Time for an update, I think!
Since my last update, I’ve been doing well at continuing to go to the gym (well, mostly my aqua aerobics classes, but that still counts!) I’ve also been more pleased with, or at least at peace with what my body looks like naked.
However, ‘naked’ is the key term here. I recently had to go clothes shopping for an interview outfit, and the process of trying to find clothes in my size did some serious damage to my self esteem. Today, I have to go out again, this time for a graduation outfit, and I have to admit that I am nervous enough about the process to have spent some time this morning googling various size measurements and waist – to – hip ratios to try and assure myself that all clothing manufacturers are stupid, and that my body is beautiful and that everything will be fine. Basically psyching myself up for the day ahead.
The anxiety that shopping induces in me is also the reason that I am currently still wearing jeans from two years ago, even though they are torn, because I just cannot face having to go out and confront my weight gain in the public forum which is a fitting room.
But here is the thing, my current measurements would put me at a size 18 according to the size charts of a range of clothing lines. And yet, none of my clothes that I wear on a daily basis match those measurements. I spend my time wearing size 14 and 16 mostly (UK sizes.)
Where does this discrepancy come from? Well, there are three things I can think of.
1.The clothes I wear are old, and therefore sizes may have changed or they items themselves may be stretched in a way that enables them to still fit my body. (This is probably most true of my size 14 skinny jeans that I’m refusing to throw out.)
2. Clothing isn’t designed to fit someone who is shaped like me. I have a waist to hip difference of almost ten inches, and that difference is created by a combination of a round bum and stomach fat which sits low on my body. These factors combine together to mean that trousers that fit at the waist squish my belly in to the most horrendous mess, and trousers that manage to flatter or conceal my belly make me look boxy by failing to highlight the womanly curve from hip to waist, and don’t fit around my bum. Combine that with my comparatively small boobs and wide back, and you begin to see the problem.
3. I am slightly in denial about the weight I have gained, and therefore choose clothes to try on that don’t reflect my current shape.
In reality, it is most likely a combination of all of these, and whilst it is easy to sit here and write candidly about these things, it’s much harder to keep that perspective once you are in your fifth changing room staring in the mirror and hating what you see and item after item refuses to do up or flatter your shape. Incidentally, this is the reason that, back in 2014, when I last found jeans that looked great and fitted me perfectly, I bought 4 pairs, two in a size 14 and 2 in a size 16. (I still wear them to this day, although admittedly the 14’s are currently a little snug.)
So, what’s a girl to do? Well, longer term, this girl is going to continue going to the gym whilst also trying to love the body she has. Short term, she’s going to take a tape measure shopping with her, so she can pick items that fit her measurements, and try to ignore whatever number on the tag comes with that.
Until next time!