Shopping and Body Image

Shopping can be one of the most rewarding experiences, but also one of the biggest let downs! Last night I went shopping with one of my best friends and it was not a let down! We were looking for dresses for her upcoming cruise and we found some amazingly cute dresses!!! I often shop with her because she knows I’ll be honest, and I know she would be honest with me…. if we need to be told that the print just does not look good…. We will tell one another! We would never let anyone walk around looking like this….

I know you think this looks amazing, but this falls in the “do not wear” category!

Haha. I know this looks soooooo AMAZING!!! 🙂 Please try not to be jealous of my dress and drawing skills!

We would probably grab the other one  and say, “girl, you know I love you, but no…. just no…. you are so beautiful, but that’s just not working…. I love you so much that I’m not going to let you embarrass yourself looking like that!”

We had about 8 dresses to try and one turned out to be my favorite. I fell in love with this dress on her body! I wish I would have snuck a picture and posted it, but she reads this so she would have found out! (haha). As she was trying it on she yelled out of the fitting room, “oh I wish I would have lost that 10-15 lbs before getting into this dress”… I simply told her (in my oh-so-loving voice), “shut up and get out here”…. (I know, I sound so caring, right?). She came out, and I was in love with this dress on her! She looked amazing. It was your typical “little black dress” except it was navy blue. It had the cutest little floral ruffles as a V neck/tank top straps. It is mid-thigh length and is snug enough to show amazing curves, but loose enough that you don’t feel uncomfortable in it. Often, she comments on how uncomfortable she is with her body and I have come to realize that I’m not the only one with body image struggles. Sadly, for people with eating disorders, body image is the last thing to heal for us (darnit!!!). Our society has taught us that there is one way to look and it is emaciated and tall – and frankly, we all can’t look that way – really, very few people look that way!!!! In treatment last week we talked about body shapes and the fact that we are all given a certain shape (genetically) that we can’t change. We might be blessed with hips, wide shoulders, a small or large frame…. either way, it’s not going to change no matter how much weight we lose! This is true for my friend. She has the most amazing hour glass shape and curves, and this dress accentuated it to the best possibility!!! As we were talking about how great it looked she admitted that this was the dress she was the most worried about, but it turned out to be my favorite!!!!! She looked amazing in it!!!

As we fell in love with the dress, we talked about women’s bodies. We talked about how every woman has to have fat on their body — somewhere between 18-24% — but we seem to always want less. I’ve been working with my therapist on accepting that I will have fat on my body, and I’m trying to find a way to appreciate it. She taught me to think of accepting myself for being “soft” instead of “fat”. I think this is such a better way to think of it! We all hate fat, but we know we can’t be bone thin….. so why can’t we be “soft” and warm? We talked about that when trying on dresses and I think being “soft” is what made that dress look amazing! I have photos from when I was really sick…. and I’m realizing now… I did not look amazing!! I thought I did, but I did not. I’m hoping sometime soon I’ll appreciate how I look and see it as amazing, but until then, I can continue to appreciate other healthy bodies when I see them! SOFT is the new thin!!!

A teen girl from Mainestarted a petition to ask Seventeen Magazine to stop airbrushing models. She said that she is asking them to just pick one model out of the magazine that is not “touched up” or air brushed so younger girls can see natural beauty. If you haven’t seen the article, you can read it here. I have to say that I am amazed by this. A girl in the 8th grade is already seeing the importance of having a healthy body image and seeing how important it is to promote a healthy view of who we are. They are listening to her, but whether or not they make a change is still up in the air! I really hope they do. As we continue to address health more and more, the shift will change!

Looking at healthy bodies has been in the news a lot lately! If you haven’t seen The Hunger Games, it’s a great movie!!!! Katniss (the main female) is gorgeous! As I watched the film with my husband (on a date… woo hoo!). I was so happy that a healthy woman was the lead role of this huge film (I literally thought that during the entire movie). Soon after the film came out, many critics began stating that she was too fat for the role and that she didn’t look like she was emaciated enough to play the role (as a person from a starving district). Some of the articles can be found here , here and here. They began to pick apart her body and comment and her response was that she will not change her body for any roles! That is amazing! That means we are moving in the right direction!!!!

UPDATE

I’m on day 18 of 30 for the meal plan challenge!!! HOLLA!!! (Thanks to my Hershey girls and Val). Day 16 was quite a struggle…. a few mishaps, but I didn’t fall off the wagon. Day 17 was rebuilding and day 18 is better. Once you get through those tough days, it gets a “little” easier. The only way to get through it, is to go through it!

So, even though we all hate shopping at times, I hope we can still find something we appreciate about our bodies! So, the next time you go out shopping and you’re trying something on… I challenge you to take a look in the mirror and find something you like about how you look instead of what you don’t like!!!!

Happy weekend!

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3 thoughts on “Shopping and Body Image

  1. Hi, what is “Hershey”…I am currently battling through some of this myself…very old and in my 30’s,,,feel too late with my history and stuff. Depression and anxiety more my core issues. I eat, but still low weight. Never really restricted, but i guess the stress, some orthorexia, other stuff all combined…anyway, if you can ever chat or share your story..please email me, thanks.

  2. Shopping is a nightmare for me! I am not used to buying clothes 2 sizes bigger which are still too tight! You’re right about body image being the last thing to change, I wouldn’t mind if it changed pretty soon though haha,

    Seeing parts of your body as ‘soft’ is something I do too, I don’t hate my arms or my shoulders as much as I did at low weights because they feel a lot nicer to touch without bones sticking out. Softness is nicer to cuddle than bones anyway, I’m sure your Husband would agree x

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