This picture was taken at Christmas of 1989, right before I got pregnant with my oldest daughter. This was also right before I began my journey into obesity – starting with a 75 pound weight gain over the next nine months. I got this lovely, orange and yellow plaid dress for Christmas. As you can see from the look on my face I loved it a lot. I could only wear it for a short time though because I gained 20 pounds in the first trimester of my pregnancy.
After my daughter was born, I weighed about 260 pounds and there was no way that size 12 dress was going to fit. I admit to trying it on and getting a bit sad that I couldn’t even get my shoulders and arms into the dress. I pushed the dress to the side of my closet – keeping the maternity clothes front and center. That dress stayed in my closet for years. I moved the dress from one house to the next, just “knowing” that I was going to be able to wear it again.
I looked longingly at the dress for several years. My weight ballooned up to 300 pounds and the dress (and others like it) got pushed farther to the edges of my closet and my mind. Sometimes I’d pull all those clothes I was hanging onto out of my closet and look at them. I just couldn’t imagine I’d ever be able to fit in them again. They seemed impossibly small when I held them up to my big self in front of the mirror. Truthfully, I held up that dress and my hips, shoulders and thighs were all clearly visible on both sides of the dress. But still – I kept it.
After I lost 158 pounds that dress was too big for me. That was a happy day, but within that happiness was a sadness when I realized that I had held onto all those dresses, pants and shirts so long that the styles had come and gone. I had missed entire eras of fashion – some good and some bad.
I read a quote today from Peter Walsh, author of “Does This Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat?” He said:
You should have only three types of clothes in your closet — clothes that fit you, clothes you love, and clothes that always bring you compliments.
I wish I had heard that when I was struggling with obesity. I kept clothes that didn’t fit, clothes I didn’t love, and clothes that no one ever complimented. And keeping those clothes made me feel bad, unorganized and cluttered.
Here’s my philosophy now on keeping clothes that don’t fit you. If you are on your way down the scale, save one or two big clothes to remember how far you have come. Donate, throw away or give away clothes that don’t fit you and are no longer flattering. Keeping old clothes often times either gives you something to fall back on or something to “beat yourself up” over.
Do you have old, out of date clothes hanging in your closet? What are you going to do with them? Diane