I’ll never forget ordering my first small t-shirt.
When I was in college, my sorority got t-shirts made for pretty much every event we held. I always ordered a medium because that was my size and, courtesy of my twisted ED-wired brain, I was always terribly ashamed of it. I was positive that whichever sister I submitted my order to was judging me for being a medium and not a small, and that everyone who saw me in my shirt thought the same thing.
My junior year, right before I was diagnosed with EDNOS, I ordered a small for the first time. I knew I’d lost a good deal of weight, so I was confident (hopeful?) I’d be able to fit into a small. When my shirt came in, I stood in front of my mirror, held my breath, closed my eyes, and tried it on. When I opened my eyes to see that the shirt fit, my spirits catapulted me up into the air onto Cloud 9. Angels sang the Hallelujah chorus as I pranced around proudly in a small sized shirt. I felt unstoppable. I felt invincible.
And, of course, by invincible I mean relieved that my starvation was finally paying off in a visible way.
A couple months ago (before I tore my ACL) I was in my room getting dressed to go on a run. I opened my t-shirt drawer and sifted through my collection until I finally found one of the several small shirts I ordered myself in college. I held it up to my chest, thinking it probably could still fit, and then I stood in front of the mirror, closed my eyes, held my breath, tried on the shirt, and then…
The shirt didn’t fit, which made sense, because I’ve gained weight since being diganosed with EDNOS. Duh, I thought. I knew this would happen. I sat down on my bed, my spirits crushed, and didn’t even bother going on my run. Now I have to wear medium shirts and everyone is going to see that I used to fit into small shirts but now I have to wear mediums and therefore I’m fat and ugly and worthless and…
TODAY’S SELF-LOVE TIP: IGNORE YOUR LABELS.
If you’re like me and just knowing that whatever label you’re wearing isn’t small enough, let it go. Not only does no one else on the planet know what label you’re wearing (contrary to popular belief, it’s printed on your shirt, not your forehead) but no one else cares. Oh, and more importantly, labels have no bearing on your self-worth whatsoever. Whether you wear a small or an XXL, a 4 or a 20, you are lovely. You are beautiful. You are fearfully and wonderfully made.
Imagine what life would be like if that was printed on your shirt. Go ahead. Imagine it.
And now, make it your reality. Mentally replace all of your clothing size labels with words like, “beautiful” and “gorgeous” and “talented” and “incredible.”
Because even though your size labels are only printed on the inside of your clothes for only you to see, these true labels are what everyone else already sees. It’s about time you did, too.