There are going to be moments in your life in which your clothes do not fit you like they used to, because your body is ever changing. This can be caused by a variety of things, including breaking away from the diet cycle, weight restoration after an eating disorder, and finally stepping into your most ‘healthy’ self. Or other things such as having a child, aging, or very natural body fluctuations and changes because our bodies do that!
In the past, if I tried on clothes that didn’t fit me I would be sent into a downward spiral of self loathing reaching for the next 21 days until insanity that would ultimately provide me with instant gratification followed by intense binging, and feelings of unworthiness. Which inevitably I would gain the weight back every single time, because my body just didn’t want to be smaller. It was happy at a bigger size.
When I went through my weight restoration after breaking away from the diet culture and becoming free of my disordered eating, I gained weight. This was not only reflected visibly, but definitely in how my clothes fit.
Even years after giving diets the middle finger, sometimes my clothes still end up not fitting me, because our bodies are not stagnate. They change! About twice a year I clean out my closest of clothes that no longer fit me, and in the past it would trigger me, but now – it doesn’t. That is because the massive amount of work I put in to change my inner dialogue and thought process.
But that doesn’t mean you are not triggered by this, in fact many people are! I have heard so many times where people will get their summer clothes out, and hardly any of them fit. Shortly after that statement comes the most recent diet promise, exercise regimen, or self-loathing words.
You don’t have to be in that mindset, I am living proof of that. I now try on my clothes and have no qualms about the fact that my shorts or jeans no longer are able to be pulled past my thighs, or that I rip a shirt trying to put it on. And that is because this is what I do:
When I try on something and it doesn’t fit, I simply say to myself that it no longer serves me.
If I try on something and I don’t particularly like it, I simply say it no longer brings me joy.
I go through the entire wardrobe, and pile all the clothes I am letting go of together. For you, it this may be emotionally challenging, and from my experience in the past as well as working with others that is from of the the following things:
You are having an emotional connection with the clothes. Meaning you are stuck in wanting to fit into your “old college jeans/old highschool jeans/ last years clothes/pre-baby weight jeans”
Whenever I got down to the bottom of this it was because I was emotionally connected to the situations that was occurring at that time in my life, not the clothes themselves. The clothes just reminded me of those moments.
Something to ask yourself is: What about that time in my life was bringing me joy that makes me want to be that way again? It isn’t about your size, it is about something else!
Another one, that is huge, is that you honestly feel that you have broken some cardinal rule that your body changed. To that I say: Who cares? What exactly is that meaning to you? If you were feeling okay earlier on in the week, and your old clothes created a tornado on your emotions, then it isn’t your body that needs changed.
It is your mindset around size, weight, and shape!
Your body isn’t going to hold you back from doing anything, and you are still a worthy and powerful human being. It is okay that your body changes, you are probably not the same human being you were last year. You are ever changing, we accept that our internal selves change, but are so resistant to the external changes that occur due to what we have been led to belief about these changes. There is nothing bad about it, and it isn’t anything you need to fix.
Now, after I have gathered all my clothes I do a few things:
Sell them to a consignment shop, or donate them to a women’s shelter. This way either way these clothes are going to continue serving other people. This makes me feel positive about the entire situation, because I am not going to focus on my body changing, but how I am helping other people who man need them.
Donating my clothes to a women’s shelter really does make me feel good, these women are going through some things that I have never been through, and they need all the help they can get – and if that means my jeans that no longer fit me, then by all means. I will serve them that with love, and compassion.
After that, I go shopping for my current body. I no longer give a crap about the size labels, once again because of the internal work I have done. When I put clothes on, I ask myself very similar questions:
Does this serve me? Is it comfortable, is it practical, am I actually going to wear it?
Does this bring me joy? Do I like it? How do I feel in it?
That is it. I don’t care about fashion rules, or style guides, or anything. If I like it, and it fits my body…I am going to rock it!
In the beginning of your recovery you may have a hard time with your body changing, I totally get it. Instead of focusing strictly on what you are PERCEIVING is wrong with your body (because it isn’t true- there is no bad body), focus on what makes you feel good. Reclaim your power over clothes, because they are just clothes after all!