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Life After Emotional & Binge Eating

Alana’s Victory; Dress for Body Image Success

With the arrival of spring, people often think about their wardrobe and what clothes they will wear as the weather warms up.  Alana was headed to Florida over spring break along with her husband and two young children.  Although she was well on her way to eating in response to physical hunger, it had been several years since she had bought herself anything new to wear – she had always figured she would buy new clothes once she lost weight.
 
When we asked Alana what she would pack in her suitcase for her trip, she replied that she really hadn’t given it much thought.  It became clear that Alana was avoiding the issue – most of the spring clothes she currently owned either didn’t fit well, or she no longer liked them. We talked about what it would feel like to pack when nothing was really quite right, and what it would be like to be in Florida and not feel good in what she was wearing.  After all, no matter what our size, how we feel about what we are wearing affects the way we feel about ourselves!
 
Alana decided that she would make a trip to her local mall and do some spring shopping.  She found a couple of capri pants that fit great, a few bright colored short sleeve shirts, and a pretty patterned casual dress that she could dress up or down, depending on the occasion.  She already owned a bathing suit that she felt fine in, so that was not on her list that day.  Happy with her purchases, Alana set off for her spring break vacation.
 
Alana reported that she had a great time with her family on their Florida adventure.  What stood out to her was playing with her children in the pool, relaxing on the beach, and a few quite moments with her husband once the kids were asleep.
 
This was a victory for Alana.  Rather than ending up panicked the night before she left town over what to pack – or feeling anxious every morning when she woke up in Florida about what to wear – she felt comfortable and pretty in her new outfits.  Imagine how differently her special time away might have felt if she traveled with clothes that were too tight for her body, too warm for that time of year, or just not the styles that she feels good in.  Instead, she took very good care of herself by planning ahead and buying enough items (that were also on sale!) to feel good. And, since she wasn’t focused on feeling “yucky” in her clothes, Alana was better able to stay present with herself and her family.
 
As spring and summer approach, what’s in your closet?  Do you have what you need to go out in the world?  Do you have any special occasions coming up where you need a new outfit?  Shopping for clothes can be challenging at times – but putting it off only makes it more difficult.  Like Alana, consider planning ahead and finding stores – or catalogues and online shopping sites – that offer the sizes and styles you needs.  You deserve to feel good now!
 

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Eat well! Live well! Be well! Judith Matz and Ellen Frankel, are co-authors of The Diet Survivor’s Handbook, Beyond a Shadow of a Diet www.dietsurvivors.com Chicago Center for Overcoming Overeating: 847.267.1200

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