Weight loss Survival Tip #3: One Size Down

The attainable goal: A skirt, one size down.

I know a lot of people trying to lose weight. Perhaps it is endemic of society these days or perhaps like flocks to like. Whatever the reason, one common theme is that each of us has goals for their weight loss. The goals vary from person to person.

Some of these people want to lose a couple of pounds, others want to get rid of a much larger chunk.  Some want to look good for a wedding, others want to wear a bikini in public.

As I started at 246 and want to get down to between 120-125 (although I am playing that number by ear.  I figure I can see how I feel when the event becomes more than a distant speck on the horizon) my goal is to lose about half of my body weight (which would be 123, not only do I like the sequential numbers, but I needed to think of some goal and half seemed as good as any).

And in case you are wondering yes I am singing the Sesame Street Numbers song in my head every time I see the goal number (1 2 3 4 5… 6 7 8 9 10…1112, everybody sing along…)

Part of me wishes there was some way to just sort of split in half and become two separate people, but then there would be two of me.  I’m fairly sure the doppelganger rules would require that I destroy my double and I really don’t have the time and resources to properly dispose of a body. No herd of willing pigs, no industrial sized wood chipper. And with the exception of my planter boxes currently filled with tomato and basil plants, all the dirt here is hard red clay.  It’s difficult enough to plant petunias, I’d need a backhoe to bury a body.  Trust me, no one wants me operating heavy machinery, especially in a confined space.

While the goals of all my dieting friends differ, one thing that all of them, at least the female ones, have in common is the idea of THE OUTFIT. 

One of my male friends found out that if you want to ride a donkey down into the Grand Canyon you have to weigh less than 200 lbs, so his fixation is donkey related. And yes he knows he could rent a horse instead, but he has decided it is a donkey or nothing. But that is a different discussion for another time. Back to the point.


If you are trying to lose weight or know someone who is, then I’m sure you know how it goes. Let me get it started for you…When I lose all of this weight then I am going to get…where you go from there depends on who you are talking to.  It varies from bikini to evening gown, covering almost everything in between.

Mine is ‘the dress’. I don’t have a specific one, not yet anyway.  I keep looking and changing my mind. When the time comes, I plan to go to a store, try on several (because I can, not something I can currently do at my present weight level, at least not in every store) and pick the one I like the best.  There will me no X, XX, or even XXX anywhere on the size tag.

Once the dress is secured, I will pair it with a pair of pretty, but utterly impractical heels (adding the fantasy that my feet will in no way hurt with this skyhigh footwear and that my klutzy self will cause no damage to either myself or the world around me) and then me and me and my honey bun will go out to dinner. All of the other patrons in said restaurant will be gasping and saying to their friends ‘Wow is she wearing a dress that looks good on her and not just good on the hangar?’

Well, that is the fantasy of the dress.

Once you get over a certain size, clothing doesn’t always look like it does on the hangar once you put it on.

The reality is probably me buying a dress (after trying on as many as I can in the store, that part won’t change) and then coming home and doing the happy dance while yelling ‘it fits, it fits and it looks like its supposed to’.  My hands will more than likely wave in the air and I my hips will wiggle. 

There is also the likelihood that I will fall over the couch.

But I will not care. Because it will fit and not have an X of any sort on the label.

In the end, we may go out for dinner or we may not. I may just dress up for dinner at home. If we do go out though, it is doubtful anyone will think twice about our excursion. There will be no dramatic gasps and stares of awed wonder.

But at the moment, the dress remains a fantasy.

For the far distant future.

And while it does sustain me when I am sweating it out on the treadmill and wondering if god is looking down on the earth at that moment and thinking, ‘man those hamsters, er humans, love their exercise wheels’, I have found the one size down approach helps me out, especially when I feel like giving up because it is just too long a haul.

The one size down is an attainable goal.

The one size down approach involves purchasing one item of clothing you like in one size smaller than you actually are at the moment. It doesn’t have to be an expensive item. In fact my current one size down item came from my local thrift store and cost $3.49. I happened to find it with the tags still on, in case you are wondering about the picture.

At my heaviest, I was in a size 24 and am currently in a size 18.  I am an ardent believer in the thrift store, especially since I’m hoping to keep whittling down my size numbers. Which means that at the moment I’m not actually purchasing clothing for my wardrobe. I’m just sort of paying to keep it around for a while before I donate it to a local charity. This makes paying a lot for clothing at the moment a bad idea.

While I’m hoping to end up in the 8-10 size range, I know that is going to take a while.  For now, I have my regular clothes and I have one skirt at a size sixteen. 

It isn’t a tiny garment that seems like an impossible dream, it is a skirt one size down.  I can put it on, but I can’t zip it up.  Each week though, the gap between the two sides gets a little smaller, making the one size down seem like an attainable dream and not a long term fantasy. 

I know I will be getting into this skirt, after all I’ve already purchased it and I hate to waste money.  Besides, it’s just a little too small. Soon I will be able to zip it up (even if it looks waaaaay too tight at that point) and soon after I am able to get it to zip, it will actually be comfortable to wear (and I will not look like I am about to explode the fabric in an incredible hulk like expansion of green flesh). 

On that happy day, I will go back to my favorite thrift store and buy something in a size 14. Maybe pants this time, or possibly a dress, just something that I like the look of and is only one size down.

Eventually, the one size down will be the fantasy dress.

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