Wednesday, August 20, 2003
posted by Julie |
Got a great e-mail the other day from reader Kathwin. She's faced down a major health scare and lost more than 50 lbs., slowly but surely. The other day her husband noticed that her clothes were getting loose, and so she went spelunking in her closet.
Two and a half hours later, her husband had to ask her to please stop.
She was having that much fun, finding and trying on things from the back of her closet that she hasn't fit into in ages.
Closet spelunking is a good thing to do, a great activity to save for a time when the needle on the scale doesn't seem to be moving, even when you know you've been eating and exercising well.
I spent hours in my closet, organizing things by sizes. Old clothes, things I'd never wear again, because they were too dated, but saved anyway. So I saw myself again in that outfit I wore to my daughter's college graduation, and her high school graduation, and her junior high play, and the jeans from the era around my second magazine job, and my wedding dress, and my high school jeans.
But If you're more normal, and don't have clothes that date back more than 20 years in your closet, it's easy to approximate the experience. Borrow or buy new or second-hand clothes in successively smaller sizes, and keep them in a special place in your closet. I knew I would continue to wear men's black chinos from J.Crew no matter what size I was, so I bought them in 6 sizes, and kept them all in one stack, wearing then discarding them as I came down the scale.
Now, here's the hard part: I strongly encourage you to wear only clothes that fit well, no matter what size you are (an expensive proposition!), and to quickly tailor, repurpose, render to rags, or give away clothes that are too big.
I do not sew. So I donated, traded, and bought much less expensive brands of clothes, borrowed some things, and bought second-hand while coming down the scale, until I reached a comfortable size for me, where I could slowly rebuild my wardrobe, season by season. I'm still working on this. (Note to hubby: Sorry, honey.)
Some of my old clothes were hard to give up, so I gave them to friends in my weight loss program who were just reaching my size. I knew I'd see those beloved outfits once in awhile. (That started a clothes swap that goes on in that program today, I'm happy to say.)
(Still looking for a home for a 1X navy blue velour pantsuit, if anyone's interested. Worn to just two holiday parties, and drycleaned, ready to ship.)
The upside of this clothes swapping, for me, was that it normalized the whole experience. My weight loss didn't call attention to itself quite so much as long as I wore clothes that fit. And the proximity of cloth to muscles seemed to help me stay aware of the changes my body was experiencing as I continued to lose.
Today, by choosing fitted clothes, less flowing styles and no elastic waistbands, I'm aware of the trafficking of lbs. as they creep up. An uncomfortable pair of jeans nags all day long to keep the calorie load down and work out more.
A good while back a friend wrote that she liked to visit tony plus-shops to try on evening gowns with every 10-lb. loss. Expensive gowns. It felt like the reward she deserved.
And Kathwin is getting a little of the reward she deserves. And I'm a bit wistful about it, enjoying vicariously the giddy fun of fitting into clothes you forgot all about. It's such a thrill, such a rush.
I hope you get yours,
Create your own Virtual Model who can try things on for you
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