|Sometimes I indeed feel like my pain is the only clear and bright thing about me. It washes me out, almost erases me, and I've certainly lost aspects of who I once was. Uber-fit Charlotte is probably gone forever.|
|Yes, I do go to this cafe a lot. I can walk to it without hurting my back too much.|
Most importantly for me, their target market is not teenagers so there is no blaring music, it's never overcrowded, and their sales staff, grown-ups one and all, are helpful but not pushy. They actually tell me when something doesn't look good. It’s not your usual, sensory-overload, shopping experience.
I have been shopping at one particular local Reitmans since before my injury so some of the staff there know me. Since the injury, I have gained quite a bit of weight and I remain very insecure about that. As I struggle to accept my body size and shape as it is now, I look at old pictures of myself when I was thin and start to see what was unattractive about me then: my face had a kind of gaunt look, while now it has a kind of feminine prettiness that I'm coming to appreciate; I had very small breasts, while now I have much more bountiful ones; the bones in my chest showed, while now they don't.
|Jeans and shirt: Reitmans; Boots: Ecco; Earrings: Jessica|
While at Reitmans, I told the sales woman that I used to be "too thin" and I'd recently been told I didn't look good then. "I don't know," she said thoughtfully. "I think you've always looked good. You looked good then and you look good now."
And it hit me: I don’t have to reject how I once looked to accept how I now look. I am proud of how hard I worked in the gym in the past and the body I achieved then. I looked good. And I look good now too. Maybe, just maybe, I’m simply a passably attractive woman and my size and age have nothing to do with it. What a revelation!
|Remember bat-wings? They're back!|
So, I was daring. I bought skinny jeans. And, you know what? They look good on me! Instead of concealing my figure, I’m showing it off a bit. How bold!
I did a few other uncharacteristic things too, like buy a few 80s style tops to go with the 80s style jeans. I hated 80s fashion the first time round but, if judiciously worn, it can work.
|Raincoat: London Fog; Brooch: vintage; Solitaire ring: heirloom; Ring on left hand: Birks.|