In my last post, I wrote about the extensive alterations I had to do on a new dress I was making. I’ve been sewing for years, so it truly shocked me that my measurements were completely off and the resulting dress was so much larger than I thought it would be. I believe all of this was because of my issue with phantom weight.
I call it phantom weight because even though it no longer exists, sometimes I still have trouble seeing myself without it. It’s a very strange experience. For example, last summer I saw my image on a security camera and I literally had to wave my arm to convince myself that it was actually me.
Now, I know that your happiness doesn’t depend on your size. And I know – at least intellectually – that you should accept yourself at any weight. I’d like to say I was just as happy and confident when I was heavier, but that would be a lie. I wasn’t completely unhappy, but I had a lot of anxiety around my body and missed quite a few social engagements because I couldn’t find anything that I felt good in.
I never stopped to think about how much my weight loss would affect my sewing. For years, I’ve been adding to my “Sewing List” board on Pinterest, but recently I realized that I spent much of my sewing life wanting to make clothes that would not suit my body. Like many others in our media saturated society, I was seduced by images of women who weren’t built like me. As the years went by, I sewed for myself less and less because I couldn’t comfortably wear the types of clothes I wanted. Instead of trying to find things that did suit me, I gave up and rarely put any effort into making myself look nice. Worse, I tried to convince myself that I didn’t care and that wanting to look good was somehow superficial. In my heart though, I knew how important it was to me and it made me sad to know how much I’d let myself down by not adorning my body. On the few occasions I braved the stores to go shopping, I was in hell. Anyone who’s been to the “plus size” (I hate that term btw) section knows what I’m talking about.
So, one of the intentions I set for this year is to be more polished and that includes making clothes while I’m continue to get to my goal weight. In the past, I thought that if I made clothes for my larger size, I might not be as motivated to lose weight. I now know that’s completely illogical and I could’ve been well-dressed all along. Live and learn I guess.
All these thoughts came to the surface as I stood in front of the mirror in my baggy dress wondering why it’s so hard for my mind to accept that my body is different now. I’m glad I had this experience because it brought some of my blind spots to my attention and that’s always a good thing. While my mind is catching up, I’ll be making new things I can wear right now – but first, I’m going to take a brand new set of measurements.