Mumblings on Materialism

I was putting laundry away in my closet tonight and was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of clothes I own. This bothers me because A) I’ve never cared much about clothes and B) I only wear the same four pairs of jeans and same handful of t-shirts and work shirts and C) there is absolutely no way to organize my closet so that it doesn’t look cluttered.

There is a simple answer to this problem, right? Get rid of the clothes I don’t wear, right?

But I can’t do it, and here’s why:

Because getting rid of them would mean I’ve given up on ever getting my body back.

As I said, I wear the same pants and shirts, a total of 10-15 articles of clothing. I only wear those clothes because none of the other clothes fit me anymore. In the last ten years of my life, I’ve gone from a size 14 to a 6 to an 8 to a 10. My weight has swung from 180 pounds to 122 pounds to back up to 180. Right now I’m at 155. The weight at which I was most healthy, most comfortable, and most stable was 135, a comfortable size 8. I was there for six years.

Then, I got pregnant. And for some reason I will never flipping understand, I gained 45 pounds. I was super healthy during my pregnancy. I had gestational diabetes and so my meals were ultra managed and healthy. I worked out. Even up to the week of my delivery I was jogging on the treadmill. And I never gained a single pound until my third trimester. Then, I packed them all on in three months, to my horror and helplessness.

And since that blessed day in July of 2012, I have never been a size 8 or 135 pounds. The closest I got to it, weight-wise, was 145 pounds, but I’ve pretty much swung between 145 and 160 pounds for the last three years. Once I’d worn holes through my size 8 maternity pants, I had to break down and buy size ten pants and larger shirts. BUT, I was playing a psychological game with myself! I’d only buy enough to get me through the work week. Not buy anything cute or pretty because I figured I would get tired of looking and feeling like a total frump, I’d get tired of staring wistfully at all of my cute size 8 clothing and then somehow magic up whatever was needed to lose the damn weight and get back to my old size.

But that hasn’t happened. I am still 15 pounds away from my goal, and have spent the last three years looking and feeling like a frump. The person I feel sorry for is my husband, and I can only hope that he doesn’t take it personally, all of my disbelieving snorts and looks each time he compliments me. He tries so hard to make me feel beautiful, but he can’t. What he doesn’t understand is that no matter how much he loves my body, I don’t.

Sigh…what to do?

I figure I wore out the “I just had a baby” excuse two years ago. I am terrified of my current size/weight becoming my new normal. I don’t want this normal. I want my old normal. If I get rid of all of the clothes I loved wearing for most of my adult life, then it will mean that I never expect to become a size 8 again. I never expect to put them on, look good, feel like I look good in them ever again. And that thought just depresses me.

And I hate that this is even an issue in my life. There are so many more important things to worry about, stress over and think of. And my physical appearance doesn’t consume me…until I set foot in my closet.

And that got me thinking tonight, that maybe I should get rid of all of those old clothes. Maybe having them in there makes me feel like a failure, takes away my motivation by reminding me how long it’s been since I’ve worn them. Clearly, they aren’t doing me any good.

Hmm….I’m sure there’s a metaphor somewhere in all of this…


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