Last week I had a major meltdown of epic proportions.
I had purchased jeans on-line. I hate jeans shopping. I think I hate it more than swimsuit shopping. As much as I proclaim I am a dress girl all the way, there is this piece of me that longs to just throw on jeans and a shirt and look effortlessly cool and hip and comfortable. But usually when I put on jeans I feel dumpy. I carry the majority of my weight in my belly so jeans that usually fit my legs don’t fit around my middle. As was the case with this pair. I got them buttoned but my stomach was smushed up and over the waistband. I walked out to the living room to show Mr. Darcy and was laughing about how ridiculous I looked. He even remarked, “At least you can laugh about it.”
I went back to the bedroom to change and looked at myself hard in the mirror. I stopped laughing and cringed. I felt ashamed and for me, shame usually gets masked by anger. I started to internalize my anger, saying terribly mean things to myself about being ugly, fat, unworthy, unloveable. I tried to cover up my downward spiral by going about making myself dinner (I had gone to dance class after work so it was nearing 8pm). But then my internal fuckedupness told me that I didn’t deserve to eat. Look at how gross I am. Look at how pathetic. Mr. Darcy tried to be comforting but I pushed him away saying I was going into the bathroom to probably cry. I feel so silly crying about my body in front of him. I know he feels helpless. I know he thinks I am beautiful. But I don’t. And that’s the crux of the problem here.
So I cried and then tried to pull myself together to go watch TV with him on the couch. I looked pretty pathetic sitting there, curled up into myself, far away from any comfort Mr. Darcy might want to try to give me. He tried, bless his heart, and I started to try to explain. “I just want to be normal! I just want it to be easier to find clothes so I can look like everyone else. And this is why I am paralyzed with fear about finding a wedding dress. What if I can’t find anything? What if it’s all dumpy plus sized dresses made out of cheap material? I’m so afraid I’ll have a horrible experience shopping that I will be pushed to this place of self-hatred and I won’t be able to come back from it.” It poured out of me and I felt too raw to sit there exposed like that so I left and went back to the bathroom.
I like to have my breakdowns in privacy.
I sat on the bathroom floor and bawled. I felt scared that I couldn’t pull myself back from the crazy precipice I had found myself at. I couldn’t self-soothe. I couldn’t rationalize my emotional roller coaster. I couldn’t catch my breath. I had spiraled to the dark place. I felt utterly alone.
I suppose this all sounds dramatic and maybe I was being over-wrought. I can usually talk myself down from this mental state but for some reason that night I was unable to.* When I opened the bathroom door Mr. Darcy was standing there, leaning against the wall. I felt even worse knowing he’d heard me- that he’d stood out there waiting for me to be done, knowing that if he’d try to comfort me I would have pushed him further away. So he waited and listened to me cry even though it was hard for him to do so. He’s learned to give me space but not to completely disappear and I am so grateful for him. So thankful that he loves me even when I’m clearly acting like a lunatic.
My therapy appointments are focused on my body loathing because it holds me back from being fully present in my life. Because it’s the thing I always come back to when I feel low. It’s my shame epicenter. And goddamnit I am tired of it. Despite a lifetime of dieting and trying different work out regimes, starving and bingeing, hating myself for not accepting myself as is and shaming myself for not being “an acceptable weight”, I’m just SO DONE carrying all this around. It’s like a barrier between myself and the life I want to live. I want to be free. And so, I’m diving into the deep emotional work and I’m basically terrified about what I could discover. But I’m doing it anyhow because this isn’t how I want to live. Even if it’s just an occasional breakdown, those feelings live inside me just waiting for the opportunity to break out. Where do those feelings come from? And why?
I hope to find out. And I hope what I discover doesn’t break me.
*Turns out those crazy emotions could be attributed to whacked out hormones. Thanks PMS! But still, something has to change.
This post made ME sob because we are so in the same place on this. I hate my body so intensely. It’s ridiculous. And it causes such dark, deep spirals. I just really understand. And I’m sorry you have to feel this way. But I get it.
Oh I have had MANY a similar meltdown as someone who also is a “dress girl” because in pants I am fumptastic to the max. I know you’re probably not ready to try pants again, but you might consider trying a pair from Eloquii by The Limited in their Classic Fit. I too am plentiful in the tummy area and not so much so in the hips and bum. That fit is the best on me and they might need a little tweak here and there by a tailor, but you should be able to find some that make you feel sleek and sexy. (Hold out for a sale, btw. You can usually get a good deal. Plus free shipping and returns.)
It’s so hard to get your mind out of self loathing territory, but it really isn’t you or your curvacious body. It’s the damn pants! Women come in WAY to many amazing shapes and sizes for them to make pants that fit everyone accurately.
I own absolutely one good fitting pair of pants and I tailored the shit out of them. Until they catch up to us I think we’ll have to remain dress girls most of them time. Don’t blame yourself though, blame the pants!
Lane Bryant is my go to for jeans, since I have the fat around the middle. IT’s funny, though, because I see you as curvy. And attractive curvy.
Hey cool guy, I like you.
I am a damn good seamstress. If you can’t find your dream dress, we’ll can make something for you. Self image is really really difficult. Thank you for sharing your struggles and know that you are not alone. And that you are awesome and deserve to be loved.
Picturing Mr. Darcy sitting outside the door waiting for you made ME cry! What an amazing man you’ve found. I’m no help on jeans. I might be a fairly “normal” size, but I’m very curvy, so I’ve spent my fair share crying in dressing rooms. I have to say, one enormous benefit of being pregnant is maternity jeans! Elastic rocks my world! 🙂 I agree with others though – make friends with a good tailor. They can help make sure pants fit you like a glove.
I think it’s important and incredibly brave for you to dive into the psychological side of your weight and why it weighs so heavily on your emotions (pun intended). But, there’s an equally as important side, the medical (as in physical) side of your weight. Have you thought about discussing this with your internist to see if there are any medically supported programs for you to join, where you might have access to dietitians/nutrionists to deal with that in parallel?
I’ve had many similar meltdowns and self-loathing feelings. I’m so sorry that you had to go through that–it’s such an awful experience, and so hard to explain to someone who hasn’t ever gone through it.
For what it’s worth, I think you always look great, and I’m sure you’ll look gorgeous in your wedding dress!
even if you wore a trash bag on your wedding day, you will still be beautiful… as much as we (women) stress about weight, and “the” wedding dress, and making everything perfect on that day – all that shit really doesn’t matter in the long run… what does matters is that you and mr. darcy are starting the first day of your marriage, surrounded by friends and family, and that’s it… sure, people might say this or that, but most will be saying, “look how incredible happy they are”… end of story! (hug) 🙂
I have no idea how to fix this, so I’m sending hugs and positive vibes in place of solutions. I truly hope you find the answers you are in need of, and in the mean time try to stay positive, be nice to yourself and smile. I hope it gets better soon.
You already know I think you are gorgeous and amazing. 🙂
That said, I would like to let you know one thing: figuring this out is worth it. As much as I shouted from the rooftops that I liked my curves, etc. for years (of up and down weight, feeling like absolute shit about myself, etc.), I knew my body wasn’t the best it could be and that at some point, I’d just be plain old obese. And weight-wise? I actually already was. My peak number terrified me.
~50 lbs (lost, and kept off for…gosh, close to 2 years now!) later, I can say that getting to a good place with my body changed my life in so many positive ways that it’d be impossible to list all of them.
You’ll get there. And it will be amazing. But in the meantime: I’ve been on that bathroom floor. It’s part of the journey. And unfortunately, I think this will never be an easy thing for me — but it’s manageable now. Which is a much better place to be.
If I knew the answer, I wouldn’t be stuck in a similar place myself – so the best I can offer is a virtual hug, and that I’m sorry. I understand.
I’ve been in this place so many times, it makes me feel better to know that I’m not alone! The shame…the mortified feeling of putting on a pair of 18W jeans from Land’s End, and having them create a “lovely” muffin top spilling over the top, it just isn’t fair. (For the record, I have a different pair of jeans from them in 18W in a different style, and they fit perfectly. So WTF? W.T.F??? That certainly doesn’t help my shame, dammit!)
As for the dress, it will be fun. I promise. I was a size 20 when I went looking for mine, and I took two very trustworthy people with me that I KNEW would be dead honest about how I looked in stuff. We found a Maggie Sotero that was just a dream. Lace-up corset back is the fucking BOMB for us girls with tummies and boobs. Here’s a link to pics of my wedding day, if it helps at all: http://sites.google.com/site/faithsista74/jen&jesse'swedding
Break down when you need to. Crying is ok. And PMS…good GOD, why can’t we women just be left alone, mother nature? GAH.
We have a chain of shops here called city chic who make clothes for plus sized women. I have a pair of jeans I bought from them when I was bigger, and they have lots of extra room around the tummy but they look AWESOME. I still wore them after I lost the extra weight and they were the only pants that fitted me into my pregnancy. They have a website.
Ooh, and I had a lace up corset wedding dress too, it is the best for curvy figures!
Jean shopping can be brutal for sure, and I’m in the same boat you are — most jeans that fit my mid section are too big in the legs. So I learned how to take the legs in — it’s pretty easy. If the denim’s too heavy for my sewing machine, I have a seamstress do it for me. I just try really hard not to take it personally (this might be where I’ve benefited from watching a bazillion episodes of “What Not to Wear,” since Stacy and Clinton are ALWAYS telling people — of all shapes and sizes — not to take garment cut and sizing personally, and to simply find a good tailor and make things work for you).
I have no doubt you will find a wedding dress (probably several) in which you will look truly amazing. And I’m looking forward to seeing the one you choose, because I adore your style.
I came across this picture on Pinterest (http://pinterest.com/pin/50454458294882662/), and I force myself to look at it and really try to take the message to heart on a fairly regular basis, because it’s true: When I look at my body as something I hate or something I’m battling, I really don’t like myself. When I look at my body as something I love and am trying to improve, my mindset totally changes. As I said, I still need to remind myself to think this way — and some days I totally fail — but, like you, I’m working on it.
I feel your pain. Not only am I plus sized, but I’m also extremely tall 6’2″. You would think that would make it easier to hide the extra pounds I’m packing, but it just makes be look gigantic in all dimensions! My struggle is that with size 12 wide feet I can’t even shop for cute shoes! Men have “big & tall” stores, but for a woman you can either be “big” OR “tall” but not both. Most “tall” stuff for women is size for 5’8″, which is a good 6 inches shorter than I am. So for me it’s either men’s clothes, long skirts (maxi skirts hit just below my knee), or whatever I can whip up with my sewing machine. Forget trends, and forget name brands.
I’ve felt like all my life society has been telling me, “you’re not feminine, you’re not a woman, you don’t deserve to be treated like a lady.” I have long hair, boobs, and even when I wear skirts and dresses, people call me “sir” before doing a double take, and children point and stare. I’ve even had strangers accuse me of being a transvestite or a man in drag!!! Salespeople lead me to the men’s dressing rooms, or point me to the men’s bathroom. It’s so insulting!
So not only do I hear all that internal dialogue that you’re hearing, but sometimes I hear it from other people, too, and it really bites.
I try now to not give a damn. I’m trying to focus on the amazing ability my body has to hike hills, to be mostly healthy, and the fact that this body created, gave birth to, and produced milk for my two children. I don’t know as I’d want to cram my feet into pointy heels or stuff myself into skinny jeans anyway. That’s what I try to keep telling myself.
Best wishes on your journey to self-acceptance. It’s a life-long process, you may never fully like your body, but you can start dismissing society’s opinions of how they think you should look!
I could say many things, but you have a therapist and fiancé for all that. But I do want you to remember when you helped me, an overwhelmed chubby girl getting married in secret, find the perfect dress. I’ll be forever grateful. And I know you’ll find something fabulous and perfect. Take gentle care.
Oh my god- I feel so guilty and now totally want to take back my post about the jeans. You, my dear, are so beautiful and definitely not a lunatic. We all have those moments on the bathroom floor. Not all of us have a Mr. Darcy waiting outside the door though. Remember that, none of those skinny bitches in their perfect jeans have him.
Well, I arrived late to the party so most of what I was going to say has been said. But, I will repeat it anyway. 🙂
You are brave.
You are beautiful.
You are blessed.
You are strong and you will get through this, and also, considering everything that’s happening in your life right now? It’s totally okay to cry!! (in public or private, your choice–I HATE crying in front of people, no matter what the subject)
I’m sorry for how you are feeling. I don’t have any great wisdom to offer, except to know you are so loved and so supported. And trust me, I’ve known a LOT of non-traditional brides who have found lovely dresses…everything from a burgundy evening gown to a spunky tea dress from David’s prom line. You will not end up in a frump-sack, of this I am sure.
In an ironic bit of cultural reflection, I couldn’t help noticing that the bigger ladies ROCKED IT at the Oscars this year…and all of the scuttle butt around Angelina Jolie was that she looked skeletal. I find that oddly reassuring.
Awww girl, most of us curvy girls feel like that. It always makes me laugh when my skinny friends moan about trying on jeans – they have no idea. Do stick with it though, I just try on lots and when I find a good pair, and there are some out there, I go back and buy another 3.
I am envious of you – I wish I looked as good as you in a dress or skirt – I can never find one to make me look good, but I’ll just keep trying.
I know how you feel and I can relate. On another note, I have a wedding dress that I would totally send you and let you go all Molly Ringwald on. Just say the word and it’s yours.
Sizz — meltdowns are a part of life. Don’t focus on it . . . move on. I really think once you get past the stress of the “big day,” things will calm down. You’ll be amazed. Something about a happy marriage levels us out. And Faith, you ROCKED that wedding dress. Gorgeous dress, gorgeous photos, gorgeous bride.
To me, meltdowns can be so exfoliating sometimes. Hoping this has passed and you are back to feeling like the beautiful person you portray in your writing!
About this: “I felt ashamed and for me, shame usually gets masked by anger. I started to internalize my anger, saying terribly mean things to myself about being ugly, fat, unworthy, unloveable.”
Oh man. I’ve been there with the body hatred, and the dark, self-hating places that it takes me to. I’ve been there with the jeans.
I think that you have fabulous style. You look fantastic in dresses. You are gorgeous.
I hope that you can get to a place where you have less trouble believing Mr. Darcy. I wish that there were a formula for it.
Oh, Sizz. I am so sorry that you have to strugle with this. You are BEAUTIFUL, inside and out.
I am so, so glad you have Mr. Darcy. He loves you so.
You are beautiful! I wish you could see in yourself what I see when I look at you and that is just pure beauty and vibrance. I completely understand the breakdown, I have had them myself, and I hope you can work through this and accept that you are absolutely deserving of everything good. I hate that you punish yourself and talk so meanly to yourself. I do it too, and I’m not judging you at all, just saying it makes me sad that such a wonderful person sometimes doesn’t see exactly that in herself because I always see it when I see you or think of you.
I think it’s brave and a sign of progress that you’re willing to do the dirty work. And that you seem to be looking at it from a place of wanting acceptance, even of emotionally charged.
I get the hormone/PMS- charged break down process. I can sometimes identify it as its happening, but not usually. And it’s usually about my appearance and the unfairness of looking a certain way, and of not being good enough. Although you may be blogging less, are you keeping a journal otherwise? Recording patterns and behavior before and after the breakdown moments has really helped me shed some light on how I lead myself down certain paths, and how to find new ones instead.
wow. i don’t even know what to say except – i know how you feel. my therapist used to tell me that i probably won’t ever lose weight permanently if i didn’t learn to love the “fat” me first. i’m at my highest weight ever easily 90 lbs more than i was ten years ago. unfortunately i felt just as fat then as i do now. i wasn’t as skinny as most of my friends but i was by no means fat or obese. i was simply me and i wish i could have loved the size 18 (but healthy and active) me. if i could have, i know i wouldn’t be where i am today. i am my own worst enemy. my friends, family and boyfriend always loved me exactly the way i am (in fact, they still do) – i just wish i could feel the same way. but i HATE fat me. you are gorgeous, fun, intelligent, pretty, loveable and so much more (and i don’t even know you in person) and i hope you will eventually learn to see (and feel) that, too. sending tons of hugs! xoxo
I just want to drop everything, fly out to Washington, and give you a big hug and tell you that you ARE beautiful because dammit, YOU ARE. That is all.
Uh, also I’m not sure how the “MarieMarie” happened, but it’s just me Marie!
I am also a plus sized girl and the best decision I made about my wedding dress was to have it made. I got the dress I loved and it fit me perfectly. It also had the added bonus of being so much cheaper than getting a dress I couldn’t try on before ordering.
Hugs from a stranger up north. 🙂
Take Julianne up on her offer. That way, you will be able to describe your favorite cuts, etc – and she can cater to your tastes.
My dress was made by a seamstress cousin 17 years ago. It was far more beautiful than anything you could grab off the rack. [I am 5’4″ with a 42DD chest. My ‘size’ varies from a 12 to an 18, depending on cut.]
You are gorgeous. Trust me.
Whacked out hormones and wedding planning can be a lethal combo.
I’m so sorry you are/were feeling this way. It made me cry to read it. I really think weddings put a level of pressure on us that is sort of ridiculous. Suddenly we are hyper aware of all our flaws and feel like we have to fix things before the big day. When all that really matters is we’re present and having a good time.
I had multiple meltdowns leading up to our wedding. Hang in there and know that in addition to Mr. Darcy, all of us think you are beautiful too.