Better With Sprinkles

The Colourful Side to Healthy Living.

Size Awesome.

40 Comments

Just a word of warning: I’m going to be mentioning sizes and –some- numbers in this post. If you think this will be triggering for you, then please give this post a pass and we’ll talk tomorrow.

 

So, my fruitless search for jeans the last few weekends has got me thinking about how I feel about clothes and sizes.

It’s interesting how much value we put on what size we wear. Just like society preaches specific numbers that we should hit in terms of calories and exercise (eat x many calories per day and exercise x minutes per week), we have this idea that the smaller the number, the better we are as an individual.

When I first starting losing weight, I loved watching the number on my pants sizes go down. After a while, I didn’t really have a size. If I needed clothes, I would walk into a store, and finding the smallest item they had. It wasn’t even about being a size 0 or an extra extra small, I loved the fact that the smallest item in the store was usually still baggy on me.

Why did I take so much pride in that? I’m 5’7 with a Germanic/European heritage – I have no business being that small. Size zero is exactly that. It’s nothing. Why did that smallness feel so important to me? Maybe it was a desire to be exactly that – nothing. The smaller I got, the less I existed. Why on earth would anybody want that? Being nothing…maybe that’s what I was going for.

(side note: a very small percentage of people are naturally tiny and their bodies are meant to fit into clothes that size. I was/am not one of them).

 

In recovery, I slowly had to throw away all those size-nothings. I had to accept the fact that I was not meant to be wearing clothes that small. As I had to buy new clothes, I would cut out the tags. I could not accept that number, coming back home. The higher the number = the more space I was taking up…I couldn’t look at it.

Eventually, I become more accepting of the fact that I wasn’t the smallest anymore. I actually had to try clothes on to make sure that they fit, and sometimes I needed to go up a size.

I don’t like to admit it, but I still have trouble accepting my clothing size as I am now; at my healthy weight that I’ve been maintaining  for a few years without restriction or over-exercising. Each time I try on something on that’s a little too small (but at the size that I think I am) I tell myself that the style just ‘isn’t right for my body’ when really, the issue would be solved and it would probably look nice if I just grabbed the next size up.

This frustrates me, because I know that clothes in different stores are sized differently, sometimes drastically so. In one store I’m a 2, in another I’m a 6. In one I’m an extra small, in another I’m a medium. I know this, so why do I still have trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that I just need to try something a little bit bigger?

I need to focus on the fact that going up a size is not a bad thing – I’ve noticed lately that since my shoulders have broadened and my arms have thickened up a bit (which is a good thing – thank you heavy weights!) I need to buy larger tops to accommodate them. I need to realize that this is not a bad thing – and stop putting so much value on a damn tag in the clothes I wear.

I think I’m going to go back to cutting all the tags out of my clothes – I’m at absolutely no danger of relapse (believe me, I’m never going back there) but if that label or that number causes me to feel self-doubt or guilt, than I need to get rid of it.

So what size am I?

I’m size awesome. Size wonderful, size fantastic, size beautiful.

That’s all I need to focus on.

<— Do you feel like you put too much emphasis on clothing size, or have done so in the past?

<— Ever thought about removing the tags from your clothes?

 

 

Image source 1, 2.

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40 thoughts on “Size Awesome.

  1. I don’t cut tags but it definitely saddens me how much emphasis society does place on sizes. My sister is very much bothered by sizes and that really saddens and angers me! Numbers don’t mean anything – itz how you feel!

  2. I’m so glad you did this post. I have the exact same feelings. It’s why I hate buying jeans, or shopping for anything but running clothes, for that matter. It’s something I really, truly struggle with. Being size awesome is much better and less stressful than being a size zero. I’m not built for that. I’ve got some curves, a booty, and I’m more than trying to shrivel down to a nonexistent unrealistic number for my body. Thanks for sharing this 🙂

  3. Oh yes, girl. I so hear you on this one. I tend to buy clothes that are a little bigger anyway because I feel more comfortable with things a little looser (skin tight is not me at all), but I only go to a few stores for things like pants because I know what I’ll be there and which styles I like, which just makes it a lot easier mentally. I also know that I don’t have a ton of extra money to waste on clothes that I might not end up wearing, so it’s just safer for now to go with what I know/am comfortable with clothes wise for the most part…I try to get something new/not my usual style every now and then to change things up . I like how Linz ended her comment…how you feel trumps anything else at the end of the day!

    • She’s a smart lady! And that’s definitely fair, student budget means that I have to watch my spending too. So for me, I can’t be wasting my money on buying things that are a little too small and not comfortable physically, just so I don’t move up to a size that I’m not mentally comfortable with.

  4. This post is awesome! I would love to be able to say that I have never cared about my size, but that would be a lie. At certain times in my life, it had way too much influence in how I felt about myself. I can not tell you how much I appreciate this!

  5. I completely know what you mean Sam. Sometimes trying clothes on in one store can ruin your day and then in another make it because they are so wildly different. I wish I didn’t sometimes have that mindset but I do. I tend to buy few clothes so it is something that doesn’t happen very often though! My dad brought me back some size zero jeans from America and not even my pre-teen and lanky stepsister could fit into them! I like the idea of ‘size awesome’ though 🙂 thanks for posting!

  6. This is such a great way to think about it. I really need to take some of your words and apply them, big time. So true that clothes sizes are completely different from store to store. I definitely put too much emphasis on clothing size..cutting the tags out is a really good idea. My mindset has been really warped lately and posts like this bring me back to reality. I’m so glad YOUR mindset is improving, and I can’t wait for that to happen to me.

  7. This is a fabulous post, Sam! When I was on the bigger side, I would cut off my labels out of shame of the size. When I started losing weight and buying new clothes, I’d be so glad to be able to buy smaller sizes but if for any reason I was a larger size in a different store, there was no way I’d buy the top/jeans. On the flip side, I remember buying something I didn’t even like much purely because it was such a small size. Unsurprisingly, I don’t think I ever ended up wearing it! Fortunately I am rarely bothered by labels anymore- so long as something looks good on me and fits well, I’ll wear it- big or small!

  8. I know for myself sometimes when I go shopping I’m sad if I have to go up another size at a certain store. When I first started weight training, I gained a ton of muscle in my quads and they couldn’t fit in my skinny jeans! I was frustrated I had to go up another size, but realized this was a good thing because I had put on muscle. I try to focus on the positive aspects like how I’ll feel wearing my new jeans rather than the size.

  9. I definitely can relate to the size woes as well! I’m on the smaller side (only 5’1!) so I always feel like I’m obligated to be wearing the smallest size possible which is ridiculous. I hate that every store seems to differ with their sizing so I try to stick with my tried and true favorites that always seem to fit the same way but I still have a fear of trying something on and having it not fit.

  10. Oh yes, I can very much relate to the size woes, and it makes me sad to think that a simple shopping experience can totally sour my mood if I end up not fitting in the size I want to fit in. I’m definitely not where I’d like to be in terms of accepting numbers, but I’ve found that it’s gotten a lot better over time, as long as I do my best to focus on how much better I feel when I’m healthy. You said that you’re in no danger of relapse because you obviously remember how crappy it was to live in the depths of an ED, and those are the kind of thoughts that I bring to mind whenever I find myself starting to feel a little worse. It’s easy to be tricked into thinking that losing weight results in happiness, but I’ve actually found the complete opposite to be true… The less I weighed, the more unhappy I was, and it’s good to keep that in mind.

    • That’s my strategy too…how I felt in the depths of ED could never be worth getting to a certain jean size. Being skinny did not make me happy by any stretch of the imagination. I would much rather take some discomfort at being a certain size than live through that again – definitely keeps everything in perspective when I’m shopping.

  11. You rock Sam. guess what, I’m size awesome as well. I always wore larger than normal things, even as a kid, so size never really bothered me. However, it is more so seeing those things that once fit all of a sudden not. I think a big part of recovery is letting go of those pasts clothes or size expectations and just embracing where you are. where you body needs to be. thanks for sharing this!

  12. Awesome post my amazing friend!
    I definitely can relate to those sizing problems. Ah, it makes me so sad for the past days when I would cry because the sizes weren’t what I wanted them to be, I admit I still do have a hard time shopping. Probably why I prefer online shopping;)
    I always try and focus on the positives instead, like that I can actually go shopping without feeling like death and embracing the fact that I’m healthy and my body is overall happy!

  13. Hi Sam,
    This is a great post and topic to bring up.. I think any woman, with an eating disorder in her past, or not (that’s me) can totally relate to being hung up on sizes! It’s a media thing.. a celeb/model thing.. it’s everywhere. I’d just like to add, as someone that works in the buying/business end of fashion and retail, I can tell you that sizes are by no means standardized in Canada (or U.S.).. size 2 or 6, small or large has ZERO measurement specs behind it, so it seriously shouldn’t mean a damn thing. Furthermore, size 0 is actually a junior size, mainly there for young girls looking to buy women’s clothing (think of Aritzia with triple 0 sizes).. it’s not a woman’s size, and if you ever see odd number sizing ie. 1, 3 , 5 (ie. Billabong, Roxy) thats a sure sign that it is a ‘juniors’ line, which is sized and made for teens and therefore you would expect to both be a bigger size, and that they may just not fit quite right, because they are not designed for women and curves. Sometimes knowing the facts helps, at least for me! That getting caught up in those numbers are just useless, because they mean nothing 🙂

    • Thanks so much for responding Shira! I know you don’t need to have a disordered past to feel caught up in and guilty in those sorts of numbers – the media adds a ton of pressure.

      And knowing those facts definitely does help, thank you so much! Definitely makes me feel a lot better, and I’m sure it will for other readers as well.

  14. Great post Sam! I definitely struggled in the past with feeling the need to fit into size X when I damn well knew that it wasn’t healthy for my body. I never cut the tags out of my clothes [never really thought of it] but to be honest, it probably wouldn’t have mattered or helped the situation because I knew what size it was in my head. Nowadays I am much more concerned with finding clothes that fit my body and appreciate that certain things don’t fit – I don’t want to fit into clothes that are made for little girls… I’m up and my curves are growing with me 😉

  15. I definitely have issues with that special number. I avoid shopping at all costs many times because it’s just too painful sometimes to go through the process of trying on jeans. That’s why I wear stretchy yoga pants most of the time. That’s a great idea though–to cut out the tags.

  16. Basically ditto to this entire post. That pleasure out of walking into a store and knowing I was the smallest size… so true! Even after I put on weight I was still usually the smallest size because I’m small naturally (that’s what happens when you’re a midget haha), but I’ve noticed in the past few months that I’m actually not always the smallest size anymore. It actually doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. I know I’m healthy and that’s all that matters!

  17. great posts and you hit on some really great points. we feel just about everyone can relate to clothes size in some way or another. we not really look at sizes anymore when we shop, we have such unique body structure to begin with that it is really hard to find clothes that truly fit right. we are with you in that we are an awesome size 🙂 when we go shopping we are grateful being able to do it and just try to enjoy the whole experience and not focus on the size.

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  19. As you know, I really need to get over my issue with sizes. I am still squeezing into my tiny pants because the thought of going shopping and buying something bigger makes my weight gain more real somehow. One thing that helps me is thinking back to me at my smallest. I was travelling with a very limited wardrobe and I had a pair of XS sport leggings that I wore every day and which were baggy in the legs and butt. In a sick way, I was proud of this, but I have realized now that leggings should never be baggy, nor is that attractive in any way. Let’s hit the mall and pick up a few size awesomes in a few weeks 🙂

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