Clothing: My Body’s Judge

photo credit: Slurpiesandstraws via flickr.com

I stared at 6 garbage bags, feeling a sense of completion, yet also a sense of defeat; those 6 bags held some of my greatest fears, aspirations, and failures. It made me question the difference between letting go for your own sanity and giving up the fight. Was this a new beginning, or the beginning of the end?

For fuck’s sake Charlotte, they’re just clothes.

Everyone’s first thought of the morning is probably of the day ahead; maybe it’s hopeful and filled with good news, or maybe it’s a moment of dread as you know a tough challenge is ahead. For me, it’s always the latter, because the hardest part of the day for me is often getting dressed.

There used to be a time where figuring out what to wear was only as complicated as putting together an outfit that I liked. Any women will tell you that’s not exactly an easy process in itself, but throw in the question of “will this even fit?” and your morning routine doubles.

In the past few years, I’ve been through 3 breakups, lost my job to begin working from home (where I live alone), had minimal money to regularly buy healthy food, and lost my easy access to any decent gym. All that unsupervised time to sit and eat (and sometimes dwell) has caught up with me, and I’m happy to say that soon this won’t be an issue for much longer, but it’s currently my present. I don’t blame anyone but myself, but the blame isn’t actually that strong; I don’t look in the mirror and think “how could I let this happen”, which I think is a good, if not surprising, mentality to have. Instead I look at my entire living room closet (yes, my living room has a closet) and see evidence. Evidence of pizza and nights of Netflix, evidence of living off ramen because it’s cheap, and even evidence of eating too much healthy food because, after all, it’s “healthy”! And all that evidence is hidden away in an unused closet, as a barely cloaked metaphor for my own shame.

I’ve held onto all those clothes for the last 3 years thinking, “just a couple pounds and these’ll fit like new”, but as I’ve collected more clothes that fit me “just until I lose those pounds”, I’ve collected more clothes that don’t fit. The closet has become a physical manifestation of who I used to be, and the skeleton in my closet is really more of a poly-cotton blend.*

So, I’m moving. And I can’t conceivably take a closet full of unwearable clothes with me, not when I’m moving in with another human being who, annoyingly enough, also wears clothes. I didn’t even pick and choose my favourites, I just grabbed everything that didn’t fit or I didn’t love, and tossed it into a pile. I Bunz-ed and sold what I could within the 2 days I allowed for myself, and the rest went to Value Village. I acted swiftly, so my brain couldn’t figure out what I was doing and couldn’t calculate how much money (or hope) I was throwing away.

I always said that I’d keep those clothes for when I lost weight and could fit into them again, but not anymore. Fitting into old clothes wouldn’t have provided a fresh start, even if I did lose the weight. It would have been early mornings in old jeans thinking “these still fit me better a few years ago” and thinking I’d never done enough.

For now, this is my body. I have clothes that fit, and that’s all I need. I have every intention of getting healthier and feeling more comfortable in my own skin in the very near future, but holding onto what I was and what I used to weigh will only hold me back. This is my fresh start, and this is me.

*Writer’s Note: talking about a closet full of shameful clothes writes A LOT of metaphors for itself.

Photo credit: Slurpiesandstraws via flickr.com

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