I’ve recently started to feel empowered.
Weight has been a lifelong struggle for me, and even after losing as much weight as I did, I know it will continue to be a struggle throughout my life.
Over the last five years, my weight has been UP UP UP (270 pounds in 2012 – yikes) and DOWN DOWN DOWN (152 in 2013). It has been up, down, and all around, skyrocketing again with my pregnancy, and now settling somewhere in the middle of my highest and my lowest.
Some days, I like what I see in the mirror. I think, “I’m down 70 pounds still. I should be proud. Curves are okay. Curves are good.”
Some days, I hate it. I think, “You are up 50 pounds from your lowest weight. You’re looking awfully round again. Better put on your running shoes and pound some pavement.”
Either way, I’ve decided to make a drastic change with my clothing. In the past, I based my clothing purchases on two things: 1. it fit, and 2. it was cheap. I didn’t care whether it was my style, whether it flattered me, whether it made me feel good, or whether it boosted my confidence. If it fit, I was buying it, because I always had the misconception that it was hard to find clothes if you were plus size (I am currently a size 16. At my heaviest, I was a 24. At my lowest, I was a 10).
What I’ve come to discover very recently is that, SURPRISE! They actually DO make cute, stylish, and flattering clothing for plus size women. Lots and lots of it, in fact.
I have ruthlessly purged my closet down to bare bones and have removed every article of clothing that made me feel bad about myself, that I didn’t like, and that I didn’t find flattering. I have started rebuilding my wardrobe with only pieces that I enjoy and feel good about when I put on. I’ve come to discover my own style and particularly enjoy tunics, long shirts, and casual looks. Even though I’m “plus size,” I can still be fashionable and I can still make my own rules when it comes to my personal style.
My entire life, I have always believed that clothes just wouldn’t look good on me because of my body. I’ve HATED my body. But the truth is, I hate my body less when it’s wearing clothes that I like. This is news to me. This is a groundbreaking, earth-shattering discovery, which seems kind of silly. I have discovered a whole new world, it seems, and have gone on a couple of shopping sprees to boot (sorry, Jerry!). I have never been into clothes or fashion, and for the first time, I am!
No one ever told me I shouldn’t dress nicely. No one ever told me I COULDN’T dress nicely. I was the only one holding me back from feeling good about who I am and what I look like.
Here are some things I’ve discovered only very recently:
Fat girls can look good.
Fat girls can feel confident.
Fat girls can be stylish.
Fat girls can feel pretty.
Fat girls can be trendy.
Fat girls can buy nice clothes.
Fat girls can wear bold prints.
Fat girls can wear colors other than black.
Fat girls can wear leggings and skinny jeans.
Fat girls can be visible.
Fat girls can like fashion.
And fat girls can post outfits of the day if they damn well please (and maybe I do! Maybe I will!).
Fat girls can.
I’ve never liked calling myself fat. It feels like a dirty word, and I’ve always preferred “plus size,” but why is it such a dirty word? Society has made us feel that way, has led us to believe that fat is dirty and bad. Perhaps this is why I never bothered with clothes and fashion before, because I was told not to bother… but I’m here to tell myself and everyone else, fat girls CAN.
Now, before anyone thinks I’m giving up on my weight loss and healthy living goals, I’m NOT. I need to get myself back into better shape. The only difference is, I used to do this because I hated my body. I didn’t do it out of love – I did it out of hate and self-loathing. Now, I’m not doing it out of it hate – not anymore. I’m doing it out of love. I love my body enough to want it to be healthy. This imperfect, saggy, flabby body of mine carried me through a half-marathon. Then it carried and grew my beautiful, healthy son. It’s done a lot for me, so I can’t hate it anymore.
So while I know that someday I will be out of the plus size category again, I think deep down inside of me I will always be a fat girl because the struggle is never-ending. And in the meantime, while I’m working on improving my body, I’m going to be a fat girl who CAN and WILL.
I will dress this body of mine in the way it deserves.
I can look good and stylish in this, the body I have now.
And I don’t need anyone’s damn permission but my own.