Clothes Too Big? Too Small? Closet Clearing for Yo-Yo Dieters
Springtime clutter clearing can be a stressful time for people riding the yo-yo dieting roller coaster:
What do you do with clothes that are too small or too large?
This isn’t a simple clutter clearing matter. When your weight remains relatively stable—and when you have clothes that fit you well now—it’s easier to decide what stays and what goes.
But when your weight fluctuates, it can be challenging.
Figuring out what to do with different sized clothes can trigger feelings of failure and fear:
“If I keep gaining weight, at this rate I’ll be wearing that size 20 dress again.
I need to keep it… just in case.”
“I love that silk blouse, but I’m afraid I’ll never be that thin again to wear it.”
I typically suggest that my clients keep in their closet only clothes that fit them well and feel comfortable to wear—today. But there is no right or wrong way. When some women look at a pretty dress in their closet that’s too small, they feel disappointed in themselves. The see it as “proof” they’re a failure. For others, however, that same dress inspires them to keep making positive lifestyle changes. Imagining wearing it again keeps them motivated.
Here’s the thing:
Your clothes are worn on your body, right? So it’s only fair you let your body have some say in this. Plus, you and your body are life partners. Your body holds a wealth of wisdom and wants to support you. Whether you call it your body wisdom, intuition or Wise Self, this guidance comes from the same Divine source. From helping you overcome emotional eating to guiding you to decisions about the clothes in your closet, your body can help you.
You just have to ask.
Your Body Wisdom Guide
To make peace with clothes that no longer fit and find the best answer for you, use what I call your Body Wisdom Guide.
Here’s how it works:
Take all your clothes that don’t fit and put them in a pile. Then, pick up each item and hold it close to your heart. Get quiet. Breathe. Tune into your body and ask:
“Do you want me to keep this?”
“Is this something you intend to wear again?”
Take your time. Breathe. Listen. Notice what thoughts and images enter your mind.
If you hear or sense you will not wear that piece of clothing again, put it in a donate pile.
If you sense your body wants you to keep it, ask this question:
“Do you want me to store this in or out of my closet?”
Again, notice what thoughts and images enter your mind. If you sense a garment will feel inspiring to put in your closet, place it in a “closet pile.” If you sense it’s best to keep it elsewhere, put it in a “storage” pile.
After going through all your smaller or large-sized clothes, you’ll have one or all of these three piles:
1) Clothes to keep in your closet.
2) Clothes to keep but stored out of your closet.
3) Clothes to donate.
If you don’t get a clear message when you first do this, that’s okay. The more you practice tuning into your body wisdom, the easier it becomes to “feel” and “hear” a response.
So if you don’t hear a response, simply store these clothes respectfully out of your closet and use your Body Wisdom Guide again at another time.
Give Your Subconscious Time
If you hear that your body wants you to keep a garment that is too large, don’t worry. It’s not a prediction you’ll be that weight again. Your body wisdom may know you need more time to change your self-image. Permanent weight loss isn’t only about releasing weight from your body. It’s about releasing limiting beliefs from your mind. These beliefs need time to “catch up” to the new, slimmer version of yourself.
For example, if you let go of some larger-sized items too quickly, it’s possible you could sabotage yourself and regain the weight. Your subconscious mind may undermine you with thoughts like, “Wait, not so fast. I’m not ready for this. I can’t let go of the protection that dress and the weight give me.”
Or, getting rid of larger-sized clothes may stir a low-level sensation of fear that you may not even associate with releasing weight. That’s how the subconscious mind works, especially when it holds the energy of past trauma. You don’t always “hear” fear via negative thoughts. You feel it in your body without knowing what triggers it.
Keeping those items may seem counter-productive energetically. But actually, by putting them away, you’re simply saying to these clothes, “I’m not going to deal with you now. After I get stronger and feel safer in my body, we’ll say good-bye. Thank you for being in my life. But for now, we’re taking a break.” Trust your body wisdom to let you know the right time to discard them.
After you’ve used your Body-Wisdom Guide, put the clothes you want to donate in a bag. If possible, bring them to your car or back hallway right away so you get them out of your home. Notice what it feels like to create space by releasing them.
Then, take the clothes in the storage pile and keep them in a safe place away from your main clothes closet.
Now you’re left with the items to keep in your closet. Store them either in a separate spot where you easily see them or mixed in with your other clothes. You’ll know what’s best for you.
Remember: you don’t have to travel your weight release journey alone. Your Body Wisdom Guide is always there for you.
You just have to ask.
Will you ask your body wisdom for guidance?
Thank you for helping me understand my weight fluctuations all of my life. I will continue to release my troubles from my inner being with your brilliant teachings
You are very welcome, Sandy. I’m so glad my writings are helpful to you. Wishing you all the best.
I just recently purged 15 trash bags full of old or unfitting clothes from my closet! Very freeing!!!
That’s great, Tamara… I know that feeling!
Oh wow… I really need to do this. Nearly everything I have in my closet no longer fits me (too small). I have a pile of clothes I wear on the bench at the foot of my bed because I hate opening my closet. It’s truly depressing. I see all of the cute things I used to wear when I could fit into single digits and it makes me want to cry. Literally, cry.
Organizing your clothes in a way that’s respectful to you, your body, and your clothes, will help reduce your stress and uplift your mood. I hope you will do this and let your Body Wisdom guide you.
Wishing you all the best.