Have you ever looked in your closet, seen a row (or even more) of clothes and thought to yourself “I have NOTHING to wear”? THIS has been plaguing me for a lifetime. Navigating my fluctuating weight through four different seasons a year and always needing to buy new clothes. It’s exhausting and expensive and I always feel like I have nothing to wear…mainly because the items from a year ago simply no longer fit (or do not fit properly).
After losing all the weight from 2011-2013, I maintained my smaller frame for a few years and didn’t really have a huge fluctuation again until 2017. From 2013-2016 I stayed relatively steady at the same size (by fighting tooth and nail) and it was the first (and only at this point) time in my life that I was not struggling with clothes. It was relatively easy to put together an outfit, feel comfortable and move on with my day. I was not dealing with the degree of body image issues then as I had in the past or do today.
As 2017 became 2018 and then 2019 etc, I was finding myself a different size each year. While I began buying new clothes, I was also saving my old clothes. In my head I kept saying “I’ll save these for when I lose the weight again” and each year that passed by, that collection of clothes grew larger while the selection of clothes I could ACTUALLY wear became much smaller.
This may sound crazy, but those “old” clothes felt important. Back then I still had so much hope that through whatever course of action I was taking (be it a Functional MD, new gut protocol, new exercise regime with an elimination diet…) that I was going to get back in those clothes sooner rather than later. While I was saying out loud that I would wear them again when I lost the weight, inside the true feeling was that of failure.
Again, to me those clothes were important. They represented a huge achievement in my life. Not necessarily that I was thinner, but that I felt healthy and “normal” for the first time in my life and I actually felt confident. I literally overhauled my life…total 180 and I was proud of myself. Those internal changes were reflected outside for the first time ever and to watch it slip away (even though I had not changed the internal work) was super frustrating.
Since my hysterectomy almost 3 years ago and being fed the lies of how my body would just bounce back and “release the weight”, I’ve had to do a different type of internal work. This time it wasn’t eating better, exercising or even healing physically…it was healing emotionally! Something that has helped is getting RID of the old clothes to make room for the new ones. Not only that, but also paying less attention to what size the clothes are and putting more attention on how they make me feel.
This is not easy and I honestly struggle with this on an almost daily basis…especially in the summer when more of our bodies are exposed. I can’t even count the amount of times I’ve cried in front of the mirror or inside my small closet out of pure defeat. BUT…this is where the closet clean out comes in. If you’ve seen Tidying Up with Marie Kondo on Netflix, she says that you should only keep things that spark joy! It’s exactly the thing you need to ask yourself when going through your clothes. Only keep the clothes that make you feel comfortable, confident and “spark joy” that way you’ll have a more positive experience.
If I’m being honest, this last year was a hard one for me personally in many ways and my body has absolutely taken the brunt of all the stress. Between gaining a little more weight (welcome back, double chin…), managing my business, the housing market still being crazy and us still not being able to buy a home, getting covid, the flu, developing post covid issues (hello extreme reflux issues) and my fibromyalgia being the worst ever…I’m ready for summer and I need a break!
My first step in entering these next two months is a closet clean out. The last thing I need while I’m trying to decompress and relax during the summer is unnecessary stress because of the clothes in my closet! It is crazy to think how something as simple as a pair of shorts can trigger someone into spiraling emotionally, but those shorts can expose a lot more than just your thighs. Clothing can 100% expose our feelings about ourselves on both a positive and negative side. So I ask you today, will you let them bring you down or lift you up? I choose the latter!
I’d love to hear if anyone else can relate or even does a closet clean out every year like me. Leave a comment and let me know! Happy Summer and see you next time, friends!