Ok. So losing this weight (38lbs so far thank you very much) has been great. I feel a little happier in myself and the gym is a slightly more pleasurable experience now that I don’t nearly die on the treadmill. But there’s one huge downside.
I’m not a girly girl. There are few things I hate more in life than shopping. The idea of a long day of aimless wandering in shops brings me out in a cold sweat. I don’t do aimless. I do planned. If I know what I want I’m sorted, “I need a pair of jeans” I can tell myself and off I will go and find a pair of jeans. Shopping trips last a couple of hours, three max, and then I have the rest of my day to enjoy.
Now I find myself in a strange situation of having lost a lot of weight but having no idea what suits me or if I can get away with wearing something now that I’m a little thinner. All too often you see someone squeezed in a bit of lycra, splurging on all sides, proudly proclaiming “I’ve lost 3 stone!” Brilliant for you but that doesn’t mean jeggings are your friend love.
Far worse than any of this however is my one true horror. The changing room. Why are they such devilishly awful places? Why do they have terrible lighting and horrendous mirrors? And why are they so freakin’ small?!
One incident more than any other demonstrates my terrible experiences with changing rooms...
Earlier in the year I was heading for a night out. My weight having ever so slowly crept up and up and up and up I realised that I really didn’t have a lot to wear and certainly nothing that I felt comfortable in. I went into Next to have a look and saw something floral and floaty. I figured it would do, and locating my size I ran into the changing room.
I squeezed into the cubicle, and got my top off, the whole time remaining completely paranoid that people could see in (why do the curtains never fully go all the way across?!) and in total fear that someone would walk in on me (that did actually happen to me once in Primark. While I was trying on bras. Seriously.)
I got the top off its hanger and tried to pull it on. It wasn’t really going anywhere. “My god please don’t tell me I’m this fat” I prayed to whichever god was listening. Then I realised that I was being an idiot and there was a zip on the side. Down came the zip and I tried again but was sweating with the exertion and nearly in tears because it really was a struggle to get on.
I zipped it up and looked at myself. Not too bad, it didn’t look horrendous, but what the hell was with this extra piece of fabric down on my left hand side, what could that be for, where was it supposed to go?
And then I realised...
It was a leg hole.
I had just shoved my whole body through one leg hole of a playsuit.
I was torn between being immensely relieved that the reason I had difficulties getting it on wasn’t because I was ridiculously fat and being immensely horrified that someone would even make a playsuit in my size. There is no way that someone of my size back then (and I would argue, my size now) should be wearing a playsuit.
As I left the changing rooms the member of staff asked me “Was that any good for you?” and I felt I could shake my head and say emphatically, “No. No that was not good for me.”
My changing room fear continues unabated.