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SAY GOODBYE NOW!

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My clothes closet is hidden deep within the house. It’s a very small interior room, the one where we’d hide if a tornado came our way. I’m glad to have it, but for most of the time we’ve lived in this house, that closet has not been a place I enjoyed visiting. The not-so-secret evidence of obesity was hidden there – 10 sizes of clothing (from 24 on down) in “slimming” styles and colors – souvenirs of my many trips up and down the scale.

But unless you’re expecting a tornado, the closet is a lousy place to live. Let’s open the door, let the light shine in, and ask ourselves the $64 million dollar question: WHY ARE WE HANGING ON TO ALL THIS STUFF? Let’s grab a jumbo trash bag and get busy working on a Goodwill donation or a batch of goodies for the local consignment store. What, do I hear groaning?

The short fat girl who dwells inside me whines, “But we might need them again someday!”

LET ‘EM GO!

The other day, I cleaned out my clothes closet. I had done that before, about 6 months into my WLS journey, with great difficulty. I was fond of some of those outfits even though they could work as window drapery as well as clothing. I had spent a lot of money on my work wardrobe, to say nothing of the shoes. I feared that the instant those clothes were gone, I’d gain 50 or 75 or 100 pounds and need them all again. I had little faith that my post-op weight loss would be any more lasting than my weight loss had been in previous dieting attempts. Eventually I acquired enough new-to-me, smaller-size clothing that the closet was about to explode, so I made myself cull out the big stuff and haul it off to the Goodwill Store. Getting rid of it turned out to be a relief, and then of course I had the fun of filling up the closet with more clothes in smaller sizes. Back to the Goodwill Store I went...again and again.

In the 8 years following my WLS, I’ve dealt with some unexpected medical problems that led to band removal and a sleeve revision. While all that went on (and on, and on), I regained 30-35 pounds, and sizes 12 and 14 appeared in my closet again, followed all too closely by a few size 16’s. Eventually I lost that weight regain. When seasons changed and I hunted for something warm or cool to wear, I was delighted to find that most of that clothing was too big. I had nothing to wear!

That’s what I call a First World problem, something foolish to complain about when so many Third World people have little or no food, clothing or shelter. But…there’s no denying that morbid obesity is also serious problem, so I can’t bring myself to downplay my weight loss success. The weird part of this is that saying goodbye to the big stuff wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

You’d think that weeding out mountains of Goodwill donations would be a festive occasion, but my inner fat girl begged, “OK, get rid of the 14’s if you must, but please, please keep the 12’s! You never know!”

I’m happy to report that I managed to ignore her. In the past 4 years I’ve waved goodbye to the big sizes and welcomed back the small sizes. No, we never know for sure what’s going to happen in the future, what unexpected event will drive our weight back up or our weight management commitment back down. But we don’t need to see constant reminders of past failure, and we shouldn’t give space in our closets or our minds to the negative stuff that weighs us down and slows our forward footsteps.

So, whoever you are, whatever surgical procedure you had or will have, whatever your weight or clothing size is today, I challenge you to clean out your closet. Look at every single garment in there and ask yourself:

  1. does this fit my body now?
  2. does this fit my lifestyle now?
  3. is this required by law (state, federal, religious, or employer)?
  4. does this make me look and feel great?

Any garment that gets 2 or more “No” answers goes in the Goodbye Pile. Simple enough, isn’t it? No, it’s not easy. I go through this at every change of season and probably always will, because my inner fat girl will never forget what pre-op life was like. The only residents of my closet are one fat girl outfit (that I drag out and try on when I’m having a fat day) and way too many adorable size 4/XS outfits. Spring is (I pray) just around the corner here in Tennessee, so I’ve been trying on my warm weather clothing and cheerfully telling the rejects, “Goodbye!”



I love this! The project I've begun is sorting through clothing that I had grown out of in the past couple years, culling the "nope!" items and sorting the others by size so I've got some backups when I start shrinking postop. Today I'm assembling a covered closet rack up in our attic where I can hang it all so it will be easy to try on when the time comes. I'm really enjoying this, some of these items are old friends that I will enjoy being able to wear again for a while postop.

I'm also going through shoes and accessories and thinking of new combinations for things. I'm really enjoying the process. There is something very satisfying about taking better care of how I dress, even preop.

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So insightful, I was just looking at some clothes in my closet and they have to go!!! On board and am going to print this to literally hang in my closet!!!

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Shoes! I'd forgotten about shoes! Pre-op I wore size 8-8.5. Now I wear size 6.5-7. Too bad shoes are expensive. And I'm bit uncomfortable with wearing anything from Goodwill that can't be washed before I put it on.

You're smart to start to envision your future now. Health, lifestyle, relationships...so many things change as your weight goes down. And I'm glad to encounter someone who realizes the importance of taking good care of your appearance no matter what your body size. I think it's a sign of strength and good health (mental and physical). As a pre-op, I would tear off my work clothes the instant I came home (well, not that very instant...as soon as I got to the bedroom) and put on something from the loose, bland, I-don't-care-about-me, please-don't-stare-at-me wardrobe in my closet. You didn't have to ask me how I felt back then - you could see it in one glance.

I love this! The project I've begun is sorting through clothing that I had grown out of in the past couple years, culling the "nope!" items and sorting the others by size so I've got some backups when I start shrinking postop. Today I'm assembling a covered closet rack up in our attic where I can hang it all so it will be easy to try on when the time comes. I'm really enjoying this, some of these items are old friends that I will enjoy being able to wear again for a while postop.

I'm also going through shoes and accessories and thinking of new combinations for things. I'm really enjoying the process. There is something very satisfying about taking better care of how I dress, even preop.

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You're smart to start to envision your future now. Health, lifestyle, relationships...so many things change as your weight goes down. And I'm glad to encounter someone who realizes the importance of taking good care of your appearance no matter what your body size. I think it's a sign of strength and good health (mental and physical). ... You didn't have to ask me how I felt back then - you could see it in one glance.

The American Cancer Society has long understood the relationship between looking good and feeling good. They have a program called "Look Good, Feel Better" that partners with Cosmetologists and provides spa days and other services for women with cancer. I know I definitely feel much better about myself when I take the time to do my hair and makeup and accessorize on weekends and days I work from home.

It's a challenge during weight loss, but I'm determined to wear clothes that fit now. I've been lost in shapeless knits and elastic waistbands for too long, and I'm ready to look as good on the outside as I know I'm going to feel on the inside.

Edited by 2goldengirl

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Interestingly enough, my closet has several clothes that used to be 1-2 sizes too small. Now, those clothes are starting to fit. Due to not having an expansive wardrobe of the biggest sizes I'll wait to purge my closet until my save clothes no longer fit me.

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We moved about a year ago-husband and I both went through our closets asking similar questions. We tried on almost every item and decided if it was a keeper or something for the donation pile. We got rid of about 75% of our clothes. Note- I'm pre surgery so this wasn't due to weight loss but rather an effort for us to stop holding on to all of the "things" that clutter up the house/life. It was part of our effort to live more simply. My surgery is two weeks away, so I have almost no cushion of smaller clothes to wear. I'm so excited (and nervous) about what's coming and determined that even if I only have a few items to wear at a time, they will be things that fit and make me feel good.

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You're smart to start to envision your future now. Health, lifestyle, relationships...so many things change as your weight goes down. And I'm glad to encounter someone who realizes the importance of taking good care of your appearance no matter what your body size. I think it's a sign of strength and good health (mental and physical). ... You didn't have to ask me how I felt back then - you could see it in one glance.

The American Cancer Society has long understood the relationship between looking good and feeling good. They have a program called "Look Good, Feel Better" that partners with Cosmetologists and provides spa days and other services for women with cancer. I know I definitely feel much better about myself when I take the time to do my hair and makeup and accessorize on weekends and days I work from home.

It's a challenge during weight loss, but I'm determined to wear clothes that fit now. I've been lost in shapeless knits and elastic waistbands for too long, and I'm ready to look as good on the outside as I know I'm going to feel on the inside.

I know constantly buying clothes can get expensive, but this is a peeve of mine. As people lose weight, I feel it's SO IMPORTANT to wear clothes that fit your ever shrinking body! Not only does it just make you look more put together, it makes you FEEL more put together, thus encouraging continuing positive behaviors that got you there! Even if it's just a few nicer pieces you can mix and match until you have to buy the next size down.

We lived our lives being frumpy and wearing over sized, ill fitting clothes to hide our bodies. Why continue to do that as we get smaller? We need to flaunt our confidence and success to the world! :)

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As your size changes you do not have to make expensive clothing purchases. Many of us had shopped second hand or discount stores. Invest in a small number of expensive pieces. But know they will have to go when you drop sizes. Once my weight stabilize I decorated my closet. Fresh paint, hung a chandelier, pretty storage boxes. Shoes, and filled it with beautiful new clothing.

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People told me to shop second hand stores till I stabilized but I tend to learn better through experience. I lost inches at a different rate than weight this time and I breezed from 42's to 36's in around a month. Therefore, I purchased a pair of 40x30 jeans that haven't even been worn yet as well as a pair of 38's.. Hmm....I'm thinking "I WILL NEVER LOSE PAST 36's", but I've been proven wrong before. :)

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Have fun, Jean, and know you are worth it all....I love reading your pieces. Choose yourself first and enjoy filling up that closet and feeling good about yourself. You deserve it!

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Amen to that!

One of the nicest compliments I got when I'd lost 30-40 lbs was, "I the outfit you have on. It fits!"

You're smart to start to envision your future now. Health, lifestyle, relationships...so many things change as your weight goes down. And I'm glad to encounter someone who realizes the importance of taking good care of your appearance no matter what your body size. I think it's a sign of strength and good health (mental and physical). ... You didn't have to ask me how I felt back then - you could see it in one glance.

The American Cancer Society has long understood the relationship between looking good and feeling good. They have a program called "Look Good, Feel Better" that partners with Cosmetologists and provides spa days and other services for women with cancer. I know I definitely feel much better about myself when I take the time to do my hair and makeup and accessorize on weekends and days I work from home.

It's a challenge during weight loss, but I'm determined to wear clothes that fit now. I've been lost in shapeless knits and elastic waistbands for too long, and I'm ready to look as good on the outside as I know I'm going to feel on the inside.

I know constantly buying clothes can get expensive, but this is a peeve of mine. As people lose weight, I feel it's SO IMPORTANT to wear clothes that fit your ever shrinking body! Not only does it just make you look more put together, it makes you FEEL more put together, thus encouraging continuing positive behaviors that got you there! Even if it's just a few nicer pieces you can mix and match until you have to buy the next size down.

We lived our lives being frumpy and wearing over sized, ill fitting clothes to hide our bodies. Why continue to do that as we get smaller? We need to flaunt our confidence and success to the world! :)

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I did something similar. I bought a beautiful skirt that was about 2 sizes too small, hoping that one day I could wear it. Sort of a motivation garment. Every time I saw it in my closet I was reminded of the future's "maybe". When I could finally wear it, I felt like a million bucks every time I put it on. The sad part is that eventually it became too big for me...or should I say I became too small for it...

People told me to shop second hand stores till I stabilized but I tend to learn better through experience. I lost inches at a different rate than weight this time and I breezed from 42's to 36's in around a month. Therefore, I purchased a pair of 40x30 jeans that haven't even been worn yet as well as a pair of 38's.. Hmm....I'm thinking "I WILL NEVER LOSE PAST 36's", but I've been proven wrong before. :)

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People told me to shop second hand stores till I stabilized but I tend to learn better through experience. I lost inches at a different rate than weight this time and I breezed from 42's to 36's in around a month. Therefore, I purchased a pair of 40x30 jeans that haven't even been worn yet as well as a pair of 38's.. Hmm....I'm thinking "I WILL NEVER LOSE PAST 36's", but I've been proven wrong before. :)

Be careful! That's what I thought about size 8's. Now I'm in 4's.

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