Commit to Fit | Week 19

Author | Commit to Fit 2013 Winner, Judith Zissman

So almost exactly a year ago, I looked like this.

A lot of that weight came off very quickly four days after that photo was taken (mostly in the belly area!), but there was definitely plenty left as I started Commit to Fit seven months later. We’re now about five months in, and I now weigh about fifty pounds less than I did in that photo (just in case you’re keeping track, only about half of that is Commit to Fit-related).

Until this week, though, I was still wearing the black hoodie from that photo all the time. It’s cozy and warm, and for trips to the dog park or walks with the baby, I don’t exactly need high fashion.

That said, at some point it’s just ridiculous to wear clothing that fit you fifty pounds ago. So when I wandered recently through a new store in my neighborhood that features clothing and art from San Francisco designers, I was drawn to a stylish black jacket and decided to try it on.

When you’ve worn “plus sizes” for a long time, you get used to clothing that doesn’t fit well - because everyone carries extra weight differently, a woman with a large chest and small waist might end up in the same size as someone who carries their weight on their belly. Someone might have small hips and a large waist, or vice versa. Someone like me, with large calves, might never find jeans that look good in any style other than boot cut, because otherwise the thighs and hips are too baggy.

And because most stores don’t even carry plus-sized clothing, the options are quite limited. There are a lot of inexpensive and poorly-made clothes, and a few high end brands that have extended sizes, but it’s rare to see fashion-forward or independent designers working on a range of body sizes and shapes because it’s just too expensive for them to do production for the various kinds of large bodies out there. This is starting to change, and there are some great resources out there if you’re looking for them - blogs like Gabifresh and stores like ModCloth are definitely making it easier to find attractive and shapely clothing no matter what size you are.

That said, it takes effort. You can’t just wander into your new local boutique and grab something off the rack. Until this week, that is. For the first time in ages, I tried something in a standard size, something relatively form-fitting, and it fit and looked good. I bought that great jacket on the spot and wore it home. If this whole “fitting in cute clothes” thing keeps up, I’m going to go broke.