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Healthy Living for Mom: Cleaning out the Closet

Twenty-Three pounds was high time to clean out the closet.

This time last year I was in the final weeks of my pregnancy with my son. I was nesting like a beast and I turned my attention on the ridiculous stockpile of clothing that I had stashed in my basement.

I had amassed a wardrobe that ranged from size 10 to size 22. Four giant plastic totes were full of clothes. I had squirreled away the “skinny” clothes of my college days. Dark rinse jeans from Gap, sweaters from Abercrombie & Fitch, a pair of khaki shorts from J. Crew that my possession of nearly 13 years later couldn’t even be classified as “wishful thinking”...more like a complete break with reality.

On the other end of the spectrum, I had my larger clothes. Dress pants, jackets, and button down shirts that had served as my work attire before I started working from home six years ago.

If my skinny jeans represented where I hoped to return, my larger clothes served as my back up plan.

For years I’d kept this clothing stockpile in the back of my mind. Dreaming of one day fitting back into those size 10’s, but staying prepared, should I need something roomier.

But last February, in a fit of what can only be called realistic optimism, I got rid of all of it.

No more would I pine away for the day when I could zip up the jeans I wore on my first date with my husband in 1998.

No more would throw caution to the wind and eat a dozen Krispy Kreme’s in 24 hours, because I knew I had pants that would do in a pinch.

That left me with my filled-to-the-gills closet. That’s were my very wide-style-range of size 14-18 clothing lived.

Until last weekend.

My girl helping weed out unnecessary footwear.

My girl helping weed out unnecessary footwear.

I cleaned that closet like a woman possessed. But there were moments of hesitation. Moments when I considered keeping something just in case. 

Just in case I get busy and can’t work out.

Just in case I eat a whole pan of brownies.

Just in case I my treadmill kicks the bucket.

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But I kept coming back to one of the ideas behind this fantastic post by Meagan Francis. Meagan wrote the following line in April of 2010 and it’s stuck with me ever since:

I decided to try only buying things I look and feel fantastic in.

So I applied this thought as I tried on every single thing in that closet and found myself keeping only about a 1/3 of the contents.

Now I’ve eliminated my back up wardrobe.

It feels shallow and vain to put it that way, but now that I’ve been focusing on being healthy for almost six months, I can say that when I’m putting (mostly) healthy food in my body and getting a decent amount of exercise that I feel good in every imaginable way.

I sleep better. I don’t get sick as much as I used to. My tummy doesn’t hurt all the time. I can chase my kid around the backyard. My knees don’t hurt. I can sling 40-pound bags of dog food around a Costco like nobody’s business.

And, yes, I wear a smaller size.

The smaller pants are just a visual indication of the overall change.

A change I’m not willing to let go of again. Those old jeans would have made it all too easy to slide back into those unhealthy habits, so it was high time I kissed those jeans goodbye.


  • Starting Weight: 195.5 pounds
  • Week Twenty-Three Weight: 172.5 pounds ( -3 pounds / -23 pounds total)
  • Goal Weight: 165 lbs

Do you have back up clothes? Do you still have a pair of skinny jeans in the closet?

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