This article by Sara Mann originally appeared on Ravishly and has been republished with permission.
I’m not in love with my body right now. I wish I were about 20 pounds lighter. I’d like to be a lot more toned and a lot less “squishy,” as I unlovingly refer to myself these days.
There are lots of reasons for the excess weight, like my three back to back pregnancies and periods of extended nursing. And having two little ones with opposite schedules (an early bird and a night owl) makes it especially difficult to get the proper amount of sleep. I also have an underactive thyroid that is a significant drain on my energy. Who wants to go to workout when you’re barely awake, to start?
So here I am in my “today” body.
I’ve been punishing myself by not buying any clothes because I am not at my “ideal” weight. What even is ideal? So while I’m waiting for my “ideal” weight, I am wearing clothes that are too tight or simply don’t fit correctly. All of my current jeans cut right into my gut (Hello? Three pregnancies??). I feel worse about myself every time I squeeze into them because they highlight the parts of me that I like the least.
Every day is marked with an ordeal of digging through my closet to find something to wear. I sift past multitudes of items that used to fit me well but now stick to my body like a goddamn wetsuit. Most pieces highlight my thick thighs and flabby midsection. I particularly can’t stand any top that shows off how my bra cuts into the extra flesh around my bust. I may as well have a neon sign pointing at the offending spot, screaming “Hey folks, look at my back fat!”
What’s even worse is that when I do go shopping, I buy clothes that are a little too tight so that they will still fit “when I finally trim down.” I haven’t wanted to waste the money investing in a wardrobe for my current body.
And then I woke up. I finally realized the horrible messages I was sending myself. That since my body is not the “right” shape, I shouldn’t buy clothes that fit properly? What even is the right shape? I don’t deserve this. I am where I am.
I cannot keep waiting for that pie in the sky perfect body to come back my way. I don’t want to live in the future by putting down my present.
I have to accept that this is where I am at right now, today.
Otherwise, it is a self-defeating cycle. The more I punish myself for the way I look now, the less motivated I feel to do anything about it. This is my body. My skin. I deserve clothes that fit.
So, no more. I am going to buy clothes for my “today” body.
This doesn’t mean that I am going to give up on my goals. I am making a decision to not weigh down my current situation with undeserved guilt and shame.
I am deciding to break the cycle.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not about to spend a bazillion dollars on a new wardrobe. But I do need several outfits that fit my “today” body — outfits that feel comfortable to wear, clothes that are flattering for my current shape, which make me feel good when I wear them — because I deserve to feel good, even with a little extra squish.
And if my weight does change at some point, I will gladly donate these items to another woman so she can enjoy her “today” body.