Belfast Telegraph

Is dropping dress size key to happiness? Weight and see...

By Nuala McKeever

It's official. I am now a Medium. No, I don't talk to the dead (well, I do, but not to all of them, just one, so that doesn't count). I mean, I'm literally a Medium. As in Small, Medium and Large. I have, thanks to nearly 20lbs weight off in 10 weeks, moved from a life-long residency in the Large section, to a new home in Medium plaza.

It's very strange. I've been a size 14 forever. I like the number 14. I'm no number-ologist, but I was born on the 14th, it's double 7 which is my favourite number and it has been, until now, my size in clothes.

So while I'm happy to be going down in the world, it takes a bit of getting used to.

The plus side is not being limited to having to look in the Plus size sections. The minus is that when you reach this far-off shore of which you've dreamed for years, you discover you're still just you and you're not really any different. And even worse, there's now a new far off shore, ie, the NEXT size down, and where you are is just OK, but it's not as impressive as the far-off shore you've yet to reach. Sure, you've done well but don't forget, you "could do better".

So now it's size Ten that's the goal. But hold on a moment, that's unthinkable, too weird, too different. I could never go to Ten's- ville! Imagine shopping for clothes and not having to hoke away to the back of the rack for your size. Imagine being able, casually, to lift an item from near the front of the rail and know it would fit. How bizarre. I couldn't imagine doing that.

Imagine pulling your top off at night and not sucking in your tummy automatically, even though the cat is the only one watching. Imagine looking at "layering" type clothes and thinking they'd look good on you rather than dismissing them with a "Hmmph, Michelin Man!"

Imagine sitting on the couch and not becoming aware that your laptop was digging into your spare tyre.

Imagine catching sight of yourself in a shop mirror by accident and not wondering who that plump person is.

Imagine seeing photos of yourself and not discussing how bad the light/angle/camera must have been.

Can't imagine.

Yeah but two months ago you couldn't imagine you'd be where you are now. So keep going. Keep reaching. Keep striving for something you haven't got, trying to get to somewhere other than where you are now. Whatever you do, don't relax and just enjoy yourself as you are, where you are, right now. That would be a disaster.

Okay, so we told you size 12, Medium, would make everything better. Well, we lied. Get over it. It's 10 you need now. You can't be a valid, worthwhile, attractive woman until you are a size 10, so stop celebrating and get worrying!

You'll have worked out by now that really, this isn't all about clothes sizes. Yes, getting healthy is great and I certainly feel totally better for not eating sugar or drinking alcohol, but in terms of inner self acceptance, it's gonna take more than weight loss to gain that.

So I'm practising taking the carrot off the dangling string in front of my nose and eating it. Standing still. Here. Now. With THIS body. Not that someday, somewhere body. THIS one. And I'm finding that the happy person I'm chasing is here all along. Or not. My choice.

And that, as they say, is about the size of it.

'In terms of inner self acceptance it's gonna take more than weight loss to gain that'

Belfast Telegraph

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