I've put on weight. There, I said it. I don't know how much because I don't own scales, but I feel it in my clothes and see it in the photos. Call it winter weight, too much booze or just too-damn-cold-to-want-to-leave-my-couch. It's happened.
The past few months have been a bit tricky in regards to navigating the wardrobe. I've had to really think about how my weight fluctuations were going to affect the organisation of my clothes, my pretties. I know I'm not the only one who's faced this situation; the terrible stream of emotions that course through your veins when suddenly there's a muffin top when you pull on your favourite skirt or jeans. It can by soul destroying.
So in response to this situation, I'm going to share the tips that have helped me to get through it unscathed.
Pull out every item of clothing that no longer fits you and arrange them into piles on your bed:
Ditch, Donate, Sell, Store.
Why? Because it's very important not to have your ill-fitting clothes within your sight everyday. If you have to stare daily at a dress you love, but no longer fit in, it will create negative emotions before you even start your day. Ain't nobody got time for that! Even those of us who love our bodies at every size are not immune to bad days, when it's like there's a neon sign in your wardrobe flashing "FAT = FAILURE!"
The clothes in the "Ditch" pile are the ratty tatters that aren't even fit to donate. I'm talking knickers with holes, t-shirts stretched out of shape, singlets with rips that you wouldn't bother to repair, bras with broken underwires.
The "Donate" pile is for all the clothes that are good, but not clothes that you paid a fortune for and could get back some extra cash if you sold them. For me, these clothes are good, but I originally didn't pay much for in the first place. Think last season's Target/Kmart/BigW stuff.
The "Sell" pile is for the items that were pricey at the time, but you've fallen out of love with. There is eBay and Facebook buy and sell pages for that stuff. If you can't be bothered taking photos of the items, uploading them and arranging postage, think garage sales and car boot markets.
The "Store" pile is for clothes that you still adore, but don't fit in. Box them up carefully and find a dry, safe place for them. There's a chance you might fit into them again one day, or maybe you'll simply want to fondle and touch them because you love them so much and there are sentimental memories attached. But you don't want them staring you in the face everyday screaming, "You're too fat for me!"
You need to feel excited about your wardrobe again! You may be fortunate enough to have the money to do this. If not, use the money you make from the "Sell" pile. Start building up a collection of beautiful clothes that fit you. Op shops (Savers!) and ASOS are my main go-to, which aren't pricey. City Chic is great for a few standout pieces if you don't have the extra cash to splurge. And of course the many, many other plus size online and in-store places.
With the changes in my body, I've found that some of the styles I used to love now don't look quite right. As a result, I've been experimenting with other looks, and loving it! I've actually bought two pairs of jeans which I wear regularly. I never used to wear pants unless they were trackies! Sometimes you have to play around with fashion before you feel like you own it. There were a few times when I felt a bit helpless, like I'd lost control, because my body had changed and fashion wasn't working for me like it used to. I suddenly felt uncomfortable in things I used to live in. I had to shift my thinking and try new things.
4. GET INSPIRED
Find fashion blogs by people who are the same size as you. While I like to find inspiration in all kinds of places and from bloggers of all shapes and styles, it's also important to see your body type represented in ways that you can visualize and connect to instantly. It's also great because sometimes we tend to think that we will never be as happy or as stylish as we were when we were thinner. Seeing smiling fashion bloggers of your size, experimenting and loving their bodies, is enough to pull you out of your despair and see things from a different perspective.
5. EMPOWER YOURSELF
It's easy to love your body when it remains the same, or you're losing weight. When you are gaining weight, it is an act of absolute courage. You are not alone and there are resources for you. There are body-positive books, blogs and videos at your fingertips. It might be just the thing to get your joy back and unlock some happiness. Check out my Body Love Book Reviews for some ideas. This video might be a good place to start too:
I'm going to finish up with a quote from @honorcurves. She said in a post recently,
"As they say, ever look back, unless it's to check out your own beautiful butt in the mirror. Mine has gained a few inches recently and I love it nonetheless. Love yourself through every fluctuation. Loving myself as much when my pants don't do up as when they do is a huge piece of the learning journey for me. I have to smile at myself and love myself after a gain because that is what will help me to move into healthier ways of living my life and just loving myself as is, always. If I can't see my beauty or I feel like I've failed, that's when I often really put the boots to myself in terms of decision-making. I don't want to put the boots to myself when I've gained some weight. Ever in my life again. I want to accept my gains and losses as natural parts of life, as an ever-fluctuating human body I am going to have weeks where I eat more and work out less and vice versa. I'm as beautiful on whatever week it is, and wherever my body is in that week."
Thanks for reading x