Last week, I posted this short paragraph to my Facebook account:
Just had an experience that is making me re-evaluate the way I live my life. I need to make some changes, post-haste. For now, though, I’m going to spend a quiet night at home.
The comments, emails, text messages and phone calls that followed were overwhelming. In a good way. Without even knowing the source of my dismay, my friends from far and wide reached out to me with words of comfort and encouragement.
Mom and Beth, sorry you are hearing about this firsthand– I didn’t include you on that post– I didn’t want to worry you.
So… what the hell happened?
Well, in hindsight, it seems kind of silly. Really. I wasn’t held up at gunpoint or told I have some life-ending disease. I wasn’t fired from my job or evicted from my home. Nobody was maimed or harmed in any way, shape or form.
Only my ego. And maybe my self-esteem. But it’s really my fault.
OK, enough with the setup– here’s what happened.
On Friday after work, I was preparing to meet some friends out for drinks and then head to a fundraising event for the chorus. I was looking forward to the events, mainly because in the very near future, things were about to get really busy with the chorus show. A last hurrah, of sorts.
So I decided to go shopping and buy a new outfit for the evening. I needed some new shirts, as I’ve worn my short-sleeve shirts to death. The most logical stop was The Gap, since there was one just a block away from my first stop for the evening.
I went in, and I found a couple really nice short-sleeve shirts and a pair of jeans. I also looked at a new jacket, since it had suddenly turned colder that day and I didn’t have one with me; and the jacket I already have is starting to look a little worn.
I found XL sizes for the shirts, because that’s been my size for years now. I had been working to change that, but in the past few months I haven’t been so good about going to the gym. We’ll talk more about that in just a few minutes.
Anyway, I proceeded to the fitting rooms to try my new selections on.
Not the shirts, not the jeans, not the jacket. They were all too tight. In fact, the shirts were so bad I couldn’t even bring the buttons together with the buttonholes, and I had a hard time getting my arms in the sleeves.
Now I could see if one shirt was bad, but two? That’s just weird. I’ve worn XL Gap clothes for years and they always had ample room. But not with these shirts. At the first attempt, I thought, “This has to be mis-labeled. ” It felt like a MEDIUM, not an XL. But I took it off, and it was definitely marked an XL.
Dejected, I stood in the fitting room and started at myself, then at the clothes. What was this telling me?
- I wasn’t going to buy anything that day.
- I needed to fix this problem.
How did it get to this? I was doing so well just a year ago. And now I can’t fit into new clothes. How did I fall so fast?
Then I started to feel humiliated. All I wanted to do was get out of there and go home.
So I patiently gathered up my things, brought the clothes back to where I found them, sauntered out of the store, and went straight home.
That’s what happened, and that’s why I was feeling so low that day.
Now, in hindsight, I have a few thoughts:
First, there has to be something amiss with those clothes and the sizes. I could see if they were a little snug, but to be so tight that I couldn’t even bring the buttons together seemed ridiculous. I have never had that happen before, and I’m sorry, but I haven’t gained THAT much weight. In fact, I had a doctor appointment the following Monday, which only proved that to me– I am still well under the weight I was at when I started my workout regime in May 2010.
Second, I don’t usually resort to the tactic of “Vaguebooking” to elicit responses from people… but I felt pretty vulnerable that night. I almost deleted that post shortly after I wrote it, but after the responses started coming in, I actually did feel a lot better. I can’t thank those of you enough that reached out. You helped me greatly.
Third, I have made a promise to myself to get back to the gym once and for all. It’s going to be tough at first, I know; but I did it before and I know I can do it again. I can’t help but think of how well things were going last year and how great I’d look now if I had only stuck with it. So I need to stick to it and keep thinking of the end result. It will come.
Now I need to actually JUST DO IT! Getting started is the hard part. But I know that (second) first day back is coming very soon. It will happen.
And a year from now, who knows… I may be wearing that MEDIUM after all.
But let’s just take things one step at a time.