My thoughts on Image and how we see ourselves post WLS

I tried to think of a clever title for this post but honestly my brain is nearly frozen so the cogs are turning slowly today. It is turning cold where I live and while Australian winters are generally quite mild, I live at the bottom of the country and near the ocean so some days the winds blow in from the the coast and OH MY GOODNESS, they have the power to snap freeze you where you stand – today is one of those days. We are still in Covid-19 stage three lockdown measures in Victoria and we have 10 more days of this before the current State of Emergency declaration expires. If the State of Emergency is lifted on the 11th of May, then we may see a roll back of some restrictions BUT Victoria has a 10% community transmission rate of the Corona Virus (according to current data) so our restrictions are different to that of other states. I guess it makes sense, we have a high density population living in a small area and things could go feral very quickly if left unchecked. As an immunocompromised person I am grateful for the abundance of caution that the Victorian Government is taking to help flatten the infection curve here – pity about my own curves as I seem to see going to on an outing to the kitchen as fun again!!!

I haven’t let my kitchen trips get out of hand but I have struggled with the desire to eat because of anxiety and I truly hate that. It does get me down that, even after all this time, I still can tend to default towards food when I am extremely anxious. I have tried to use my time to make some productive differences to our lives. Making our own bread, making my own ginger beer, kombucha and kefir. I have been baking like usual and working on cleaning out areas of the house and repurposing as many things as possible to eliminate waste and frivolous “boredom buying”. The rest of the time is spent supervising my children school work and going over my own thoughts.

Over the last few days as the weather has turned colder, heat feels like it leeches from the Sun in the early afternoons and the days get shorter, I realised that I am a full 2 sizes smaller than I was at this time last year. The problem with that is that I have no ‘winter specific’ clothes besides a Kathmandu Jacket. It was a birthday gift last year and I adore it. It keeps me warm with its feathery filling and when I wear it I do shiver much less. It is definitely too big for me BUT I can wear other things under it which makes me happy and I have decided that there is little use in replacing it……. so Yay for me, I have one winter garment, in the middle of a pandemic and I live in a state that is not allowing shopping for anything other than essentials just yet. This may not sound like a problem, especially if you happen to live in a climate that is somewhat moderate. I do not live in a place like that. Geelong is known for it’s icy winters and when I say icy, I do mean minus zero mornings are not uncommon and day time temperatures often don’t creep much higher than 14 degrees C. It is cold weather here – totally different to the sub-tropical climate that I lived in for 35 years. There I got away with owning one jumper for those really cold days!

So now there is the dilemma of where to actually shop. The stores that I once used to frequent are all closed and the fact that I wear an Australian 4-6 does present a problem! I have found that stores stocking clothes in those sizes are either too expensive for my wallet or, in my opinion, too “young” to be appropriate for me. These thoughts have prompted so many worries around self image and personal style. I am finally at a point in my life, after years and years and years of struggling….. well lets face it 25 years of struggling with my size, where that is not the determining factor in what I can wear anymore. I can fit into whatever I want. I can choose whatever I want …. but with that freedom comes genuine angst. So what do I like, what image do I want to present to the world.

It turns out that my taste in fashion is as eclectic as it is in most other things. I have chosen a number of pieces for myself. All that have a timelessness to them with the odd bit of me-ish flair about them, oh and one skirt that is entirely too short, just for shock value. The shock value will be considerably diminished when I pair said skirt with very heavy, thermal tights, so I have justified my purchase that way. I spent about a week in total despair, worrying about all of this, until I decided to do what I always do and go with my gut feelings on it. It should be fun – a brand new me is loading 🙂