Body acceptance is something that’s pretty internal. It comes from changing how you think and feel, and while I LOVE talking about the mind component of any change, sometimes you just want to know what to DO differently. Today I’m sharing something you can do. And that is wearing clothes that both fit your body and your lifestyle.
Because there are two ways we tend to get stuck in our clothing choices – we’re wearing clothes of the sizes we WISH we were, because our pride prevents us from buying new clothes in our actual size.
OR, we’re wearing clothes that hide our shape altogether.
You’re reading the transcript of an episode of the How to Be a Better Person podcast. If you’d rather listen, click the play button below.
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Wearing clothes that fit:
- Gives yourself an opportunity to break free from the idea that you need to be a certain clothing size. After all, sizes are incredibly erratic. A pair of the same-sized jeans can vary in the waistband by as much as 6 in., according to one estimate. There’s a great article in Time magazine about this that I’ve linked in the show notes. It’s time to give up the ghost with shopping by size. I know it’s not fun to do, but take your measurements and use this instead. We really need to do this with online shopping, anyway,since you can’t try on.
- You can be more physically comfortable. You won’t be tugging on your top to get rid of the gap between your boobs, or unbuttoning your pants after dinner.
- You can get more psychologically comfortable being seen in your unique shape. Of course, you can find styles that flatter you, I’m not saying you need your clothes to be body-skimming if that’s not your jam. But you can stop trying to disguise. And that is a relief.
I’ve talked about this before, but the way to feel better about anything problematic is to be able to look at the things that’s bugging you head on.
Think about it– body acceptance means accepting your body as it is. And that means accepting your true size for what it is, too. It’s not like when I was a kid and everyone wore Levi’s cords, and your waist size was printed right on the label above your back pocket. I definitely got laughed at because I wore a waist size 28 in 5th grade when it seemed the girls I envied were a 26 or 27. No one needs to know what your true size is except you, if that’s how you like it to be.
Daily Tiny Assignment
Your tiny assignment is to take our body measurements. Oh man I know this is not easy. My trainer, Forrest, whom I interviewed about why nearly all excuses for not moving more are BS, took my waist measurement when he was assessing all his clients so that he could monitor their progress–kind of like the presidential fitness assessments they do at school–I wanted to die of embarassment. It was like ripping off a band-aid though. Painful at first, then, I was glad that I knew. I didn’t have to spend any energy on telling myself that my body was some way other than it was.
Once you know those measurements, you can shop online with more confidence that things are actually in your size. And you can experience what it’s like to wear clothes that actually fit.
If you don’t want to measure your actual body–
You do need a flexible measuring tape, which you can get on amazon for a couple bucks. You can measure the clothes that you have that fit you well. Measure the waist, the hips, armpit to armpit on the shirt, the top of the shoulder to the bottom of the hem, and the inseam. And you will know what to look for the next time you’re shopping online for clothes.
Sure, there may be some days you feel like hiding in your clothes and that’s fine. But maybe, what’s been keeping you from wearing clothes that truly fit is the mean inner voice that tells you all the ways you’re not fitting in to what you think your body should look like. If that’s the case, be sure to come back tomorrow when I’m interviewing Alissa Rumsely, author of Unapologetic Eating, on where body un-acceptance comes from, and what you can do about it!