Thursday, June 3, 2010

Looking *Too* Good

Last week when I was getting ready for company to arrive, I had to choose something to wear. Most of my clothes have become too big and baggy and are retired to the Fat Clothes Box, but I have some new stuff that I've been itching to try.

I put on my size 16 black jeans that I *love*, and then I started searching for a top. I needed something casual and not dressy but not sloppy either. I wanted to look nice. I knew just the thing! I had bought a very pretty black knit surplice top and it just recently started to fit me right, but I've never worn it. I got it out. I was so excited! I knew I would look good in it. I put it on... it fit perfectly! And then I looked in the mirror...

Oh my GOSH. I looked a-maz-ing! I looked so good, like a normal sized person. BETTER than a normal sized person... very shapely and nice. And I was so uncomfortable with how great I looked that I couldn't bring myself to wear it. I took it off and went with an older, looser tee shirt.

Now, please explain this to me. I have felt and looked frumpy for a long time. I am starting to feel pretty good about how I look and the way clothes fit me. I am getting comfortable with my new body. But when I finally looked as good as I dreamed I would look, I couldn't stand it. I had to revert back to a little *less* good.

I'm not sure I get it. I still haven't worn that top even though I *know* I look fantastic in it. In fact I bet it would get some attention... not that it is anything fancy (it isn't)... but that I just LOOK so much better in it because of the way it is cut and how it hangs on my body and accentuates my waist. And maybe, just maybe I am a little scared or nervous of that attention.

I had another shirt I tried on, too. It looked too good as well. I just kept staring at myself in the mirror, not seeing any bulge and not having any extra drapes of fabric because my clothes were too big. I just kept looking, thinking "wow I look great" and feeling a bit of anxiety about it. Even now, when I think of how I look in that outfit I get excited and uncomfortable all at once.

Today I am wearing shirts that are too big. They're size XL and they are not flattering on me anymore. But when I was 230ish they fit me perfectly and I wore them all the time, even in my progress pictures on this blog. Suddenly over the last 2 weeks, *every single shirt* is too big on me. They hang. The neckline is too big and tends to fall off one shoulder or the other. In fact my bras have suddenly gone from a perfect fit to being excessively roomy, with the straps falling off my shoulders all the time. I guess my top half is shrinking.

But I just couldn't bring myself to wear the smaller, tighter tops. Not yet. I wonder if they will be too big by the time I start wearing them. And then I realise what a shame it would be for me to miss out on looking good and feeling good in the body I have *now*, in the clothes that actually fit.

So, I will give it a shot. I'll toss these XL shirts into the Fat Clothes box along with all the 18 jeans, and I'll embrace the new fit of my smaller clothes. I will find *some* way to wear those tops and feel comfortable with it. I might get more attention at first, because I've been kinda hiding behind the baggier tops. But people *will* get used to the new look and everything will feel normal again in no time.

Maybe I will even wear one of them for my 80 Pounds Gone pictures. It won't be long.
Scale says: 203.


stephseef said...

lyn, i think it's also one of those things where you THINK everyone is seeing and noticing you but, in reality, we're all such selfish creatures that we're all fixated on ourselves and no one would give it a second glance. you'd just be a well-put-together woman walking around. not noteworthy. after all, most of the people you see in the street probably haven't read the blog. ;) press on!! i know you can do it.

Anonymous said...

Put on that top and wear it, that's an order! LOL


In Honor of Me! said...

I think you should put on the outfit, take a picture and post it here. When you get all the positive comments, you courage will increase and you will then feel comforatable to wear it out. All the positive feedback will negate the negative thoughts that will present themselves to you.


Claire said...

Just leaving a comment to cheer you on! i've been following your blog for a while and you ROCK!
you are in such a great place and it will only keep getting better.

Wish you the best!

Spaghetti Cat said...

Lyn I think this is that whole "barrier" thing coming back, but remember its choosing safety and making good choices and you will be okay. It will just take time to get used to your body as you uncover it :)

Remember your own post about how your fat actually didn't protect you!

Hang in there Lyn!

Lily Fluffbottom said...

I think you need to destroy everything that is too big (namely the clothes in the fat box) and promise yourself to never put on anything in that size again. (I suppose if they're in donate-able shape, then that would be the better choice, but still. GET RID OF THEM)

Personally, I can't wait to get rid of my fat clothes.

Also, put that top back on and take a picture so we can ooh and ahh about how wonderful you look!

LHA said...

I love reading your blog and identify with so much that you write. This topic, however, perplexes me. I am just the opposite. I can't wait to get into smaller clothes, especially those that I think look great and show off my figure. When I go shopping for smaller sizes, I am practically clicking my heels and jumping up and down with glee! I wish I could pass this feeling on to you because you have certainly earned the right to feel good in attractive clothing. Keep working on it. I expect you'll be able to analyze and overcome these feelings. Congratulations on your success!

Banded Girl said...

If you wear your fat as protection from the world, you're bound to get more and more nervous as the pounds come off. More of you is exposed.

People pay more attention when you wear flattering clothes and look good. Not only is your protective layer of fat melting, you're being noticed more because of your sexy black shirt. Double whammy!

Wear the smaller clothes, Lyn! You're safe. You're strong. You don't need extra weight or baggy clothing to protect you. You're all the protection you need!

Anonymous said...


This happened to me once years ago when I lost a lot of weight. All the attention and liking how I looked was so hard to deal with. When you start on a weightloss journey, who on earth expects THAT to be a problem?! But, I think it happens a lot. We feel safer with what's familiar, and we also struggle with thinking we have a right to look great and feel great.

Take care,

Lucy said...

Oh I can identify with this so much! I am guilty of wearing stuff that I know is too big & unlattering too. For me, I am scared that, now that I look so much better, that the tides of female resentment will hit me again. Totally mad. (Females in my family. Nightmare. Cannot get away from their bitchiness.) Arggghhh!

Anonymous said...

I know exactly what you mean. It could have to do with the fact that if you wore it, people would notice you looked great and you'd be "losing weight lady." And you'd have to talk about that and talk about your body. Even harmless comments about weight loss can be uncomfortable, which seems ironic because it's much of the reason we lose weight: to gain positive attention! It's a tough balance, but don't deprive yourself of the flattery you deserve.

Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for a while and I love it! This post has prompted me to finally comment.

You are a strong woman...that is what will protect you, not your baggy clothes or layer of protective fat.I am guessing when you had the abuse (mistreatment) before, it was because you came across as vulnerable, not because you were skinny. During this weight loss journey of yours, it is apparent to an outside observer that you have become so much stronger and more powerful as a woman (which is why the weight keeps coming off)and that is what will protect you. You no longer are an easy target for predators...
Hugs to you and continued success!

Anonymous said...

You are betraying your old self.

You are about to cross over from the woman who is seen in our culture as valueless, because of obesity and all the stereotypical thinking that condition entails, to suddenly valuable because of a sexualized and now acceptable shape. Any thoughtful woman gives pause at this arbitrary cultural bullshit.

Of course you are not really betraying your old self.

You are still you. You feel better. You are not a better person. You are not more worthy or more deserving of respect. You know that, I know that, but most of America doesn't seem to know that. That is sad. Period.

That fact is worthy of some grief. And then you move forward.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel! When I look great in smaller clothes, I feel very nervous and uncomfortable seeing myself like that. I think it has to do with getting attention. You mentioned getting attention several times in your post and I wonder if that is what makes us nervous?

Anonymous said...

:) yeah you!!! I say donate the 'fat box' to charity. You are doing AMAZING!!!! It is time to let someone else wear those clothes that are too big. Maybe knowing that someone else will appreciate them will besides I bet these new clothes will soon be tooo big :)

Splurgie said...

Maybe you are protecting your old self. Who knows? I'm not much of an arm chair analyst. Take it in small steps. Why not wear the smaller flattering tops around the house when it's just you? You'll get used to wearing them and then wearing them in front of others won't feel so strange. Can't wait to see a picture of you in a small cute top!

Karen said...

I have to agree with the rest of the crowd:

But seriously, I know its scary, especially the potential interest from other men. Its not something we really want, do we? Sure, we would enjoy the flattery and attention...but what if it makes us want to stray? I believe that this is where my fear of success is based. But you know, Lyn, you don't have to worry about that. Your morals are high and your intergrity is intact. Put on the cute clothes and feel GOOD about yourself...and maybe it will make your husband bring you some flowers because he will think he better step up his game to hold on this sexy young woman!!!!

You are doing SO GREAT!!!! You deserve a little innocent flirting from men! You know who you are going home to every evening. :)

Anonymous said...

How insightful is the comment about how women in our society are valueless without a sexualised shape?!
I know what it is like to feel completely invisible, it is not that you are scared that men will attack you, but that you now are occupying a different place in society. Being a 'normal' size means you are noticed (not necessarily in a sexual way), and can then stand up and be counted.
We all deserve this no matter what our shape and size, but it will take a while to 'own' now being visible. Take it slowly but be determined to become comfortable, we all deserve it!

Autumnforest said...

That is amazingly common! You know what happens is that when you're "fat," people ignore you, see past you, you're invisible. When you're "normal" and you wear clothes that show you off, you are suddenly being looked at for your body, people are seeing you, you're getting attention. I was thin my whole life until the past 10 years. I remember the fun about thin was not only never having to wonder what to buy in the store--just buy what you like--don't have to worry how it looks on you, but also because men would rush to open doors and guys would whistle and women would be envious and sometimes threatened. When I got "plump" I became invisible and women liked me for the first time in my life without competing with me. You need to know that when you get "normal-sized" and can wear things that draw attention to you, what it's really doing is making people see you--then your personality has to take over. They don't like you for your body, they like you for the girl attached, but she will uses the body as advertising to get people to buy the real product--her. So, take pride in your looks and know that it's just a way to show how beautiful you feel inside. If people notice you, it's not just your body--it's your new confidence.

cc said...

you deserve to look hot! wear the new clothes with pride!

Joanna360 said...

Maybe your head hasn't caught up with your changing body yet, and you don't feel quite ready to put yourself out there as a woman who knows she looks good.
IMO it's ok to come to terms with it gradually. Try that top on a couple more times. Get a photo of yourself in it even if you don't post it on your blog. Practice wearing something more fitted around the house when no one else is home!

I spent my first 32 years as an "ideal weight" person and overweight has only been a problem since I had children 6 years ago.
I can confirm you get used to a certain amount of invisibleness as a large person!
...Much as I love the idea of becoming "visible" again I have feelings of insecurity around it too.

Diana said...

Lyn, mybe you're you're subconsciously worried about male attention. I know there was some sexual abuse when you were younger and that has to be on your mind. It may very well be why you gained the extra weight in the first place.

Not all men are creeps and not all men will hurt you. In fact, most men are kind. Being attractive is not a bad thing.

So get rid of all those old, too big clothes, and start "looking *too* good"!

Steelers6 said...

I think we don't want to stand out after losing some poundage bc we are so used to hiding behind our clothes. When we had rolls to hide. And we maybe kind of think they are still there, and that we need to hide. ? Body image on this journey is a bit confusing, imo.

I am learing...moving fwd, but some days I feel like mmmm...maybe my clothes are now too tight looking, when they probably actually just FIT. After all those years of baggy. My friend tells me (and I think it is correct) that wearing things that FIT are actually more flattering. Funny, bc she tells me that, but wears her own things on the bigger, baggier side. ha.

I think you are getting "there" I mean close to feeling confident in wearing the items that fit. Just telling all of us about it and thinking about it all while typing was probably good, ya know? Fondly, Chrissy

Vegemommy said...

Hey, auction off the "fat" clothes on E-bay, I'll bid! 230's is where I am right now on my way down.... ;) I can relate too, Lyn. I feel like if I wear anything form-fitting people are watching/noticing. Really, the might be: thinking, "She looks good." Or, if they're comparing me to some size 6 across the way, they're probably not thinking much of it, you know! Keep up the good work. YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!

Lyn said...

What a great bunch of insightful comments! Thank you all!

On further reflection, I think I felt self conscious about "drawing attention to myself" or that people might think I was LOOKING for attention. Kinda silly, actually.


No sexual abuse here... but there was abuse in my previous marriage. Not sexual though.

Amy said...

Get rid of the fat clothes. I serve I have donated clothes every 2 weeks or more. It's painful to get rid of them but so worth it.

I feel better in clothes that fit but on the toher hand I totally get feeling weird from attention from the opposite sex. I tried to explain this to my hubby but he doesn't get it. It's something I will blog about soon once I can get my thought down.

Amy said...

Sorry I need to speel check my comments.

Joy said...

I had to baby step into closer fitting clothes. At first I was very uncomfortable, but I soon got used to it. Now when I put on a baggy t-shirt, I don't like it. Tired of fussing with the additional fabric, having my bra straps show and the shirt getting caught on things. I almost hurt myself because I got a shirt caught on something and my feet went out from under me. Big clothes are not safe! If you wanted a reason to get into that shirt you can use this on :-) Get that shirt on ~ Have some fun with it!! You will love it! Hugs!

Anonymous said...



Mother of Many

BTW: Im gonna write you as soon as I get time and tell you the exciting progress of me and my daughter. I am so excited for her more than myself! But we moms are like that arnt we?

tiffany said...

I am so happy that you've had so many breakthroughs, Lyn. This may or may not help, but I found when I lost a lot of weight a whole new hair cut really made a difference. It gave people something else to comment on, if they didn't recognize me right away and made me more bold to wear good clothes that matched my new hair. It's the little things!

Anonymous said...

Step 1: put on clothes that fit right

Step 2: tell yourself “I look AMAZING”

Step3: walk out of the room and let your kids see you—if they are anything like mine, they are honest little buggers and will tell you right away how you look. (if not, feel free to send pictures here because my 4 yr old will give it to you straight!)

Step 4: get a paper bag

Step 5: walk out of the house

Step 6: breath into paper bag (it’ll help with that hyperventilating you may be going through)

Step 7: smile confidently at everyone

Step 8: look at your reflection in every surface you can

Step 9: keep looking, it’s really you!

Step 10: YEAH! Clothes that fit! That look good! That make you look good! Because you DO look good! Accept it.

You’ve done an amazing job, so stop hiding. Accept what the world around you sees: you look amazing!

Claire said...

That's one of the thing about losing a lot of weight - you have to face your fears. You weren't fat for no reason you know!

I got very anxious once I started looking shapely in the mirror...but if you just wait it out then it passes. You are just as 'safe' thin as you are fat. x

Damjana said...

Think about it: if you don't wear that top now, it will be too loose later..and again you wouldn't have nothing from it.

Fat Grump said...

All I can say is - what a great place to be. You have worked hard to be a trim and shapely Lyn :)

Playing amateur psychologist (and from my own experience) I'd say that you are comfortable being fairly anonymous in your big and baggy clothes. When we wear something quite fitted it accentuates our breasts, waist and curvy figure. There's an element of being assexual almost isn't there, when we are fat. We don't expect to draw admiring glances from males, or from other women. We live with that, almost grateful that people take no notice of us. The big baggy clothes cover us and provide a security blanket. We feel unattractive and don't want to draw attention to our bodies. The looks we get then are ones of shock, horror, pity or a sort of superiority of the "Thank goodness we aren't THAT big" sort.

Now, you are the female equivalent of a butterfly emerging from it's cocoon. What on earth do you do with a shapely body? Do you want to draw attention to yourself after years of trying to fit in, trying to feel invisible in large clothes which don't cling to your frame? It's a whole new way of being, and yes, I can imagine it must feel wierd to have a lovely, womanly shape and to wear clothes which accentuate it rather than hide it. You ought to be screaming to the world "Look at me!" but I can fully understand why that doesn't happen.

I'd wear all those clothes that now fit Lyn, and be proud. Road-test them with short journeys out and get used to being a slimmer version of you. I am sure once you begin to feel comfortable with your new shape you'll feel more confident in your smaller, more fitted clothes.

Hey - it's a great problem to have, isn't it? ;) x x

Anonymous said...

I went through this when I lost weight years ago and I think I really wasn't ready for it all. I ended up packing the "comfort" back on me again. I would advise that you take a lot of pictures of yourself - it really helps to absorb the changes that are going on in your body (mind/body intersect). The brain is often slower to figure it all out. Although I loved my new look, I was also very uncomfortable in it b/c it was foreign. And people's comments didn't help me.
Enjoy though & let your body take the time to adjust!

Anonymous said...

It is scary to see these changes in our bodies. Be careful of self sabotage. Negative talk in our own heads can lead us down a dark path! You deserve to wear those new clothes, you are good enough. You paid the price for to many years already. Your more than just someones mom, daughter or fat friend. You are a women that can stand alone and be proud of where she came from!!! Good luck to you!

Lisa said...

I was reading your post and thought wow this is just what I was thinking about. But then you made me do a double take, literally.

You see just yesterday afternoon I was laying out in the front yard reading and soaking up a little sun when a car full of guys drove by and honked and started yelling and whistling.

I told my hubby about it and said how it has been so long since something like that happened to me and honestly it felt good.

But that got me to thinking about the changes that have already happened and what all is to come. I was looking in the mirror and thinking that as I keep losing I am going to really feel so much better about myself because I already do.

But then I was thinking if you talk about (like mention it on your blog) how great you think you look or something to that fact, are people going to think that I am conceited? I think that I worry too much what other people think and I have got to stop that.

I tell myself that I don't care and in some instances I really do not. But then that darn little voice creeps up on me and I start worrying if I come off full of myself and that tends to make me put myself down more in front of others.

I truly have a fear of coming off as too confident. But to tell you the truth I do think that I am pretty and I should be glad that I feel that way. I should celebrate my self confidence and the fact that I have good self esteem but I just can't say it out loud.

So anyway I was so happy to see that you were owning the fact that you look good. You did not sound conceited to me at all. You sounded like someone celebrating how far she has come. But then you took the shirt off.

What is with that Lyn? You are beautiful and deserve to feel good about yourself. It is ok to be leary of the attention but Lyn to continue growing you have got to come to terms with the H-O-T you!

Now me personally, I will love getting to flaunt my thinner self. In fact I am already strutting my stuff. But honestly I did that when I was bigger too. I had a lot of days where I actually thought I looked good. I see pictures now and wonder how in the world I could have thought that.

I think that I have the problem of not seeing how big I truly am. I can see the rolls and bulges but when I put on something I like I don't see those anymore and think I look good.

Anyway I do believe it all boils down to the same thing for us. We care too much what others think. I do not know how to fix it but I am going to try and just face it head on.

Now go get in your closet, get out that hot outfit and work it like you are made to!

Rock it, live it, own it!

Dinah Soar said...

Have you always been self conscious--before you got so heavy?

Layers of fat insulate us. Your 'cover' is disappearing and you feel vulnerable perhaps.

Transition into smaller sizes by purchasing 'fun' cute clothes. I, being a self conscious about my body person, don't mind the attention when it is due to being 'cute' or 'fun'...but I'm embarrassed by attention for being 'sexy' or 'hot'.

I don't want to be valued for my body and therefore I don't dress in a way that promotes it. Perhaps you have similar feelings.

The take away here--you do need to retire the fat clothes.....and get some cute fun clothes that fit and enjoy those..and save the 'sexy' stuff for an appropriate time-- when you want to put that image forth.

Some women want to dress sexy all the time. Others are not comfortable with that. You be you. We all have our own comfort level and I think we need to be true to ourselves.

For the record--I wouldn't get rid of the fat clothes. People have told me if I keep them around I am giving myself permission to get fat again. That is crap. I listened to that and got rid of so many things that I later wished I had when I did regain--as the majority of people do--and I had to spend more precious dollars to replace those clothes.

Deniz said...

Takes a while for the head to catch up with the changes to the body. I sometimes found it hard to wear fitted clothes that showed off my shape, too. I guess it was too many years of hiding in baggies and a little residual embarrassment about the fact that I'll never look like the magazine models. Eventually it dawned on me that, hell, I'm not a kid I'm 50 - why should I look like Sarah Jessica thingy.

My advice echoes what a lot of people have already said - take it slowly and wear these clothes in private until you are truly comfortable wearing them.

Then go out, stand proud and knock the world's socks off!

Said it before and I'll say it again. You are an amazing woman!

Theresa said...

Just remember it is only a shirt. And pants. You don't have to drag that big bag of issues around with you at all!
I know the bag is full. Attention, discomfort etc. Just put on the shirt and jeans.... run around freely without that baggage for an hour!!!

Single Girl said...

I hear you on this one. I think it's scary because you feel like you're 'showing off'. You feel like people are going think that you think that you are so cute that you want to look...cute! I'm living that right now. But you can't help the reality of your cuteness. Embrace and enjoy. You deserve it!!

meleemistress said...

I don't know if you'll get this far into your comments, but it's worth a shot.

I've been through the same thing, and I'm almost positive it's not weight related. Well, not entirely. Changing the way you dress is uncomfortable at first. There's an adjustment period. If you've got one cute top and the rest of the time you're sticking with baggy shirts, of course you're going to feel weird in the cuteness. Ever seen 'What Not To Wear'? The people on there go through this all the time.

I did too, and there were two things I had to do to get over it.

1. Get everything tailored. Clothing, especially jeans, looks so so much better when it actually fits.

2. Get rid of your old clothes and replace them with things that are a bit less casual. Don't buy more tshirts. Get nice blouses instead. Get sweaters to go with them instead of sweatshirts. Unfortunately, it's not cheap to do this, and I spent a lot of time in consignment shops, but after a few days of dressing "better", I don't want to go back to where I was. I'm now much more comfortable in a nice sweater or blazer than I am in a sweatshirt, and I didn't think that would ever happen.

Good luck!

Lyn said...


I read every comment! I appreciate those suggestions. I think you're right... I just need to get used to the different 'look.' It certainly is different from how I looked at 278 pounds, when I wore black stretch pants and 3x tees all the time!

Tammy said...

Ok that was a major tease....take a pic of you in the top so we can all see how amazing you've already showed us your fantastic waist, so what's the prob?? :)