Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Red Is My Signature Color



So what does the color red have to do with all of this weight loss surgery and getting healthy? Practically everything. Not too long ago I refused to buy any clothing that was red. I refused to buy clothing that was stylish and sexy. My "wardrobe" consisted of cheap jeans and ugly Wal-Mart fat lady t-shirts. When shopping for clothes I bought the simplest things that were least likely to draw attention to me.

Why? Because that's all I felt I deserved. I was fat, ugly, worthless. Cute clothes were not meant for people like me. They were for better people. People that were vibrant and fit and beautiful...all the things I was not. I didn't deserve to wear cute clothes. And, I didn't want to wear anything that wold draw peoples attention to me. I just knew that if I dared to wear things like that people would look at me and think how ridiculous I looked and that I shouldn't bother trying to be attractive. There was just no point.

I have come a long way over the years. My journey is not nearly complete, but I look back and see where I was, and I'm so happy I'm not there anymore. I'm still overweight. I'm still taking drastic measures to lose that weight and get in shape. But mentally, I'm in a much better place than I've been in many, many years.

I'm not sure how I did it, how I changed my mindset. I think the first step was admitting to not only myself but my husband, and then some close family and friends that I felt that way. Hearing their shocked reactions and having them tell me how ridiculous that was began a long journey for me. A journey to freedom from the physical and mental hell I had been living in.

I began to work through the issues that had caused this state of self loathing. I not only admitted the abuse that I suffered, but I began to come to terms with it. I began to step out of my shell, even when it scared the hell out of me. I began to gradually change my wardrobe, adding in little touches of style and flare. I even became bold enough to buy red. And amazingly something began to happen that had not happened for years. People began to complement me. What!!?? Compliment ME?! Seriously? I was amazed that it was even possible for people to have positive thoughts about my, let alone voice them out loud. Was it possible? Could it be that I could be somewhat normal? Could it be that I could be somewhat attractive?

I began to change. I threw out my old ugly, frumpy t-shirts. I started buying cute panties and sexy bras. I began wearing red and sequins and things that showed off my cleavage (just a peak...nothing too trashy. LOL) And I began to feel like people noticed me. And while it was uncomfortable and foreign at first, I began to enjoy feeling....normal. For a while I became comfortable in my own skin. I began to enjoy being me. At least more than I had before.

But there was still a lot wrong. I was still suffering from boughts of sever depression. The funny thing was that now that I'd had a taste of "normal" I wasn't willing to go back to the sad, dark, lonely place I had lived in for so long. Two years ago, I finally said, "ENOUGH"! I went to my doctor and finally admitted that I was depressed and I needed help. Diagnosis? Severe Chronic Clinical Depression. Treatment? Most likely a lifetime of anti-depressants and anxiety meds. Reaction? Bring it on, I'm sick of living this way. I'll take whatever I have to in order to get out of this pit of despair. I even went to therapy for a while to talk it all out.

So here I am two yeas later, still doing my best to dress cute...well most days. Is till enjoy my jeans and t-shirts...they are just more stylish and flattering now...most of the time. I must admit I still enjoy my comfy frumpy clothes sometimes. But I tend to mostly wear those at home. I manage quite often to get compliments on my appearance. I even wear makeup on a semi-regular basis. I got myself to a point where I actually like...and love...myself.

And learning to love myself is what led me to where I am now. I'm able to finally admit that I can't do this on my own. I admit my weaknesses. I have learned to recognize in myself the way that I sabotage all efforts to lose weight. Because while I enjoy being complimented on my appearance at times, I know that I still hide myself inside this fat suit. I just dress the suit up better than I used to. So looking cute in my fat suit has just been a bandaid to the real problem. And the real problem is my weight and my health. I won't be fully healed until I can remove this fat suit, this security blanket, this barrier between me and the outside world and feel comfortable that way.

I'm nervous about it. I'm afraid of what it will be like to be thin and pretty. I'm a little scared of the attention it might bring from men especially. But I have to face this fear. I can't let fear rule my life. I can't let fear hold me back from being true to myself and living my dreams. There are so many things that I don't do anymore because I'm fat. I'm terrified to fly because I don't want to be told that I have to pay for two seats. While I've become more bold in amusement parks and have actually dared to ride some of the rides, I've avoided some of the ones I really want to ride because I know there's no way my big butt will fit in them. And while I dress much better than I did before, I still can't buy some of the things I really want because they just don't make them in my size. And if they do...it just wouldn't be fair to torture people by wearing them.

So I'm facing my fears. I AM GOING TO LOSE THIS WEIGHT. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that thought. Diving into the WLS community is helping me so much!! I am learning from others who have started this journey ahead of me. They are teaching me what pitfalls to avoid, what precautions to take. They are sharing their trials and struggles both physical and mental. I know there is a good chance that I may end up back in therapy through all of this. I may end up on a couch begging for help in accepting what this new me will bring. But if that's what it takes, then that's what I'll do.

Why? Because I've learned that I'm worth it. My family is worth it. I've spent years being less that I wanted to be for myself, my children, and my husband. I'm ready to fly. I'm ready to ride the biggest roller coaster in the park. I'm ready to say yes and seek adventure rather than hide in my fat suit and make excuses.

Bottom line: I've learned to love myself. I've learned that cute clothes, an active lifestyle, and red are not just meant for the "others" the ones that are "better" than me. Because I'm better than I gave myself credit for. I'm just as worthy of a happy and beautiful life as anyone else on this planet. So red is now my signature color. The color I refused to buy for so many years because it was for those "other" kinds of people. Red clothes, red shoes, red jewelry, red lipstick. I own them all now. I've given myself permission at this size, at this point in my life to wear red and love it! Now, I'm giving myself permission to step out of the fat suit and into the life I really want!

2 comments:

Kitty said...

Hi Michelle - my first visit here. Good luck with your surgery - I see you have a date! woo-woo!

I'll check in on ya.
:)

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