The Day My Dress Pants Didn’t Fit Very Well…

…happened to be yesterday.

Don’t you despise those mornings when you pull out the pair of pants that have been sitting in your closet for forever, put them on, and then cringe as you button them. I know, me too.

It was kind of a strange moment for me. The pants fit fine, they just did not very comfortably. Funny how a pair of pants can make a girl feel so many emotions at once. I was confused at first. I know I have been pretty much the same size for, let me think…the past eight or so years! The last time I wore these pants was probably a little more than one year ago. Same size. Huh. Conclusion? The pants shrunk in the wash the last time they were washed over a year ago. Sure. That seems reasonable.

Then I felt kind of sad. Why don’t my pants fit? Sad face. (Or more like pouty face.)

Then I felt ugly. Yes. Ugly. If my pants aren’t comfortable then my hair doesn’t need to look good either. And who cares what my shirt looks like, because I’m sure everyone will just be looking at my hips and gooloo squeezed in here. (Overdramatic, yes. And definitely not reasonable.)

It was definitely a reality check. It reminded me that I need to mindfully play an active role in maintaining a positive body image. Those negative voices can creep in at any time and try to make me falter. My voice is louder.

Then I remember who I was, and I remembered that clothes don’t make or break me. So what they weren’t the most comfortable things in the world, I still looked good so I should feel good. I’m still a confident person. I still love myself just the way I am.

And, of course, I still think I’m beautiful.

ūüôā

I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of me all my life and as of lately. I can’t tell you how much your encouraging comments on my blog about balancing school and everything else helps me to keep going. The e-mails I receive asking me how things are going in my life always cheer me up a little…and oddly enough, they always arrive when they are most needed. Every little text, word, smile, hug makes my heart all warm and fuzzy…I’m truly a blessed gal. Thank you.

ang

Jeans Shopping

This weekend when I saw my mom she asked me what my plans were for the weekend. I told her I was going shopping and that I needed some new jeans. Her first response was to my husband standing next to me, “Oh dear, are you the poor soul who has to go with her?”

My mom took me shopping for my twenty-fifth birthday a little over a year ago. What was I shopping for? One pair of nice jeans. Since this was for my birthday, I was ready to splurge a little bit and pick out a pair that was maybe slightly more expensive then what I’d normally pay for a pair of jeans. However, since they were going to be expensive, I required that they fit perfectly.

We went to store after store. I tried on probably a¬†hundred¬†jeans. In one store there had been a sales associate helping us who kept bringing different pairs of jeans for me to try on. After being less than impressed with most of them, we ended up leaving the store not having purchased anything. As we were walking out the sales associate (who happened to be of the male species) says, “You’re telling me that you didn’t like even one out of the eighteen pairs you tried on?”

The hours passed by, and as we approached late afternoon I was feeling discouraged…as was my mom and sister and grandma that had tagged along for my birthday. What did I do next?

I cried.

Which then made my sister cry…and my mom might have cried, too. My grandma…well, she didn’t cry…she’s usually off in her own world! In the end, though, I ended up finding one pair that fit well at the very last store that we went to. Long day, but a semi-success.

This year ’round I went into this process of jeans shopping with a different mentality. I would definitely say that I’m in a much better place in my life as far as body image goes, and I armed myself with a few “rules” for jeans shopping. (These are just rules that work for me, I’m not saying that they work for everyone. We are all different!)

1. Don’t let the size mess with your head. So many different brands run small or run large, so there’s really no telling which is right. And do you know what? It doesn’t matter. I am not a number and you are not a number. I think in my closet right now I have pants ranging seven different sizes.

2. Don’t go shopping when you are emotional.¬†I’m not an emotional shopper by any means, and I’m not going to go out and spend a bunch of money if I’ve had a fight with my husband. However, I do know that when I’m feeling down, or stressed, or anxious, or angry, I am much more likely to have a negative body image.

3. Don’t buy a different size jean just because you think they might fit you in the future. I know this works for some people, but I am now a firm believer in buying clothes to fit you comfortably today. There are not many things worse than having a pair of pants in your closet that you hope to fit into someday. If you do lose weight then you can donate your old jeans, and then buy new ones for yourself again! Double score!

4. Take your time. Saturday wasn’t my first attempt at this jeans shopping extravanganza. I have actually gone out a few times in search of jeans. Saturday was just the first time I found some that I loved.

5. Don’t panic. It’s okay if nothing is fitting right. I’m pretty certain that less than 3% of all jeans are made to fit someone like me (and I bet we all feel that way!) If they fit my waist then they’re too tight in the thigh, or they it fit my thighs then they’re too big in the waist, or if they seem to fit perfectly then they’re actually too long, or I look weird in skinny jeans but stumpy in wide leg jeans…blah, blah, blah. It may take awhile…it may take trying on over a hundred pairs…but there will be a pair for you.

6. Remember that being a beautiful person doesn’t have anything to do with what is on the exterior. Yeah, yeah, it’s cliche, but it’s so true. When you are feeling discouraged, just remind yourself this.

7. When you find them, buy them! Or two. Or three!

(See, I told you they’d be too long! ūüôā )

Do you have any “rules” of shopping?!

ang

Come On! Feel Amazing About Yourself!

Step One: If you are tortured by sizes…forgetta’ bout em!

Let’s face it. Sizes mean practically nothing. A size four in one store is equal to a size ten in another store. Simply cut that trouble out of your life. {Snip snip!}

Step Two: Ignore the media…seriously…almost¬†all¬†media. It really breaks my heart that almost every commercial I see now is about losing weight. The media presents us with the message that taking a supplement will equal losing weight which equals looking good in a bathing suit which equals being happy. Even “good” products that are healthy for you are being promoted for their weight-loss capabilities. I know the reason why, though…it’s because we are buying into it. We believe that weight loss will create happiness. What happened to eating Cheerios because it’s good for your heart and cholesterol? Well, not many people are concerned with how their heart is functioning…we’d rather just make sure we were losing weight. We have to change this!

Not only are we being bombarded with weight loss supplements and products sold solely for the purpose of losing weight, but we are also hearing about all the celebrities who have been slimming up. Mind you, these are celebrities who were already thin to begin with.

Step Three: Get moving sista! Find something active that you totally love to do…and do it! This doesn’t have to be running or spinning or something really vigorous (although it can be!) This can be anything as little as taking your dog for a walk (which I need to do more of!) or gardening. Whatever it is that gets your heart pumpin’ and puts a smile on your face…do it!

Step Four: Wear clothes that you feel completely comfortable in. Why wear something that makes you feel bad about yourself? Clean out your closet and donate your invalidating clothing. Just think, this gives you an excuse to buy new, confidence-inducing clothes! I have my own special pair of go-to pants…not only do I always feel comfortable in the way they fit (they are a cute wide-leg denim trouser), but I also feel empowered and sexy.

Step Five: Give YOURSELF affirmations. Compliment yourself for something about you on the inside, and compliment yourself for something about you on the outside. You are smart, intelligent, and determined. You are also gorgeous and you deserve to know it!

ang