Retail therapy. I had no clue what that meant, as the fat girl. There's nothing therapeutic about standing in a changing room, under cruel lights and truthful mirrors. I didn't do retail therapy when I needed to have that girlie outlet, I did binge eating.
Each time I needed a pick me up, I ate, while other girls where buying a pair of jeans or a pretty pair of shoes. Then when I finally had to get into the change room, because nothing fitted me anymore, I needed a pick me up, all over again.
By the time I started consciously living #ProjectMe, I was in a size 46 (18). It took me over a decade to get myself down to a size 42 (14), with glimmers of moments where I could squeeze into a size 40 (12), but I always found my clothes at the big girl's shops.
It's been over the last two and a half years, where something has really shifted and I've steadily settled into a happier, healthier relationship with my food and my body. The irony is that it's linked to me turning forty and all I ever heard everyone say is that it's harder to lose weight after you hit the big four Oh! Um, they forgot to mention that it's very dependant on that relationship that you have with yourself in your forth decade.
I totally needed retail therapy today and easily escaped into the closest mall, with one plan on my mind. Shoes and clothes ... ASAP! It's heading to sale time on winter boots, so I easily scored a pair of South Africa's example of cowgirl boots, two pairs!
I swore I wouldn't buy from a big girl shop ever again, a few years back, but the reality was that it took a while to get to keep that promise to myself.
A few weeks ago, I had breakfast with a family friend and she said, "you're not a fat girl anymore."
That stuck with me, so today, I decided that even if I bought something I would have to squeeze into in a few months, I was going to walk into a "normal" shop and walk out with at least one thing.
A big girl's 40 and a the one in the "normal" stop are different, trust me. Most of the time it's cut and shape, but wouldn't dare try on a pair of jeans if they were hanging anywhere near the skinny jeans. That was on the other days, with the old me, but today I grabbed two pairs off the rail, walked to the changing room and took the biggest breath. In my head I was already telling myself that if they didn't fit, they would be a goal.
Up ... up ... over my hip ... zip ... button ... a screech of joy and then the teardrop. Okay, it was timed with the girlie need for the shopping spree, but I achieved something I have promised myself for far too many years. I could look at myself in the mirror and smile, even with the clothes size or two that I would love to still drop, but it completely felt like a, "this is good enough" moment. We don't have enough of those. We are so quick to have a look at how far we still have to go, that we miss the moment we are in. Well, I do at least ... but I didn't.
I ended up really having a feel good shopping spree, with a pile of clothes that don't have to be packed away for skinnier day.
I headed home and made myself roast chicken and a huge plate of roasted chips ... butternut chips!
Weight is one of the greatest struggles that faces the world today and I'm one of those people who has tried it all and looked for any quick fix that could speed up the process and allow me to still eat what I wanted, when I NEEDED to.
It doesn't work that way. It's the most conscious relationship I have had to build with myself and it's taken the most amount of work and self discipline, but it's been so worth it. I was a size 46 in 2004 and within 5 years I was 24kg lighter and have ever gone back to what I was. Oh boy, I've fallen off the rails and crept close, but I've reconnected with my Self and reworked my relationship with food to get back to my conscious, healthy relationship again.
I can't remember when last I felt so proud of myself. I don't, for one second, care that the world may say that a girl my size is overweight. I just bought a standard pair of jeans from a normal clothing store and that makes me just your average Jo!