When the eyes lie

Have you ever realised that the only way we know how we look is by looking in the mirror or at photographs of ourselves? We will never know how we look to other people unless we have an identical twin (and they are the same size, same hair length etc) or unless we managed the as yet unrealised potential of human cloning. In a very flippant way, I’m all for human cloning – someone to try clothes on for us to see what we really look like, someone to do the things we don’t want to do but have to (go to work on a Monday). I understand that it will probably never happen, ethics and morals and all that jazz but it’s a nice thought. Understandably, many of you are now wondering if I’ve fallen on my head or have been smoking crack – I can assure you I have done neither. All I have done, is order a dress and find I’ve fallen foul of the one thing I should have anticipated – myself.

Neither skinny nor fat…

I used to be fat – fat in a way that while I looked chunky and uncomfortable, I wasn’t a Michelin woman but I was overweight. I lost some weight, found out I could run a little bit, reduced portion sizes and became a bit smaller in my clothes. I went down a couple of dress sizes and discovered that clothes (and food) were no longer the enemy and that with a bit of careful life planning I could stop being fat and be healthier and happier. Sure, I was no twig and no I’m not looking to be thin or skinny. There are people who are naturally thin and wiry among the 1000’s of body shapes out there – I’m a body shape with wide hips, fairly big boobs and wide shoulders…like this:

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Ok, if we’re being honest, I’d like slightly  more delicate ankles, but I’m really not that bothered. I get spam emails from plastic surgery companies offering boob jobs, nose jobs, face lifts, eye lifts and I’ve never been tempted. If I wanted to spend in excess of £5k causing myself pain, I’d get a kick ass tattoo. Not surgery for something that is not needed.

So, now that I’m not as fat as I once was, but a little bit more than I was when I’d lost the 4 and some stone, I’ve started running again and I’ve stopped eating wheat. So far, so good. Less bloated, more energy and my jeans are feeling slightly looser. I had to order a dress, specifically a dress for my wedding in October. Not being a traditional sort of gal I’ve gone for a coloured dress (not telling you all the secrets) wrap type dress. I measured my waist, found what I though would be the correct size on the website and hit that order button. Now, it’s no secret I have very little interest in most clothes. I wear most of my clothes until they shrink or I get too big or they fall apart. The Boy is my go to for what looks good on me. So when I told him I’d bought the dress, and then what size, he rolled his eyes and said that I was a prat and it was too big. In true Thomas fashion, I dug my metaphorical heels in and said we’d see when the dress arrived. I could always exchange it.

Does this dress make me look fat?

It arrived tonight. And it was too big. By miles – so much so that I couldn’t even try it on properly and do any of the fancy wrappy things that it does because I looked like I was wearing someone elses clothes and that someone was at least 2 sizes too big. The Boy was right and I was inaccurate aka wrong. The dress will be sent back and an exchange for a smaller size will be sent out. No big deal. But, what struck me was that even though my jeans are a 16 and my tops are 14 – why the hell did I insist on buying a 16/18? The obvious answer is that I’m an idiot who can’t measure herself properly. The less obvious answer is that even though I lost quite a bit of weight and even though I’ve kept most of it off and even though I’m doing what I need to make sure I don’t put any more weight back on – I still think of myself as the fat girl.

I’m sure in time, I’ll get better at finding clothes that fit but why is it so hard to admit and more importantly believe that I am not the size 20 I was a couple of years ago?


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