I don’t have kids yet, but I’ve been told there’s nothing like the feeling of holding your baby in your arms. The soft skin, sweet baby smell, tiny fingers and toes; truly an amazing experience. And then some months later, you attempt to put on your pre-pregnancy clothes and, ouch. All those feelings of sweet baby bliss, gone.
In my years of image consulting and styling (going on 7 now) I’ve sat in many closets with a lot of moms (of kids of all ages) and listened to them talk, and occasionally cry, about the changes to their body after their kids were born. Many felt like they had to make an excuse to me for why they were holding on to a lot of clothing that didn’t fit them anymore. While I in no way want to invalidate those feelings (I get it, we all want to look and feel our best), I just want to tell you to give yourself a break!
There is no “magic number” or “perfect” size out there, regardless of what you see in magazines or on television. It doesn’t matter how fast “Celebrity X” lost her baby weight while you’re still struggling with it 10 years after the fact. Unless your career depends on your dress size (and it never should), why are we worried about this?
I’m not giving you a free pass to give up on taking care of yourself, but as a society, let’s just ease up on ourselves, OK? Here’s the truth: you may very well get back to your “ideal” size. And you might not. So don’t let your self worth depend on it. Got it?
A few tips:
1. Quit torturing yourself. If you have clothing in your closet that doesn’t fit you by more than a size (and you’re more than a year post-pregnancy), it’s time to let it go. Why deliberately hurt your own feelings daily by reminding yourself that you’re “still not there”. Stop. Donate them or give to a friend. (At least remove them from your closet!) Then treat yourself to some new clothing that makes you look fantastic.
2. If you’re between sizes or your weight fluctuates greatly, it’s OK to keep items at different sizes (within reason). Consider swapping clothes with a friend or using a clothing rental subscription until your size is more stable so you don’t have to buy an entire new wardrobe every time you go up or down a size.
3. Work with what you’ve got. I’m not bragging here, but I’ve helped women of ALL sizes look phenomenal. And it had nothing to do with my shopping skills. If you are open to dressing for the shape you are now, you CAN look amazing. I promise.
Ladies, let’s be careful how we talk about our weight, diet, etc. We are so much more than that. Don’t let your dress size dictate your happiness. There are so many great things in life; all which have ZERO to do with the size label in your dress. So don’t miss out!
***Special note*** If you struggle with feelings of low self-worth due to your weight or body issues, or experience obsessive thoughts or actions related to your diet or body, please consider seeking help from a counselor.