Unfortunately, there were times when I was living the fat life that I had to buy new clothes. Sad to say, it wasn’t because my clothes got worn out, but usually because I had outgrown my clothes. I hated shopping for clothes. It was embarrassing to stand in the plus size department, which inevitably seemed to be located either next to the petite department or the lingerie. I hated crossing the vast divide from clothes made for normal people to clothes made for fat people.
The holiday was Easter and the year was 1992. The weight was around 270, give or take a few pounds. I had no appropriate dress to wear to church on Easter Sunday, so upon John’s insistenance we headed to the mall. I just wanted to go into Sears, pick something out and leave. But no, John wanted me to have something “pretty” to wear for Easter Sunday, so he dragged me all over the mall in search of the perfect fat person’s Easter dress. He kept holding up dresses for my approval and I kept turning them down, until finally we found a black dress with big gold buttons down the front and even bigger shoulder pads. I know black for Easter isn’t traditional, but fat people look good in black so I tried on the dress, it fit reasonably well (or so I thought), purchased the dress and went home.
Easter morning came and the three of us were dressed in our Easter finery. I put Rachel in her car seat, sat down in my seat and proceeded to drive to church. While driving I noticed that the buttons on my dress were having a hard time staying fastened properly, but I attributed it to the fact I was sitting a little crooked in the car’s seat and kept going. When we reached the church, we dropped Rachel off in the nursery and went to the service. I sat down, preparing to enjoy the service and discovered that the button problem wasn’t due to my positioning in the car, it was due to the fact that I was too big for the buttons. From the upper abdomen down, no button was staying together. Each and every button was straining to pop from it’s little button hole. I grabbed my Bible and hugged it to my chest, and grabbed two hymnals and put them on my lap in a vain attempt to cover up the problem. John looked at me and whispered, “What are you doing?” I looked at him and whispered back, “The buttons are coming undone.” He said, “You mean they are coming unsewn?” No, I shook my head, uncovering my lap covered with two hymnals, “I’m too big for these buttons.” He looked mortified for me, and said he was sure no one would notice.
Fortunately if anyone did notice they didn’t say anything to me. I spent the whole service trying to suck in my thighs, which you can’t do, and keep the hymnals balanced on my big legs, which was almost impossible. I’ve never been so glad to get up and leave a church service in my life. I couldn’t wait to get out of there, go home and put on a jumper where the only buttons were the ones way up on the shoulder. I put that dress in the goodwill box, and swore I’d never again buy a dress with buttons down the front. I also made a mental note to always sit down in the dressing room to make sure the clothes that look one way when you are standing up will also look good when you are sitting down!
Has this ever happened to you? Did it bother you enough to get going with your weight loss attempt? It didn’t do it for me – not right then. But it was an incident I never forgot and one as I finally lost all my weight I swore I’d never experience again. Clothing seems inconsequential when compared to health issues, but clothing issues were huge for me. I never liked the way I looked in clothes, and felt ugly and unattractive. Losing weight isn’t easy, and there is no fast way to do it, but yet another benefit to getting down to the weight you want to be is the ability to choose clothes you like and feel good in. Clothes that fit whether you are standing up or sitting down. Diane