Body (un)conscious

Over the past four years my weight has fluctuated hugely. I went from being a bit skinnier than usual when I got married, to enormously pregnant, to post-pregnant with a lot of excess weight that just wouldn’t shift. And now, I’ve lost it all and am fitting into the skinny pants I wore in Costa Rica before I got pregnant. I’m proud of my dedication and discipline, and happy to be back to something approaching normal for me. I also don’t quite believe that I’ve done it.

I’ve never gained weight or had to work to lose it before, and the whole process has been rather dislocating. My body image and my actual body don’t match. Pregnancy requires a conceptual stretch as well as all the physical changes. My body turned into a flesh and blood fertility idol, growing and changing in ways quite outside my control. I found the whole process fascinating and enjoyed the changes. But there’s no denying that it disrupted my usual relationship with myself, detaching me from my body. After Petra was born, I didn’t feel as plump as I really was; and I’ve yet to get used to being slimmer again. I hold up my clothes and have no idea which of them will fit.

And most of them don’t fit. My current clothes are all too big and my old clothes are too old. They’re not the right shape for my new child-bearing hips, or they’re wrong for the climate and my current lifestyle, or they’re out-of-date. I have just over 1kg to lose and once I’ve done that I plan to buy myself a whole new wardrobe. It’s an exciting thought, but a daunting one as well. I usually accrue clothes and end up with an ad hoc accretion of styles. This time, I’m starting from scratch, a stylistic blank slate. Who will I be? What do I want to look like? Where will I find suitable clothes?

I’ll be doing the shopping in a new town, which means that I have no idea which shops will work for me. I’ll just have to wander around aimlessly to see what I can see. One store at a time so that Petra doesn’t get too fed up.

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4 Responses to Body (un)conscious

  1. trayflow says:

    Oooh, exciting. I want to do the same. I have a long way to go though. Then again, I don’t think I can afford an entire wardrobe here in Sydney! My clothes will all be the same…too old, won’t fit, etc. If I remember correctly there was plenty of shopping to be had in Wellington. At least it will be fun to explore. Well done to you. Will that last kilo be tough?

    • Janette says:

      Yes, there are lots of tantalising stores full of stuff by local designers here. I’m really looking forward to getting in them. Clothes aren’t exactly cheap here either, so my new wardrobe will be a small one!
      The last kilo shouldn’t be too bad. I haven’t had much trouble losing weight but maintaining my new weight once that kilo’s gone could be the tricky part – I’ll let you know a couple of months…..

  2. iamroewan says:

    I have that same disconnect between my perceived body image and my actual body shape/size. It’s so weird. When I look into the mirror without clothes on I usually see my old self which is two to three sizes larger than the actual now me! But if I look with clothes on (the ones that fit the current me) I see the real me…er, I think it’s the real me…hmmm…

    • Janette says:

      Now that you mention it, that’s part of my problem as well. I look at myself naked in the bathroom mirror and see a plump person with squishy bits. But I saw myself fully-clothed in a shop mirror yesterday and saw someone much slimmer. Maybe it’s because we tend to look at the flaws when we’re naked – I zero in on my post-baby belly – and miss the whole picture….

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