The old adage “your inner beauty shines through” is harder to accept than I thought. It takes serious focus. On Sunday, I treated myself to a day of retail therapy – clothes shopping at my favorite store here in San Francisco, with the help of the personal shopper. What a shocker … it didn’t go the way I envisioned! Instead of feeling chic and skinnyified, I spent a lot of time talking myself off the ledge of body revulsion in the dressing room. This is me, I thought to myself, who, prior to my injury, was the epitome of body tightness. Yet, there I was, dimpled, humiliated, and unfirm with the best of them. I felt as though shopping for clothes had been elevated to the dubious status that belongs to bathing suit fitting.
This was not the retail therapy that I was looking for. But then, life lessons never come in the form you expect. I let a day that could have been a delicious day of sinfully sensuous self indulgence turn into one of personal punishment. That is just not necessary.
Treating ourselves to new drapery for our beautiful bodies is essential. Our bodies are still the temples of our souls. That hasn’t changed. Now, more than ever, however, they deserve to be adorned to show our pride in this body that has hung with us through (literally) thick and thin. We have much to thank our amazing bodies for, and ornamenting them with lovely accoutrements is key.
What blocked me from that thinking on Sunday was my attitude. I let fear of looking older get in my way.
The next time you are alone in the fitting room with a stack of clothes that looked marvelous on the wooden manikin, do some self preservation steps of mental preparation – self love steps. As hokey as it sounds, it will release you to a day of freedom to enjoy the pleasures of retail therapy.
- First, get your head screwed on right before you enter the dressing room. Be real. You’re not 25. Be gentle with yourself. Your body is doing pretty darn well, considering the stress you have put it through.
- Second, immediately, stop the nasty hate thoughts when they start.
- Third, don’t ask anyone if it makes you look fat. If you have to ask, it doesn’t matter what the answer is. You’ll never wear it.
- Last, only buy what you really feel wonderful in. The question to ask is “Do I feel beautiful in this?” (Note the verb difference. It’s not “do I look good?” It’s “do I feel beautiful?” Whether you are buying bras, earrings, or a suit for the office, the answer should always be YES. Any other answer means don’t buy it.
Leave all the other stuff for the group that has to prove something. That’s not you, anyway.
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