Goal jeans #4, sixteen laps

It took eight weeks, but I can finally say it: the size 14 jeans button and zip. As usual, just because they button and zip doesn't mean that they're public-ready, but getting in them at all is plenty of a victory, given how much I've struggled since mid-May.

(Need a refresher course? Take a look at the 'weighty issues' category page for a listing of all entries on the subject.)

To retrace my steps:

This morning, when I took the 14s out of the closet for a hopeful try-on, I held them up to me and realized that I'd begun to perceive them as jeans that I might fit into soon. When I bought them (along with the sizes 16 and 18 in the same style) off of ebay in early April, I remembered attempting to tug these jeans onto my legs and stopping at mid-thigh, because my thighs wouldn't even fit into them.

It was depressing then to stick my legs into a pair of jeans I knew I couldn't wear, just so that several months later I could remember the feeling when a couple months later they did, in fact, finally fit my body.

* * * * *

"Once you stop thinking about how you're going to swim, you just end up swimming."

The past 24 hours have been nothing short of fantastic. I know that I've not talked much about my decision to resume swimming after a decade's layoff (chronicled here and here), but it hasn't all been rosy.

It's been damned difficult, actually. My mind remembers that I once knew how to swim, and swim well, but my body has plainly forgotten much of what it once knew. Couple that with a decade's worth of changes on my body, and the continual, gradual changes that come from a workout regimen, the end result is someone who no longer has an accurate sense of her body's movement or placement in the water.

On June 1, after a heavy workout, I slipped into the pool and completed one lap before my muscles screamed in protest.

Yesterday, June 26, I did something I didn't expect to do until next month: I swam a quarter-mile. That's sixteen laps. Before yesterday, the largest chunk of laps I'd done contiguously was three; yesterday I did eleven, stopped to talk to Ashley for a little while, and decided to push on and do five more to make it to sixteen.

My right shoulder aches a bit today, but last night I dreamed of the water, that magical period of five laps yesterday in which everything clicked, and my mind remembered how to swim and my body just went along with it.

I knew I had it when my breathing slipped into cadence with my arms and stayed there, arm over arm in a backstroke that suddenly didn't feel like fighting or effort or struggle. I pulled myself through the water, and stared through the roof's glass panes to the clouds above, and watched, fascinated, as the view changed as I moved.

It was everything I remembered from so long ago.

* * * * *

It'll be a while before the size 14 jeans are worn out in public. Right now they're too constricting for comfort (or attractiveness!) - they're simply a pair of jeans to be kept in my closet and tried on every weekend, just as a benchmark to see how I'm doing.

Dragon*con is 67 days away. I can definitely make these 14s comfortable by then, but can I reach my wish of wearing a size 12 by 'con? I don't know, but I'm feeling a bit more encouraged to try.

My next assessment with Val is on Thursday. Maybe this is the promised week of rewards I've been struggling toward since May.

I can do this.

I can do this.

I can do this.

I can do this.

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I can almost guarantee that you'll be in a size 12 by September. Why? Because if you can comfortably fit into a 14 in one brand, there's almost certainly another brand where you'll slip right into a 12, and another where you'll still need a 16. For example, The Gap is pretty good for clothes that run slightly large. I've got a pair of size 8 chinos (8!! And believe me, I'm not an 8) from The Gap that I can still sausage myself into. I know that you want to be a "genuine" 12 by September (i.e., where you can put on a 12 from most stores), but if you want to meet your goal by any means possible, it's a useful cheat to know. One other thing: if you've never given much thought to wardrobe before besides "Does it fit?" you might find the What Not To Wear book (or TV show, if you can find it) helpful. (I've seen the second book and it's not nearly as good.) I'm not saying you personally need to know "what not to wear," just that their Rules (you can almost hear the capital R) are simple, easy to remember, and can help you look taller, slimmer, and timeless throughout all phases of fashion. I am proud of you, not because you can now wear a 14 and shop just about anywhere, but because you're so determined.

Excellent job!!! I have had weight issues ever since I was younger, and it took me a long time to make that kind of progress. At my largest I was a size 22 pants, and in the span of about three years, I went from weighing around 220 to 160, pants size 12. Of course I am nowhere near satisfied with my weight; it is work in progress, getting down to my goal, which I think is going to be 140 for now. Anyway, keep up the great work.