Picture this: You naturally wake up to the most beautiful filtered sunlight cascading through your slightly opened blinds, and before sliding out of your faintly over-heated sheets, you stretch the most beautiful stretch and think on all the possibilities you have before you. You lazily roll over to the side of the bed, push yourself up and out, and slowly make your way to the shower, where you let the hot water soothe your aching muscles and let the smells of your soap and shampoo wake your mind. Pictures of all that you will accomplish during the day run through your head as you dry your body and a general feeling of competence fills your soul as you apply your make-up and fix your hair. Great things are going to happen this day. It’s going to be the best day ever!
This is the way I feel for most of the mornings I wake up as René. Okay, I lied. This is the way I want to feel every morning when I wake up. If I think about it long enough I will admit to feeling this way, maybe 30 percent of the time, which is actually amazing because I know what is really waiting for me when I roll out of bed. If it’s a weekday, I am usually awakened by the sound of an annoying buzz that is screeching from the head of my LEGO Yoda alarm clock (alright, it’s not mine, but the boy doesn’t like it very much and I was worried that Yoda’s feelings were hurt). The muffled sounds of an irritated husband, pissed because he’s late again and traffic is going to suck, waft through the closed door, mingling in harmony with the slightly pathetic whines coming from the dog that knows that I am in the room and is revving himself up to attack me the second I emerge from hiding. If it’s a weekend, I bury my head in my pillow and pretend I’m sleeping until the hubby is out mowing the lawn and my son is playing video games downstairs. The dog is still whining and I’m mentally telling him to fuck off as I disentangle myself from the sheets that have bound my legs better than shackles ever could. Ah, paradise.
One quick (stop laughing, Greg) hot shower later I am mentally set and ready to take on the world. Only, now I have to deal with one of the most difficult parts of my day—getting myself dressed. Oh, I actually have a lot of clothes in my closet, clothes that I love a lot, but, the thing is, I can’t fit into most of them. I’ve got the big clothes from my really overweight days and I have the cute, trendier clothes that fit me for one week in February last year when I managed to actually follow my Weight Watchers points and lose a few pounds. It’s been so long since I had them on my body they’re starting to disintegrate. I keep the small clothes in the hopes of eventually fitting back into them (even though they’ll be off trend by several years) and I keep the fat clothes for the more realistic scenario in which I go on a month long Dairy Queen binge and go up by two sizes.
Entering into my closet is an exercise in courage. I already know what is in there and probably to the point where if someone were to quiz me, I could name, in order, the way they are hanging. There’s the cute top that I actually look pretty good in, but it was pretty snug the last time I tried to wear it. Oh, and here’s the sweet skirt I would love to wear to work, but it would probably be around my ankles by lunchtime because the waist is entirely too big. Oh, there’s all twenty of the fun t-shirts that the library has given to me over the years, but I don’t wear them for anything but working out, because they hug my body too tight and I just don’t feel comfortable being seen in public wearing them. On, and on, and on, and on—I swear, I get real tired of myself sometimes.
I can practically hear you all telling me to just give that stuff away. Live in the now! You can’t hold onto the past. When you lose the weight you can go buy all new, cute smaller stuff! Give yourself a shopping day as a reward when you reach your goal! And I know. I do. I’ve tried all of those things and the fact is, that I always seem to return to where I am right now. Practically the same size since 25 years old, I’ve had my good years and bad years but have stayed almost exactly the same. It’s the single most frustrating thing I have ever had to deal with. The currently unwearable clothes stay exactly where they are in my closet because I know I will eventually get into them all again.
Do I feel great, sharing all of my deep dark secrets with you all? Well, kind of. Writing all of these things out make me examine what has got me to this point and highlights the fact that I DO want a stress free morning where I feel confident in my ability to wear the cute clothes in my closet and I know I have the can-do attitude that will get me through the day. I DO want to feel what it is like not to stare into my closet and wonder when I’ll have to be wearing that super large tunic top that covers me from neck to knee. I DO want to appreciate myself now and not worry about what may or may not happen in the future. So why is it so hard to give all those clothes away?
Well, sitting here and transcribing my inner turmoil to people I have known and loved for many years, to people that I am just getting to know and I am willing to know better, and to those of you that I have never met and probably will never meet is just the start. I seriously need to dedicate the time and the effort and get rid of all of the clothes that are holding me back from living, and thriving, in the now and I need to take the time to mourn each and every piece that goes away. It might be the largest Mickey Mouse shirt I have ever owned, and it might actually be big enough to fit all three members of my family into it, but it was me. That blouse is just beautiful and the color would really make me look healthy, but I can’t even pull it down past my chest and it makes me sad to look at it. I’m sorry I couldn’t make it work, pretty shirt.
So here it goes—I am going to thin out my closet. I am not going to give up until I am surrounded by only the things that I can fit into and make me feel good. I’m sure that it’s the absolute least I can do to get myself jump-started into the René I know I can be. It will be hard and there may even be tears (okay, maybe not actual tears) but it will be cathartic and it will be proactive (and I’m not talking about the acne medicine, although that stuff is awesome). If I ever want to have more of those beautiful, stress free mornings I am just going to have to put in the effort– and maybe get a muzzle for the dog.
© DRB 2015