It just occurred to me fleetingly today that Dec. 26th is a milestone day for me that I've taken for granted for several years now, ever since I began maintaining a loss of over 100 pounds. Today I want to step back and recognize the day for what it is: A good, unexceptional day.
Before I lost weight, it wasn't like that. Dec. 26th was ****. That's because it was the day when I had to return Christmas gifts I'd opened the day before -- all the clothes that I got from my mother and grandmother and aunt that didn't fit me, the clothes that were too small because they'd bought the size that fit me the year before, and I'd gained weight, or because they estimated my size, but I was bigger than that, or because I'd told them what size I was currently, and I was going by the biggest items in my wardrobe still marked with that size.
So Christmas day was a day of opening gifts, and finding really pretty clothes, that loved ones had looked hard to find for me, and always feeling my happiness cut through with unease and shame, because I worried that they wouldn't fit.
Then, after all the gifts were open, I'd go up to my bedroom with my new clothes, still bristling with tags (because everyone knew how often stuff needed to be returned) and I'd try on the clothes. And so many were tight or unflattering, and were nowhere near fitting me correctly ... so all my happiness and that good Christmas warmth and the promise of a flattering new outfit drained away from me slowly, as item by item landed on my bed in the "return" pile. And I was looking at another sad shopping trip.
On that trip, after having to return the item (my shame at saying, "No, it's fine, it just didn't fit" to the petite saleswomen, who, I was sure, looked me up & down thought "I can see why it wouldn't"), then scavenging among the mayhem of picked-over stuff to find the item in a bigger size and the same color -- which I rarely could manage. Particularly when my return was in the biggest size they stocked.
And then the serial humiliation in the dressing room, trying on the replacement items, always in a bigger size, sometimes two sizes bigger, and finding they still didn't look right, and that what was cute on the rack or on a normal-size person looked very, very wrong on a body shaped like mine.
And the tears ... sopped up, of course, by marked-down Christmas food items, because how can you go wrong with 50% off?
Well, that's over now. When I tell someone my size, that's exactly what my size is. It doesn't vary much from year to year. What fit me last winter fits me this winter. And if something doesn't fit, it's more likely to be slightly too big. You know what? I can live sometimes comfortably in slightly too big, in a way that I never could with slightly too small.
So I am giving praise & thanks that this Dec. 26th in no way resembles the Dec. 26th of Christmas past.
And sharing this here, hoping it resonates with some of you.
And for others of you ... This is what it could be like for you, too. So you can do other, happier things on Dec. 26th. And you don't have to show up in a store unless you want to, maybe because you are trying to fill out a new, cute wardrobe for your smaller body.
I wish this for everyone.