In these bags is an array of clothing for work, cycling, swimming, the gym, and for lounging in sizes 14, 12, 10, 8 and XL and L. In these bags are items of clothing that have been well-worn and loved, especially the workout gear, which lead me to sizing down.
About 8 months into my fitness journey, I found a large empty crate and began to toss clothing into it that was too big for me. It was a pretty small pile at the time. And then, as seasons changed, I would find more clothes in my drawers and closet that were definite candidates for the crate. One crate lead to two crates, and by the time 2 years rolled around, I was at 4 large crates of clothes.
I thought about packing up the clothes at the 1-year mark of this journey, but decided that I should hold on to them just in case. Just in case of what? In case I needed to wear them again. For much of my adult life, I've struggled with weight and body image. At the 1-year mark, I had lost 38 pounds, 26 inches, and 4 sizes — and I was certain that I was going to jinx myself if I packed up and donated those clothes. At the time, I simply wasn't in a place yet to change my mindset about what my body had become and was still changing into.
It has taken me a fair amount of time to let go of the images I have of myself and accept that I have changed my body and mind in ways that I never expected. And the letting go is in itself a journey. Earlier this fall I needed a new bathing suit, as the suit I wore this last year was very well-worn and starting to get a little sheer. At this point, I had lost 48 pounds and 6 sizes, and I ordered a size 38 because historically I had always worn a 38/40. When the 38 arrived, it was pretty large on me. My husband suggested that I order a smaller size, which seemed like the logical solution. This was difficult for me to grasp, as I still had not let go of the image of myself imprinted on my brain. I ordered two more suits, a size 36 and a 34, and I was certain that the 34 would be too small on me. I've been swimming in the size 34 suit for several weeks. I probably could have bought a size 32, but honestly my brain wasn't ready to comprehend that just yet. Maybe next fall when I have to replace the 34.
Here's to letting go of the old images and letting the new ones settle in.