Eating Disorders

On Size (and why it doesn’t matter)

Bad, Good; It's Hard to Tell--A Zen Story About Mindfulness | Libero Magazine 1

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I was shopping for jeans the other day and the salesperson (who was ridiculously cute by the way) asked me what size I needed. I responded that I wasn’t sure because I hadn’t bought jeans in awhile. So he grabbed me a couple of pairs and then immediately began apologizing for the sizes – he told me that this particular brand of jean tends to fit smaller than other brands and that I shouldn’t be concerned if I have to go one or two sizes up in order to get the right fit.

Automatically, I replied that it didn’t really matter.

I told him that size is just a number and I don’t let things like a number send me spiralling into a depression.

I think he was a bit surprised by this response. I can only imagine the number of times in a day that he has to listen to girls complain about their size or shape. And I am sure that many girls begin panicking when they realize that their usual size doesn’t fit right.

I know this because I was one of those girls.

It wasn’t long ago when I used to fit into the smallest size at Guess and when trying on pants I wouldn’t even try one size bigger – I never paid attention to the cut or the style, I knew my size and I wasn’t buying anything different.


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The number was everything.

As my size began increasing I started a battle with my clothing.

I was desperately clinging on to jeans that were from a time when I was starving for perfection.

It took me a long time before I even considered buying new pants and when I did, I would wince when I saw the size on the label. In reality, I had only gone up one size, but that was enough to send me into shock.

Now I can’t even get those jeans up past my Italian booty – but I don’t mind. See the thing is, I know what it took to get me into those jeans and I never want to go back to that. By holding on to those clothes that no longer fit I am only holding myself back from living fully in my body today.

So I took an afternoon and I went through my entire closet, trying on every piece of clothing, and every item that did not fit me I packed up in a big suitcase and put in to storage.

Now, when I open my closet, I don’t have to worry about picking out an outfit only to find it doesn’t fit or staring at a bunch of clothes that are reminders of the past.

I am living in today’s body and it feels great!

Remember, size is just a number on a tag and clothes are just a way for us to express our inner selves; we do not need to feel trapped by them and we most definitely don’t need to allow a number to change how we feel about ourselves.

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Lauren is the Founder and Editor of Libero. She started Libero in April 2010, when she shared her story about her struggles with an eating disorder and depression. Now Lauren uses her writing and videos to advocate mental health and body positivity. In her spare time, she enjoys makeup artistry, playing Nintendo, and taking selfies with her furbaby, Zoey.

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4 Comments

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  • This happened to me the other day in BCBG! A girl kept apologizing that I had to go up a size and that it "was because of the lining and she had to too." But it didn't matter to me and it was so cool to be able to say to her, it doesn't matter. Versus a year ago when I, like you, wouldn't have even tried on a size bigger let alone not care about it.

    • Ema, thanks so much for sharing this – it is such a great feeling, isn't it? Sometimes we forget to remember where we were vs. where we are now, but I think it's important to reflect on these moments because they remind us of our progress!

  • Beautiful post Lauren! I struggled with this same thing as I think most girls do no matter if they suffer from an eating disorder or not. Going up in sizes is a nerve racking thing but it doesn't have to be. I was watching the show "What Not to Wear" the other night and they said something I thought was cool, it was something like, "you don't fit the clothes, the clothes fir you". Numbers shouldn't matter as long as the clothes are comfortable and fit you as you are now! Sometimes I still cut out the tags on my jeans so I don't even know the size!!

    • Thanks so much, Tayla! I wrote this post a long time ago, and completely forgot about it until Ema commented on it – so I thought I should share it around again 🙂

      "Going up in sizes is a nerve racking thing but it doesn't have to be." < exactly!

      And yes, I have definitely watched What Not to Wear and have always appreciated their approach to size and body acceptance. The clothes should fit YOU (not the other way around).

      And tag cutting is SUCH a good idea! Awhile ago I also got rid of all the clothes that don't fit me – that helps a lot, too!

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