Hey friends! I hope your weekend has been a good one!
We had a week of blue skies and 60+ degrees days, so it felt good to open the windows and let some fresh air in. The beginning of Spring feels so hopeful to me…the birds are chirping and I have seen the first buds on the trees, plus it is lighter outside for longer. I really love the extra daylight right now in the evenings. I am looking forward to the upcoming warmer months and (hopefully) a bit more normalcy for all of us.
On another note, after trying on a pair of shorts from last summer that are a bit tight, I decided to order a different pair in a size up. (I actually ordered them from here as they were sold out in my size everywhere else!) I’ll speak more about that below, but this is your message to buy the clothes that fit you now. Be comfortable! Nothing is forever, not sizes or weight or anything, and buying a size or two up isn’t a lifelong commitment. Just buy what feels good. I know my mindset is a lot better when I am wearing something that fits me well versus being too tight.
If you are looking for not too short, shorts…these look promising! I might order a pair to try them out. And these $22 jeans from Target feel light and airy and almost like sweatpants. I have my true size in the lighter wash and love them. You can see me wearing them HERE.
——> I wanted to chat today about being more comfortable in your skin and how to gently guide yourself back when body anxiety and judgement pops up. These are the steps I do when I need it (which is often!) and I hope it helps you, too. I wrote a bit on Instagram about it but felt I could add more in here for you.
3 things to think about this week when body anxiety rears its ugly head
1) Know your triggers. What sends you in a spiral? For me it’s a few things: trying on clothes that no longer fit me, judging myself in a full length mirror, weighing myself, looking at old pictures where I think I “look better,”and basically every evening after I eat dinner and feel full. Once you know what triggers you you can then work on strategies to combat them. Just being aware of your triggers is your first step to healing them, I promise. You’ll be able to see a pattern and avoid what makes you feel bad, or come up with strategies to alleviate the anxieties when they happen. I know for me, knowing that these things aren’t good for me helps me either avoid them (like not trying on too small things when I am feeling low and not having a scale in my home..) or realizing that I always feel “off” after dinner when I am full from dinner. How can you be more aware of what makes you feel bad? What social media accounts can you unfollow or mute, what clothes can you let go of that aren’t serving you, can you let go of your scale?
2) Come up with a way to respond to these triggers ahead of time. I take clothes that don’t fit and either donate them right away, or put them in a box to try again at a later time. I don’t suggest holding onto things that are never going to fit again. And honestly? You will probably buy something new to wear if you need another size. I find that saving smaller clothes gives me an opening to go and keep trying them on when they might never fit again (and that’s okay.) As I mentioned above, buy clothes that fit you right now, where you are. In this past year I have gone up a size or two (depending on the brand) and wearing clothes that fit me makes me feel better in my skin. Clothes are meant to fit you, not the other way around!) I have 3 different sizes from even the same brand that fit me the same. Sizing is not standard and life is too short to feel like a certain size is “better,” or to try and fit back into a size from a decade ago. Bodies are meant to grow and change, a million times over. It’s okay to buy another size and feel good in your clothes.
I also know that I have always compared myself to an earlier version of myself, and found the ‘new me’ lacking. (This triggers me a lot as I have YEARS of photos from my blog.) Yet it keeps moving! I never enjoy where I am right now, even when I know in a year I might think ‘this me’ is more desirable. I now notice the thought and remind myself, ‘you weren’t happier then either.’ (which is true.) At each stage I was never content with how I looked, not matter what my physical form was. Remembering this helps me a lot. I really like my mindset now and growing self worth more than when I was when I weighed less.
My last trigger, I notice after dinner is when my body anxiety pops up, and when it does and I want to make plans to “fix it.” (This is where years of disordered eating and exercise came in!) And anxiety. I spent years disciplining myself to look a certain way and was never happy, so at night my brain wants me to go back there because it feels “safe.” That’s when talk myself down. Which leads me to…
3) I like to use phrases or affirmations when my brain tries to tell me something I know is not true. At night when my anxiety creeps in and I often want to make extreme plans (diet/exercise) that don’t honor, me I like to repeat, “Nothing is forever.” This feeling isn’t forever, who I am right now isn’t forever, and I always feel better the next day. This is just old, subconscious programming that makes me feel “safe” and “in control.” When in fact, it makes me really anxious and stressed and overwhelmed. Realizing that you are the voice listening to this programming is important. This isn’t you that feels this way, it’s your scared inner self just looking for a way to feel comfortable. And for me, controlling my eating and exercise makes that scared inner self feel better. But I KNOW, that isn’t me. These feelings are not forever and if I just sit with it and repeat my mantras the feelings DO pass. They always do. I have confidence that if I just hear the thoughts, acknowledge them, and let them go I will feel better soon. I am confident in this because I prove it nightly by listening, repeating my affirmations, and knowing that what I am doing now is better for me. I am learning to honor myself and treat myself like I would treat my daughter, I am worthy of love and affirmations and food to nourish my should.
Other affirmations I like to use…
“I have a body. I love my body. I love my shape. My body is a vessel for my soul. I am enough.”
Just gentle reminders to shhhh my inner critic, who is honestly just the scared version of the real me who needs love. It’s important to notice the thoughts, and let them go. Nothing is forever! Not the body you are in, your feelings, your anxiety, it all passes. What we are trying to do is be aware of all feelings, good, bad and indifferent. The key is to not react to the “bad” ones (and by react I mean numbing them with avoidance and extreme things.) Know what triggers you, figure out how to deal with it ahead of time, and talk kindly to yourself. Again, nothing is forever;)
I hope this helps! This is a subject near and dear to my heart that I could talk about forever, honestly. I have struggled with this for as long as I can remember, and over the past few years I have worked really hard to move through it. There is no magic end of the road with this stuff, we don’t just wake up one day and feel amazing about ourselves from that day forward, but you will start to see that YOU have the power to feel better one trigger at a time.