This subject has been on my heart as I personally struggled with this past week and wanted to share it with you.
This past week I brought down all the bins in my closet that sort through my warm weather clothes. Down here in Alabama we are in that Winter/Spring transition, so it was time to sort it all out! Since we’ve had some gorgeus warm days I knew I needed to go thhrough my warmer weather clothes as I plan my next season’s capsule. I brought out all my favorite shorts and tanks and tees from last year and washed them, and then out them in my closet for warm day.
Then this past Wednesday was THAT day. 75 degrees and sunny and GLORIOUS. I happily broke out my favorite pair of denim shorts and a tee and…..the shorts felt so tight. Which they typically do after I wash them, but at that moment my self esteem went for a free fall.
Have you ever noticed that when you are feeing bad about yourself you go looking for evidence that it is true? I started analyzing pictures of myself. Had I gained weight? Why did I feel so bad about myself? Did I need to think about losing a couple of pounds after this winter? I started hyper focusing on myself and how I looked and it was BAD, you guys. And it all came about from a pair of shorts. That may or may not have just been tight from the wash, or maybe I I was bloated, or WHO KNOWS. Except I let those shorts tell me things about myself that I know are not true. I let those shorts tell me that I am not enough. That I was fat. That I needed to go on a diet. That I needed to exercise more. They made me feel that I should ony be defined by the size of my thighs, or my weight, or this perfect image I sometimes feel I need to project.
I call bullshit.
I know in my brain that clothes fit differently for many reasons. I am about 4 different sizes depending on where I shop, and since I try things on a lot, I have seen what makes me look really good, and really bad. This happened to me at Target last week! I was trying on two bathing suits, both the same exact same size. One fit me like a dream and made me feel so good about myself. The other made me look like can of busted buscuits. I tore that thing off my body and put it back imediately, then bought the other one. I kept thinking about that moment this week… if I hadn’t tried on the good one first I probably would have let how that second one fit define me.
Here is what I know for sure: we cannot let clothes define us. No matter how fun all this stuff can be (and you guys know style and shopping and sharing it with you is a passion), clothing and how it fits does not define us. Only we can do that.
Here is what I do when I have a crisis like I did this week, where I let a piece of clothing tell me I was fat:
1) I use affirmations. I say in my head constantly, “I am fit and strong and at my perfect weight.” I try to say this no matter what, because this is how I WANT to feel and I truly believe we can fake it till we make it.
2) I stop looking for evidence that what I think is true. For me that means not looking at past pictures of myelf where I either think I look bad, OR looking at old pictures of myself where I thoguht I looked better than I do now. I also have to watch who and what I consume on social media.
3) I find the clothes that I DO feel good in and just wear them. Even if I only have a couple of things that make me feel that way on my bad days, I just keep wearing them. And then I take note of why I like them and look into buying more of that in the future.
Tell me you biggest issue with your self esteem…what do you struggle with the most?