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I have a love/hate relationship with shopping. When I am desperate for something to wear for a special occasion, I turn so incredibly picky and almost sabotage my search to find something. But when I don’t have the money to shop, I come home with things I don’t need. Like Deano, money burns a hole in my pocket. Usually, I cram shopping time between other tasks, so I grab anything that could work, try it on (often on top of my clothes in the store so I don’t really have to change), and if it fits and I like it, it’s purchased in multiple colors.

Shopping has always been a challenge because of my body. I’m tall and all legs, so finding pants that actually come close to covering my shoes and my butt crack is nearly a miracle. I have always started at the back of the rack where the larger sizes live, and then go from there. And I usually settle for “this will do”.

On Friday, I searched for hours for a dress to wear for my cousin’s baby shower. I am a co-host, and it’s a special event for me because she’s like my sister. My mom and aunt and I have worked hard putting it all together from far away. Usually my shopping experience goes like this: Find 5 dresses, in multiple shades of dark colors to camouflage my body, and grab each in two sizes. Try on said 5 dresses, and one usually fits, tightly. Most are unflattering, I usually have a minor meltdown in the dressing room silently to myself, and I take the tear-stained mediocre dress to the register and buy it.

Friday, I tried on probably over 30 dresses. I would have been over the moon with any of them. All were pretty, colorful, slimming, and no longer at the back of the rack. I have alluded a few times in MWOAS that I have lost weight. Well, I am at 38 pounds, which equals nearly 4 clothing sizes down. It’s crazy. My shopping experience went like this: Find 9 dresses, all bright colors to show off my true personality, and grab a smaller size than ever. Try on said 9 dresses, and one actually fit because the other 8 were all too big. All are amazingly cute and lovely, and parade out to the large mirror in the dressing room, and receive oohs and ahs.  I do a huge happy dance in the dressing room not silently, and I am stuck deciding on 4 perfectly small, lovely dresses, and end up taking home three. Big changes.

I’m almost to my goal weight. I think I have another 15 to lose. That should do it. I put on an old pair of jeans yesterday to take out the recycling and garbage and run to the market, and the jeans literally fell off me. Part of me was pissed because they were not cheap. But then again, I have much more of a reason to shop for more now.

I don’t think people looked at me 38 pounds ago and thought that I had a serious weight problem. I was chunky perhaps. But I hated how I looked. It changed my personality. I didn’t like going out. I didn’t date because of it. Now, although I still change 3 or 4 times before going out, it’s because things are too big on me or I can’t decide which outfit I like best. Rough problems, huh? I see pictures of me from Christmas and they make me want to cry. As Joni says, “Only a dark cocoon before I get my gorgeous wings and fly away”. I don’t care how much money I spend on clothes this year. I will never go back.

Animal–Pearl Jam

Mysterious Ways–U2

The Last Time I Saw Richard–Joni Mitchell

You’re So Good To Me–The Beach Boys

Money Burns a Hole in my Pocket–Dean Martin

Fashion–David Bowie