans were all too big! So I crossed over into the Ladies Store. I reached for the largest jeans in the Ladies (18), and they were too big! I got the next smaller size (16), and another pair in the next smaller size (14), too. I was thrilled! Now I wear a size 10 or 8 and I can shop in any store I like! You will get used to it, believe me!

    I told my story to the sales people at Talbot's and they were so nice about helping me find just the right things.
    1936 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your journey! I wish you all the best for this adjustment period.
    1936 days ago
    I can fully understand,,,,but in the short time I've known you I also know you will figure it out!.....Meanwhile, Congrats! emoticon
    1936 days ago
    It sounds weird to be anxious about this but I completely understand. That comfortable feeling is so nice and cuddly, and getting out of that zone and doing something new is scary!

    Look at it like an adventure, go to the mall (or wherever) and spend a day checking out the other stores, find a few that have clothes that you find to be cute and fit your style. Then on another day (or same day even) try on some of the clothes at the new stores you've found and see how they fit to find the manufacturers and styles that work for you. Also, take into consideration the employees attitudes. You may find just one store that meets your criteria, but that new store could just end up being your new comfort zone!
    1936 days ago
  • CHERYLA2012
    Not weird at all!

    If I think about how very soon I will have to replace clothing whether buying it new or "recycled" I'm sure I will have an anxiety attack. :D

    However I did have to buckle down and buy all new bras a while back so I will just have to get into the same mindset and make it happen.
    1937 days ago
    I had to break up with her recently. She kept sending me catalogs and emails. I hadn't been reading them for a while now, so I had to write to her telling her that's I'm sorry, but I can't see her anymore because I just don't fit right with her anymore and she may as well save her money because I just can't be there anymore.

    Target is finally my friend again! Cheaper and more convenient.
    1937 days ago
    This blog made me giggle a little, mostly because you are right! It is weird (to me anyway) that you aren't the happiest clam in the bunch! However, I understand that, after being a certain way for so long, that change can be scary. You are the same YOU, but you can feel like you're becoming a new person. The good part about this is that you can find other stores that are just as great as Lane Bryant, with clothes that you will look AMAZING in! Remember, don't look back. Keep pushing forward!
    1937 days ago
  • ADELE66
    What a great blog! It just serves to remind us all that losing weight is not the answer to every issue - sometimes it actually generates one or two!

    Perhaps you could go and visit a few stores and find one with the type of clothes that does both regular and some plus sizes that makes you feel comfortable. Once you find one "go-to" place, it might become a little less stressful.

    I remember, many years ago, when I hit a mainstream size, my problem was that I just went nuts buying everything in sight (just because I could!). I ended up with a whole closet full of clothes I would never wear!

    Take your time... ease into this adjustment... it will be fine!

    1937 days ago
    Great post! One thing I'm looking forward to the most as I get rid of this weight, is never having to buy clothes from Lane Bryant again, but I've never really thought about what that will feel like when the time comes! Congratulations on preparing to start a new shopping adventure. :)
    1937 days ago
    Great post! One thing I'm looking forward to the most as I get rid of this weight, is never having to buy clothes from Lane Bryant again, but I've never really thought about what that will feel like when the time comes! Congratulations on preparing to start a new shopping adventure. :)
    1937 days ago
  • PURPLE180
    I know the feeling...I still feel strange going into a "regular" department store and not searching for the plus size section. Best wishes on your journey. :-)
    1937 days ago
    Anxiety or not it is wonderful. So proud of you. I can almost fit into size 14's....big legs run in our family so working on that. Been doing a lot of extra leg exercises. Well guess you will have to find a whole brand new store to fall in love with and never leave.

    emoticon emoticon
    1937 days ago
    Now, you will find new favorite stores! And you WILL find them. Enjoy the shopping. Celebrate the new you!
    1937 days ago
  • MSKIZ69
    I loved this blog. I can relate so well-I was so used to Lane Bryant and only dreamed of going into 5-7-9 stores-but was scared to too! You have done wonderfully so embrace your smaller sizes and smile!
    1937 days ago
    I know you'll overcome this too, you are a strong woman and have God on your side.

    I'm so excited for you about the new size girl. Some people shop at Goodwill while losing so they aren't spending to much money on a smaller size.

    Keep up the good work!

    emoticon emoticon

    1937 days ago
    emoticon you are doing so great, Lynn! What an inspiration you are to all of your Spark friends...and to your daughter.
    1937 days ago
  • ELSCO55
    You are doing great. I remember when plus size clothes were ugly, then when I lost weight the first time plus clothes got trendier. WHen I gained my weight back, I lost interest in shopping again. Congrats on your continued success.
    1937 days ago
    I found that the best thing for me was every week after my successful weigh in I went shopping. I tried several store until I found two I really liked. Most weeks I spent a long time trying on clothing and looking in the mirror. Usually I just bought one piece of clothing and then would get rid of one large piece. It took me more than a year to get my new wardrobe. By then I recognized myself in the mirror. After 5 decades of being overweight and obese, I was now a small petite. Amazing!

    Best wishes on finding your new favorite store, getting to love your new body, and collecting a wardrobe that is flattering, fun, and comfortable. You can do it!!

    Life is good. Spark On!!
    1937 days ago
    This entire journey is 90% mental... I never have thought about it until I read your blog. This is how I also feel about Dress Barn Women and Lane Bryant. It is all I have known forever. I can't imagine shopping in a non-plus size store. I am not there yet either. I still have a few sizes before I get to that level of anxiety. Although I am still 10's of pounds away from thinking about maintenance I often wonder what it would be like... how does one maintain rather than lose or gain large amounts. It is also all I have known.

    Keep praying for the wisdom. You are doing immensely well. You WILL transition your mindset and shop in "normal" stores. Great, great job! Keep up the great work.
    1937 days ago
    emoticon on all of the changes you have made
    1937 days ago
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