For over 1,400 days I wore the same outfit. It was a charming outfit, to be sure. It was a red, black, and gray pleated skirt with a gray vest trimmed in the same plaid. There was a delightful emblem proclaiming “SJS” on the left upper portion of the vest. It was worn with a white Peter Pan collar shirt and on that collar was a cutsie-pie clip-on bow tie made of the same plaid.

After getting out of grade school, high school was a welcome relief. I had choices of what to wear. I remember Mom setting up my clothing budget for my freshman year of no more uniform. I could have so much money. I could get more clothes if I sewed my own and Mom was willing to teach me how.

I learned to sew.

I had some great outfits. I remember the orange wool vest that was worn over two different straight orange and brown plaid skirts. I had a dusty rose, blue, and cream striped dress and a long vest made entirely of dusty rose. I also had a Kelly green jumper, the only readymade outfit of my freshman year. It was perfect for spirit days.

I have no idea what I was thinking when I chose a career that included a uniform. I do know I had more white clothes than is usually possible. I did not ever wear the same uniform over and over until I got to wear scrubs. After about ten years, I took a job in ICU/CCU and was placed in the enviable position of being able to wear scrubs. This was in a time when all nurses were dressed in white, and so I had a choice of one type of scrubs. On one hospital it was brown, the next was blue.

Then, since I didn’t have enough constraints on my clothing choices, I moved to working OR. At least I didn’t have to buy my own scrubs anymore. However, I got to wear the same thing day after day and it wasn’t even nicely pressed.

When working in surgery, outside germies were anathema to sterility and so I dressed in my regular clothes at home and then changed at the hospital. I always came to work wearing an outfit. Some people were lucky they weren’t still in their jammies, but I always showed up for work matching – usually from my underwear out. I did have to change in the locker room and I had an image to portray.

All this limited clothing stuff is what I use as an excuse for my current state of fashion. I love clothes. I hate (with a passion) wearing the same thing over and over. I do not, under pain of death or at least extreme trauma, ever wear the same thing two days in a row.

Partial view of one of my closets

Most of my issues with my weight were not based simply on health. The issue was my clothes. Since I love clothes I tend to accumulate them. I had clothes from Cincinnati still in my closet – and they fit. Right up until they didn’t fit any more.

I was so disgusted with coordinating an outfit, getting dressed, having it not fit, getting undressed in tears, finding something fat to wear, and going to work that I had to do something drastic. I threw out all my small clothes. I couldn’t keep crying every day before work. I didn’t actually throw them away, I gave them to Goodwill.

I bought some fat clothes – which were a huge size eight. Some may have even been tens. All were mediums instead of my normal small. I was just not going to fit into the old clothes.

That was in July or August. But in August, I started to just be tired of looking dumpy and being the same dimension when seen from the front or the side. I was the same from hip to hip as I was from stomach to butt – or at least it felt that way. So I began to walk. And I walked and walked. It didn’t help me lose weight, but it did make me feel better.

Eventually, I noticed I needed to maybe not eat so much junk. I’m pretty good with meals, it was the constant snacking all night that needed to be toned down. I toned it down. With this calorie cutback along with the walking, I really began to lose weight. Not great bunches of weight, but enough.

All of a sudden, the fat clothes I bought were too big. But I had gotten rid of my not fat clothes and so I had nothing to wear. I am trying to figure out how to get elastic in the waist of the skirts I purchased. I know I could just put in some darts, but then I might lose more weight and have to make bigger darts. So I think I would like elastic.

Once again I was faced with too few choices when getting dressed for work each morning. I had nothing to wear.

On Thursday, I left work at 2.50 and had to be back there for a meeting at 4. I had an hour – not enough time to go home but too much to just sit. So I went to the shopping center right up the road. Ross has cheap clothes. I like cheap. I bought ten dresses and five tops. I now have something to wear again.

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