I am probably going to cry while I write this and then if I manage to click "Publish" I will die of instant humiliation, but maybe some of you know what I'm talking about, maybe you've been there. And this is such a huge part of this weight loss thing - my LIFE, really - and I've been feeling like I can't really close up shop on this website unless I get this out. So.
Maybe I was never fixated on my weight because I was spending all my body image-related energy on my bra size. My mother bought me my first bras in fifth or sixth grade and it's been a dysfunctional relationship ever since. I never knew what to do with these suckers. I mean, it's not like you can really hide them.
I "went out with" a slew of pre-pubescent boys in junior high and from my nearly 30-year-old perch I'll go ahead and chalk that up to being well-endowed. In high school I struggled to find a sports bra solution that worked- I ended up just wearing regular old sports bras OVER my real ones, something I was totally ashamed of until one of the coaches noticed and said she had to do the same thing. I was never teased or singled out for embarrassment in school, but I was mortified plenty of times by lewd and cruel high school boys. Objectified, shamed, with a tiny twinge of relief because at least there was something about me boys found attractive.
I wasn't thin, but I was a totally different size on top than I was on the bottom. Things never fit me. Sometimes even the largest size wouldn't button or zip up. I never dreamed of wearing anything strapless. I'd seen those strapless bras and there was no way one of those things would work on my body. My friends would talk about not needing a bra, or they just wouldn't wear one after a Friday night game and we were going out in search of dinner - what a totally foreign world.
I gained weight in college and I just got bigger and bigger. But you know, by that point I wasn't even noticing. This was just me. Who I am. The way it is.
Sometimes I'd go bra shopping and the 38Ds wouldn't fit. It never occurred to me that I was BIGGER than that. I just thought I had to find a different brand. You know how they all fit differently.
I asked my aunt to make my wedding dress. Partly because I wanted my aunt to make my wedding dress. She'd made my prom dress, which I loved, and I wanted almost the exact same thing, only in white. I thought it would be so special, to get married in something made especially for me, by a family member I loved. I also wanted my aunt to make my wedding dress so I wouldn't have to suffer the humiliation of going to wedding dress stores, where there appeared to be only strapless dresses, and not fitting into them. I know, now, that much heavier women than me have been married in strapless dresses, that they have a million sizes, that there are all sorts of torture devices for shoehorning any body into things, but I didn't know that then. The thought of trying on dresses in those stores that don't have mirrors in the dressing rooms - I just wanted to die. And even with my aunt making my dress, I don't know how many times she cut the bodice before it fit.
A couple years later a friend of mine asked me to be in her wedding and my first thought wasn't, "I'd be HONORED!" it was "Would I have to wear a strapless dress?" I couldn't. I just couldn't.
There were so many things I couldn't (or wouldn't) wear. So many requirements. I remember my mom saying something about how I didn't let my weight keep me from doing anything I wanted to do (this is after I'd lost it, she's not THAT mean) and that's true. I knew I was on the heavier side, but I wasn't all that upset about it. What I WAS upset about was my stupid bra size. Talk about holding yourself back. LITERALLY.
Several years, two children and 30ish pounds later, I have a new bra size. I never thought this was possible, folks. And yes, I do have nursing to thank (well, first I must thank nursing for the size F nursing bras HOLY GOD) for part of it. Post-nursing boobs are not a happy topic. But between that and losing weight I found myself in the department store a month or two ago buying bras a full cup size smaller than my old ones. And I tell you internet, NOTHING felt better than that. Not fitting into my pre-baby clothes, not fitting into a new pants size, not wearing a bathing suit in public, NONE of that compared to the day I found myself in a Target dressing room trying on a size Medium button down shirt AND BUTTONING IT. Yes I DID have a full on Ugly Cry in the dressing room.
I have known very few people with this problem and it's been a lonely and embarrassing place to be. I never thought I'd be able to wear some of those cute summer empire-waist tops, just like I thought I'd never be able to run a mile without stopping. The boob thing trumps the mile thing by... miles.
...so I was sitting here deciding whether or not to post this collection of random sentences when I decided to get my wedding dress out of its box and try it on. For kicks. And. Oh you guys it is huge. It's the simplest plainest empire-waist white dress in the world, with a top that was pinched and darted and fitted and yanked into the right place about twelve million times before the wedding and now, this dress that was made to my exact measurements no longer fits. It gapes. It falls off my shoulders. It's too wide and too long and I cried again. I cried because I remember the embarrassment of trying on the first draft and the frustrated frown on my aunt's face, and I cried because I felt sorry for and proud of myself, all at once. A relieved, triumphant, apologetic, non-linear cry.