Are you starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel yet where you live?
Does life seem to be returning to a new normal yet?
Maybe you are heading back to an office or are starting to leave the house more frequently. This means that if you have been living in your loungewear for the past year, you might want to start branching out again.
This might mean that you will be looking at the clothes hanging in your closet for the past year.
It might mean that it's getting warmer where you live and have to try on last years shorts or swimsuits.
If you're like the most of us, your body might have changed while it was surviving a pandemic. And yes, your body might have needed to change while it was keeping you alive and managing stress the past year.
This can be frustrating and triggering for some. Let's get real...for many.
It's frustrating when your clothes no longer fit!
For many, trying on clothes (whether they are ones you currently own or have to shop new) can be a big trigger negative self-talk or feelings of shame.
I don't want to see you crying in your closet, dressing room or spiralling into a vortex of shame.
So, I'm sharing 5 ways to prepare yourself when trying on clothes in order to have a more positive and gentler experience.
You can watch via video above and/or read below.
1. Understand that our bodies are meant to change.
This is all perfectly normal and healthy. Whether we are struggling with an illness, hormonal changes, life changes, stress, a pandemic, etc…
Our bodies are doing what they are designed to do. To keep us alive.
I know you have heard it everywhere that food and exercise are the ONLY factors to your body changing, but it's a lie. Ask who benefits from telling you that?
Yes, we can be frustrated that our body has gone and changed on us and clothes we love no longer fit. My body has changed multiple times in the past 4 decades. Absolutely yes, I have been frustrated.
But I refuse to hate my body. I refuse to hold it hostage. Let’s thank our bodies for keeping us alive. Let’s be gentle with ourselves and respect it by giving it clothes that currently fit and feel good.
2. If you become triggered and feel yourself spiralling into a vortex of anxiety or self-hate when you try on your clothes, then take deep breaths and center yourself.
Walk away until your nervous system calms. Your fight or flight systems have been triggered and you need to give it an opportunity to calm down.
You won’t do yourself any favours while you’re in a triggered state. After that initial reaction and calm down, usually you can come back to it a second time more calmly.
I find putting on my favorite upbeat music helps my brain have some positive fun waves sent to it.
3. Detach any meaning, self-worth or value to the number or size of your clothes.
Try to see your body from a neutral point of view.
All you are doing is seeing if it fits or not. If it does, great. It means it fits. Nothing else. If it doesn't fit, then move on. It means it doesn't fit, nothing else.
There is absolutely no meaning either way. Other than that you might have to replace a few items.
I do recognize that that also creates a time and financial burden for many. This can further trigger self-shame or anger. You may think that it’s easier to punish or restrict your body, but please don’t. Find friends with a similar body size, check your local thrift shop or even FB marketplace for some second hand clothing.
I believe that your current body deserves clothes that fit it now.
4. Talk to yourself the way you would to a family member or friend.
Would you verbally or emotionally abuse them?
Would you be loving, gentle and respectful?
Practice that with yourself. Make visual prompts around your space if you are a visual person. Please interrupt the abuse like I hope you would if you saw someone else being abused.
Practice more gentle and kinder words towards your body and the things it can DO, rather than what it looks like. When I say practice, i mean practice. It's not a one and done.
It's an every damn day practice.
Shame and abuse never motivates anyone. All it does it further practice treating your yourself badly.
Try being kind to it and see how kindness can transform.
5. Resist the temptation and shame marketing to sign up for the latest fad diet.
We now know that all diets (no matter what it promises) are not sustainable and will most likely make you gain more weight in the long run.
A very small % actually deliver what it promises long term.
If you feel like you are out of control with eating, then please check out someone who specializes in intuitive or cognitive eating to help you connect with yourself and your body. Learn how to trust yourself to eat in a way that feels good for you mentally, emotionally and physically.
If you don't know where to start your healing with your body and food, then I highly recommend my friend Roni Davis and her Cognitive Eating program.
Roni and I have also started a cool new project in order to dismantle diet culture called The Real Diet Story, where we share REAL stories about the long last harmful effects of diet culture.
Check it out here! The Real Diet Story
Amanda, Style Coach