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The Safety Net of the Just-In-Case Wardrobe

Posted Aug 03 2012 5:25am
 

These were the only items of clothing I kept as I lost weight.

If you were to invite me into your home and I took a peek into your closet, how many sets of clothing would I find?

Do you have “fits now” clothing, “may fit someday”,” and “used to fit before I lost weight” clothing items? If you do have three sets of clothing in your closet I can think of a few reasons why right off the top of my head.

I was a saver. As my weight increased after I got married I understandably outgrew most of my clothes. After I had been married a few years, I sadly realized that I couldn’t zip up my suit skirts, button my jeans, or even tug on some of my dresses.

Interestingly, although the space I had in my closet did not change, but my closet got more and more full. You see, as my weight increased dramatically, I found myself unwilling to give up my smaller sizes clothes. So as I bought new clothes that fit my larger frame, I just moved the small pants and skirts over to the side. Then as I gained more weight I continued to repeat the process.

It was getting really crowded in that small closet. Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

After being obese for about 5 years , from about 1987 to 1992, even I had to admit to myself that even if I could ever squeeze into that size 10 suit again, it was so out of date and out of fashion that I probably wouldn’t wear it ever again.

It took me until about 1995 to weed through my closet. I know this sounds crazy, but I still wasn’t quite able to part with all of those smaller sized clothes. There were some that I just had an emotional attachment to and could not seem to get rid of. Well, I reasoned, at least I had pared down the number of clothes that did not fit me, even if I did not get rid of all of them.

When my weight loss strategy finally started being successful, I made a difficult decision. I committed to myself that as I outgrew clothes I was going to ditch them. I understood that as I lost weight, if I knew there were still bigger clothes in the closet my “just in case,” wardrobe, I might be tempted to not pay attention to my weight as closely because I knew I still had clothes that would fit even if I gained weight.

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 any item of clothing, and sadly, when I inevitably gained back those pounds I had lost, there my size 28 dresses were hanging – just waiting for me.

As I went from a size 28 to 24, I gave away the bigger clothes, and bought a few things (second hand) in the new size. I continued this practice as 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; however, it was invaluable. I was not only shedding physical weight, but I was moving forward emotionally. By shedding myself of the “fat Diane” clothes, I was helping shed my internal self-image of myself as an obese woman. 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 stigmas.

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 plain overfull? If so, use this weekend to shed some clothing pounds and move forward with your goals.

How are you at getting rid of old clothes that no longer fit? Can you see the benefits? Diane

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