Wearing comfortable clothing doesn’t come about as easy as you might expect. On the surface, the concept seems pretty simple. Wear what feels good, right? Not so fast. When your history includes restrictive dieting behaviors and attempt after attempt to shrink your body, wearing comfortable clothing means giving up a lot. It means giving up old visions and ideals. It means replacing those visions with a new reality. And it means facing the musical emotions of all of it. But this is my intuitive eating journey. It’s boosted my confidence and been a journey I will never regret.
I’m heading on a quick impromptu vacation with my sister this week to visit our parents at their winter place down in Arizona. I looked at my weather app the other day and it told me it will be more like a full on Minnesota summer while we are there…just not as humid, thank goodness.
Time to face the closet
This trip though has forced me to face something I’d been putting off most of winter. And that’s trying on my clothes from last summer.
I have fully embraced an intuitive eating lifestyle, and that has brought with it some weight gain. I knew this weight gain was likely inevitable given my restrictive diet culture practices of my past. And I also know I’ve been moving very slowly into adding back in physical activities. That’s because most of the physical activities I’ve done in the past carry with them the “shrink your body” mindset. So I’m easing into principle #9 slowly and with lots of grace.
Relying on the past to move forward
But the trip is coming, and I need some things to wear while I’m there, so I pulled out my work from principle #8 this past week to ensure I was treating myself with respect. As I tried on clothes, I discovered most of my old items don’t feel comfortable anymore. I knew this would be the case as they were already starting to not fit towards the end of last summer. Ultimately, I purchased new clothes that do feel comfortable.
I’m calling the experience another intuitive eating success for myself, but know full well that’s not always the case for everyone. And your mindset is what’s stopping you. If you need a few extra reasons or mindset shifts to help you, check out these benefits of having a wardrobe (or even just a few items you can count on wearing regularly) that fit you well.
Comfortable Clothing Saves you time
Think about it. When your closet has only clothes in it that actually really truly fit you and feel good on you, you can stop wasting time trying things on only to take them off and pick something else. Instead, you can grab items that coordinate with each other, get dressed, and be on your merry way
Comfortable Clothing Saves you money
Not only could you say that time is money, so every minute you’re not picking out something to wear and finding what fits is time you could be investing in growing your business or playing with your kids or getting more laundry done. Also, keeping your closet stocked with clothes that don’t fit leads to you wanting to go shopping to buy more clothes. And if you’re not quite accepting yet of purchasing sizes that do fit, it could end up as a waste of money. So make sure you’ve got clothes that feel good on you, feel like yourself when you wear them, and pull everything else out.
Comfortable Clothing Boosts your confidence
This may feel a bit materialistic to the person not used to believing it’s OK to look and feel good in clothes, but it’s such an important factor. Confidence breeds things like productivity, solid decision making, and taking more calculated risks in your business (risk is important growth).
So how do you approach shopping?
Ok, so we’ve addressed a few reasons you want to fill your wardrobe with comfy clothing. Now here are the three main mindset approaches I took to keep myself moving forward in my body respect journey while shopping for new clothes.
Focus on the feel, not the look
While trying on the clothes from last year, if there was something I knew just looking at it wasn’t going to fit, I set it aside and didn’t make myself try it on. And with the rest I did try on, I didn’t look at myself in a mirror while I did it. I did this not because I was ashamed of how my body looks these days, but rather because when you’re wearing clothes that are too tight, it’s not a flattering look for anyone and I saw no need to put that image in my head. Besides, my goal is to find clothes I like, in my style, that feel good on my here and now body.
Remember your style when choosing comfortable clothing
I know my style and what I wanted to purchase. Personally, I am pretty simple, so a pair of shorts and coordinating top was the extent of what I was looking for. And that’s what I focused on at the store. I stayed away from looking at the thin-ideal mannequins because that’s not MY body. I chose colors that I like and that I know others have said look good on me (I’m personally a terrible judge of coordinating colors…my daughters and one look at the decor in my house will tell you that). Focus on what you enjoy and you won’t go wrong.
Budget is important
Because I’m not sure what my body will be doing further into summer, and for sure not sure what next summer will bring, I stayed budget-conscious with my choices. I was luckily able to shop at a local discount department store for everything. But I encourage you to consider yard sales and consignment shops too, especially if shopping local is something you value (unfortunately early spring in Minnesota there aren’t a lot of yard sale options yet).
I’d love to hear from you. Are you struggling with the idea of shopping for new clothes? Or are you so done with waste bands that pinch and shirts that stretch a little too far? Share with me in the comments.