Thursday, October 4, 2007

I Don't Really Like My Body, YET . . .

I spent this weekend in Wichita with Joy and Ava. One of the many things we did in our very short weekend in the Wichi-Wichi was shopped for a new outfit to wear to a very important meeting I had on Monday (I had packed an outfit but my shampoo burst on the plane and soaked clear through my sportscoat and spotted my pants too).

We went to my new favorite clothing obsession The Men's Wearhouse (where they offer alterations for life - for those men, like me. that have to dress a certain way for work and find it expensive to keep replacing their entire wardrobe every month or so post surgery) and Joy and the sales clerk, Joellen, took over from there. Why did I not pick out my own clothes?

Simple - and COMPLICATED. I hinted at it in a previous post but, as the anxiety becomes stronger by the day . . . I've come to the conclusion that I don't like my physical self one bit lately. I am MORE self concious now than I ever was (and I once weighed TWO HUNDRED pounds more than I weigh now) before surgery. I don't like the way I look and I don't think I look good in anything. Don't get me wrong - I'm AWARE that this phase will pass and that part of it is that I want the weight loss over so I can just have my future body now and so I don't have to readjust to the constant shifting of my fatty deposits and the shrinking of parts of my body and the swelling of others, etc. In the last month - this has become a problem though and I am trying to address it and acknowledge it.

I know this might sound weird to most readers and now I look officially crazy but I feel like I HAVE to get this out in case other people are struggling with this same issue.

I had a full blown, room was spinning, heart was racing, breathe was fleeting, head was sweating, voices were the-teacher-on-Charlie-Brown sounding panic attack in the changing room of the Men's Wearhouse on Saturday.

Why? The clothes that I was trying on were smaller than the last clothes I had tried on - all of them - and the pants that Joellen gave me based on the measurement she took of my waist did not fit. I just lost it. I should have, as Joy pointed out, been happy to be shopping in Men's Wearhouse and to have the opportunity to fit in smaller clothes than those I bought a month ago and to have the option of trying sizes up and down v. just having to make due with what I mail-ordered and was delivered to me but - I just couldn't get that perspective. Not at that moment.

I refused to look at the clothes from there - I had Joy and Joellen just put together an outfit and I tried it all on and I walked in the 360 degree mirrors and refused to look up at myself and I fought tears and I fought the urge to run from the store (admittedly I did try to run but Joellen and Joy talked me back down) and I just bought the clothes and sulked for the next two hours. Ruined time with Ava and Joy. Ruined my afternoon. Ruined the shopping euphoria that should have come from the $600 we dropped on a new fancy-schmancy suit for me . . . because I don't like my body.

I say this here - for those that have already started planning my intervention and who are readying their cell phones to call me with a pep talk - I am fine. I get it. I will adjust to all of this and I will some day start looking at myself in the mirror for more than shaving and popping pimples and I will some day look at my whole body and think that it looks amazing compared to the old me. I will probably regret not having the right perspective during this time but, for now, I am doing the best I can to not have panic attacks every morning while finding clothes that look good on me and while not going broke chasing clothes that fit, etc. I am just trying to keep up with all the changes in my body, mind, energy and self. That is my day to day.

In the meantime, I will continue to be gracious when others compliment me and I will be excited when the clothes that I was small enough for just a month ago are suddenly falling off me again (I know - tough problem to have) and I will be more aware of myself through this transition and will focus on the positive more - or try to.

And, for the record, I looked DAMN good in the outfit that Joy and Joellen put together for me and it seems like the clothes made the right impression on the people I was meeting with. Life is good. Even if I can't yet look it in the mirror.

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