Shopping Can Be Frustrating
The dressing room can be a daunting place for any woman. Trying on clothing when sizes aren’t consistent from brand to brand and piece to piece can be hard. I used to love to go shopping with my mom growing up, and somewhere along the way my eating disorder stole that away. When I was in the depths of my eating disorder, I hated the dressing room because I would pick apart my body. I didn’t really care much about my overall appearance at the time, but my size is what mattered to me. As I started to recover, I didn’t like watching my size go back up so shopping was something that I tried to avoid.
It Takes Time and Work
As time has gone on though, I actually have started to like shopping again. It didn’t just happen naturally though. It has taken a lot of time and work, and there are still days where it is more difficult than others. There are a few things that have helped me keep a positive body image in the dressing room though.
Tips for the Dressing Room
- Be Prepared: Before you go think about what might help or hurt you. Just knowing what can be triggering for you and avoiding those things can make a world of difference. You know yourself best and taking the time to think about it and get in the right mindset is important.
- Body Positive Mantra: Have a body positive mantra ready. My personal favorites are… Don’t let your mind bully your body. There is no wrong way to have a body. You are enough. You are more than a body.
- Go with a Friend: Having a friend there can help. Eating disorders are isolating so its good to connect with someone and try to make it a fun thing to do together rather than a chore. Also having some support from someone who know your struggles can be helpful.
- Comfortable Items: I try to chose clothes that are comfortable materials and have some stretch or give to them. If something is too tight it sets me off a lot faster. I also try to stick to fits that I know feel good to me.
- Grab the Bigger Size: Women’s sizing can be all over the place. I like to hold it up to my body and start with a size that is a little bit bigger than what I think I will need, and then I try on the smaller size if I need to.
- Don’t Look: Turn away from the mirror until you have the clothing on. The goal is to eventually be comfortable enough to look, but if it is too overwhelming for you, then turning away from the mirror might be a good idea to start.
- Eat: I know it sounds like you might be full and feeling bloated if you do, but not eating really effects your mood. If you don’t go with some nourishment, then things are much more likely to be triggering.
If it becomes too much or it is too overwhelming then leave and try another day. Shopping can be fun and enjoyable again. It might just take some time.