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When I was in college, I thought I needed to lose weight. I wore bikinis, short cutoff denim shorts and belly-baring tops but decided I was fat because I couldn’t fit into my petite roommate’s size 4 dresses from Contempo Casuals. I remember going to a vintage store, seeing the most gorgeous long beaded caftan and deciding not to purchase it because I wasn’t my “goal weight.”
Before I got pregnant, I wavered between a size 10 and size 12. I never purchased any clothing that cost a price I found expensive (my cutoff was $100) because I was overweight, and decided I shouldn’t spend that sort of money until I was thinner. I felt that spending such money was a waste.
I then got pregnant, gained over 50 pounds, and needed two and a half years to get all of that weight back off.
Why am I telling you this? Because I believe many of you women are just like me. You feel you don’t deserve nice clothes because you aren’t a certain size you have deemed to be perfect. Maybe you’re currently dieting, have a new exercise regimen; maybe like me you’re working off baby weight or possibly have been struggling with your size for quite a while. It seems silly to invest in fashion that won’t fit in a couple of months.
The thing is, you don’t know what the future holds, and in the mean time you are punishing yourself.
After having Emerson, I decided to be nice to myself. I just went through a pretty crazy experience with this body and it survived. Yes, I now have hips and a mama pooch and several miles of stretch marks. The weight didn’t come off quickly – I may have lost almost 20 pounds in one week from loss of water and a 7 pound, 9 ounce baby from my womb but the rest took it’s sweet time. I knew I would eventually lose the baby weight, but I didn’t know when. Instead of dressing myself in ill-fitting pieces and cheap standbys as I waited for myself to whittle down, I dressed the current me. I sought out companies and styles of clothes that would flatter and work with my current shape. I didn’t hesitate when I found a piece at full price if it was really fantastic. I had a great body, a hard working body, a strong body and it DESERVED to be dressed well.
Lately, I have found myself bypassing my cutoff price a few times. I am mid-weightloss but it’s not stopping me from dressing the body I currently have. Who knows what the future may hold – I may lose 50 pounds, I may stay at this size, I may gain. I want to live in the moment, enjoy the moment, live this life that I have right now with gusto and with joy. For me, that means I do it wearing sassy shoes and fabulous frocks. I am an amazing person, no matter my size and I am going to dress this current me in the way in which it deserves.
The funny thing is, the better I dress, the happier I feel. The happier I feel, the more I love my reflection. The more I love my reflection, the easier I find it to lose weight, come to terms with my new curves, and also find clothes that flatter. It’s hard as heck to find clothes that look good when you have slumped shoulders and a snarl. When you accept and love yourself you stand straighter, you walk with more grace, you smile more, and clothing is far more kind.
Stop punishing yourself, you are a fabulous woman who deserves to feel good. That may be some new paint brushes, a pedicure, or pair of peeptoe heels. Maybe it's just allowing color into your life, or buying a new pair of jeans. Whatever works with your budget, your lifestyle, and your soul.
Michelle Hill says
What a great perspective!
Thanks for this Allison! We all need to be kinder to ourselves and it’s always good to know we aren’t alone.
anne m bray says
yes. I will stop waiting. Thank you!
Allie, this nails it for me:”The funny thing is, the better I dress, the happier I feel. The happier I feel, the more I love my reflection. The more I love my reflection, the easier I find it to lose weight…”
If I can keep remembering this, I will be OK! —Helen
karina russell says
Amen to that!
Lindsay Midkiff Miller says
I SO needed to hear this. I’m 4 months post-baby, and 2 sizes and 20 lbs bigger (46 total at birth). I hate buying clothes in a bigger size than I’ve ever worn, but I’m back to work and have to have things to wear and need to look professional and decent. Thank you for the reminder! Oh and I have miles of stretch marks too… I keep telling myself they will fade eventually?!
Sing it! I am up and down the scale, and whenever I dress crappy because I think I don’t deserve it, I end feeling even worse. So now I buy what I want for whatever size I am, and I feel 100% better.
Excellent post Allie! I totally agree with you for sure 😉
What a great post – as I grow older I am trying to understand how to feel attractive in this ever-changing body of mine. Your article is very helpful.
UneVieChic Kate says
I could have written this post, because that was the way I was for so long. Today I went out and bought 6 new pieces, a dress, a dress I’ll wear as a tunic, and several shirts, all in knit fabrics that look good on my semi-pregnant body, but b/c of the fabric will all still fit in a couple months when G returns (I want to look good if I’m waddling towards him!). I decided that yes, these clothes probably won’t be something that fits even next summer, but it’s worth it to feel pretty while pregnant. (I also made sure to choose pieces that I can breastfeed in… I’m all about the multi-tasking!) I have all the time in the world to buy smaller clothes if I succeed in losing more weight after the baby. But I’m appreciating this body that I have and choosing to love it rather than resent any changes… and it’s turning out not to be hard!
Terry Cohoe says
This is a great post, Allie. I wonder how many women struggle with this. I am in that mid-weight loss zone and have been holding off on buying anyting until I get where I want to be (which as you’ve pointed out, may be never). Thanks for the encouragement!!!
Megan S says
Thank you Allie – this is a wonderful post! I don’t know how many times “someday, when I lose “X” amount of pounds, I wear this or that”. I shouldn’t have to dress frumpy because of my size! And actually, in the past year, I’ve come to realize that, although I would like to lose some weight, my size is ok. I wish I’d realized this sooner – I’ve wasted so much time “waiting” for perfection.
Although I’ve “only” been dieting for a decade I can certainly recognize the horrible feeling of not deserving clothes. I think high-end designers are feeding this as they refuse to have their clothes made in sizes larger than US 8 or 10. Newest thing is that they are now using a male model for womens clothes on the catwalks. What will that do to young girls with curves? Anyway, it wasn’t untill I discovered all these style and fashion blogsthat my view changed. You, Allie, as well as others opened my eyes to the fact that my body wasn’t that bad at all, and I’ve now started my own blog in order to determine my personal style. So thank you very much, I already feel so much better!
Amen sister sledge-rock on with your bad self and keep reminding us to do the same. This post came at the pErFeCt time for me. Thanks!!!
Queen Lucia says
Thank you for this post. While I don’t really struggle with this, my mother does, and it’s horribly painful to watch her go through it (not to mention how SHE feels about it). My mom has been overweight most of her life, and she is always in the process of gaining weight, or losing weight, or planning on losing weight…. – in the meantime, she treats herself cheaply and hates herself, waiting for perfect. The problem is, it’s always the meantime and perfect never happens. Instead of accepting this and deciding to be OK with it, she punishes herself. The irony is that I believe she wouldn’t be nearly as overweight, and certainly wouldn’t yo-yo, if she could accept herself. It breaks my heart.