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the right shape for my new child-bearing hips, or they’re wrong for the climate and my current lifestyle, or they’re out-of-date.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.