Maribeth Wilder Doerr

Shades of Healing ~ Creating a Wholehearted Life

Disastrous Bra Shopping or Not?

on July 29, 2010
The scarf

Don't tell me you were expecting a picture of bras. This is THE scarf. Yum!

As crazy as my current schedule is, I rarely have time (or the inclination) for clothes shopping.  To say I’ve gained weight in the last few years is putting it mildly but at my age (I’ll admit it – I’m 51), I’m more concerned about feeling healthy and joyful rather than slim and trendy.  I used to be that chic girl, took pride in it, enjoyed the attention, and finally (T-G) realized that there was so very much more to life.

Let’s cut to the chase . . . in complete honesty, I need new bras.  My puppy stole one from the dirty clothes bin and destroyed the straps, and of course, it was my favorite one.  I ordered one from JCPenneys which has been dubbed large Marge and it freaks me out to even look at it let alone squeeze the girls into such a position.  The rest of my stash are worn out, falling apart – horrible.

As I dashed off for a round of work at my local Starbucks while my hubby did his turn with the puppy care, I decided to brave the emotions and stopped off for a bit of shopping.  I pick out several, entered the dressing room . . . UGH!  I knew what my naked body would look like in those dressing rooms (and this was a very pretty room) but it’s still a shock.  That nasty voice pops up . . . HOW COULD YOU LET YOURSELF GET LIKE THIS?  I pushed it away, left the dressing room and went into the “curvy” section for another attempt.  Trust me, I’ve never needed “curvy” bras in my life so this was something new.

I went back to the dressing room and subjected myself to the same shame.  Inner critic pops up and wonders why I couldn’t have been a 38C when I was 118 lbs.  Shut up bitch! Inner logic steps to the plate, and whispers, “If you were braver, you could ask one of the fitting specialists to help.”  But I wasn’t brave – not today anyway.  I felt disgusted more than anything.  I told the nasty voices to BACK OFF and left the store.

Tears hit me in the car.  My brain was going through a series of diets and exercise plans I had to jump into immediately.  By the time I got to Starbucks, I reminded myself that all I need to do is eat healthfully and mindfully – instead of emotionally.  I don’t have to count calories and fat grams or do 3 FIRM workouts a day . . . It’s not about the pounds; it’s how I feel physically that counts.  Do I feel healthy?  No, not really . . .

I know exactly what to do to regain my fitness, but my past patterns always come back to haunt me.  When it comes to that mind-body-spirit connection, I focus to the point of obsession on just one of those areas making the other two just languish from lack of attention.  What I need to master is the art of treating them all as one (ME!) instead of parts of the whole.

At any given time, I think one will be stronger than the others but not to the point of taking over.  With a flexible loving heart, these three areas will ebb and flow with each other, and this needs to be my focus – not the popular diet of the week.

As I got out of my car, I felt a lot better.  I even smiled . . . and when I looked up, I saw a lovely scarf in my new favorite color swaying in the breeze of the upscale store next to Starbucks.  I walked up to it, and it hit me that I WANTED it.   I looked at the price tag and it was only $18.  That was probably the lowest priced item in the store – maybe even a mistake.  I took it off the rack and walked in.  The posh sales clerks looked at me, and I instantly thought of Julia Roberts trying to buy a dinner dress on Rodeo Drive in Pretty Woman.  I was wearing a cheap t-shirt that has one unstitched sleeve and toothpaste stains on the front.  I simply smiled and told the ladies I saw the scarf outside and HAD to have it.  They didn’t ask me to leave 🙂

Did the impulsive purchase make up for the disastrous bra shopping?  No.  To me, the universe was smiling and sharing a hug with a tender heart.  I still love Mari, rolls of chub hanging over her bra straps and all.  But eating better and being more consistent with my exercise would do my body – and my mind and spirit – a world of good.


14 responses to “Disastrous Bra Shopping or Not?

  1. Bridget says:

    Bra shopping is the worst, and the very worst part is the fluorescent lighting. We all look like the walking dead in the dressing room!
    I laughed out loud at Large Marge. I have one of those bras. It looks like it should be on the front of an airplane nose. Horrible thing!
    Really happy that the universe had that scarf waiting for you in the window. You’re beautiful Mari, inside and out.


  2. kelly carrico says:

    I feel your pain Maribeth. But while on vacation, my daughter talked me into a bra fitting and I was delighted to find out that all this time I have been squeezing my puppies into a bra that was 1 cup size to small. I celebrated by buying a new bra, so maybe you should try the bra fitting specialist. They really made me feel better about myself. Love you bunches


  3. Patty K says:

    Oh. I can so relate to this. I *hate* shopping for clothes…and especially bras. Dressing rooms. Icky lighting. Horrible mirrors. And yeah, all the body image stuff that comes up. UGH. (I solved this particular problem by deciding to wear pajamas ALL of the time.)

    Thank you for sharing. Love this post. Looking forward to reading more. 🙂


  4. Karen says:

    Maribeth-I read about your blog on the Cafe. Oh my goodness-this is great !
    Yes-I’ve been there,and am there! I really need a new bra right now and am dreading the 3 way mirrors that show every roll of fat,and lighting that makes me look like a zombie (albeit a plump one) Think I’ll go to Nordstrom’s & have them remeasure & suggest a good style. But I may end up buying it somewhere cheaper online.
    And remember way back when I wore 34B & dreamed of a big chest!
    I just thought -the scarf was waiting for you-the universe reminding you of your innately beautiful, divine , sensual self ,that the bra experience “whacked”.
    How cool is that ?!!


    • Karen – I finally went to Marshall’s, picked 3 off the rack and both them without trying them on. To my horror, the check out clerk was an older man that looked like my father-in-law. No way out of the line so I bought them. And guess what? Everyone of them fits like a dream. I’m happy! ♥

      And I smile every time I look at my scarf!


  5. NayNay says:

    I can so relate to this! I am right smack dab in the middle between two sizes, confirmed by a professional fitting. I keep thinking I will lose the last 15 pounds and get in the smaller one, but so far it hasn’t happened. 😦


    • Oh those last 15 are hard. Oh hell, who am I kidding, every pound is hard. We’ll get there NayNay. I just have to make a commitment to myself and use self trust to see it through. I’ve done it twice before and I just have a zillion reasons for not doing it again. Dragon voices you know!


  6. Ohmyword, how this post resonated with me! Love how honest you are here, how open and real — and how LOVING. This really touched me – and I’m sooooo glad the universe had that scarf waiting for you –right in plain sight – how wonderful (it’s a beauty of a scarf!!).


    • The scarf continues to delight me Karen, and it reminds me of a crummy shopping experience that really wasn’t so awful at the end of the day – that when we’re open to surprises, we can be delighted in so many unexpected ways. ♥


  7. Caryl says:

    Mari, I love the idea of balancing the attention one gives to mind, body, and spirit. So simple, yet so hard. And that scarf is gorgeous! Perfect for you.


  8. Paula says:

    Maribeth—love your blog and your writing—and I’ve been there too with my shopping for “the girls”! Found you via Jill’s writing club and so glad I did—your words are inspiring and really make me smile and remind me to be gentle with myself (different details, but we share a lot of the same stories)—thank you for writing yours!


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