This is a story worth telling. So, a number of months ago I had lost enough weight where I crossed a celebratory milestone. I no longer fit into Plus-sized clothes. Nope. Too Big. Say WHAT?? Yea, you heard me – I was now a normal size 16!! Oh yea, Balloons and Streamers are falling from the sky like confetti!! It’s THAT big a deal! You with me ladies?? Oh yea.
Once I returned the Plus-size jeans back to their racks, in the Women’s department of the store, which is hidden in the back corner of the second floor — past the pots and pans and bed linens…..cuz, um – us fat chicks need to be hidden away when we shop, ya know? Ugh. The shame and the pain runs deep. But I digress….
Anyway, once I returned the Plus-sized jeans to their rack, I stood there frozen for a moment thinking…”What do I do now?” I slowly walked to the escalator, to climb my way back out of the attic where they hide us Plus-size ladies….and re-enter the mainstream store….wandering aimlessly. Now where do I buy my jeans, and WoW, this store is really BIG down here. A whole new world had opened up to me that day, literally.
I picked up some clothes, “sized them up” , but in my mind’s eye…they looked too small. Nope. Just looked too small. No way I’m gonna fit my leg in there. I dropped them back to the rack, and got outta that store as fast as my Size 16 legs could take me. I found myself half-way through the Freehold Mall before I slowed down, calmed down, and made myself realize…”Um, Diane….you are gonna have to try on some of these normal sized clothes…even if it hurts ya.” Ugh. I was scared.
Scared? Yea, scared. I had worked so hard to “lose” my way out of those Plus-sized clothes….I had gleefully shrunk from 2X, to 1X, to 0X, from 22W, past 20W, 18W, 16W, until finally even 14W was too big. And what’s with the W anyway. Like 14Wide! Yo, Caution — Wide load coming through. It’s supposed to be W for Women, but hey – aren’t we all Women, regardless of our size? That W is a badge of shame….just ask any of us shopping upstairs in the attic. Oh, but maybe you shouldn’t, cuz we’re all walking around in shame up there, hiding in plain sight, trying not to be noticed, fighting for the last shirt available WITHOUT the ginormous floral print. Floral print……man. Could they make it any worse for us? I mean, all we did was eat a little too much. That’s all….Even the prison inmates get stripes. At least stripes are somewhat flattering. Maybe the prison inmates should wear the floral print. THAT’s real punishment. Really.
Ok, ok, I digress again…..So. I stop in the center of Freehold Mall, and my eye catches the Lucky Jeans Store. Hmm. I know that store. My daughters have a few pairs of their jeans. My mind moves past the panic run it was just on – and delicately touched a new idea……”um, do you think we might fit those Lucky Jeans?” Hmmm. Just then, in that moment….the thought of actually buying a pair of jeans that I might LIKE, tickled my brain. No, no, not just buy a pair that SORTA FITS. Nope,,,,,actually buy a pair that I LIKE. Wow. In that split second, I gathered up all my courage, and walked toward the Lucky Jeans Store. I’m going in!! Game on!!
Ok, you’ve seen the people who work in these places. They are YOUNG. And THIN. Not just the skinny kind of THIN, I mean the HUNGRY-kind of THIN. I’m standing inside the world of THIN and I don’t even know if their BIGGEST size will fit me. It was S.C.A.R.Y.!!!! Just then, a nice, older, and dare I say, not-HUNGRY looking woman approached me and said the magic words…”Can I help you?” I couldn’t contain myself. I reached out and touched her hand. Something I NEVER do. I said to her in one long, continuous breath, but very soft whisper voice…like I had the biggest secret in the world.... “Hi,Ok, here is my deal I’ve lost 75 pounds, and I don’t even know my size or if these jeans will even fit me, but I really really want to try. Can you help me?” And I waited. For her to say something. Or to laugh. Like, “Diane…your name is Diane, right? Look Diane…..THIS is the world of THIN. You can’t possibly believe YOU belong in THIS world, can you?” But I just waited….for what happened next.
First….the smile came and then…she held my hands in hers and started to celebrate me. I was overwhelmed with emotion. She said, in a reciprocating whisper voice…, “Well congratulations! 75 pounds, wow, good for you!” And well,..we were off to the races. She took me to her favorite pair of jeans, the ones with the most forgiving stretch. YES! Who knew that stretch existed in the world of THIN. They were dark denim, my favorite. She gave me the biggest size, which was 16. Just 16. No W? I swallowed…HARD. I was out in the big world without my W. She walked me to the try on stalls, and the moment of truth was at hand.
Well, I left that store with my first pair of Lucky Jeans that day. They were tight at first, but I bought them KNOWING that 5 pounds would do the trick, and 5 pounds WERE coming off no matter what. I’ve been wearing those jeans with a sense of pride since that day, and so much good has happened to me, and to my self –confidenace since then. I’ve tried on a lot of clothes in the so-called normal departments. Some fit, some don’t. Sizes on the tags don’t matter much in the Misses department, any more than they mattered in the Woman’s department. You have to try on things to find what flatters. And clothes can look just as good or just as badly on you when you are a 16, as when you are a 16W…..the only difference being that the flowers are a lot smaller… 🙂
I noticed something today stitched inside the zipper of my lucky Jeans. It’s been there all along, but for whatever reason, I hadn’t noticed it until today, OR my mind just didn’t accept it until today. Stitched inside the zipper area of my jeans are the words “Lucky Me”. Huh? I’m not sure why those words were put there. I’m not certain what those words are supposed to mean to me. All I know is what they made me feel today. Those words resonate with me now. I DO feel Lucky. I am lucky to have my health back. I’m lucky to have such a strong heart beating in my chest. I’m lucky to have spring back in my step. I’m lucky to have such compassionate funny daughters who fill me with pride every day. I’m lucky to have the love and affection of such a good man as Peter. I’m lucky to have such a wonderful role model in my mother, and the luck continues as she is healthy and strong and happy. I’m lucky to have such a wonderful family, and a small but wonderful circle of friends whom I adore.
But I’m also smart enough to know…that we make our own luck in life. It doesn’t sprinkle down from the heavens, and it certainly doesn’t come from a pair of jeans. Luck comes from within. We make our own luck. It comes from having a spirit full of gratitude AND the willingness to work hard. Work on your relationships. Word on your dreams. Work on your health. Work on your happiness. Work on what matters in life. All the work pays off, and in certain chosen, yet precious moments, the work aspect appears to magically fade away, and it leaves you with only Joy and Gratitude.
Soon…you will find yourself saying….Lucky Me. And everything Good that fills your life will seem like a Gift.
Ciao for now…..Diane