Like, a lot of weight, is that your clothes stop fitting. But it’s winter, and money is tight, so you just keep wearing the same old clothes that now look like you’re walking around in a tent. It’s not at all flattering.
So one day, tired of pulling up your jeans for the umpteenth time, you break down and go to the store to get a new shirt and maybe a pair of pants. And you wear it to church one day and you are told multiple times how good you look. A friend may even jump out of her car to yell across the parking lot that you look so good and oh my gah! Girl. Holy cow! You look, SO good. Oh. My. Gah!
And you might get some money for Christmas that you can use to pick up a new pair of jeans and a couple of sweaters. And you might get a few more compliments at church. But the rest of the week you wear the same old baggy stuff. Because that’s mostly what you have.
Then one day, while having a text convo with your friend about selling houses, for whatever reason, you think to mention this whole clothes situation. It might go something like this:
You: Unrelated; I’d say roughly 90% of the clothes that I own don’t fit anymore.
Friend: That’s great! Frustrating probably, but great!
You: It’s a good problem, but crap. I don’t know what I’m gonna do. I can’t afford to keep buying new clothes all the time.
Friend: Well, maybe you can go consignment shopping. Or check with somebody who has also lost a lot of weight and see if you can take clothes they don’t need. Do you know so and so? She’s one of my fb friends. She’s lost a lot of weight this last year, too.
You: No. I don’t know her.
Friend: I asked her for you. She wants to know what size you need.
And so begins your journey into a new, old, wardrobe. New to you. Old to someone else. And after trying on every single item, this is what you learn:
1. You’re actually a lot smaller than you thought you were. Fitting into L and XL shirts and zipping up size 14′s. (Please note: zipping up means they fit, but they are certainly not ready for wearing outside of the house. Still have some pounds to lose before they don’t look like they’ve been painted on. But the key here is they zipped.)
2. Not all size 16′s are created equal. Did you know that there is such a thing as a Women’s or Plus Size 16 and a Misses size 16? Well, there is. The Misses are cut smaller. Maybe Misses is code for “hips that haven’t borne children.”
3. Bagging up all of your old clothes will be a lot more emotional than you expected. There might be tears. Actual tears as you look at all those clothes and prepare to bag up the memories of your former self.
The career you. The single you. The pre-mommy you.
The dress you wore to college graduation.
The first suit you ever bought and wore to get your first real job. With benefits.
The dress you wore for baby dedication with your second child.
The suit you wore to dedicate your first born.
The dress you wore in your brother’s wedding.
The shirt you wore on so many dates with your husband, before you were married. It might even be ironed. And you hate to iron.
The suit pants you got hemmed by a real tailor and had them sew the pockets shut because your fat belly made them gap open and it looked terrible.
And your husband might hear you sniffling and come in and remind you how amazing you look. And that if all this stuff burned up in a fire, well, it would be gone anyway. So let it go.
And you might think how lucky you are to have such an amazing husband.
And your friend might text you an encouraging scripture to help with the overwhelming task.
And you might think how lucky you are to have such amazing friends.
In total, you might have filled one 13 gallon kitchen trash bag and a 39 gallon trash bag. You might have counted 5 dresses, 4 suits, 2 silk shirts, 9 blazers, 4 skirts, countless t-shirts, shorts, jeans, and other stuff that no longer fits. All stuff sized 20 to 28; 2x to 4x.
And after washing all the new hand me downs, folding and hanging them, you might feel like you’re looking into a stranger’s closet. And a stranger’s dresser. And even though the clothes aren’t what you might have picked out at the store for yourself, they are a blessing. Because they fit. And they were a gift. And now, you won’t feel so frumpy when you run up to Walmart.
And maybe, when you wear one of your new shirts to church you might get called skinny. Twice. In the same day. And that might feel amazing.
And then you might be reminded that it’s okay to let that stuff go. Because it’s just stuff. And you are no longer the person that that stuff belongs to. Even though it scares you to think you might need them once again. Because what if…
But you can’t play that game. You have to say goodbye to them, and to her, forever. Make a clean break. That’s the best way. The only way.
And then you think about what God wants you to know. What your friend reminded you.
See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. ~ Isaiah 43:19
And in the end, you realize you’re gonna be okay. Because you’re doing a new thing. And you’ve got big things on the horizon.
This is just one of the first of many milestones along what is likely to be a great adventure.
And that might get you excited.
And when you wake up the next day, you might drop your kid off at school and come home and exercise instead of taking a nap (which is what you really want to do) just to be sure you can still get dressed tomorrow. Because now, well, you kinda have no choice.