I. Hate. Shopping.
Like, I really, really hate shopping. It is WAY too challenging to find anything off the rack that fits my weirdly assembled body. I mean, I have to get petite pants shortened! To make matters worse, I thought I was pretty set for seasonal wardrobes. Last year I was determined to buy enough pieces to put together enough outfits for each season that I'd be set for at least a few years, only needing to add a piece here or there.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
I pulled out my spring work clothes this week. Nothing fits. Nothing. (Except my shoes.)
I'd like to say it's because I've gained back all the weight plus some that I lost during the peak of my eating disorder.
But that's not the case. Not even close. (Which I suppose is a good thing?)
This week, a big conversation in therapy was body image, and how much I hate my body. What my therapist pointed out is that my body is dealing with two medical conditions that impact my size. I never thought of it that way. That my body isn't the size I *want* it to be because of my medical conditions.
But it's absolutely true.
I have Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) which often causes cysts to grow and painful swelling of those girl parts inside. I also have Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) which causes inflammation in my abdomen, as well as painful bloating. Add to that a half-dozen food allergies, all which cause that bloat to expand even more, and well.......... my abdominal area has a lot going on.
I was telling my therapist that even when I was in my early twenties, and super, super active (we're talking 14 hours a day of intense physical labor/activity), I was a teeny-tiny size, but I still had a huge beer gut. I don't drink beer. Ever.
That's when she reminded me that I have a medical condition that creates bloating and swelling in my belly. This means that when I try on an outfit in the evening and lay said outfit out for work, it doesn't necessarily fit in the morning. This means that all the spring clothes I had last year that fit and were flattering, aren't cutting it this year.
This means, that next time someone asks, "When are you due?" instead of saying nothing (or wanting to punch them) I can explain that I have medical issues that cause my stomach to bloat and expand, and no, I'm not pregnant. Not gonna be easy, but it's worth a try.
This means that my goal for finding clothes is going to have to be different. Instead of looking for clothes that fit, I'm now going to have to start looking for clothes that will make me feel good when I'm wearing them, no matter how bloated my belly is at that moment. And let me tell you how impossible that task feels. But I don't really have a choice. I mean, I can squeeze myself into clothes that are way too uncomfortable, and that I feel super self-conscious in, or I can buy new clothes. Neither sounds appealing, but I suppose trying to find a more flexible wardrobe will be easier than standing in my closet, crying for 20 minutes every morning as I try to find something that fits and feels ok.
The eating part of the eating disorder may be leveling out, but all the rest? The body stuff? That's a long journey ahead, and one I'm not looking forward to.