This is something in our culture we have been taught to believe is “the worst thing ever” (there are reasons for this). An event we allow to destroy our self-worth, ruin our day and disconnect us from our person-hood. We are not just bodies, yet when our clothes don’t fit, especially if our clothes size as gone up, it can take over literally how a person functions that day.
Even if you have been restricting and your clothes size goes down, I have yet to see it change the circumstances in ones’ life. Meaning, I have never seen bills get paid, relationships build or mend and increased self-worth magically achieved long-term by going down a size.
I have seen body dissatisfaction cause people to:
*Not want to go to work/school/out with people
*Wear clothes that don’t fit
*Wear clothes they don’t like
*Plan to restrict or binge after shopping (and even thinking about shopping)
And you know if you have been reading this blog for a while that I am intensely aware of the pain that many people go through who are not what the culture deems to have the “right body” and how having a larger body size can make it incredibly frustrating to have access to a wide variety of clothes. I understand, when you are not really wanting to get clothes that fit the body you have right now, that it is an extra pain in the you-know-what when you don’t easily find what you want.
That being said, the only loving, real thing we can do in this very moment is to:
Wear Clothes That Comfortably Fit the Body We Have Right Now
If you are giving me a dirty look through your computer screen right now, I have had that happen hundreds of times, so don’t worry; it is okay.
No matter what size we are, there will be an exponential increase in discomfort when you wear clothes that don’t fit because it will make you think about your body even more. I know that fitting clothes don’t guarantee body neutrality or love but you GET A CHANCE to be more comfortable and have your mind off your body for a moment (and hopefully more).
Okay, so let’s talk about a few things you can try to get closer to be more comfortable in your clothes:
1) Pack up any and all clothes that don’t fit. The longer you hang on to sizes that don’t fit your body, the longer you stay stuck in the suffering. Grieving the past (and the past weight) is necessary, but you don’t have to have a shrine (a closet full of clothes that don’t fit) to acknowledge that your body has changed. It just makes you feel bad.
2) If you need new clothes, consider online shopping where you can put in measurements in. If you can’t do this yourself, have someone you trust measure you and put in the measurements for you. You don’t have to go into the store fearing it will be overwhelming but you can get new clothes.
3) If you are feeling more neutral about your body but haven’t gotten new clothes yet, consider heading out with someone who knows you well can hand you clothes to try on. You hand back the ones you like and fit, reducing the overwhelm of back and forth.
4) Consider shopping with someone who is a similar size and body accepting–no comparing!
5) This one applies to all of the above and cannot be over-stated: Only allow people to help you who can be body positive, supportive and have a sense of humor!
6) Finally, if you need to go get new clothes and don’t have a body-neutral, supportive ally, try out this trick. After you pay for the clothes that fit, you can rip out all the tags before you get in your car to head home.
I hope this post gets you going to wearing clothes that fit your beautiful body. Over the course of your recovery from disordered eating and making peace with food and body, your body will change. Being as comfortable within your clothing makes a huge difference towards focusing on what you are doing all this growth work for.