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?