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The holidays are one of my favorite times of the year. I love snuggling into a blanket and sipping on hot chocolate (or a chocolate peppermint latte). I was thinking about the change in weather and how this typically is followed by changing the clothes in your closet. I’m personally a huge fan of fall and winter clothing. Even though I don’t like the cold, I do love wearing sweaters.
This got me thinking about how important it is to wear clothes that truly make you feel comfortable.
Think about your favorite clothing item for a second. Mine is a really comfortable sweater that is incredibly fuzzy. Pulling it out of my closet makes me so excited. Which means I am so happy the weather is starting to get a bit chillier so I can finally wear it.
In diet culture, though, we’re taught that it’s important to fit into smaller clothing and that after a certain point, it’s bad to grow out of clothing.
How many of us have kept jeans from a period of time when we were smaller? Perhaps they were our favorite pair of jeans. And we keep them in hopes of eventually being able to fit into them again.
Even though they are uncomfortable to wear as our bodies are now, we wouldn’t imagine ever throwing them out. Why?
In diet culture, it’s a symbol of success to shrink your body to fit into those jeans again. And it’s so easy for us to fall for that.
I get it. It can be super challenging to get rid of old clothes and buy new ones. Buying bigger clothes is often mixed with a sense of shame and failure for most of us, especially if you are living life in a larger body. It’s hardly ever talked about how our bodies are actually supposed to change over the course of a lifetime. Weight gain is totally normal and healthy.
Here are some things to think about if you’re trying to make peace with your body and clothing:
1. Clean out your closet.
Although difficult, it can be really liberating to ditch the clothes that don’t fit anymore. One of my favorite quotes (source unknown) is: “I grew out of my jeans and instead of waging war on myself I bought new jeans because it’s okay that my body is changing.” There are so many other things to put your life’s energy into.
2. Buy new clothes.
Little by little restock your closet with clothes that you love and feel comfortable with wearing. Sometimes it can be a hassle to head to the mall, spend money and time to choose some outfits. In the long run, it’ll be worth it to live life in comfortable clothing.
3. Remind yourself, your body (and its size) does not define your worth.
Despite what diet culture tells us, we are so much more than our bodies. Clothing is part of our routine ( we put it on daily, wear it daily, etc.) and it can impact how we feel as we go throughout our days.
4. Think about the clothing that makes you feel good.
This means clothing that makes you feel comfortable and empowered. Ditch any item that makes you feel the opposite.
And lastly, enjoy your favorite cold weather sweater!
Disclaimer: I recognize I am writing this post based on my experience living life in a smaller/able-bodied body. And finding peace with wearing certain clothes and body size is a different journey for each person based on their own personal life experience.
Alex Raymond, RD, LD, CEDRD is an eating disorder dietitian in private practice in College Park and Columbia, MD. Alex specializes in treating individuals struggling with anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder. She practices from an intuitive eating model and enjoys working with individuals to improve body image. She is a passionate Health at Every Size © advocate and anti-diet dietitian. Alex provides eating disorder nutrition counselling in College Park and Columbia, MD. Alex's College Park office is within walking distance from the University of Maryland.
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