I’m amazed about how much of our lives are guided by rules and principles and measurements that don’t serve us well. Here are a few examples and some lessons we can learn.

I went shopping for a new outfit for Pesach.

Admittedly, I don’t actually know what size clothing I wear, so it made for an interesting adventure.

I picked a few dresses off the rack in the first store in the largest size they had.

Sidebar: for those of you who know me in real life, I’m fairly tall and have a medium sized frame, so the largest size *should* fit, and with plenty of room.

Alas, when trying them on I couldn’t even get my arms into the dresses, let alone get them over my head.

Lesson #1 with clothing shopping: before looking in the mirror, feel yourself in the clothing. Can you move? Does it feel too restrictive and uncomfortable? No need to look in the mirror for a potentially triggering situation if the clothing is a no-go anyway.

I walked out of that store pretty quickly and moved on to the next one. If their largest didn’t fit I was wasting my time.

In the next store found a few dresses I liked and proceeded to try them on.

Amazingly, in this store, I tried on the exact same size as in the last and not only did my arms slide right in, I could even close the zipper!

Lesson #2 with clothing shopping: sizes are inconsistent from store to store. The size on the clothing is *just* a number, and not representative of your actual size or value as a human being.

I moved around in each one before looking in the mirror. Did it feel good? If yes, I stepped out of the dressing room to look in the mirror. If not, I nixed it and tried the next dress.

There were two dresses that fit the first criteria of feeling good, so I stepped out to see how they looked on me.

Dress #1 fit nicely but I wasn’t crazy about the pattern, so I nixed it.

Lesson #3 with clothing shopping: don’t settle for a dress because it fits. It may take time but there is a dress out there that you’ll be crazy about. You are worth it.

Dress #2 was a bit snug.

For those of you not “in the know”, snug means that if I would just “exercise consistently every single day until Pesach and watch what I ate and maybe wear a girdle” I could make it work.

Yep, those sneaky diet thoughts pop into my head, too.

Lesson #4 with clothing shopping: buy clothing that fits the body you have right now. Our bodies are a gift. Dressing them in clothing that fits comfortably is a way of treating our bodies with the respect they deserve. When we wear clothing that feels too tight it forces us to focus on all the parts of our bodies we don’t like. However, when we wear clothing that feels good, we feel better.

It took some time and a few shops but I found something I love that makes me feel great.

Intrigued? Plan to try 1 or more of the tips above next time you go shopping for new clothing. You might just find it incredibly liberating. (Liberating, Pesach…get it? 😉 )

Want more accountability? Comment below and let me know how this exercise went for you.