Almost 18 years ago, I got married.

I was at the heaviest weight of my life.    I wasn’t the unhealthiest I had ever been, just the heaviest.

I had spent that year taking better care of myself.  I quit smoking and I decided that I would no longer be a slave to my eating disorder that had plagued me for several years.     When you make those kind of decisions, there are consequences.    My hardest consequence was weight gain.   I was 200 pounds.

Oh, but  I was happy.     I had someone who loved me for who I was.   Someone who saw the ugliest parts of me and still fell in love. I married someone who I knew wasn’t going to leave if I gained weight.     I knew that if this man saw me exactly as I was and continued to pursue me like crazy, he was a keeper.

But I hated being overweight.    It was nothing new, I’ve battled those extra pounds my entire life.   I had been on the roller coaster way too long.    But now I was in a better place.    And I knew it was time to shed that part of me that was clinging from my past.

We were living in PA and attending a church that had a weight loss support group.    I had the time and I had the energy, so I was fully ready to do this.

It was simply based on moderation.   That was the secret.   Eat less, move more.   And it worked.    60 pounds lost and I felt amazing.    Life was good.

On a trip to Seattle I tried on a pair of jeans that were the smallest size I had ever worn.   They didn’t just fit, they were loose.    I bought those pants with pride.

Soon after, I was thrilled to find out we were expecting our first child.   We had Abbey, then Josh followed quickly.   I had a miscarriage and then along came our Will.    And with the exception of pregnancy and right after, I still fit in that glorious pair of jeans.     I was never going back.   They were there to remind me that I could do really hard things.

For the last 14 years I have used those jeans as my way of reassuring myself I was still ok.  They didn’t always fit the same, especially post third child, but they fit.    As long as I could get them on, I was ok.     I rarely ever wore them, I just used them to make sure I wasn’t gaining weight.   They were 15 years old and out of style.   But I held onto them for dear life.

This winter they were tighter than ever.   My spirits plummeted.    All my pants were tight.    I was running.   I was eating healthy.   I knew I could drink less wine or skip dessert.   But I wasn’t being lazy.

I was 41,  though.

I began to realize that this wasn’t going to be as simple as it used to be.   I was going to have to be more careful and work harder.

Those jeans began to glare at me from the spot on the shelf.

I didn’t have to try them on to feel bad, all I needed to do was look at them.    And every time I opened my closet, I wanted to cry.    I hated those jeans.

I had become a prisoner to them.

Several weeks ago I opened my closet and felt that deep ugly shame that I couldn’t fit in them the same way.    And, I was tired of their gaze.    So I made a big decision-

The jeans had to go.

This may sound crazy to you!   It was just a pair of jeans.   But they had become a reminder of old feelings and addictions.  They had too much power over me.

So I donated those jeans back to the universe.    Someone at Goodwill is going to be shopping and find a great deal.    That makes me happy, they weren’t mine to keep anymore.

So if there is something staring you down in your closet- and it’s making you feel all those bad feels, LET IT GO.

There is way too much life left to live.

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