There was a time, not so long ago, when I could walk into a store, pull a pair of pants off a rack and fit into them in any store of my choice.
That's not true any more.
It is true that I'm not banished again (yet) to Lane Bryant or to Plus-Sized departments that (outside of Kohl's) are buried in back corners of large department stores or next to Maternity sections (Target).
Perhaps it's just that I came of age in the time of the just below waist boot cut jean, and this whole skinny/slim leg/legging/low rise/ultra low rise thing is beyond me. But as a woman who has ample fuel for running in her thighs, hips and ass those styles, which are everywhere don't fit me.
I usually do my shopping consignment via Karen's Kloset, but lately, most of the jeans over there have been very 20-something or 50-something focused when I'm there. It's either my lower abdomen is spilling over to what would graciously be called a muffin top or the waist of the jeans touches my sagging 35-year old breasts. Both are uncomfortable and angering.
Once more, I am working on self acceptance and trying to be comfortable in my own skin. This has never been an easy process for me, as I continually feel broken or not good enough. I play down my strengths thinking that talking about them makes me a show off. And I expect myself to put in Herculean amounts of efforts into things that I care about, but am often frustrated when I don't get the return from that investment of effort.
So, I sat in my car after visiting two stores and held back tears before wandering into Kohl's. There I did find three pairs of jeans, all in size 10. Two sizes above what my pants in my closet are. They fit and are comfortable. And they look okay, so I took them home, and I'm trying not to beat myself up about it. But I'm sad about it.
Freak sent me a link to this story at the NYTimes the other day that talks about a lot of what I'm finding about the difficulties of weight maintenance. That the most successful at keeping it off have a military edict about them. Very Type A -- there's no bending no flexibility and it's rough. That if I want to eat bread and if my body can't take running 25 miles a week because it keeps breaking, then I'm going to be this size... Because science is showing that a person who loses a massive amount of weight changes their body chemistry. Their hormones adjust and now where a normal person who was not obese before could maintain their weight at a certain calorie amount... a person who is trying to maintain after significant weight loss has to maintain at a much lower calorie amount.
The whole thing is a fight. And lately, I've been stuffing my face since the holidays not wanting to think about it. But now I am thinking about it... And it's hard.
Because although I'm keeping 75 lbs off, I don't look good. And I want to be healthy and look good. I want both. But I don't seem to have the energy to curb my behaviors for both. And that's heartbreaking --and scary.
At the very least, I accepted my inner brunette today. It makes my eyes look bluer, and I like it a lot.