To Shop, Or Not To Shop

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To shop, or not to shop, that is the question: whether ‘tis nobler in the closet to suffer snug garments mocking you or to take the mall and replace them. Maybe that’s a no-brainer. I mean, duh, shopping can be fun! When I have a closet full of clothes; however, which are either stretching within an inch or their lives each time I put them on or are collecting dust, untouched in the “someday this will fit again” section, what do I do?

I find I am torn, my mind and emotions a swirling torrent of conflicting thoughts and feelings, leading me to a confusing midland between shame and acceptance of my body, my self.

Will buying new clothes mean I’ve given up?

Is buying new clothes rewarding weight gain?

Is condemning myself to having nothing to wear cruel punishment for weight gain?

Will buying new clothes make me feel better about myself?

Will feeling good about myself again help me to get back on track?

Do I need to get back on track or should I accept this body?

Is that complacency?

Is it reality?

Am I listening to The Cure too much?

Is the shame I feel perpetuating my depression; is depression perpetuating my shame?

Nine years ago I bought my first two non-plus sized blouses at Dress Barn and I’d felt like I’d climbed Mt. Everest. No longer relegated to the frumpy, tent-like garments passed off as extended-size clothing at that time, I swore I would do what it took to never have to shop outside the ladies department again. Yesterday I faced the reality that I needed plus-sized pants. Knowing I would walk through those doors again was crushing and humiliating, stinging of defeat.

Yet, yesterday, I walked out of Torrid with dress pants and blouses that made me feel pretty, made me feel good about myself, made me feel comfortable. Maybe even made me go home and pack my gym bag for the week. As I flounce around the office today I feel more confident, feel put-together and stylish. I feel like I have a new lease on life, a bit like this rain cloud hovering overhead is dissipating.

I don’t know how to answer all the questions I have but I do know I don’t want to punish myself. I don’t want to feel ashamed. I know there is no such thing as listening to The Cure too much. I know that, no matter what, shame and self-hatred won’t ever serve me – they won’t provoke positive change nor positive feelings. But I don’t know if this is my new reality and I need to find a way to accept it. I don’t know if this is a lull and that I will get back on track with weight loss and drop back out of the plus sizes again. I don’t know if I am complacent or frustrated. I don’t know if these new clothes are transitional or permanent. I know I still have some fight left in me, still have a desire for healthful change. I know I feel really good today and maybe feeling good is, in the end, all that matters. I guess we all just need to stay tuned.

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