I Only Hate My Body When I Have Clothes On

Like many, as part of my New Year’s Resolutions, I decided to be a bit more health conscious. Partly this is to do with agreeing to run a 10k race in May, but also it’s because I have been having trouble getting into clothes lately. Well… Not really lately. More like since forever.

I always hover between sizes. As a teenager I was between 8 and 10, now I’m between 10-12. Being too broke (and frankly lazy) to take the option of ‘eat more cake and replace entire wardrobe’, I decided it was time to take my eating habits in hand and be more consistent with the exercise.

In the six weeks I’ve been trying this, I’ve lost nearly half a stone. I wouldn’t say I feel any different – I never really had a problem with my body before, and certainly didn’t lack body confidence. I’m not embarrassed to be in a bikini, or to strip down to underwear for osteopath appointments and I’ve no issue with being naked. In the right situation, obviously.

The problem I’ve always had is clothes. Losing half a stone ought to have made me feel amazing, as I wasn’t really that overweight to start with – still within ‘normal’ BMI, though at the upper end of the range – but I don’t really feel any different. Now I’m just holding up ill-fitting trousers with belts instead of straining to do the buttons up.

It doesn’t seem to matter what size I am – I’ve never been able to find clothes that make me look and feel good. I’m very straight up and down, quite wide, not much in the way of curve, and everything is usually too tight in one place and too loose in another. Usually too tight around my non-existent waist and too loose around my small bust. Going clothes shopping almost inevitably ends with me crying or getting angry at the poor Boyfriend who looks on with terror.

Recently I cleared out my wardrobe and took a black sack’s worth of stuff that didn’t fit, or I just plain hated down to the charity shop. The woman working there opened her eyes wide as I walked in, and I wasn’t sure whether to be pleased or embarrassed.

I’ve had a clear out, I said.

But clearing out is the easy part. Replacing and restocking is what I dread. So far, I’ve bought a three pack of tights for work and nothing else. For work, I’ve got everything I need. For everything else apart from dresses, I’m woefully understocked. But I just hate clothes shopping so much, I can’t imagine this ever changing.

I’m not a girly girl. I don’t do makeup (too lazy to get up early, and too blind to see what I’m doing without my glasses on) and I don’t do hair (recent attempts at up-doing aside) and I’m certainly more likely to be found slouching about in my fleece pyjamas than dressed to the nines. But, like any girl, I do like to feel good about my appearance sometimes, and would like to know that I can pull it off when I want to.

I need Gok Wan. Not to tell me how to look good naked – but to teach me how to look good with clothes on. Maybe then clothes shopping would be less of a trauma. For me, and the Boyfriend!

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