Ugh… Shopping.

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I’m going to make a statement here that about half of you are going to relate to, and the other half of you will think is appalling: I hate shopping.

I’ll get a little more specific here: for the most part, I hate clothes shopping. I like shopping for workout clothes and anything that doesn’t have a zipper. Clothes that still fit whether you gain or lose 10 lbs are a-okay in my book.

And yes – I know that I’ve been working on loving my body more and not thinking so negatively about it all the time- and I’m working on that. I know that a size is just a number (just like the number on the scale) and in the grand scheme of things, it seems like such a silly thing to fixate on. But you know what? I can’t help it sometimes- that number does affect me and how I feel.

I don’t like to point out specific numbers of how much I weigh or what size I wear on here, because all of our bodies are so different and I don’t want to make unrealistic comparisons. For example, when I read another blogger write about her “heaviest” weight being something like 130 or 140 and how fat she was, I think “are you kidding? I would kill to be that small!” But then I have to remember- I’m 5’7″ and muscular, and she may be 5″ tall and have little to no muscle tone.

We are all different.

I am going to be a little more specific about clothing sizes in this post, because it just makes it a lot easier. Again- I want to state that we are all different. One woman who is a size 6 may look completely different than another woman that wears the same size- it all depends on how their bodies are made up. I know many women that are a size 14 that I think look much smaller than me!

The highest size I remember wearing was a 16. I was probably a little over 200 lbs then (I don’t know, because I never got on a scale back then)- and a 16 was actually tight. The smallest I’ve ever been was a size 4, and that was when I was in the mid to low 140s. I even owned a few pair of size 2 pants that actually fit. Now, 15-20 lbs heavier than my lowest weight, I have a whole closet full of adorable size 4 clothing that I can’t fit into. Back when I was a size 4, for that brief 2 year period, I actually really liked shopping. It was the first time in my life that I was thin, and didn’t have a muffin top hanging over the top of my jeans. As I slowly put weight back on and my clothes started feeling tighter (and the muffin top came back) and it started affecting my mood. I started to hate having to get dressed in “real” clothes each day. And going to buy new clothes in a bigger size?? Completely out of the question. It would be like admitting defeat. I also did not have enough money to go buy a bunch of new stuff!

But eventually, I had to give in. I can still wear most of my smaller shirts- they just fit tighter and don’t look quite as flattering. A few of my “skinny” pants fit- but not many. What I really want is just to be able to feel comfortable in my clothes- and eventually fit back into 75% of what’s in my wardrobe.

I set out yesterday to run a bunch of errands, and one of those included buying a few pairs of shorts and casual t-shirts/tank tops to wear this summer. Unfortunately, Frederick has very limited options for shopping. My favorite stores are Banana Republic and Limited, and the closest ones are about 45 minutes away. So I settled for the best that Frederick has to offer:

I actually really love Ann Taylor Loft. And Gap is okay- I know that I can at least always find shorts and jeans there that I like.

I went to Loft first, grabbed a bunch of stuff to try on and went into a fitting room.

The black shorts that I’m wearing are a pair that I got from J Crew about 8 years ago. They’re a size 10, and they fit pretty well. The odd thing is, a few years ago they were pretty loose (when I was a 4) but still wearable. But, when I first bought them- I was about 15-20 lbs heavier than I am now- and they fit just fine. I guess my body has just changed a lot since then?

I feel like the sizes at Loft are kind of all over the place. I spotted a pair of knee-length shorts that I really liked and grabbed them in 3 different sizes: 6,8 and 10.

I tried on the size 6 first, thinking that it would definitely be too small. To my surprise, they actually fit perfectly! I also tried on the size 8, just to compare- and they felt looser in the waist, and tighter in the thighs… very weird. The other shorts that I had brought in to try on fit well- and they were a size 8.

I spotted this dress- the pink version of a black dress that I already own (which I had bought for Blend!)

…but I wasn’t a fan of how it looked on me (which is fine- because I really didn’t need it!).

Here’s my “keep” and “not to keep” piles:

I ended up getting 2 tank tops, two t-shirts and two pairs of shorts (the longer ones and then a shorter pair of denim ones).

I ventured over to The Gap to try to find a pair of khaki shorts and anything else that caught my eye. They actually didn’t have much that interested me, but I did find the shorts I was looking for (and on sale- yay!).

Here’s my thing about shorts: I actually love them. My legs are the one part of my body that I actually like to show off- they’re huge and I’m proud of that! But, I also have to think how short is appropriate for a 32 year old woman?…..

I bought those shorts and two shirts for Greg and called it a day.

On the way out of the mall, I had to go through Macy’s (since that’s where I parked) and walked right by the swimsuits. Bathing suit shopping is definitely my least favorite thing ever, but it’s a necessary evil. I will never, ever be comfortable in a bikini. Even when I was at my very smallest size, it was not a good look. I have a lot of loose skin around my tummy, and it’s just not something that I feel comfortable showing to the world. (That’s a really fun side effect of weight loss!)

I spotted this Jessica Simpson tankini though, and was really tempted to try it on:

The only size they had for the top was a “D.” If you’ve met me, you know that I am definitely NOT a D-cup. :)

I guess it was successful shopping trip, and buying a few things in bigger sizes was no big deal. I’m certainly not going to be thinking “oh man, these are a size 8 and I used to be a 4″ when I’m putting on my shorts. I will be thinking “these feel a lot more comfortable than those tiny shorts that I was trying to stuff myself into.”

Do you love/hate clothes shopping? Do you fixate on the size of your clothes at all?