A list of lived experience.
  1. Situation A: You still have weight to gain and your body isn't settled
  2. 😭😭😭😭😭
  3. Yoga pants
    All the yoga pants. SO MANY YOGA PANTS. Trust me.
  4. Thrift shopping
    Your body is still changing. You're going to outgrow those pants/that shirt/that dress. Don't make it harder on yourself than by spending a bazillion dollars on clothes that you will need to get rid of in two weeks.
  5. Did I mention yoga pants?
    Elastic is your friend.
  6. Situation B: You've reached your goal weight
  7. 🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉🎉
  8. Celebrate that shit
  9. Buy awesome beautiful clothing that you feel good in.
    If you find that at a thrift shop, awesome. But don't be afraid to spend some money for clothes that truly fit.
  10. For both situations and at any stage in early recovery:
    Hell, maybe in late recovery, too. I'm three years in and still follow these rules if I'm having a bad body image day.
  11. 1. Be realistic about your size.
    Do not choose the size you wish you were. Hold it up to your body and tug around the edges. Match up seams to what you're currently wearing. Do not set yourself up for failure.
  12. 2. Do not look in the dressing room mirror while undressing/undressed.
    Dressing room mirrors are stupid and you've got enough distortions without adding crappy lighting and weird angles to it.
  13. 3. Try on clothing and decide if it is comfortable. DO NOT LOOK IN THE MIRROR YET.
    If it pinches or bunches in weird places and you're not going to wear it because it feels weird, there is no reason to look in the mirror. Remove the clothes and place them in the "nope" pile.
  14. 4. If clothing is comfy, look down.
    Does it look good from your perspective? Or is there a button pulling over your chest, a high water pants situation or something else that might cause you to feel uncomfortable wearing this item? Because let's be real, if you're constantly thinking how weirdly that pocket lands on your boob, it's not going to be something you feel confident wearing.
  15. 5. If comfy and passes the "look down" test, check in a mirror.
    I highly suggest leaving the dressing room and going to the larger, usually better-lit mirror at the end of the dressing area hallway. I'm convinced mirrors in the dressing room are meant to make you feel like crap, but that's an entirely separate list altogether.
  16. 6. Bring a friend and ask their opinion.
    You want a friend who will be honest but not brutal. "That shirt isn't flattering on your torso" is helpful. "That shirt makes you look like a baby elephant" is not.
  17. 7. Make a decision and return to the dressing room.
    I sort my clothing try-ons into three categories: NOPE NOPE NOPE, I am one BAMF in this outfit, and "Meh. If the price is right."
  18. 8. Repeat as needed.
    But again, don't look in the mirror while undressing/undressed between outfits.
  19. 9. Buy your awesome new clothes and go rock the world with your healthy recovery bod!
  20. 💥💥💥💥💥