Everyone's heard it before and, for those of us who've lost weight, many of us can remember the time when we realized that our weight had crept up to a point where we could no longer shop at our favorite stores like we wanted to. Having always been overweight throughout middle school and high school, I definitely stressed out about store choices when I'd go out shopping with the girls and we'd get to stores like JCrew, H&M, and Forever 21. All stores I loved, but had trouble fitting into some or all of their clothes. I remember walking in and thinking to myself, Well, I can only look at *shirts* or dresses here because there's no way they'll have anything to fit my bottom half...
Gap jeans became my staple, not necessarily because I love them (which I still do), but because it was one of the only stores where I could consistently find jeans to fit my shape and I knew they had my trusty size 16Rs in stock.
When I came to France in 2008, I didn't even bother ever trying on a pair of pants at a store here because I just knew it wouldn't work, so I stuck to dresses and tops and relied on my Gap jeans from home.
Now that I've lost a few sizes in my trusty label, I've finally started to come to terms with the fact that I am actually smaller. I've even been known to buy things in a size small on occasion if it's the fit I'm looking for. That said, I was still too intimidated to try on any pants. I have a friend who's my size here who has loads of cute jeans and pants that she's purchased here and France, but still I was too afraid to try any on. I thought that if I tried and STILL couldn't fit into them like that'd make my weight loss somehow less, so I stayed content with buying smaller jeans at Gap and even snagging this skirt in a size 6 (?!?!) at JCrew over Christmas:
ANYWAY, all this backstory to bring to you to the other day. I had a few hours to kill and I was having a good day and was feeling really good about myself and my appearance after this solid week of goal-keeping, so I decided to spend some solo time in H&M. Even if I have never tried on a pair of pants at H&M, it's always been a favorite store for absolutely EVERYTHING else.
While browsing, I stumbled across the khakis my friend has and decided What the heck! and grabbed a 40 (US 10) and a 42 (US 12, according to the label) and decided to try them on. Don't have any photos from that, but the 40's fit perfectly... Well, actually a even a bit big in the waist. Leaving the dressing room, I felt good! I can by pants here now! I looked to my left and what did I see? ...The jeans section.
Since I was by myself and feeling empowered, I again thought What the heck! and started to read the sign about the different fits. After ruling out the "taille super basse" (ultra low rise) and "slim" cuts, I found a boot cut and started to look for the largest size. I grabbed a 33x34 off the rack and crept back to the dressing room. Before trying them on, I even gave myself a pep talk: Even if these don't fit, don't get down, you've come SO far and feel SO different than you did 2 years ago. If these don't fit, we just need more time to get where we want to be... And then I slipped on the jeans:
Way too long, but I GOT THEM ON!
And then... I went out and grabbed a 32x32.
I GOT THEM ON TOO!
I won't exaggerate and say that they were the perfect jeans. Actually, after snapping this photo, I took them off, hung them back up, and put them back on the rack with the 33x34s and their slim cousins. But I will admit that I actually teared up in the dressing room looking at myself in these imperfect jeans. I've come so far. After years of keeping myself from doing things because of my weight, both in stores and out, I've reached a point where my body can't hold me back anymore.
Sure, I can't wear absolutely EVERYTHING I'd like to wear some day and I can't leave my house and just run a marathon, but days like this that show me that I can get there and that I am making really memorable progress. Now, I just need to keep on going and, if I do, hopefully one day there will be more jeans (and maybe even a marathon) in my future.