The Perfect Dress

I have a hunch that many of you will get this.

Allow me to paint a picture. There's an event coming up. A function where you're going to see people, friends and family that you haven't seen in a long time. You want to look great, but there is some additional pressure you're putting on yourself that comes with that desire. You want to lose weight (of course!). You want to find the perfect outfit that compliments your body, even if you don't necessarily like it (the outfit or the body - double ugh!). The thoughts start to take you down the rabbit hole. These thoughts might sound like "I wish I would have lost more weight", "why is this taking so long?", "what's wrong with me?", "why can't I do this?", and some version of "I have nothing to wear!!". You may even start to spiral and panic because "nothing looks good!". You think "what am I going to do?".

This is my pattern. I know this pattern so well. I have lived this pattern for a very long time. It's actually happening right now and I caught it! We have some events coming up. Many of my staple summer maxi dresses are falling off of me, so it's time for a new dress or two (or three - ha!).

I'm scrolling online looking at some of my favorite stores including Torrid, Lane Bryant, and Chic Soul. I even went to Amazon because sometimes I find hidden gems there. That's when I noticed the thoughts running rampant in my brain. I found myself wishing I was more toned like the models in the images online. I started thinking thoughts like "I'm not going to find anything", "I'm not going to find anything that looks good", "I'm still too big", "I wish I looked like that", "I wish I could lose a few more pounds". And there it is!!!! That funny old thought staring me in the face. The desire to lose a few pounds before the next event. I caught it. I caught the thought in mid air!!!!! I caught myself and what I was doing. This is how I start to torment myself. None of these thoughts have a helpful use in my brain, but especially not this one. It keeps me stuck. It keeps me in the zone of "not good enough now".

It's actually quite fun when you can catch yourself in mid negative thought. It's a "holy shit" moment of true awareness, at least it is for me.

I stopped scrolling, and without much prompting I noticed a new thought start to emerge. Suddenly the idea of finding a dress that feels fabulous on my current body now starts to sneak in. I allow it. It's refreshing. It leaves me feeling excited, open, and free. I begin to think that I can, and will, find something (or a few things) to adorn my beautiful body in in my current size, shape, and place in this world. Because, I am enough. I always was enough, and I always will be enough no matter what. I don't need to lose another pound before any event, because it simply doesn't matter. I get to show up as me, and that doesn't have a size. I start looking at different dresses wondering what will feel good to me instead of what I think will look good to others. That's a huge shift. If you ever struggle with this pattern when an event or outing is approaching, I invite you to play with the idea.

Back to the events. The truth is, nobody cares. They just want to see us. We just want to see them. It really is that simple. If someone does care, that's on them. It has nothing to do with me. When I pretend to know, or care, what other people might be thinking I'm in their business. That's not where I belong. It's not helpful for me to be in their lane. In those moments I am taking away from me. It is much more helpful for me to stay in my lane. After all, I don't have a crystal ball and my mind is the only one I can read, provided I chose to stay aware and awake.