OUT OF THE CLOSET
23 March 2002
A good thing to do when starting a new eating plan (ephemism for "diet") is
to make an assessment of all those dusty clothes hanging in the back of your closet to get
an idea of what is there. Old friends you haven't seen in years.
When I was preparing to go to Rochester last month, I went looking for some sweaters
that I remember putting in a dresser in our junk room. The sweaters weren't there, but in
going through that room, I opened a closet and found a whole rack of clothes I moved in
there several years ago, having outgrown them, and needing space in my other little
Going through that closet was like a trip down memory lane, each piece representing a
time when I was xx pounds thinner than I am now. I look at some clothes and I know exactly
how much I weighed when I was wearing them. Unfortunately when I look at my clothes,
numbers flash before my eyes.
There is the dress I wore to Gilbert's memorial service, for example (I'm embarrassed
to admit that was 17 years ago!). I had lost a significant amount of weight the year
before he died and bought the dress (a navy blue dress that I fear got far too much use as
funeral attire than I ever intended, as Gilbert's death by heart attack came just before
the AIDS epidemic started hitting The Lamplighters. Too many memorial services for awhile
there.). At the time of Gilbert's death, the dress was starting to get a little snug
again. I remember exactly to the pound how much I weighed the day I wore it to the
There's the pair of pants I saved as a "before" demonstration, so that when
I'd lost weight, I could try them on and see how far I'd come. I did lose most of the
weight that time, though I never quite reached my goal. But I lost 80 lbs and the
"before" pants were as impressive as I thought they'd be. (Unfortunately they
are too tight for me now.)
There's the wonderful frilly white blouse that I
bought at my lowest weight in the last 20 years. By rights, I should have given it away a
long time ago, but hope springs eternal and I always hoped I'd be able to fit into it
again. That's a long time down the road, and many a lettuce leaf between now and then, but
I once again have hope...and determination.
Somewhere in the bottom of a drawer is a set of maroon tailored pants that looked so
good with the above mentioned blouse. I despair of ever being able to wear them again,
but, as I said before, hope springs eternal.
There is also a whole drawer full of t-shirts and sweat shirts in various forms of
X-large (X, XX, XXX). Some of them are starting to fit. By the time the triple digit temps
get here, I should have a whole wardrobe of t-shirts that are no longer form-fitting.
I've never been a clothes horse. The only reason I have closets stuffed full of clothes
is that when I outgrow something I like, I can't bring myself to throw it away, always
hoping that I'll shrink down again and it will fit.
There was a fancy dress I bought before we moved to Davis, I think. I loved that dress
and kept it in the back of the closet for years until I finally decided that after 5
children and far too much yoyo dieting, I was probably never going to be a size 12
again, and gave it to the first charitable organization that dropped a collection bag on
our front door.
Through the years, I've given Walt a hard time for keeping clothes that he wore in high
school. (It's probably not quite that bad, but pretty close). As I start going through my
own closet treasure trove, I realize that I've done the same thing. Probably for different
reasons. But the nice thing about holding on to those old things that you liked when you
were thinner is that as you lose weight, you already have a wardrobe waiting for you. I
guess it's an economical move, in the long run.