Recovery is amazing and worth the fight.
It’s freeing, like being released from a cage your mind has been keeping you locked in. So sometimes, in that freedom, it’s easy to forgot that it’s normal to have imperfect moments. It’s normal to sometimes still feel self conscious about your body, and it’s normal for those “residual eating disorder thoughts” to sneak back in.
Recently, I had one of those residual thoughts. As I was going through some clothes, I thought,
Keep those old clothes from when you were skinny- because one day you’ll fit into them again.
Up until recently I truly saw nothing wrong with that sentence. But for me, keeping these clothes was just another way I could subconsciously disapprove of my body.
Hanging on… but why?
I had a whole suitcase full of clothes that were five years old. And I was hanging on to them like my life depended on it. Like if I let them go I’d never be “thin” again. Subconsciously, it was like there were no other clothes in the world that would fit me or that would make me feel good.
I had no idea that clothes could mean so much to me. It was at that moment that I knew what I needed to do: go through everything and only keep the clothes that fit me.
I ended up giving five big bags of clothes to charity. And wow! It was a relief.
Getting rid of those clothes was like lifting a huge weight off my shoulders. A weight I didn’t even know I was carrying!
Going through the clothes made me realized how much I longed for my old body. The sad thing about that is… I had an eating disorder when I fit into those clothes.
Was I really happier back then?
I realized that I had an idealized belief that when I fit into those clothes, I was happier, more confident and more myself.
But the truth is, I was suffering. Why would I want to go back to that?
I had this idea that because those clothes were a certain size, fitting back into them would make everything better and I would be truly happy.
I was wrong, letting go of them was what made everything better.
Most of us have those jeans, or a dress that we are longing to fit back into. But size is truly just a number. And that number is holding you hostage.
The self-development that came from one wardrobe clean out was bigger than anything I could have imagined.
And yes, I understand that some things are sentimental. But my suggestion to you is to be sentimental with photos, memories, souvenirs, or gifts. Not clothes, a clothing size, or an image for your “skinny self.”