Friday, July 8, 2016

What A Tight Bridesmaid Dress Taught Me About Body Confidence

Today's guest blog is from Anne, who struggled with binge eating and knew that dieting wasn't working for her (in fact, it only made things worse).  When she gave up dieting and started examining "why" she was eating, instead of focusing on food, everything began to shift.  She didn't realize how much she had changed until THIS happened:

Anne's Story:

"I never realized how much I had changed until I had a bridesmaid dress disaster a few weeks ago.

My cousin Kate's wedding was a few weeks away and the bridesmaid dresses had finally arrived.   I was a little nervous--we've all seen 27 Dresses and know just how awful a bridesmaid dress can be! 

Well, my cousin pulled out a lacy, peacock blue dress out of the bag and I thought it was gorgeous.   I put it on, started to zip up, but as it got about halfway up my back, the zipper stuck. 

Kate came around and started yanking and pulling and tightening, but it didn't budge. The dress was simply not going to fit. 

In a very quiet and tentative voice, she said, "Are you going to be okay if we order a bigger size?" 

She was afraid that my self-esteem was going to plummet simply because I needed a different letter on the tag of my dress. 

A year ago, I would have been devastated.  But a lot can change in a  year.

I thought, "The size of the dress doesn't change my body! Just because this size doesn't fit doesn't mean I need to lose weight! 

And I'm certainly not going to keep the too-small dress around as motivation to diet. 

Heaven forbid I diet and the second the wedding ends, I turn around and binge on everything I've restricted the last three months. 

Why not order a dress that fits me and and makes me look like a million bucks?" 

To Kate's compassionate question, I cheerfully answered, "Of course we should order a different size! We don't want me walking around with my dress zipped down all day! What would grandma think?" 

She laughed, and together we called the company to ask about their exchange policy.  

And that's when I realized how free I was from all the body hatred and shame that I'd struggled with for so long."

Anne is a college student in the Midwest who's thrilled to have created a healthier, happier relationship to food - and most of all, to herself.

Wow, what a story!

I love Anne's body-positive response to the bridesmaid dress.  As I considered her experience, I started thinking about numbers.

Why do we allow our identity and our worth be determined by the letter or number on our clothing? 

Some of the world's largest crimes against humanity have been when we stripped others of their names and identities, and instead we assigned them a number. 


Promise yourself today to stop seeing yourself as the size of your jeans or the number on the scale, and instead see yourself as a person with wants and needs, likes and dislikes. 

Be more than a number... be YOU!

Today, refuse to say anything negative about your size. Assess the size of your heart, not the size of your jeans. Count the number of your friends, not the number on the scale.
Today, find positive attributes of your body to focus on. 

Today, challenge the thought that you will be happier when you are skinnier. 

Today, tell yourself that you love and respect yourself. 

That's how you win the diet war! 


Dr. Nina


Anonymous said...

Loved Anne's story and found your reflection about assigning numbers to people as a way of stripping their identity in order to justify appalling behaviour really fascinating - a big aha moment for me. I love the idea of a guest blog. Thanks for all you do.

Dr. Nina said...

I'm so glad this resonated for you! Thank you for taking the time to let me know.