What started yesterday as a typical sarcastic Facebook post of mine, ended with a much deeper meaning:
Within seconds, my equally sarcastic Facebook friends responded with suggestions like, “Pony tail,” “Jammies,” “Nude,” and the list goes on. Then a very wise woman posted the sound and simple advice to dress how I wanted to ‘sound’.
When I was in my eating disorder, my outfits were completely dictated by the number on the scale. I would await permission from my scale to tell me whether I could wear ‘skinny’ jeans or ‘fat’ yoga pants. Essentially, that hunk of metal dictated if I could go out of the house or hermit at home never to venture outside (not even to get the mail). One of the first things I did when returning home from the Carolina House was to give away every piece of clothing in my closet. Seems nuts, right? Maybe it was, but it was what I needed. Every top, dress and jean was dripping in eating disorder labels: fat frock, skinny jeans, muffin top hider, loser leggings, couch potato pants, crash diet dress, moo moo…and the list goes on. They all needed to go. I needed a fresh start.
Eating disorders strip you of everything that makes you, well, you. My style was non-existent. I wore what I thought I was ‘supposed’ to wear. Whether it be a business button down or a game day preppster outfit, I was lost in fashion just as much as I was lost in life. Every Tuesday in treatment we were given slips of paper, kind of like weekly progress reports with notes from our therapist on them. I will never forget the week my therapist wrote, ‘wear less athletic clothing’. WHAT? I thought to myself. There she goes again on a therapeutic tangent. But then like all things therapy, the point of the comment sunk in after time went by. Whether I was wearing the athletic clothing to hide my body or to play into my athletic identity, neither were serving me well nor my recovery well.
So here is the really exciting part for me, through the journey of recovery, I have had the THRILL of discovering MY style. And like my mood, it changes from day to day, but one thing that you can be sure of is that it is all ME. Whether I am rocking my yoga pants (not fat pants) or decked out in bangles and heels, I am ALL McCall. My clothes no longer bear painful labels and reminders of a disordered past. Their sizes mean nothing to me. I love fashion and expressing myself through it. I no longer care what others think about what I am wearing or if they think it is odd or quirky. I love being different. I love being 5’9 and in heels. I love standing out. I love being me.
As I got dressed this morning for my first radio interview, I couldn’t help but smile when I looked in the mirror. If there was ever an outfit that was all ME, it was this one. I wore a grey tee with my favorite striped long cardigan over it. (I bought this cardigan on my first no-numbers shopping spree while in treatment and it remains today as my favorite article of clothing.) And lastly, I wore my comfy jeans and of course my cowboy boots. (I have an unhealthy obsession with boots (well shoes in general) and am particularly fond of my funky cowboy boots). So today, I was comfortable in my fashion and comfortable in my skin. And if I do say so myself, sported a damn cute outfit for the radio show.
A peak at the many styles that are ME