This is NOT your typical "shop til' you drop" retail therapy ladies! This recent shopping experience dug deep into some old thought patterns and limiting beliefs!
Why are women's jeans so darn tight?!?
I've have literally asked myself this question for years! I've had so many occasions when I would come home from a night out with friends, and had to peel my skinny jeans off my legs... only to need that last stitch effort to get them off my ankles!. Don't even get me started on those "Extra Skinny Leg" Jeans.... Now who's idea was that!?!
Now, at the,age of 31, I can honestly recognize and admit to myself that I have had a big part in contributing to the "tight jeans" issue. I remember starting to purchase my pants based on the size listed on the tag when k was in High School. Instead of buying them for how they felt on my body, I would aspire to get down to the lowest size. If I could fit into size "insert validating #",... then the decision was made - I'd buy those pants! There was a sense of pride & a feeling of worthiness that came with the pant size that I had squeezed myself into. It all felt pretty innocent at that time (I didn't know any better). I also didn't share this openly and became a secret obsession which spiralled into some pretty distorted body image issues and self talk.
In the early 2000's when I was in high school, we were not inundated with social media outlets like today's teens (Pinterest, Instagram, Snap chat etc). However there were still advertisements on televisions and fashion magazine's. I specifically remember being at the grocery store and flipping through the pages of the "People" magazine while my mom was paying for our groceries. My eyes were glued to the celebrities on the cover page sharing "how they'd lost 15 pounds in 30 days", "how to get to look good in your bikini by your beach holiday" or "a new fat melting cleanse". Through my lens as a young girl, they made being "skinny" admirable and the norm of what a women "should" look like.
On a recent work trip to Edmonton, I found myself killing time at West Edmonton Mall before I met up with my team for a bite to eat. I'd been on a (long) mission for high waisted black jeans and found a pair that I liked at Zara. Woot! Woot!
I struggled in the change room for a solid half hour, debating what size I would go home with that night. I contemplated back & forth between buying:
The size "x" jeans- the skin tight pair that was cutting into my belly button or
The size "y" jeans- these jeans were actually comfy! Alleluia! I didn't think such a treat existed! Finally!
But still, I went ahead asking 4 different sales associates for their opinion on the jeans and whether they felt that the smaller size would stretch out (if I was buying the smaller ones, I was really banking on that stretch ladies!). I was assured by each representative that the jeans would stretch and that I should "probably get the smaller size". Gaaaash! Just what I wanted to hear! Deep down inside was that little girl, who (still) wanted to be the smaller size.
At this very moment, I not only wanted to be the smaller size but also thought that I "should" be the smaller size. This is a deep rooted belief that I will get into another post...but long story long...I went ahead and bought the smaller size. (argh!)
"As I was leaving the store, it hit me that I had been associating my self worth to being a certain size."
Waaaaat?!! I was buying a pair of jeans because of a silly number printed on the back of a tag that is sewn inside the pant? So I darted back into the store & picked up the size that felt right for my body and went up to the till to exchange...
That evening at West Edmonton Mall, it's as though somebody hit me upside the head with a baseball bat! I finally realized that I was "done" associating my worthiness to a size on a clothing tag. It was time to challenge my "ego" and ignore those voices telling me what I "should be". I'll be honest that at that moment when I purchased the pair that felt right for my body, it was very uncomfortable. Somehow, tricking the ego always is.... but it was also liberating to have made that bold decision and choose a new story.
"I Am Enough".
I was empowered that evening and proud that I had finally broke through that old thought pattern! I felt a weight lifted off my shoulders that this thought pattern is no longer running my show!
After my recent "retail therapy" session, I started reflecting more on this "obsession" to be smaller and where the heck it was coming from!? There is definitely an emphasis on looking a certain way in our society but this really felt like more of a deep rooted belief system. I can see now that this was an old story that I had told myself for a very long time....since I was a little girl. I remember thinking to myself over and over. I just wanted to be smaller.
I'd be lying if if I told you that these old thoughts never come up anymore. Trust me, they do. I just don't believe them anymore as I can see them as being untrue.
We've all picked up stories, negative stories and limiting beliefs from our past... but our past is our past. It's time to be honest with ourselves and look at what is working in our lives, and what is not. For me, I could see that evening in the mall that the old negative belief about my size and my body was no longer serving me. I no longer wanted it see myself in this light because I honour, respect and love myself too much. We are all worthy love and you are already enough, just as you are! Don't let yourself belief otherwise!
One of the big eye openers for me was since I had a (minor) surgery in December 2017. Suddenly, I was not able to do daily tasks I had previously taken for granted like walking to the mailbox & running to grab a few things at the grocery store. It dawned on me that having my health as thee most important thing! I started pouring love on my body and expressing gratitude towards my body every single day!
So here are some tools have been helpful on my journey of Self-Love:
My Gratitude journal- I write in my journal every morning and absolutely LOVE having this be part of my routine. .... I'll be sharing more on my gratitude practice in future posts!
Gabby Bernstein's "May Cause Miracles" - A 40 day spiritual guide (there's a specific week on self love & one on body image!). You can purchase Gabby's book here: https://gabbybernstein.com/shop/books/
Guided Meditation - Sarah Blondin's Live Awake series has honestly been such a gift in my life. Along with incorporating the taste into my morning meditation practice, I also listen to the podcast on my way to work and when I'm out walking! So even if your not into meditating, I encourage you to check out Sarah's podcast either on iTunes or through the Insight Timer app! Check out here at: https://www.sarahblondin.com/podcast
For today, I will leave you with this quote. Save it on your desktop or on your phone as a handy reminder!