In Part 1 of The Three Digits to Ditch Blog Series I suggested that you step away from your scale and stop the daily weigh-in. (READ MORE HERE). Instead, set a positive tone for your day and improve your mood by calling your cousin or texting a friend. Exchange your daily, agonizing ritual of weight assessment with something more encouraging and discover the relief that follows when you DITCH THOSE DIGITS.
Now that you’re already practicing separation from the scale, why not abandon another number? SIZE.
Dropping the drama over dress size (along with bra size, waist circumference and every other arbitrary body measurement) is a freeing step towards loving your body and ending your food fears. Clothing size is merely a retail store convenience. It gives shoppers a simple (though not foolproof) way to find the pair of pants most likely to fit their body without spending hours trying on the entire rack. While it’s easy to forget these days, measurements report inches and centimeters – not morality. You aren’t BAD if you’ve decreased in bra size, or GOOD if you’ve sized up in shorts. This is great news because it means that whether you’re wearing a 14 or sporting a 0 – you can do so without shame.
You see, the numerical value sewn into your skirt doesn’t dictate your quality of life. But, your obsession with it just might. Preoccupation with size can be a paralyzing mindset that keeps women from experiencing peace and joy. When you are narrowly focused on squeezing into (or filling out) a certain size, there’s little brain space left to ponder the more fascinating or urgent matters of the world. Trust me, I’ve been there. Similar to weight obsession, fixation on size is dangerous because it attaches your significance as a human to an insignificant number. Consequently, when you believe that value decreases as waist circumference increases it’s likely you’ll try to take matters into your own hands – desperately attempting to shed a few inches by any means necessary like restriction, over-exercising, diet pills and other quick “fixes.” What’s more, those attempts to slim down might actually backfire predisposing you to binges and compulsive eating behaviors.
Have you ever considered that humans are the only living creatures who identify themselves by body measurements and alter their behavior around food and activity accordingly? Giraffes don’t skip breakfast or run laps because their beautiful coat is feeling a bit snug. Yet, many a woman has wearied herself attempting to fit into a smaller dress. Most animals behave instinctively. They eat when they are hungry, stop when they are full and move when they are motivated. Their actions are based on natural inclinations or environmental threats – not aspirational measurements. Humans are the only mammals who regularly consult with one another for permission and instruction before preparing their meals or moving their bodies. This dependence on others (namely diet and fitness “experts”) rather than intuition, is an obvious result of our fraught desire to conform to societal dictates regarding body size and shape.
Cultural conditioning has done women a great disservice when it comes to body measurements. The media typically presents “straight sized” (that’s sizes 0-4) models with few curves and minimal body fat. And while plus or “curvy sized” models (usually size 8 and larger) have finally begun their transition into mainstream marketing, it hasn’t been without a fight. The homogenous beauty standards we are confronted with in magazines, store windows, and television shows have both created and confirmed the common belief that size is synonymous with attractiveness. But, it’s simply not true!
Our bodies aren’t factory made replicas. They’re original masterpieces. So, no matter your measurements, be confident in who you are and rock your shape. If you want to feel great in the skin you’re in: Accept your present size. Wear clothing that fits and feels great. Choose styles and colors you love. Accessorize with your own unique touches. Take care of your body by feeding and moving it in enjoyable ways. Be kind to yourself. Smile.
AND – if you must focus on a size, then make it the size of your heart and your mind. Try new things, meet interesting people, have a meal with friends, serve your community, read a novel, enjoy a sunset, climb a mountain or visit a museum. But, please don’t spend another second sucking in, starving, or striving for the sake of a silly number.
Do you worry about your clothing size and body measurements? If so, why? What sort of activities do you do to build your heart and mind? Leave a comment or send me an email.