Do you have clothes that you keep in the back of your closet, hoping one day you will be able to fit into them again? Wearing clothes that fit your here and now body, not the one you used to have or hope to have, is not only important for your own self-care but it can impact how you intuitively eat and your own self-worth.
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Are You Ready To Be Kinder To Yourself?
It is really important to wear clothes that fit your here and now and that feels good for you despite the number that you see on the scale. Your body changes with you when you go through different phases throughout your life, and picking clothes that fit your body here and now is key to a positive relationship with food and yourself.
When you force yourself to wear clothes that are too small you can restrict your breathing, increase your stress and anxiety levels and make yourself feel guilty for where you are now. Motivating yourself negatively is not sustainable and it is not kind to yourself, and it is time to get rid of those clothes so that you can start making long term progress.
Are you ready to be kinder to yourself and get rid of those clothes that do not fit you anymore? Share how you have overcome your closet anxiety in the comments below!
On Today’s Episode
- Why its time to let go of clothing that does not fit your here and now body (7:25)
- Addressing the pressure that new parents are under to ‘get their body back’ (13:04)
- Exploring the impact clothing can have on your physiology and psyche (13:50)
- How to stop forcing yourself to use clothing to ‘motivate’ yourself (18:15)
- Suggestions for what you can to start clearing our your closet and let go (22:43)
- Tips for accepting your here and now body and how clothes feel on your body (26:35)
Resources Mentioned In This Show
“There is an aspect of intuitive eating that has to do with respecting your body, respecting your here and now body.” (9:11)
“I see so many people holding onto clothes and trying to fit into clothes that don’t fit them or keeping the clothes around as ‘motivation’.” (13:37)
“To feel everyday that we are forcing ourselves to put on clothes that don’t fit because we spent a lot of money on them or we should have lost the weight by now or we shouldn’t be this size and it will motivate us to change, my argument here is that that is not doing us any favors.” (15:15)
“This is not kindness, and we do not need to be mean to ourselves in order to get ourselves to make a change.” (17:54)
“You deserve to feel comfortable in your here and now body and the clothes that you are going to wear such that it is not causing you physical discomfort or mental discomfort.” (23:16)
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252: Why It’s Important To Dress For Your Here And Now Body FULL TRANSCRIPT
This is harder to kill radio episode 252 today I’m talking all about why it’s time to get rid of those clothes that do not fit you anymore. All right, let’s go.
I’m Steph Gaudreau. I help women get stronger, know their worth, and take up space without restrictive dieting or exercise as punishment. I’m here to share that you can approach nutrition, fitness, and mindset from a place of nourishment so you begin to trust yourself more deeply. Let’s talk about how to embrace your body and own your power. Now with over two and a half million downloads, this is harder to kill radio.
Welcome back to harder to kill radio. It’s your slept Friday and I’m Steph Gaudreau, your host. Ooh, today’s topic is going to be a good one and I don’t honestly, I could pretty much give a rat’s ass about fashion but today we’re going to be talking about clothing from the perspective of self-care and why it’s important to wear clothing that feels good in our here and now body and not be stressing ourselves out with the pile of clothes in our closet or in our Dressler that don’t fit us and we put on every day and it makes us feel anxious. So I’m going to be diving into that topic today and it’s something I wrote about on the blog a long time ago, maybe two years ago and over the course of the last two years, I’ve gained another perspective. I’ve learned how this is related, this, this idea of wearing clothes that fit our here and now body is really related to intuitive eating and I’m going to be diving into some of that today.
So needless to say, this topic perhaps is a little bit different, but if you’ve really been struggling with coming to a place of more self-acceptance, you’ve been struggling with finding a place of self-compassion, a place from which to care about yourself and your body from a place of nourishment, then I think this show is going to be relevant. So thanks so much for tuning in. I am sitting here. It is the end of October. It’s freaking hot. Okay. I’m not one to usually complain, but if you’re, I mentioned this cause I’m videotaping this. That’s the term, right? Videotaping. Um, I am recording this on video. It’s on YouTube and I’m wearing a tank top. And by the way, I slept in this so you get to see me in my pajamas and I have a, I don’t think it says it’s very noticeable on video, but I do have a bit of a black eye.
So I got hit in the face at jujitsu yesterday on accident. Sometimes things do happen but shout out to my rolling partner. Bingo for accidentally punching in the face. Thank you very much. Just makes me look like I have a little bit more street credit I think. So if you want to catch the video for this, go on over to YouTube and look at my channel. It’s been around for years, but we are starting to put more content over there. I am not claiming to be some kind of fancy vlogger or YouTube star. I love my people. Ask me what I watch. Um, and this is a bit of admission and totally off-topic, but I love Brad Mondo if you know who Brad Mondo is. I know nothing about the world of hair and salons and stuff like that. But watching Brad’s channel on YouTube is like my guilty pleasure.
So shout out Brad, Mondo doubt your listener of the show. But maybe you are. Thanks for entertaining me. So yeah, YouTube. I was going to read a listener question today because I started that feature a few weeks ago. And guess what? No one left me a question. So if you want me to answer your question on air, then go to Steph gaudreau.com/message and you spell my last name, G. A. U. D. R. E. A. U. I know it’s kind of tricky, but Hey, that’s my lot in life. So go and leave me a voicemail and you just pressed the button, record your question and I will take the main chunk of your question. I will play it here and I will then answer your question. But I gotta tell you to yell, you must just be shy at or I don’t know. But do you know how many questions I get on my Instagram, DMS and my email inbox every week?
Like dozens. So I know that you have questions, but maybe you’re just not sure how SpeakPipe works. And that’s just the recording software. You just press the button, say what you want to say. I leave your question and that’s it. It’s very, very simple. So don’t be afraid of the technology, it’s no tick talk. But I think it’s really useful and it would be cool to hear from you. So I know you have questions. I know you have questions about fitness and nutrition and mindset and all of the things. So feel free. Leave me a question and I’ll answer it. Alright, of course. Today’s show, a couple of sponsors. First, the core four, embrace your body. Own your power. That’s my newest book. It’s a four-pillar approach to a sustainable way to build your health from the inside out so that you can get rid of strict diets, exercise as punishment, start enjoying your life, find a place of more sustainability piece and caring for yourself.
Uh, and I detail all of that in the book. It really is kind of a one-stop-shop all in one workouts, recipes, mindset, activities, everything is there. It’s a, it’s, it’s a good deal. You’ve got a lot of stuff in there. So you can get a signed copy firstname.lastname@example.org that’s my website, or of course, anywhere online or in stores that books are sold. Okay. And before we jump into today’s content, today’s show is brought to you by the nutritional therapy association, the NTA trains and certifies nutritional therapy practitioners like myself. I did the program in 2018 and it was one of the best things that I have ever done for myself professionally. In the realm of nutrition, the NTA emphasizes whole food, properly prepared nutrient dense frameworks as the key to restoring balance in the body. They’ve just launched a brand new online program for NTPs where students take an in-depth look at things like function and dysfunction of body systems, food quality, health and wellness barriers, emotional wellbeing, environment, the importance of sleep and movement and stress.
And you know, we love all those topics here and how they affect the body. As a student, you’ll be empowered with motivational interviewing techniques, clinical and practical skills and all the most up to date knowledge to become a highly recognized and respected nutrition and wellness professionals in your community. Registration is now open and seats are filling up quickly. You can learn more and save your seat by going to nutritional therapy.com and of course, remember to mention my name on your application. Okay, so the meat of today’s show is going to be about why it’s time to let go of clothing that does not fit your here and now body the term here and now body. I learned from the intuitive eating world. Hopefully by now y’all know I’m a nutritional therapy practitioner but I’m also a certified intuitive eating counselor and I’m really interested in learning how to bring these two worlds together instead of seeing them as disparate sort of opposites with like nutrition on one side and intuitive eating on the other and believe you me, there are so many myths around intuitive eating.
I’ve been covering those, some of them at least trying to start unpacking some of them in this newsletter that I have specifically for intuitive eating now which is at stephgaudreau.com/iewaitlist. We’ll link that in the show notes but suffice to say there’s so much that goes into and is related to intuitive eating and I learned about this term here and now body from I think I’ve heard the first time I heard it was from Evelyn Tripoli during one of our training. She is the co-author of the book intuitive eating her and Elise rash. So you can find that book also linked in the show notes. It is the sort of original book about intuitive eating. Every time I talk about this book people are like what’s it called? It’s actually just called intuitive eating because the book’s been around in different um, additions now for the last 25 years. Anyway, there is an aspect of intuitive eating that has to do with respecting your body, respecting your body, respecting your here and now body.
And I guess the way I would couch this is by saying that you are allowed to wear clothes that fit you right now. Not only are you allowed, but it is really important and there are, there are various reasons for that. I’m going to try to digest, digest, dissect some of that on the show today. But needless to say, yes, there are certain things that need to be mentioned here. Privilege wise. Not everybody has the same financial privilege, number one to just go replace your whole wardrobe. And that’s not actually what I’m suggesting in this episode, but important to know. And then number two, not everybody has the same body privilege where they can walk into their, their what’s called a straight size. They can walk into pretty much any store and find sizes that fit them. So we all have differing levels of body privilege.
Um, myself, I am in a straight size body. I am in a relatively thin body and so I am speaking from the perspective of somebody who is, has that privilege. So I just want to mention those things because I think they’re all really important to bring to the table and layout there and just say, you know, we all have different privileges from which we’re speaking nevertheless. So I see this happening a lot. This has happened to me in the past. In particular, when I was in my triathlon I was, I was doing a triathlon, I was training a ton, endurance, mountain biking, you name it. I was not eating enough, super stressed out. My body was a lot smaller. I was using exercise as punishment. I was withholding food from myself. I wasn’t eating enough to feel my activity. I was afraid to eat too many calories, too much fat, blah, blah, blah.
All of that stuff and when I then changed the method of movement that I was getting, so I started lifting more weights, I started eating more food, my body got bigger, it changed and all of a sudden I had all of these. I was teaching high school at the time. I had all of these kinds of caps, sleeve blouses and tailored pants that no longer fit me because my body had changed. It was bigger and I kept holding onto those clothes thinking that, you know, even though I was healing my relationship with movement and food and it would tell me this would be a many, many year processes, but I was starting to go through the beginning phases of healing this relationship with food and movement. I still kept to those clothes and I would try to put them on every once in a while and I would get mad at myself for not fitting into them knowing that I was coming to a much healthier relationship with food and movement, but still being unhappy with the fact that, Oh look, I spent and money is my scarcity thing, right?
I look at all the money I spent on these clothes and they don’t fit anymore and now I’m being wasteful. Or if I, you know, if I could only just get smaller than I could fit back into these clothes and it would be so much easier. And I, I wanted to bring this up because I am not alone in this. This happens to so many people in my community. Maybe even you who’s listening right now, no matter if our bodies are changing because we are going through a period of higher stress because we are finally for the first time in the years nourishing ourselves to more than just a, a level of existence. We’re actually nourishing ourselves. We are perhaps getting away from exercise as punishment or disordered eating or just a really gnarly relationship with food. We maybe had a baby, I can’t even, I cannot even fucking fathom not what it’s like to have a baby.
But the pressure that is on new parents, Oh my fucking lord, you are under so much pressure to like get the body back and get it back right now. And so I so see so many people holding onto clothes and trying to fit into clothes that don’t fit them or keeping the clothes around as quote motivation. And I’m using heavy air quotes right now. If you’re watching this video, it’s like air quotes, motivation. Okay, so we need to, we need to dissect this a little bit when, so there’s a couple of issues with wearing just as from a physiological level with forcing yourself to wear clothes that don’t fit you. And I’m really talking about the clothing being too small. Look, you can have whatever fashion statement you want. That’s totally fine. I’m not here to judge your choice of style. That’s up to you.
Some people like more body-conscious clothing than others. That’s totally fine. You get to wear what makes you feel comfortable. But I want to point out that when you, where you force yourself to wear clothing that’s too small, oftentimes you restrict your breathing and you could make it really uncomfortable in your, your abdomen area. And I’m especially thinking about things like jeans or pants or skirts that are too tight and that can seriously impact your ability to breathe, which affects your stress levels. So when we breathe from our upper body, right, our shoulders, our chest, our neck, um, that is linked to sympathetic breathing and that sympathetic nervous system fight or flight or freeze that contributes to us feeling more anxious and stressed. So just from a basic physiological level to feel every day that we’re forcing ourselves to put on clothes that don’t fit cause we spent a lot of money on them or we should’ve lost the weight by now or we shouldn’t be this size and it will motivate us to change.
My argument here is that that is not doing us any favors. Our body needs to be able to fully expand our belly. And I’ve talked about this on a previous podcast, can’t remember which one. There’s two over 250 of them at this point, but I’ve talked about that, you know, when it’s too tight, um, or we can’t expand our abdomen all the way and we can’t engage that diaphragmatic breathing. We cannot engage the parasympathetic nervous system quite as well. Vegas nerve brain, parasympathetic, relaxed, digest, all of that stuff. So if you want to try to go back in the archives and find that, I think I’ll try to think about it between now and when the show comes out and see if maybe the producer can pull that out and put it in the show notes. But suffice to say, the clothing can have an effect on our physiology.
That’s number one. Number two, the clothing can have an effect when it’s not fitting our here and now body on our anxiety levels. And I learned this really, I heard Evelyn talk through this on a call that we did and I just thought, Oh my gosh, this makes so much sense. And I would have never thought to describe it this way, which is why learning from her was so wonderful because she’s been doing this for almost three decades and you get to learn a lot of stuff when you’ve been teaching something for three decades. But she walked through a scenario where her client every morning would wake up and force herself to dress in these clothes. This clothing that was too small and the too-small clothing was a reminder, a mental and emotional reminder about how much of a loser she was, how much of a loser she was.
And these are, you know, I’m not calling her a loser, but I’m just saying this is what she was thinking. This is her thought pattern, that she was a loser because she, her body had got bigger. She was a loser because she couldn’t lose this weight. She was a loser because it wasn’t coming off very fast. And she thought that these clothes would make her feel more motivated. And I have talked so many times here on the show about why this negative, like motivating yourself negatively with, you know, you’re not good enough. So you better do this or no one’s going to love you unless this happens or you know you need to wear these clothes that are way too small because it’s going to serve as a reminder that you better get your shit together and that is not sustainable. That is not sustainable and it is not kind to yourself.
It is not compassionate. It is not kind. It is not the way you’re going to make long term progress and I am pointing very emphatically right now, they get very animated when I talk with my hands, but I want to make the point that this is not kindness and we do not need to be mean to ourselves in order to get ourselves to make a change. Sometimes we have to get fed up enough where we’re like, you know what? Enough is enough. I’m going to make some changes in my life, but this hating on ourselves that we’re going to change if we just keep reminding ourselves of the fact that our body is bigger than it used to be and we’re a loser and we’re a failure and that that’s going to be enough to cause us to like get our shit together and change.
That’s total horse shit. It doesn’t work. It does not work on a subconscious level, on a conscious level, at an emotional level. It does not work. Let’s stop forcing ourselves to do this. And I get again, why people do it, because this is what culture tells us. This is the diet culture. This is the air. You know this is the water to the fish rate. It’s all around. We don’t even know what water is. So the client, in Evelyn’s case, you know, she would wake up everyday and kind of pull the clothes out and immediately go into the shame spiral and immediately go into anxiety. Now, anxiety can’t, it’s anxiety is one of those things that you know is complex. But if we know we’re doing something that we can change relatively easily by removing this stimulus of, okay, now I’m going to pull out these pants.
I know they’re too small for me, but I’m going to force myself to wear them because if I just do that, it’s going to motivate me to change and then that kicks off the anxiety. We can change that. We can find pants that fit us comfortably here right now, so let’s not even go into vanity sizing. We know vanity sizing and sizing is not standard across the board, and sizing is completely, you know, on a logical level doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean anything. Right. We can’t infer it’s made up numbers. The patterns are different from maker to maker of clothing.
Yeah, and yet I get it because I would see the size would go up and I come from such a place of compassion. I know what it feels like I do. I really, really do have so much kindness and caring for you for being in this situation. Also, I wish somebody had kind of shaken me a little bit out of this headspace that I was in and was like, Hey, these sizes are really even the same size. You can buy one exact same pair of pants, come back and buy another same exact pair of pants and they could fit differently because of how the pattern was cut, the material, exact material that was used. I have a friend that works in the clothing industry, have heard about the stuff, you know firsthand and so, but yeah, I get it. We place so much value on ourselves.
We put on the pants are too small or we had to go up a size and then it automatically kicks off this internal dialogue about how much of a failure we are and usually, it has to do with we’re a failure because the diet hasn’t worked. And again, this is, this is diet culture and no other realm. Would the thing that you tried to do fail and you would, you would blame yourself. You’d say, okay, I took the car to the mechanic and then I got it home and it still didn’t work right. It’s my fault. You wouldn’t do that. But that’s what diet culture enables us to do is to self-blame. You know, we’re, we’re at fault, we’re at fault because our body changed. We’re at fault because our bodies change as we get older and we go into different seasons and the most interesting thing about us is in our body and we don’t exist here. Our sole purpose on this planet is not just to have a perfect body. And if you disagree with me, that’s fine, but this is my podcast and I get to say what I want.
But really, I mean I w I would, I would challenge you if you are thinking that this is the most important thing, challenge you, why you have that belief and it’s probably going to be a super fucking messy answer. It’s going to be, it’s going to be anchored in diet culture and it’s going to be anchored oftentimes in past experiences or traumas that we had or you know, that’s so messy. It’s so messy. It’s hard. It’s hard to do intuitive eating at the beginning. It’s hard to at least even incorporate some of those ideas. It’s hard to do that. It’s you know, relatively easy to say, I’m just going to go, you know, diets are quick and easy and cheap, but they don’t last. But we blame ourselves when they’re, you know, it’s so, it’s so backward. This is, I’m getting off track here is a bit of a topic for another day, but what I wanted to do is provide you with some suggestions for what you can do.
Not everybody is a rip the bandaid off type of person and I get it. Especially if you spent a lot of money on a wardrobe, you tend to be a money scarcity type of person like myself. It can feel pretty shitty to say, okay, well now I had to get rid of all these clothes and then go shopping again and buy more clothes again. You deserve to feel comfortable in your here and now body in the clothes that you’re going to wear such that it’s not causing you physical discomfort or mental discomfort. So here’s some things you could think about doing. Gather all your clothes that don’t fit you and put them in a bag and just put them out of sight for a while. I don’t know any length of time you want a month, three months, a season, whatever it is. If you don’t come back to the close, it’s time to let them go as time to let them go.
You could swap with a friend so you could gather up your stuff and maybe you have a few people. This will work better with more variety, but you all get together and bring the things that don’t fit your here and now body anymore and you get to switch and swap and do a little bit of a trade. That’s another way to do it. I mean, we can talk about thrifting and whatnot and that’s another story, but I think you know if you can at least find, if you’re working in a professional setting or you have to dress a certain way, you’ll finding a couple of things or building a capsule wardrobe. A capsule wardrobe is something that has like these usually relatively basic pieces that can mix and match in different ways. And I’m not an expert in capsule wardrobes, but you can Google it and find lots of great ideas so that you’re not having to build out an entire massive closet, but that you have some different options that fit your here and now body.
You could cone Mari, the fucking place. And you know, this brings me joy. This doesn’t bring me joy. You think the thing that you’re going to let go of and it, you send it on its way energetically, it’s, it’s you’re letting it go. It’s not bringing you joy anymore. I’ve done this and I love, I love doing it. Actually I’m gonna have to do it again cause I’m going to go back through. I’ve got a pile of clothes sitting that I haven’t worn in a really long time and I’m like, why am I keeping these? So maybe you’re going to cone Marie, maybe you can just go through your closet and you’re just going to get rid of it. You are a rip the bandaid off kind of person. That’s okay too. And then the final thing that I would just suggest is, and I got this again from Evelyn, uh, from Evelyn Tripoli, is she recommends to try if you are going to buy new clothes.
Okay. So buying the new clothes can be also very confronting. There are different things that you can do. A, you could look into something like a stitch fix you could look into and they have all sorts of different ones. That’s just the one that came to my mind. But there are multiple different kinds. There are sort of deliveries that come in boxes, um, that are for people and plus-size bodies. There are, um, fancy dressy ones that you can get like rent the runway. I mean, there are so many different options now, so maybe that’s an option where you get it delivered to your house. You don’t have to, you can try it on in the comfort of your home in a familiar environment. You don’t have the like shitty overhead, horrible lighting that’s in every dressing room in America. And I’ve written about that on my Instagram, so I’ll try to pull that post in here because that long.
Got a lot of comments I think earlier this year when I shared it, but one of the things that Evelyn suggests is if you go to a store to try on clothing, if you are having a hard time with accepting your hearing now body is, or you’re having a hard time with the sizing. You know, I was the size and now I went up a size or two sizes or I went up to a bigger size, which she says she suggests is trying on the clothes, facing the mirror backward so that you are not looking in the mirror, you’re solely judging on how they feel on your body and if it feels good, if it feels comfortable in your here and now body, then turnarounds and if it doesn’t feel comfortable, it doesn’t feel good on your body, then just take it off and put it in the no pile.
And I think that’s a really great suggestion. So I would love to just pass those onto you. I know personal style is very personal. Clothing is very personal, but I still assert that trying to force yourself to wear things that are not fitting your hearing now body is not good for you physically, mentally and emotionally and holding onto clothes that are too small in hopes that you will eventually motivate yourself enough to change to, you know, shrink yourself even more is not going to work as a longterm strategy. So I would love to have your thoughts. You can reach out and join the Facebook community, which is the core four club. So you can go ahead and ask to join that group and I would love to continue the discussion there. Uh, you can also, of course, hit subscribe on your podcast app. That is just one way to for us to know that you have given a vote of confidence to the podcast.
So go ahead and click subscribe in your podcast app. And of course if you have a question that you would like to leave me for a future episode where I answer your question on the air, it’s not live, it’s not live, don’t worry. It’s not a trick. You just show up. It just crossed my mind that maybe you think that that’s live. Although I think live call and show would be kind of fun, but I don’t have the technology. I don’t know what the technology is for that, but it’s not a lot. It’s not a lie. You just go on Steph gaudreau.com/message leave me your thoughts. You record them. If you don’t like what you said, you can rerecord and I will take that question and answer it on the air. So that’s my invitation to you to go ahead and do that. All right. That’s it for today’s episode. Thank you so much for listening. Have a wonderful weekend. Be well, and I’ll see you back here next Tuesday for an expert guest interview of Harder To Kill Radio.