One evening for an event, I made the choice to wear the dress I have deemed my "I feel blah" dress. It is a size too big for me, ties in around the waist, and with a nice cardigan I still feel pretty and not stuffed into it. I love this dress; it is my dress version of "stretchy pants" when I need to look nice. I am ok with my extra holiday fluff as it will go away and I will be back to my normal weight after the holidays. I forgive myself for the treats I have had and relax. I am strong in my convictions about my weight and how I feel about my body. At a gathering the universe decided to test just how strong I am.
As I said before, the dress ties in around the waist. The string is sewn in the dress. Pull, cinch, and tie. I pulled and tied a bit to tight because during the evening when I leaned forward in my chair the string broke! There was nothing I could do. In that moment I knew I had two choices: hate my body or hate the dress. I chose to hate the dress. It betrayed me. There is nothing wrong with my body. I had simply tied it too tight and unfortunately moved in just the right way that...snap...my dress now hung on my body like a moo moo. I proceeded with my evening, pulling my cardigan around my body to try and disguise my potato sack dress.
As the evening went on I forgot to focus on keeping my cardigan wrapped around me, it did not have buttons to keep it closed on its own. I was enjoying conversations with friends when the true test of my self esteem came a-knocking. I extended a pleasantry to a woman I know. I gave her a hug and engaged in small talk. She began to congratulate me, going on about how happy she was for me. My husband and I give each a look and it occurred to both of us...SHE THINKS I'M PREGNANT!! Just to be sure I asked her what I did to be congratulated on, maybe I missed something. No, the look on her face said it all. She really thought I was pregnant and my response informed her I was not. She quickly changed the subject to my hair, complimenting me on it, and then darted away from us as soon as she saw a way out.
Here is the moment. The true test to having rebuilt my self esteem. I felt stunned. I have never had that happen before. I turned to my husband, who is an extremely supportive man, and I could see the look of panic on his face. He did not know how I was going to react and he was braced for something. That moment, needless to say, killed my evening and I wanted to go home. We said our goodbyes and left. I was struggling to think rationally. I know I do not look pregnant in clothes that fit me. I had to have repeated this to myself one hundred times on the drive home. My husband did his very best to remind me I am beautiful and it was the dresses fault. Agreed, it was the over sized dress that apparently emphasized the wrong body parts.
I barely walked into the house and I had ripped the dress off my body, cursing at it, and threw it into the trash. I stood staring at my beautiful dress crumpled up in the trashcan and I felt confused. I am body positive. My mission is to spread love for all bodies, yet in that moment I felt a tiny bit of dislike for my body. A tiny bit of anger for eating the cookies. A tiny spark of anger for feeling a spark of anger. I put on the largest shirt I could find and like a child I pouted. Yup, lip out pout.
A few minutes later I was done. I had successfully shaken myself back to normal. There is NOTHING wrong with my body - it WAS the dress. Plus, she should not have assumed I was pregnant. It was a bit rude to openly congratulate me without knowing for sure if a baby was on the way. I learned a lesson from her. I will NEVER assume a woman is pregnant. EVER!! That moment messed up my head for a bit. I was shocked and it took me some time to shake it off, though it also showed me just how far I have come. I am strong. I did not fall apart; instead I fought to build myself back up and remind myself that the assumption had nothing to do with my body and everything to do with a broken dress. That was one hell of a test to prove how strong I am. I hope I passed!
I have since rescued my beloved "I feel blah" dress from the trash. The broken string cannot be fixed but a chunky belt will do the trick and look cuter anyway. I do have plans to wear a form fitting dress at the next event just to squash any rumors that may be milling about. So universe, although I wavered for a moment, I am still proud of my body, and even learned a lesson.