Yesterday, I purged my closet. Over the last year, I donated a few pieces of clothing here and there, but this big purge was something I knew I had to face at some point. My dresses, skirts, and tops have always been quite forgiving, but I had put off trying on my pants and shorts for a long time. Because of my insecurity about the current amount of padding on my stomach, I knew that going through them would be something to tackle only when I was mentally ready. Well, I decided that yesterday was that day. Knowing that I had to try on every single pair of pants and shorts didn’t fill me with dread, but I wasn’t exactly anxiety-free.
Two things prompted me to get my act together and go through my closet. First, I have finally found my natural weight and have been at this point for a while now. I feel like I can part with any clothes that don’t fit because, if they don’t fit now, then they won’t fit in a month. Second, I got a postcard from a local Vietnam Veteran’s organization requesting donations. My father fought in that war and I decided that this was a cause I wasted to support. This combination felt right to me, so I took a deep breath and began rifling through my closet.
Because most of my pants were purchased before the peak of my eating disorder, they were loose when I was at my lowest weight. Putting on a few healthy pounds brought me back to the point where most of my pants felt good on my body.1 Sure, a few thoughts flitted through my mind about how thin I used to feel with loose clothing, but I banished them right away.
My donation pile was composed of quite a few items, but two held extraordinary meaning for me.
- I had kept a pair of shorts from when I was bigger to keep me motivated to stay at a low weight. Though they are still quite loose on me since I was above my natural weight when I purchased them, I feel they represent my dieting life and the horrors that went along with it. I truly believed that I would have been a failure if I ever fit into those shorts again. That no longer is the case. I simply see them as shorts that don’t fit.
- I put off trying on a specific pair of pants until the end. This was a pair that I had bought when I was pretty much at my lowest weight, so I was expecting them to not fit very well. I was going back and forth for a while because, while I could button them, they were confining around my stomach and thighs. After a few moments of internal conflict, I decided that if they didn’t feel comfortable, then I wouldn’t keep them. I triumphantly tossed them into my donation pile. This was a remarkable moment for me because I absolutely loved the cut and color of those pants, but I knew in my heart we had to part ways.
As I reflect on those two points, I realize how attached I was to these particular items. And it makes sense. My self-worth used to be wrapped up into whether or not I fit into them. Recognizing the significance of this donation reinforced for me my worth beyond the size my pants.
I’m proud of myself for putting on my big-girl pants, so to speak, and completing the task of purging my closet. By letting go of these items that no longer serve me, I have released yet another link to my eating disordered past. From this point on, I vow to wear clothes that make me feel good because clothes are supposed to fit my body and not the other way around.
How do you feel when you get rid of clothes that used to fit? Please share in the comment section below.
1And I think I look darn good too!
Thank you so much for reading my blog! I am honored that you chose to read about my experience. As a certified intuitive eating counselor, I offer online group support services through Zoom. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or go directly to my Online Group Support page for more information.
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