As you read this, are you wearing clothes that are comfortable? If not, why? I went shopping for some clothes the other day and I found myself thinking about a conversation I’d had with my growth partner about a year ago. I’d said something about pants being tight and she said “why are you punishing yourself by wearing pants that are tight?”. That conversation’s been rolling around in my mind for the past year and I finally had an ah ha with it this past week.
I’m quite fortunate that I don’t get caught up (too much) in what a tag says for clothes’ size. I either know that the clothes I have in my closet are too small, too big or just right. That’s not to say that I don’t have some little voices as I try something on and one size doesn’t fit and I have to go for a larger size. What I mean is that I won’t NOT buy something if a certain size doesn’t fit. I will get the next size up. (If it were about getting the next size down, I probably wouldn’t be writing this particular blog post.)
So, as I was shopping, I found myself trying on some pants that were elasticized rather than snap, button or zipper. What did come through was the conversation we have about that. “You better not wear stretchy pants. That’s just permission to over eat. That’s permission to be a little piggie. That’s permission to gain weight.” I do believe I’ve even seen diet tips and tricks that suggest you wear pants that are snug to remind you not to eat. What if it was just the opposite? Here’s why I say that.
The next day when I got dressed, I was sporting those new pants and a new bra because I bought those as well on my shopping adventure. I felt really good. I felt energized. When I sat down, I didn’t have pants biting into my stomach or a bra poking into my underarm. Instead, I was able to just go about my day and not be negatively reminded about my size. Here’s the interesting thing that happened. I didn’t feel driven to eat to soothe a pain that was being caused by clothes that weren’t comfortable. Yeah, I (we) eat to soothe pain and that soothing causes weight gain that causes discomfort that brings us to eat to soothe the pain that causes…. yes, vicious cycle.
Instead, I just went about my day. Interestingly enough, two friends both said to me at different times during the day. “You look different. What changed?” What changed? I was comfortable! Not sweat pants comfortable with unkempt hair and the just rolled out of bed look but comfortably dressed for success and feeling sassy!
As I was experiencing this 24 hour period, I was really present to how we use clothes to punish ourselves. We fill closets with clothes that don’t fit. We have sizes we were and we have the clothes that fit us and our “fat clothes”. I’ve heard many friends talk about the three sizes in the closet deal. I still remember buying a white lace shirt when I was a teen that was just a bit too small and I knew when I lost some weight it would fit. It never did get worn. I don’t have a closet filled with many sizes. I have mastered that. I do, however, fall prey to the tight clothes punishment. My body fluctuates with hormones, if nothing else, and that’s reason enough to have clothes that are banded and clothes that aren’t. Gosh, if I can be kind to myself with the clothes I wear, imagine what can be next. It’s one small step at a time! Here’s to putting on clothes that feel great each day.