I got dressed this morning and just didn’t feel right. I wasn’t wearing anything different, just a polo and a pair of khakis, but something seemed out of place. It didn’t really hit me until I caught my reflection in a window coming down the stairs from my apartment: I was absolutely swimming in my clothes.
I’ve noticed I’ve been cinching my belt up tighter lately, and I knew I’d need new clothes eventually. But I guess a part of me was hedging my bets, not wanting to put the size 40s and the XXLs behind me in case I found myself in need of them again. And maybe I was still coming to terms with the physical reality of my weight loss. I can see the numbers and know I’m lighter in a quantitative sense, It’s just that for so long, I’ve been in the plus sizes. It’s hard to wrap my head around the fact that they’re no longer necessary. So instead, I’ve wrapped myself in the old clothes, telling myself I’ll buy new clothes one day.
Well, one day was today. It was ridiculous. My belt was so tight, my pants were bunched up and riding up above the belt. If I loosened it enough to look presentable, it felt like my pants would fall down at any second. And even though I had my polo buttoned up, it hung so low, it felt like a V-neck, I didn’t notice this until it was too late to change, so I braved the day at work and decided I had to do something. I wasn’t feeling too hot — I’d already begged off of game night tonight — but I couldn’t bear the thought of looking like a circus tent any longer. After work, I hit the store.
I picked out a couple of XL shirts and some size 38 pants. On a lark, I grabbed a large shirt and size 36 pants too. Pipe dream, I know, but I figured why not? Might as well see where I stand. Even dropping just one size would be something to hang my hat on. Wanting to get the disappointment out of the way, I tried on the large Oxford, sucking in my gut.
Turns out I didn’t need to. It fit. I was wearing a large. Yeah, I still have a gut, but the shirt wasn’t doing its best to accentuate it. I looked … good. But there was no way I was fitting into those 36s. Except I did. They were tight, but it was the tightness of something fitting properly rather than something straining to contain me. I looked at myself in the mirror. I was no Adonis, but I didn’t look like a fat guy in tiny clothes. I looked like a guy in his 40s. I looked normal. And I felt great.
I haven’t worn anything this small in at least fifteen years. I’ve been using clothes as camouflage for so long, hiding myself beneath them. And now I no longer have to. Again, I still have a ways to go. But it feels like I’ve hit some kind of milestone. And my poor belt won’t have to work nearly as hard.