I don’t know many homes that are truly sparse and minimal. We all have stuff we carefully hide in attics and closets. Sometimes stored in plastic bins or old cardboard boxes. I recently saw one of my neighbors with their garage door open and it looked like her master closet with rows of hanging clothes and bins! It quite honestly looked like a personal clothing store. Yes we all have stuff and quite honestly we have too much stuff. We are so overwhelmed by our own stuff we have to have TV shows that show us people who have more stuff than us and how it destroys their lives. We’re not that bad right? Well honestly while our homes may not look like those on TV our stuff is destroying our lives too.
Being surrounded by stuff overwhelms us and hurts our physical and mental health. I cannot create or think clearly when my office is a mess. It’s amazing but if my desk if filled with too much stuff I can’t concentrate at all. I also can’t think or make a meal if the kitchen is dirty. If I’m going to cook then I need cleaned off counters, the sink emptied of dirty dishes and things where I can get to them. So I spend the time cleaning everything and when I’m done the moment of inspiration is over. I am tired and just grab something quick to eat or order in. I’m guilty of this excuse. After spending a couple hours cleaning hours the last thing I’m interested in is messing up the kitchen making a meal and doing more dishes. So now not only have I let stuff get in the way of what I wanted to do but I’ve also let it derail my healthy diet eating. If I know this about myself then why do I too have a closet crammed of clothes that are not fitting me?
I’m sure my neighbor with the master closet garage setup thinks she seriously needs all those clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. Maybe she really does I don’t know. Maybe she’s a spy who needs several different variations of wardrobe to fit her spy identities? Perhaps she works in theater and these are costumes? Her garage has intrigued me for weeks with crazy ideas of what really this garage setup is really all about. Does she own a boutique and this is inventory? Is that LuLa Rue and she’s trying to sell it in her direct sales business? Is she a seamstress? So many possibilities and so many racks upon racks of clothes. Regardless of what she is doing with all those clothes, I’m sure that is overwhelming to her. There is some stress there that is frustrating to her every time she goes into her garage. I know because it’s what I feel when I go into my own master closet, which is a regular closet by the way and not my garage but still it’s packed!
Part of my focus this year in the 2020 Wellness Challenge is to focus on what I no longer need. It’s my personal focus but I have learned that part of weight loss and health improvement includes letting go of things that simply don’t add value to my days. Why do I want to spend my life taking care of stuff when I could be doing something fun? Why do I need to store stuff and fill up my home to the point I can’t find anything or choose what to wear every day? Why do I want to see all the things that don’t fit me every morning? How is that adding value, quality, creativity or enrichment to me right now? It’s time to stop just justifying it as something we need or will one day use again and dig a little deeper. What’s the real reason I’m saving those jeans that haven’t fit me in 10 years up on the top shelf of my closet? Why do I want to go into my closet every day and immediately feel bad?
I started out saving those jeans because I did truly want to get back in them. They stopped fitting and I was devastated about it. Those jeans really won’t fit me now as I’ve put on even more weight since the last I wore them. I was so proud when I bought those jeans. They were a reward for losing weight and getting a big raise at work. I wore them with confidence. I felt incredible in them. I liked that feeling. A lot. When they stopped fitting I put them up there and said I’ll wear them again. I’ll get back to feeling like I did when those jeans fits. I haven’t though and every day I go in my closet I’m not closer to making those jeans fit. Some days I look at that top shelf and want to cry or I get mad and yet they still don’t fit me. Those jeans are still there though waiting on me. Perhaps letting those jeans go to the charity shop would motivate me? Looking at them on the top shelf hasn’t.
When you are carrying around extra weight the last thing you want to do is look at clothes. Clothes become an evil necessity and yet when we are overweight we often have way more clothes than we need. I have at least 4 sizes in my closet because well in my case I continued to increase weight and size needing larger clothes. However I saved those smaller sizes because I was going to fit back into them. I was mad about buying larger sizes and determined for exactly 3 days to change that need. Time passes and the size options have only increased in my closet. Perhaps that’s what happened to my neighbor too?
As difficult as it is I’m going through my closet and eliminating anything that doesn’t currently fit or is the next size down from where I am right now. It looks intimidating but I think half my closet is going to be gone when this is over. This is painful but at the same time it’s blaring at me this is the what I need to be honest with myself. I can’t hide it anymore if I want it to change. I also can’t store it anymore or I too may be asking my husband to make room in the garage. I don’t need more room at all. I need less. I need to release those favorite jeans and the outfits that are not fitting. I need to get honest with what that looks like and let go. I’m where I am in weight and size and I need to see and feel that fully. It won’t feel good and I won’t like what I see but it’s me. It’s where I am.
Shedding layers that we have surrounded ourselves by to hide what we don’t want to see or feel is not easy but it’s necessary. Getting down to the core of seeing what’s under those layers is what will help us move forward freely instead of weighed down by a trail of failure. When I see 4 sizes of clothes in my closet I see a trail of failure. I see the opposite of fitting in those favorite jeans. I beat myself up for it every day when I walk in that closet looking for something to cover up what I don’t want to deal with… yet. Instead of acknowledging the size I am and doing something about it actively and presently I’m choosing to live in the past with what size I used to be and beating myself up over it. I’ll get there. Not today but I will so just cover up for today and move on. I have and flipped off the light so I don’t have to see all those favorite jeans still waiting on me.
Release it. Let it go and accept where you are right now. See all those bumps, rolls, chubbiness and more honestly. You don’t have to stay there but you won’t move forward if you cling to what was before. Cling to the idea and motivation of being healthy, feeling confident, enjoying the process of changing, growing and evolving. That starts with shedding what is overwhelming you now. What is in your past that you are still letting hang in your view. Shed it and walk in that new open space working on a better you from where you are now. For me that looks like a half empty closet of a released past that no longer fits me physically or mentally.
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