The day I’ve been waiting FOUR.

I remember it like it was last week.

It was 2005, I was living in Washington, DC, and my good friend Kelli asked me to help her pick out some clothes for a new job. We ended up at JC Penney and right away I went to work selecting business appropriate pieces for her.

“What size are you?,” I asked her.

“Hmm, I guess a four? Yeah, four should work,” Kelli told me.

A FOUR. Wow, that’s a real size that people actually wear. Huh! I didn’t know how they wore it, but they did. I mean, my skeleton wasn’t even a size four. I just looked at her over by the racks of the sizes I never went near. Kelli was tall, blonde, and beautiful. And a size four. At least two of those things, I would certainly never be.

As you can see from these pictures from that exact time period in 2005, I was already blonde {Ugh, AWFULLY, hahaha–why didn’t somebody tell me?} so you can figure out the other two.

I sat outside the dressing room, so proud of her for getting new “Working Girl” clothes, but also dying a little bit inside. Each time she exited the room to show me how the pants looked on her I became more and more overwhelmed. Obviously, I couldn’t show it, as this was her big moment, but I couldn’t get the number out of my head. FOUR. FOUR. FOUR. I’ve never come out of a dressing room wearing a size four. I was overweight, disgruntled about it, not sure where to start, so I just never did and I was quite certain I never would. I just couldn’t do it.

It wasn’t until seven years later, and a lot of sweat, hard work, dedication, and knowledge, that I made a liar out of myself.

I could do it.

Yesterday, I did it.

But in between those seven years, most recently in the last one, I got close.

Remember these moments?

This was an exciting moment when I freaked out in the Gap dressing room. I hadn’t been a 12 in ages!

And this one was in the Anthropologie dressing room. Another freakout. Eight is great!

Both times, I walked right by the smaller sizes.. Gave myself another anti-pep talk, spewing self-doubt about how I was still big and there was no way I’d fit it. And both times, I somehow told the voice to shut the f**k up quieted that voice inside and gave it a shot. What could it hurt? I try it on and see how close I am, or try it on and it fits, right?

I gave that same thought a try yesterday at Marshall’s. I was in there to shop for my Foodie Penpal {they have the best food items, shockingly}, but took a stroll down the pants aisle. And there they were– the green pants .

I held them up. Cocked my head. Looked at them again. Held them up to me. Put them back on the rack. And then repeated that about five times. When I saw a girl lurking behind me, my competitive shopping nature attacked, and I grabbed them again. I had to try them on!

This happened:

i love you cherry much
I am not the world’s prettiest crier, let’s just say. But you get the point. I was so happy that I couldn’t help myself and just broke down. They fit! The fours fit!! I’m still curvy, yet I can be a four!! Best of both worlds!!

Every single thought I had from that day with Kelli {and sooooo many other times of telling myself I’d never get there}, came right up shooting out of my body. I was unable to control myself and I just let go. Over the past twenty-five years I shed so many unhappy tears in {and out} of dressing rooms, I wanted to let the happy tears flow.

As I said on my FB page yesterday, no, it’s not all about numbers or sizes. {So those of you out there that are anti-sizers or anti-numbers, please control your barking to me for just this once and save it. :-)} I worked too hard for this for anyone to let the air out of my smiley balloon! I started out at SIZE 20. Twenty, y’all!!!

Where I was coming from!! {A whole different GREEN piece of clothing right here!}

Unless you’ve been there, you can’t possibly understand the emotions that go into that. It’s a whole different world when you’re overweight obese. The way people treat you, the way dealing with life in general is {not all chairs are built the same!}, the way you treat yourself, even if subconsciously and you don’t mean to. It’s rough. So for all those times I went to bed at night wanting to wake up thinner and slip into some fours the next day like magic–this was it. That day arrived. {Magic replaced with hard work repeated over a few years of course!}

It was definitely a day I’d been waiting working FOUR.

And Kelli, I think we need to go shopping again. :-D.

Let me hear it–who’s been crying happy tears in the dressing room lately? Y’all have been working hard, so I know somebody has!!

Comments 46

  • Cherie,

    Why am I sitting here reading this and crying?! Well, because I KNOW this story all too well. I remember BEING a size 4 and I look at myself now and ask how the hell did I get here?! It is a DAILY struggle for me and there are days where I think I will never get back to my size 4. I recently started following you and you are such an inspiration because you were where I am now and to see how far you’ve come makes my heart jump! I know that you get it, you know the struggle, you know the journey and I LOVE your enthusiam, your realness, your honesty through it all.

    CONGRATULATIONS on reaching your size 4 girl! I hope everyone gets it’s not about the number but the journey to that number that made you cry. I know that’s what has me in tears now. 🙂

    • Thank you Karen!! Awww, well, I’m crying right along with you! This whole subject makes me cry all the time, lol! We buy more tissues around this house, I swear! Thank you thank you thank you for these words!!! I hear you–my “normal” body size most of my life was size 14, and when I was a 20, I always thought the same thing–how did I get here? how do I get back to 14? will I ever get down to a single digit–like an 8? I didn’t do it fast, but I did. I believe you can!

      And you’re right–it’s not the number, it’s moreso the amazement I feel in having done this! That’s what I hope people get!

  • wow, I love this, Cherie. You are incredible. What a journey you have been through and to feel those pants slide on and FIT, must have been incredible. Enjoy it, embrace it, shed tears over it, you deserve it!! Congratulations!!!

    • Thank you Jolene!! 😀 I thought all my crying was done yesterday, but I keep doing it today, too. It does feel pretty sweet!!

  • Wow, I’m crying too! I’m so happy for you and now I know I can achieve my goals too! A few short months ago I was miserable, and at times I still am miserable,but the good thing is though, I’m working on it. As of today I have lost 34 lbs in about a year. I finally am getting serious and 14 of those 34 have been lost in 5 weeks. Thanks for your story because now I know I can get to my goal- even though the road is long and difficult and filled with fat,sweet and fried foods. You are such an inspiration!

    • Thank you Jen! You’re doing it right–that’s how to get un-miserable–you’re working on it! Congrats on the 34!!

  • What an inspiring post! I want a moment like this one; lately I’ve been going through a lot of the “I’ll never get there so I may as well give it up” feelings you described here. I think I may go back to your earlier posts and follow along with you as motivation for getting my own journey up and running (pun intended :)).

    • Thank you! I had those feelings day in and day out, so I hear you. Yes, please follow along–start NOW and get those feelings to slowly go away for good!!

  • SO very happy for you and you should be extremely proud of all that hard work to get there. This just goes to show that you should never count yourself out when it comes to a goal. Always believe that good things are possible.You are a perfect example of how hard work pays off. Congrats!

    • Thanks Karen! I have been a big counter-outer of myself for the longest time. I wish I could say I don’t do it any more in other areas of my life, but I at least have it down pat where weight/fitness is concerned!!

  • Reblogged this on Run with K and commented:
    I have heard some people say that they will “never be that size”. Oh really….? Read this blog and discover how wrong you just may be.

  • Congratulations Cherie!!! It is not about the number, it is about courage, strength, faith, hope, power and the knowledge that you can do anything!!

    • Thanks Dana! Haha, but you read the numbers comment I made, right? 😉 It’s not, but for this one time, it most certainly is for me! Yes, though–I agree about all of the other stuff going right along with it for sure!!

  • Cherie, you have worked so damn hard you should be proud and celebrate your milestone! You are such an inspiration! I know a number isn’t everything, but I ALSO know what it’s like to really work for it. Job well done!

    • Thank you thank you Meg!! It feels a little surreal, until I think about all that went into it. Then it becomes very real all over again!

  • Wow, congrats Cherie. I am so inspired by your story. I will get out of the double digits before I turn forty. I repeat. I will get out of the double digits before I turn forty. I am printing out this story photos and all and putting in my daily journal to read and reread when I start to think and crave those foods that keep me in the double digits. Thanks for keeping it real.

    • Thank you Melorie!! I’ll repeat it with you: YOU WILL GET OUT OF THE DOUBLE DIGITS BEFORE YOU TURN FORTY!!! 😉

  • Yay for happy tears!! 🙂

  • Wow!!! I am crying tears of HOPE for me and JOY for you. I am starting on my umpteenth journey to a healthier size, but this will be my FINAL trip. From this point foward I’m losing the excess weight and will learn how to maintain it until the good LORD calls me home. I’m grateful that someone posted your blog entry in a FB group. I’m now following your blog and pray to get to a four or eight.
    God bless and keep inspiring others.:-)

    • Thank you so much Dominique–looks like there are happy tears all around!! And I appreciate you finding me. I know all too well all about the umpteenth journey attempts. You can do it for good. You CAN!!! Once you commit it to your mind for REAL, you’re on your way.

  • Thanks for taking us back through your sometimes painful, funny and inspiring journey. I can totally relate. Going from shopping in only plus size stores to now any store I want is amazing. I often forget that I’m not plus size. I wore my first size 8 pants this week and I am still in shock. It has been over 15 years since I’ve worn a single digit anything. Thanks again for inspiring me. I’ve been in a slump and this post just inspired me to keep on going.

    • Thank you Myrtle. I swear, sometimes the clothes shopping is the best part of it. I mean, don’t get me wrong. I love how I feel, how I look, how much energy I have, but just something so simple as going into a store and selecting a piece of clothing is amazing to me. CONGRATULATIONS on your 8!! That is GREAT! 😀

  • Congratulations and I want my hair like yours

  • The best post I’ve read this week! Congrats on your well-earned success 🙂 I know how you feel – I was a complete geek when I fit into size four just this past April. BTW, I love the pants!

    • Thank you! Comments like this make me smile! I’m just writing out my feelings so it’s so nice to see that! Way to go on that FOUR of your own!!

  • you rock girl!!! i got an 8 at lulu a few weeks ago which was a huge deal for me!

  • I am so happy for you!!!! 🙂 I’ve been there with the tears in the dressing room. You are an inspiration. Love your blog!

  • Great job, lady! I too am teary-eyed reading this! Be damn proud of yourself.

    • Thank you Crystal!! More tears! I feel like I should pass out some tissues with this post, lol! Or at least get Kleenex to sponsor me, haha!

  • Cherie, I am loving your blog. As someone on a similar journey, I know these feelings and cried a little when I saw your tears. I remember my size 12 breakthrough and now those jeans pretty much hit the floor when I put them on.

    I think taking back our bodies makes us much more appreciative of what we’ve accomplished.

    I LOVE reading your blog.

    Erin –

    • Thank you Erin!! And I love how you put that–I am definitely much more appreciative of what I’ve accomplished by taking my body back!!! 😀

  • WOOHOOO! So excited-you should feel so good about all of your hard work. And those green pants totally rock:-) Enjoy wearing them. (I would probably keep the tags on forever!)

  • Congrats, that is absolutely fabulous!

  • Congratulations on such an incredible accomplishment! Practically a lifetime ago, I lost over 50lbs. Going from a tiiiiight size 14 to a size 2 (almost a decade and two babies later i’m now comfy in a size 4). You’re right, no one can truly understand what a huge adjustment that is unless they’ve been through it…not only physcially, but mentally. Even when I looked at myself in the mirror…half of my former size…I was still the overweight girl I had always been. I was wearing pants that were HUGE on me because I thought I couldn’t possibly be smaller. One day (thankfully!) my friend walked right up to me, pointed at my pants and said “Dude, your pants don’t fit…AT ALL. You need smaller pants N.O.W.”…I haven’t looked back since 🙂

    btw – the moment i slipped those 2’s on i’ll never forget either…banana republic dressing room, i giggled, clapped and jumped up and down like a complete and total nut!

    • Thank you Bekkah! Haha, I love that “total nut” feeling and you totally get it! Congrats on your weight loss, too!!

  • OMG Cherie!! That’s AMAZING!! I am SO SO SO proud of you!!!! <333