Fall is upon us and that means…wardrobe change!
But what if you pull out last year’s skirts, pants and dresses only to find that they shrunk? Or maybe it’s that you expanded? Either way, they won’t fit comfortably. So, what’s a girl to do? I’ll tell you what many will do – they’ll decide to diet and exercise themselves into those clothes. I’ve even heard ‘experts’ advise women to go and buy a piece of clothing one size too small ON PURPOSE so that they can work themselves into it. But there’s a problem with that philosophy; it’s not very kind, not very respectful and certainly not very body positive.
When you wear clothes that don’t fit, you’re more likely to feel self-conscious[i] and you’re more likely to develop negative mental chatter. Not to mention how exhausting those thoughts can be[ii]; it takes a lot of energy to feel crappy all day long! Then what happens when people start to feel badly about themselves? What happens when they feel ashamed and not good enough? They isolate and comfort themselves. For so many of us that means TV and food, alone at home. Numerous studies have consistently linked self-compassion to lower levels of eating pathology[iii]. Self-compassion was implicated as a protective factor against poor body image and eating pathology. Ultimately, the more you develop your self-compassion, the better your body image and eating habits become.
Unfortunately, we’ve become so used to the negative self-talk that encourages us into unhealthy eating habits that we don’t realize how hurtful it truly is. Can you imagine saying something like that to your daughter, “No way fatty! You can’t have pants that fit. Work yourself into what you’ve got.” Absolutely not! Instead, you’d say something like, “No worries honey. Let’s go get you something cute and trendy that fits right and feels great.” You might be thinking “But Kerri – it’s motivation. If my pants don’t fit, I’m going to forgo that cookie and want to eat salads and hit the gym!” You might, for a while. But eventually you’ll get hungry. Your body will start to conserve energy making you feel unmotivated. Then you’ll end up hungry and exhausted with pants that still don’t fit.
So, instead of putting myself through all of the unkind thoughts, and instead of squeezing myself into clothes that make me feel uncomfortable, I make a point to clear out my clothes each season. Anything that doesn’t fit, or anything I just don’t feel great in anymore, I donate. Then I go and buy a few new pieces that fit my body, and that make me feel good. When I feel good in the clothes I wear, and when I look in my closet and get excited to get dressed, I take better care of myself. I’m more likely to eat foods that feel good in my body instead of the foods that comfort my mood and I’m far more likely to have a bounce in my step and take the stairs.
Think of it this way, the clothes that are in your closet and in your drawers need to fit your today body, not your yesterday body or an idea of your tomorrow body. Your today body is the body you get to live your life in right now, so why not put clothes on it that make you feel good? Even if you don’t have a lot of money to spend on clothing, you still have options. All you really need are a couple of bottoms in neutral colours and a few tops to compliment. You don’t have to go to the designer shops to find something that makes you feel confident!
Make sure that when you look in your closet, you’re excited to put those clothes on. There’s nothing worse than starting the day already feeling frumpy. I highly recommend that you go through all of your clothes (right down to your panties, bras and socks) and get rid of the things that don’t make you feel good. Take them out of your line of vision and then see what you’re left with; You’ll probably only need a couple of pieces to round out your wardrobe. Remember that purchasing those items is an investment in your happiness. This isn’t about deciding that you’re going to be fatter, or if your today body is okay, it’s about respecting that this is the body that you have. If you’re not wearing clothes that fit, it’s going to be very difficult to establish a respectful relationship with your body. I encourage all my Rebels to join in the closet cleanout this fall. See how it goes. Let’s get back to living life instead of loathing our bodies.
Until next time,
Live Life. Love Food. Be Free.