Bah, Humbug!

The only kind of clothes you should have in your closet are clothes that fit you, clothes you look great in, and clothes that garner you tons of compliments when you wear them. Don’t have ‘wish’ clothes in your closet. Those clothes exist for only one reason: to mock you.
— Peter Walsh

Almost two years ago, I purged my closet of many items that no longer fit or flattered, giving myself six months to lose the “ten or fifteen pounds that stood between me and perfection” before donating the clothes to charity. Well, those discards are long gone and now it’s more like fifteen or twenty pounds between me and perfection. And still I have a closetful of clothes that don’t work.

Because the fact is I lied to myself the last time I cleaned out my closet. I left plenty of size zeros, petite extra smalls, and junior size clothing still hanging around. It seems that I mostly got rid of things that I never really loved in the first place. I clung onto all my favorite pieces, hoping against hope to be able to squeeze into them again one day.

I can make a list of excuses why the weight is still there; menopause and hypothyroidism are at the top. But the excuses are totally beside the point. What really matters is that every one of those teeny tiny, skirts and tops and pants- and in some cases, shoes – made me feel guilty and ashamed, even those that are no longer age or lifestyle appropriate.

Or are just plain old out of style.

Like many women, I have ridden the roller coaster of weight gain and weight loss. I have been obese and I have been clinically underweight. Freeze frame: at this moment in time, even though my doctor says my weight is acceptable, I have embarked on a sensible diet and exercise regimen that is yielding slow but steady results. I have lost 4.2 pounds since the beginning of the month, an average of a safe and healthy pound a week. At this rate, it will be Thanksgiving before I reach my weight loss goal. I have no choice to but be okay with that.

Today, I made a decision. Again, I shed many tears as I emptied my closet, my dresser drawers, even an under-bed storage bin of every single top and bottom that doesn’t work on the body I have at this moment in time. Underwear, outerwear, shoes, belts and accessories also went under scrutiny. I asked myself whether or not Stacy or Clinton would let it stay. If the answer was no, I let it go.

There isn’t much left.

The rejects. Eight 13-gallon trash bags.

I have already delivered these bags to Goodwill so there is no turning back. Now that everything is gone, I no longer feel like a failure. Instead, I feel a great sense of accomplishment. And the truth is I have as much to wear as I did before. Except now when I walk into my closet, I know that everything in there is an option.

There was even one lighthearted moment when, stuffed behind a black suit that I haven’t been able to wear since 2008, I found the black top I bought on sale after Christmas in 2011. I looked forward to wearing it this past holiday season, especially when my mom showed up at my house on Christmas Eve wearing one exactly like it. I searched high and low but couldn’t locate mine. Now, by golly, I know exactly where it is. Six months to the day from now, I look forward to posing with Mom in our matching tops.

THIS is the summer I stop lying to myself, stop trying to be someone I am not, stop feeling bad for not living up to some idea. I may not be Hollywood-perfect, but I am the very best Pam Asberry I can be at any given moment.

And that, by golly, is good enough.