Friday, February 08, 2008

reason #137 for losing weight: shopping

Since I got my iPod, a whole new world of media has opened up for me. If I don't have time to watch a show on TV, I can pay to have it downloaded for me to watch on my nano's cute little screen when I'm on an airplane or just sitting around bored. After reading Wendy's review of How to Look Good Naked, I bought a season pass for the show. I knew that Wendy would not suggest I watch treacly bullshit. I was not disappointed. In fact, I am glad that I didn't watch the "Layla" episode on the airplane as planned, because I didn't just get a tear in my eye. I cried. If you don't get a little choked up by that episode, you have to be a stone-hearted troll.

After watching the positive shopping experiences of strangers, I was starting to feel like I could go into the stores and try on clothes and like them, just like a regular person. Lately my body image has taken a hit from the squishiness that accompanied my new job like an unadvertised bonus. Dressing rooms have not been my friend. But Carson inspired me.

On a recent trip, I went shopping with two women I know but not well. One of them is teeny-tiny and short, and the other is teeny-tiny and regular height. I was nervous about the whole thing until we went in this store that had fabulous dresses, and I just had to try one on. No go. It didn't zip at all. Sigh. Luckily neither of them liked what they tried on either, so I didn't think that the problem was just a huge deformity on my part. I could blame the store, which felt like a relief.

At the second store, I was having a wonderful time trying on $200 dresses that I had no intention of buying, and thinking I looked pretty good in them. But the stupid, knee-jerk, compare-and-despair (as Stuart Smalley would say) impulse kicked in when I heard one of them saying to the other, "The 2 is too small for me, but it might fit you. Let me trade you for the 4."

I knew they were small, but I didn't realize they were that small. And the stupid thing is that I felt fine (well, mostly fine) with them until I heard them use those sizes in a sentence that wasn't: "Who do you think actually wears a 2 anyway? I wonder why they even make them?" For some reason I always comforted myself with the belief that those sizes were just for teenagers. I know that the last time in my life that I consistently wore a single-digit size was when I was 13 or 14 years old. They were both wonderful women. I had no reason to think that they were having negative thoughts about me, except that I was so busy having them that I figured they must be universal.

I know I need to keep my eyes on my own paper. And I did buy a gorgeous dress that I liked and even thought I looked pretty in. It was at a huge discount and in a smaller size than I thought I could wear. So why all the internal drama? If I were shopping with a friend who wore a larger size than me and she got all angsty over it, I'd think she was being silly and maybe feel a little annoyed. So when am I going to get a little smarter when it comes to myself?

Where's Carson Kressley when I need him? Or at least the Bra Whisperer?


  1. i just posted something about carson and how to look good naked as well... i really like the show because he usually says something really smart and he makes you rethink how you view yourself... wouldn't he be a scream to shop with (okay, maybe i'm just weird)... anyway, i think you were just being human when those girls were throwing 2s and 4s around - i'm sure you look stunning your dress and who cares what the tag says... ;o)

  2. Shopping can bring out the best that we see in ourselves or we can see the flaws so quickly that it's scary. I really understand how you feel.

    I bet our internal monologue is louder than anything else we can hear, including compliments. I'm glad you got something pretty for yourself! You deserve it!

  3. Sigh... the whole size thing is a tough issue... I struggle with the whole thing a lot - being smaller for the first time ever in my life. I have to watch myself whining about 'having' to buy a size eight as my big size when it used to be a twenty.

    I am actually finding shopping/dressing rooms a good reality check for the new 4-6-8 me.... though last time I shopped I still dragged in a whole slew of 12s and 14s because that is the size I thought I would end up after I lost weight....

    Ah...body dysmorphia...

    (bitchwhoblogs- my other website)


"Count your calories, work out when you can, and try to be good to yourself. All the rest is bulls**t." -- Jillian Michaels at BlogHer '07