I’m not exactly sure why I hung onto my “fat” clothes, many of which I haven’t been able to wear in a decade. Perhaps on some level I just didn’t see myself has having lost that much weight. Or maybe I was hanging onto them as a just-in-case measure. I brought them to the place we stayed while we waited for the closing on our home in Brantford. I packed them again and brought them to the house when we finally took possession. They sat in a multitude of boxes in the loft for several months before I unpacked them. I’ve moved them from dresser to closet and back again a few times. This summer I threw out a few items that were just too worn to give away (like the nightie in the photo on the right). I just couldn’t let go of the rest.
Bryan, darling husband that he is, was extremely supportive and knew that I was having a hard time letting go. We were sitting sipping our morning coffee this Sunday when he gently approached the subject. “Laurie”, he said. “You know all those clothes upstairs? They are far too big for you now and you’ve been health-conscious, so I am sure you won’t be wearing them ever again. They are also looking a little dated. Let me help you get them out of there.” What he didn’t say, until later, was that we really needed to free up some “real-estate” in the closets. Of course, I was having some reality issues. He’d toss me a top and I’d insist that it still fit me. “Try it on. I’ll bet it’s huge on you!” was what he’d retort. Then we’d laugh at how baggy the piece was. There were literally dozens upon dozens of things that I had to purge.
This morning, while chatting with a friend, I was pondering about why getting rid of some old baggy clothes was so difficult for me. After we said our goodbyes I thought about our conversation and realized something. I really was scared to let go. Why? Reaching my goal weight has a vulnerability to it and I am closer to that goal than I have ever been. You see, I had put up walls. Big huge ones! Morbidly obese wasn’t just a description of what I had done to my health… it was a safe place for me to hide. Being the fat girl protected me from a lot of negativity and pain. The thing is that sooner or later one has to deal with those painful things that end up being barriers to being alive. Sure I was living when I was obese but I never felt really alive until I dealt with the issues and started doing things I never thought possible—like becoming an active Mom and being wilderness traveler and writing books.
As Bryan drove to the charity drop box last night, I wondered for a fleeting moment whether I had done the right thing or not. It was right. It needed to be done. The act of getting rid of my “fat” clothes is my way of saying that I love myself and living healthy, and that the only place for me is one where I am moving forward.