A few times in my life, I have been told that I am beautiful, and most of those were not by people trying to manipulate me. But standing in the fitting rooms of a discount clothing store, trying on pairs of jeans, I do not feel beautiful at all. I hate being able to see myself from all angles. My posture is not good, my nose feels enormous, my hair is lank and fluffy and kinky and orange-looking. And I am fat. I ate too much in London, I am now the heaviest I have ever been in my life, by a handful of pounds. I don’t like this shop. As far as I know, the people who make these clothes are not well-treated. But I am currently living on incapacity benefits, and I don’t have any jeans that fit. In fact, I am beginning to wonder if perhaps jeans are not for me at this size at all. In this shop, I am usually somewhere in a quagmire between a 16 and an 18, although possibly the extra pounds will help with that. So do I choose the ones which seem fine, but within a day will have lost all their shape and puddled around my ankles, or the ones which I can barely get over my thighs but perhaps by the time they’ve given out will actually fit ok?
In the end, I do not buy jeans from that shop, but from another that I cannot afford, and I console myself that at least they will be good quality. However, after about ten minutes of wear, the waistband begins to roll its way down over my rotund abdomen whenever I move, and I am consigned to inelegantly hoisting them back up at least every half an hour. According to my mother, jeans can fall down when they are too small as well as too big, but these ones seemed like a good fit to me when I tried them on. I suppose I am now being welcomed into a world where it is too much to ask, to go into a shop and try on a piece of clothing, and be able to see straight away in the mirror whether or not it will be suitable.
My question is this: how the hell am I supposed to love myself at this size, when this is what it is like? I just want to clothe myself in things that look nice and are comfortable. Is that such an unreasonable request? I know there are specialist shops for larger sizes, and I promise I will try them. I will strive to adjust my ideas away from the familiar brands of my adult life so far. I will somehow cancel all the tantalising catalogues of things I can’t have.
Well, those were a cheerful few paragraphs. I seriously considered deleting them. But in my last post on weight, I talked about trying to be happy as I am, and I couldn’t stand to leave it at that. I’m not happy.
It’s far too early to tell if the FIFI method is working, and apparently it’s not unusual to actually gain weight when you start it, although I don’t think my recent weight gain is due to FIFI, which I am still struggling to follow. It’s fucking scary, gaining weight like this, in the knowledge that diets don’t work. No longer can I beat myself up with the assumption that if only I was strong enough to deprive myself, all my extra pounds and insecurities would melt away forever. Although the one advantage of that is that when other people beat me up with the same assumption, I can at least serenely disregard them.
I look at the title of this post, and the tags that I’ve added, and I feel pathetic that this is how I’m equating happiness, when there is so much more to life than my body. Even if its various dysfunctions do seem to get in the way rather. More than anything, I just want to be comfortable, and I don;t think that’s an unreasonable ask.
What if I’m stuck like this? That’s the question I ask myself over and over. I’ll be well enough to exercise properly soon, and perhaps the FIFI method will work, but what if I’m stuck like this?