Shopping for self confidence

There's nothing like going clothes shopping to either boost your confidence sky high or knock it right down.

Today I went shopping for some new dresses to wear for a photo

shoot. I'm doing this as a reward for how far I've come and because there are very few photos around from the last time I lost weight. This time I'm recording the progress and maintenance much more thoroughly. So far though I've only got photos of me in my bedroom mirror. This will solve that issue.

I've been torturing my Facebook friends and Instagram followers by posting photos of every single new or different outfit I get, so everyone has seen it all before. So I wanted some new and flattering outfits for these photos.

Some days I absolutely love going shopping and buying new clothes. I really look forward to being able to walk into any shop and knowing things will fit me, it's such a confidence boost. Today was not one of those days. I was stoked to be going shopping and seeing what new options I had.

Spoiler alert, I've come home with 3 new dresses, so it isn't all bad news from today. My big issue with today's shopping: boobs. I went into pretty much every clothing store at my local shopping centre, trying my old favourites and pushing my boundaries by walking into stores I wouldn't normally shop at. This at times made me feel incredibly uncomfortable, but I'm so proud of myself for doing it. The 3 dresses I did get came from stores I had never shopped at before, Dotti, Factorie and H&M.

The expedition started when I saw a cute dress, in 2 different patterns, in just jeans. I tried one on in my usual size and it didn't even come close to covering my boobs. If I went 2 or 3 sizes up (which I would have needed for the boob factor), it wouldn't have fit anywhere else. I tried on a dress at jeans west, one of my go to stores, and it looked hideous on. I think it was a combination of the style and washed out colours against my skin tone. Normally there are about 15 things I like every time I enter that store, but because I have a specific event in mind, nothing.

After about an hour and a half, I came to Dotti. A dress in the window caught my eye. I walked in to have a look, more out of curiosity than thinking I'd buy anything, and the lovely shop assistant was wearing the dress and it looked great. She got me a couple of sizes to try, a 10 which I am in the stores I usually shop at, and a 14 because that's what was on the rack. I tried on the 10, and again boobs were an issue. I tried the 14 and boobs were still an issue. I tried on 3 other dresses as well and same issue. Talking to the shop assistant and I decided to try the 16 in the dress I loved. I did and it looked great, thankfully given the smaller sizes fit from my waist down, this didn't look out of proportion in the bigger size.

The dress I bought at H&M was also a size 16 and the dress from Factorie was a size XL. Seeing my clothing size shrink as I've lost weight has given me immense satisfaction. The day that the smallest size city chic outfit was too big for me was one of the happiest days of my weight loss journey. So seeing those sizes on my clothes again is definitely playing on myind. I'll admit I even considered not buying them for half a second because I didn't want something in that size. I do know how crazy that is though, don't worry. And as I said above I bought them.

I'm trying to look at it as satisfaction that I can actually walk into any store and find things that will fit. I've put that properly to the test now and shown it to be true. For that I'm proud. I realise though that no matter how much weight I have lost, those insecurities around my body are always going to be there. I am always going to have to work hard to fight against them. The mind takes a lot longer to catch up and to adjust your self image than the actual weight loss process.

When I walk into a store I don't shop at, there are a lot of emotions and thoughts that go through my head. The urge to turn and run is really overpowering. I still assume that the shop assistants are look at me and hoping I'm buying a present because they know that nothing there will fit me. Logically I know this isn't the case, but I still can't help but have it cross my mind.

The fact that I can go from a size 8 in some stores to a size 16 in others is absolutely crazy but that's the reality of women's fashion. Lucky for me today's shopping adventure had a happy ending and I'm sure in weeks to come you will see the amazing results (amazing because of how good my photographer is). And the real take home message is that regardless of what the tag on my clothes says, I am happier with myself than I ever thought I could be for how far I've come and proud that I walked in and gave it a go when I was feeling so awkward.

Realising I all of me fit into one leg of my old pair of jeans was amazing


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