Cleaning out my closet with mixed emotions

As I am writing this post, it is the last day of the 100 Mile Walking Challenge, and the eve of the 30 day Affirmation Challenge. I will write about both of those tomorrow. On this, the last day of the second third of 2014, I want to write about my mixed emotions.

My wife and I have decided to take on the project of remodeling our bedroom in the month of September. Yesterday we moved out bed into the spare room, and began the process of going through our clothes. I have a lot of clothes that I can’t wear anymore because they are too big, and this change to our room is a perfect excuse to do something about that.

So, there I was, going through polo shirts, T-Shirts, blue jeans, shorts, sweat pants and suits. For many of them the choice was easy. I no longer fit into 3X shirts any more, nor do blue jeans with a 56 inch waist make any sense to keep (except for one pair for a really fun progress picture someday). The process was really sailing along. I had filled two huge plastic bags of donations, and was working on a third when it suddenly hit me.

Last year around this time I went through all of my summer clothes. At that time I got rid of anything that was Extra Large or smaller, or that didn’t fit my then huge ass. My son came to visit during all of this and sat on the bed talking to me. When talking about the gigantic, but comfortable underwear I had just bought, I lamented that they weren’t very attractive looking. His now-famous answer was “who are you trying to impress?”. He was right, of course. At that size I wasn’t impressing anyone, with the lone exception of my always supportive wife. That day I donated 4 or 5 large bags of clothes that no longer fit.

Flash forward to yesterday, and I was doing the same thing all over again. Granted, this time it was for a better reason, but still, I was donating hundreds of dollars worth of clothes. The emotions were stating to run hot for me.

  • Look at all this waist! Some of these things were just given to me at Christmas last year.
  • Here I am again getting rid of clothes that don’t fit.
  • What if this isn’t the last time I do this?

That last one stopped me in my tracks. The truth is that I have been through this cycle before. I have purged non-fitting clothes that were too big, and that were too small. Each time with the resolution that I would be doing it for the last time. But, what if 2 or 3 or 5 years from now I am in that same bedroom, with those same big bags, in front of that same closet and dresser purging all these “tiny” clothes? I sat motionless, lost in my thoughts for a good five minutes. My wife asked what was wrong, and nearly-tearfully I told her what I was thinking. She was encouraging (as she always is), and told me that this time she thought it would be different for me. She thought that all of my fearless and public writing on Facebook and the blog would help keep me accountable. In my ever sarcastic way, I reminded her that I knew where the delete button is.

After all that I didn’t get much else done. There are still a fair amount of clothes to go through, and I’ll be diving in again tomorrow morning (thankfully it is a Holiday weekend). But, my emotions are most definitely mixed.

On the one hand I am thrilled to be down over 75 pounds. I know that I feel far better physically and emotionally than I have in many years. I haven’t stopped, and still intend to lose upwards of another 75 pounds before reaching my goal weight. All those things are positives.

On the other hand, I am thinking about all of the waste that went to my waist. I am thinking about the money spent on giant clothes, but honestly that isn’t the issue. Sure, I’d love to have that money back, but it is just money. More importantly I am emotional about all of the lost opportunity in my life. In far too many ways I have wasted time. Much too often I have allowed my size and my health status to govern the activities of my life. I have let my love affair with food eclipse other things in my life. Yes, I am on a better path now, but what of the future?

I am fearful that I am one setback away from spiraling out of control again. I am truly afraid of being in front of that closet pulling out my small clothes to make room for my new, larger ones. Not because of the cost of the clothes, but because of the cost in my life.

I want this to be the last time that I have to lose an enormous amount of weight. When my BMI finally drops below 30, or even below 25, for it to be the last time I ever see it that high. But for all of my resolve, for all of my best intentions on this sunny Sunday morning, I know that I cannot truly predict myself in the future. I write often in my other blog about being intentional in life, and about making my own destiny. I truly believe that those things are true, and I have proof in my own history to show it. But I also have proof in my history that when I choose – explicitly or implicitly – to go off the path, that I can do so with a reckless abandon that would make the most daring stuntman wince.

I sat to write this because I think I needed to say it. To my friends and family, don’t worry. I am not spinning out, and I am not off the rails. I am just reflective on where I am, and how badly I don’t ever want to go backwards.




  1. I think the most important thing you have said in this entire post is that you don’t know what the future will hold for you. I know you know, it is completely in your hands, and the “wastage” you refer to is actually motivational and inspirational to a lot of us who read your blog. I am sure there are feelings of achievement along with the the fears you have been so brave to talk about. For now I really wish you can see how far you have come rather than think about how much further you need to go. So many of us, are only aspiring to do what you already have.

    Okay this is getting long and incoherent. But I hope you know what I mean.


  2. I think you took a big step just in acknowledging your very real fears. The good thing is that you have been doing this for so long it has now turned into a habit. You can see the benefit of your actions, and if you think about it, I’ll bet the pleasure you get from doing things you could not before completely outweigh any taste of some food that may have given you comfort. I could not be prouder of you. And while I know there is always a fear is spiraling back down when things are going well, after a while the good feelings become your norm, and the old feelings are now just a distant memory to look back on.


  3. I’m so glad to know that I am not the only one who lives in fear of re-gaining the weight. I have nightmares (quite often actually) that I wake up one morning and I am 370 lbs. again. I understand how you feel. I agree with Mrs. Bobby C, this IS going to be the last time you have to lose the weight. This IS your time! I too often think about the time I wasted in my life being so devoted to food, but then I remind myself that I have to let that go. No use crying over spilled milk, right? I focus on how proud I am of the fact that I am in MUCH better health in my 40’s than I was in my 30’s and focus on all the wonderful things I still have to do in my life! Thank you for sharing this very real and honest reflection.


    1. Thank you, Kassie. I will pass on your comment to the boss as well. 🙂

      I am in a better place about this today than I was on Saturday. I think that seeing the pile of donation bags was really weighing on me. And you are right, there is no sense crying over spilled milk.

      Just the other day I said to my wife while we were out and about that I felt like I was gliding when I walked. Walking is no longer a chore, it’s something I enjoy and look forward to. Just one example of how great I feel!

      Liked by 1 person

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