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  • mariasylvesterterr

reframes for trying on clothes

shopping for clothes can just, well... suck.


three years ago today i moved to new orleans [!] with all my belongings, including a ton of clothes that no longer fit. my body changed a lot over the last few years, and i'm working on stating that objectively -- instead of with a snarky, self-judgmental undertone. as my pal lauren reminded me circa summer 2020, we don't always have a reason for why our bodies change. they just do. they're intended to. i know what you're thinking: Ri, it just feels good to have a reason. for some, bodies change for obvious reasons: pregnancy, aging, retirement from a competitive sport, ED recovery, and more. for others, myself included, the reasons are less obvious. your mind wanders trying to piece it all together. is this 30? are my hormones off? how did this happen? in either situation, acceptance can feel like a Sisyphean task.

acceptance for your here-and-now body can feel impossible when you're sweating to get the tricky side zipper over the seam. when the dress doesn't go over your booty. when a style you could rely on no longer brings a sense of confidence. this was me this week, in my sweaty little bedroom trying on dresses for an upcoming wedding. while it is stressful, it is also my privilege to navigate this within 'standard sized' clothing. if this experience ushers in the negative self-talk and pushes you further from body acceptance, try a few of these reframes the next time you find yourself zipping, buttoning, or thrashing with that top in a dressing room. 1. i am here to dress my current body, not my former or my future versions. let's start here. we need to approach these situations with a clear mind, free of comparison to our past selves or to a mystical version of our future selves. let's show up for us, right here and right now. if you find yourself romanticizing over what you used to look like or what you could look like, hit pause. take a deep breath. ground yourself in the task at hand: i am here to dress my here-and-now body. that's the one that deserves my attention and care. 2. my comfort can be a priority. we grew up hearing 'pain is beauty' and 'a moment on the lips forever on the hips.' aka, it's worth dealing with discomfort to shrink your body. in tough try-on moments, remind yourself that you can actually prefer comfort. a tight dress doesn't have to be the one. a pair of pants that makes you wonder if you should cut carbs for the week is very likely not the one. a dress that fits that you really don't like? maybe you're not mentally comfortable with it? listen -- how you feel in something - physically and mentally - matters. 3. my body can be different and fabulous. my body can change and be good. ah yes, accepting two truths. we love to hate this one. our either/or thinking isn't a fan. AND, it's helpful. [see what I did there...] i love this reframe becomes it disarms your headspace. even if just for a moment, you can hit pause on the war going on in your brain by accepting multiple truths. example: this shirt is tight, and it's likely because this style doesn't serve me anymore, and that's okay right now. my body can be different and fabulous. 4. oh hell no, i did not leave diet culture for this [a la Principal Duvall in Mean Girls]



well, this one doesn't necessarily address the root cause of your discomfort. however, it can provide a helpful zoom-out. leaving behind the harmful narratives supported by diet culture is a WIN for your health and headspace. if you notice those thoughts creep [or rush] in, put on your best, most confident Principal Duvall and protect your peace.


which reframe can you try the next time you're trying on clothes? or even better, what's one that you would add?

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