Even though I’ve been on maintenance since mid-July, I hadn’t yet taken the time to shop for better fitting clothes because I’ve been busy with work and enjoying the beautiful summer weather biking and golfing. But now it’s four days till D-Day and I’m desperate. All of my usual fallback outfits hang on me, making me look like a bag lady. So I reluctantly venture out to my favorite store, Lord and Taylor, because it’s two miles down the road, has free parking, and a huge dress department that I can get in and out of pretty fast.
Shopping has always been a dreaded activity for me as I avoid mirrors at all costs. I peruse the racks and grab a bunch of size 10’s figuring that’s a safe place to start from my usual size 14. After all the scale tells me I'm smaller. As I throw on dress after dress I am filled with anxiety. Do I really look as good as I think I do in this pink dress or am I delusional? I’ve never been able to wear one of these things before.
Usually not pre-disposed to self-doubt, I snap a quick selfie in the mirror and text to the groom's mom, my friend Kar, and then loop in my other friend Leanne. Both have rockin' bods because they're fitness trainers and I know they’ll tell me like it is. A text come back right away.
“Nice but go a size smaller.”
What? I run out to the floor and grab a size 8, throw it over my head, snap another photo and shoot it off.
“Okay better. But go another size smaller.”
Are you kidding me? I run out to the floor again and grab a size 6, and send another text.
“Much better”, they both chime in simultaneously. “Now go back to the floor and get a size 6 in all the other dresses. You are a new woman.”
Wow. I’m shocked. You’re talking to someone who typically has to run out to the floor to grab a BIGGER size not a smaller size — who chooses dresses based on what doesn't look ridiculous over the latest style!
I bring home the flirty, plunging neckline, pink dress but immediately I am plagued by insecurity. Is the dress too sexy, too tight, too short, too plunging, age appropriate? I decide to go back to the store, this time with my friend Lisa to give me an “on the ground” opinion.
As I try on a more classic, navy Ralph Lauren dress Lisa says, “That's it. I love it. Buy it."
Then she adds, "You know Sher, you look great in that pink dress and you could totally do it, but you’re just not ready for it yet. You have to get used to your new body and stop dressing like a big person.”
She was absolutely right. My head needs to catch up with the new me. I’ve spent years strategically camouflaging myself and now I don’t need to.
I bought the classic blue dress and felt comfortable and confident with my choice — form-fitting but not too much and when I looked at the wedding pictures I didn’t cringe.
Shopping used to be painful but maybe now it will be fun. I could get used to this!
Sherry Bruck is a Westchester County resident and Can't Lose Diet client.