I pulled out old jeans, ones I’ve been saving for a decade, for that moment when I would magically be that size again, and tried them on. And they fit.
I went to the store, browsing racks, and I had to constantly remind myself, “Not those sizes. These sizes.”
I ordered stuff in a size that seemed insanely small and wore them, no problems.
In one bottom drawer, I keep my favorite pair of jeans of all time. They’re black, and I remember them fitting as though they were made for me. I’m about 90% sure I could wear them today, but I haven’t yet tried them on for fear of disappointing myself. These jeans mark the measure of whether I’m the size I’d like to be.
I’ve heard of these mysterious people who lost a lot of weight but didn’t realize they were smaller, so they wore baggy, horrible clothes. While I’ve caught all my misjudgments so far, I realized something. You have to reprogram yourself.
I look back at pictures of myself, and they’re aren’t many, from my heavier days. Before and after pics I took (although there wasn’t really an after, ever), or snapshots from events with the kids. And I think, seriously, what the F*** were you doing?
I recall having a conversation with my Dad, I was explaining how when I looked out at the world, I felt like I looked the same as I always had. And then I’d catch myself in the mirror and was surprised nearly every day, every single time when that wasn’t what I actually looked like.
Can you imagine, spending nearly a decade thinking you looked one way, cute and fun and somewhat pulled together, only to be constantly taken aback when you really look like a roly poly, hot mess? What in the world was I doing? I was in denial. Or slightly delirious. Or maybe both.
You can change. Everyone can change. But you can never change if you’re in denial about what needs to change or by how much or what you need to do change.
I thought I was amazing because 3 – 5 days after my kids were born, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight. Which, by the way, was still WAY too much weight. Denial.
Let’s be honest, I’m not going to be in one of those black and white mom photo shoots that show off how awesome your imperfect tummy looks after having kids. I’ll likely never wear a bikini again. But for the first time in a long time, I have committed to something just for myself, and I succeeded. I made it work. I put my foot down, and my kids had to adjust – there is more to me than just snack provider.
I was tired and sweaty and discouraged and excited, and I did it.
Now when I look out at the world and at myself in the mirror, the images are closer. More similar. There is still work to be done, and I’m focused on it. But along this journey as with any other, there are peaks and valleys and times of struggle and times of victory.
And the truth is, I know those black jeans fit. And I know when I hit my goal weight, they’re going to be obnoxiously huge.
And I am totally ok with that knocking my socks off day after day.