So it’s been a year and just about a month since I had LAP-Band™ surgery. I’m starting to feel a lot better about my body, even despite some setbacks. Because of this, I’m beginning to express my comfort in my own skin through the clothing I wear. I’ve written a bit about this before after I wore a certain dress to a convention last October, but I wanted to discuss this aspect of my weight loss journey in more detail. I suppose it’s a way for me to celebrate the change—and yes, if I’m really honest with myself, I’m showing off a bit. My apologies, but, well, I’m excited! And I hope someone out there is excited with me!
Also, I’m a costumer. I love having an excuse to talk about clothes!
I thought I would do this by comparing and contrasting how I used to dress with how I’m dressing these days. When I was heavier, I did what many people do when they weigh more than they wish to: I did what I could to minimize the parts of my body with which I was unhappy. This usually involved ankle-length A-line skirts, and shirts that would emphasize my cleavage (which was and still is glorious) so as to distract from the size of my stomach. I was (and still am) very, very proud of my hair, so it was often a key feature of any ensemble I put together. Actually, for years, I thought it was my only good feature.
Taken in 2009. Estimated weight: 260 pounds
Or sometimes I decided that, if I couldn’t pull off the way I wanted to dress (more on that in a minute), I would instead strive to be elegant instead.
Taken in 2008. Estimated weight: 285 pounds
This still involved ankle-length A-line skirts because I just freaking LOVE ankle-length A-line skirts, and I usually paired these with some nicer shirts and some of my fancier jewelry.
(Incidentally, that second photo is a good example of what I’m talking about when I mention how supportive and loving my husband is, no matter how much I weigh. Aren’t we disgustingly adorable? Apologies for the saccharine—I couldn’t find any photos for this post in my library that were of just me.)
So these photos are good examples of how I’ve been dressing…since I was a teenager, actually. Minus the skirts. I didn’t begin wearing skirts full-time until 2007, which was actually not a style choice I made because I was ashamed of my weight. I stopped wearing pants because skirts are just more comfortable and more fun.
But so I think I was starting to feel comfortable in my body at one point—I can’t honestly remember, as that was well over a decade ago—and then I started to put on weight pretty rapidly, and there went that idea. Also, I was limited in what I could wear as a teenager partially because I was just too young for how I wanted to dress (I am definitely a sexual being, and have been since the age of seven, believe it or not), and partially because I had no disposable income of my own.
But even through all of that, I knew how I wanted to dress. I just never felt comfortable dressing that way, even given the opportunity to do so. That is starting to change.
This is a promo photo I use for making posters for my band.
Faeries and dragons and bards, oh my!
In it I am wearing one of my all-time favorite outfits, which is an evolved version of an outfit I created back when I was heavier and could still wear corsets. It is gothy and stripy and full of attitude. It includes a short skirt, tights that draw the eye right to my legs, and a shirt that is pretty form-fitting that accentuates my curves. Yes! This is exactly the sort of thing that thirteen year-old me was chomping at the bit to be able to get away with wearing. I can feel her in me somewhere crowing with joy every time I get to wear this ensemble in public.
I’m also beginning to surprise myself with what I feel comfortable wearing these days. Here, for example, is an outfit I threw together the other day with random things in my closet.
Where the hell did that come from?
That is officially the shortest skirt I’m willing to wear in public. Also, you can tell I totally love those boots.
And lastly, this dress is something I never thought I would be able to get away with wearing.
It should be noted that by “get away with” I mean “personally feel comfortable wearing”. Also, thank you, Misty, for the dress!
But dammit if I don’t pull that garment off pretty damn well indeed.
I would say that those photos are examples of the “new me”, but really, they aren’t. They’re examples of me finally being able to embrace the sense of style that I’ve had since forever ago, but have never before been able to, for one reason or another. Being able to do that is so nice. I still love my long, flowy skirts, and I think I always will. I can’t wait to get all of those old friends down out of my closet and alter them so they actually fit again, in fact. But I’m starting to feel like I can finally be myself. I can’t even begin to describe to you what a relief that is. I’m actually a bit in disbelief that this is happening.
And this whole entry is actually a dual celebration. Yes, I’m celebrating my ability to dress myself in a way that I’ve always wanted to, as I said above—but I’m also celebrating the fact that I’m just so happy with my bariatric surgery results. As they say, the grass is always greener on the other side, and there was actually a pessimistic part of me that was worried I would go through the surgery and the weight loss and still be miserable. But I am worrying about that less and less as time goes on, because I’m just finding more and more reasons to celebrate all of these changes.
So here’s to milestones, and here’s to self-expression. I’ve been acutely aware of both lately, and I thank you for listening as I cheer profusely about them.