By Samantha McKenzie
I may be one of a few women who don’t like to shop. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting new things and have a good sense of style, I just don’t like the agony of meandering through malls just to hunt down that one perfect item.
But I did. I did it every day this weekend. All in the name of attending a summer event that called for white attire. It started out with two hours on Friday. Then I coughed up another three hours on Saturday. Sunday I went back at it again. And then, right there in the middle of Monday, I managed to squeeze in a visit to two more stores. I tried on dozens of dresses, many more skirts and pants and blouses and still found nothing.
Ten hours out of my life that I can never get back. But what’s worse is, I used every minute of those 10 hours criticizing my body and attacking myself for not noticing the recent weight gain. I came face-to-face with the crippling fact that I had gone up a dress size.
There I was, sweating for dear life in dressing rooms, fussing under my breath because there wasn’t a size that just said “bigger” and complaining how I’m too this and too that. I ridiculed my belly. Fat shamed my thighs. I stared in disgust into every dressing room mirror and cursed it. I almost ended in tears. I left feeling ashamed.
It’s downright destructive and more commonplace than you can imagine.
I didn’t plan this mini assault on myself, but I knew it was time to regroup. I drove home in silence, preparing my mind for the heart-to-heart I was about to have with myself. I started with forgiveness. I said it out loud, in a firm but loving voice because sometimes in the midst of damaging your self-worth, you tend to shy away from listening to your own voice. I reassured myself that the weight I had gained was manageable. I knew how to get back into shape and I was confident that a little sweat would be worth it. I reminded myself that I loved to cook and was a whiz at preparing healthy meals in 30 minutes flat.
After I let go of the self-deprecating thoughts and embraced the pep talk, I realized the shopping trip was a wake up call. A blessing in disguise. I found other things to focus on. Gave my other body parts a wink. I earned four reward badges on my fitness app for increasing my steps. I needed that.
Give yourself the pep talk and you’ll be well on your way. Your body, your image…your call.