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.
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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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National Eating Disorder Awareness Week Should Matter To All Of Us

Secrets make you sick.
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Next week (2/26 - 3/4) is National Eating Disorder Awareness (NEDA) Week, a week where education, prevention, and treatment take the forefront.

In the United States alone, as many as 20 million women and 10 million men will struggle with an eating disorder at some point in their lives. This statistic becomes especially troubling considering eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. Despite these growing numbers, eating disorders are still incredibly stigmatized, and they are born and raised in silence.

This is exactly why National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is so important – to me, a survivor, to the millions of people struggling, and to a society that turns the other cheek to one of the deadliest, and most preventable, illnesses of our time.

This year's theme, sponsored by the National Eating Disorders Association, is Let's Get Real, a challenge and a promise to fight stigma and make it okay to talk about eating disorders, whether you're directly affected by them or not. The program encourages prevention through things like education and awareness, including the ability to recognize unhealthy thought and behavior patterns that may lead to the development of an eating disorder.

It also aims to educate the public on signs and symptoms of eating disorders to guide people in helping their loved ones who are struggling toward treatment and recovery. Along with prevention, the program encourages treatment and recovery through resources like their online screening tool and their 24/7 helpline. NEDA also works to fund treatment centers and counseling across the country, and the money raised during the week goes directly toward life-saving treatment for those who need it.

But arguably the most important aspect of National Eating Disorder Awareness Week is the opportunity it gives us to finally talk about these diseases – without shame and without stigma.

Eating disorders are constantly around us, whether we know it or not. They are born and raised in silence. Giving us the permission and the platform to finally talk about them gives us power, and even gives us the chance at possibly saving someone's life. It gives us the chance to say to someone, "You are not alone" and "Recovery is possible." And it is so, so possible.

This National Eating Disorder Awareness Week, I encourage you to head over to www.nationaleatingdisorders.org and take a look at the information and the resources made available. I encourage you to start a conversation in your own social circles, your dinner tables, your residence halls, etc.

I encourage you to help fight the stigma and save some lives. Let's Get Real – this week and every week.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, contact the NEDA helpline at (800) 931-2237, text "NEDA" to 741741, or visit the official NEDA website at www.nationaleatingdisorders.org.

For Stony Brook University students, contact CAPS at (631) 632-6720 or CAPS After Hours at (855) 509-5742.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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I'm Done Explaining Myself And My Body

I'm a work in progress.
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When I started college as a freshman, I was small. Small in a lot of different ways, but small in body size, first and foremost. Small in the most important way, I told myself.

Today as a senior, I am larger. Larger in body size for sure, but larger in a lot of different ways that I’m starting to realize are much more important. I’m larger in areas such as spirit, mentality, and empathy.

But throughout sophomore and junior year, I was only concerned with the expansion of my body. Mostly, I was concerned with what others were thinking about it.

There are a host of reasons behind my expanding body during those years, and I spent a solid portion of those years trying to explain my reasons to everyone. Literally. Everyone. To my family, to friends past and present, to people I’d just met who hadn’t even known me when I was small. To Facebook, to Instagram, to Twitter.

I explained myself and my weight gain to anyone and everyone before they could make up their own assumptions before they could place their own narratives on my body.

In her powerful memoir, “Hunger,” Roxane Gay concurs with this particular anxiety of mine: “When you’re overweight, your body becomes a matter of public record in many respects. Your body is constantly and prominently on display. People project assumed narratives onto your body and are not at all interested in the truth of your body, whatever that truth may be.”

I was determined for people to understand my truth — even the darkest areas of that truth — because I couldn’t bear to have those typical narratives placed on me. I could not allow people to think I was simply lazy and overeating for no reason other than a lack of willpower.

First and foremost, when I was explaining my body, I’d make sure people knew that at one point not too long ago, my body was small. And by the end of my explanations, I’d still be large in size and feel even smaller in the aforementioned more important ways.

Explaining my body never left me feeling more confident and safe in how people saw me. It just reinforced that my own self-worth was equated to my body size.

Luckily, things have changed this year. Through education, experience, and consistent training of my thoughts, I’ve slowly begun redefining my self-worth and started practicing more love and acceptance towards my body. I don’t feel as great a desire to explain my body to people, although I’m certain people still have their own explanations when they see me.

I’m a work in progress. I know my truth. And that’s all that really matters.

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