How One Woman Improved Her Body Image, Confidence and Self Esteem with A Simple Change
When I was diagnosed with thyroid disease in 2010 I was so upset – I felt like crap, could barely get out of bed, and my digestion was shot but I also packed on some pounds. Don’t get me wrong, going Paleo helped a ton with my mood, energy and blood sugar regulation. I healed so much but I didn’t lose a ton of weight the way many people do. Read more of my health saga here. I swore I was not going to buy new clothes because I was going to lose the weight, but this time in a healthy way rather than all the yo-yo dieting I had done in high school or the vegetarianism that wasn’t providing all the nutrition I needed.
I was an in shape personal trainer for 7 years and just could not accept the crushing blow of added lbs. But I was also once 240 lbs after college so I have to give myself a little credit for not putting on all my back weight on after this intense health hurdle (see my old pics here). After my thyroid diagnosis and subsequent increase in size, I made myself wear the clothes I had had for so long, even though they did not fit correctly. Often I would just stay home because I had nothing to wear and I did not feel good about myself. This behavior was so bad for my self esteem because it is like I was punishing myself on a daily basis for not “looking the right way”. I didn’t feel good when I would go out because I didn’t have nice clothes and nothing fit right but I also didn’t want to spend money to “reward” myself for getting fat or at least that is how I thought about it. I wish I didn’t have those thoughts but I did. It was a vicious cycle of guilt and shame that was not helping me lose weight or get heal my body.
A while later my friend Diane Sanfilippo joined Stitch Fix and told me I should try it. I was about to go to Paleo FX and I needed some clothes to wear to the events. I was going to see a lot of blogger friends and I was nervous because everyone in Paleo is supposedly “ripped” (which is actually an urban legend). I tried going to Macy’s but the blinding lights and dance music in the jeans section made me want to scream. I tried on 10 pairs of seemingly very low rise jeans and wanted to crawl in a hole. I ran home and signed up for Stitch Fix right away.
Within a week my first box came – I was so excited! I opened it up and all the clothes were just like things I would pick myself. They had my favorite colors and I didn’t get bent of shape about the sizes because it just didn’t seem like an issue. I was able to get 4-5 looks for Paleo FX and I had a great time because I had flattering clothes and I felt confident to talk to whoever I came across which were people like Sean Croxton and Mark Sisson. I feel like the saying “fake it til you make it” is true. If I just stayed home, which is what I felt like doing, and missed the event because I didn’t have any clothes I felt good in, I would have passed up some great opportunities for my career, networking and friendships.I ended up having a blast and I was not even camera shy.
I also used Stitchfix to go get geared up for my book tour for Mediterranean Paleo Cooking. It was so great showing up in new cities each time with a new outfit that was flattering and fun. I even got them to ship to me when I was out on the road touring. Their customer service is great and I love that I don’t have to go to a post office. It is like Christmas every time I open my box of goodies picked out just to make me look my best!
Hard to believe a box of clothes can do all that but it is true. I even stopped beating myself up so much about gaining weight and have started to feel good in my skin. I feel that I am still on a healing journey and I know my body will find its ideal size when I do some more work on my gut and lifestyle factors such as sleep and stress. Until then I am okay with the way I am as long as I get my Stitch Fix every month. The main thing to remember is love yourself the way you are and enjoy the journey becasue everyday is a gift! Don’t wait until you are perfect to love yourself!
More reasons I love Stitch Fix:
My Own Personal Stylist:
I feel like the person who picks out my clothes gets me. When you sign up you fill out a questionnaire about your likes and dislikes, body shape and you get to rate different sets of looks based on your personal tastes, which results in really customized picks. Also, I feel that over time the choices get even more refined as I send a few things back and send constructive feed back comments. I got lots of and lots of new outfits for my 3 week book tour and it was so helpful because I did not have to search for my size or my favorite colors or cut. That was all taken care of.
No Trip to the Mall
Every time I go to the mall all my previously owned stuff turns into garbage immediately. The mall makes me feel like I need everything and I have nothing that is of any value at home. I would rather not feel like that so any chance to avoid the mall is welcome. I also like not having to park, smell Cinnamon, or fill up my gas tank. For someone like me who travels a lot and is very busy, having clothes come in the mail is a blessing and a time saver. I like shopping but in small doses and mostly at discount and thrift stores.
No Junior’s section
I don’t know if I ever wore juniors clothes or if anyone else did either but I think they are those clothes are there just to make women feel fat. If you did wear them then congratulations but I was shaped like a grown woman since I was 12 years old so I missed that phase and those clothes just make me feel depressed.
No snotty sales people
Seems like every time I go to a store, the cute, stylish, young, tiny sales people are looking down on me and my blogger/pajama gear but in contrast when I get a box from Stitch fix I feel like I got a present from a friend.
Less Emphasis on Sizes
In the stores at the mall I feel like the biggest loser and not in a good way when size XYZ does not fit but when the clothes come in the mail from Stitchfix I don’t worry about that. I just try them on and they fit or they don’t. I am not going in the Bell Jar if it is too tight or too big. Most of the clothes are labeled S, M, L, and XL, which is less of an issue because that is so subjective.
While they do not feature plus sized clothes, which is a drawback for many – I am able to wear their large and X-large clothes and they fit me well, they are about a 12-14. I would love to lose a few pounds but my thyroid issues and stress levels make it a slow process, I have written more about this here. Plus, when I was 240 lbs I would have loved to just be able to wear a 12-14, so I am still fine with it.
How does Stitchfix know what I like?
When you are getting started you get to pick and choose from a number of looks that resonate with you. Then over time the stylist records your feedback and crafts each box to fit your evolving needs.
How much does it cost?
A whole box of 5 items runs about $250 dollars. But you can keep just one or two of your favorite items and you get changed a 20$ styling fee.
Are they good quality?
Yes the clothes are similar to what you would find at a higher end department store. One of the brands I love the most is Tart which are mostly cotton that wont fade and has a great stretch. Yes you can specify what type of fabrics you prefer and I usually like cotton better. I have found the clothes to hold up over time and wash very well.
How can I send it back?
Each shipment comes with a pre-paid USPS envelope that can be put right in the mailbox making no need for a trip to the post office.
Is there any risk?
None! Live a little and try something new. You will only lose your $20 styling fee would be the worst case scenario. I bet you find a new outfit you love and feel your best in!
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