With the recent arrival and compulsion to take from the Halloween candy bowl, an interesting situation arose. For those who missed my cumpultion woes, we had a candy bowl out filled with candy because there were very few trick or treaters braving the rains that fell on Halloween this year. It was in my pathway and every time I passed it I took a piece until I banished it from my house, inflicting it on other souls elsewhere.
Now I am not normally a go for the sweets sort of person. Savory is usually my downfall. But I did find myself going back to the candy bowl repeatedly and in the process consuming far more sugar than I am used to. In fact, I ate more sugar than my body felt like handling. I felt bad, both jittery and sluggish all at the same time and despite the fact that I don’t usually like a lot of candy, after I cut myself off, I found myself thinking about it constantly.
I’m good now, it was a short term addiction that was relatively easy for me to kick.
But it did get me thinking.
Last Halloween I did the same thing. But I didn’t have a problem with it. My body didn’t react to the sugar the way it did this year because there was far more sugar in my life at that point than there is now.
While I try not to obsess, my focus tends to be on weight lost and the size of clothing I can get into. While I will never go for the super thin look, I do want to get every clothing item with an X in it out of my closet (XL, XXL and my highest tag XXXL, I am pleased to say the triple X have gone at this point at least). While it is not a bad thing to have a goal, it can sometimes lead to a rather myopic view.
This view occasionally causes me to miss things. Like the fact that I am much more likely to reach for a piece of fruit rather than getting a candy bar when I want something sweet than I was this time last year. Then there is the fact that when I look at my plate I no longer see my smaller portion size as small. It is just a proper portion size. The size I was eating before now looks far too big.
My normal shifted and because I focused on the scale, I missed it.
Or maybe it is something that you can only notice in hindsight. Maybe you have to ignore those details while your body adjusts for your new normal to take root. I don’t know. it would be an interesting psychological study though (and if any one in the field takes it up, I would love to see your findings). But even if that is so, I think checking in on the big picture and seeing the things that slid by unnoticed is a good thing.
For me, it wasn’t just food related alterations that have gone unnoticed as my normal changed. I had a very strange for me moment the other day. As the holiday shopping is in full swing, I have found myself bouncing in and out of more stores than usual as of late. During one of my forays I found myself facing a clothing rack.
Thinking maybe while I was out I might get a nice new sweater or shirt to wear for one of the upcoming holidays or related gatherings (seriously while family claim both Thanksgiving and Christmas there is actually a gauntlet of events between here and my New Year’s day collapse and possibly anti-social griping. I’m okay with people but I like my socialization in moderation and the first week of January, I don’t want to go t any sort of gathering.)
So I started looking at clothing and an odd thought occurred to me. I began to ask myself if I liked the clothing I was looking at or not.
I know what you are thinking. “Mimsy, that’s how people shop. They buy what they like.”
But it isn’t how I shopped, not for clothes anyway.
For clothing I went to the rack holding the largest size the store had, which depending on the store might be my size or not. If it wasn’t then I just walked away disappointed, if the size fitted me I looked at the very limited selection in my size and tried to decide if any of the garments were tolerable.
My personal tastes were irrelevant.
It has been a really long time since taste had much to do with my clothing selection.
My clothing shopping criteria were A. does it fit and B. is it not too horrid to wear in public. If it fit both of these criteria, I bought the garment. This was the first time in a long while that I went into a store and actually asked myself if I LIKED the garment. Part of that is due to the larger selection now that I am down a few sizes from my largest size. But lets face it, I am still large and while the selection is bigger, it isn’t terribly expansive.
I know that for some of you, that seems like a strange and possibly pointless thing. But for me, that change in thought was huge. And I have no idea when my brain made the switch. I’m happy it did though.
While I didn’t buy any new shirt that day, I did go home and look at my closet. I saw lots of garments that I have because they fit, or because they hide a bulge or they don’t cling in uncomfortable ways. A few garments I actually like (the closet isn’t a wretched place after all), but the majority are ones I tolerate wearing.
So because I finally noticed something that before now had gone unnoticed, I have a new goal. Not only do I want all of the Xs out of my wardrobe, but I want to eventually only have clothing I actually like in my closet. For now the ‘it fits’ garments stay because let’s face it, they do fit and I can’t run around naked.
It is cold and I would scandalize the neighbors.
Plus no sports bra.
But as garments are removed from my closet, their replacements will have more thought put into them than their predecessors and when I finally get to a sustainable, healthy weight, I suspect my closet will look like a very different place. At the moment I don’t know what that is because it has been a while since I thought of clothing in terms of taste instead of size so I will need a while to think about it. But I have the time. Its sort of an extra blessing for the slow and steady weight loss. There is time for contemplation.
I suppose it also means there is a reason for the candy bowl.