I hate shopping for clothes. I have always hated it. I’ve waged my own private battle of the bulge in every dressing room I’ve ever been in. Too tight, too big, too small, whatever. Clothes never fit. I’d rather buy shoes and purses any day. They always fit, just like jewelry.
However, losing weight requires shopping. At some point, you will have to replace the clothes you’ve been wearing. And, you should go to a store and try them on, because, if you’re like me, you don’t have a clue what size to start with. On top of that pending frustration, clothes shopping is an emotional experience for me and my daughters (one pre-teen and one teenager). We might cry for any number of reasons — something we love looks terrible/need a bigger size/can’t find anything that meets the perfect picture in our heads. You know — really reasonable reasons to start crying.
Friday I had to go shopping again. This time because I needed something to wear to my daughter’s upcoming Confirmation. I set out (with my mom) and honestly, I was terse and dismissive of many of the things she wanted me to consider. In planning for this shopping trip, I mentally prepared myself for the worst. I was certain we wouldn’t find a thing and this would become the first of a long series of excursions to find something for to me wear that wasn’t horrendous. (Note the bad attitude that comes through in my word choices).
I didn’t want to be shopping. And then I started trying on clothes. The first outfit (nice pants with a great sweater set) looked amazing! Then, upon closer inspection, we realized the pants were roomy in the legs. And, they were super long — maybe a petite length? The only thing petite on me is the length of my legs — but because of the rest of my shape — petites are not an option, usually.
Except, on Friday — I put on a pair of petite length pants that were a size smaller than the pants I bought a month ago. I haven’t lost but a few pounds since then. To go with the pants, I got a great short sleeve top (I don’t do sleeveless) and a jacket. What’s important here is that not only is the top at least 2 sizes smaller than I would have expected, but I can also zip up the jacket. Unless it’s outerwear, I can NEVER zip a jacket.
I tell you all this in excruciating detail because I want you to learn from my experience. Here are 5 Lessons I learned from the Dressing Room:
- Be nice to whoever is shopping with you. My mom did not deserve the sarcastic and snide comments I said out loud (or in my head) while we were perusing the racks of clothes. She is my rock and my greatest supporter. She deserves better than I gave her at the beginning of our day. (Side note: I did recover, apologize for my crankiness and thank her profusely for putting up with me).
- Start with the size you think you wear — not the one you want to wear. It is so much better for your psyche to go smaller in size vs. the reverse, especially if you’ve been losing weight.
- Give yourself plenty of time. Don’t go shopping with only an hour available. I think we were in the store for 3 hours. One store. Three rounds of clothes in the dressing room. OY!
- Don’t over buy. Buy whatever you set out to accomplish. Stay focused. Yes, I need many more things, especially with the change of seasons, but we stayed focused. Veering off course makes the shopping last too long and kills your mood (trust me, I speak from experience). Remember, your mood was likely already questionable given the situation at hand.
- Just because the numbers on the scale haven’t changed, doesn’t mean your body isn’t still changing. Yep, I didn’t think it was possible. But based on the sizes I bought Friday compared to the sizes I bought near the end of March, something’s been shifting even if it doesn’t show up on the scale. This is important to your weight loss journey. Don’t get down just because the scale isn’t budging — especially if you’ve already lost a lot of weight. Look for the beyond the scale victories.
The moral of this story is that finding that amazing outfit to wear at my daughter’s Confirmation gave me new incentive to stay the course and keep plugging away at my weight loss. I challenge you to do the same.
What makes you feel great about yourself? How does that impact your weight loss efforts?
May 1, 2017 at 2:39 pm
Robin…this is such a great article!!
Isn’t it amazing how our mood can be so negative at first, and then change once we find clothing that works for us???
jodie filogomo recently posted…An Infinity Scarf Can be Tied More than 1 Way
May 3, 2017 at 9:20 am
Amen Jodie and thanks! Glad you liked it! I just wish I could change my attitude when setting out to go shopping. The whole process gives me angst! I think the worst is not knowing how to dress or what I might like. I’ve been hiding in my clothes for so long, I don’t know what my style really is! I guess it’s time to find out!
May 3, 2017 at 11:41 am
And it’s just like anything—practice makes it easier!!! 🙂
jodie filogomo recently posted…The Small Neck Scarves are Perfect for Any Age
May 3, 2017 at 12:57 pm
Oy! Practicing shopping?
May 3, 2017 at 3:52 am
I love this Robin, you are doing so well and I’m so happy for you. I like your honesty too, mothers put up with a lot from their daughters, no matter what age they are!
May 3, 2017 at 9:22 am
Debbie, thanks so much! I’m sure my mother believed that by now I’d behave better than my teenage daughter does when I take her shopping for clothes. What goes around, comes around, right? LOL!!
May 3, 2017 at 12:48 pm
Clothes shopping is a love-hate relationship for so many of us. And sometimes both on the same day! Good for you for sticking it out and empowering yourself!!
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May 3, 2017 at 12:59 pm
I think “empowering” is giving me more credit than I deserve, but yes, you have to be a willing participant in order to reap the “love” part of the love/hate relationship! I was truly over the moon when we left!
May 3, 2017 at 1:23 pm
Excellent points. It took me a long time to learn to stop trying to fit into a size smaller first. I’d rather be comfortable than have bought the size I wish I was. Also you will look better in the correct size…you will look skinnier. 😉
Shopgirl Anonymous recently posted…An Afternoon at Dallas Galleria in Pictures
May 3, 2017 at 3:12 pm
And you have a better mood if you start with the larger size and have to find it in a size smaller to fit properly!
May 3, 2017 at 5:43 pm
I hate shopping for clothes, too, but I am looking forward to buying some new clothes this summer as I continue to lose weight and slide out of my fat guy wardrobe. 🙂
Buying sneakers is especially difficult because I’m a size 15. I want a good running shoe, but the choices are always so limited. It’s not fair!
Austin recently posted…Confessions of a Rain Walker
May 3, 2017 at 8:22 pm
Austin — as you shed the pounds (and your wardrobe) be sure to keep one pair of pants and get rid of everything else. I have my “before” pants folded on a shelf in my closet. I ABSOLUTELY plan to take a picture standing in them when I’ve lost half my weight! It’s a powerful visual — even if it’s only in my head for now.
May 3, 2017 at 5:49 pm
I relate to all of this. I have to add that I need to have eaten before shopping or my blood sugar drops and I become even more cranky. So that would be my sixth thing.
May 3, 2017 at 8:45 pm
Very valid addition to the list!
May 3, 2017 at 7:05 pm
Tip #2 is SO smart! We have a size in our heads, but if clothes in that size don’t fit well, we are miserable. Been there, done that!
May 3, 2017 at 8:23 pm
And I have the proverbial T-shirt — it’s too big of course! 🙂 LOL! Thanks Monica!
May 3, 2017 at 7:46 pm
Robin, I love this piece!! Excellent advice about starting larger and going smaller 🙂 I am so proud of all you have accomplished, my friend. And I am so grateful for the inspiration you are giving me, too! You’ve really motivated me to get back and stay on track. PS I hate shopping with other people too! They start throwing clothes at me and I get overwhelmed and feel pressured and melt down. God bless your mom. 😉
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May 3, 2017 at 8:26 pm
My mom is truly a saint! How she has the capacity to put up with me, I’ll never know — except I do know. I have daughters too. I get it. I suspect you and I on a shopping adventure together would end up with the store burning down around us! LOL — but what fun we’d have! Seriously, thanks for your kind words. They mean everything to me.
May 3, 2017 at 9:59 pm
And so many different clothing companies use different sizes. It is so frustrating!! Good tips!!!
Stacey W recently posted…Sunburned ( A Collection of Tales)
May 4, 2017 at 9:10 am
I KNOW! It’s the worst! And, I wish they offered a discount if you know you’re only going to be able to wear the clothes for a few months….
May 3, 2017 at 10:31 pm
When I was in the weight loss free fall due to my impending divorce, I had to buy clothes on a monthly basis because I lost so much weight. I don’t recommend the stress/divorce diet to anyone, but shopping for clothes as your waistline changes can be difficult!
May 4, 2017 at 9:12 am
I understand completely where you’re coming from. And while the stress/divorce diet method sucks, at least you didn’t go the opposite direction! That would have been far worse for your psyche in the long run! Glad you’re on the far side of that situation now!
May 4, 2017 at 6:19 pm
I used to enjoy clothes shopping but not anymore. It’s a nightmare with little kids in tow so I don’t really do it now!
Silly Mummy recently posted…Friday Frolics – 28th April 2017
May 4, 2017 at 10:20 pm
Omg! I understand! Mine are big enough to behave, but don’t have the patience for me to shop for me! That’s why my mom took me!!
May 6, 2017 at 8:26 pm
My mom struggled off and on with her weight and body image issues. She said to avoid distress over your transitional shape, never look in the dressing room mirrors until you have put on the clothes. It does seem to help!
Your tips are very helpful for anyone who hates to shop!
May 8, 2017 at 11:29 am
Thanks so much Sharon! I completely agree with your mom’s advice. I actually practice it, but it’s so routine for me, I didn’t even think of it as a shopping strategy!!
June 5, 2017 at 7:13 am
To be honest, I think there’s way too much emphasis on appearance in our culture. There are beautiful, stylish clothes now for women of all shapes and sizes.
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June 5, 2017 at 7:15 am
I agree. I think the hardest part comes in being honest with yourself and accepting what your reality is — and that doesn’t have to be bad. Just honest!