The Story of a Dress; or, a Triumph on Multiple Levels

The story is a cliche.

I used to be athletic, but after college I stopped exercising regularly, and then I had a baby, and then…..

Bottom line: by the spring of 2008, when I had my annual weigh-in at the doctor’s office, the number on the scale was 203.

January 27, 2008

Y’all, I was BIG. (Also, Holy Tiny Adorable Tyler, Batman!)

March, 2008

And I had an excuse for every extra pound. But seeing those numbers on the scale, and watching my doctor’s eyebrows lift as she asked about my diet and exercise habits, was enough to push me from apathy to action.

I started eating better, and walking. Eventually, I added yoga, and Zumba, and running, and kayaking, and hiking.

When I dropped the first dozen pounds, I bought a dress. It was Issac Mizrahi for Target, size 14.

May, 2008

I felt almost pretty for the first time in ages, and got tons of compliments on the dress.

July, 2008

So I kept it, even when I shrank out of it.

On my wedding day, I weighed 143 lbs. I had lost almost a third of my body weight in about 18 months.

And that size-14 dress still hung in my closet.

I kept my weight between 145 and 150 until the fire, when I stopped weighing myself (the scale was carted off with the rest of our stuff, and buying a new one was not a priority), reduced my exercise, and ate whatever was in sight.

Old habits. They die hard.

I ended up gaining 10-12 lbs, but instead of throwing my hands up in despair and making more excuses, I tackled the problem with more confidence. I’m almost back in my goal range now. As scary as it is to feel that your weight is out of your control, it’s almost scarier to know that it IS in your control.

As you know, I recently started sewing more with my awesome vintage machine.

Dress. Sewing machine. Do you see where this is headed?

I shortened the straps and took about four inches in at the waist, making my size-14 dress into approximately a size-6. Victory!

Voila! Easter 2012.

I had a thought as I was looking at the “before” pictures for this post. It is one thing for someone to love you when you start out young, and beautiful, and thin, and put-together. It is quite another for someone to meet you at a very low point, when you look your worst, and love you anyway. Jason was my biggest cheerleader as I struggled to make changes in my diet and exercise, but he made it clear that my weight did not matter to him. I get all choked up with gratitude just thinking about it.



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3 responses to “The Story of a Dress; or, a Triumph on Multiple Levels

  1. Hi, Windy! I love the story about your dress as I love all your stories! You write so well and so eloquently on a number of difficult, but important issues, so I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger award.
    My best wishes!

  2. cheryl

    love the post. love the dress. love the story. when I met John Sapora, I weighed a good 25 pounds more than I do now. THEN, when I was pregnant with Riley, I gained 60 pounds. TRUTH. He loved me still. I was an ambulatory manatee in maternity clothes. I am so grateful for devotion through “thick and thin” as I know you are. Well said.

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