Weighting for change

“It’s time for a change in outward appearance, be it a character, yourself, or someone in your life. In 500 words or less, write about a makeover of your choice (hair, clothes, makeup, facial hair for the menfolk), fictional or memoir/creative non-fiction. Let’s think about how physical appearance changes can affect the inner landscape.”

 

My fingers gingerly smoothed out the rayon fabric, absorbing the silky texture, taking in the crisp design of black and white. A random red stripe danced unexpectedly down one side of the dress, begging to be noticed. I hesitated, stared at myself in the mirror, and remembered the pit in my stomach the last time I stood in this dressing room.

Twenty months earlier my mother waited in a large lounge chair while I tried on dozens of dresses for my brother’s wedding. I hid behind layered fabric, pleated skirts and empire waistlines. Nothing fit the way I remembered. Everything felt constricting, pulling across my body tightly, highlighting every ripple and lump. My self-esteem dipped as starkly as the scale rose. I was winded and sweaty, exhausted from the exercise of pulling on and off unwanted clothing. The final dress was beautiful, but still just “good enough”. I remember my mother smiling, trying to avoid eye contact, knowing I was about to burst into tears.

My mom waited patiently again in the large lounge chair. This time we were shopping for my 39th birthday. I shut my eyes, sliding the soft chemise over my head. It looked loose and feminine on the hanger, but in my mind I pictured it resting on my flabby butt, catching on my bulging thighs. I stood in my mental darkness, afraid to open my eyes, thinking of all the glasses of wine, tasty treats and luscious pastas I had passed up over the last year. My legs still ached from the morning’s run.

“Please fit, please fit,” I whispered, reluctantly opening my eyes, avoiding the mirror.

Taking a deep breath, I pushed aside the heavy curtain and stepped into the waiting room.

My mother drew a quick breath, stunned. For a moment I thought she was trying to find something kind to say. Obviously she did not see what I saw. She smiled as she spoke, staring me directly in the eyes, knowing I was about to burst into tears.

“You look amazing!” she said, “I know you probably don’t see what I see, because you see yourself every day, but honey, trust me, this is not the same body I saw when we were shopping for your brother’s wedding.”

“Really?” I croaked, “it really has changed?”

“Changed?” she laughed, “More like transformed!”

I couldn’t help but smile, twirl around like a little girl in front of the mirror, and take a good look. The dress lay effortlessly across my body, engulfing it in casual elegance.

*To date, I have now lost 17 lbs. Only 5 more to go to reach my goal weight.

 

Advertisements

8 thoughts on “Weighting for change

  1. First of all, awesome job on the weight loss!

    I like that you captured the feeling of being in the midst of weight loss, not exactly sure how the difference looks or even feels, because it’s happening a bit at a time on your own body.

    From this:
    The final dress was beautiful, but still just “good enough”. I remember my mother smiling, trying to avoid eye contact, knowing I was about to burst into tears.

    To this:
    I couldn’t help but smile, twirl around like a little girl in front of the mirror, and take a good look.

    I love that. Enjoy your birthday dress!

  2. It doesn’t matter how bit or trim you are if you don’t feel comfortable in your own skin. I’m also not sure if this is memoir or not… but it feels like it could easily be, and if so, congratulations on your progress! That’s really great!!!

  3. I loved rhe red stripe…it sounded like a flash of the confidence you needed and I love how you felt once your mom found her voice. That acceptance and adoration , esp from a mom for a daughter is magical! I am so proud of you…and love how Happy you sound!

  4. Omigosh Emily…. how well I know the feelings you had shopping for your brother’s wedding. You captured so well the angst I had shopping for a dress for our gala. And worse yet I never found anything and had to wear something from my closet that I was NOT comfortable in and get up in front of 150 people and give a speech. It was mortifying.

    It has been an incredibly stressful few years and despite my best intentions and my value of living healthy I have been last on my very long “to do” list. Witnessing your journey is inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  5. “A random red stripe danced unexpectedly down one side of the dress, begging to be noticed.”

    I love this line! I can so relate to this post right now – being 6 months pregnant I tend to cringe occasionally when I see myself in the mirror, knowing what I looked like before I got pregnant. I hope I can have that same feeling you describe after the baby is born and I can look like myself again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s