Along the way, I made a few discoveries about sizing. You'd think, after several years of wearing regular sizes, that I would pretty much have this down, but no - I'm still getting flummoxed by both manufacturers, fabric, and my mind. For example: I wear technical shirts when I exercise. Most of them have some spandex in the fabric, which means that they are clingy. While I like what technical fabric does for the sweaty me as I workout, I don't like clingy tops. No matter how small I am, I don't like anything that emphasizes my stomach - so I always size up. And sometimes even the largest size (yes, an XL) is way too tight for my comfort level. So I often have the dreaded feeling of "will it fit?" when I try on a new top...and there's a reason why I don't wear certain brands, cute as they are - they're just not made for my body. Which is disappointing - I feel like I earned the right to wear cute exercise clothes, and yet a lot of them make me look like a sausage-y blob.
And then, there's regular clothing. Something as simple as a t-shirt can throw me. For example, after we ran the Color Up 5K, I wanted to buy one of their shirts - it was a nice soft cotton shirt v-neck and I knew I'd get a lot of wear out of it. I asked to see the size XL - they held it up, and I said "that should fit" and bought it. After we got home and had showered most of the color away, I put it on...and it hung on me like a tent! I was so upset - what was I thinking, buying that size in a regular shirt? As fat as my mind sometimes still thinks I am, I'm not an XL in normal clothing. We drove back to the race site (just a few minutes from our house) and luckily they were still there, packing things up, so I was able to exchange it for the right size. It's frustrating to make mistakes like this, and I can't believe that I couldn't translate seeing that big shirt as being too big for me.
Wearing the right size...please excuse the no makeup look as it was incredibly hot that day and I was trying not to melt.
Weirdly enough, I'm pretty consistent in pant size. I mean, you'd think with all the guesswork I have to do with tops, it would be like that with pants, but no - they're fairly easy to buy. Of course, I only own about three pairs of pants compared to about 20 tops, so there's a lot more room for error with tops, I guess. And speaking of tops - my arms...ugh. They are still disproportionally bigger than the rest of me, which I've mostly accepted at this point. But where are all the elbow-length tops?! I swear, a few years ago they were everywhere, but they're pretty scarce now, at least in my town. All I know is that I sure feel a lot better about my appearance when that extra arm hang is hidden.
Don't get me wrong - I'd much rather have these issues at my current size than what I had to deal with in trying to shop for clothes back when I was overweight. But this many years into maintenance, I'm surprised that I still have to do the "hold shirt up, surreptitiously stretch over chest to estimate size, choose two sizes to try on" dance. I don't have it in me to confidently pick a size. Most of the time I still overestimate how big I am. And there's nothing that will make me feel fatter than wearing clothes that are too big. I'm sure that for people who've always been normal-sized, this is hard to understand...but there's a reason why I wear clothes that fit and flatter my new body, and it has a lot to do with keeping me in a positive mental state about this body, which in turn helps me to continue keeping my body in a positive physical state.