Breaking Up With “Skinny Clothes”
Even when I was at the lowest point of my eating disorder, I knew somehow I was going to get better and eventually reach mecca (AKA: recovery).
But, 5 years ago, I had no idea how long it would take me to get there.
In the meantime, I was living in a body that was a completely different (and obviously smaller) size.
My personal style has always leaned towards looser, more androgynous clothing, so some of my wardrobe was just a bit baggier. But as I lost more weight, the one thing I couldn’t keep wearing was my jeans. And since I’m a jeans-every-day type of girl, I bought what later became my “skinny jeans.”
I remember going to Barneys and trying on the same jeans I wear everyday, just in a smaller size. Knowing in my ever-shrinking gut that I would eventually recover, I knew it felt silly to invest so much money in something that in the back of my mind I knew I wasn’t always going to be able to wear forever. So, I took myself to Forever 21 and bought a much more reasonably-priced pair of jeans. Mission accomplished right? Wrong!
In those months before I got myself professional help, I was managing a vintage clothing shop, which just so happened to have GREAT stuff. Anyone who’s ever worked in retail knows how easy it is to rationalize buying things because why would you let that employee discount go to waste? (It’s practically like getting clothing for free, except its totally not, and you end up with an amazing first-dibs wardrobe, and a pathetic paycheck.)
So here I was, buying up gorgeous pieces that I would only be able to wear if I stayed the size I was.
Fast forward a few months…I found myself in a intensive outpatient treatment program, working though my food and body image issues, and coming to terms with my changing body. Both my recovery and weight gain were a slow process. Then, little by little, while my body and mind healed, I started to grow out of all that gorgeous vintage and those Forever 21 jeans.
A year after first entering my program, when I could consider myself fully recovered, I also had to consider the fact that my body had changed (again). It was, along with my frame of mind, something entirely new. I was now treating my body with respect, acceptance, and kindness, and avoiding anything that made that harder to do, like holding on to those “skinny” clothes.
I wish they were simply reminders of how far I had come in my healing process, serving no purpose other than taking up space in my closet.
“Fuck that,” I said to myself as I piled the majority of the clothes into bags (truth be told: the more special things I decided to sell in my vintage clothing shop, because even though I can’t – and don’t want to – wear them anymore, why shouldn’t someone else get to have them in their wardrobe)? I brought those bags over to my local Goodwill and simply donated everything. This seemed like the simplest way not only to do something good for myself, but also for someone in need.
Holding on to those clothes did absolutely nothing positive for me, and I suspect it’s probably not doing anything good for you either.
When I thought about all the hard work I had done not to view my body in terms of a jean size or what the number on the scale said, cleaning out my closet of skinny clothes actually felt like a reward that I could only get when I had truly reached recovery. And NOTHING feels better than that!