If I were to take a quick look in your closet today what would I find? Do you have three or more complete sets of clothes? Are they “today’s size” clothes, “yesterday’s size” clothes, and “way in the past size” clothes? If you do have such a collection in your closet, I can think of a couple of reasons why. Either you hate to give or throw old clothes away, or you are a saver. I fell into the second category. I was a confessed saver.
Like a lot of you, as my weight changed over the years, I outgrew clothes. And unlike my 5 boys, who are outgrowing their clothes at an unbelievable pace, I outgrew my clothes because I was growing out. I grew out and out and out. And although my closet didn’t change physical size, the interior grew fuller and fuller. You see, as my weight ballooned, I began to find myself unable to part with the clothes that used to fit. As I bought new clothes that did fit I just moved the smaller clothes to the side. Then as I grew some more, the clothes that didn’t fit began to take up a larger portion of my closet than the clothes that did fit. It was getting crowded in that closet! Does any of this sound familiar to you?
After being obese for about 5 years even I had to admit to myself that even if I ever did fit into my smaller clothes again, they were so hopelessly out of date that I wouldn’t wear them even if I could fit in them. So in the 1995, I weeded through my closet. If you can believe it though, I still didn’t get rid of all the smaller sized clothes. Oh no, I kept the ones that I just wasn’t ready to part with. The ones I might wear again. Like the lovely orange and yellow plaid dress with the white collar, the royal blue suit, and the black and white polka dotted jumper. But at least I had pared it down.
When my weight loss strategy finally started being successful, I made a difficult decision. I decided that as I outgrew my clothes this time, I was going to give them to charity. I understood that as I lost weight, if I knew there were still bigger clothes in the closet “just in case,“ I may be tempted to let my weight creep back up knowing I had clothes that would fit. It was hard for me to get rid of that safety net. When I had lost weight in the past, and had some success, I never got rid of anything. And when I gained my weight back, there were my clothes welcoming me back to size 28 land.
So as I went from a size 28 to 24, I gave away the bigger clothes, and bought a few things in the new size. This continued through the 14 months I lost weight. There were times when my clothes were so loose that John was begging me to buy just a few outfits to “tide me over.” It was both a freeing and a frightening feeling to take the bigger clothes to Goodwill. It was freeing that I was releasing myself from that size, and frightening to know I didn’t have a safety net anymore.
Psychologically, it was invaluable. I was not only moving on with my physical weight in a positive direction, I was also moving forward in my mind. By shedding myself of the “big girl” clothes, I was helping shed my “big girl” self image. When I reached my goal weight and size, I was able to look in the closet and see clothes that fit, clothes I liked, and clothes that didn’t carry any negative associations.
I want to encourage you to look in your closet today. Do you have old clothes that you need to pass on? Have you lost weight and are afraid to get rid of the bigger clothes? Is your closet just overfull? If so, use this week to shed some clothing pounds and move forward with your goals. Diane
P.S. Today is Livestrong Day, the day which coincides with Lance Armstrong’s cancer diagnosis. Jody – Fit at 51 has a post up about a movement among food bloggers to raise awareness.