Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Moving Up a Dress Size: On Acceptance and Self Love


A few weeks ago I posted this outfit on instagram, and talked about my dress size. To be honest, since embracing body positivity I've realised that the positive values we attach to some dress sizes / body shapes etc and negative values we ascribe to others are fictional. A dress size tells you very little about a person. I mean it can't tell you whether someone is actually healthy or unwell (society's apparent main issue with anyone plus size) but beyond that it can't tell you anything of any real note about a person. It can't tell you if that person is kind, if they're a good friend, if they are humourous, if they are honest. It can't tell you if they are afraid of the dark, or who their first kiss was with, or if they like their job, or what they'd do if they won the lottery. How they like their tea, if they've ever shoplifted, where they hide the good biscuits, or what they think about the new Great British Bake Off (I am in love with Noel, there I said it). It really can't tell you anything worth knowing. 

Dress sizes are also random. There is no agreed standard across the fashion and textile industry of what measurements make up a size 22 or a M or a 32C. Brands get in their own fit models, and ascribe numbers to certain body shapes and measurements. And the more I shop from different places the more I realise how meaningless these numbers are - because apart from being way more than my dress size anyway, a lot of the time across brands my body can straddle 3 or 4 different sizes. Making that average number even more meaningless. 

And yet, knowing all of this, it took me a while to admit that I had moved up a dress size. I'm a size 24. Everything I am wearing here is a size 24. When I started this blog I was a pretty standard size 22. For a while now I've been on the cusp of a 22 and 24. But lately almost everything I've been wearing has been a size 24. 




Lady Luck Bag - Skinny Dip X Felicity Hayward (Sold Out)

Initially I was really hesitant to admit this. More to myself than anyone else. I am all about body positivity and yet I was really struggled to reconcile myself with the changes I'd seen in my own. I knew it. But I didn't want to say it out loud. You see, every time my body has changed in the past I have been wracked with negative feelings - whether the change was due to weight gain or loss. Weight gain led to feelings of having "let myself go", weight loss made me realise that my unhappiness with my body was more about perception than a number on the scale. I found all the compliments I received from people (seeped in a society where weightloss is often celebrated as the pinacle of female achievement) about weight loss unnerving, because I had this creeping dread that soon I would be back in my old body (which I inevitably always was) with all that praise turning to reflect my failure at having not kept it off. (I've written a lot about these feelings and experiences throughout my life here)

So, this latest change in my body brought back some old thoughts - about worth, and self love. Feelings about what getting bigger or smaller means to my relationship with my body and how it might need to adjust to it's new shape and size. A lot of these thoughts initially were negative. But I managed to dispatch them much quicker. Purposefully living in a body positive space as much as I can, means that while I am still susceptible to those creeping bad feelings, I have so many positive role models to look to when the negative feelings come creeping. I spent quite a lot of time stalking the pages of my fave size 24 plus bloggers, to get a sense of perspective on my body. And looking at these buxom babes made me realise (once again) that it wasn't about my size, but more an adjustment of mind set that was needed. 

 I've also been purposefully trying to look at the changes in my body without judgement. In the hopes that I can have a bit more clarity on how I actually feel about my body changing. Rather than regurgitating dangerous narratives I've ingested from other places which categorically state big is bad. Interestingly once I stopped thinking about this change in terms of good or bad, I became a lot clearer on why my body had changed - starting a stressful new job, learning anew how to balance my blog and my career, having to interact with new people on a daily basis, all created a lot of stress. And a lot less time. 

During this time I have not cared for my body as I would like to. How I care for my body may not reflect how you care for yours. There is no judgement here. Just an awareness of what I need to feel to connected to and comfortable in my body. So during this period I moved less, I ate less vegetables and home cooked meals and more processed food. My body has ached with neglect and probably from being filled with the not so great chemicals that comprise a lot of fast food. I started to realise that maybe I wasn't unhappy with my body, maybe my body was a bit unhappy with me. And that things like cooking proper food and going for walks are self care for me. 

And so part of self love and my very own brand of body positivity means doing more of the things that make my body happy. Those include eating good chocolate, and long lie ins under my duvet that feels like a cloud. It also means regular yoga, walking more, and cooking more meals for myself. Eating more fruit and vegetables and making sure I drink a lot of water (I am mad for hydration! Can't get enough of that H2O). Getting back to my usual routine may mean I go up a size, or down a size, or stay the same. And I know that that doesn't really matter. For my own contentment my body deserves to be treated well. And this has nothing to do with my dress size, but with finding self acceptance and love ♥️

**If you liked this post, you may also like my post on 9 Tips for Body Confidence**
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2 comments

  1. This is a really cute post hun. Love the outfit especially the clutch bag!

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  2. Love that skirt. Definitely your colour!

    ReplyDelete

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