It’s easy to become focused on dress sizes. We’re made to believe that smaller is better. Now, what if I told you that moving up a dress size will make you happier? I talked about it in my post ‘How to be more confident in your body’ but I feel this needs to be discussed further. Let’s break it down…
Change in your body shape is normal!
Let’s start at the beginning. Your clothes are feeling tighter.
What do you do?
Shame yourself and engage in restrictive behaviour imposed by diet culture? Or…
Reflect on the changes you’ve experienced recently and honour your body as it is. (Psst. I really recommend this one!) Perhaps you just had a baby or your lifestyle has changed. Whatever it is, it’s okay for your body to change size and shape. Your body does not define your worth.
I wrote a whole blog post on what to do when your body changes, including reasons why your body might change, and I can guarantee that shaming and restricting will never lead to happiness.
Holding onto smaller clothes is a subconscious form of fat phobia
Ever heard yourself saying “maybe one day I’ll get back into this?”
It’s difficult to let go of items that we’re attached to, especially when we associate them with our former ‘ideal body’. However, letting go of the “ideal clothing size” and buying whatever fits is a lot like intuitive eating. It’s freeing. Liberating. You stop defining yourself by other people’s standards and embrace your own body.
Keeping significantly smaller items subconsciously tells your mind that your larger body size isn’t good enough. The smaller sized item is the dark rabbit hole that may lead you back into the diet culture trap. I know it’s hard. Trust me. Start by putting the item into a location where you won’t see it regularly, for example in an old suitcase or in a cupboard you don’t use very often. Slowly work up to giving the item away completely.
You will feel happier without the temptation of ‘wouldn’t it be nice if I could wear this again’. Plus, it makes space for a beautiful new (or second-hand!) item.
Fighting to stay a smaller size will eventually lead to more weight gain.
It all comes back to the restrict and binge cycle.
You head to the shops for a new outfit. When you get there, you pick out your usual size and head to the changing rooms.
For whatever reason, you’ve gained a little weight. That’s fine. No big deal. Our bodies are constantly changing. Your usual size is not that comfortable and fits a little too tightly for your liking.
Instead of asking the attendant if you can try the next size up, you make a promise that you’re going to exercise everyday and only eat non-processed food.
After restricting all week, the cravings start. You’re hungry and tired from over-exercising and under eating. On Friday night, you eat something that isn’t part of your diet. The diet is broken so you may as well have an entire ‘cheat’ weekend and start again on Monday. (Because diets always start Monday, right?) You eat more than you normally would have even without a diet.
The cycle continues.
Break the cycle at the beginning. Stop allowing a number on the scale or on a garment to define you.
Another reason why dress sizes do not matter…
…because clothing sizes are SO INCONSISTENT.
It’s actually really annoying. Especially for people who shop online. It’s impossible to be the same size in all shops.
So, obviously, you are not the problem. Your body size is not the problem. The problem lies with the fashion industry and the lack of standardized sizes. And even then, whatever your size would be, it does not define your worth.
How moving up a dress size will make you happier:
- You will feel more comfortable in your clothes and less self-conscious.
- You can continue with a happy lifestyle of intuitive eating and intuitive exercise.
- You are showing yourself that you accept your body in its entirety and you appreciate it for keeping you alive through this journey of life.
- You release yourself from the control and judgement of clothing sizes, leaving behind the restrict-binge cycle and saying goodbye to diet culture.
Let’s discuss: how do you feel about clothing sizes?
Always remember to take a paws.
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