Why I Got Rid of Too-Small Clothes

If you’re anything like me, chronic illness causes us to paradoxically simultaneously live in the past and the future, but not so much the present.

www.thepillowfort.co.ukI’m constantly thinking about, and reminded of, all the things I was able to do and all the things I’ve not yet done, as if my life is currently ‘on hold’. So many of my goals, plans and hopes for the future are based on something largely out of my control: my health.

Unread books and magazines are piled around me because I’m such a slow reader, when I even can read that is. Perhaps I’ll be a bit better and will manage to read them someday soon.

My athletics kit sits unused. The last time I went throwing (I used to thrown hammer and shot put) I was unable to get out of bed for 4 days. But, ya’know, I don’t want to get rid of it, I still dream of competing for England one day.

When I’m better. When I’m better. When I’m better. When I’m a bit better?

I like to think I’ve accepted my current health state, but I’m not sure that’s really true when I’m constantly thinking of a future point when I’ll be a bit better and able to do all the things I want to do. I need to do what I can, now. One of my favourite quotes is “do what you can, with what you have, where you are”, credited to Theodore Roosevelt. It’s manageable. It’s reasonable. It applies to everyone, in any circumstances.

So, the story. I had bags and bags full of too small clothes. Mostly they were only a size or two under my current size. Mostly they still had the tags on.

I posted on my tumblr:

 What if I accepted/loved myself at this weight?

So, it occurred to me that I could just be happy at the weight I am, and stop trying/hoping/planning to be “a bit smaller soon”. I’ve been this sort of weight for a couple of years. I dieted (healthily!) at the start of the year for a month or two, and lost I stone (14lbs). I then stopped paying attention to what I ate and put it all back on, but then plateaued at my usual weight again.

I could get rid of all the clothes a size or two smaller that I’m always hoping to be able to fit into soon. I don’t think it’s worth the energy to be thinking/worrying about it? I only want to be a size or two smaller, which is still ‘fat’ by usual society standards (but I am 5’11” which doesn’t help). But what if I stopped wanting that? What if I just accepted being this weight? What if I learnt to love/accept myself at this weight? Who knows what the future holds anyway?

I’ve got a wonderful girlfriend and she loves me for me, and doesn’t seem to care at all what size I am. She makes me feel hot and beautiful regardless of my size (we’ve been going out at this size and when I was a stone lighter).

Just something I’ve been considering… 

A day later I decided to get rid of all the clothes. I either put them on ebay or donated them to a charity shop.

Anyone will tell you that I am definitely not a spontaneous person, but nonetheless, this was a very spontaneous decision.

On reflection, the decision was for several reasons:

  1. These clothes are cluttering up unnecessary space in my spare cupboard. Every time I want something I have to go to the effort of pulling all the bags out (including the many bags of clothes) to find what I’m looking for. Unnecessary effort.
  2. I bought some of these clothes years ago. I don’t actually like them anymore.
  3. I have been roughly the same size for several years now. It’s bigger than the size I’d like to be, but hey ho. Without a conscious effort I am unlikely to stop being this size in the near future. Which leads me on to 4…
  4. Losing weight takes energy, energy I just don’t have. I like food. It’s one of the good things in my life. I’m not in a place where it makes any sense to restrict that to get into a few clothes that are currently too small for me. I have a perfectly nice wardrobe as it is.
  5. If I were to suddenly lose a load of weight, I can sell my current clothes and buy new (to me) ones at my new size. That will be my treat.

It was so liberating. Like a weight off my shoulders. Months later and I’ve not missed a single item of clothing that I got rid of. I don’t even remember half of what was in there.

Is there anything you’re holding onto for a future point that’s stopping you fully live in the present?