When we feel bad about ourselves or when we feel “lesser than”, we turn to food to make us feel better. That is what we, overeaters, do. If we are ever to heal our relationship with food and no longer turn to it for comfort then we must heal ourselves. This starts with improving our self-image.
One area that I hear all overweight women struggle with is how they look in their clothes. Either they have given up and just seemingly don’t care or they feel like they try and they keep failing to look good.
If you are one of those people that says “I don’t care”. Trust me. You’re kidding yourself. You say you don’t care and then you overeat – why? Because you do care – you just don’t know how to solve the problem.
The obvious answer always seems to be: Lose the Weight. But it’s not that simple. No matter how much weight I have lost, I’ve still struggled in the stores to find what best fits me and I always leave the store feeling bad about the way my body is shaped. Until recently, when everything changed……..
I have a confession to make. I hate shopping. Correction – I used to hate shopping. And my mother loved to shop. And she did it so well that it made me feel like something was wrong with me for not loving it. To me, shopping was this miserable time where I would be forced to spend hours and hours trying on clothes that just emphasized all the fat I needed to lose. It was like the clothes were screaming at me – “you’re wrong, you’re wrong, everything about you is wrong”.
This problem intensified when I became an adult and was spending my own money on the clothes. So now not only did I have the ridicule and shame and frustration but I was paying for the privilege. Paying with my hard earned money. So what was my solution? I just refused to do it. I’d wear the same boring, non-descript black pants year round in an effort to hide my “problem areas”. If I got lucky and found a cute top then I would wear that as much as I could as well. And then every so often the clothes would wear out and I would go shopping in a panic and freak out and pray that someone, somewhere would sell me yet another perfect pair of non-descript black pants. And yes- I would wear these year round. I wore black knit pants in the dead heat of summer. L And I felt like that’s all I deserved, that’s all the world was offering me. I would see women much larger than me looking fabulous and I just could not figure it out. I’d say well their fat must be in the right place and they can find clothes that fit. But not me! I’m a freak of nature! No store can do anything for me.
But finally last year, I said enough is enough. I forced myself to find some clothes that were bright colors that made me happy and yes – that fit well. And in that process I figured out some things about shopping that really helped me and I think they can help you.
What I figured out is this: If you have a complicated body (and by that I mean – curves of any kind) – then you need two things: You need a tailor and a stylist. And I found both at Nordstrom’s.
The most important thing I learned recently that changed my shopping experience forever was that Nordstrom provides a personal stylist service to their clients. You guys, this is a free service. F-R-E-E! You schedule an appointment online and then a stylist reaches out to you. You tell her your measurements and your style or the style you’d like to have, what you’re looking for and then you schedule an appointment. When you get to the store you go straight upstairs and to the back to a dressing room that is all laid out and ready to go with clothes that she picked out for you. You try them on, you discuss what you like or dislike and she goes back out into the store to get better sizes or colors or find whatever accessory is missing to complete the outfit.
If you are purchasing from the store the tailor is free so then she comes in and makes the adjustments while you’re still wearing the stuff and you come back to pick it up in a week.
NOW, my stylist was really good and she understood that I was on a budget. So for the pieces she has found me that were not “staples” but were like cute blouses, a little more trendy, she called Nordstrom Rack and found similar pieces that were much cheaper. I’m talking about a swap of a $300 sweater for a $30 sweater at the Rack. Yeah. Like that. Then she made a list of those items that I could get at Nordstrom rack for far cheaper. She wrote down brand, size, color so that I knew exactly what I was looking for. She even took a picture of me in the expensive version so that I could remember what it was supposed to look like. The second time I went to see her was even better because she had a better idea of what fit my body and what I liked so her choices were spot on the next time.
Last month I went on a vacation and I knew I needed new jeans. Jeans are the worst thing ever for me to shop for. For years I’ve said Jeans don’t fit me. I’m too fat for jeans. Seriously? Who is too fat for jeans? Ridiculous. But my Nordstrom stylist found me a pair of jeans that worked great! And I can not tell you how much more relaxed and happy and NORMAL I felt walking around in my new jeans on my vacation knowing I looked good and more importantly, to me, knowing that I looked like everyone else. To know that I wasn’t some misshaped weirdo who couldn’t wear jeans – that was priceless.
So now I have a new system for shopping. I simply don’t do it anymore. I don’t shop on my own anymore unless I am on a specific mission directed by my stylist to get a cheaper version of something for myself . The rest of the time, when I need something new, I email her, she picks it out, I come to Nordstrom to my private room and I come out looking and feeling fabulous and full of confidence. I can’t tell you the liberation I feel walking through the store, no longer needing to rifle through piles and piles of cloths and trying on 500 pairs of pants to find one that’s “just okay”. This saves me time and frustration which is worth a hell of lot, let me tell you.
Some of you might say well, “I can’t afford Nordstrom” and you’re right, it’s expensive. But I have a question for you: what is your time worth? What is your self-esteem worth? And then, think about all the money and time you’ve spent buying the wrong things that you really hate but thought that was the best you could do? For me, since I don’t like shopping anyway, I can afford to spend more because I’m not shopping that often anyway. So I’ll spend more to look great and feel great and in the end it’s probably not that much more money anyway.
One of my favorite quotes that I personally say every day in my Daily Affirmations is from Deion Sanders, he said:
When you look good, you feel good.
When you feel good, you play good.
When you play good, you get paid good.
When you get paid good, you live good.
Translation: Looking good is the catalyst to living full out and living a happier life. You may think that’s shallow but it’s true. When you take time to make sure you look good, when you take pride in your appearance, it has a ripple effect on the rest of your life. It matters. But you don’t have to wait to be a certain weight. You can look great at any weight.
[Looking good is the catalyst to living full out and living a happier life. #lookgreatatanyweight #flm]
If you’ve hated shopping and you’ve used that excuse to not look good and you’re waiting until you are the right size and the stores dane to have clothing for you, I implore you to stop. I say, NO MORE! Go to Nordstrom, get a stylist (and a tailor) and flick a finger to the masses! You’ve got better things to do with your time than shop. You’ve got to get busy living your life…………and look fabulous doing it. Cheers to you and your new look!
Do you have a stylist? How has it changed your view of your body and your look? Does shopping in the mall frustrate you to no end? Let’s talk about it. Leave me a comment.