The year was 1995 and I looked like the picture. I had been married for eight years and had gained around 110 pounds. Impressive to be sure. I worried about my size a lot. I was a size 10 when we married, and had a closet full of great clothes. My only worry with clothes at that nice smallish size was what fabulous outfit to buy next. Should I buy the cute suit for the office, or the great new pair of jeans in black? But unfortunately, I quickly gained weight, and my size increased rapidly. Size 10’s were a thing of the past. Onto size 12, 14, 16’s and then, HELLO PLUS SIZE DEPARTMENT. Not a good day, that one.
Finally hitting 280 pounds, I worried a lot about clothes. I had a closet full of clothes that ranged from my old size of 10 to my current size 28. Of course the smaller sized clothes wouldn’t have fit around my right arm, and sad to say, the largest of the clothing was getting small. I had resorted to making really ugly jumpers that I wore with t-shirts purchased from the men’s department. I had grown so large I was afraid that soon it would be impossible to purchase clothes that would fit me anymore.
And sad to say, that fear came true. I mostly wore faded leggings or jumpers. Wearing jumpers has some definite advantages for the overweight woman. They are loose, they come in many colors, and you can grow into them if needed. And I needed to grow into them often.
One disadvantage to the jumper is this: When they are getting a bit tight all the way around, you may get asked a question you don’t want to answer.
A question like this: When are you due?
The first time this happened to me was after my first daughter was born. I was wearing what I thought was a really pretty yellow jumper. The baby was about 9 or 10 months old, and she and I had spent the morning shopping at the mall. At our last stop, I was standing in line to pay for an outfit and the lady standing next to me said, “My your children will be close in age won’t they?” I looked at her uncomprehendingly and said, “Excuse me?” She repeated her statement, and I realized, with horror, she thought I was pregnant. I was mortified, but probably not as mortified as she was when I explained that I just hadn’t lost the baby weight yet, and I was definitely not pregnant.
This happened to me over and over again through my obese years. People would ask, “When is the baby due?” and I would fall all over myself explaning why I was so big. Finally, I came up with the perfect answer to this rather distressing question. I would say, “THE BABY IS DUE IN _________.” I’d fill in the appropriate month, depending on the time of year. They would say “Good luck with the delivery” and go off on their way. And as they left, part of me would die inside each time this happened. I’m not exgaggrating when I tell you that this probably happened about 10 times a year. You would think that I would have gotten used to it but I didn’t.
I hope that this has never happened to you. There are so many embarrassing moments that happened to me over the years and I’ve never forgotten any of them. But instead of feeling badly and beating myself up over my appearance and choices back then, now I use these incidents as one more reminder of why I never want to go back where I came from. If you are ever tempted to go back to your old ways, just remember and write down some of the reasons you’ve been working so hard to get where you want to go. Diane