At first I was unsure as to why I started my post off with this title, but upon further introspection, I’ve concluded that what I am writing about concerns something great, powerful and something that most women think will grant them their greatest wish. Being thin. Being thin is like a mythical creature that women chase their whole lives. Like the epic quest for the white stag in Narnia, or the pot of gold at the end of the dieting rainbow.
I would like to address a very particular facet of this great quest. Something that has always afflicted me in various cycles - Closephobia*; a pronounced fear of one's own closet and apparel. Now, I am sure there are plenty of confident, thick and thin, women reading this (and maybe even a man or two *gasp*) who have never struggled with their own minds in this way. For you, I shall describe it. It is like the worst imaginable game of truth or dare. If you DARE try and wear your skinny jeans, you will be faced with the awful TRUTH of your late night snacking and the audacity of choosing flour tortillas over the low-cal corn on taco night.
In the last 18 months I have lost 45 pounds. It’s quite an accomplishment, I know. If you ask me about it, I would happily tell you with a wink, "yes, it's true, I’m thin and beautiful now." This is my way of proving (to who, I’m not sure) that I see myself as I am and that I know that losing 45 pounds has not turned me into Heidi Klum. It's also my way to allay my discomfort when someone is shocked at how much weight I’ve lost. These last few months, I have wandered off the narrow path, thanks to the holidays and the chocolate loving chubs that still lives in my brain (my very own dark passenger). I realized this week just how far I’ve strayed. I mostly work from home and some days I live in jammies or work out wear, but this week I started training and had to go into the office. On Monday morning, I found myself fresh from the shower, and standing in front of my walk-in, paralyzed by closephobia. I was so afraid of picking out clothes that would feel tight from my winter indulgence and unused gym membership. I tried several different outfits and settled on black leggings, an oversized sweater, and trusty long scarf to hide my sugary sins. For good measure I put a big, bright flowery clip in my hair. I looked in the mirror feeling successful and loathsome in equal measure.
I don't have the answer for this feeling. I am sharing, so that maybe in your toughest bouts with closephobia, you will feel less alone and feel a sense of sisterhood in the quest. I’m trying to get back on the path now, but I am firmly avoiding the scale. I don't want to have to amend this post to say "I’ve lost 35 pounds" this year. Heaven forbid I have to be honest with myself ALL THE TIME! I am a grown ass woman and sometimes that means I get to be afraid of my closet without shame and no one can make me weigh myself.
So ladies, keep fighting the good fight, and try to make that closet your bitch! And if sometimes it bites you in the butt and you want to crawl back into your sweats, put on some black leggings and a kick-ass hair adornment and walk out with your head high, knowing that you've got a friend in me.
*Closephobia may or may not be a term I made up.