Welcome back to this miniseries on why I can’t be body positive with myself. This post will be all about how I saw myself in clothes and the feeling of having to buy larger sizes in comparison to the feeling to how I felt when I started to lose the weight the first time. I did brush upon losing weight and how I linked it a bit to clothing a while ago, I will have a few links at the bottom of the post to link to other weight loss related posts I have written too for your reading pleasure. But for now, let’s get into it.
Hiding is the best course of action
I was big, very big and when I realised how big I was, I didn’t feel the confidence to wear what would make me look good and no it wasn’t because of what I thought people would think of me. It was because of what I thought of myself for being that big. I would wear layers or things to help cover me up. All of it dark, I would wear the usual, hoodies etc. but slowly I started to wear waistcoats and cardigans as well, just something that wouldn’t highlight my massive stomach etc. Darkness was my friend and I felt better for a while knowing that if I wore loose clothing that I wouldn’t look as big as I was. Of course, now I know that this is just foolishness as baggy clothes actually make you look bigger. But at the time I wanted to do anything to hide away.
I got larger while I was at University (though I was already an XL before that) so I was already self-conscious of myself as I would see myself and I would see clothes that original did fit, start to become a little tighter and I would immediately throw on a hoodie or coat and “wrap up”. Luckily for me at the time I was living in the East Midlands which isn’t known as the sunshine county in England, so wrapping up in layers wasn’t an unusual thing to see. I hid well and I felt a little bit of pressure come away from me when people wouldn’t really notice me. In my head I thought everyone would look at the massive guy walking past them, but no, they didn’t or maybe they did when I really started gaining weight and I just didn’t notice as it would have taken a while for me to turn around and see it. Anyway.
The panic of the expanding… Everything.
As said, I was already in the XL world when I started University and maybe it was a combination of things, but I was stress eating and really going for it. I would get that large cod and chip on a Saturday, the Chinese takeaway knew my order and in retrospect, I think the lady that served me began to look worried as I got heavier, and then less heavy in my last year. I would drink the near 2 litre Lucozade bottles as if they were the 500 ml ones. I would cook meals and think I was being healthy until now I remember the portions where insane. I loved veg, but I would have, for example, a spag bol, a bowl of steamed veg and garlic bread. Just too much. I have deviated again sorry!
The point was, I was heavy and I wasn’t exercising and I was eating way more than I should have. So, of course, my body would expand with that much self-harming to it. Maybe that is a strong phrase to use, but I really think it was in a way. The tighter clothing got, the more I tried to reason that it was that the clothes shrunk in the wash a little or some other stupid reason. But inside I knew, and it was terrifying me. Leaving behind the 38 waist, then the 40, then the 42 became more and more stressful and then that vicious cycle would keep going of eating to help de-stress myself. I was in a rut and panicking more all the time as I had to buy new clothes and I didn’t really want to have to splash out on that as I couldn’t afford to keep buying new clothes or replace clothes that were ripping. I couldn’t deal with it and I was hating everything about it.
Probably one of the worst things was seeing the clothes that used to fit me, just sitting there looking at me sadly and disappointingly. I had it in my dumb little head that this was just a blip and I would be in those clothes again in no time at all. I kept them in my wardrobe in the hope that I would return to them. I didn’t. It took me 2 and a bit years to catch on to what I was doing and to finally admit that lying to myself wasn’t the right way to go about it. This was my doing and letting myself get bigger and bigger wasn’t helping it.
Online shopping begins to be your friend
When you have been gaining weight and struggling to start to find the sizes that suit you as a male student I was really struggling with find clothes that would actually fit me. Some stores are really good Like Burton and to an extent Next as they had a couple of options for the larger sized people, but generally, I had to resort to online shopping which really took a hit on my confidence as I knew I couldn’t be like everyone else and shop in the store. Though in the years that have since passed, that is now the rare thing to do! I think I will always love going into a store to purchase clothes as it became my norm to order online. So stores around the world, you still have a customer in me (when I get back to a healthy size again)
Now I am not having a go at stores for not having clothes for me when I was XXXL or 46-inch waist. I wouldn’t expect them to as having clothes that large is not normal and shouldn’t be normal. Humans are not meant to get to that size unless for extenuating circumstances and stores cannot just have those sizes in store on the very rare off chance that someone that size will shop there. I was a 26 stone person who isn’t very tall. I should not be that weight for my build, it was unhealthy. It might be “controversial” to think that clothing companies should not have to cater to that size. XL etc. yes, but at what point is the person in the wrong for being that unhealthy instead of the clothing company not having that size of clothing in store? If you really disagree with that sentiment, then I am sorry and I hope you are not offended, but it is what I believe and I feel as someone who was so unhealthy that I can at least have a fair opinion on the matter.
Well, I think it is probably best to finish there today, I hope you enjoyed the post and if you have any thoughts please message me below.
Weight loss posts
- Weight loss Journey: The 5 ways I am going to lose weight
- Weight loss Journey: Why I regained weight
- Weightloss Journey: Part one, clothing
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I love the authenticity and fresh perspective of this post. If you want to make a change in your life, you have to be honest about where you stand, which is exactly what you do here and I admire your courage for it. I think when we see recurring issues in our lives, whether it’s addiction or money issues are what have you, it’s because we’re not being honest with ourselves. I think it’s also good to get a male perspective on this issue because so many people think that body image issues are limited to females but they’re definitely not!
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