Facebook reminded me the other day that it’s been six years since I first cleaned out my closet of clothes I could no longer wear. Clothes are a wonderful signifier of weight loss success: it’s an awesome feeling when clothes start feeling looser, or you can start using a new hole in your belt, or fit into something you couldn’t before. Six years ago, I was well into my weight loss, having shed a little over 100 pounds, and you can imagine how good it felt to set aside all the clothes that I had shrunk out of. They covered my entire bed!
I went through other photos I took that summer, and remembered a great story that I haven’t thought about it a while.. a story about a suit.
I don’t dress up all fancy very often, so I don’t have a lot of formal wear in my wardrobe. When I was at my heaviest, I wore a suit that I had ordered out of a big & tall catalog. Here I am wearing it, in summer 2009:
I went to another wedding in July 2010 – my friends Molly and Dan tied the knot – and I was 100 pounds lighter, with absolutely nothing to wear. My mom graciously offered to buy me a suit, and I remember being elated that I could fit into a suit sold at a regular (not big & tall) store. Here’s that suit:
Two months later, and there’s another wedding – Ani and Bobby’s. I’m still losing weight at a steady clip, and my new, two-month-old suit is already hanging off me. I went to a tailor, who took it in all over the place, and I ended up looking pretty fly at that celebration.
Then, four months after that, another wedding. Laura and Chad’s. I returned to the tailor, acting all proud and smug: “Guess what? I lost more weight. You need to take in my suit again.” Except that he couldn’t. My weight loss was so significant that, if taken in again, my suit would look ridiculous: the proportions would be wrong, the pockets and buttons in the wrong places. Plus, it would require ripping out every single seam, and the cost would be through the roof.
The suit was done.
Formal clothes aren’t cheap, but this was a problem I was proud to have. I had just reached 150 pounds of weight loss, and buying new clothes was a thrill, not a chore. I went to four stores before finding something for the wedding.
Just in case you weren’t keeping track… I wore that suit twice before it no longer fit. Just twice. And I still have it, too, in the back of my closet. The jacket still has a bunch of pins in it, from the tailor, before he realized taking it in further was an impossible task. That suit is a tangible reminder of what I did during that time – 150 pounds of weight loss in one calendar year – although I feel like it’s time for another closet purge, and I don’t know if that suit will make the cut.
I still look good in a suit, by the way. This is from Emily and Rich’s wedding in April of this year:
And soon enough, I’ll be wearing something I haven’t worn since my high school prom: a tuxedo! That’s for a black tie wedding I’m going to in the fall. Which reminds me: I gotta go get fitted for a rental tux!
Keep it up, David!