I just ordered some clothes from a plus-size website.
I had to. I start teaching again in a few weeks, and I have absolutely nothing to wear that doesn't make me look like a slob. My work outfits currently have me rotating among three tight skorts and a half dozen worn-down T-shirts. Classy.
In May, before my trip to Pittsburgh, I was forced to visit a host of plus-size stores as I tried to find clothes that, while big, would make me look nice. At one store, the sales lady asked if I wanted to be put on a mailing list for discounts. I said no.
"I'm hoping to..." I started.
"...cross over to the other side?" she finished.
Yes, that is the goal. To never have to visit another plus-size store again.
The sales lady continued ringing up my purchase, her eyes down and a small grin on her face. She knew. I'd try to lose weight and fit into pretty clothes, but, after failing, I'd be back in her store.
So I took my shopping online.
I dread the upcoming semester. I look awful. I don't know if I'm going to be able to find nice clothes that fit me. It scares me.
My current work outfit of big T-shirts is just one sign of the obvious: I've been trying to hide from the world. Pair the T-shirts with my downcast eyes as I walk down halls and sidewalks, and you will see a girl trying to be invisible despite her growing size.
It affects every part of my life. I haven't visited my mom in a year. Why? Because I weigh 30 pounds more than she does and I'm too ashamed. I haven't visited my friends in Wilmington in forever. Why? Because I fear being back in a town where I so publicly swore I'd never go back to my plus-size days.
Every few months, I look to the calendar and realize, "Oh, it's X months until X, I need to lose this weight." X months until a race. X months until a trip. X months until school starts. Then, by the time the event arrives X months later, I'm either exactly the same weight or heavier.
Today I look at the calendar and see that it's less than three months until the 10K I so desperately wanted to PR in. And less than three months until another race I am considering that would bring me back to Wilmington. The odds aren't looking good.
They're especially not looking good because of an injury that has sidelined me (surprise!) from, well, everything. I've got a pain in my foot that appears to be a tendon issue. I've rested. I've iced. I've elevated. And occasionally, I can walk to work with no problem. And, then, occasionally, I step out of bed and can't put weight on my foot because of the pain. Like today.
The only cure for inflamed tendons is rest. Which to me translates to: get even fatter if I don't make better choices in my eating.
I don't want the calendar months to fly by as I hide from life. That's not living. It's a waste of time and it's boiling an entire life down to my weight, when there are so many other pieces of me I'm not embracing and showcasing and loving.
So I can't run. So what?
I also can't hide anymore.