The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Days 222 to 229 – Going Unnoticed 26 September 2008

Another long gap between posts!  This is such a busy time of year.  Before I know it, it will be Christmas, which is a scary thought.

I went to the pub the other night with my Dad to watch football and have a chat, and we had dinner there (I had salad while he had a burger … that’s how well behaved I am these days!).  We were sitting at the front of the crowd, pretty much under the TV screen, and were therefore surrounded by dozens of blokes all watching the game.  I realised that I was sitting there eating in front of all of these people, without a care in the world.  I didn’t feel uncomfortable, I didn’t feel self-conscious, I didn’t think that the blokes behind me were looking at me and thinking ‘haven’t you eaten enough, love?’.  I mentioned a while ago that I didn’t realise how damning I was being about myself, and how insidious my negative thoughts were, until they stopped being there.  That moment in the pub illustrates that perfectly.  For years and years I’ve been desperately uncomfortable about people watching me eat.  I wouldn’t say that I’m exactly over the moon about it now, to be honest, but I’m getting better.  In fact, I think I was in a vicious circle.  I hated public eating so much that I would wolf down my food as fast as possible so that nobody saw me do it.  I didn’t allow myself to eat slowly, thoughtfully and healthily.  I’ve always wanted to be able to eat and not be noticed (critically or otherwise) for doing it … now I believe that I can.

I went shopping for a ball dress last night.  The last time I went to a ball was just after I left university, which is a very long time ago indeed.  With my new-found retail confidence I went to Coast on Regent Street on a recommendation by a friend and was confronted by a wide array of beautful evening wear.  Having never bought anything there before, I took a range of sizes and styles and holed myself up in the changing room.  Now, in the past, shopping for formal wear and dresses has been a total nightmare.  I was never able to step into a dress without doing a very convincing impersonation of Mavis Cruet.  I was confident that this would no longer be the case.  And what did I discover?  Dresses that fit my bottom half like a glove haven’t a hope in hell of getting over my ribcage, whereas dresses that I can actually do up on the top sag around my bottom half like a baggy old bin liner.  So I stood there, in two hundred quid’s worth of beautiful but il-fitting dress, staring at my reflection and giggling.  Being thinner doesn’t make everything perfect, not by a long shot.  And the hunt for the dress goes on!  Any suggestions?

I’m on my way to Stockport this morning to listen to housewives talk about cleaning their toilets.  I’m not lying … that’s how glamorous my life is.  It means that I’ll be stuck in a darkened room behind a one-way mirror for several hours.  Past experience tells me that the temptation in these situations is to graze your way through crisps, snacks, biscuits and fizzy drinks purely to alleviate the boredom.  With that in mind I invested in a bag of nuts and a packet of dried mango (my new favourite treat!) on the way to the station.  I’m hoping that I have the willpower to reach for that instead of the chocolate when the discussions about removing limescale get too thrilling for words …

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One Response to “Days 222 to 229 – Going Unnoticed”

  1. Munch Says:

    have you thought about getting something altered – if you buy something off the peg that fits on your top but is too big for your bottom half any local dressmaker should be able to alter it to fit you perfectly. Monsoon have got gorgeous stuff – good luck x


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