The Danger Of Keeping Clothes That Don’t Fit Anymore

The Danger Of Keeping Clothes That Don’t Fit Anymore

Stop trying to dress the body you had in the past and start dressing the body you have now.

I feel like everyone’s done it before; keep clothes that don’t fit anymore in your closet because you convince yourself that one day you’ll lose enough weight to wear them again. You tell yourself that someday, when you have your life together like those fitspo people on Instagram who eat “clean” and exercise for hours every day, your body will fit into your old clothes. You don’t take no for an answer when it comes to clothes that are too small for you, because letting them go feels like giving up. You’d rather try to change your body to fit the clothes, rather than look for clothing to fit your body. By seeing your body as the thing that needs to be altered, rather than the size of clothing that you buy, you start thinking of your body as a problem.

Keeping clothes that are too small in your closet is also a constant reminder that you’re not the same as you used to be and that scares people, especially when they realize that they’re not the same as they used to be because they’ve gained weight. A lot of people in our society are legitimately afraid of gaining weight, as if the end of the world is going to dawn upon them if they have even the slightest bit of belly pudge or jiggle.

A clown running at you with a knife should be scary. Swimming in shark-infested waters should be scary. Gaining weight shouldn’t be.

Maybe you'll fit back into your old clothes again one day. Bodies change all the time. If you can gain weight, you can lose weight, right? Why not keep the clothes just in case you ever are able to fit into them again?

The problem with that sort of thinking is that, even though it’s certainly possible that one day you'll will lose the weight you gained and be able to wear your old clothes, they don’t fit you now, and when you wake up and get ready in the morning, you’re not getting dressed to go do things tomorrow or a year from now. You’re getting dressed to go do things today, so you need clothes that fit the shape and size that your body is today.

I think there are definitely exceptions to what I’ve been saying. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to keep your old baby clothes, your wedding dress, or anything sentimental like that. If an item of clothing has some sort of significant meaning to you, by all means, don’t get rid of it. But fold it up and put it in a box in your attic. Take it out every once in a while to reminisce if you want, but don’t keep it in the closet that you look through every day. As important as your past is, it’s your past. Your wardrobe should reflect who you are right now.

Cover Image Credit: Good Housekeeping

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I Weigh Over 200 Lbs And You Can Catch Me In A Bikini This Summer

There is no magic number that determines who can wear a bikini and who cannot.

It is about February every year when I realize that bikini season is approaching. I know a lot of people who feel this way, too. In pursuit of the perfect "summer body," more meals are prepped and more time is spent in the gym. Obviously, making healthier choices is a good thing! But here is a reminder that you do not have to have a flat stomach and abs to rock a bikini.

Since my first semester of college, I've weighed over 200 pounds. Sometimes way more, sometimes only a few pounds more, but I have not seen a weight starting with the number "1" since the beginning of my freshman year of college.

My weight has fluctuated, my health has fluctuated, and unfortunately, my confidence has fluctuated. But no matter what, I haven't allowed myself to give up wearing the things I want to wear to please the eyes of society. And you shouldn't, either.

I weigh over 200lbs in both of these photos. To me, (and probably to you), one photo looks better than the other one. But what remains the same is, regardless, I still chose to wear the bathing suit that made me feel beautiful, and I'm still smiling in both photos. Nobody has the right to tell you what you can and can't wear because of the way you look.

There is no magic number that equates to health. In the second photo (and the cover photo), I still weigh over 200 lbs. But I hit the gym daily, ate all around healthier and noticed differences not only on the scale but in my mood, my heart health, my skin and so many other areas. You are not unhealthy because you weigh over 200 lbs and you are not healthy because you weigh 125. And, you are not confined to certain clothing items because of it, either.

This summer, after gaining quite a bit of weight back during the second semester of my senior year, I look somewhere between those two photos. I am disappointed in myself, but ultimately still love my body and I'm proud of the motivation I have to get to where I want to be while having the confidence to still love myself where I am.

And if you think just because I look a little chubby that I won't be rocking a bikini this summer, you're out of your mind.

If YOU feel confident, and if YOU feel beautiful, don't mind what anybody else says. Rock that bikini and feel amazing doing it.

Cover Image Credit: Sara Petty

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I've Been Dieting Since I Was 12, And I Know I'm Not The Only One

Ads and images made me believe that I had to be tall and skinny and toned to be beautiful.

I've pretty much had dieting on my mind since I was about 12-years-old, maybe even younger. That was back when everyone still used Tumblr, and my favorite blogs to follow were for "fitspiration" or "fitspo."

Pictures of tall, skinny girls with toned abs and bronzed skin were all over my dashboard, coupled with advice on how to get fit and pictures of healthy food.

It was no surprise that I soon fell into the idea that I should get fit to look like that, too.

I scrolled on Tumblr for hours, telling myself I was getting the motivation to actually do it myself. I downloaded MyFitnessPal and started counting all the calories of everything I ate. It was frustrating to not see results even after the app said I should be losing weight by then. But to be honest, I was probably cheating myself by guesstimating my daily meals and assuming my measurements were correct.

My obsession carried over to YouTube, where there was a multitude of videos from pretty girls telling me how they lost weight fast or how they got a bigger butt or a flat stomach. Diet fads promised to make you drop ten pounds in two weeks.

A big red flag should have gone off in my head when I read that, but all I could remember was that I could no longer fit into my old clothes.

See also: Summer Is Not A Reason To Hurt Yourself, That 'Bikini Body' Isn't Worth It

I began to follow Cassey Ho, who posted pilates videos on her channel called Blogilates. Thankfully, she emphasized strength and improvement over looks, as she has struggled with body image issues before too. The sad part about all of this is that I wasn't even a teenager yet but I was still exposed to so much conditioning from the media.

Whether I was conscious of it or not, all of the ads and images made me believe that I had to be tall and skinny and toned to be beautiful.

I had repeated this cycle of obsession, comparison, and giving up over and over again throughout the years and I still have to be careful about not falling into it now, eight years later. I became obsessed and all of my media consumption involved fitness and health. Then I would give up and binge and gain back whatever weight I had lost. Rinse and repeat.

Nowadays when I catch myself getting too deep into whatever the latest fitness trends are, I take a step back and remind myself just to eat a balanced diet and get some exercise in. I have to remember to get my veggies and fruits in but I won't kill myself over having a treat now and then. It's got to be about the balance.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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