Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Miracles, Part 2

I've talked about my closet several times on Doing A 180, I think most recently in this post.  It is large as it is not a traditional closet but rather the opening under an eave of my house.  The entire left side has a hanging rod the full length of the eave.  Above it is a shelf where I have shoes in boxes - dress shoes and shoes that are not seasonally appropriate, and below are shoes I'm usually wearing.  The right side has trunks for storage of seasonal clothes and items that are just too bulky for my dresser - like sweatshirts.

Last fall when I did the big throw away/sorting thing, I finally gave up and put anything that wasn't fitting into the steamer trunk at the very end of the closet.  As depressing as it was to think I might never wear those clothes again, I was willing to hang on to them for one more year.  Anything that fit me at the end of summer, went into my summer tote and it was this tote that I pulled out when I began the Great Vacation Clothing Try-On on Saturday.

I put all my shorts in one pile and shirts in another and just began to try them on.  Nothing fit!  But not because it was once again, too small - every last thing in my tote was too big. I was absolutely shocked because truthfully, I had been cramming myself into some things by the end of the summer so I was sure that a lot of the items in there would fit and fit nicely instead of me looking like a stuffed sausage.  I stopped what I was doing and went downstairs to get a garbage bag to put clothing in to give away.

After I packed those items away, I took a deep breath, ducked under the eave and headed for the steamer trunk.  I stood there and held items up and if I thought it looked big enough I put it aside to try on.  I came out with 3 shorts, 3 shirts, and 2 capris.  Not only did all those items fit, they went on easily.  I was in such a state of shock I started shaking.  I wanted to laugh, cry, jump up and down - and maybe I did some of that as now it's a bit of a blur.  I held my breath again and went back in and took out more items that I initially thought would be too small.  I discovered some dresses at the bottom of the trunk that I know for a fact I haven't worn since before my thyroid diagnosis.  I pulled them all out and every single item fit.  As I stood looking at the pile of "clothes that fit" growing and growing I realized that for the first time in probably 8 years I was going to have enough clothing to take my trip without needing to buy new things.  Don't get me wrong, I'll still buy a couple new things, but the feeling that I didn't actually have to or need to was just exhilarating.

As my emotions struggled to catch up to the reality of where my body was I realized that if these clothes fit, maybe I had managed to get to my goal of being able to wear the dress and the capri outfit that I had worn when we went for our 10th anniversary.  I pulled them out of the closet, said a little prayer, made a sign of the cross (and I'm not Catholic lol!) and went for it.  As I eased the dress on I actually closed my eyes because I was so afraid it wouldn't zip.  But it did and with ease!  Photo isn't the best quality because I was taking it with the iPhone and my head is cut off because honestly, you don't want to see what I looked like from the neck up - but here's proof that I made my goal:

Next up, my capri outfit:


Just after I snapped that picture, Mr. Helen came upstairs and caught me in the outfit. He got all verklempt, although I'm not sure if it was because he was excited to see me in that outfit or because he was proud of me for saving something for 10 years.  Then he looked on the bed and saw all the clothes he said, "What are those piles?"  When I said, "Clothes that fit, clothes I'm taking on vacation." I thought he was going to shed an actual tear - and I'm sure that was because he felt the bank account was now safe.

As I transferred my piles of clothing into the spare room to be packed, I realized the reason I was so shocked by all of this is because I'm pretty sure I'm at least 7-10 lbs. more than I was 10 years ago.  But once again I've learned that the scale is not everything and should not define me.  In 2002, I had just started running.  I was doing no Muay Thai, other strength training, or body resistance exercises.  I've said many times recently that right now, I feel the healthiest and in the best shape I ever have been.  I guess this time the proof was in the clothes and not on the scale after all.

One more thing:  I'm getting ready to be a size smaller as some of the looser items in that size are fitting me. (All this working out is paying off!) I only discovered this because Mr. Helen encouraged me to try on a couple dresses in the next size down, which truthfully is my goal size. I guess he sees the size I really am and as I was holding the dresses up he said I should try them on.  Not all of them fit well yet, but a couple did.  I'm telling you, it's not only like having a whole new wardrobe, it truly was an Easter miracle!


  1. This post makes me smile from ear to ear. I feel your joy and am so happy for you. You worked so hard for this.

    And I love the dress in the last pic, it looks so good on you and look at that big smile, it finishes the outfit!

  2. Bravo, bravo, bravo! You look fantastic! Yay!!!! I am so happy for you!

  3. LOVE THIS!!! What a fun, fun trip through your storage bins!

    Also? These kinds of surprises are exactly why we shouldn't focus on the scale...it does not tell the whole story, especially if you workout.

    Agree with Fran - you look fabulous in that last dress.

  4. Yep, I was right - best non-scale victory - EVER! I am so proud of you Helen and you continue to be my inspiration. Hard work and dedication - you have it, so you got the prize! Hugs!!

    p.s. I am sure you'll still find a way to buy a new pair of shoes for your trip! :D

  5. What an amazing experience you had....You look great. Be proud of your accomplishment. I had a similar experience last fall when I cleaned out my closet. Which reminds me, I am going to have to do the same thing soon.

  6. I was smiling as I was reading your post, because I was so happy for you! It's a testimony to what you have achieved with all of your hard work.

    It must be a good feeling to be able to take clothes from years past and fit into them as you anticipate having fun in the sun. In recent years, I have been doing the opposite--scrambling to buy things that fit, because I have nothing! For me, that has never been a good start to a vacation. You look wonderful, Helen, and I think this was just the first step toward a fabulous vacation!

  7. What an amazing inspiring post this is Helen! I'm so thrilled for you......thank you for continuing to inspire me♥

  8. I'm SOOOOOO happy for you Helen. (and for the record, you look HOT!!!) Congratulations on ALL your success, and your hotness!!! Hugs.

  9. What E. Jane said, plus YES! You look fantastic in that last dress, Helen. I want what you have!!!

  10. Ditto what everyone else said - congrats!! What a great feeling! I have NOTHING I wore 10 years ago .. love the last dress!

  11. You look ammmmmazing!!! Congrats on being able to get into your "old" things!! Keep your chin up because perseverance really does pay off. :)

  12. Now do you believe me when I say how fantastic you look??? Happy vacationing!!!

  13. Congratulations Helen, an Easter miracle right in your own closet! It takes a long time for our mind to catch up with our body. Sometimes I think we should toss our bathroom scales and only go by how our clothes look. Those numbers really don't tell the whole story.

    You look amazing! What a great vacation you are going to have wearing all those skinny clothes.

  14. Wow amazing story!!! You look great! Congratulations on your achievement! It's not a miracle. It's just a sign of your hard-work and dedication.

    lottsa sustained hard work :)
    you look fantastic.

  16. This is great! I love a happy ending! Or is it a happy beginning? I'm amazed you actually still have clothes from so long ago. Sometimes I wish I had kept some of my clothes, some of the things I used to wear "back in the day" are coming back into style!


  17. Wooohoooo!!!! You look AMAZING!!!
    Love how those outfits from 10 years ago not only FIT but are on trend again. Go you, saving Mr. Helen's wallet. :)