“The scale can only tell you what you weigh, not who you are” – Steve Maraboli
I’ve been traveling a lot now that the world has opened back up. Once you leave your house you realize your wardrobe of jogging pants and t-shirts might not cut it in the real world. I had even begun wearing graphic t-shirts for virtual meetings to add some flair. It was clear that the two years I had been working from home had altered my attire.
Last month when while packing for my trip I realized my wardrobe was a little sparse. I went to my trusty second closet where I stash my five other sizes of clothes and pulled out a few items. The bigger question was where had my work wardrobe gone? It had to still be in my house. For those who know me I didn’t put a lot of thought into this. I just decided I was going to buy some new clothes.
I didn’t feel like battling actual people so I ordered some new shirts online. I chose JcPenny and Lane Bryant. I’ve spoken about these two retailers in previous blogs I’m sure. If I haven’t I am telling you please visit JcPenny for work clothes. They are still the best option I’ve found for plus size clothing at a reasonable price. My goal is and will always be to wear women’s 0-18 size Worthington dress pants. These pants say “I show up.” There I go getting off track again. This post is not about JcPenny. It’s about Lane Bryant. Back to Lane Bryant.
I ordered eight shirts from Lane Bryant. Four in a size 18 and four in a size 16. I know Lane Bryant runs large and figured I would have some great clearance shirts for the second half of my journey. Right now I want to give five stars for Lane Bryant fast shipping. Three days later I had my first shirt which was a size 18. I tried it on and thought “this is a lot of extra fabric.” I waited for the remaining size 18 shirts to arrive and they were all large. Ironically none of the size 16 shirts had arrived.
Because I needed some clothes to wear for an upcoming trip I took those shirts back to the actual store to swap out for 16’s. While there I saw a shirt that I really liked in a size 14/16 and thought it looked pretty large as well. I had time so I grabbed the shirt and headed to the dressing room. I couldn’t believe it, it fit. Now calm down because I didn’t get excited. I was thinking Lane Bryant is really making shirts this large. Not in a million years did I believe I was a size 14/16. I gathered all my new shirts in a size 14/16 and headed home.
A few days later I needed a new pair of shorts. I only owned three because I just started wearing shorts a few years ago. That’s a story for another blog. I grabbed my keys and headed out to the store to get some shorts. I picked up my trusty size 20’s and also grabbed an 18 for good measure. Took them in the dressing room and they felt a big. Ok the 20’s felt really big. Came back out and grabbed a size 16 and they fit. This is when I froze. I just stood there. Stood there looking at myself in disbelief. There was no way I was wearing a size 16 shorts, but I was. My brain was in overdrive. Did I mention I had on no shape wear. No Spanx, just me and my size 16 shorts.
I was not seeing the size 16 person. I was not even seeing the size 18 person. All I saw was the size 20-22 person. I could not see the transformation I was making or even believe it had happened. I want to say that sparks went off and cannons went boom but that did not happen. I just stood there., frozen. The dressing room attendant probably thought I was trying to steal stuff because I was in there so long. It could have been five minutes but it felt like five hours of just me standing there looking not at me, but at these shorts that were somehow attached to my body.
I did finally grab my shorts and head back to the rack. I needed to get three pair of these magical shorts. You want to know the bonus, they were on sale. This was turning out to be a win-win for me. Magical shorts and size 14/16 shirts. I was winning.
When I was deciding what to write this week I’m going to be honest. I planned to write about how Lane Bryant was a liar. The were lying making people think they were smaller than they were. A few years ago they changed the size of their pants to 0-6 but they were really a size 16-22. You see why I was angry. I was supposed to buy a size 1 or 2 and believe this was my actual size. Lane Bryant Stop! I think large people know their large and you don’t have to lie to us. Several plus size shops did this and it drove me crazy. The other part of my anger was due to at one point believing my size 18 Lane Bryant was the same as a Khols or Macys size 18. It is not. When you are already struggling to buy clothes this trickery is very frustrating.
What I will say now is Lane Bryant made me realize the me I see may not be the real me. That maybe the me I was seeing was the me I use to be. I’m getting smaller and I’m the last person who’s seeing it. My instinct says to pick up the 2x shirt or the size 20 pants. Truth is I’m not that size and I need to actually try stuff on. Shopping while fat is a chore in itself, but I was making it harder than it needed to be. This trip reminded me that this slow journey is working. The reason I did the slow journey was so I wouldn’t freak out and I can 100% say that is working.
I challenge you this week to try on some clothes in your closet. Do they really fit, or do you believe they fit because they use to fit? If you can grab hand fulls of fabric without your stomach poking out, the shirt doesn’t fit. If you can fit another small person in your pants, the pants don’t fit.
I am not advocating rushing out and buying a new wardrobe. I’m saying evaluate what you have. These new shirts will be with me for a long time. Not because they’re the best quality or they cost a lot of money. They will be with me because by the time I realize I’m not a size 14/16 I will hopefully be finished with my weight loss journey. Truth is I will just be running around with too big shirts for awhile. Even on clearance Lane Bryant is not the cheapest option.
I did lose my one pound this week, which didn’t matter to me as much as I thought it would. Realizing I was making progress was this weeks highlight. What’s your highlight? What is that piece of motivation that’s going to keep you going. My size 16 shorts stopped me from going to Sonic and getting the new strawberry cheesecake blast. After all I wanted to keep being able to wear these new magical shorts.