I Did Something I’ve Never Done Before

Recently I did something brand-new (for me, anyway). Was it sky diving? Swimming with sharks? Parasailing? Nope. Something much more mundane and less dramatic, yet no less thrilling.

I got rid of too-small clothes.

There have been many times in my life I have held onto clothing for “when I get smaller.” I hold on to this clothing intentionally, thinking they will motivate me to live healthier and lose weight.

However, as much as that line of thinking might seem logical, that’s not the way it ever works for me. Instead of acting as inspiration for good, the too-small clothes keep me dwelling on the past and the future, not the present. I think about when last they fit me, I dream about the things I will do and accomplish when I lose the weight and can wear them again. Far from keeping me accountable in the present, they provide a way for me to escape from my current circumstances and not make necessary changes. In fact, there is research showing people often feel just as good imagining positive change as they do after they have actually made the changes for themselves. While this might provide a temporary nice feeling and positive mood, it can seriously sabotage your goals.

The more I looked at those clothes hanging there, the more they seemed to be mocking me. The more my depression, anxiety, and self-loathing grew. Bagging them to be given away, I noticed I didn’t even like a lot of those clothes anymore. My style had shifted over the years without my realizing it. I looked at what resulted from certain spontaneous clothing purchases and simply shook my head. My style is much more classic and minimalistic now.

I know that I am not alone and that many people (especially women) hold on to clothes the way I did, dreaming of “some day.” But I would challenge them to let go and experience how freeing it is. I now live in reality, fully accepting and acknowledgng my body as it currently is, even while committing to make changes going forward.