I use memories of past experiences (usually big holidays/ events) to gage my progress in the present. Much like trying on a non-stretch skirt and judging your weight loss by how tight/ loose the skirt feels, I use memories of past events to determine how I’ve changed.
Let me explain--before you think I’ve entered into some abstract philosophical discussion, and you quickly flip to another blog =)
St. Patrick’s Day 2010. It was two weeks before I made that very crucial decision to join Weight Watchers and lose weight. I had moved to Richmond that past September and I was just starting to creep out of my apartment and explore the city, after a long, snowy winter spent mostly alone in my apartment with my cats. I was pale, out of shape, and miserably overweight (probably weighing roughly 240 pounds). I was stuck in a crummy, pseudo relationship with my alcoholic neighbor, and I was forever agonizing about whether he was ready to commit. But I was also hopeful about the future, after all I had survived my first winter alone in a new city, and spring was coming.
My best old college roommate, Adriane, invited me to come out and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with her and some of her female friends. We went to the “Bottom,” which is probably the trendiest part of downtown Richmond, and proceeded to go from a sushi bar to a hip, Irish pub with a line that extended out for several blocks. I remember noticing how all of the girls my age were wearing short skirts or tight jeans with crazy high heels. I recall that I wore my most “flattering” jeans and a sweater with a tank top under it (to camouflage my stomach rolls). Of course, the entire outfit was black—-after all black is slimming, right? Everyone, or so it seemed to me, had done something with their hair and was wearing make-up. I know, for a fact, that I was wearing comfortable, worn loafers and not a bit of make-up.
I felt like the plainest girl in the room.
Maybe because I had become paralyzed by insecurities or maybe because Adriane’s friends weren’t interested in befriending the “ugly duckling” of the crowd, but I was not a smashing social success that night. I hardly talked to anyone and left early, at around 10pm. I remember wishing that one guy would pay attention to me (since they were hitting on the other girls at my table) but no one did. I drove home by myself and went to bed. I remember trying to cheer myself up by thinking, ‘At least you went out on St. Patrick’s Day.’
Fast forward to one year later, St. Patrick’s Day 2011. I’m still friends with Adriane, in fact we are much closer now than we were then, and we’re going out again this year, probably to the Bottom, haha. But this time, we’re going with our other friends, several people that I’ve met and grown close to in the past year. This year, I’m going to wear a pair of skinny jeans, a bright pair of pumps, and some kind of green shirt (I may have to buy one =) Or else, I’ll wear my hippie dress with a pair of boots, haha. While my weight isn’t perfect, and I definitely still have times where I still feel incredibly insecure, I am now only 20-25 pounds overweight, as opposed to 90. Guy wise, I’ve been dating lots of different people in the past year, and while I’m not in an ideal relationship, I can safely say that I’m not hung up on any alcoholic losers this year. I plan to look great, take the bus/ get a ride to the bars, and have a good time.
This year, I’m not going out on St. Patrick’s Day because I feel pressured to be a somewhat cool 20-something-year-old. This year, I’m going out because I want to dress up, spend time with my friends, and DEFINTELY do at least one Irish Car Bomb, no matter what the points are =)
Like the Beatles’ song says (I’ve been obsessed lately), “It’s getting better all the time..better…better…better.”
Or to return back to my original metaphor, the skirt is much more comfortable than it was last March =)