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What size am I? Fat

By Gloria Diaz

Check out Gloria's Blog — Edge of Gloria!

Fort Wayne Reader

2013-02-28


As I continue to struggle with my weight, Iím wondering if someone isnít screwing with the numbers when it comes to sizes. I remember being a very skinny teenager, yet I was a size 12. Salesclerks would check out my popsicle stick like body and say, ďIíll go get you a size seven.Ē Even my own future sister-in-law bought me an outfit thinking she knew the real me. It was a purple and white striped sweater, and purple cords. The sweater fit fine, but the pants, of course, were a size seven. And, of course, they didnít fit.

Those days are long gone, but I canít help but think that todayís sizing has gotten a little strange. If todayís size 12 is considered ďplus-size,Ē then what in the world was I back in the early 1980ís? I weighed less than 120 pounds when I graduated high school, yet I was nobodyís idea of ďplus-size.Ē It was frustrating to look skinnier than I actually was back then. Now, if someone asks me what size I am, I say, ďfat.Ē

I honestly donít know what size I am. Iíve tried on clothes that were just a generic ďlargeĒ which sometimes fit, sometimes not. I was able to try on a size 14 skirt the other night. No, it wasnít flattering on me, but I was able to zip up the zipper and hook the waistband shut. That same night, I bought tights which, according to the size/weight chart, should have fit me. I couldnít pull the waistband past my thighs. I also picked up a pair of shoes that were a size nine and a half, which fit perfectly. If my feet have grown, how come my size seven and half Bass hiking boots still fit?

When I was experiencing stomach problems in 1988, I realized I couldnít eat anything greasy, especially if I washed it down with soda. So I gave up soda, and actually stopped eating the foods that I associate with soda: potato chips, popcorn, pretzels, French fries, and other crunchy, greasy foods. It didnít occur to me that I could drink Hawaiian Punch, or Lemonade, or Limeade, or any other drink as long as it wasnít carbonated (I think caffeine was also a factor, and there wasnít any decaf soda back then.) So I stuck with water. As a result of not drinking soda and eating the foods I associate with it, I lost 16 pounds off a frame that wasnít really fat in the first place. For the first time EVER, I was a size 7/8. My waist was right around 22-24 inches. In todayís numbers, that would make me a size zero. The Holy Grail of sizes, if you are a woman. Of course, my stomach healed up, and I had an urge to try soda and greasy foods again. And it just kept going, and going, and well, here I am.

Iíll admit it: I like food. I like fattening food. Iím experiencing more digestive problems, so Iím cutting back on stuff, but the weight is still there. I donít have my teenage metabolism anymore (and trust me, I would eat whatever the hell I wanted and was stick thin throughout high school) but my metabolism shut down at age 22. Iíd like to know how many hours a day Iíd have to run, and how many calories I could ingest in order to lose some weight. I donít care if Iím never 120 pounds again. But I have to earn a living, and if the answer to getting down to 140 pounds is running (not jogging) five hours a day, on 1,200 calories a day MAX, well, Iíve got to earn a living. Iíll keep exercising, because I take pride in being able to go at a brisk pace and partial jog on the treadmill for an hour, but unless I win the lottery, a five hour daily workout is something thatís going to be tough to fit in.

The numbers on the scale are annoying, but so are those numbers on the tags. I guess Iíll take them both with a grain of salt and keep trying on clothes, whatever the numbers say. But if my foot ends up a size 12, I may just have to repair my size seven and a halfs until they fall apart. And when I canít find any more shoes to fit me (I canít afford custom-made) maybe Iíll walk around in empty tissue boxes. And donít get me started on one size fits most. As we all know, thatís an incomplete sentence.

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