I’ve always loved nice clothes, I used to fantasize about looking great in short shorts, stylish fitted pants, mini-skirts, cocktail dresses, cute tops, etc. However, every time I tried on something like that, it was a disaster; the mall trip always ended up in drama. I never thought I looked really good in anything.
I always compared my body to models in magazines and mannequins in stores, and my conclusion was always that I had the wrong body, and that I should work on changing it. Without being conscious of it, I was putting myself at a disadvantage every time by falling in the comparison game.
I’d literally break down sobbing in the middle of trying on clothes, I would say horrible things to myself like: “I look terrible”, “ I have so much fat here”, “why don’t I have a normal body?”, “I need to try harder, eat less, work harder at the gym”, etc… After going shopping I always ended up hating my life, feeling bummed out, and punishing myself by formulating more restrictive strategies to “change the body I had”
If I happened to buy new clothes, I’d often buy a smaller size and store them in my closet, thinking that I’d wear them once I had lost some pounds or until I had shaped a part of my body. In the meantime, I’d be wearing boring clothes that just covered me and not really flatter me.
Luckily, many years have gone by, I know better than that now, and I don’t live my life like that anymore.
In fact, I recently had a major breakthrough…..It had been a long time since I had gone to try on jeans, and looked in a full-length mirror. I’ve been doing a lot of work in the “body image”, and “relationship with food” department for years. Two years ago I put on 30 pounds due to a health issue, and I’ve been losing weight steadily for several months, so I felt motivated and strong to go and try on jeans again.
I went into the store and picked a few pairs of jeans to try. While in the fitting room I was trying really hard not to look in the back mirror because I didn’t’ want to see something that would make me feel dissapointed. ( I have wide hips and I’ve always been self-concious about it). But….I looked! And my first reaction was horror and disappointment, I felt so big with no shape. The size 12 jeans were not fitting, I felt like a failure.
But them something happened, as I started to get dressed and ready to leave the fitting room; I started to think about the multiple times when I felt like this (regardless of the weight I was at) even when I was 30 pounds smaller, I still felt the same way. Then I started to become aware, and thinking about everything I’ve learnt in the past 2 years and everything I’ve been through in my life with diets, food, body image, and what I teaching my clients. Then I asked myself: “Am I really going to go down this hatred path again? Am I going to treat myself this way again? Hell No! , was my answer.
I immediately bounced back, and reminded myself that the body I saw in the mirror has been through a lot, and has brought me to where I am today: I’m alive, I have a career I love, I’m in better health than a lot of people in the world, my heart’s still beating despite all the crazy diets and stress I’ve put my body through, this body deserves respect.
I also reminded myself that seeing myself as someone who has big hips is only my perception. At some point in my life I came to the conclusion that however big my hips were, that it should be different, because I always compared myself to other women who have tiny little hips.
Lots of great aha moments came out of that episode in the fitting room. I also thought to myself, you know? , why don’t I try lifting weights again and see what my type of body can look like if I work on shaping my muscles again. I got motivated and empowered to create a better looking body with whatever genetics I have. I decided to improve the body I have without trying to change it for a different.
This time I decided to pursue a better shape from a place of love instead of hatred, Big Difference!
I’ve been lifting weights and doing small high intensity interval sessions ( without a specific schedule and without signing up for a personal trainer) for the past 3 months and I’ve lost a few more pounds since then. I noticed that my legs are starting to shape up again and it feels really good. I’m doing it slow and without obsessions this time.
I’ve learnt to love my body the way it is now, and I’ve also learnt that in life there’s no guarantees. I don’t know if I’m going to live tomorrow, so what’s the point in waiting until I lose 5, 10 or 20 pounds to wear the nice clothes, to wear the sleeveless dress, the short skirt, etc.
I came to the conclusion that I deserve to feel good now, today. I’m going to wear the clothes I like now!
I’ve been wearing different clothes that I had stored in my closet for quite some time, and it feels good!
When you feel good about yourself, you generate happy hormones in your body, and this hormones create a sense of well being that turn on your metabolism! So, don’t wait to have the “perfect body” to wear clothes that flatter you! Don’t punish yourself by buying small clothes and feeling uncomfortable in them! Buy the size you need to buy today, because you deserve to feel good.