An empty wardrobe. Literally.

Well, almost literally.

Here’s the story. I developed a thyroid condition and gained a lot of weight. A lot. I was up to a size 22 and hating myself for it, but there was little I could do except undergo treatment and hope for better times ahead. Those times are here now. I’m currently in a size 8, on my way to a 6 again — only 11 pounds to go until I am back to my pre-illness weight, and I can’t wait to reach goal. It’s so close now. I’ve been working every day for almost a full year now to reach this goal. Working. It has been hard, but worth every bit of effort.

Every morning, when I weigh in, I make a promise to myself that I will do everything I can that day to give myself a healthy body. Every day, when I get dressed, I think of the wardrobe I will have when I am back where I belong. These are powerful motivators for me, and they help me stay committed to the process.

My clothes have been falling off my shrinking body since late fall, but I’ve held off doing much about it. I’ve bought jeans to wear for everyday — one pair at a time, and I wear them until I’m in danger of stepping out of them as I walk. I’ve bought workout clothes on the way down, too, because the last thing I need is to drop trou on the treadmill, though I look for pants with drawstring waists so I can get more mileage out of them. Other than that and some undergarments, I’ve held off on buying many clothes as I transitioned back to my normal weight. My goal has always been the “after” wardrobe rather than the “during” wardrobe.

When you find yourself joking to your friends, “Even my belt is too big to hold my pants up,” it’s time for new clothes.  When you reach the point that all of your pants and skirts are too big to stay up — when you get tangled in your nightgown because it is more like another sheet than a garment — when your shirts are so broad that they slide off your shoulders — that’s when it’s time to recognize that you need new clothes.

So I packed up my entire wardrobe and took it to the local Goodwill. It took four trips with a packed car to shift all that stuff to the donation center. It was scary because it felt like stripping myself bare and making myself vulnerable. And it was exhilarating because I felt unburdened and ready for something new. I chose to let go of the fear and hold onto the excitement. The excitement will serve me better.

I did keep a couple of things back from the donation, but hardly any. I’m an avid knitter, and though I donated several handknit sweaters, I couldn’t bring myself to part with a couple of them. (Starmore patterns! Knitters will understand.) I kept the cashmere sweaters from Nordstrom’s. I don’t care if they are big. It’s cashmere. I had three cashmere sweaters, and even if I only ever wear them around the house, I’ll still love wearing them.

And I kept this skirt.

001I know it doesn’t look like much. That’s because it isn’t. It’s a cheap store-brand maxiskirt in a crinkled rayon that I bought for a funeral some time ago. I never would have bought it except that I really needed appropriate attire for that funeral, and it was cheap. And I got what I paid for. So this is just to say, I’ve never loved this skirt, but it has one great advantage. It has a drawstring waist, and that crinkle rayon contracts quite a lot in the dryer, so I can yank the strings and wear the thing. It’s big, but it’s do-able.

I look forward to donating this skirt. I plan to do it the very same day I reach my goal weight, which should be some time in the fall.

Now, with an empty closet, empty dresser drawers, empty shelves, I am starting the rebuilding process. I will knit, sew, and shop my way into a better look. I want to be smart about it, but I plan to have fun, because let’s face it, this is a really fun problem to solve. Most of this blog will be about the sewing and knitting, but I’ll also talk about the things I buy rather than make. Why leave that out? It’s all part of the process.





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