Raise your hand if you can relate: You’re in the dressing room and everything feels wrong. The clothes that looked so great on the rack don’t flatter your body and the harsh, fluorescent lights accentuate every roll, wrinkle and bump. Before you know it, you’re stuck in a vicious cycle of negative thoughts about your appearance.
Jess Pack, 26, had a similar dressing room experience recently, and she decided to turn the frustrating moment into something positive.
Pack, a Florida-based author and life coach, posted an inspiring message about body positivity on Instagram, accompanied by photos of herself looking happy, confident and strong.
“So today was an unsuccessful shopping day,” she began. “Nothing fit. Terrible dressing room lighting made me feel lumpy and squishier than normal.”
But Pack was determined to conquer these insecure feelings.
“I refuse to let a bad shopping experience lower my self esteem and worth because I know I've worked hard and continually fight everyday to be better than those demons,” she wrote. “How do you combat these negative thoughts? You put on an outfit you know you can rock the hell out of and you just embrace yourself as you are in this moment.”
“Never let something like cellulite or muffin top or a bad shopping experience make you feel less of yourself,” she added. “Those things do not define you unless you let them.”
Pack regularly shares body-positive messages like this with the nearly 150,000 followers of her Instagram page, @plankingforpizza.
Pack has always been very open and vulnerable with her fans about the ups and downs of her own fitness and health journey.
Pack’s dressing room post, in particular, struck a chord with her supporters.
“The caption made me feel so happy. Thank you,” one user commented.
“I might just read it as a reminder every day,” another wrote.
Pack said she opened up publicly about her dressing room experience to help other women understand that they’re not the only ones who deal with body image struggles while trying on clothes.
“In sharing it, I think it helped a lot of other women start to embrace themselves and really knowing that they’re not alone,” Pack told TODAY. “We all have these low moments.”
She added that when she feels insecure in the dressing room, she reminds herself that her value isn’t measured by which clothes fit or don’t fit.
“I always just try to remind myself that, like, right, these pants aren’t fitting, but that doesn’t define me,” she told TODAY. “What defines me is how I treat myself, how I treat others."
She shared some words of advice for women battling body image demons in the changing room.
“Remind yourself of the positive things you have happening in your life, and remind yourself of something good you’ve done or something you like about yourself,” she said. “Redirect that negative into something more positive."