Sunday, September 28, 2008

All Dressed to Kill

If it be your will
If there is a choice
Let the rivers fill
Let the hills rejoice
Let your mercy spill
On all these burning hearts in hell
If it be your will
To make us well

And draw us near
And bind us tight
All your children here
In their rags of light
In our rags of light
All dressed to kill
And end this night
If it be your will

If it be your will.

My clothes are hanging off me. Recently at a pastors' meeting, a colleague came up, pulled the edges of my blazer toget
her and then overlapped them, and said, "You are going to have fun buying new clothes."

Oh yeah? Make me. That's my usual reaction to the whole topic of buying clothes. I recently confessed to Beloved why I was so hesitant/ reluctant/ full of dread about the idea of going to pick up a few things that actually fit me. I have spent so long, being so very overweight, that I don't have any memories of pleasant clothing shopping experiences. I remember an occasion when I was about 15 years old, and I had dieted down to a reasonable weight... but my brain had not yet caught up with my body size. I walked through a department store with my mother and her friend, utterly disoriented by the image of myself in mirrors... too thin, or, unfamiliarly thin.

Later, when my weight had skyrocketed, shopping was an opportunity for me to feel completely ashamed of my body size, as even the plus size stores did not have clothing that fit me. Some years I would find nothing at all that my large, pear-shaped body could fit into. I hated shopping. It was a nightmare.

So... and this is the thing I admitted to Beloved... I basically boycotted shopping in stores. I bought myself a few things online, stretchy things, and I let my mother shop for me... which she did, most gladly. She would send me clothing from catalogs, and about 1 in 6 of them would actually fit and be something I was happy to wear. Occasionally I'd see something in a catalog and ask for it specifically... I have a lovely spring blazer in a pastel linen, which I simply adore. The rest... I would just give away.

Lately, I've been disbelieving photographs of myself. I am losing weight. I have lost quite a bit of weight... about 4 clothing sizes worth of weight. I did order a couple of (smaller) stretchy things online last week. And I sent away for three lovely, right-sized women's clergy shirts, which fit me very becomingly. But my wardrobe is still filled with things I'm swimming in.

Last night I bit the bullet and allowed Beloved to take me to a plus size department store. I'm still plus-sized, though no longer off their charts. In fact, I'm sort of in the middle of their size range, as it turns out.

And... I bought clothes. Lots of them.

Three beautiful blazers.

Three shapely shirts.

Oodles of underwear.

Two fabulous pairs of jeans.

This morning I wore a skirt that is fine on me (stretchy!), a new clergy shirt, and one of my (adorable) new blazers. Underneath it all was underwear that actually fits, and does something in the way of shaping me. I put on my glasses, looked in the mirror, and actually liked what I saw. It made me happy. It made me want to do a little dance.

I might be able to get used to this shopping thing.


Songbird said...

It's a good feeling, especially the underwear part!!! So proud of you.

FranIAm said...

You can't see me, but take my word for it... I read this post and I am smiling broadly!!!

Suzer said...

How wonderful, Cecilia! I rejoice with you. I also share the dislike of shopping, and could write a tome, but it's your blog, so I won't. I'll bet you are looking mahhvelous, dahling! :)

3ThingsI'veLost: said...

Good for you! And happy shopping!

LittleMary said...

pictures please!!!!!!!!

Jan said...

WOW!! 4 SIZES! This is so great, and I am envious. But I know it's taken a lot of work and devotion. Good for you.

PamBG said...

Yay! :-)

Thank you for sharing that.

Choralgirl said...

B-I-G (plus size) grin on my face. Go, Girl!

suzanne said...

Do the Happy Happy, JoyJoy dance.

I just gave oversized clothes to the thrift store. Of course things had hung in my closet for a long while. It was a good feeling to separate from them.

I'm so happy your back.

Jane R said...

Yay! Congratulations! Wonderful to hear. So glad you are enjoying making yourself (even more) beautiful.