All day long, whether you’re looking in a mirror or not, your clothes are sending messages to your body.
Close your eyes and do a body scan right now. How do your clothes feel on your body? And what thoughts does it bring up for you? How does it make you feel in your body / about your body?
What we wear has a direct impact on how we feel about and in our bodies.
If your clothing is too tight, pinching your stomach every time you sit down, squeezing you and making it hard to breathe, or cutting into you… then your clothing sends messages like, ‘Something is wrong with you and you’re being punished. You’re not free to exist as you are. Make yourself smaller. You don’t deserve to be comfortable.’
If your clothing fits your body, you can move in it, you can sit in it, you can breathe in it… then your clothing sends messages like, ‘You’re free to be! You’re safe to relax. You’re allowed to live!’
During a private coaching session yesterday, a client and I talked about the fantasy of ‘ease’ with being thinner: this idea that ‘if you just lost weight’ then you’d be able to simply slide on a pair of jeans and go.
It instantly took me back to moments so many years ago, flipping through magazines, looking at models’ bodies and wishing my body was more like theirs. I fantasized about having a body that had no curves or softness and any piece of clothing would just slide on. The fantasy of ‘ease.’
What I learned along the way (as my body gained more curves and more softness than in my dieting days) was that ‘ease’ isn’t only reserved for dressing the thinner version of your body.
EASE is not something that requires you to change your body. All it requires is clothing that fits.
If you want to feel ease when you get dressed, it may require you to let go of some clothing that no longer fits.
The jeans that won’t fit over your calves (I definitely had a few pairs of those that I hung onto for way too long) or the shorts that feel like they are cutting off the circulation to your bottom half every time you sit down in them (‘maybe I’ll just wear these to a standing-only event?’ I’d tell myself back in the day).
I know letting go of some clothes (and the fantasy that comes with them) can be hard. You can go slowly, taking it at your own pace.
It may also require you to find a few things that do slide on because they are the right size for your body exactly as your body is today.
[This is why size-inclusivity is so important, too. Everyone deserves ease in dressing their body AND ease in shopping for those clothes in the first place.]
And, when you do slide those outfits on, rather than hearing the message ‘something is wrong with you and you’re being punished’ you’ll instead get to hear messages like…
‘You’re free to be!’
‘You’re safe to relax.’
‘You’re allowed to live!’
You deserve to hear those messages instead.
I will no longer change my body to fit into some fantasy of ease. I will create my own ease that makes room for changes, for softness, for breath. This is available to you, too.
Close your eyes and get curious: what messages are your clothes sending your body today?
Your body isn’t a problem and if your clothes are sending you those messages, it might be time to swap some things out in your closet.