“My dress…exploded,” I explained to a skeptical group at one of my husband’s black tie events.  We were late, and that lame excuse, heavy with hyperbole, was all I could think of as an important-enough reason for our tardiness.  It was a major faux pas, and my excuse didn’t cut it. How could I explain to this crowd of thin, refined people that the dress I could barely fit in when I tried it on that morning didn’t fit at all by evening? How is that to be believed?

Actually, my dress didn’t explode…I did.  In just a few short hours, from morning to evening, I couldn’t zip up the dress that had fit before breakfast. I almost ripped the thing, therefore, to my mind, the dress was close to exploding.  Well, sort of.  What a revolting development. I scrounged around in the closet to put together some vintage skirt and top that didn’t look anywhere near as good as the dress I was counting on.

It’s embarrassing to think that I had eaten so much during the course of the day that the zipper wouldn’t budge.  What had happened?  Was I such a glutton? I chowed my way through so much food that a frock that fit only hours before…didn’t??

I had to look at the reality of the situation.  Yes, I had eaten a full breakfast, lunch, and even some dinner before attending the black-tie gala.  These events usually have late dinners with lots of sauces and gooey, tempting desserts, so I thought I’d fend off the Hunger Devil by eating before I went.

If I had not eaten so much would I have zipped myself into my dress?  Probably, but to keep that morning fit I might have had to forego every meal all day. Not a healthy idea, and would have set me up to overeat that evening.

In retrospect, trying on a dress first thing in the morning was not a great idea.  It gave me a false sense of security that I could slip the thing on again after several meals had passed down my throat. It would have been a much better idea to try it on in the afternoon, after two meals, and determine if I could zip it up a bit later. Then if it didn’t fit I would have at least a few hours to figure out another outfit, rather than scrambling through my wardrobe at the very last minute. “Grumble, grumble…but it fit just a few hours ago. What’s the deal?? This is so unfair!” The sad truth is, if it was that tight to begin with, I shouldn’t have tried to wear it. I was asking for trouble.

Or I could have been more judicious in my eating habits that day without starving myself. Maybe a smoothie, for nutrients earlier, then a few bites of protein at our regular supper hour would have been enough to give my growling stomach something to work on until the late dinner was served.

I never got a chance to fully explain my last-minute, wildly put-together wardrobe change to the suspicious dinner mates.  The conversation around the table broke into couples and the evening’s program began after that.  But I learned a valuable lesson: be judicious with food choices during the day, mega-nutrients in small portions, or try on outfits later rather than after an overnight fast.  After all, that’s why we weigh ourselves first thing in the morning; it’s our lightest time of the day. We don’t maintain that low weight as we eat and drink in the succeeding hours.

We also need to give ourselves a pat on the back if we’ve been good with our eating habits, even it if means we can’t really fit into that smaller sized dress quite yet. That day will come. We all need to be patient, and more kind to ourselves.  We’re on our way…right?

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