Whenever September rolls around, I’m always subconsciously thankful that it typically means milder temperatures are around the corner. The summer is fun and all, but it really is a struggle for me to figure out what to wear. Believe it or not, it takes a lot of coercing for me to put myself in a pair of shorts, let alone a bathing suit. In the fall, it’s always easier for me to be stylish and comfortable. The layers are probably more of a safe zone than a fashion statement for me.
I went from a size 14 squeezing into a size 12, to fitting into size 2s comfortably. My weight loss has been monumental for me. I went from being pre-diabetic at age 22 to “diabetes, where?” by age 24, just 2 years after my doctor had “the talk” with me.
It’s a confusing feeling to be weary of what I’m wearing, especially when I look at old photos and have to ask myself “what was I thinking” to be wearing something like that. But better yet, where is that confidence from then? Why don’t I have as much of it now?
After losing so much weight, I think it took my mind a while for it to catch up with reality. I wore baggy clothes for a year. I remember going shopping for new office clothes with my lil’ sis. At one point she snatched an outfit straight out of my hand and told me to stop picking up size large. I was so confused and frustrated that I gave up and didn’t buy anything that day. If it wasn’t workout clothes, I didn’t understand how to dress my body. It wasn’t until I needed an outfit for some event, that my girl Cheyenne at Francesca’s, put me in a dressing room with an armful of outfits selected by her. Before trying them on, I noticed all the tags said XS and S. Surely she’d lost her mind, right? But I was the one unable to see and fully embrace the changes my body had gone through. She gave me a pep talk, and that day was a turning point for me.
One year later and even though I still fit in the same size clothes, I notice my body is different. My hips have widened, my “meat” is thickening on the lower half of my body, and my tummy stays a little bloated all the time. The biggest difference is that I am more in tune with my body, and I’m embracing each stage it’s gone and will go through.
A big step for me was finally putting on a swimsuit this summer for the first time in 4 years. It’s the yellow and white striped one-piece that decorates this post. I got it specifically for this collaboration with Taryn of Tadoll Studios. She knew I was nervous, but she never stopped hyping me up during the shoot. I’m not sure she realized how important this shoot was for me (although I’m sure she will now).
AND, even though it’s undocumented, about a month later, I flaunted my stuff around a water park in a two-piece.
No matter where you are in your weight loss journey, or even if you’re happily maintaining the weight you are now, I hope you know that the highlighted bit of it all is that you are doing it for you. It’s about your happiness and health. It’s about doing things when you are ready, not when society thinks you’re ready.
I’ve been told that I “dress basic”, “dress like a teacher”, “dress like a mom”, etc…
The reality is – I dress in what I’m comfortable in. Just because I’ve lost a bunch of weight doesn’t mean I have to start wearing clothing that volumizes every nook and cranny of my body. I know what I look like naked, thankyouverymuch, and I happen to be very satisfied with that.
Regardless, moving on from this summer season, I am no longer concerning myself with a pinch of fat here or there, and whether I should/shouldn’t wear this or that.
Anyone may be entitled to having their opinions.
The, “Shai stop losing weight.”
The, “Girl where you putting all that food”.
The, “Looks like you got some happy weight”.
And I am just as entitled to my opinions of what you see is what you get, and kindly mind your business.
There will always be someone making remarks, there will always be an “in” look, and sizing charts may never make sense.
So just make sure to love and nurture your body, at every stage.
Do it for you.
P.S. – Can you relate? If you’re on a weight loss and/or body confidence journey, I’d love to hear from you. Drop a comment. If you’d rather talk privately, email me here: firstname.lastname@example.org.