When I was at my biggest I’d go into Autograph, pick out a pair of size 26 jeans and head to the changing rooms, only to be disappointed each time because I couldn’t get them past my knees. I’d hate myself that I was that fat that I couldn’t even get the largest jeans I could find to go higher than my knees. What an awful feeling. Knowing that if I could only get a pair of jeans, in any size, that it would give me that illusion of at least being not so fat because hey, I could wear jeans, and I couldn’t even accomplish that. Too fat for the fattest jeans. The ultimate in fatness.
When I began losing weight I gradually was able to wear jeans I’d tucked away and slowly slowly they all became too big on me. I was winning. I was fat, but not so fat there weren’t any jeans for me. Then came the day I ventured into Jeans West to try on regular jeans. I can’t remember what their biggest size was but I got into them with all my belly fats spilling over the top and my arse threatening to burst the seams. But I got into them.
Then came the day that I took a pair of my son’s size 38 jeans out of the dryer and thought, I’ma try these on and I got them on … with plenty of belly fats spilling over the top and unable to breathe AND move in them. It was one or the other. But I got them on and he let me keep them.
Over time those jeans have become so baggy that I just shouldn’t wear them any more, but I do. They look awful on me. All baggy and shapeless but they symbolise how far I’ve come and damnit, they’re so comfortable and I swear I can feel my son’s love in them every single time I wear them.
I got to a size 18-20 and started trying to find a new pair of jeans but every single pair I tried on gave me this bloody awful moose toe because of my saggy belly. Not an attractive look. I eventually lucked upon a size 16 pair of stretchy jeans in Kmart that look great sans moose toe that I wear to death … along with my son’s old jeans. I’d given up on trying to find decent jeans pre tummy tuck but then today, buoyed by a positive appointment with a plastic surgeon, on a whim, walked into a Jeans West store, walked straight up to the counter and asked for a range of low rise jeans in a size 18 to try on. There was no, “Really, are you sure you can fit into an 18,” or “Maybe you should try a plus size store,” attitude from the sales assistant … she just went and got me what I asked for. Two pairs of jeans in and I had to ask for size 16’s. I couldn’t believe it. The size 18’s were just so ridiculously big on me. Like, handfuls of fabric on the thighs too big.
I tried on a pair of boyfriend jeans in a 16 and they looked great. No moose toe. Just normal middle aged fat belly. I felt amazing. I just stood there in disbelief checking myself out thinking, whoa, is this happening ? Me ? In a normal girl size 16 in a regular jeans store ? I’m normal. I’m a normal size. A normal (age appropriate) shape.
Later on, because I neglected, regretfully, to keep a pair of my largest jeans for comparison, went on a stealthy excursion to Autograph and tried on a pair of size 26 jeans … over the top of my regular jeans, to see how far I’ve come. I couldn’t get over just how massive they were on me. They made me feel tiny.
I’m 2 and a half years post banding and have been maintaining at my goal weight, or within cooee of it, for almost a year now and this shit just never gets old. I’m still constantly surprised and delighted by how much progress I’ve made. Every single day is so so hard, and I know it will be for the rest of my life. There’s no cure for obesity … all I can do is manage it but the delight I feel from these little things … like discovering that my moose toe is gone and I can wear size 16 jeans from a regular jeans store (when I can afford to buy them) is my new reality … that will never ever get old. I love this new life. I love it !
I’m including some photos of my excursions into my new jeanery reality today. I apologise for the crap quality but I had to be sneaky sneaky as it’s often frowned upon to take photos in change rooms. (Certain conversations are also frowned upon like the one I had whilst sharing a changeroom with my daughter once that went along the lines of, "No, no, your boobs have really dense breast tissue. Here, feel mine. See how they're not so firm." To which my daughter replied, "Oh yeh. They are quite soft. Feel mine." To which I replied, "Yep, see. Yours are nice and firm." ... We were asked to leave ... lol ). (Please excuse the Mary Jane’s with long black socks. I promise it was a good look with my other jeans … lol.)