Today’s guest, Judith Gaton, is a style coach for curvy women. She’s also huge proponent of fashion for every body! Judith helps women love and dress the body they are actually in, instead of the body they think they want. We talk about our culture’s obsession with “smoothness”, and how to be confident in the whatever size we happen to be! This is a GREAT episode, and I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
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Does Your Mindset Fit Your Outfit?
As a style coach, Judith coaches women to both love and DRESS the body they are in right now. No dieting or Spanx required! (Fashion is for every body, right?) According to Judith, you can feel good in your clothes right now. No change needed. Part of that comes from finding the clothes that fit right, and part of it comes from adjusting your mindset! Janky thoughts and a cute outfit just don’t go together, so Judith helps you address BOTH sides of the equation!
After losing 60 pounds, Judith realized the shitty thoughts she had about herself hadn’t gone away. Instead of a magical year with ALL the wins (which she thought was going to happen when she lost weight), she found that she was still struggling with the same problems. She still had the same mindset, and weight change hadn’t fixed that!
Getting her own mind and body on the same page was the journey that led Judith to realize she could love herself at any size and in any moment. As she gained her weight back (and realized it was completely possible to love herself and dress well), she also found that a lot of women who had lost and regained weight were not coming to the same conclusion she was. Rather than feeling more free and accepting, they felt shame and frustration.
That difference in her journey (as compared against many other women’s experiences) led Judith into her current career!
Fashion Industry Shapes
The fashion industry loves it fruits! Pear shape…apple shape…we’ve all heard the shapes.
Judith got sick of the way we are constantly being asked to categorize our bodies. (Or having them categorized for us!) According to Judith, it’s BS!! When we’re constantly taking in information about the shape we supposedly are, we also get a bunch of rules about what those shapes are allowed to wear.
We use the body shape tools against ourselves to impose regulations. We also end our categorizing ourselves in unkind ways….which is never great! Judith notes that information that we just use as information can be great. Once we stop using information as a tool and start using it as rules, however….things start going wrong.
These rules start to take all the fun out of getting dressed….and that’s something that should always be fun!
Another way to consider this information is to ask if it’s useful. If it’s helping you have more fun and live your best life, great! If it’s creating shame and making you feel bad about yourself, then it can go! There’s no need to hang on to rules that don’t serve you.
How Does This Make You Feel?
Judith had a client whose previous stylist had told her that her body and coloring was perfect for a classic style. Her secret? She HATED that style.
But she didn’t tell the stylist, because it seemed like such an important “rule” based on factors about her body, shape, and coloring.
Judith helped her see that any style choice that made her feel unhappy about her clothes or body wasn’t for her!
Does it fit your body? Your personal style? (Which is ever evolving as you grow and change!) Your lifestyle? Does it make you happy? Do you feel good in it?
There are so many questions that are more important than whatever “rules” may exist in the fashion world!
Judith also notes that there are so many ways to be fashionable. Fit on your body, as well as your lifestyle and your need for comfort, are all possible considerations.
Fashion For Every Body
You can buy clothes for the body you have…even if it’s not the body you expected or wanted. This means wearing clothes that actually fit, instead of giving in to the temptation to force into the clothes that you “want” to fit! Judith encourages her clients to clean out their closets of all the things that don’t fit properly. In her opinion, these old clothes that are too small are like little piles of shame!
Judith recommends that you get rid of them (or at least move them out of your sight!).
It is 100% worth loving your body right now, as it is. That includes comfortable clothing. You deserve to have bras and underwear that feel good, and are made for your size! When you insist on wearing things that are too small and tight, you’re holding your body hostage to an old ideal that doesn’t feel good. (You also might be interested in this episode on grieving your dream body.)
Your Body Is How it Should Be
Whether you’re dealing with weight gain and or weight loss, Judith encourages clients to think of their bodies as being exactly the way they are supposed to be. Weight changes are not “right” or “wrong”.
It’s so freeing to look at your body and believe that it is exactly the way it should be! It releases you from all the shoulds, and allows you to appreciate it just as it is. No change needed. (That means you can dress it just the way it is also!)
One way to keep up to date on the fit of your clothing is to set a timeframe (like every 2 weeks, or each month) and try on all your clothes. Get rid of what doesn’t fit, or is worn down and needs to go! (Looking at you, ratty underwear!)
If you use this timeframe-based plan you can slowly replace clothing a few pieces as a time, rather than waiting until a majority of things are uncomfortable or worn through and needing to replace all of them at once. Slowly but surely, you’ll be able to build a wardrobe that fits your life.
Dressing a Postpartum Body
Judith recommends new underwear for sure! Things are shifting and moving, and it’s an act of self-care to make sure you’re adjusting too.
Another option is to consider buying or renting maternity clothing in smaller size. These clothes tend to be comfortable and work well as you’re adjusting to a changing body that’s still going through lots of shifts!
Give yourself time to find your “new” center. Your body has done so much, and you can honor it by being open to dressing it in new ways that suit it. Above all, have fun with it! Dressing should be fun, and fashion can be enjoyable for every body!
(And remember: elastic has a shelf life! If you’re maternity pants aren’t working any more….it might be time for them to go!)
To Spanx, or Not to Spanx??
Around minute 23 Judith and I go deep on….
If you’ve tried using Spanx to fix your body image problems…or if you’ve ever worn them and wondered if it’s “bad” to do so….or if you LOVE your Spanx and feel like a queen when you put it on…you need to listen in to this episode! Remember that fashion is for every body, and you don’t “need” Spanx for that to be true for you!
(Biggest take away? TALK to yourself! Be real. Be open. See what you learn.)