Clothes shopping used to be a nightmare. And nothing was worse than shopping for a pair of jeans. I might literally try on 50 pairs of jeans trying to find the one that didn’t emphasize all the wrong places. There were many shopping trips that I ended up in tears.
I can pinpoint when this started to change. This time last year, after losing about 30 pounds, it was clearly time to invest in some smaller clothes. I could wear my size 6 jeans from 20-odd years ago, but even though they hadn’t been worn much—I never stayed at a size 6 for very long—I thought this time I deserved a new pair.
While I was excited, those old negative thoughts about shopping started to bubble up. By the time the weekend shopping trip came around, I was in a full-blown panic. Sure enough, the first store I went to didn’t have anything that I thought looked good—even though I was fitting into size 4 and 6 pants. That alone should have sent me over the moon!
That old sense of dread returned as my husband drove me to a department store, and I was tempted just to go home and order some pants online—my old standby. Why put myself through this torture?
As we walked up to the front doors, I realized what I was doing. I was just creating the same old reality with all this old negative thinking. I was in such a state that even if I tried on the perfect pair of jeans, I probably would have thought they looked terrible. I couldn’t see anything other than what I was expecting.
So I took a deep breath and reached for a better feeling thought. “They have lots of clothes here. There’s bound to be something that makes me look and feel good. I am wearing smaller sizes than ever before and my body shape has changed. Maybe I just need to try a different style than I normally wear.”
It wasn’t a huge mental shift. But it didn’t have to be. It was enough of a change in my thought process that I felt a sense of relief. That was all that was necessary.
My husband, David, went with me to look through the pile of jeans. They were having a sale, which is always a bonus! I was selecting a few pairs of jeans to try on when David handed me a pair of Levi’s. They were a style that had never looked good on me, so I was skeptical, but I told myself to remain open to possibilities, and took them to the dressing room .
Surprisingly, all the jeans I tried on looked pretty good. But as I slipped on the Levi’s, they fit perfectly! I turned and looked in the mirror and for the first time maybe ever I loved what I saw! Woo hoo! I had finally found the perfect pair of jeans!
I learned right there that just because I’ve had a bad experiences in the past doesn’t mean that I am destined to repeat that same scenario for eternity. But it took me shifting my thoughts, beliefs, and expectations even just a little so that I could see the experience as new.
Now, I actually enjoy shopping and it doesn’t take me long to find many things that look good. I’m not sure that I’ll ever be a shopaholic, but it’s definitely fun!
A few weeks ago, I pulled on those jeans after of summer of wearing shorts. It felt awesome to have them still fit perfectly.
Together we can do it!