In this day and age, we all know someone who suffers from one anxiety disorder or another, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, OCD, Panic Disorder or a phobia of some kind. But if you ask me, the American Psychiatric Association has one more to add to the list–SSWA. Spring/Summer Wardrobe Anxiety. Some of you may scoff and think I’m making light of things that have been classified as serious mental disorders. And you’d be partly right, but I also think I’m onto something here.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who realizes that as Memorial Day approaches, our time has officially run out. The warm weather is upon us, and it’s not going anywhere. We all know what that means–cookouts, vacations, beach parties, and teeny-tiny clothes, not to mention the dreaded bathing suit. Oh boy. *shortness of breath, dizziness, nausea, seeing spots* If I believed in panic attacks, I would certainly be having one right now. Must I remind you of the daisy duke/bikini top fiasco circa last summer? Read here to get the full story.
I saw my life and career flash before my eyes, and it wasn’t pretty. It was jiggly…and dimply…and horrifying. I NEVER-EVER-EVER-EVER-EVER want to feel like that again. Unfortunately, though, my eating habits are still at odds with my desire to achieve the perfect body. Why-oh-why aren’t enchiladas and chocolate the low-cal/high-nutrient edibles and cauliflower and kale considered junk food? Metaphysics I can grasp. The food pyramid…absolutely baffling.
Despite my bargaining with Mother Nature, though, the hot season is here, and it’s time to make tough decisions. Eat the second helping at the BBQ or wear that mid-driff to the rooftop party? Shortcake or short shorts? Mocha latte or mocha hot-tay? (I know, I know. So corny. But it tickled me. 😉 ) I think you get the point. And this isn’t just for the ladies. Fellas, we’re looking at you, too. Does your tank top need a built-in bra? Can I see the individual abs or just one big lump? Women aren’t the only ones with body issues. Though demands on woman are significantly higher, more and more men are feeling the pressure to shape up. About time, if you ask me.
Male or female, most of us have a reason to feel nervous about the impending summer season. Some of us are planning exotic get-aways, maybe some are heading to a class reunion, while others just want to hold their own at the local pool-side or beach shin-dig. And there are those of us who simply want to be able to go into a wardrobe fitting without having to take a week’s worth of diuretics to fit into the clothes or not look like this guy on screen.
Whatever our reasons, those of us not in ideal shape are surely confronted with some anxiety when it comes to shedding those cold-weather layers and letting it all hang out. For me, bikinis and shorts present the greatest challenge. Honestly, can’t someone design shorts for people whose thighs touch? I just want to be able to walk in them without having to pull them down every 4 steps or having to do that crazy, crooked wino walk. Those of you with the same issue know what I’m talking about. You’re walking along and your thighs start to chew up your shorts. Then you have to do the awkward wide-wiggle-side-step so they drop down again. We try to be as inconspicuous as possible, but we aren’t fooling anyone. Either you’ve got a thigh wedgie or some other crotch-oriented issue. Six in one hand, penicillin in the other. (Yikes!) Either way–that’s not hot. And then there’s the bikini. Why not wear a one-piece, you ask? Mainly because I’ve not found a one-piece that doesn’t age me by about 20 years unless it’s got all the sexy cut-outs. In which case, we’re back to square one, because your rolls and folds are exposed.
Bathing suits are wretched, evil creations! You can’t hide anything! The stretch marks are out, the dimples are out, the jiggles and creases are out. And I know it’s time for me to just embrace it all and enjoy life. But just when I do, here she comes. The former dancer-sprinter-yoga-pilates-instructor with the 26″ waist, curves in all the right places, and no cellulite in site. And that envious little fat girl inside shakes her head and mumbles, “…this b*tch.” I know it’s wrong to hate on someone’s good fortune, including their awesome physique. But it brings up those insecurities that we deal with from time to time. Part of the human experience, I suppose.
That said, though, I love warm weather and I love being outdoors. So am I going to hide in my house all summer or wear a burka to the beach? Of course not. But I will take myself to the gym, (even on the days when I want to set the place on fire), and burn those excess calories. I will make good choices MOST of the time and splurge a little when I really want to. In short, I’m going to continue to do my best and wear clothes that make me feel good about myself. If that means another summer without shorts, that’s okay. Skirts will do. Maybe I’ll do a cleanse, give Insanity a shot or do two-a-day workouts at some point. But not right now. Right now, I’m going to focus on all the things I like about my body and work on the things I want to improve.
No anxiety, no crazy diets. Just some good ol’ fashioned self love. Lord knows a little of that goes a very long way! Enjoy Memorial Day, people. And be safe out there. xo
P.S. If anyone else wants to share their wardrobe disaster stories, I’d love to hear them. As long as we can laugh at ourselves, life will always be a Joi. 🙂