The worst thing that you can do is lie to yourself. Retailers would like to help us remain in a state of denial about our ever-expanding waistlines.
I went to buy a new pair of Levis. Yep, I still wear 501 button fly jeans. I will always be a Levi girl. However, I move on. I have been the same size for as long as I can remember, but today my size 10 is now a size 4. Come on, give me a break. How did this happen? Moreover, I am not the only one that has noticed. This is a excerpt from an article I read. I couldn’t believe it.
It’s simple, actually. We don’t like facing up to the fact that we’re becoming fatter by the minute, and most of us don’t particularly like buying “fat clothes”. We’d prefer not to notice that those size 8 dresses that used to fit no longer do, or that when we try on those 32″ waist jeans that used to fit so well, they now feel like they were made for just one of our legs.
Retailers noticed and they have a solution.
They changed the sizes.
“In recent years”, writes Elizabeth Landau on CNN.com, “brands from the luxury names to the mass retail chains have scaled down the size labels on their clothing”. “You may actually be a size 14, and, according to whatever particular store you’re in, you come out a size 10” says Natalie Nixon, associate professor of fashion industry management at Philadelphia University.
“Fat” is the new “normal”.
Interestingly, women tended to have a slightly more realistic perception of themselves, but this may not reflect “healthy body image” campaigns. Rather, according to physician nutrition specialist Dr. Melina Jampolis, it’s the relative increase in weight of the general population that makes people with high BMI feel more normal.
But feeling normal while being overweight- which seems to be the trend- may decrease a person’s motivation to lose weight in the first place. And retailers subtly changing the size so that you don’t “notice” that you’re now a couple sizes larger than you were a few years ago, isn’t exactly a good reality check. In fact, it helps keep everyone in denial. It’s kind of like grading on a curve in school- if everyone in the class is getting 5 out of 10 questions wrong, the person scoring 6 right gets an A.
When it comes to weight, this kind of thinking doesn’t do anyone any good. Smoking “only” a pack a day isn’t any less of a health risk just because everyone around you is smoking 2 packs!
Weight loss may be one of the most challenging undertakings most of us can think of, but daunting or not, it’s one of the best things we can do for our health, our well-being, our energy and our longevity.
The problem is, most of us see “dieting” only in terms of calories. Changing your lifestyle choices is a much deeper, more permanent (and more profoundly meaningful) enterprise, and it’s about a lot more than just gritting your teeth and pushing away that second portion of dessert.