Wednesday, July 9, 2008

What Goes Up, Must Come Down

I have noticed a definite pattern in my weight gains/losses and it became very clear to me over the last 2 days when I actually bought myself some new clothes. I am normally and comfortably a size 18. Not thrilled with that, but that's where my body seems to be most comfortable. That's where I've spent the majority of my adult life. I can get down to a 14 (still not anyone's ideal, by current societal standards, for sure, but a personal best) through SERIOUS diet and exercise. I can get up to a 22 through serious depression and lethargy.

One would think, then, wouldn't one? that my wardrobe would be predominately size 18 clothing with a few 14's, 16's, 20's and 22's hanging around for when they're needed. But that's not how it works. I'm not thrilled with 18 being my normal size, so I really tend to just buy the basics I need to get by in that size. Lot's of jeans and T-shirts and a few dresses (most of which can be worn in the 16/20 days, too). I have NOTHING in my closet that is a size 16 or a size 20. Now here's the part that's interesting to me: The nicest clothes I've ever had have been the 14's (that makes sense) and the 22's (hubba wuh?).

With this accident and other factors that have kept me pretty sedentary this spring/summer, I'm sorry and a little ashamed to say I've gotten myself back into the 22's. I've been feeling really yucky about it, and I've been looking pretty yucky, too, trying to squeeze myself into the size 18 clothes that just no longer reasonably fit. So a couple days ago I resigned myself to it and bought a pair of shorts that actually fit (instead of being something I could manage to get into). The difference they made in my mood the next day was amazing. So I went shopping and got a few outfits in this new (and, don't get me wrong, utterly distressing and unacceptable) size. And they're CUTE! And I can't wait to get out and wear them! I actually want to go out!

So this is how the cycle works, if past experience has taught me anything (and it is so odd to realize this in the MIDDLE of the cycle) : I gain weight, resign myself to it, and decide if this is the weight I'm going to be, then I'm going to have to accept that and make the best of it and look the best I can. I buy clothes and start making more of an effort with hair, makeup, etc. Then, I start to feel better about myself and I find it easier to exercise and eat better (and, as previously mentioned, leave the house). The obvious result is that I lose weight. But when I'm in a "lose" cycle, I don't want to stop at 18! Losing is fun! And it's addictive! And this time it will stick! So I plateau around that size 18 for awhile - where my body wants to be - but if I work really hard and am really determined I can work through the plateau and diet down to 14. At this point, I'm so proud of myself that I buy a lot of new clothes. I don't know why I don't buy 20's or 16's on the way up OR down - I guess I just don't notice one size difference, but I sure notice two. At this point I give away all of my "fat clothes" (like 14 is skinny. eyes rolling) Anyway - I start to feel good, and comfortable, then the pounds start inching back on - trying to get myself back to that place it likes to be. And there I'll stay until the next crisis has me packing it back on.

Rinse. Repeat.

My hope is - that by writing this out on the internets - I'll recognize it for what it is and perhaps, when I start inching down again - which I inevitably will - instead of defiantly throwing these clothes out because "I'll never be that fat again", I'll instead box them up and store them. Just in case. I envision a big clothes rack in the basement separated by little size dividers like they use in the stores. Maybe I could even get some 20's then 16's this cycle through, so I can ALWAYS be wearing something that actually fits.

Because it really does make a difference.

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