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Several months ago, I bought a green, pseudo-military-style jacket. It was adorable and in theory would work in any number of situations. In theory. In practice, the sleeves were a bit snug. Not so snug I didn’t buy the jacket, but snug enough that it was unlikely I could wear any shirt with sleeves underneath it. I normally try to avoid making purchases based on what I hope my body will look like “someday.” In this case, though, the jacket was so close to perfect. It fit with room to spare everywhere else… it was just the damned arms that were too snug.

This has been, in a nutshell, the sartorial story of my life. My weight goes up and down, and generally speaking I’m good about dressing the body I have at the moment. I care about clothes, and always have, so whatever the number on the scale says, I make it work. But my arms are – and have always been – the bane of my fashion existence. For the most part, my weight is relatively evenly distributed. Downside: when I’m overweight, I just look heavy and thick, not curvy or voluptuous. Upside: no one part of my body stands out in a particularly awkward way. If my butt is big, so are my thighs, hips, stomach, etc., but all in proportion. People generally think I weigh less than I do because of this, so I guess that’s a good thing. But then there are my arms. Whatever size I am, my arms are a size or even two sizes bigger. Fitted sleeves are a perpetual problem as a result, because if the rest of the garment works, my arms feel and look as though they are encased in a blood pressure cuff (or worse). Even during one wonderful period when I’d gotten down to a size 8/10, I sometimes had trouble with fitted tops. Occasionally the larges still weren’t large enough, even though the rest of me was an easy medium. Incredibly frustrating.

This jacket is killing me. I’ve gained weight since I bought it, but since it’s not a particularly fitted jacket the body still fits quite well. It truly would be the perfect jacket, except for the arms. Once too snug to wear with sleeved shirts, they’re now too tight to wear even with tank tops. Not attractive. To make it worse, I see incarnations of my jacket over and over again on Pinterest, proving repeatedly that it would be ideal in any number of style scenarios… with dresses, with jeans, with everything. I love this damned jacket, and I can’t wear it. It’s torture. It sits on the chair next to my bed, taunting me with its unwearable perfection. Mocking me for my imperfection.

I’m so angry at myself I can hardly stand it. Obviously the plan had been to start losing weight again, but that derailed. Now I’m stuck with a growing body and a shrinking number of wardrobe options. I know how to lose weight. I’ve done it, with great success, several times. I’m very aware of what I need to be doing. Ah, but it’s the doing it part. Difficult even under the best of circumstances, and my current circumstances, well, I doubt anyone would describe them as the best. I have been stress eating in a steadily escalating way, and feeling my self-loathing increase with every bite. I’ve started to avoid mirrors from the shoulders down, which might help me feel slightly less terrible if there weren’t half a dozen other inescapable signs of my weight gain tormenting me at every turn (the dwindling wardrobe, my increasingly sore knee). I know I need to make changes, again. It’s just hard because to be honest, food is how I cope. Hey, I didn’t say I was coping well.

I hit something of a wall with the Halloween candy. I was overeating long before then, but it was the candy that drove me to the brink. I couldn’t pass the stupid bucket without shoving several pieces into my mouth. So I might lose the house… isn’t that why they make peanut butter Snickers? Ugh.

So today I made the decision to avoid candy for awhile. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s a starting place. Today, I haven’t had a single piece of candy… or any sugar, period. I feel marginally better. It’s not like my clothes suddenly fit, but it’s a first step.

I want my jacket back.

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