I did something super scary this past Halloween.
Yes, I realize Halloween was two weeks ago. I think we've already established that I'm a little behind in my blog posts, ok? So can we just move on please?
Right. So, anyhoo...Halloween...something scary...me in my underwear in a dressing room.
Yup. I went there. Clothes shopping, to be exact.
I haven't lost those damn 20 pounds and yet...I. went. clothes shopping.
What the hell was I thinking??
Well, I'll tell you what I wasn't thinking. I wasn't thinking my usual, "I don't deserve to have cute clothes because I'm not the size I used to be."
And I wasn't thinking, "I'm not going to look good no matter what I wear until I've lost 20 pounds because looking good is directly related to what size I am."
Ok, that last one I was thinking a little bit. It's hard not to when you look in the mirror and see stomach flab that resembles a kangaroo pouch. But that's what spanx are for, right?
Of course, I wasn't wearing spanx when I went clothes shopping on Halloween. And that's actually lesson number one I learned that day.
But, I'm getting ahead of myself. I wanted to start this post by saying it's ok to look good and feel good while we are trying to lose weight. We don't have to put off looking and feeling fabulous until we reach our goal weight. Because life is short. And why does a size get to dictate our mental frame of mind? It shouldn't. On that Halloween day, for me, it didn't.
I bought size 12s and it was ok.
I had a little help though. My cousin, my decorating and fashion consultant who I love dearly and whose life's motto is, "If it's worth doing, it's worth over-doing," fun, fashionista cousin, went with me.
We have different fashion senses, her and I. I stand on the shoreline of fashion's ocean and dip my toe in to test the waters while she wades courageously in, arms outstretched, ready to confidently embrace her fashion choices. She knows who she is on the inside and isn't afraid to portray it on the outside, size be damned.
Case in point - she tried on a pair of black velour sweats with the words "Fabulous" scrawled down one leg (size Large, thank you very much), and upon seeing the price tag of $5.99, said, "I can have "Fabulous" for $5.99? I'll take it!" And you know what? Her ass looked fabulous in those sweats. It was larger than she would have liked, but it was fabulous, and she knew it.
Of course, while she was trying on fabulous, I was stuck in a size 10 pencil straight black skirt. Literally stuck. When I couldn't fit it over my hips, I shimmied out of it and actually tried putting it on over my head. Big mistake. It got stuck over my boobs and I couldn't lift it up or down and thought I was gonna have to shoplift it and cut it off of me later.
Fortunately, my fabulous cousin was able to yank it off of me. So much for "it looks like it runs big." Don't fall for that, by the way. Try on the size you are, then trade down from there if you are lucky enough to need a smaller size. Going the other way is just depressing.
After the skirt incident, we went to the Mexican place down the street and had margaritas, chips, and salsa. We were invigorated for round two of our Halloween shopping adventure.
Perhaps it was the margarita, but round two was definitely more fun than round one. I didn't mess around and went straight for the size 12's. And you know what? They fit great. I found two pairs of pants and a skirt for work - at Target, of all places.
So here's what I learned from my scary shopping trip:
1. Wear your spanx when you are going to try on clothes.
2. You absolutely must shop with someone who says things like, "We're gonna rock that skirt with some lace tights."
3. Have a margarita before you try anything on.
4. Stand tall and throw your shoulders back in the mirror - you'd be surprised what a difference it makes. You look taller, thinner, and more confident.
5. Layer things. A super cute sleeveless top that may not be appropriate alone for work can look awesome as a vest over a long sleeved top. It can always double duty as nighttime or summer wear.
6. Cuff your pants. I never would have thought of this, but try rolling up your pants to about mid calf and wear them with tall boots. Experiment with a wide or narrow cuff, depending on the pant style. According to my cousin, cuffing is in. Of course, knowing my cousin, she may have been talking about the bedroom...
7. Brown and grey look good together.
8. Add some color to a neutral outfit with a scarf. Hang it loose around your neck, or tie it, or wrap it, but it really adds pizzaz to an outfit.
9. You can be sexy and stylish while you're at the size you don't want to be, while you're trying to become the size you really want to be, because it's who you are right now. And you should always, always, love who you are.