Holding On

We had our first class last night with my year-long diet cohort. We’re all doing approximately 12 weeks of the liquid/rapid weight loss part, then spending the rest of the year figuring out how to eat and maintain that weight loss for the rest of our lives.

We went around the room to introduce ourselves and share a few thoughts, including something we feared or were worried about. The main thing that came to mind for me while sitting in the circle was the fear that I’ll let my weight creep back up by returning to bad eating habits once the structure is gone from this program.

I thought, on the way home, about another fear I have and how it affects my behavior. I have several complete wardrobes—one for someone who wears 12s and 14s, and one for someone who ranges from 18W to 22W.

Thanks to our fat-shaming fashion culture, finding nice clothes that I like in that higher size range is nearly impossible. The clothes I have found are dear to me, like very special friends. I realized that when I thought about what I would do with them once I lost weight.

What I did last time was carefully clean them, pack them, and move them into the attic in case I needed them again. Which I did.

It seems awful to get rid of them. First, I’m cheap. Second, I’m practical. People fail at maintaining weight loss all of the time. It seems foolish to get rid of the very few items of well-made clothes that have in some strange way become such a comfort to me. When other stores turned me away with nothing that would work, these stores, and these clothes, made me feel like I could leave the house looking like a professional who had her shit together, instead of looking like a stereotype in a muumuu.

I know how hard it was to find them the first time around, and how expensive they were (because of course you have to pay the fat tax for well-made clothes in larger sizes). Shouldn’t I keep them just in case?

Keeping them, however, seems like betting against myself. And if I’m going to bet against myself, why should anyone bet on me? Getting rid of them once I grow out of them seems like the right thing to do.

I also know that there are other women who need decent, professional, gently-used clothes in larger sizes, and I should feel good about being able to downstream my bigger wardrobe items to them. I should, but I’m not ready to make that gift yet.

I don’t have to make the decision right away. I’ve got time. Plus, it is Houston, and July, so no one will be going into the attic for another few months.

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