One Size Does NOT Fit All

Even though clothing ads make us think it’s a “one size fits all” clothing market, it’s not. Unfortunately, when the clothes don’t fit, we think it’s our bodies, not the dress, or shirt. We need to understand that we have unique shapes, and look for those clothes that we like and look good on us. Stop trying to look like everyone else — look like yourself!

Have you ever tried on a shirt, or a pair of pants, that were supposedly in your size, but it just didn’t fit? The sleeves were too small, the pants were too tight. But the size said it should fit, right? So if the size is correct, then the message must be that it’s your body that’s not the right size.

Well, that just isn’t the truth, and you know, it took me a while to realize that. Our bodies are not made to fit into all the different styles that are out there — and we have to understand that! Unfortunately, all the models and advertising leads us to believe that clothes are truly a “one size fits all” — and if the clothes don’t fit; there must be a problem with our bodies.

Do any of you remember hot pants? These were quite the style when I was a teenager — and I wanted to wear them, because “everyone” was. They were also called “short shorts”, and were the rage in the 1970s. Since everyone was wearing them, I convinced my mother to let me get a pair. See, the issue was — they just didn’t look right on me. My thighs didn’t look good in those short shorts, and I wouldn’t wear them

What I didn’t realize back then was that my body was the right size — for me. But I didn’t understand that, nor was I able to accept myself as not being anything else but too fat. I figured if the pants didn’t look right on me, it must be my fault. So I decided I had to go on a diet and lose weight, in my thighs, in order to fit the fashion.

Of course I couldn’t lose the weight — I have never been able to stay on any diet. And I couldn’t accept was that there were plenty of other clothes that did look good on me. I HAD to be able to wear these hot pants, because it was the style. So sadly I wasted a lot of time and energy criticizing myself for not having the right body, and it took a long time (and gaining and finally losing 30 pounds) to finally accept myself.

Now, of course, I know I would never have looked like those models, no matter how much weight I’d lose. The genes I’ve inherited (there, let me blame my parents!) would never give me skinny thighs or legs. We all have different body shapes, and we need to find the clothes that feel comfortable on our bodies — we need to feel comfortable IN our bodies. While I certainly enjoy wearing nice clothes, comfort comes first now. Even if the skirt is “my” size, if it doesn’t feel comfortable, I’m not going to buy it. I’m past the point of thinking about losing weight in order to fit into a certain pair of pants.

Over time my body has changed (gravity? perhaps; having kids? certainly!), and I have also gotten rid of clothes I wore 20 years ago. There’s no way I think I should still fit into my wedding dress. Why should I have to?

I do try to take care of myself. I try to eat well, most of the time, and I do like to walk regularly, when my schedule allows it. I refuse to buy clothes that will give me the shivers when I think about wearing them. My clothing purchases are now the ones I will remember warmly.

Become At Peace with Food: Stop Dieting and Lose Weight

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received from your primary care doctor or other medical professionals.