The girl in the dressing room

It started back in August. While visiting my family in NJ, I went to a Banana Republic with my siblings and some of their friends. Just for some background information, I never shop at BR. It’s not that I don’t like their clothes, their clothes just don’t seem to like me. Anyway, as I’m browsing through the sale rack, I find this simple, dark orange, summer dress. Typically, I wouldn’t have bothered to do this (I don’t even frequent stores that don’t give her a reason to shop), but this was different. For some reason, I agreed to try the dress on.

That was when I caught my first glance of her.


What followed was a series of dressing room encounters with a girl I had not met before. She would show up, briefly, at completely random times to wink at me. It was startling, at first, to see in the mirror someone I didn’t recognize. She could have been me, but her jaw line was more defined; her neck was more noticeable; her cheekbones and her eyes were more evident. Yet, the more frequently she visited, the less of me I saw. And as scary as she was to startle upon, she was even harder to acknowledge. I kept forgetting that my clothes were getting too big for her and she needed to search in the next size down.


I don’t know why it had never occurred to me that in losing weight, I would look different. I was so focused on getting rid of the fat around my mid-section, that I didn’t think about all of the other transformations taking place. I have been overweight all of my life. Never have I not felt fat. But, as naive as it may seem, I always assumed losing my weight would be like changing an outfit. Kind of like, “I was wearing a dress, now I am wearing pants”, simple. But that’s not the case at all. I am having to get use to a whole new me – wearing a new smile at a different section of the local Macy’s.


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