The Right Fit

Oh where to start.

Apparently, I am done with school now for the next several months. Unless some of my classmates can convince my program that we should take clinical skills with another group of students up in Wausau. Which wouldn’t be bad. Or unless the program decides we can go ahead and start practicum a few months early. Which also wouldn’t be bad. But if those things don’t happen, then …

School’s Out For Summer!

In other news, I went and visited N’s adorable horse this weekend, which gave me a fierce case of hives. So miserable was I that I rolled around in the grass for a while before we left. I’m sure that helped. You know how it is when your allergies are so bad and you are so anguished because your face is so puffy and you can’t breathe and you itch and snot is in places it shouldn’t be that you just start becoming irrational so you do things like roll around in hay? You don’t? Well, clearly something is wrong with you. 

But the point of me telling you all that is that I wore, for the first time in months, the goddamned Right Fit Jeans from Lane Bryant out to the barn.

I pulled them out of the dresser, trying to figure out what to wear. Because I don’t have an entire wardrobe of barn clothes. Shocking, I know. First I put on some crappy Old Navy jeans in a size 22 that are so low rise they show even my bikini underwear. I felt crappy in the crappy Old Navy jeans and so I ditched them, and dug around in my dresser for something else that I didn’t wear ever, and came up with the right fits, which are Blue 4.

I had held so much hope for the Right Fits. When I first bought them, I thought they were the miracle jean. Finally, Lane Bryant had realized that a 31 inch inseam was a crappy compromise in the jeans department. The averages were a nice 33 inches, perfect for me and my 5’9″ height. The waist didn’t gape, but it was a bit tight — I normally like my waists loose so I don’t have my belly bulge over, what I’ve heard other fatties refer to as “the dreaded muffin top” phenonmenon. The thighs fit well. The color was a bit too dark, and there wasn’t any whiskering or fading built in. But all in all, I was ready to move forward into the promised land of perfectly-fitting jeans.

Unfortunately, the waist stayed very tight, while everything else got freakin’ HUGE. The pants stretched ginormously, until I felt like I was wearing a skirt with legs. Palazzo pants, in denim. And I was really self conscious about the waist: It fit so well, that it was clear how far my hips came out from my waist. I needed the fabric of the hips to girdle my actual flesh hips. This was my perception. I washed and dried them numerous times; I have this theory about Lane Bryant pants, which is that they don’t come pre-shrunk — every time I’ve found a perfect pair of pants there, they become imperfect the second they come out of the drier. I’ve spent years not drying pants as a result. I threw those Right Fits in the drier three times, back to back.

No luck. They were resilent, and stretched each time. There was no way I could go down to a Blue 3, because the waist was already so goddamned tight. I pranced back into Lane Bryant and tried on a Yellow and a Red. Maybe I really wasn’t a pear shape. Maybe somehow I was a Triangle or an Hourglass. Maybe I had thought of my body all wrong all these years. I mean, I was a pear, I thought, but not an obvious pear. I was a pear in STEALTH! Maybe, just maybe, I could sneak by the Lane Bryant clerks with their measuring tapes and crazy new sizes and re-shape my body into an hourglass or triangle by wearing a yellow 3 or red 5. Maybe I would do just that! Ha!

And so I marched into Lane Bryant defiantly, intending on doing so. Everyone else was screaming of the miracle of right fit jeans. Why couldn’t I? Maybe I just needed a different color, a different shape. When the clerk approached me as I gazed over the yellow triangles, staring my hips down, I told her I was doing just fine, Thank You Very Much. I then walked over to the Red section, and grabbed more pairs. I looked disdainfully on the blues. No more pearishness for me, thank you. Good bye blues.

I got into the dressing room, and tried on the yellows. And discovered the thighs didn’t fit right. The waist was too big. There was room for a belly where I didn’t have one. Maybe if I wore the jeans backwards to accommodate my ass, they would have been better. Unfortunately, the era of Kriss Kriss is long gone.

I then tried on the reds. These were better, but they fit just like a regular pair of jeans. I mean, OK, but not, you know, great. It wasn’t like the clouds parted and an angel descended into the dressing room, singing Hallelujah!, golden coronet blaring. They were, well, meh.

Defeated, I left.

I went on and wore my wide leg trouser jeans that I had gotten from Lane Bryant; I am a big fan of the trouser jeans and wide leg jeans. They offset the hips, don’t you know? Also, I fancy myself a bit of a bohemian at times, and I walk around with various 70s tunes in my head, such as “I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates …” just to make myself feel I fit the part. I mean, I don’t really, but we all like to pretend we are something we really aren’t, don’t we?

Recently, as I mentioned here, I’ve been pulling out my old “fat clothes” and trying them on for size. When I lost some weight at the introduction of a new cRaZy pill, I started stuffing myself, sausage like, into smaller pants. I go back and forth in my body image perceptions. Sometimes, I genuinely view myself in this way: Wearing smaller clothes makes me appear smaller. And then sometimes, wearing larger clothes makes me appear smaller.

I guess “view” isn’t the right word. SEE would likely be more appropriate. At times, the dysmorphism I carry with me is so endemic I cannot see myself for how I truly appear, and I cannot see others for how they truly appear. Terribly thin people appear normal, I appear monstrous. Other fat people appear thinner than I. I am always the hugest. Sometimes, I can’t tell how fat I am unless I look in a mirror. I feel like my whole world view is reflected in a series of fun-house mirrors. I never see anything in truth.

This was most poignantly illustrated to me when I looked at my wedding photos in 2004. When I saw them for the first time, just the candid shots, I saw myself as hideous, grotesque, fat, disgusting. I thought: You are the most vile, beastly, ghastly human being on the planet. How could you have let yourself get this way? What is wrong with you? Who could love you? You are ugly personified.

And I spiraled into a horrible period of disordered eating and exercising. I did not look at myself in a mirror, full on, for a year. I did not lose any weight despite my best efforts.

See, what had happened was my body had gotten tired of the dieting and ED game I had been playing for years. It had crapped out. And then I got diagnosed with bipolar disorder and put on psych meds. It was the end of losing weight for me. Once you’re on an antipsychotic, you’re on the fat train express.

I decided I’d better learn to accept myself. This was it. Fat and crazy.

When I started getting better about how I looked, I looked at those wedding pictures again. And I realized I didn’t look so bad. Not so fat. Not so ugly. I just looked like me.

That’s kind of what happened with the Right Fit jeans. I put them on, and N said, “You look cute. Are those new jeans?” I explained that they weren’t, that I didn’t like how baggy they had been, how the waist to hip ratio made me look fat and how I was self-conscious about it. Pulling out all my old fat clothes, though, because I’ve been more into comfort, more into how I feel in clothes, had slightly changed my perception about the jeans. About me. Not just slightly. More like, immensely.

I’ve reclaimed my pear shape. The waist isn’t so bad after all. It isn’t so tight. The legs aren’t horrendously baggy. The length is still perfect. The ass does fit well, which is great. They are quite comfortable. They fit who I am now, which is a hell of a lot more accepting of what I look like, in reality, rather than who I think I should look like, or who my dysmorphia tells me I look like. I’m not shoving myself into jeans and pants that fit someone else’s body, for once. Which means, in a certain way, I’m learning to love my own.



  1. Brigid Keely said,

    April 7, 2008 at 12:23 pm

    I’m glad you’re solving some of your clothing/size issues.

    I do want to note that the red right fit jeans fit me better than “regular” jeans (the pockets don’t gape open, for instance, even while the waist band is loose) but the upper thigh is weirdly tight and then the knees are loose and baggy. Obvs. I need to make friends with a seamstress or learn to sew. Oh, and also, the butt sags out after about an hour of wearing them.

    Oh well! Feeling good in your clothing is a remarkable accomplishment and I’m glad you’re there. Loving yourself rocks and rocks hard. Keep on that road. 🙂

  2. Karen said,

    April 7, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    I’m so glad you’re finding jeans that fit! Putting on something that actually fits is one of the awesome feelings in the world. That said, I need to bone up my sewing skills because finding clothes that fit is like a needle in a haystack. You may be searching for an embroidery needle and I may get to look for one of those big plastic kids’ needles, but its still a needle in a haystack to find something that fits.

    I’m really tired of clothes that don’t fit.

  3. Harriet said,

    April 8, 2008 at 5:54 am

    Lovely post. Thank you.

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