Monday, April 26, 2010

Shopping is a lost cause

Well, it's now inevitable. I must buy khaki pants for work very soon. All the red tape that needed to be done has been finalized, so now we are good to go. This would be even greater news if I did not have to buy khaki pants. My boss has decided we are wearing khaki pants and beige color shirts with our logo to look "professional." I agree, it does look more professional than jeans. Normally, khaki is a universal color that goes with anything except that our beige shirts resemble closer to the khaki color, so there is hardly any contrast.

This post isn't really about the khaki pants. It's more about the fact that I have to go shopping now, and like many of us who have been through this peril, I am dreading it. It would be one thing to find one pair of khaki pants, but I have to find multiple ones to wear every day of the week. I guess the plus is that I won't be having to do as much laundry. :grin:

This shopping trip is compounded by the fact that I'm just having some major body image blues. Now, I know that in recovery, body change is inevitable. For a lot of us, it is is one of the hardest issues to deal with. I've always felt a bit out of place with this, because I never really had to go through a huge weight restoration process like many people I know. Instead, my weight has fluctuated a bit--enough to be noticeable but not drastic. Therefore, any body change I've had has been very subtle. And this is the issue lately.

I remember a video awhile back that Jenni Schaeffer did titled "My thighs touch" In it, she said how she actually liked that her thighs touched.--that it represented being healthy, recovered, and free of her ED. At the time, I thought this was great. But then, that happened to me, and I no longer had that gusto feeling of "recovery" and being happy with my body. Instead, I've felt terribly uncomfortable about it and just the thought of shopping gives me shivers.

I know I'm probably making a bigger deal out of this than it is. And although I've never cried during a shopping visit, I'm afraid this may be my first. I should also note that I always have a difficult time finding clothes anyway. With pants, if the waist fits, the legs are too tight, and the pants are too long. If the waist doesn't fit, the legs fit comfortably, but the pants are too long. Invariably, when I go shopping, I wind up trying on many clothes. Also, with khakis, I am horribly picky. Besides the fit, it must look "right" with pockets in the back, no side pockets unless laid correctly, flattering on the stomach/hip area, no pouchiness anywhere. If you think this is bad, just imagine jeans shopping with me. Who on earth would even want to clothes shop with me with all these stipulations on clothing? By the end of these fiascoes, I normally walk away with nothing and feel unsatisfied that nothing looked right. Or better yet that my body hated me enough to not fit into anything properly.

I know I have several weeks until I will need the khaki pants. On one hand, I don't want to procrastinate the shopping trip,but on the other hand, I'm suddenly afraid my thighs will suddenly turn into a massive thunder thigh look if I wait too long. :sigh: I feel like I don't win either way.

Oh wait minute, aren't I supposed to be working on that self acceptance concept? Oh right, that thing.


Eating Alone said...

I hate that when you find a pair that will fit your waist but your legs have no room to breath. OUCH!

Think of it this way every one will be wearing them so it's not a look, it's a uniform ;D

I'm glad you can at least try on so many things. I've been shoping on line for so long now, I just buy the same things all the time so I avoid it. That's not the best way to handle the BDD but it's working for me. Except that nothing really fits.

Sarah said...

Here's what I want you to do: go someplace nice, like Ann Taylor, Loft, Nordstrom, Banana Republic. I know you work with dogs, but if you go to one of these places usually they have people whose sole job is to help fit you in pants that make you feel and look good. Tell them what you're looking for; try some on. Buy them. If you are going to wear them every day, it's worth it to spend some $$ to get ones that really help you feel good about yourself. I think self acceptance can be helped along by a really great salesperson :)

Mamie said...

I really struggle with this too. So hard to feel good about doing well in your recovery when you constantly have to remind yourself that your body is fine. The feelings can be so strong and just take over! But somehow I figure self acceptance must be amazing once I do reach it, because I've had to work really hard for it.

Maybe you can try to go out and make a day of the shopping? Focus on something else, making the pants just a minor part of your day? For example meet up with a friend for coffee, before or after browsing a few stores. And I agree with Sarah, an encouraging and helpful salesperson can do wonders! Don't be afraid to ask for help, because they can really make a huge difference.
Best of luck- hope you find something nice and that you can look yourself in the mirror and feel great:)

M said...

Since you have several weeks, have you thought about trying Lands End ... they have such a range of styles and sizes, online/phone help (and where you can tell someone all of your concerns and stipulations. You could try that one pair when it comes in the mail (avoiding shopping drama, panic and burn-out, at least initially), and if it works ... order several more. If not, at least you have tried the path of least resistance first.

You could also browse online for brick-and-mortar stores that carry the styles and sizes of pants you're looking for ... before heading out. You might even check around and see if there are uniform stores/outlets/businesses, where they sell uniform basics, including those for schools. You also never know how sizes are going to work, either, so you could be flexible about trying clothing that might be sold as girls, boys or mens but might fit your criteria better.

This sounds like it could be an upsetting and overwhelming experience, but I bet once you actually begin to wade through it ... good, bad or neutral ... shopping might hold less power over you. Hope so! Good luck and good shopping :)

Cammy said...

I had to do a major Khaki Quest a while back, it was very frustrating. And believe me, I HAVE cried on shopping trips, so don't feel like you're inflating the issue! I seem to have had the most success at Ann Taylor Loft, they have each item/style in 3 different cuts, depending on how much room you need in the hips and various other details of tailoring that are over my head. They're a little pricey, but good for staples you'll get a lot of use out of.

Good luck, and maybe promise yourself a "reward", like an escape to the book or pet store at the end of the shopping trip, to end it on a calming note?

Tiptoe said...

Everyone, thanks so much for all the feedback. It was very much appreciated and helpful. I will definitely take into consideration everyone's suggestions. I'll likely do both--check online stores and go to a nice place to find clothes. I'm still debating whether to do this all in one fell swoop or in increments. Either way, I will keep everyone posted on my shopping excursions.

M, btw, our shirts are from Land's End. :-)