My Cato Size 12s

I have been on my particular weight loss journey since July 29, 2006. I am closing in on 10 months of a new lifestyle. So many things have changed in that time. I try to listen to my body and eat when I am hungry, but not famished. I have grown to love most water. I enjoy fruits and vegetables almost more than chocolate and have not had ice cream since last July. I don’t miss it and for those of you wanting to lose weight, “no ice cream” is not a stipulation – I promise.

I am not sure why this time has been different or exactly what the turning point was. But I remember not fitting into any of my clothes and not being able to find shorts last summer to fit – anywhere. I finally found size 20w capris in the woman’s department of Cato. They fit and looked as good on me as my mind’s eye would perceive them to look – but after several beach trips with Dave snapping pics with his newly acquired Nikon D50 I couldn’t stand myself anymore. I have had a lifelong battle with self-loathing but now there was external physical proof. When leaving, my first husband said I had let myself go (I weighed in the 180s – I eventually – long after he was gone – topped out at over 220 and yo yoed several times). A lot of things get said during a break up. My first husband was not an evil person. I had indeed let myself go, although knowing that he was much deeper than that I am sure that was not his primary reason for leaving.

9 days after my 36th birthday, I had enough. I pulled out the only program I knew how to use and that I had had success with – weight watchers. The journey started off very slowly. I was doing everything by the book – water, exercise, fruits and veggies – but my body did not want to give it up. Instead of giving up, I got angry – VERY angry. I was not going to be beaten again. I have had many break throughs. I have worked it almost constantly since that very first day. I try to learn things about myself when I succeed and when I fail. I have become more physically active than even and started running for a while. The pounds have slowly come off and I blew past a couple of obstacles – 180 always seemed to be my point of return to my old ways and size 16 seemed to be where I would start eating again. I cannot articulate why this has worked. I have continued to push forward – not being side tracked by the usual life chaos that has side tracked me in the past.

Yesterday was another moment – I am no longer emotional about success, but instead numb, as if I will awaken from this dream at any moment. I went to my store. Yes, Cato. I pulled a pair of size 12 capris off the clearance rack and went to the dressing room – my 14s were getting loose, but with the fabrics of today with a hint of spandex, I had convinced myself they were merely stretched out. I slid into the 12s, fully expecting them not to button, but they did – the next thing I did was something I have done a gazillion times since starting this program. I turned sideways to see how they looked. and I saw it – or started to at least. The mirror can be a game of distortion of reality. My mom (who has lost 100 pounds on weight watchers but was a thin child, teen, young adult) says that she had never realized she had gotten so large because she always saw the younger, thinner her in the mirror. I have always been large. I was born at 9 lb 14oz and never looked back. I weighed 132 in 5th grade and there was only one girl and one boy who were in the same ballpark – childhood obesity had not reached its epidemic status yet – so in the early 80s, 132 was a HUGE number for  a 10 year old. I was teased for my size from early on – so the lingering effect is viewing myself as fat, grossly obese. For almost 10 months I have looked in the mirror and have seen the same 210 pound woman. Yesterday in that dressing room, I saw it – I still cannot say what I saw – but it was there. I saw a glimmer. Oh, today I feel like 210 again, but there may just be hope – and if there is hope in this area of my life, there is hope in some of the more challenging troubled areas as well. I sit here typing in my Cato size 12s – and it is just the beginning.



About Ellen

I cannot even begin to describe who I am other than broken in body and soul with a dose of the only Hope there is. If you read me, you will know me.
This entry was posted in Blogroll, life, losing weight, obesity, weight, weight loss, weight watchers, weightloss. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to My Cato Size 12s

  1. hockamama says:

    oh, ellen, I’m so happy for you!! size 12 is so cool, yippee! and the surprise, when you don’t expect them to button, and not only do they button, but they don’t cut off your circulation. good for you!


  2. writeathome says:


    You have done great on your weight loss journey, and I congratulate you on this accomplishment. My husband and I are seriously thinking about joining Weight Watchers. Recently, my husband went to a minister’s conference, where he saw several friends who had lost quite a bit of weight. He was kind of expecting them to say, “Oh I had the surgery.” Instead, their answer was that they had lost their weight through Weight Watchers. I’m not obese, but if I did lose 25-30 lbs. I could get back into a size 12 or maybe even a 10. That would be nice. Mostly, I want to do it to encourage my husband. I think it would be easier if we were both doing it together, which is something I’ve wanted for a long time. Anyhow, thanks for sharing your success story, and I’ll let you know how our weight loss journey goes.



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