The thought of shopping for clothes used to fill me with a sense of dread.
I was quite happy mooching around and picking clothes up. The terror came when I started the slow, inevitable walk towards the changing room.
Often the fear would come from secretly knowing that I needed a higher size than I had picked up. That I would have that sinking feeling as the jeans would not get over my thighs, or even worse the sweaty anxiety that I was going to get stuck in that tight looking top with one arm hanging out like a contortionist....awkward assistance from changing room staff required!
Even after the sad trundle back to get the higher size I would stand there, and each time I would have the same internal rant:
" Okay, own up! Who was it that created the fitting room lights in every changing room in the land?!
It can surely be only someone who takes great pleasure in making every human being feel genuinely awful while seeing themselves from every angle through what feels like a million mirrors!!!"
The truth is that in a changing room with harsh lighting and a million mirrors I was enclosed in a space where I could not hide from the truth.
I was overweight.
It was a slow process of avoiding seeing the reality, and as the weight had crept on, I had slowly stopped looking, and as I did my self-esteem had slowly dwindled.
Joining U Fit gave me the opportunity to start to lose some of that weight. Like most big changes it was a slow process. Yes, I went mad and bought a ton of clothes when I hit size 12 but looking in the mirror was still uncomfortable, I was too used to not liking what I saw.
As time went on, and the weight continued to drop, it was as if a mist had finally lifted. I was finally picking up the right size first time, or even shock horror, too big of a size!! I started to like what I saw in the mirror. My self-esteem had returned.
I was not overweight.
Now I prance in and out of changing rooms without a thought... I like the lighting, it helps me see better, and yes there are still a few mirrors in there, but at least I can see what my bum looks like in those jeans.
That environment has not changed in any way. Those lights have not become dimmer or any mirrors removed. What has changed is how I view myself.