Today I’m going to type about positive things. I tend to focus a lot in this blog on what I’m focusing on a lot in my head, and right now, I’m thinking positive.

Today, I got my piercing. It’s really buff (IMO) and I’m glad I did it. Plus it was bare cheap which is always a bonus. I’ve been going to this shonky little place in Walthamstow for a while now called Studio 69. Even the name makes you think it can’t possibly be sterile. It actually is though and the piercer is really lovely and even though it’s cheap, it’s clean and nice and friendly. So I went in today and got my cartilage rim pierced again, just above my other one because I think it’s nice. Plus my piercer looked at my nape (seeing as I can’t exactly check it) and said it was one of the best healed surface piercings she’d seen. Apparently it looks like it’s been healing for 8 months/a year, but I’ve only had it three months. She took a picture of it to put on the website and everything. Makes me happy. I also got my tragus bar replaced as I felt it was way too long and often stuck out too much, and my nose piercing stretched in order to fit proper body jewellery so I can get a serious gold hoop in it eventually and to fix the dent bad studs have put in my nose. I shrunk it over time through buying studs and sleepers from Claire’s Accessories which are less than 1mm in diameter. It has to heal around a bar first, but stage one on the road to garish, tacky gold hoop.

New hole is the most top one. It’s number 13 :D

The Ma also bought me clothes! Clothes that make me happy! Clothes because I’ve been two months smoke free! Clothes because its half-term therefore she’s on holiday and that is reason enough to buy me and the Brother pressies! I love my clothes so much I’m actually going to put pictures of them on here. I have space leggings! Leggings with planets and stars and a nebulous on the bum. They literally make my week I love them so much. And a matching space top! So I can fully dress as the cosmos (next fancy dress sorted)! So many exclamation marks but they are so good! And they make me laugh to wear, which makes them all the better! And she got me a t-shirt with an old map of London on which is really nice as well – I can go to the places on the t-shirt, wearing the t-shirt! Basically, all the good clothes. And also, some incredibly fab pants. They are good because they are very high which is actually reassuring as it’s another layer cover up for recovery bellies (and I’m one of those people that think actually, big pants are really nice). Honestly, I don’t care that I’m being weird, sometimes clothes can make me joyous. I am full of joy because I own space leggings and large pants.

Happy leggings! :D:D!

Other really ace clothes. Today has been (successful in a materialistic manner at least).

(Apologies for dreadful image quality – phones init).

I think in recovery, clothes are really important. In life more generally, I like nice clothes and I like to feel like I look acceptable, but in recovery, clothes are crucial. They can be the difference between absolutely unbearable and passable moods. Something that doesn’t fit right, or even something that still fits fine, just not the way you’re used to, can completely wreck a day or two (maybe even a week) if your eating disorder is narrated with body dissatisfaction (like mine). I have therefore come to the conclusion that right now, clothes are a good way to spend the little money I have. In fact, anything that makes me feel marginally better about my skin (after food of course) is top priority. A big problem for me was that as I lost weight, I donated all the clothes that fit my healthy body to charity, resolving never to fit them again. Now I do, and I have nothing. That’s a lie, I kept a lot of t-shirts and dresses. T-shirts are kinda fine whatever your size I think. They are either more tight or more loose, but they always kinda fit whatever size you are. Genuinely, my t-shirt collection ranges from size 4 to size 20 and the all fit fine I think. Maybe I’m just not that fussy when it comes to t-shirts. Plus most of my dresses are second-hand which essentially means they are all size 12. A lot of things had to be re-bought though. And I bought some new stuff I didn’t desperately need because I was too uncomfortable in what I owned.

Like most people in recovery I think, clothes have hugely effected me, but eventually, I have learnt a few things. It’s a stupid list, but these are things that have made clothes (and by implication, living in more fat tissue) easier (though not easy) to bear.

1) Stay away from second-hand.

In my life in general, I firmly believe that there are lots of perfectly good and actually really nice second-hand clothes to be had, so buying newly made stuff is kinda wasteful. And also, you end up buying some pretty nifty items this way. Obviously some things have to be newly made (like underwear and really smart suity stuff) and sometimes it’s nice to buy something new, but I like to get most of my clothes from friends, vintage or charity. At my lowest weights, I couldn’t get second-hand clothes anymore because there is a point when you just get too small for most people’s hand me downs, but with recovery, I was really looking forward to having a good rummage in my local charity shops.

However, I was wrong. This is an awful idea. Absolutely, categorically stupid. Why? Because there is no standard sizing. If I like a pair of jeans in a charity shop and they seem like my size, I get excited and really want them.  I try them on, only to realise I’ve grown, but I’d already set my heart on them, there’s no getting another pair. And even if you I on a different pair in a bigger size, they might be too big or too small as sizes between brands aren’t standard. It’s traumatic. Seriously. It’s ok for jumpers and cardis and dresses because most of these things look fine in sizes that are a bit big, but jeans, skirts, shorts, trousers, shirts etc. are a no. Anything that actually has to kinda fit isn’t worth it. It’s confusing and hard and really, there’s plenty of time for second-hand once I’m comfortable and at a stable weight. The rest of my life in fact.

2) Primark and H&M are your best friend.

Ok so there are problems with H&M sizing because a lot of things run up small which can cause drama, but they are cheap. I’m sure there are other dirt cheap clothes shops, but these are the ones I have easy access to. When my body was changing a whole load, it was kinda important to be wearing clothes that fit at different stages, but that can be really difficult money-wise, so cheap shops are crucial. The worst thing I could do is continue to wear clothes that make me constantly conscious of the fact I’m bigger and I actually think it’s pretty impractical to buy clothes that will fit “once I’m weight restored” because really, I didn’t know what size I’d be once I was weight restored. This is the one instance when I actually believe disposable fashion is the way forward. Especially with things like jeans. I borrowed other people clothes as well for interim periods. They didn’t have to be all that nice, but a plain enough pair of jeans or skirt or something for as cheap as possible is a good idea. They didn’t have to be well made or last forever because I would probably grow out of them. I just made sure they were things I was happy to leave behind when the day came.

3) Lycra

Might sound stupid, but anything that stretches is good, even if its tight-fitting. Leggings and cycling shorts are super comfortable and stretch to your shape. If I don’t want to wear them out because I’m not comfy enough with my body, thas fine, I’ve got my crappy Primark jeans, but in the house, they reign supreme on the comfort level. They are actually pretty forgiving clothes and you can buy them in a size smaller than you, or a size bigger, and they’ll still fit kinda the same. It works with bodycon skirts and dresses too for if I’m feeling a little more confident and want something a bit less casual for outside appearances. I own a lot of stretchy lycra things and actually, a lot of it looks better now I’m bigger. Wearing lycra clothes which fit baggy on you isn’t attractive, but most of it fits now. I have ridiculously small-sized skirts but really, they fit a bit better now and give me a fabz batty. Lycra is a winner in recovery because it grows with you. And also, it can be bought bare cheap (New Look even do multipack leggings) or if you fancy something a bit more interesting, it’s easily avaliable. And to be honest, cycling shorts and leggings triple up as perfect yoga clothes and pjs. Yuss.

4) If it makes you smile, it’s worth it

I get immense guilt when shopping, but I’ve found that in recovery, clothes that are a bit stupid but make me happy are worth spending a little bit more than I’m comfy on. For me, this involves princess skirts and t-shirts with dinosaurs on and anything with a lot of glitter or sequins or rhinestones on it. I like to dress up, so my taste is a little bit odd, but I think that everyone has clothes that make the a little bit more happy and anything that increases your sum of happiness is worth it. Especially if it can make something as difficult as clothes a bit more cheery. Now is the time for stupid items that make each day a little bit more silly.

5) Baggy vests and t-shirts.

And lots of them. They are cheap and can be worn with anything and basically cover up a lot of the standard uncomfortable body zones. You can get really long ones to cover bums and hips, but also tummies and upper arms if need be. And they actually look alright with almost anything. Especially the lycra leggings. They are nice and airy for when it’s hot, but can easily be teamed with vests underneath and hoodies/jumpers/cardis of any description. They look good tucked in to high-waisted things or pulled in with a waist belt. They look good with low or natural waisted things too. And jeans. And you can get them a little sheer if you want something a tinsy bit see through so you feel a bit less like you’re hiding. I like the tiny bit see through ones because I feel like I’m hiding, but I don’t think I look like I am. No one knows I’m hiding but me.

6) Jeans.

Are the most difficult thing to buy and are a little bit important to own. If they stop fitting, get rid of them and get some which fit better. Or not. I can always wear a skirt and to be honest, it’d be a lot less traumatic to buy.

7) Remove anything that doesn’t fit.

I’d be a hypocrite to say throw it away, because I can’t… Just in case. Which is stupid because what does that mean? Just in case I engage in eating disordered behaviours again for long enough to drop a noticeable amount of clothes sizes? I don’t want that to happen. In fact, I want to remove anything that makes that tempting. But I can’t yet. Argh. Still, removing it all from my room was one of my better moves. Getting it out of line of sight whilst getting dressed saves a lot of “oh I’ll just see” moments. They make me feel like shit. Replace with all the things that fit.

8) If on any day you’ve got the balls, wear it.

So I wake up one day and you think “I can actually look at my legs”, that is the day I parade them about. The more I do it, the easier it gets. Exposure therapy init. I don’t even think it’s important that it’s my style or anything. I think just being about to wear whatever I like, regardless of what parts of my body it does or doesn’t show, is a nice thing to aim for. Once I know I can have my legs out as much as I want, I can keep them covered in trousers if I’d like, but just knowing that it is really my choice, not because I’m too scared or ashamed, would be a nice thing I think. So on that rare day I’m comfy enough with my whole body, crop tops and hot pants. Why not?

9) It’s not the end of the world.

In the end, clothes aren’t that important, but learning to accept changes in weight is. If all I can bare is sweats, then so be it. Having a healthy body is more important than anything else. Clothes are pretty expensive and kinda boring to shop for and sometimes you just end up crying and wanting to go home. If that’s the case, go home. There are other days and other clothes. Sometimes pjs are the only thing I can stand. There’s no rush. Whatever makes me the most comfortable as my body stabilizes is what’s best. It’s not static, it’s not the same every day and it doesn’t just get progressively easier. Joggers may as well have been designed for recovery. And big hoodies. And whatever other clothes I wear when I’ve got flu. Who cares how I dress really? If it’s acceptable to me, it should be acceptable to whoever else. Whatever makes it easier to reach and sustain a healthy body.

So there you go, my clumsy understanding of what works, and what doesn’t work, for me as far as clothes are concerned. Body image is a major part of my eating disorder, so clothing is traumatic, but I think if I stick to these rules, I’m ok. I’m kinda hoping this explains a little bit why it’s got really important, but also really hard, for me to shop the way I do. Hopefully. Mostly because I’m embarrassed that I buy things. I feel like I shouldn’t, so want others to understand why and how I’m justifying it to myself in the hope it justifies it to them too. I duno. I probably care too much what others might think of me.

(Is it bad I’m really self-conscious on my legs in that image? It’s probably bad. But still, I’d feel too ashamed to publish this if I didn’t mention the fact that yes I know my legs are chunky. I’m not too stupid to not realise. I don’t care all that much though. It’s worth it to show off my fabz leg wear).



Filed under life, recovery

17 responses to “clothes.

  1. Meg

    Those leggings are awesome! Where are they from? They look amazing on you (I wish my legs were as “chunky” as yours! (they’re not at all chunky)). I agree that good clothes can make you feel totally amazing when they fit properly, they can give such a confidence boost.

    Can you sew? Make a cushion out of your too-small jeans, or a bag or something. That way nobody else will be wearing them :).

    Love your piercing too, and your little man earring! Your post made me smile xx

    • Thank you! They’re Tee & Cake ones from Topshop. I love them a lot :D.

      I wish I could sew. I can sew by hand but that takes so unbearably long and I am without sewing machine :(. Ah wells. Maybe I’ll work out some sort of nifty quilt. Actually, that’d be a great idea – quilting all my sick clothes. I’m gonna look that up.

      I think I may have too many piercings… or is that not enough? Hmm.


      • Meg

        You definitely don’t have too many. I loved the one on your neck you posted, does it get caught on stuff?

        I need to get my ears done again, they’ve healed up three bloody times now :(

      • Thanks! I hope I don’t. It doesn’t actually get caught that much you know. You’d think it would, but actually, it didn’t even get caught in my hair when it was longer or anything. The only thing that knocked it was my headphones as I have to use big ones. Realistcally, you don’t put your neck in that many catchy situations. I can’t use in the ear ones due to my tragus peircing lolz.

        Get your ears done for sure! They only close if you don’t wear earings enough, but why wouldn’t you? Because jewellery is nifty :).

    ahem, sorry for caps, but you know, I’m kind of mildly obsessed with space. Where are they from?! You must tell me. :D
    I adore your piercings by the way, after reading your blog the other day, I went and had my ears repierced, because mine had closed up (I read somewhere that this was impossible?!). Now I want more.
    I agree with all the things you say about clothes.
    I feel like absolute rubbish when I’m wearing stuff that doesn’t fit me properly, or looks a state. I still have all my low weight clothes apart from my trousers which I cut up. I think instead of just having them laying around though, I will box them up and hide them until I am more able to sell/give them away.
    Second hand, well, I do love second hand. I go on ebay mostly right now. Often you will get some pretty nifty vintage stuff, at not so vintage prices. PLUS, if you buy it off ebay, the seller usually explains why they are selling using sizing. i.e “It was too big for a size 8” or whatever, then you know you’re more safe to buy it.
    P.s your legs are still tiny. Mine would be totally stretching that Jupiter!
    Absolutely brilliant post. You win the internets for the positivity.
    Hugs x

    • Oh my gosh they are so good though. Basically, there’s this brand they have at Topshop called Tee & Cake. They sell tshirts and vest tops mostly, though sometimes other stuff and although a small percentage of it is rubbish, most of it is all those really good things they put on mens tshirts that you wish women were allowed, but instead we get flowers and pink. It’s mostly dinosaurs and maps and fish and space. I really love them and so does my Mum so she just buys me therestuff as pressies instead of trying to find anything else. They don’t have the space stuff online anymore and they even told her that it had sold out in store, but actually they had a pretty full rail of space stuff so don’t trust them. Saying that though, she did go to the Oxford Circus one and that’s always well stocked. But anyway, Tee & Cake – the best idea in girls clothing. Actually good designs, in girls fit.

      Yuss for piercings! Get more if you want them. They are so fun. Plus they last basically as long as you’d like, but if you decide you hate them later, you can just take them out. I really love them though. Like really. Though I am getting a bit worried I may be too old. In general, people stop getting piercings at some point because they get jobs. At some point I’ll need a job… fuck it they look good :D. Go for it.

      I’ve never really done the ebay thing. Only for hilarious plastic rubbish but never for clothes. I kinda feel like it’d be the same thing though – lots of people who don’t really know they’re size and judge it by one shop saying it’s one size, but in your experience it’d be another. Plus it’s less easy to get the money back if it’s totally bust. I will look though. It’d probably be worth it.

      Thanks x.

      • Yes with the ebay thing, I wont generally buy a lot of tops from there, because it annoys me, “size 8 top” and then they take a picture of themselves wearing it, and they have watermelon sized chebs, and I’m like, not even any point wearing that seeing as you have stretched the crap out of it. Haha. I tend to go for the outlet stuff, theres quite a lot of new produce on ebay, out-of-season, but, I tend to have my own kind of style. Outlets on ebay will give you a refund if you don’t like it.
        However, for jeans, skirts, etc etc, Awesome. I have most of my new (mostly second hand) jeans from there, mostly because I am still too scared of dressing rooms.
        Your post made me want to sort out my clothes, so I am currently stuck in a pile of ill-fitting clothes on the floor. Ha. But I told self I need to have space in wardrobe to fill it with nice things. :D x

  3. its been said, but ill repeat…
    spacegirl indeed. i expect to see you floating over our hemisphere very soon :-)
    good work on the shopping brief, its such a minefield. can be the best feeling, can sink you into a pit of despair. but if im honest it is the ONE thing that remains consistent in my battle for recovery. clothes are the bomb, and i cannot WAIT to go shopping and get that euphoric high of finding things i like that fit me the way they SHUD fit a body (ie, not hanging off!)
    yipyip for positivity, you score bonus points for this gem!

    • See that’s why lycra is the best one – it always fits!

      You’ll get there with the shopping though. Serious. You just have to get into your recovery groove and you’ll get there. It makes the whole thing easier.

      Love x.

  4. Hello!
    I’m just a lurker of your blog (I can’t read your password protected posts though), and I really love how brutally honest you are. No sugar-coating or exaggerating anything – just the truth. I respect you immensely! :)

    I wanted to say, most importantly, your legs are NOT CHUNKY at ALL! Seriously, you have a lovely, lovely shape – completely the opposite to chunky – slender!
    I love the tights, last winter I developed a bit of an obsession! Now that’s the weather’s cold again I can break out all my old pairs – floral, plum, navy! You can do anything in tights!

    All the challenges that you set yourself are amazing (your blog is ackshully the only one I have a proper subscription for!). I look forward to all your updates. :)
    P.S. Uranus should have been in the bottom area of the tights (I am so witty)

    • Hello! This is so lovely thank you! I’m glad you like reading :D.

      Thankfully the leg shot doesn’t encompasses the upper thigh area else you’d be shocked, but I really appreciate it anyway.

      Leggings are win for sure. So comfy and you can just wear them with anything and always look sick.

      Hope you are well x.

  5. Nowhere in a blind fit are your legs chunky, girl, they are slim. And I see above you are saying the thighs are, well I can see how they start out at the knees and NOPE they aren’t bit either. ED can go jump off a cliff, hey? ;) Cause it doesn’t matter what size they are. What matters is YOU.
    Those leggings are AWESOME and so are your piercings! Ive never gone past ear lobes, the standard one in each ear and even those have closed over. I’m just not brave enough!
    This is really helpful to read, because I’m struggling big time with clothes and body image.NOTHING fits right. Even if it ‘fits’, it doesn’t seem to fit me the way it fits other people. I don’t know if this is my screwed up perception, or if my body is way out of proportion, but it’s pretty difficult to wear clothes at the moment.. but ah, I couldn’t go without!!! ;) Lots of baggy stuff. I like Winter because I can hide and wear baggy stuff fine. You have some good tips, like lycra and getting rid of things you have outgrown (a big mistake for me is keeping those for too long). I think I’ve read that you self harm, how do you deal with covering the scars in summer? It’s winter here, but when it’s hotter, always wearing long sleeves and pants is stifling. I really, really regret them. It’s been years, but they are for life :( xxx

    • I love peircings so much and actually ahole load less painful than you’d imagine. I always psyche myself up about the pain so much and am always surprised by how little they hurt. It is a tad ridiculous though.

      Clothes are irritating. but if they make you feel uncomfy, just get rid of them. As soon as you notice, it’ll be all you notice till you take them off init. Grr it’s so annoying. I don’t think it matters why. Chances are it’s a little bit of all the reasons.

      SI scars in summer are a difficult one and really, it depends on your comfort zone and the severity of the scars. Lots of scars that are all hypertrophic or keloid can only be hidden with clothes. Tbh a couple of years ago I had a big hypertrophic one on my arm and no one commented because others had faded so I think that if it’s just a few scars, people won’t really notice. If it’s lots of really uniform scars, it’s more obviously SI though. If they’re faded and flat, and wouldn’t bother hiding them really because most people won’t notice, just wear sunscreen if they’re ever out in the sun as scars don’t tan. If they’re dark and flat, you can cover them with makeup, but it’ll take a lot unless you have proper camoflague stuff – you’ll need foundation, concealer, powder and a good applicator, as well as some hairspray to keep it in place. But honestly, during times when my SI has been less obvious, I’ve been alright having my scars out. I’m not ashamed of having to do it in the past and if anyone judges you, they’re probably rubbish. I have scars on my stomach and seriously, I live in crop tops because they are so old now they’re not too bait. I’m a lot less comfy with newer scars though so clothes become a must.

      Clothing wise though, for arms it’s all about shirts. Oversized long sleeve shirts made of natural, breathable material. I wear them open with very small tops. If I’m body conscious, I do up a few buttons, but if it’s hot, they let the breeze in. Plus if you scars are only on one section of the arm like mine, you can shrug if off your shoulders or roll up your sleeves. Also any holey material like lace or something. The pattern detracts from the marks, but you still let the air in. Or if you just need to cover in public, but not with people you know, tubigrips make it look like you’ve just sprained something. Obvs. jewellery can help is its wrists only. Things like bandanas and ribbons and stuff can be good too.

      Legs are a lot easier to cover because of tights. Fishnets or those lacey ones are good. Thin tights too. If you’re cuts are lower leg/ankle area, all you need is socks long enough then you can have shorts, though you can just get anklets. If they’re upper leg, cropped trousers or longer shors or even just cycling shorts. If they’re the whole of the leg, leggings and tights are always thiner than trousers. Or maxi skirts or sarongs or things. Or sarong trousers are good too, and harem pants.

      The looser the clothes, the cooler it is basically. So if it’s say, lower arms and thighs, a backless mini dress with cycling shorts and a big ol’ denim shirt and you’re away. Still hot, but more managable. The trick is to have as much of your body out as you’re comfy with.

      Honestly though, my body is covered in scars and if I covered them up all the time, I’d be fully covered all the time and that’s no fun. They do fade significantly over time though. Most of my earliest ones are gone, though that was a decade ago now. After the first 18 months, healing slows, but if they weren’t too deep or they were cared for properly, they’ll probably still fade. They’re part of who you are and part of what you’ve been through. Obvs if they’re keloid or hypertrophic that’s harder to hide or accept, but if you’re not engaged in SI behaviours, your GP will probably help. Steroid injections and stuff can help reduce the size. They won’t help unless you’re SI free for a while though.

      So there you go – super long I know, but that’s what I do. Hope that’s helpful in some way, though it’s mostly just rambling. I am thinking of doing a post on it though. Maybe I should seeing as this is so long.

      Love x.

      • Thank you so much for the advice. Mine are all over my body too, mostly full legs and arms are keloid :( So they are particularly noticeable even from a distance. I have started trying to be a bit more courageous in the Summer and bare my arms or legs, deciding that people are going to have to accept me scars and all or I don’t want to know them anyway, but it sucks to have strangers grimacing at you as you pass them, really makes you feel like crap!
        I’m hope you are able to stop? I wish I never started. It was having a couple of friends actually die to suicide, another one nearly die to SI, and a few more engaged in it that made me able to stop. I didn’t want to cause the agony that I saw their families go through or I myself went through as their friends. Other people do care about us, and they notice, and they fret.
        I have heard of plastic surgery being an option. One of my friends who died, was almost at the point where she was going to get plastic surgery, she had to be at least a year SI free first. I guess she didn’t make it :(
        Sorry for this being so sad… I guess the reality is, it IS tragic and heartbreaking :( *hugs* xx

      • I’m lucky in that I just don’t get keloid scars. That must be rough. Hypertrophic is bad enough. Your GP can help. Plastic surgury isn’t usually the first option I don’t think, but maybe they’ll be able to help reduce the scarring. I know it’s rubbish when people make faces, but really, it’s none of their business and chances are, they are probably rubbish. Somedays I feel like I can cope with it, other days not so much. If it’s just your arms and legs that are so badly scarred, covering them is annoying in the heat, but it’s not too awful. Saying that though, I live in England. Summer isn’t all that hot. When I was in spain last year, I just had to grin and bare it. It wasn’t too bad then though – I SI less when restricting so I’d had a lot of fading in most areas.

        I’m hoping to stop. Trying to at least. It’s just been a part of my life for so long now and I quite often don’t know what else to do. For me, it kinda feels like it prevents me from doing anything more drastic, which is pretty fucked really. I know people fret and worry, and that makes me sad, but I’m really trying. Sometimes I’ll stop for months without even trying, then it starts again. I just never feel like it’s done forever if that makes sense. Argh. It’s rubbish. I know there are serious risks though and I know it is never a good idea, but sometimes it does act as a way to keep myself safe. I honestly lack the coping skills to deal for long enough apparently. Argh.

        It is heartbreaking though, you’re right. It causes so much harm to others as well. It makes me sad :( x.

  6. Pingback: Recovery food, Clothes and pictures. | AdverseUniverse

  7. Where’s the AWESOME button on this?!

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