Dressing for a changing body

A big fear for me when I was approaching ostomy surgery was whether or not I would find myself attractive after. I had struggled with body dysmorphia for most of my life and was concerned I would hate my stoma and ostomy bag. I feared having new scars.

It was a welcome surprise when I realized I felt more comfortable with my body than I ever had before the surgery. I celebrated my body and all it had accomplished. I found beauty, strength, and hope in my scars.

One thing that did have to change, however, were my clothes! I could no longer wear tight fitting shirts across my stomach. I felt uncomfortable wearing constricting pants around my waist for months after surgery.

Even though I felt confident in my body, I felt self-conscious about my wardrobe.

I started researching ideas on styles of clothes that would not accentuate my abdomen but would still show off my curves. I found that high-waisted pants were best at this. Honestly, paired with a really wide and sturdy pair of high-waisted underwear my bag disappears. For the first two months post-op I only wore yoga pants with a sturdy waistband. Slowly I was able to start adding jeans and tougher materials. But for the benefit of covering my bag I have continued to purchase high-waisted only.

If you are experiencing a change in your body, I encourage you to embrace it. I have experienced weight changes throughout quarantine. With adjustments in my styling (and attitude) I have not feared the weight gain. I have finally reached a place of self-confidence and empowerment.

If you are shopping for new styles after a change in your body, I suggest you try on lots of different outfits and combinations. I started choosing items I had never picked before, like crops tops, and loved them. I now own several. I have grown to be comfortable enough to let my ostomy bag show. I dare you to be courageous and bold in your looks too!

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