Autumn in San Diego

Sunday afternoon. It's cold and grey outside and I'm wearing thick leggings, a t-shirt, and fleecy sweat shirt. I love this time of year, the cold wind combined with the warmth of the sun when it's out, and being able to bundle and cuddle up in soft, warm clothes.

More often than not in my life, the onset of colder weather brought blessed relief for me. Relief from the heat and unpleasantness of summer, and the need to wear revealing clothes like sundresses, shorts, and tank tops. Autumn and Winter were a respite, a time when I oould wear bulky clothes and "hide" my own bulk. It's not that anyone else was fooled into thinking I was anything but huge, nor, if I were being honest, was I, but it allowed me the illusion of being more like everyone else. That season is upon us, even here in San Diego, and the signs are all around.

As I sat on the couch after class on Thursday, I noticed that Abby's coat is getting a little thicker and more luxurious and I bundled myself up a little tighter in the lightweight fleece throw I keep on the arm of the couch over the summertime, idly thinking that it was probably time to pull out the heavier, quilted down throw in vibrant holiday colors that serves as "heater" in my house. (No heaters, no air conditioners.)

Just as the seasons change, though, so can people, and so it is with me this autumnal season. For the first time in several years, I am getting smaller, not bigger as I head into the colder months. As evidence, I spent several hours this morning trying on everything in both my size 20 and regular closet (everything from size 22 to 3X) and making two very large piles of clothes to be given away, as well as a third pile that needs to go to the tailors to be taken in. One pile is cheap stuff in size 24 that is definitely too big and it's going to Goodwill. One pile is the nicer stuff (including a Talbots suit and one from Jones New York) which is also too big - mostly size 22 stuff - and it's destined for my friend, Ann, at work, who was just admiring several of those very same pieces the last time I wore them. I also was able to move nearly all of the size 20/1X stuff into my regular closet because it fits. It fits! I, quite literally, wept with joy when I slid the beautiful taupe crepe Dana Buchman trousers over my hips, buttoned and zipped them, and realized that they not only zipped but were perfectly loose over my stomach. Did I mention they're size 18?

So, as we head into what is sometimes thought of as a period of dormancy, a time for sleeping and other indoor activities, I find myself invigorated and ready to take on the world. I've been given a second chance at health and a better life and, this time, I don't intend to squander it. Never doubt for a second that miracles can happen, for I am proof that they not only can, but that they do and they have.


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