I remembered hating clothes shopping with my mom when I was a kid. I was always the bigger kid in the family and I was always ready to leave the clothing store as soon as we walked in. I don’t know what it is about clothes or just notion of shopping for clothes that always bothered me. I carried that feeling for the longest time.
There’s an old saying, “Clothes make the man” or something like that. In a sense, it’s true. You are how you dress. I started my weight loss journey at 492 pounds. My clothes definitely reflected how I truly felt about myself. My clothes were plain and boring. It’s kind of hard to have stylish clothes when you’re wearing a 7X shirt and size 68 pants. I’m a t-shirt and jeans kind of guy but when you are almost 500 pounds your choices are somewhat limited. When you’re bigger, you can really only shop at a specialty store. This is true for not only males but also females. These shops typically have to charge more for their products.
When I started to lose weight in January of 2011, I just concentrated on losing the weight. I bought a few workout clothes because I knew I would need them. Other than that, clothes were pretty far down on my priority list.
In April of 2011, I took a road trip to visit Angela’s grandmother. I remember this trip fondly because Angela and I had lost a pretty significant amount of weight in those first few months. My clothes were two to three times bigger than I was. My clothes were practically falling off of me. I remember seeing Angela’s grandmother and she was amazed at our weight loss so far. She looked at me and told me repeatedly that I needed to go buy some more pants. I think at that point, I was down to a 4X shirt and size 54 or 56 pants when we went shopping that day. So, my belt was doing all of the heavy lifting to keep my pants up.
For the next several months, I held off buying clothes again. Clothes tend to be expensive not only for anybody but especially for a larger individual and I’m a tad thrifty. I was always afraid to purchase large amounts of clothes. During Labor Day 2011, I bought new clothes again. This time, I was in 3X shirt and size 46 pants.
Around Labor Day, I still felt uncomfortable in my new clothes. Over 100 pounds lost and I still didn’t feel comfortable in clothes. I remember trying the clothes on and complaining to Angela that they felt too tight. Angela assured me that they were the proper fit for my size and shape. I think I was uncomfortable not only in my new clothes but also with my new body in progress.
It took a long time to get used to smaller and different kinds of clothes. It wasn’t until this year when I got comfortable with not only clothes but also different styles of clothes. I had to get a sense of fashion. I still fight it every now and then. I still have the mindset of my former self. I still have thoughts of “Oh, this doesn’t look right on me” or “I don’t know if I can pull this look off”. Angela is always there to let me know what looks good on me. She’s my personal fashion expert.
I haven’t totally abandoned my old style. I’ve spruced it up a bit. I still wear my t-shirt and jeans most days. Some days, I’ll change it up a bit. I wear a button down shirt, jeans and a nice pair of shoes that are not sneakers. Maybe even a suit jacket.
Clothes are just an extension of you and your personality. You’ve lost weight so let your clothes show off that new body of yours. Don’t be afraid to try new styles. I’m not a fashion expert but I’m still learning. Find clothes that are comfortable for you. Express yourself through what you wear. Just wear clothes that make the man or something like that.