I went dress shopping for a Mother’s of the Bride dress yesterday.
None of the dresses fit me. I’m in the 12-14 range of the size of the average American woman. I wear a size 12. Most of the dresses I liked were size 10’s and wouldn’t zip up my back. “No problem! We have clothes pins!” the owner of the store sang as she smiled and click, clacked them to the sides of my bra straps. Wa La! I could see how it would look if it was my size! All of the 14’s were baggy, so the pin clothes came out again. This time taking in the material, letting me imagine how the right size would look.
I’m trying to remember if I used to criticize my body or myself while trying on clothes in a dressing room. I’m guessing I must have, but I can’t remember!
It didn’t occur to me to feel bad about my body yesterday. I was imagining the big day, and wanting to find “just the right dress.” I trust I’ll know it when I see it on me. We agreed that one of the dresses was a definite “maybe”. Perhaps in another color, and of course, the right size, it just might be the one. But the search will continue. My daughter took a picture of me so I can compare as I continue shopping. What a good idea!
When I got home, my daughter texted the photo of me in the dress. I was looking at the dress and saw my smiling face. I was able to remember how fun it was to be with my daughter and husband, shopping for the “just right” dress. That’s when it hit me. This is an example of recovery!
I know undressing in full length mirrors and trying on clothes can be trying at the least, and devastating at the worst for people who are dissatisfied with their bodies, or for those who hate their bodies.
The good news is that you can learn to love your body. You can have a similar experience by practicing the Self-Love Diet. It’s simple. Redefine the word diet to mean things regularly offered. By regularly offering yourself love and acceptance, in time you can learn to appreciate all that your body does for you. Gratitude will replace criticism. Smiles will replace frowns when someone takes a photo of you in a “maybe” outfit!
Trust me. Try it. What have you got to lose but body hatred?
Michelle Minero is a licensed marriage family therapist who specializes in eating disorder recovery. Michelle’s book, Self-Love Diet: The Only Diet That Works, will be published January, 2013. Her dream is to see a world filled with people who love themselves and their bodies.
Michelle created an intensive outpatient eating disorder program in 2000, brought ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders, Inc.) to Petaluma shortly after and founded EDRS (Eating Disorder Recovery Support, Inc.), a Marin and Sonoma County based 501(c)3 non-profit organization in 2005. In 2011,
Michelle co-founded the Love Warrior Community with her daughter, Emelina, an online community that helps people cultivate self-love, self-acceptance and body acceptance through creative expression. Connect with Michelle on Facebook and Twitter.