I’ve made no secret of my quest for weight loss here. Even though this isn’t a “weight-loss blog” I have done several challenges both with others and by myself to lose weight. I started the year with my Operation Bikini Body that was a focused attempt to find the confidence to wear a bikini as well as working to tone up. With Beat the Heat, I set and met an actual weight loss goal.
Today? I feel great about myself – yes, I still want to knock off some weight and continue to get into better shape. But, I’ve come so far. How do I know this? Because today, I found a cute pair of jeans at the BX – dark, straight legged, dressy denim trousers. The kind of jean that is my weakness. And they’re by Michael Kors – so they’re gorgeous and well designed.
I bought them in a size 10.
Yep, I’ve lost 11 lbs and moved up a size. At least, in this designer’s clothes. For most, I wear an 8. For some a 6 and now a 10 too. And that’s the vanity of sizing.
I saw last week over on My Fitness Pal, a whole group of girls going off against losing to a number goal on the scale – you know because that’s unhealthy to fixate on a certain weight – and instead were intent on meeting a size goal.
I want to be an 8. I want to be a 2. I want to wear size 4. I want to get to single digit clothes.
It’s a false goal. I can go into the right stores and buy all size 4 clothes. How do I know? Because a friend of mine who is the exact same height/weight/proportions as me (almost, I have bigger boobs) wears size 4 from these companies. Or, I can shop designers like Michael Kors and be bumped back up to a 10. Mostly I fit right into the 6-8 category.
I worked for White House Black Market for 6 weeks during grad school. Besides being a staunch reminder that I don’t want to work retail, I learned a lot about sizing during that time. My favorite manager said that if he could cut the size tags out of clothes he would. And he had a great point. These beautiful women would come in to our store – they’d be size 8s, 10s, 12s, and 14s – and beautiful. And every one of them would try to wear clothes too small for them. We did our best to get them into clothes that fit them, regardless of size, but it was a lost cause with some.
I understand trying to be free of the tyranny of the scale. An arbitrary number doesn’t do anyone any good. But the same is true for the size of clothes. I knew a girl who was a size zero – beautiful, slender, perfect for her body shape. When she got married, she had to buy a size 4 wedding gown and she almost had a nervous breakdown about being “so big.”
I have gone through phases where I wouldn’t buy a cute pair of pants because they were 10s or 12s and “I don’t wear that size” was all that my brain would say.
Working at WHBM really helped me to dress my body and not a number, though that always needs tweaking. But, I would so much rather look good in an outfit, than be squeezed like homemade sausage into casing, just to have a lower number on the tag. I’m proud of my size 10 Michael Kors jeans – they fit me fabulously – with a curved butt and flat abs.
Just remember, that numbers – be it on the scale or on the tag of clothes – can either be arbitrary or meaningful. The number itself does not reflect on the value of the person. Or sometimes, the actual size. Strive to look and feel good for yourself – not for some standard that society tells you that you should achieve.
And the next time you go shopping? Grab your normal size plus one above and one below. Buy the one that fits the best. Not the number that you want to represent yourself. Trust me, you’ll be happier in well fitting clothes.