Today I did something I’ve been terrified of doing for months now: I tried on the clothes in my closet.
That sounds a little bit ridiculous. I mean, we’re supposed to wear those, right? I have a lot of clothes. I probably have inherited a bit of a hoarding problem from my parents to be honest. It’s hard for me to give things up. But, it’s even harder for me to face something else I’ve been experiencing lately, which is weight gain.
It’s on purpose. Sort of. I’m not trying to gain weight, but I am trying to stop obsessing about what I eat and repair my relationship with food. I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that my body’s natural size may be a few dozen pounds more than I thought, having dieted off and on for the last eight or so years.
It’s been a challenging process. Actually, it’s been kind of terrifying. The part where I get to eat whatever I want has been excellent. But having to face my closet- the clothes that don’t fit- or the stares of people who know you’ve gotten bigger but try not to let you know that they know has been really hard. It’s hard to let go. I’m a bit of a control freak, so it’s hard to let go of anything. But it’s especially hard to let go of control of my body. It’s hard for me to let myself be hungry or full naturally, to let my body decide what it needs to eat and when it wants to exercise.
Weirdly, it was a lot easier to just join Weight Watchers or count calories. It was rewarding- the numbers on the scale went down, you have a built in support system, everyone comments on how good you look. But it didn’t feel good. Being hungry all the time and being obsessed with deserts was not fun. Finishing crappy cookies because who knew when you’d allow yourself to eat sweets again was disturbing. Spending all of my brain power on what I was going to eat and when I was going to eat it was exhausting. And despite all of that, I still felt guilty about my body and how I looked.
I’m glad I’m not doing that any more, but not doing it is hard too.
Still, I went through my closet today. I got rid of some clothes for donation and made a second “just in case” pile (in case I do lose the weight naturally or in case I want to purchase the same or similar clothes in a larger size). It felt really freeing. I also discovered that there are a lot of clothes I love that still do fit. I put on one of my favorite shirts and it still looks good on me. Honestly, I was terrified that nothing would.
I may have to give up on some favorite clothing, on some special outfits I bought to wear at my wedding or engagement photo shoot, or costumes for LARPing, some of these which I wore once or not at all.
But this seems a small price to pay for feeling better about myself and about my body. Maybe when this quarantine is over, I’ll reward myself with a shopping spree!
It’s a shitty time right now, but never give up on yourself!