Saturday, May 1, 2010


I have decided that modern-day shapewear is nothing short of magical.

Most of my adult life, I would do anything to avoid wearing nylons or tights--and they're pretty hard to find in a bricks-and-mortar store when you are size 3X or higher. Now I can buy them anywhere (sometimes with coupons!), and while I'm always glad to get out of them, they don't bother me nearly as much as they once did.

I have never liked clothing that was tight, fitted, or even semi-fitted. As I lose weight, I am becoming more comfortable with wearing clothes that actually fit--yet I still can't escape the recovering-bulimic voice in my head that says, "You need a bigger size. Hide. Hide. HIDE!!!! A tent with a hole for your head, that's what you need! You can't wear that in public! People will be able to make out the cellulite in your abdomen through the shirt!" and so forth. Sometimes she calls me the Baroness of Back Fat or some other sweet nothing. (I just now realized that the recovering-bulimic voice is a total bitch who just needs to chug a huge cup of shut the hell up.)

As time goes on, my skin is getting looser--the fat that remains is kind of moving around in there with room to spare. (I had to stop one of my cats from kneading my stomach the other day--apparently he found it of a pleasing consistency for that particular activity. Needless to say, I Was Not Amused.)

My grandmother made me try to wear an actual girdle once, sometime in my early to middle teens. I struggled into it, immediately unable to breathe. It was hot, it itched like hell, and it contained actual rubber , which ensured the garment provided the maximum amount of chafing per centimeter. (No wonder I rejected nylons, tights, and even slips the second I got a chance!) The whole "beauty is pain" mantra was never one I could embrace--my bullshit detector goes up to eleven. I knew the truth immediately: donning that slimming straitjacket didn't bring me one bit closer to beautiful, only a hell of a lot crankier--and every bit as lumpy--as before.

I tried wearing Spanx for my wedding to Mr. Salted three years ago--I was at my highest weight at the time. I was horribly self-conscious and uncomfortable all day. I was in a beautiful, simple dress, my hair and nails done, several people I loved dearly present. It should have been the happiest day of my life, and I was happy and very emotional, but my physical discomfort never completely left my mind the entire day. The Spanx didn't keep me from looking, or being, huge. (You can also see the line from them across my abdomen in the wedding pictures. Petty and vain as that is, it bothered me.) So wearing Spanx accomplished exactly nothing--but they aren't a magic wand, and I probably bought them too large to begin with. We should have just worn t-shirts and jeans and gone to the courthouse, but I wanted to show Mr. S I loved him by getting all dressed up for him (since I rarely ever do), and he looked very dapper in a suit. Unfortunately, all that my attempts at being a girly bride accomplished was to cause him to worry about my discomfort all day, too. Sigh.

Right now, I have a lot of clothes that technically FIT but I didn't like the way I looked in them, so I wouldn't wear them (visible cellulite, Baroness of Back Fat, etc.). So, I decided to give shapewear another try, 2010-style. I found a Maidenform "tummy-toning tank" at Costco (the package actually reads, "Fat Free Dressing"--aren't those marketing people witty?). Remarkably, I can honestly say that I LOVE THIS THING. It's comfortable, doesn't itch, it smooths everything down and keeps it in place so that I can wear clothes that fit--and they actually look decent. Yes, I am still fluffy/lumpy/grumpy, but at least I appear smooth and solid, with the possibility of a waist lurking somewhere under the surface.

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Seattle, WA, United States
This blog focuses largely on a personal journey to and through weight-loss surgery. It's also about reading, writing, animals, photography, love, humor, music, thinking out loud, and memes. In other
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