The Depth of my Periphery

There’s something that I notice everywhere I go – other women.

No, I’m not changing my sexual orientation. I simply have become hyper-aware of the bodies of the women around me. When I was fat, I noticed all of the thin women that surrounded me. I was always convinced that I was the biggest gal in any room. I was the fattest chick walking into the bakery. I was the heaviest heifer in the fashion shop.

To some extent, I still feel this way. Whereas my formerly size 22/24 self could never find my size in a clothing store, I now have the same problem finding sizes 12/14. It seems to be always sold out. The reason? It’s an AVERAGE size.

I’m average.

Of course, that’s a GREAT thing to be when it comes to weight. I never wanted to be the skinniest girl. I never wanted to be recognised for my body, even if the recognition was good. I have spent a lot of my adult life afraid of getting attention based on my body. Of course, I have deep personal experiences that led to this fear, but at the heart of all things has been a lack of celebration of my BODY.

So now that I am prouder of how I look, I find myself looking at other women to try and find similar body types to myself. I try and look for women who dress well and accentuate their positives in the hope that I could find my own positives to accentuate. My husband is indispensible in this regard. He’s only too happy to ogle pretty women in the name of making me feel better.

What I’ve found is that there are SO many differences in us ladies that it is impossible to find your body twin.

A recent realisation struck me while having a discussion with a colleague. I found out that we wear the same size! But the difference is this: she’s just gone up a size, whilst I’ve just gone down a size.

How does this affect us? Her weight gain makes for a much firmer body than my weight loss. Whereas I’ve lost fat (hurrah!) and therefore become somewhat more jiggly, she’s gained fat (boo!) and yet only the size changed – not the skin.

It’s a strange realisation when you think that surely it should be the other way around. If I’m getting skinnier, how come I look like a fatter and flabbier size 12 than my colleague who has put on 7 lbs in the last two months? It seems unfair. Especially when we show up to work in the same dress, and her body looks amazing, and I feel lumpy and unpleasant.

I wouldn’t trade my new body for anything. Unless of course it’s a tighter and smaller new body. J But it does make you think about how hard it is to compare yourself to others.

Even my mother, who had gastric bypass and had almost identical body type to mine and lost pretty much the same amount of weight looks completely different to me.

So how do I figure out how to dress for MY body type?

The truth is that there’s no such thing as a body type. My body is mine and there isn’t another like it. What works for me isn’t going to work for the next girl. And the styles I choose for myself may not belong in the pages of Vogue. But I will wear what makes me feel good. What allows me to look in the mirror without wincing.

Men may objectify me. Women may judge me. But I CAN feel good about how I look without being stuck up, vain and arrogant.

Life is too short to worry about everyone else. Today I will worry about me.

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