ubergirl

purging the closet- mixed emotions

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Well, I went through my closet over the last few days.  I'm a former size 3X/24 and I've already spruced up my wardrobe with some stuff that is closer to my now size: (14 pants and L or XL tops) But purging my closet made me feel weird.  A little backstory is that I lost 110 lbs through diet and exercise in 2009. At that time, I hadn't been out of plus sizes in more than 20 years and it was just this gigantic joy ride to drop sizes and live as a normal-sized person. I got rid of every single plus-sized garment and bought a whole new wardrobe, but within 3 years, I was back up about 2/3rds of the lost weight and back in plus sizes. It took 7 years, but I finally regained every pound I had lost. I really dragged my heels buying new clothes at the larger sizes, but finally, by last year, I had a full set of clothes.  Enter my VSG surgery in Jan 2018 and I'm now back down 90lbs (yay!) But the process of purging my closet and seeing hundreds (probably thousands) of dollars worth of clothes back in the giveaway pile is kind of depressing and it seems hard to believe that I'm out of plus sizes forever.

Anyone else feel mixed emotions about this? 

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I kind of did at first because it is a lot of money but once I got hooked on looking and more importantly feeling so amazing in my new smaller clothes I got over it in a hurry lol.  I couldn't get those fat girl clothes out of my house fast enough! 

The longer you stay in "normal" sizes the more real it is and the easier it is to let go of the old you and the clothes that went with it.

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1 hour ago, ubergirl said:

Well, I went through my closet over the last few days. ....

Anyone else feel mixed emotions about this? 

Oh, sure. I just donated a dozen T shirts I had emotional ties to. Must have gotten rid of > 20 pairs of pants, easily 25 shirts, and I still have a really nice (but way too big) suit in the closet that has to go. All worth a lot of money when purchased. I am keeping a very small number of my XXL clothes to remind myself of how big I was. Otherwise... agree totally with @msmarymac, the more time I spend in my new clothes the happier I am! But I don't feel any mixed emotions about the clothes because I fear weight re-gain and potential expense; if I regain weight, I want any purchase of clothing to be painful and an added inducement to knuckling down and losing the weight. 

Wearing new shirt for a month ago; new pants from 3 months ago; new tie from 3 weeks ago; new undies from a month ago; and old socks. I wore a new sports coat (picked up 6 days ago) to work yesterday. I love looking like a clothes horse; didn't know I had the capacity to be a bit vain about my looks and clothes. But I am!

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My entrepreneurial side says a new thredup-like business for those who are part of the WLS crew would be a great idea!  Or something like a monthly subscription box....

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I think all of us have had the experience of losing and regaining weight, only to have a variety of clothes in various sizes. Your expensive clothes aren’t doing you any favors in your closet. Think of purging your closet as ridding yourself of your former demons.

Plus sized clothing is difficult to come by for homeless women. Consider donating your better items to a local domestic violence or homeless organization. Many shelters give residents/clients vouchers for Goodwill so they can attain clothes for free or a heavy discount. These donations are tax deductible and serve an important population. It’s hard to find a job when you don’t look presentable. Think of it as paying it forward. 

Edited by NerdyToothpick

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I agree with all of this.  It is extremely hard when you have literally spent thousands, tens of thousands on luxury items only to find they don't fit and I can't even resell them at a consignment or online place since I am fairly short and had them tailored to fit me.  I wanted to give them to my sister and made the mistake of asking her, I honestly thought she would want them for Church or whatever, and she got extremely offended and now is not even talking to me.  I didn't see what I had done wrong, I would rather give them to her, (she doesn't have much money for clothing and her husband never lets her spend on clothing, makeup, etc...)... so anyway, I never meant to do wrong, but I did do it wrong.  I hate to just give it to Goodwill or whatever, because the workers go through everything first, as do the women's shelters... so you run into a dilemma... it's hard enough having to give up those things, especially the shoes, when they get too big, they are expensive...  I think I am going to donate mine to my Church and let them distribute to members who may be able to wear them for work or whatever.  I am hesitant to purchase anything new and have made a plan to purchase only one pair of jeans, one pair of slacks and a few tops when I have to size down, and when I get to goal and start maintaining... then I can purchase new, with a sensible budget.  I can have the nice luxury brands but really be minimalistic about it.  I can't believe that a person can go into a type of mourning over material things.  It's a difficult situation, for sure and the feelings are real.  

Edited by Charles' Princess

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8 hours ago, Charles' Princess said:

...  I can't believe that a person can go into a type of mourning over material things.  It's a difficult situation, for sure and the feelings are real.  

Ah, it happens. I have a close relative who has burned most of her relationship bridges, and lives with the memories evoked by her things. She's emotionally trapped by it all, and physically hobbled by having so much junk. 

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I am a Minimalist except when it comes to clothes and shoes, but I think that this experience will help to keep things in perspective for me and cause me to be simplistic in my wardrobe, as well.  I am considering doing a small "capsule wardrobe" maybe with blacks, grays and whites, add a little color with accessories.   Shoes, even though I am purging some of the ones that don't fit, others are fitting better, so I am going to try to not buy shoes.  (Try... that's the keyword here!!  Ha!)  I refuse to trade an eating addiction for clothes or shopping addiction, you know?  The whole house is very very minimalistic, even though we have nice things, I am good about not adding more to it.   I like knowing that I don't have a lot of junk.  My husband has a ton of clothes, shoes and jackets, but he never changes sizes and is already a proper BMI.  He does like to add more and more to his wardrobe.  I have far too many clothes but I think the main reason I am sad about having to purge is the cost involved.  I've always seen my clothing as a type of "investment"... but now I can't look at it that way.  I would rather be losing the weight than keeping the clothes, though.  I am keeping one belt, as I know how it fit when I started my journey.  But it I keep the clothes around, it may be a "silent excuse" to cause me to go in the wrong direction.  I'd like to lose about 90 more pounds... so there is no sense at all to spend any real money on clothing for a while.  

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I am definitely having mixed emotions too. Tonight I just cleaned out another huge stack of clothes from my closet. I'm finding some things hard to toss. I have yo-yoed so many times, and I was always so glad I had kept my favorite clothes as I went up and down. Even now, after 80+ pounds, I am still wearing clothes I had saved. So what to do now? I don't want to give myself permission to gain it back, but I'm still scared about that since I've never lost and maintained before. Can I trust this process ALL THE WAY and surrender my favorite big clothes? Does anyone have a suggestion? I was thinking of keeping one box of favorites for one year so that they are put away, and then when I prove to myself that this solution is forever, I'll get rid of the box. Does that sound wise or unwise? 

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@Cindy Lou Who I’m saying this gently and with lots of love. 

Get rid of your old stuff. These clothes will only haunt you and keep you tied to a past that doesn’t disctate your future. You didn’t have WLS to fail but rather to reclaim your life. Holding on to your clothes out of fear will only hurt *you*.

I kept the pair of shorts I wore on the day of my surgery as a momento. Everything else has been shed just like my 85ish lbs. xoxoxo

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1 hour ago, NerdyToothpick said:

@Cindy Lou Who I’m saying this gently and with lots of love. 

Get rid of your old stuff. These clothes will only haunt you and keep you tied to a past that doesn’t disctate your future. You didn’t have WLS to fail but rather to reclaim your life. Holding on to your clothes out of fear will only hurt *you*.

I kept the pair of shorts I wore on the day of my surgery as a momento. Everything else has been shed just like my 85ish lbs. xoxoxo

BINGO!

Everything I owned went as I dropped sizes with the exception of one pair of my big girl jeans which I kept as a kept as a sobering reminder of a place I never wanted to visit again.

553334593_JEANS1-18-10010.jpg.c82ee3ed79c97e7f5532bbe20a2fffff.jpg

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When I reached my goal weight several years ago I donated all of my big clothing to Goodwill and bought new clothes.  I have not regained any of my excess weight since then, and the clothing donation was both helpful to others and a nice tax deduction.  The new me does not miss the old big clothes, and it is wonderful to be able to buy and fit into normal sized clothes.

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Wow!! That’s so inspirational!!

5 hours ago, cinwa said:

BINGO!

Everything I owned went as I dropped sizes with the exception of one pair of my big girl jeans which I kept as a kept as a sobering reminder of a place I never wanted to visit again.

553334593_JEANS1-18-10010.jpg.c82ee3ed79c97e7f5532bbe20a2fffff.jpg

 

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I need to do another closet purge. I bit the bullet yesterday and bought new knickers. Winter is just ending here so spring will bring dresses out of the closet. While jeans and pants helped hold my ever loosening undies up, I don't trust them under dresses!!!!

I will be keeping my nicer hardly worn while shrinking down clothes for my sister who is having a band to bypass revision in a few months. Other than those the rest is all going.

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On 8/23/2018 at 1:07 PM, ubergirl said:

Well, I went through my closet over the last few days.  I'm a former size 3X/24 and I've already spruced up my wardrobe with some stuff that is closer to my now size: (14 pants and L or XL tops) But purging my closet made me feel weird.  A little backstory is that I lost 110 lbs through diet and exercise in 2009. At that time, I hadn't been out of plus sizes in more than 20 years and it was just this gigantic joy ride to drop sizes and live as a normal-sized person. I got rid of every single plus-sized garment and bought a whole new wardrobe, but within 3 years, I was back up about 2/3rds of the lost weight and back in plus sizes. It took 7 years, but I finally regained every pound I had lost. I really dragged my heels buying new clothes at the larger sizes, but finally, by last year, I had a full set of clothes.  Enter my VSG surgery in Jan 2018 and I'm now back down 90lbs (yay!) But the process of purging my closet and seeing hundreds (probably thousands) of dollars worth of clothes back in the giveaway pile is kind of depressing and it seems hard to believe that I'm out of plus sizes forever.

Anyone else feel mixed emotions about this? 

Your story is a lot like my story.  I lost about 100 lbs back in 2012-2013 on the paleo diet.  But by 2016 I had gained it all back.  I purged a lot of pants from my closets (went from size 32 to size 20) but not a lot of tops, because I only went down a couple of sizes in tops.

I do feel some mixed emotions lately though - not because of the money really, but because I feel a weird attachment to some of those clothes. It's SO HARD to find anything that doesn't make you look like a psychedelic paisley nightmare when you're wearing 3X clothes - the things I did find that I felt okay in became pretty important to me. 

I still haven't purged some of them - just repurposed them into sleep shirts. Nightgowns, really, because they totally swallow me up at this point.

I HAVE recently started purging some of the new stuff I bought on the way down, though.  Just this morning I tried on an XL button-down that was pretty tight across the middle 3 months ago; I'd been avoiding wearing it because I didn't want to be pressing up against my buttons in public.  It's totally too big now, and still basically brand new!  For that, I absolutely do regret the money I spent.  And there is a pair of knee-length shorts I'm eyeing for charity, too - they have served me well, but they're clearly too big now, even in the waist (where I lose slowest).

Do yourself a favor and find a Goodwill/thrift/Savers store nearby, and do your shopping there until you hit goal.  Your wallet will thank you - the sizes drop a LOT faster once you get under 200, in my experience! :)

Edited by Kio

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@BurgundyBoy - every time I put on one of my "sleep shirts" (old 3X shirts) it reminds me exactly how far I've come - so I know what you mean!  I think to myself, "This used to be tight on me.  Now I could wear it with a friend!"  It reminds me to be grateful - and to be careful.

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On 8/23/2018 at 12:07 PM, ubergirl said:

But the process of purging my closet and seeing hundreds (probably thousands) of dollars worth of clothes back in the giveaway pile is kind of depressing and it seems hard to believe that I'm out of plus sizes forever.

Wow, this thread has had me thinking and pondering for days! I so related to @ubergirl saying it seems hard to believe that I'm out of plus sizes forever. I have lost count of the times I've yo-yoed starting in junior high and last time 2 years ago! 

On 8/25/2018 at 7:47 AM, NerdyToothpick said:

@Cindy Lou Who I’m saying this gently and with lots of love. 

Get rid of your old stuff. These clothes will only haunt you and keep you tied to a past that doesn’t disctate your future. You didn’t have WLS to fail but rather to reclaim your life. Holding on to your clothes out of fear will only hurt *you*.

I kept the pair of shorts I wore on the day of my surgery as a momento. Everything else has been shed just like my 85ish lbs. xoxoxo

@NerdyToothpick, thanks so much for this. It was a call for a major mind shift, and you said it loud and clear (but so gently and with love too!) :) I read this post over and over. So well said. I don't know why I'm so scared to get rid of my clothes. I'm especially attached to my "middle" clothes that were too small when I started and now are too big. I used them for so long for motivation to get down to that size, and now I've passed that size up. I definitely DON'T want to get tied to my past, but I'm unsure about my future. It's great, but scary. I have to conquer the fear. Seems so silly to have fear about letting go of anything that are just "things" like clothes that I'm pretty ashamed. 

On 8/25/2018 at 8:46 AM, cinwa said:

BINGO!

Everything I owned went as I dropped sizes with the exception of one pair of my big girl jeans which I kept as a kept as a sobering reminder of a place I never wanted to visit again.



@cinwa, oh MY GOSH!! SO inspirational! That picture is burned in my brain! YOU GO GIRL!!! Thanks so much for sharing that. The work, dedication, and patience that picture represents. You're a hero to me. Thank you. 

Everyone who posted here seems so strong to me. Okay, I've heard you, and I need to do this. My birthday is a month from today on Sept 27. By that day I pledge to be a "free" woman. My husband even offered that if I have something expensive that I really like, that he's okay with paying to have it altered for me. I'll report back in a month. Promise! Thanks to all of you. I'm wondering if part of my mind-healing is stuck by this hurdle, and I have a feeling that making myself do this will free me up to move forward. 

Thanks again!  

 

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On 8/25/2018 at 6:46 AM, cinwa said:

BINGO!

Everything I owned went as I dropped sizes with the exception of one pair of my big girl jeans which I kept as a kept as a sobering reminder of a place I never wanted to visit again.

553334593_JEANS1-18-10010.jpg.c82ee3ed79c97e7f5532bbe20a2fffff.jpg

I kept one outfit that I loved when I was fat as a reminder. I haven't pulled it out for a couple of years but as I was losing and even after I got to goal if I was struggling to see what I really look like, I would pull out that old outfit. 

I donated all my old fat clothes for just the reason @NerdyToothpick cites - plus sized clothing is hard to come by for women in need. I also save up all the beauty and body product samples and gifts with purchase that I don't like, won't use or aren't right for me and donate them to a women's shelter too. 

 

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On 8/25/2018 at 6:46 AM, cinwa said:

BINGO!

Everything I owned went as I dropped sizes with the exception of one pair of my big girl jeans which I kept as a kept as a sobering reminder of a place I never wanted to visit again.

 

@Cindy Lou Who My birthday is Sept 28!!!

When it comes to my weight, I’m not very strong. I’m scared and terrified that I will regain the weight. I’ve been fighting a three pound weight gain and it might as well be 300 lbs. Don’t beat yourself up. We are all vulnerable. xo

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6 hours ago, NerdyToothpick said:

@Cindy Lou Who My birthday is Sept 28!!!

When it comes to my weight, I’m not very strong. I’m scared and terrified that I will regain the weight. I’ve been fighting a three pound weight gain and it might as well be 300 lbs. Don’t beat yourself up. We are all vulnerable. xo

Hey, @NerdyToothpickMY birthday is September 28 also!!!!!! Woo Hoo for September babies!!!  Of course I'm 10 years older but still, a day for model children to be born for sure ;)

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10 hours ago, NerdyToothpick said:

When it comes to my weight, I’m not very strong. I’m scared and terrified that I will regain the weight. I’ve been fighting a three pound weight gain and it might as well be 300 lbs. Don’t beat yourself up. We are all vulnerable. xo

I'm sorry you are feeling vulnerable. I don't have any advice for battling your weight gain fears as I am way behind you in this process, but I do know you are a strong, resilient person, and I know you can lick this 3 pound issue. We are all here for each other, thank goodness, so I'm sure there are people here who could give you some practical advice if you need that. I bet if you go back to the basics of logging your food, drinking your water, getting some movement in, it will come back off. This system works. 

Good luck, and thanks for sharing your vulnerability with me. :wub:

@msmarymac and @NerdyToothpick, yeah us for Libra September birthdays!!!!! 

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On 8/28/2018 at 7:25 AM, NerdyToothpick said:

@Cindy Lou Who

When it comes to my weight, I’m not very strong. I’m scared and terrified that I will regain the weight. I’ve been fighting a three pound weight gain and it might as well be 300 lbs. Don’t beat yourself up. We are all vulnerable. xo

Bah! You've lost 85 pounds after having to undertake surgery out of pocket. We may all be vulnerable BUT you are fierce and a forceful foe of extra weight. 

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I've never been much attached to clothing - to my DH's chagrin, I clean out my closet and his fairly regularly. I'm just the kind of person that will not keep stuff around that I won't wear. 

And yet, it was still hard to clean things out - as this time, it was purely about size, and not whether it was something languishing too long. My poor closet afterwards:

1Fgcsdp.png

All those poor empty hangers :D 

And even then, there were clothes in there that I needed to get rid of - namely, expensive dress clothes I had only worn for a handful of interviews, that I couldn't bring myself to toss into a donate pile. 

Since then, I've dropped several more sizes, so much of what I've bought in the last few months and was relatively new needed donated as well. I finally got the expensive and the new together and took them to a consignment clothing store. It helped me get rid of the guilt when I buy new clothing, because at least Im not completely wasting money, and can get some back for the sizes I go through quickly. 

It's oddly satisfying to look at a closet that's half empty because you simply can't wear those items any more. Gaze on it and pat yourself on the back - it won't be long before you add to your now meager collection with stuff that you feel really good about!

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On 8/28/2018 at 2:20 PM, msmarymac said:

Hey, @NerdyToothpickMY birthday is September 28 also!!!!!! Woo Hoo for September babies!!!  Of course I'm 10 years older but still, a day for model children to be born for sure ;)

@msmarymac We need to have a dance party with @Cindy Lou Who! Only the beat arrive on 9/28! 

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On 8/29/2018 at 1:31 PM, BurgundyBoy said:

Bah! You've lost 85 pounds after having to undertake surgery out of pocket. We may all be vulnerable BUT you are fierce and a forceful foe of extra weight. 

As always, you are too kind to me @BurgundyBoy ❤️

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