In Discussions, Life

Terrible thoughts about body image and self-confidence

I was in a store the other day – Bershka – and I couldn’t even get a SMALL pair of pants up over my knees.

SMALL.

I basically had a meltdown in the dressing room. I have always been at least XS, S … even Medium if I wanted a looser fit, but never ever, have I not been able to get a SMALL pair of pants up over my knees.

It totally crushed me.

I was demoralized, and immediately had thoughts about how I had basically let my health go.

I started seeing chunks of fat and excess flab all over my body. I am especially self-conscious about my armpits / upper arm area.

I am not toned, I don’t work out, and it probably shows, I thought.

I felt bad the entire day.

.. then as I was in bed, I was thinking… that even with vanity sizing being what it is in North America (how can I be a size 4 and a size 0!?), I realized that perhaps it was just the label.


Some brands, are just cut for pre-teen bodies. No hips (especially ones after childbirth), no bust, no accounting for large fleshy upper arms of the untoned…

This, must have been one of them. NOT MEANT FOR ME.

These are just arbitrary, made-up numbers from brands deciding what cut equals a Small or a “0”.

Instead of feeling terrible about my body and my self-worth, I just know not to shop there. It is not a style or a cut for me, and I have to accept that.

If there IS something I like, I just need to take a size Medium or Large, and know that it is the SAME CUT as my size 4 pants or size Small pants from other brands.

It’s only a tag on a piece of cloth.

It doesn’t and shouldn’t determine what my self worth is or should be.

A stupid tag with an arbitrary number on a piece of clothing.

ARBITRARY.

All that matters is how I feel (healthy and fine although I could increase the exercise bit, to be sure), and how the rest of my entire wardrobe fits.

If my belt still buckles at the same belt hole, I am FINE.

So, lesson learned.


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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

I got out of $60,000 of debt in 18 months using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K (savings rate = 85%). I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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6 Comments

  1. B
    B.

    Iā€™m 5ā€™2, 108 lbs and wear a size M at Bershka. Their sizing runs small!

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Good to hear. I was thinking — WHAT THE HECK.

      Reply
  2. SarahN

    And, my dear, imagine the pain and anguish of the bodies closer to the average. It’s a large part why I’m not so into fashion

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I hear you. It is difficult being on Instagram sometimes.

      Reply
  3. Cassie

    I’m so glad you made this realization. I read the beginning of the post and wanted to shout “There’s absolutely nothing wrong with your body!”, even though I’ve been in your shoes and can totally empathize. You’re gorgeous hun šŸ˜‰

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      How sweet are you? šŸ™‚

      Reply

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