Thanks to everyone who read and responded to my wild "weight loss" rant. Thanks to everyone who reminded me that others have bigger and more life threatening issues. You're right, I have a lot to be thankful for.
As an update, I tried again on Saturday and to my surprise, I found a beautiful and professional 14/16 dress for only $9.99. The victory is that this is my first time buying a 14/16 since about 12 years old. (I've been in this weight battle a long time).
I thought about what really made me upset. The shopping experience shattered the image of myself that I allowed myself to believe for years. I convinced myself that I wasn't as big as I was. When I see myself now, I don't really see weight loss because in my delusional mind....I was always the size I am now. I think the shopping experience really made me face what I've done to my body. And when you really look it in the eye, it is really hard!!!
As a larger woman, I avoided mirrors and allowed myself to believe that I was still the size I was in HS. It was large but not as large as I actually was. The reality is sobering.
The good thing is that I've committed to change. I'm no longer a 24. I can jog slightly. And while I bought a 14/16 dress it has alot of stretchy material. But I'm close....really close. I've tried other 16s and they've fit. I am still claiming an 18 for now because it is more comfortable. But I'm making progress and for that.....I'm grateful.