Ugh… Shopping.

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?



  1. I just sort of went through the same thing…..bought a few bigger pairs of shorts than I was trying to ram my butt into. The truth is, I feel more fit and more motivated and less likely to sabotage myself when I feel like my clothes fit.
    PS How tall are you? I weigh what you weigh but there ain’t no size 6 about it in most brands!!

  2. Ooo. I totally fixate on that number. If I had to buy something in a larger size, I probably just wouldn’t get it. I definitely feel better shopping when I’ve been watching my eating and working out well. although I hate it when my arm muscles get too big for some shirts!! Lol.Your legs look amazing!!!! I always think that to myself too — like, I’m 27… not sure this is age appropriate l length any more. But I love short stuff. Lol.

  3. Nice legs, lady!

    I used to like clothes shopping more than I do now… I’d rather live in workout clothes! :) Recently I’ve really had to be in the “mood” for clothes shopping… but I’m ALWAYS ready to go grocery shopping.

  4. As I’ve gotten older and continue to loose weight and change up my eating and fitness goals my body continues to change, clothes that were loose now fit despite the fact I’ve lost fat??? Riddle me that. So now I say eff it when it comes to sizes, for a few reasons. 1. These clothes aren’t made that well, they are just marked up really high, they are mass produced and shipped out to fit an array of women. 2. Vanity sizing, a size 6 today was an 8 last year and a 10 at some point, yeah Marilyn Monroe was a size 12 which measures out to an 8 or 6 today! 3. I want to look GOOD and if those size 12 shorts make me look like an 8 where as the 8s make me look like I’m in pain and should be a 12 then so be it, number be damned!

    So eff the sizes!! Where what makes you look GOOD!!

  5. I hate clothes shopping! I love it in theory but once you start trying things on forget it! The only store I enjoy shopping in is Lululemon :) Stretchy pants all the way :)

  6. I love clothes shopping but I hate the limited style options for a size 14/16. I want to buy the cute clothes that come in a size 4. The store that upsets me the most is Lululemon…. they only go up to a size 12. I think that is discriminating.

  7. Ahh, I can relate to so much with you :) My smallest I got with my disordered eating was a 0, and some 0′s were too big! The sizes used to drive me crazy and rule my life just as much as the scale did. I thought, how can I wear a 0 some places but a 4 others? And I also didnt think I could possibly be a 0 when my lowest weight was 139! But, you and I have probably the same build.. I’m also 5’7 and very muscular. But in the last few weeks that I have been watching my eating and running more, my pants are much more comfortable! I’m happy being a 6 because it doesn’t feel like a struggle to stay here. If I get to a 4 thats fine, but I dont think its worth it to barely eat just to be a 0 or 2! Sizes are all over the place these days anyways! You are beautiful and have an awesome, STRONG body! :)

  8. I’ve been reading your blog for awhile (and loving it) but I’m totally quiet, shy and always want to post a comment. Today is the day I break my silence because I honestly feel like you took the words right out of my head! I feel the exact same way and I constantly fixate on the number of my clothing; it’s pretty sad, but we all do it and I’m not proud of it. From once being a size 14, I started eating healthy and lost about 60-70 pounds. At a size 4, I started loving shopping; clothes fit properly for the first time and I was so happy. I probably reached my lowest weight of around 110 (I’m pretty short, only about 5′ 1”). Then I discovered a love of running, biking, kickboxing and other general exercises — since I’ve started incorporating daily exercise into my life about a year or two ago, I’ve put on about 10-15 pounds. I know that some of it is muscle but I also know that some of it probably isn’t…I can still fit into most of my size for clothing but it just doesn’t fit as comfortably. That mixed with the fact that I still wear and fit into some of my shirts, yoga pants and underwear from 60 pounds ago, really adds up to an insecure feeling about my body. I, like you, have started dreading having to put on “real” clothes and only do it when I really have to. I really love reading your blog because you’re honest about things like this and that’s really hard. It’s difficult enough to be honest with yourself but to share it with other people, I really admire that. Not to sound creepy, but I think you’re a beautiful woman! You look strong and healthy (and have killer legs!) :)

  9. How about if all our clothes were custom made to us and when people asked what size we were, we could just say “I’m a Jessica”. Would be nice, right?

    I think weight and sizes are truly just numbers. I remember in college wearing a 10 and having a friend who wore a 4 and I looked way better in the clothes than she did.

    TGIF! :D

  10. oh i HATE shopping! unless its at whole foods or trader joes. haha. But you look great! Focus on all those amazing ASSets! hehe

  11. omagahd woman I am with you on this 110%. I actually love Loft because I swear their sizing is effed. I wear a 2 there. I’m usually a 6 or an 8.

    I remember after losing a lot of weight in college (my heaviest was 130 — no muscle, never worked out in a day and you know how short I am!) that I LOVED the feeling of never having to zip pants because I could pull them on and off. So my first task as a full-fledged adult was to get pants that actually fit me to wear to work. I ended up getting a size 4, but at the time probably should have gotten a 2. Those are the pants that I have on in this post: They used to slide on and off me with ease, but I feel like I should just give them to goodwill.

    I’m glad you found some great things!

  12. I HATE clothes shopping! The whole skinny jean/pant trend has lasted way way way too long for me. I’m more petite than you, but also have very muscular legs, so nothing skinny works on me. I usually end up just laughing at myself in dressing rooms because of how ridiculous these pants look on me. I have seen girls in skinny jeans who are sizes 8,10,12 and up look great in them so I think this is a body type thing rather than a size thing.

    As far as age appropriate, I’m 34 and find that most shorts in the stores now are pretty short, even for someone in great shape. I live in NYC, so I’ve started trying to wear casual skirts in order to be a little more fashionable. If only skirts went well with my running shoes that I wear everywhere :)

  13. I HATE SHOPPING!! I like clothes, but I would prefer someone shop for me and have everything delivered in the perfect size to my doorstep. The closest thing for me in online shopping, which I do most of the time. I don’t really care about size, because they are so inconsistent. Why can’t the sizes just be the same everywhere?!

  14. Lindsay says:

    I used to LOVE clothing shopping. I was a size 2/4 and I was a very healthy weight and then I started to stuggle with anorexia and bulimia and I got to a point where I couldnt even get 00 pants to stay up around my waist. I hated my body just as much as a person that was overweight. I am currently in treatment for an eating disorder and will not be released for another month or two but should be a size 2/4 when I get released… if you would be interested in donating your clothes to a girl in need of a new wardrobe, but cannot afford one because her parents invested so much into treatment for my eating disorder.

  15. I HATE clothes shopping, unless it’s for Babycakes :) For her, I can easily find 100 amazing things even though she doesn’t need a thing!

  16. I actually LIKE clothes shopping…but ONLY if I am in the mood. It’s weird, I know. but I really love fitness-clothes shopping…b/c that’s what I mostly wear anyways, hah.

    i Love Banana, J.Crew, Express, and a little Gap and Forever 21 ;)

    Cute shorts! And yes, it is silly to get fixated on a number. Just remember that YOU are beautiful and are SO much more than a size or number. You are YOU and no one is like you!! Glad you had a good trip!

  17. I really dislike clothes shopping–I just feel that no retailers have figured out clothing for tall, athletic women. I have swimmer shoulders and a wide back – dress shopping is a nightmare. A dress will fit my waist but be way too small across the back.
    I’ve just learned to really stick to what works for me.

    I was shopping at JCrew last weekend and was talking to one of the saleswomen about how last year I bought the same skirt in the same size and this season the same skirt, same size is too small. She said JCrew has made all of their sizes smaller. They had to add in an XS to the mix and so basically everything changed. It’s too much effort to focus on the numbers!

  18. I don’t like shopping either basically for the same reason as you. Back when I was my thinnest, I was probably a 6. Now I am basically a 10 (sometimes an 8), which I am okay with but when the 10s don’t fit, I refuse to try on a 12. Silly, I know.

  19. I also dislike shopping…especially if I have something specific that I need. So frustrating. And I’m not the biggest fan of shorts – I have long legs and shorts are either a weirdly too long in proportion with my knees or booty shorts not appropriate for anyone who doesn’t take them off for money. Shorts a tricky…and I like both of those on you! They look comfy, not awkward and self conscious!

    And sizes don’t mean much to me. In just C9 running gear I can fit in anything from an XS to an XL on top or bottom, and thats all the same brand. My closet is a mess of sizes!

  20. I have a love / hate relationship with shopping. I have to be in the right mood or when clothes don’t fit the way I want them to, I get really annoyed and upset. Bathing suit shopping though I HATE! HATE! HATE!

  21. I am the exact same way. Back when I lost weight and got down to a size 4 (for about 4 months!) I LOVED shopping, so I did it a lot. Now I have several closets full of clothes in my house that are way too small for me, and the problem is that even if I ever do get back into that size, I fear a lot of the stuff that I wore as a young woman in her mid-20′s will not be appropriate on a 30-something mother of 2. And the only time I’ve ever really felt comfortable in a bikini was when I was pregnant the first time because I knew my belly was SUPPOSED to be poking out! I never really wore a real bikini before or since.

    You should save some shopping for Chicago! They’ve got much better stores on Michigan Ave. than we have in Frederick :-)

  22. Marie-Sophie says:

    Definetely NOT a fan of clothes shopping! tops are ok but bottoms and business clothes … the horror!! After years of questioning how my body looks I am finally ok with it a LOT of the time … until I go clothes shopping. Suddenly you’re in a ton of clothes that feel awful, that make you look awful, that make you aware of your body’s unique shape (I haven’t found a single suit yet that fits me perfectly!) and in that moment you see it as a massive burden, something that’s stopping you from buying the clothes that you want or need!

    When a lady at the business clothes department said to me “I think it would be best for you to get your suits tailored”, I felt like a big fat failure with my body. I have a very curved spine, an A cup and my top body is pretty small but my bum is very curvy plus my measurements are kind of all over the place (shoulders vs. waist vs. hip) … oh well. Even if I lost some more weight, my bum would still be curvy, my cup would be less than an AA and my measurements would still be weird. So it’s being ok with not-so-well-fitted suits and saving up for getting tailor-made suits some day :-)

  23. I f*cking hate shopping…especially since I’m so short I have to wear TEEN clothes or young adult…while I’m almost 30!! And I hate sizes…you can’t help but feel like sh*t when gap says 2 then ann loft’s size 0 is too big. It either makes you cocky (then you head for froyo) or makes you crappy…and can we talk about those ugly dressing room lights??? it’s like a dermatologist office!!! BTW rock those short shorts, you have such great muscular legs…show those babies off!

  24. Just found your blog!! We live so close to each other!! I agree with the clothes shopping thing!! The dressing room lights are the worst!

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