Since high school, I have been a hair, nails, and makeup person. I take care to style my hair, have nice nails (and sometimes have acrylics put on), and "do" my face when I leave the house.
When I was obese, I was especially careful with all of this, and I also accessorized with jewelry and scarves and handbags. I would never, ever leave the house without makeup or hair done. I would get my nails done every two weeks. My clothes were always nice and fashionable, even if they were size 16s or 18s or 20s.
When I lost weight in 2007, I started relaxing the high standard of beauty I put upon myself. I'd put my hair in a pony tail and run to the store, without makeup. I didn't need acrylic nails anymore either. I gave away a ton of handbags that clogged my closet.
When the fat melted away, I felt like I didn't have to hide behind the glitter anymore.
There's nothing wrong at all with looking good and taking care with your appearance. I still do. I have always worked outside the home, and that is the biggest reason why I had to look the way I did, no matter my size.
But it was different when I was obese. I felt like the only thing I could make look good were the decorations.
I guess I tried to tell the world "I really do care about what I look like... I just have this small obesity problem, but please overlook my body and only pay attention to my great hair and makeup and nails and sparkly jewelry."
Because my body looked so horribly disgusting.
Yes, that's how I felt about my body. Disgusting. I cried and cried when I was in size 20s after Luke's birth. In the fall of 2005, I weighed what NFL linebacker's weigh.
When I was cleaning out a bathroom drawer a few weeks ago (part of my ongoing declutter movement) I found an old notebook that had my weight recorded from 11/13/2005 - 10/12/2006.
I weighed 224 pounds on 11/13 (a week after Luke's birth). I still weighed 200 pounds 7 months later on 6/22/06. I weighed 190.5 on 11/12/2006.
I even have measurements, I think from a WW book. I measured the body parts they listed (no chest, don't know why) . In May 2006 when I weighed 205 pounds they were:
Upper arm: 15"
Waist (1" above belly button): 42"
Hips: 49" (this is not my saddle bag area...this is hip area, about a hand length below waist)
Right thigh: 27.5"
I also recorded my measurements in February 2008, when I weighed 153 pounds:
Upper arm: 11.5"
Right thigh: 21.5"
History, that most of you know already--
I started blogging in April 2006.
I started LA Weight Loss in February 2007 at 207 pounds.
I weighed 155 pounds by September 2007.
I hit my lowest weight of 146 in October 2008, but settled back up to 150-155 in early 2009.
I gained back 30 pounds over two years.
I've lost 15 pounds in 2011, and have another 20+ to go.
As my body got/gets smaller, I fell like I have less to compensate for.
When I got to 186 this year, I didn't run out and buy sparkly jewelry (although I did have acrylic nails put on once last year and again this year.... I haven't had them for a couple months now. They are just too much time to keep them up). I'll leave the house without makeup to run errands and not care.
This time, with the weight gain, I didn't feel the need to hide behind glitter, because even though I was technically back in the obese category, I didn't FEEL obese again. I felt like it was temporary, and I would be fixing it and not living it much longer.
I love simple clothes and simple makeup and simple jewelry. When I got thin, I simplified all those things. I only wear my wedding rings and a right-hand sapphire ring Mark & the kids bought for me for my 40th birthday. I wear the same faux-diamond studs everyday; they were a Mother's Day gift in 2009. Sometimes I wear the necklace my mom and dad got me for my 40th--a silver flower with diamonds on a delicate sliver chain.
Not all my clothes are simple, but my favorite ones are. I once read that you shouldn't wear what clothing designers create; you should wear what clothing designers wear. Simple, classic, flattering (and usually black, haha).
When I got thin, I didn't have to adorn myself to compensate, because the body I presented to the world didn't need it.
I am not thin yet; I am still overweight. But I look much better and feel much better at this weight. My XL t-shirts are too big now, and my jeans are falling off of me (a lot of spandex in these babies). My size 14 clothes are comfortably loose. I expect to be back in 12s when I reach 165 pounds, which is what I weighed last year in October (I had to buy size 12s to wear to my dad's funeral).
My weight loss this time has been slow and steady. I'm averaging 3-4 pounds a month, and that's mostly on diet changes alone since my exercise has been sporadic to nonexistant this summer (which is not OK and I am going to change).
I am looking forward to shopping in my storage bins and son's closet (where my smaller clothes are) as I continue to lose weight.
I still love great shoes and handbags, and I am still particular about my hair and makeup, but I don't feel the need to overcompensate or hide behind them any more.