Monday, October 11, 2010

Disconnect

I know I just blogged a couple of hours ago, but something just happened. Something that felt profound, that I wanted to share before the emotion fades.

I was going through my clothes... yeah, you've seen me do this before... because all of the 16's I've continued to wear even though they are baggy have gotten so ridiculously large on me that it is embarrassing. And besides, the weather has changed, and I needed to find some long jeans to wear. I have a pair of 14's I've been wearing on occasion, so I figured it was time to trade down to size 14 from my Rubbermaid tubs.

I have two tubs full of "too small" clothes. They're not OLD clothes I saved... because the last time I saw a size 14 was in 1991 before vanity sizing hit... they are *new* clothes I bought along my weight loss journey. I'd see a clearance or a good deal on eBay, and snag a few clothes in smaller sizes "for later." It made me feel secure, having two tubs of clothes to shrink into. So tonight I dug them out.

I started with the bigger sizes. The last time I tried on jeans from these tubs was in the spring, when I took everything that was too tight to wear and stuck them away. I don't generally wear jeans in summertime so I hadn't tried any of them on since. I started with some size 20's and 18's that, yes, were too tight in the spring because they are cut unusually small. Guess what? Way, WAY too big now. Into the Fat Clothes box they went. Next I put on the 16's, thinking some would fit okay. Nope, nada. Every Single Pair of 16's I tried on, one after the other, went right into the "too big" pile. I mean, they were even too big to throw into the wash on hot and shrink to fit me! I was honestly stunned. Some of these jeans are brand new, with tags still on them! I pulled out the last 16's, some classy ones I *love* the styling of, muttered, "these better fit," and then stared at myself with my pants hanging off me in the mirror. Unbelievable. It was like some kind of time warp. I KNOW I couldn't even get these past my hips last time I tried them on!

The Fat Clothes box got fuller. The tubs of smaller clothes got emptier. I had some very mixed feelings of disconnect:

I am not POSSIBLY that much smaller than I was a few months ago.
This cannot be happening.
How can those jeans be TOO BIG?
My legs look so fat, how on earth can they not fill out those little jeans?

And then, when I was out of 16's and took out the 14's, I held them up and thought, There Is NO WAY.
No way I will fit into these.
I looked at the little circle of denim that was the waist as I stepped into the legs and thought, I am insane for thinking I can get my body into these...
but they fit.
Every.Single.Pair of 14's I own fit me fine. Not tight, not "maybe in a few weeks." They FIT.
And one pair of 14's had to go in the Fat Clothes box. How crazy is that?

I had two pairs of 12's... the smallest jeans I own. Dare I try them on? So tiny looking to me. Maybe?
I decided to give it a shot.
They *do* fit! NOT enough to wear all day yet, but both pairs went up over the hips, buttoned, and zipped.
I will be wearing size 12 jeans in my 100-Pounds-Gone pictures. Just wow.

At the end of an hour, I had a heaping box of Too Bigs and one very empty Rubbermaid tub, as well as one tub with just a few items left in it. Underneath all the smaller clothes was a shirt. It was folded neatly at the very bottom of the tub. As soon as I saw it, I recognized it. It was my favorite shirt I used to love to wear when I weighed 278 pounds. I must have saved it at the bottom of the pile, to look at when I got nearer to my goal. I pulled it out. I gasped.

I knew it would be big. I knew how large I was. But I honestly have NO recollection of EVER holding up, folding, or hanging up a shirt that big in my closet. It is as wide as it is tall. Soft and grey, size 26/28, the fabric extends so wide that I was just stunned. I held it up, speechless.

Finally, tears in my eyes, I said out loud, "How could you not notice? How could you not notice?"
I think you know what I mean.

I laid the shirt on the floor, and beside it, I laid a size medium shirt that I have been wearing all summer.


I feel for the woman who used to fill that shirt to capacity. I cry for her because she didn't even notice what she had done to herself. She didn't know anything else was possible. She thought she was trapped in that life she had... in that body. She was so sad.

But I am so proud of her. I rejoice in her absolute determination and the guts it took to take those first steps to make a change. I love her for taking back her power and changing her life so dramatically. I embrace her for her courage in the dire circumstances she was in. I admire her for facing the daunting task of losing 100 pounds. It seemed impossible. But it wasn't. And because she had that tiny glimmer of hope and spark of determination, here I am. I am alive today because of her. Because of me. I saved myself.

The shirts are just symbols of how far I've come... of how different life would be for me now had I not taken those first steps and continued on for three years. I am very proud of what I've done, but I am also humbled that it could have easily turned out very differently. Very, very differently. That shirt is like a time capsule... a window into my past, but also a reminder of where I could return to if I ever start walking back that path. I will never forget. And I am so thankful for my newfound freedom.

50 comments:

Raych said...

This was such an inspiring post! Congratulations on all of your success.


-Raych
http://losingwithraych.blogspot.com

Jess @ THIR said...

Lyn, this is so topical for me right now, I did the exact same thing last night, as it's coming into summer here...
Clothes I have never worn, becuase they got too tight, because I was too embarrassed, for any reason...
I try them on wondering how I could be that small when I still see that same person in the mirror...

I don't see my hips and waist as small as those size 12 jeans that do up around me.
I cannot for the life of my fathom why that size 10 jacket actually zips up.
I still see the same person...

But deep down I know things have changed... but being overweight for so long, we have to wait for our minds to catch up.
They will get there :)

Anonymous said...

"Finally, tears in my eyes, I said out loud, "How could you not notice? How could you not notice?"
I think you know what I mean."

Yes, I do. I say the same thing to myself. Only it's a whisper. I don't dare look, not too closely. The size 22/24 t-shirt I wore today was snug. I am who you were.

I'm simultaneously in denial and disgust.

But reading you helps. So, thank you.

~ T

Martine (email: mdally@internode.on.net) said...

I read your blog daily, I never comment but it is such a lovely post. Well done. Keep that favorite large shirt to remind you where you have come from. Can't wait to see photos. Martine

Jane said...

Today was a real victory for you in this battle that you are winning. I think that after years of being larger, we don't dare let ourselves think of the possibilities of a much smaller size. Perhaps we're afraid of jinxing ourselves or frustrating ourselves. For myself, I have failed so many times, that this time, I am not allowing too much eagerness for a smaller size to agitate me-if that makes sense. Congratulations--you deserve it!

Anya@Introspective Health said...

Wow.

Reading that was just what I needed right now when I am going through the struggle of mind v. body. When wanting to eat trumps every other logical and rational mindset. Very inspiring, I will definitely be coming back to this one.

Thanks

Rosie said...

I can't believe you posted this today. Today of all days! I did that very same thing today! I went through my closet getting rid of all of my clothes that are now too big for me to wear and deciding which clothes I have been saving for years that I can now wear. I have some clothes that I never wore, that I bought brand new to motivate me to wear that I never got a chance to wear because I didn't realize I would fit into them before I lost too much weight and they are now too big! I took a load of clothes to my mom's house today to have her help me tailor them!
Very inspiring post! Love it!

Stephanie said...

I've been struggling with my commitment lately - reading this post has completely changed my view.

Thank you.

damjanalikesitwholesome said...

to be honest, i'm jealous.

comparing myself to you i haven't lost a pound in this year. though i'm about 130 lbs at your height i feel fatter than fitting into the shirt on the right :(

i also own some (less than 10) pair of trousers into which i don't fit at all. i used to wear them when i was size 2 or 4. they've been waiting for me for almost two years so far. i still haven't abandoned the desire and goal to fit into them again.

wish you a great week :)
thanks for sharing your thoughts with us, i appreciate it

Hallie said...

Ha, the best part for me was when you said that your legs look so fat how could they fit into those jeans. I totally get what you're saying. Our concept of how big things are - things don't always match up.

Vee said...

Wonderful. So glad for you. I went through a clothes thing today too, but didn't do nearly the introspection you did. Vee

Shane G. said...

Lyn, this is a truly great post. I loved it from beginning to end and was totally in that room while you laid out the shirts and just wondered how? I have a picture I just found in Kathy's stuff from our vacation in June of this year. It is perfect, it does not allow me to claim a bad angle, or terrible light or any other rationalization. I look at it, and I think the same thing, really? I thought I carried my weight well? really? So great job Lyn and keep on inspiring all of us. Maybe you could frame those two shirts and make it a "how do you like me now?" kinda experience?

Dinnerland said...

Good for you!

Sandra said...

Lyn,
This post is like light shining at the end of the very dark tunnel I find myself in right now. Thankyou and well done.
Sandra

Lanie Painie said...

You are a wonderful inspiration. Thanks for the beautiful post!

Mind Over Fatter said...

Lyn, I have a tear in my eye for you. I just posted a picture of size 12 jeans I want to fit into as a target so the timing of your post is perfect. It's gone into my special folder for ongoing, future reading. Congrats and thanks.

Tammy said...

Excellent post Lyn...i think you should keep that big shirt forever. Never forget. :)

The Fat Mom said...

This is beautiful and made me cry. One day I will be here. I know it! You are an inspiration to many. Thank you!

Glenn, Fat at Fifty-five said...

Well done, very well done.

Karla said...

I keep trying on sizes that are larger than i am, my daughter is always fussing at me!

Takes a while to wrap your head around the fact that you aren't that big any more

Loved the post Lyn

Twix said...

This awesome! And before you know it you'll have to go shopping for smaller sizes because you ran out. :D It feels great to be wearing smaller sizes, I agree!! Way to go on your progress!

Theresa said...

Lyn,
I feel like I understand your thoughts about those pants with tags going into the clothes bag to give away. It is almost like mourning those items that you had such promise for. Does that make sense? ;)
I know I used to wear clothes (at my largest size) until they were soooo ready for the garbage. Now I'm giving clothes away that still have tags. Goodness, I had a Christmas blouse that cost me $69.99 and I never wore it. Off it went. I was so used to attaching myself "long term" to clothes it is hard for me to change. But I will change!! Thank you for such a lovely inspiring post.
Happy Canadian Thanksgiving too. :)

Jo said...

Very inspiring post, Lyn. Our brains and our bodies don't work at the same rate, do they? Takes awhile for the brain to realize the weight is gone.

Anonymous said...

Lyn,
Awesome post!!
I know you are on an eating plan.Do you mind if I ask about how many calories/carbs and fat you eat a day.
Thank you :)

Lyn said...

Anonymous~

I am on Medifast. I eat every 2-3 hours all day (five Medifast meals, an optional snack, 5-7 oz of lean protein and 1 1/2-3 cups of low carb veggies, along with healthy fats). I intake about 900-1000 calories per day (on the higher end lately), 85-95 grams of carbs, and about 20% of my calories from fat. It does vary, but that's the general synopsis.

You can say examples of what I eat in a day by looking back through my blog :) I also post my dinners on Twitter, which updates in the left sidebar.

Susan said...

Lyn
Thank you so much for this post. I sit here, in tears, I totally relate to what you had to say.

Having lost 58 pounds, and 7 sizes this year, the compassion I feel for who I used to be, the pride I feel for that person, who found the hope and determination to get to goal...it's profound, priceless.

I have my life back, I love who I am now (even, if like you, I don't always "see" myself - everything I wear now looks so darn small!)

Thank you for this reminder, for the perspective...it moved me deeply.

Faith said...

Your post left me so emotional - overjoyed for you, sad for the me I had become, happy that I am heading in a new direction, and INSPIRED by you as I anticipate what is to come as I shed my own one hundred pounds.

God bless you. Your story lets others know that there is another option.

ifitistobe said...

Wow Lyn, great post! I m so happy and proud of you! You did it all for yourself and look at where it got you todday. Kudos, Kudos! Continued success.
K.
www.it-is-time.com

Ice Queen said...

I couldn't stop smiling as I read this post.

Dana said...

Good job!!!!! Thank you for this. It's just the inspiration I needed to go do my workout. You go, girl!!!!!

Hope said...

This post makes me super proud of you! :)

Potato Diva said...

Proud of you. Envious of you - want you to keep what you have and wantingit too. Remembering the work you put into getting where you are today and this is the reward. Reminds and encourages me that I can do this too with good eating, progressive exerising, and feeling my feelings instead of eating over them.

Thank you for offering your triumph today. I am happy for you! So happy.

C D said...

Love this post - so inspiring, so real, and emotional... for those of us still struggling and for those of us who are achieving weight loss goals. Thank You! :D

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful, powerful post. It's lovely, and made me cry.

I've been reading your blog regularly for awhile now, and though I haven't commented, I want you to know how much I love it, and how much it helps me.

diane

anna said...

I had the exact same experience the other morning. I still think I can't fit into one size and turns out I can, and even surpassed it!

It really plays with your mind. :)

word2yomutha said...

This is an awesome post. Over the next few months I hope I can catch up on your archives so I can follow your journey from where I left off. Right on for taking control of your life!

Fat Grump said...

"I feel for the woman who used to fill that shirt to capacity. I cry for her because she didn't even notice what she had done to herself. She didn't know anything else was possible. She thought she was trapped in that life she had... in that body. She was so sad."

Oh *GULP* Lyn. You've done it again - made me take stock. Whenever I read you I feel I owe it to myself to stop messing about and just get on with the job. We waste so many years in our fat suits, putting on brave faces, pretending all is well...staying there, feeling awful.

The photo is a fantastic visual reminder of where you were and how well you have done.

It seems almost impossible - and then you described fitting into smaller and smaller jeans. I can see that in my mind's eye. It must have been an incredible yet very strange feeling. Fantastic progress.

spunkysuzi said...

What a fantastic post Lyn!! I'm finishing it with tears in my eyes.

Renee said...

I'm at the beginnning of my journey with weight, and this post hit me straight in my heart!

Thanks for sharing this and ... well everything.

Erin said...

Beautiful...I'm so happy for you and I feel so privileged to be part of your cheering section.

Jayne Doe said...

This post made me blog about something that's been preying on my mind. Thanks.

Steph said...

I was looking for a post I remember reading in which you mentioned the specific amounts of carbs and protein you eat a day, and I noticed on your "How I'm Doing It" page a picture in which you're wearing the grey and black shirt. Amazing transformation! Congratulations!

Lyn said...

Steph~

Oh my gosh!! I had totally forgotten I posted that picture there! I just looked, and it brought tears to my eyes. Wow... thank you!

Deniz said...

This post made me cry and smile and cry and smile. A wonderful piece and I really get what you are talking about. Absolutely!

The real 'me' got lost under a blanket of obesity for such a long time and lost all self respect. Like you, I didn't 'notice' either. Finding that she hadn't gone away, but was just hidden, was (and will always be) such a precious gift.

Packing to go away earlier in the year showed me the difference quite graphically. There was room for my clothes and lovely hubby's in ONE bag! It was brilliant, and also slightly scary.

When you say "I am very proud of what I've done, but I am also humbled that it could have easily turned out very differently." that could just as well be me talking.

I guess I'm as proud of 'me' as I am of you... and that's VERY!

Jana said...

Lyn,
I have thought over and over for months to start a weight loss blog, but who cares, who will read it, why should I do it? I'll never lose the weight, right?! WRONG! This post has me in tears. I know that I can do this. I am going to follow you and get my blog going too, if i can look back in a year and inspire others like you have i know my own little corner of the world will be much happier! Thank you for inspiring this overweight girl. :)

TB said...

I'm amazed at your persistence and dedication to keep at it for so long and lose so much weight. I've been a reader for quite a while but only commented once or twice I believe.

Anonymous said...

I have to be honest, this post made me cry, and I am so proud of you. I know exactly how that feels and the fact that you have gone from there, to a very healthy size is so inspiring! Thank you for sharing this story today.

Tempe said...

Lyn,

I read your blog off and on. I found it originally through my mom. You are very inspiring. I am 23 and am starting my weight loss journey. You have inspired me to USE my blog... Cannot wait to see your 100lb pictures!

Angela said...

Thank you for your blog...for the glimpse into your soul.
I am a morbidly obese woman who hasn't cared for years. I have not loved me and as a result, no one else loves me either...but today? Today I ordered my first Medi-fast meals. Today I took a first step in loving me, in pushing forward...and reading about your journey gave me the push I needed. Thank you.
Angela

Angela said...

Thank you for your blog...for the intimate view into your journey.
I am an obese woman who hasn't cared for many years. Today I had the stark realization that the only things I enjoy are sleeping and eating. That is not life. So...I just ordered my first month of Medi-fast and I am going to start loving me. Yes, me. Today.
You are an inspiration. Thank you.