If I were a betting woman, I’d wager to say that the average American woman has roughly 3-5 different sizes of clothing in her closet at any given time. Yet many still complain, “I have nothing to wear!”
This is every bit as true for me now that I’ve lost weight as it was for me when I was much heavier. In the past, even if clothes were too large (or too small) – I kept everything because a girl can’t be too careful. What if I gain all my weight back and have nothing to wear? This kind of reasoning and logic only provides a way out or a back-up plan to that old lose-gain-lose-gain, yo-yo weight loss treadmill that I lived on for so many years.
With this (and what I hope will be my LAST) weight loss journey, I knew that in order to guarantee long-lasting success, I was going to need to shed more than just excess weight. I needed to shed the excesses in my closet and thereby rid myself of excuses and back-up plans. EVERY WEEK I go through my closet and try on clothes, keeping what fits and donating items that are too large. Even though I’m not a real clothes-horse to speak of, I’m finding that I’ve always got an ongoing give-away pile.
I used to hold onto clothing that was too small for me, “for inspiration.” I can’t even count the number of items I kept because I was convinced that “as soon as I lose a few pounds, this pair of pants is going to fit me perfectly!” When in reality, by the time I could actually fit into those smaller sizes (because everybody knows weight loss is rarely quick), the styles were no longer fashionable.
I’ve been known to purposely buy clothes (usually something on sale!) too small for me because I was confident that I could lose enough weight to fit into it soon. Sometimes even spending money on something you hope will fit you at some point, isn’t enough of a motivator to stay on a weight loss program.
My closet has undergone a complete turnover in the last couple of years. Donating so many clothes has left me with few options as to what I can actually wear out in public. If I had my way, I’d live in over-sized tee shirts and leggings – but a girl has to occasionally leave the safety of her house. I have a favorite second-hand store where I donate my old clothes to and shop for replacements as well. This second-hand store supports one of my favorite charities (Big Brothers & Big Sisters) so it’s a win-win situation
Now that I am finally comfortable with my new size I’ve noticed an alarming trend with clothing manufacturers though. Sizes are extremely different from one brand to the next. Even though my weight has held steady for nine months now, I’m finding that I still have at least four different sizes in my closet. What might be a size 6 for one manufacturer can be something entirely different for another.
Truth be told – I have no idea what my true size really is! (Hmm, the same could be said for my hair color. Who knows what that color really is?) Why can’t clothing manufacturers get their &^%$ together and give us universal sizes??? Pants aren’t the only items that are labeled with sizing inconsistencies. Small, medium, large and XL tops aren’t always true to form either.
With so many conflicting sizes, it bears asking … Does Size REALLY matter?
Honestly, I think it depends on WHO you ask and WHAT kind of mood SHE is in on any given day!
In high school, I “porked up” to a whopping 145 pounds (I know, I know … Stupid teenage angst mentality). I was squeezing myself into a size 14 and I thought I was a cow based solely on the size of my jeans! Now at just under that same weight, I’m wearing mostly size 6, but I’ve got a great pair of pants that I love that are a size 4 and another that is a size 8. How is this possible – UNLESS clothing manufacturers are purposely labeling clothes smaller so women will feel better about themselves and buy more clothes. It’s quite the fashion conspiracy they’ve got going on there!
The beauty of growing older is that at this time in my life, I’m not as obsessed with the numbers the way I once was. I’d much rather be comfortable than have numerical OCD. If I had a dollar for every time I bought a piece of clothing in a smaller, uncomfortable size just because I was too embarrassed to wear the next size larger … well, I could probably afford an entire new designer wardrobe by now!
As with most struggles in our lives, those of us who may be bothered by the size of our clothing need to stop listening to the lies of the enemy. The same way the number on the bathroom scale does not define us … what size our jeans or tops are doesn’t make us any more valuable as a person.
There’s a great Old Testament story that speaks to the problem of putting too much emphasis on numbers. The story found in 2 Samuel 24:1-25 focuses on King David who is punished by God for ordering a census of his troops. There are conflicting debates as to why God punished David for something so seemingly innocent. The story is repeated in 1 Chronicles 21 and places the blame squarely on Satan for seducing David to disobey God (1 Chronicles 21:1 The Message Bible). Thanks to the devil’s masterful seduction, David let his pride get the best of him and ordered the census to determine HIS own power and not God’s. He trusted in the number of HIS army rather than God’s power.
As I’ve mentioned a bazillion times before, the enemy has one job … to destroy God’s people and keep us from following Christ and spreading the Gospel. So why should any of us be surprised that there are millions of women out there fixating on and/or having emotional breakdowns based on what we weigh or what size we wear? (Okay, maybe it’s not always just women.)
David suffered God’s punishment for his screw up – but if we call Jesus our Lord, if we confess our sin of pride or obsessive behavior over something as silly as what we weigh, then God has already forgiven us. Whenever we fall into the trap of being depressed over our weight or fixating on what size we wear, it would behoove us to have Romans 12:2 locked, loaded and memorized to defeat the lies of Satan.
AND WHILE WE’RE ON THE SUBJECT OF NUMBERS … how many times do we obsess over our Social Media followers or Likes??? Are we any less likable if we don’t get very many “Likes” over a Facebook post … Twitter retweet … Instagram share … You Tube views?
The numbers on the bathroom scale do not validate or define us and neither do the numbers on our clothing labels — be they pants size, dress size, blouse, bra, panty or shoe size. WE ARE MORE THAN JUST A NUMBER TO GOD! He created us uniquely and specifically to be exactly who we are and He loves us unconditionally … Size 4, 14 or 40 … it makes no difference to God! You are loved!
QUOTE OF THE DAY: