Closet Thinning

By Kara Richardson Whitely

My closet became a heap as I tried on item after item. I’m happy to report, a good number of my clothes were sagging on my thinning frame. I had trouble finding something to wear to an important meeting coming later that week.

Unlike my body, my closet was bulging out. It was a mess, almost a manifestation of my body and life before I started taking my weight and health seriously. I did what I knew needed to be done — I got out a bag and started sorting.

I tried on as many pieces as I could. If it didn’t make me feel great, it went in the bag to be donated to a local domestic violence shelter for women. I know plus-size clothes can sometimes be hard to find and I wanted someone to have clothing to wear in her deepest moment of strength and vulnerability.

I organized my scarves, which, after my girls invaded my closest to play dress-up, had been scattered around the floor, underneath my hanging clothes. I probably don’t have to tell you that hanging out in my closet wasn’t my favorite thing to do at my highest weight. When it came to clothes, I just wore some basics, which involved black pants and a black shirt. This process of finding what fits, it turned out, would open the door to shop and find some bright and beautiful colors and items that fit me beautifully.

I went through my shoes and dusted some off, even those I hadn’t worn in a while because they had become too uncomfortable at my highest weight. At my heaviest, heels were completely out of the question. Now, as some of my shoes felt loose after my weight loss, they seemed possible. I put them on the shelves in my closet, like pieces of art.

I folded my sweaters carefully. Those that were already too big were put on a particular shelf, ready for the next round of thinning, with the goal of not needing them whatsoever next winter.

I did eventually find something to wear for my meeting. Fortunately, I had kept some pants a few sizes smaller than my highest weight.

I took out every item that had been tossed in there (papers and other trinkets of the kids) and made it a neat and clean place for dressing.

I planned a little pegboard project for my jewelry, again hanging it on the wall like a artwork, making me feel a little more put together and beautiful.

I thought about adding a mirror and a vanity (or dressing table), to add a little more formality to getting dressed, rather than the throwing-on-clothes method that I had used. 

Now my clothing had space to hang neatly. My closet was a welcoming, sacred spot for my body, to feel ready for meetings or whatever challenge faced me. 

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