I wrote this piece a few weeks ago but didn't publish it -- it seemed too raw. I'm happy to report that I've lost 10 pounds since writing it. The new clothes really sparked something good! The hope was not in vain!
"Burlap sack," I thought.
Tried on the next shirt.
"Lost in the mountains, I could use this as a tent."
"Boating adventure? Got my sail right here."
"A queen sized flat sheet... definitely toga worthy."
And so it continued, shirt, after shirt, after giant shirt.
The truth is, since getting married I've gained twenty pounds and the only clothes that fit now are of the muy grande variety.
Clothes shopping has always had a sobering effect on me. Cramped in those tiny dressing rooms with the harsh reveal-every-flaw fluorescent lighting and completely penned-in and surrounded by those merciless unblinking mirrors, I can't ignore the extra rolls that are so nicely shrouded in my comfy weekend clothing. It's time to face the music. I've gained weight.
I wouldn't go clothes shopping at all, but when a closet-full of my nice apparel is all deemed unfit to wear (and no, my dryer can't be blamed for all of it, try as I might), it's a fact that I can either go into hiding until I lose the extra pounds, continue venturing forth in oversized t-shirts at every public appearance, or I can expand my wardrobe to fit my expanding waistline. As much as the first two options appeal to me, it would really only make things worse.
And so I bought a few nice outfits. And I like them. And others who have seen me in oversized t-shirts for months have given nice compliments.
It's a band-aid fix, yes. But it's more of a first step. Another first step.
In my own long struggle with weight, since that first Slim Fast shake I downed in Kindergarten, it's a fact that when I give up caring what I look like, it just leads to a bad attitude, self-loathing, and more weight. I shower less often. I resort to a bun or a pony-tail for my hair. I sleep later. I spend more time isolated. I pray less. It's just not good.
A few new shirts and a few new skirts, if I can ignore the number on the tag, give me a new outlook. A new hope.
When I can make an effort to look nice, regardless of my weight, and really care about my appearance not for vanity's sake, but for acknowledging that I'm a temple of the Holy Spirit, my mood improves and really, so does my health.
Here's hoping the new clothes get the ball rolling.