Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Fat Girl's Wardrobe

Wow, yes, another gorgeous sunset to end our day yesterday. I feel very fortunate that I get to enjoy them so frequently. Our street is one big hill, and our house sits almost to the top while the sun sets towards the bottom of the hill. It gives me unimpeded views every evening, and one of the things in life that makes me feel at peace is a sunset and the slow warmth of the sky afterward.

So here is the post I was not certain I wanted to make, because to me it's embarrassing, but it's something I feel like someone else out there will relate to I hope. The photos are at the bottom, but please don't scroll down until you read my story.

When we moved into the house, the master bedroom closet only had one measly wire shelf in it. I looked at my husband and said "You've got to be kidding me!" His first project after we moved in was that closet. Folks, he did a spectacular job of installing a lot of shelves, a new (brighter) light fixture, and even bought a few storage cabinets for stuff like my makeup, lotions, etc., so they wouldn't hog up the bathroom. He did a wonderful job, and I am so thankful for him in so many ways. As family and friends came to visit us in our new home James, and rightfully so, wanted to show off his handiwork. As for me, I was thoroughly embarrassed to have even family members in my closet because I knew what everyone's reaction would be. See, I have a lot of clothes, way too many for one person.

Like many people who have struggled with their weight all their lives, the number on the scale has gone up and down, up and down, and when it goes up it seems to get higher each time. In my closet I have sizes ranging from 24 to 12, 3X to just a regular large. I've got clothes in there with tags still hanging on them, because when I bought them I thought wow, if I lose five more pounds these pants will fit. But I would never lose the five pounds. I've even got clothes in there my skinny sister gave me several years ago that she wore when she was pregnant (not "maternity" clothes- just a bigger size for her), and even those are way too small for me but they are nice pieces and very dressy, so I wanted to save them as well.

I get angry with myself knowing that in 2003 I went from my biggest size, down to my smallest, and within a few years I went right back up to my biggest again. Nonetheless, those smaller clothes- not to mention my collection of cute Victoria's Secret bras and lingerie that I was wearing when James and I were first dating (sorry dad)- are all still in my closet. I've clung to them hoping that one day I will be back down in a 12.

I do quite often give clothes to Goodwill, in fact several times a year I fill up a bag or box and take over to them, but that is because I keep getting heavier and I need to buy larger clothes. I gave them several boxes of clothes right before we moved. At the last house, the closet was smaller, and a lot of my "small" size clothes were boxed up under the bed. One afternoon James and I went through EVERY piece of clothing I owned and together decided to "keep" or "donate". It was eye-opening for me when he would tell me he really didn't like a particular item on me, or he felt it didn't fit properly. It was interesting to see "me" and the way I looked through someone else's eyes, but I appreciated the opportunity. And his honesty.

So below is my closet, with all my clothes. Most of you will say OMG! Or others will think, damn she's a diva or, how dare she live to such excess. The truth of the matter is, a lot of those clothes are several years old, and I can only fit into about 5-10% of what you see. The rest is too small, and I keep telling myself to hang onto it all because as I lose weight, I will have an instant wardrobe instead of having to go out and buy new clothes. My husband says to get rid of it all. Not that he doesn't believe I will lose weight, I just think he thinks I'm being a bit silly. I am a 2X right now, probably I could fit into a 1X but I like my clothes a little baggy, thinking it hides my fatness. Besides, I haven't worn tight jeans since I was 19.

I am not posting these photos to show off by any means, I am posting them to show how sorry and pitiful I am!! It is probably time to go through everything again and make a run to Goodwill. I have to be sensible and say that I will be 43 this year, and even if I lose back down to a size 12, am I really going to want to wear those items I wore six years ago? Probably not. I am torn between trying to be practical by saving future money, and realistic that I don't need the clothes right now while someone else out there does. It has been on my mind a lot lately, and I think I am coming to the decision that it would make more of a difference in the life of someone who needs clothes and can wear them now.

Any negative comment that someone wants to make here, trust me, I've already said it to myself.


  1. I spy some Vera Bradley bags - love them! I even have one in the "Maggie" pattern! Oh, but that isn't what your post is about...sorry, I got distracted. :)

    My take? Yeah, that is a lot of clothes. If it makes you feel bad to look at them, then donate most.

    And really, when you get back down to a smaller size, you probably are going to want to reward yourself with some new, stylish clothes.

    Consider giving yourself a fresh start - it may be really freeing to get rid of so much excess.

    Thanks for being so open - I know it was hard for you.

  2. I think that is my husband's point- when that time comes, go get new clothes instead of re-wearing stuff from 2003. And yes, having that much stuff in my closet, whether old or new, is embarrassing. I am a packrat at heart, but I know that is overkill. Especially in this economy, there are so many people without. Yes, it is time to donate.

    Yes, I love VB too...a lot of it is gifts from my great mom and sis...

  3. Get rid of it! You're right - in this economy, there are many who need what you're not wearing more than you do. Then your closet will look like mine - shelves void of clothing with cute black kitties napping on them. :)

    And I agree, when you get to the weight you want, you'll deserve to reward yourself with some new outfits.

    Good luck!

  4. Lisa, you are right. If I am spending so much time and effort to get my art supplies in order, I need to do the same to my closet, and give back to my community to boot. And despite all the junk in my closet, my kitties still find a way to get into trouble in there- mostly playing with bows and string ties hanging down.

    I think I just had to do this post so I could hear other people tell me to let go of it all.

  5. Been there, done that!! I hung on to a lot of clothes for the longest time. Hoping and waiting to fit into them again. And "just in case" I went back to work... Finally donated them. when the weight came off, I got new ones!! Not a ton of new ones, but new ones in the current styles! I'm happier for it, and someone else got the benefit of my donation.

  6. Just as a follow up to this post- we now have a laundry basket in the closet where we've both already started putting clothes in there for Goodwill. Thanks for the comments, it really helped me decide on what to do.