I grew up wearing “sturdy shoes” – the kind grannies wear and I hated them. I was embarrassed all through high school – the fat girl in the sturdy shoes.
These days you wouldn’t catch me in a pair of sturdy shoes – I’m in sandals and heels and sassy sexy footwear all the time. I’m not the only one with a burgeoning shoe collection, so is our frequent contributor, Kim Stover. Here’s her personal shoe story as only Kim can tell it - with humor, blunt honesty and sheer joy. Thanks Kim!
“If The Shoe Fits Buy IT!”
© 2005 Kim Stover - All Rights Reserved
Prior to WLS, I had a very hard time finding a shoe that would fit.At almost 400 pounds, fashion was neither here nor there...comfort was the focus. I had that terrible condition that most obese people have...the dreaded plantar fascitis. If you have no idea what I'm taking about, consider yourself lucky. For me, it was the most intense pain that I have ever experienced. Crippling at times. I would wake in the middle of the night to use the restroom and literally have to hobble to the toilet, hanging on to the vanity counter on my way. Shear misery. Thank goodness that went away as the pounds dropped off!
Shoes needed to be comfortable and supportive. Cute wasn't part of the selection process. I have a VERY high instep/arch, along with a very fat foot and my toes pretty much go straight across. Picture Fred Flintstone doing ballet and you're basically looking at my foot...but I have a fifth toe! Anyhow, last summer I needed to get a replacement sandal for the season. I was one year post-op and had lost quite a bit of weight. I was still clinically obese, but feeling much better with my plantar fascitis being a distant memory. All of my shoes were fitting sloppy, so I bit the bullet and went to shop for a new shoe.
Shoe shopping was not something that I looked forward to. As a matter of fact, if I found a shoe that fit well, I'd buy two or three pairs to have them on hand for the future. My closet looked like a stockroom at times, especially if there was a sale on said shoe. Okay, back to my sandal shopping experience...I went to the local upscale department store (the more expensive the shoe, the better it felt on my foot). I tried on a pair of sandals, expecting my foot to not slide all of the way in and much to my surprise, it went in and was a perfect fit.
It was a Cinderella moment.
Stunned, I said, "Wow!" out loud three or four times and walked around from mirror to mirror. They fit and they were sort of cute. How lucky I was to find a shoe on my FIRST try that actually wasn’t making my toes numb. I asked the clerk, who must have thought that I was nuts, if this particular brand ran big. She sort of shrugged her shoulders and mumbled something. Maybe she didn't mumble. It could have been the screams of excitement that were going on in my head that blocked her out. I was so thrilled that there was a manufacturer out there that made shoes for the fat foot. I must write down the brand of this shoe since they are cut just perfect for me and perhaps I'll even invest in their company. This could really take off as a success!
Not once did it occur to me that my foot had taken a new shape,that of "normal". Sure enough, my foot HAD shrunk, with the rest of me and ALL of the brands now fit. Years of shoe deprivation and now I had been freed. I decided to get re-measured at this point...formerly a size 9WW...now a 7.5 no W's necessary.
It has been a year since that experience in the department store. I still get just as giddy as I was that day when a shoe slides on my foot without getting stuck mid-way. All the seasons have since passed and I have the shoes to fill each wardrobe assignment. New sneakers, boots, pumps, heels, flats, sandals and even slippers. It's just amazing how such a small item can make me so gosh darned happy. I now have more shoes than I need and feel guilty on occasion, but then I remember all of the years that I had stocked up on that one brand of walking shoe—in black. I realize that I deserve to own a pink pump that I'll only wear once in a blue moon. I deserve it!