That’s not my size (anymore)

Today I am doing a little thinking  out loud. I’m sharing with you an experience that happened several weeks ago. It was one of those little things that made a big impression in my mind.

I went looking around a secondhand clothing store. I came across a really cute red and black plaid skirt that looked perfect for our upcoming Christmas service. In fact, I found two of the same skirts, side by side. What are the chances of that in a secondhand store? Well, they weren’t exactly the same- they were two different sizes, both one size apart. Oddly, the cheaper one was the smaller one.  Maybe it was slightly older? Who knows.

I thought to myself, Can I fit in the smaller oneI think I can. I’ve worn that size many times before. So instead of taking both of them into the dressing room, I only took one of them. The smaller and cheaper one.  I even brought a crop top back with me to try on with the skirt. I never wear crop tops, but hey, why not see what it looks like? As I pictured myself in the outfit, I felt for certain it would be a good look.

In the dressing room, I stripped down and put the top on. Ooo this is a little tight. That’s okay, I thought, it’s just to see what the skirt looks like. Next the skirt. I pulled the skirt up and went to button it- Um, this is a little harder than I thought. Suck in. Button. Try to breathe. Realize that if I tried to sit down I may suffocate.Look at myself. See the little bit of flesh poking out from in-between the skirt and shirt.

Okay. So this is not cute. Not cute at all. 

You see, it’s been a really long time since I’ve been in this situation. Over the last few years I’ve been lucky to have awesome friends who give me their hand-me-downs. It’s been a while since I’ve faced the horrible lighting of a dressing room to remind me that I do indeed have cellulite and kind of a lot of it.

The thoughts came flooding in- Since when could I not fit in this size? Have I gained that much weight? What am I going to do? I’ve been baking too much. Too many easily accessible containers of food at home. Too little movement- why don’t I walk more?

I quickly left the dressing room and told Terry I was ready to go. He asked why I didn’t get the skirt. I blankly replied “I’m not that size anymore.” He asked why didn’t I get the other one.  I replied honestly, “I’m feeling a little deflated”. End of conversation. On the drive home I began to think about how I could get back to that size- Less snacking. More diligent with using My Fitness Pal. Don’t stay in the house so long. Fruit and veggies, not baked goods. More time in the gym….

Luckily, I snapped out this train of thought pretty quickly. It went home with me and lasted about an hour. But then I realized I had to try one of my freshly baked peppermint mocha cookies, obviously.

Reflecting on my thoughts, I realized how much energy I was NOT willing to put into trying to lose weight. Heck, I don’t need to lose weight! All my clothes fit and I’m well within a healthy weight. I look back and see how I had it wrong when I told Terry “I’m not that size anymore.” I am not any size. I am not a size. I wear a size. In fact, I wear many different sizes, depending on the brand.

Do I think this was a brief moment of falling back into disordered thoughts? Maybe. But more than that, I think it was a pretty common thought process that a lot of women take part in. I think it was the idea that pervades media messages saying “smaller is better” or “weight gain equates to a lack of self control”.

There’s a very specific kind of evil out there waiting to steal our attention and diminish our confidence so that we won’t be successful. By giving into those ideas of needing to lose unnecessary weight or needing to eat cleaner when we already have a healthy diet, is letting that evil steal our ability to focus on things that matter and move towards our real goals. We are allowing ourselves to be chained to a unrealistic image. An image that we will likely never achieve, but may make us miss out on a million different things trying to achieve it. So yeah, I had the thoughts. I let a bad dressing room experience intrude on 2 hours of my day it didn’t deserve. I shouldn’t have given it 5 minutes, much less 2 hours.

So listen, no more crying in the dressing room. It doesn’t deserve our tears and it sure doesn’t deserve our attention once you step outside the door.

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72 thoughts on “That’s not my size (anymore)

  1. What an honest and great post. I am so happy that you could stop this detrimental train of thoughts and were brave enough to write about it in your blog. I think a lot of women (bloggers among them) experience this however choose not to share those moments with the people around or public. Thank you for sharing and reminding us all that these situations will happen to most of us and inspiring us to think clearly and move on!

  2. The same exact thoughts flooded my mind when I saw my weight on the scale and I actually remember thinking “I don’t have it in me to diet anymore so this is the weight I’m going to be”. I talked to my therapist about it and she told me two things that were really helpful and might help you too:

    1. This is a victory, not a loss. You allowed the thoughts to enter your mind but you also allowed them to leave. The old you would still be ruminating but the healthy you has moved on.

    2. (Hear me out on this one) As an adult, we aren’t as good as teenagers at our eating disorder. Who is more determined than an rebellious and defiant teen? No one.

    I know the second one is a little strange, especially since my ED went into my twenties however, I think there’s some truth to it. We are growing up. We don’t have the energy anymore to put effort into our EDs. We are smarter now. If we are hungry and we want something we are going to eat it.

    Moral of the story- I’m proud of you for allowing yourself to move on. Don’t think of this moment as falling back into disorder thoughts–think of it as allowing yourself to feel and then letting it go.

    1. The adult comment is RIGHT on. There is just TOO much going on to cater to disordered thoughts. I have real life responsibilities and goals. My ED went into my early 20s too, but by then I was recovered enough to be more attracted to my academic and life goals.

  3. I love your writing for its honesty. I hate trying on clothes in dressing rooms- I don’t think I’ve ever come out feeling good about myself. And it has sent my self esteem crashing down.
    But, you are right- we are so much more than a size. Thank you for the reminder.

  4. I could literally feel my heart and stomach turning into a knot when you were describing yourself in the dressing room and – so perfectly – the thoughts that came whizzing through your mind. I hardly ever shop, and am rarely in a dressing room… probably because I hate it so much. I feel like I know this situation all too well. I hate how these thoughts almost subconsciously come in and momentarily hypnotize us. It is so easy to not even notice they are there – and thats when we listen to them. I’m so happy that you could see the thoughts that were crowding in and were able to mindfully pull yourself back to the real Kate.
    “… when we already have a healthy diet.” Bam.

    1. Yep, I try to stay away from them if possible!
      They are so hypnotizing and easily convince us they are right. I now realize that I don’t have the time or energy to give to them.

  5. Ah wow I absolutely love this Kate. This is an amazing post. Thank you for you honesty as I and so many others appreciate it. I have been in this situation before and totally understand. But just as you said, we are so much more than a size and a number. ❤

  6. Awesome post Kate!
    I’ve been there. I’m pretty much back to my “pre-pregnancy body” (well, not really, because my body will never be the same because it literally created/sustained life!) but every now and then, I’ll try something on that doesn’t quite fit like it used to. It stinks for a minute – and I go through the same “bargaining” (I should cut the snacks, start running again, etc) but then I realize that it just doesn’t matter.
    And go figure I’ve also had opposite feelings – when a certain size falls off of me and I lament the fact that pregnancy/birth *still* didn’t leave me with a butt (don’t get me started on what’s left of my boobs, lol) 😉
    I’m glad you were able to reflect on your feelings/thoughts and realize that they weren’t beneficial to you. Past ED or no ED, we’re all susceptible to these judgments; I’m glad you shared this with us! I think being able to move past this – even 2 hours later – proves that you’re in a much better place than before.

    1. I too have been on both sides. I joke that I could dress promiscuous and no one would notice because there would be nothing to show, haha.
      I like how you use the word “bargaining”, because that’s exactly what it is and we learn there are no good trade offs.

  7. Love this post so much and can definitely relate! Especially as I get older and my body changes shape for no apparent reason. But I honestly don’t have it in me to diet and kill myself in the gym anymore… I spent so many years doing that and it just wasn’t worth it. I’m happy and healthy now, and any weight I tried to lose would just be vanity weight… which, again, I just don’t have the energy to do 😆

  8. I LOVE THIS. The way you reacted was so relatable, and the way you put it behind you quickly, pushed the lies out, told yourself the truth, and moved on shows so much maturity and growth. You are happy, healthy, joyful, and you are RIGHT. Health is MUCH MUCH more than a number.

  9. Your writing is spot-on. “I am not a size. I wear a size” is too accurate. Recovery is not about never having these thoughts. It’s about being able to let go of them, as you did… and as I am trying to do every day.

  10. Thank you for your honesty girl! I really think you’re SO right… lots of people make those equations… that smaller is better and weight gain means a lack of self control. That’s not true!! I’m glad that you realize the truth! You’re so wise… a change in size does NOT deserve the time or upsetting feelings!
    Xoxo- Cailee @ http://hellohealthyeating.com

  11. Oh, Kate, I love this so much. I went from an 8/10 down to a 00-2? then after Ryan I was a 2/4. All I wanted for SUCH a long time was to fit into my old jeans. To lose all the weight, look how I used to. It took a really long time (uhm, maybe even getting pregnant again? oops.) to realize that even if I did lose every single ounce from pregnancy (and getting a dog – I actually got to my pre-preggo weight, but not pre-getting a puppy weight ahhhaah) my body was just different. I would never fit into those jeans, at least not the same way. Our bodies change as time goes on, we gain weight, we lose weight, things just happen. That doesn’t mean that we should ist around and whine about it, because you’re right – it doesn’t deserve our time, energy, or emotion!

    1. I think it’s crazy to think that our bodies were made to carry children. Obviously other things, but that’s what makes men different from woman. To have carried a child and remained healthy is amazing, Morgan!!

  12. What an honest post. Thanks so much for sharing. I too, have cried one too many times in the dressing room. I really think you should come away from this experience with only a positive view though. At the time it might have really sucked, but look at your thought process SINCE then! It’s a total flip, and I think that is so great!

  13. Kate, this was such a wonderful post that really spoke to my heart. You should truly be so proud of yourself for realizing that it’s 100% okay for your body to change and to wear a whole spectrum of sizes. I am constantly amazed at how you craft these beautiful posts – this was so well-written that I can see it being in a magazine! (A good magazine, BTW…)

    “weight gain equates to a lack of self control”. <– the media tells us this all the time, like you said, and it sucks. It literally sucks the confidence and happiness from our lives. I'm so glad you are able to look past these superficial things and understand what really matters! Thank you for sharing this realization with everyone – YOU ROCK!

  14. Love how at the end of the post, you silence some of the negative thoughts that may have tried to appear in your head. While it’s much easier said than done, realizing that life is much more than a clothing size brings so much freedom to enjoy all that life truly has to offer, and the wonders of food. Diets mean restricting, and there really is no end to a diet; like you said – an image we can’t maintain. Wise words, lady.

  15. Dressing rooms can be the worst for lighting. The last time I went to buy jeans, I tried on 10 pairs before I finally told myself if wasn’t the jeans and I needed to go up TWO SIZES. It was weird, but I was at a happy place in the moment and I just went with it. I can imagine how hard it must have been for you in that moment of self doubt. Way to push through! God gave you your beautiful body and you deserve to wear something that makes you feel good 🙂

  16. I can definitely relate to that feeling of seeing fat between the pants and shirt and just feeling disgusted. I have to catch myself sometimes and remind myself that indeed having skin and fat is normal! I loved this post, it was a little different from the usual, I enjoyed it. You’ve got some good story-telling skills, you should make posts like these more often! 🙂

    1. Fat & skin -> both very normal and beneficial.
      I am glad to read you liked the style. I didn’t know if it would be a little too different, but I loved writing it, so there will be more!

  17. I can’t tell you how much I love this. I recently gave away a lot of stuff I can’t wear anymore. I’m not that size… and I’m not going to be. But you know what? I’m 100x happier.

  18. Great post! Goo for you for being able to reframe your thoughts and look at what’s really important in the grand scheme of things!

  19. Agh this post really resonated with me. The sensitivity I have toward clothes not fitting anymore frightens me, but I think this is so incredible that you’re working toward eradicating these harmful thoughts. thank you for sharing such vulnerable words.

    I’m going to share this on my link love this week because I feel really moved by it.

  20. Ohhhh girl this speaks straight to my heart. Trying on bikinis for vacation next week has been… challenging. I think we all sometimes need a reminder that XS stands for extra small not extra special, extra smart, or extra silly.

  21. So good Kate. I find it can be hard to put these types of experiences into words but you hit the nail on the HEAD. I think it’s something that SO many of us can relate to, but that we don’t talk about enough. And then we feel even worse for thinking we’re the only ones struggling with it! Thanks for the openness and for bringing together women this way. Really appreciate your heart xo

  22. Thanks for sharing this, I’m in such a similar position, a few years since recovery, & I’ve recently gone up a size & had those same thoughts and needing to cut back, but tbh food just tastes too good to do that! I think it was talking to my pastor & we were saying that is not about the thoughts but how we respond to them. & the best way to respond to thoughts like that is to tell them to get back to the pit of hell, we don’t need lies telling us that we have to be a certain size/shape, we are Christ’s workmanship & beautiful in our uniqueness 🙂

  23. Wow. This happened to me today. I haven’t bought new jeans in years because my eating disorder kept me very small consistently. I only actively started putting weight back on a few months ago only to find I jumped up two sizes since then. I had a total freak out and left feeling enormous, sad, wanting to diet and hating my body. Yet, before I went shopping, I had been loving my body. Funny. I snapped out of it after 2 hours with my husband and went online to order the bigger pants. I need pants that fit! Who cares what size we are as long as we’re healthy:).

    1. It’s an up and down thing. I think we just have to be ready to lift ourselves up when it’s down! I had to realize I can’t be one size forever, but like you said… who cares?!
      Thanks for your comment!

  24. Thank you so much! I needed to read this this morning. I have gain weight since I start eating a little bit more and at first, I freaked out. I’m now working on accepting that I won’t be the “same size” as I used to be… and that’s perfectly fine 🙂

  25. This was so beautifully written and hit close to home for me. I’m in the process of gaining weight after a history of restricting and having to go up in pants size has been hard. Your post reminded me though of the progress I have made mentally; I was able to acknowledge my negative thoughts and move past them. Being healthy is so much more important than a number!

    1. It really is. The longer we allow things to steal our attention, the worse we will feel. Size really doesn’t deserve that much time!
      Best of luck to you, Erin. I know you can find the strength to keep fighting!

  26. I am so happy I was directed to your blog and to this post! It’s been a crazy up and down and up journey toward recovery. Most days I feel really awesome about the progress I’ve made, but then I end up trying on old clothes, or avoiding the mall with my mom because I just don’t like the negativity I feel when “I’m not that size anymore”. I loved what you said, that you’re not a size, but you WEAR a size. Thank you so much for writing! I enjoyed this so much!

    1. Yes- I know that feeling of wanting avoid even bothering trying new clothes… But it is not a feeling worth dwelling on! Just remember that your body only houses what really matters!

  27. thank you for sharing a moment like that. It’s really hard when you have had bad experiences in the past with body image and something that seems lil like that can trigger something and ruin your whole day. I’m in a place right now where weight gain has to happen for me and whenever I go to buy something new clothing wise I always stop to think, will this fit me if I actually finally put on some weight? Part of me knows that I don’t want to look as small as I do right now, but that one lil thing that chips away at you is that ‘you have gotten bigger’ and as irrational of a fear as that it, it’s very real and something that can definitely affect mood.

    1. Isn’t crazy how our bodies can feel like the most uncomfortable place to be sometimes?! Luckily it’s just our minds, because our bodies only want to do us good.
      I hope that you will continue to get more comfortable with the needed weight gain. You will be so happy in the future!

  28. I feel this way almost every time I go shopping, so I honestly despise going out to buy new clothes because I rarely leave feeling awesome. I hate that the perception of perfection, even when its normally ignored, can just creep in in dressing room and try to ruin your hour/time/day. *shake it off*

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