Closet Cleaning: a Chance to Reflect on Change, Lifestyle Makeover

It’s that time of year again when my closet will be getting a makeover — in other words, the donation bag for the local Goodwill Store will soon be filled to capacity. For some reason I have found that there are a couple dozen clothing items that I just haven’t been able to get rid of through the past several years of closet cleaning. I don’t wear these clothes anymore and the majority of them are out of style, but I keep hanging onto them. I’m wondering: Is that because they are loaded with memories?

Many of you can probably relate; we all have those clothes somewhere in our home, don’t we?

Inventory of Milestones

This collection of attire often consists of at least one special dress that made you feel so beautiful when you wore it, and as you look at it you want to return to that time in your life once again. Maybe you still have the article of clothing that you met your spouse in (I still have that purple sweater with my monogrammed initials on the front). I just can’t get rid of the red polka-dot maternity shirt that I wore when I was pregnant with my first child. Then there’s that amazing sweater I wanted to buy for months at my favorite clothing store but couldn’t because it was too expensive until the day I found it on sale… oh, I love that sweater!

Then there are the pants. I keep most of them because I enjoy the fact that I can still wear the ones that I bought back in 2002 after I lost all my weight. They are wonderful memories, almost like little trophies to me. I don’t care if they do have a rip or a couple stains, I worked hard for those babies!

But I also keep a few items that are full of memories that I don’t like. Why? I guess because I feel that I always need to remember.

Not Fit For Others

I need to remember that size 24 dress which took me two weeks to find because I needed something nice to wear for my 10-year class reunion. It was as ugly as ugly gets back in 1994. It still is. I don’t like it, I won’t put it on ever again, but I still refuse to give it away. I think it’s because I don’t want any other person wearing it, since I know this dress contains so much sadness, humiliation, misery and embarrassment. It wouldn’t be right to allow someone else to own it.

And I can’t forget that gorgeous leather jacket that I happened to find at the mall’s most expensive leather store. I bought that when leather coats were really “the thing” and all my friends had one — except for me. The stores didn’t carry any in my size. But one day, I visited that mall and it was staring at me… a size XXL jacket and it was a gorgeous grey leather; and the bonus — it fit!

I love that jacket, but I hate it, too. It’s impossible for me to put in the Goodwill bag; it took me way too long to find it.

So these pieces stay in the closet with the rest of the clothing that I refuse to get rid of. When I view them year after year, I allow the feelings that I once had while I wore them to enter my mind for a minute or two. Sometimes I even hold them up and remember how they just barely fit my corpulent body. Then I cry.

But then I realize that they are no longer me. They once defined me and now they do not!

The Makeover Perspective

These are the times when I truly appreciate the choice I made in 2001 when I decided to live a healthier lifestyle. I really didn’t realize that this one decision would allow me to change so much, both inside and out. I ended up having a complete “Jodi makeover!”

It was a makeover that I had assumed — for 25 long years — would never take place. I was so wrong.

Allow me to ask you this: Are you ready for a complete makeover, too? If so, let me know.

In the meantime, I’ll see if I can let that amazing sweater join the others in the bag.

Photo by madame.furie.

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