Saturday, August 9, 2014

Size 8 and feeling great: A title that seems surreal to write

So it's been kind of a rough summer for me health-wise. Two kidney stones earlier in the summer, and last week I wound up in the hospital with a pretty severe asthma attack. Four whole days of IV steroids, breathing treatments, and oxygen. It was super fun...not. I was kind of terrified that with the IV steroids and the week of oral steroids that followed, I would put on weight. I mean, obviously I know treating my asthma is much more important than weight, but I've just worked too hard to see my progress derailed by medication. I have pictures in the past where I can tell exactly when I was on prednisone because my face was blown up like a balloon. Luckily, my fears were for nothing. I lost weight this past week even with the steroids and my work-outs not being 100% quite yet. Yay!

Moving on...I decided the time had come for new jeans. I had put this off for a while because I was in a size 10, and I wanted to be pretty sure I could fit in the next size down before I tried jeans on. Because the next size down is a size 8. Size 8. That is just insane to me. I have never, ever been that size before and it would be a major milestone, so the last thing I wanted was to try a size 8 on and have them not fit. However, my size 10's were starting to look like maybe I was trying to imitate Justin Beiber. They were hanging pretty low. It just goes to show that sometimes you don't necessarily have to drop weight to lose inches. I've maybe only lost about 4 lbs since my size 10's fit well, but I've lost 4 inches around my waist. I know that the strength training I started has made all the difference. In the past month or so, I can actually start to see noticeable differences in my body for the first time in what feels like a very long time.

I go in Old Navy yesterday and head for the skinny jeans. Yes, the skinny jeans. I don't know why, but I just got it in my head that I wanted skinny jeans, even though I would be more likely to fit in a size 8 wearing a looser cut jean. I grabbed a size 8 with some trepidation. They looked small. Really small. No way was I that small. So then I grabbed a size 10 and added on a size 12, because they were skinny jeans and who knew what size I would be? I have a bad habit of trying on stuff that is way too big because I still don't seem to have a accurate perception of what size I actually am. I tried on the 10's just so I could know that at least something fit. Hmmm, they were...loose, even without having worn them for awhile and getting them stretched out. I picked up the size 8's and put them on. They slid all the way up my legs, over my hips, and buttoned around my waist without me even having to suck in. I looked in the mirror, and I saw someone normal. Somebody with a shape, not just a gigantic blob. I stood there in those size 8's and grinned like a crazy person. But I also had some tears rolling down my face (also maybe like a crazy person, because who cries about jeans?) Because they weren't just jeans to me. I have vivid memories of standing in that same dressing room struggling to button size 20's, the largest size they carry in Old Navy stores. I even laid on the floor trying to get them to zip. Eventually, I had to accept that they just didn't fit. I had to order jeans online. Back then, when I eventually ended up a size 26, I  would have killed just to fit in a size that didn't start with a 2. Fitting in a single digit size seemed about as likely as me landing on the moon. That's why it is just so incredible to me that I fit in those size 8 jeans. That's a normal size. A size right in the middle of the jean stack. Until recently, I've had to dig down to the bottom of the jean sizes my entire life.

I get that a size isn't everything. I get that it varies among companies, and that you could drive yourself crazy obsessing over that one single number. But sometimes, just for a little while, a size does get to be important. Especially when it's a size you never actually really thought you would fit into. I mean, it's not like I was a size 4 or something when I was a teenager and already knew what it felt like to be this size. I have never ever been this size. It makes all those 4:30 morning runs and little sacrifices I make every single day seem all the more worth it. Let me tell you, it feels pretty damn fabulous. 

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