Last night, as I added the new clothes I bought this week into my closet here in Boston, I picked out some shirts that I haven’t worn in YEARS and threw them into a bag I’ll later bring to Goodwill.
Back in March, when I was home to visit my mom, I managed to fill three garbage bags with “sick clothes,” clothes that I had acquired while I was using eating disorder behaviors and therefore represented that time period in my life.
A lot of people keep their “sick clothes” with the disordered hope that one day they will fit into them again. By doing this, we’re fueling our eating disorder and keeping ourselves anchored to our sickness.
Facing these items when we go into our closets most likely leads to negative thoughts and body image based on the fact that bodies change in recovery–but of course they do!
Keeping jeans that are two sizes too small in your closet is asking to feel guilty about the nice booty recovery has given you, or the new energy you have for an amazing job. And keeping shirts in your closet that don’t fit over my chest because you’re no longer fourteen is silly! Why would we purposely keep things around that makes us feel bad about ourselves?
Squeezing into clothes that no longer fit us is less flattering than wearing a larger sized item that looks great! Putting on a pair of jeans that fit perfectly (even if they’re a “bigger” size) will lead to less body thoughts throughout the day. When I wear a shirt that is tight around my arms or chest, or pants that dig into my tummy, it just makes me feel worse about myself. Nothing feels better than wearing clothes that are comfy and fit right, no matter what size they are.
And besides, we all know that clothing sizes are LITERALLY numbers and symbols put onto items to help our brains make sense of them. They vary from store to store, item to item (within the same store, even!) and they vary from person to person. Ignore them. Seriously.