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> Back to Self-Care Excerpts List

Self-Care Excerpt from Don't Weight

A Ghost In Your Closet

There may be someone else in your house who has the power to damage your self-esteem. They often lurk in your closet or in a basement storage area. This ghost may be about the same size you used to be. This ghost may be the size you wish you were. You can be plunged into bad feelings just by thinking about this ghost that haunts your closets. Are you saving clothes that you used to wear (or clothes you bought and never could wear), just in case this ghost shows up again? Who is it? It is you. It is the person you used to be when you were thinner and younger, or the person you wish you were when you bought that outfit one size too small. It is the "ghost of sizes past".

Every time you wish for the

"ghost of sizes past" to return,

you are criticizing and rejecting

the person who you are right now.

Waiting for this ghost hurts you.

That self-criticism can eat away

at your self-esteem.

In the long run, that self-criticism can also drain away your motivation to take better care of yourself. How many years can you stare at a closet full of clothes that do not fit before you become hopeless that they will ever fit? When you are hopeless, what is the use? "I'll never get back into those clothes, I might as well give up." What is it that you give up on? Usually, you give up on eating healthy and exercising.

The ghost in your closet can CAUSE you

to give up on your healthy lifestyle!

Go to your closet and open it. Do you see things in there that you cannot wear because they no longer fit you? How does that make you feel? Remember that feeling bad about yourself sucks away your motivation to take care of yourself. Are you saving these clothes in case you get back to that size again? Even if your body size changed and you end up the same size as these clothes from the past, the styles would have also changed. You would have changed. You are not and will never be the person you were in the past. This is a good thing. Think of all that you have learned, all that you have been through. You should look different than you used to look. Time moves forward. Get rid of the ghosts hiding in your closets that make you feel bad about yourself. You could donate those clothes to charity, give them to a favorite niece, or sell them at a resale shop. These clothes can make someone else feel good. Get rid of clothes that don't fit. It will make you feel better about yourself when you open up your own closet.

On the other hand, when you look in your closet, do you see clothes that do fit you? Do you find the clothes you need to get through your days comfortably? If not, what are you waiting for?

I would like you to imagine that you were in charge of caring for a child. Now, think of this little one who is in your care and notice how you would treat this child. Would you force that little one to wear clothes that do not fit? Would you deny him/her comfortable clothes that look nice?

If you were dressing a little one in your care, you would make sure that little one was dressed appropriately ... even if the little one were going to change body size soon! You would not force a three year old to go without clothes just because he/she will need a different size next year.

Even if you expect your body size to change,

you deserve to have clothes that fit NOW.

If you give yourself any less, you are subjecting yourself to the same kind of judgment and neglect that would hurt anyone. Perhaps, when you were a child, you were hurt in this same way. Don't continue the damaging pattern.

Go ahead. Get rid of the ghosts in your closet

and fill your closet with acceptance.

This does not have to cost a lot of money. If you cannot buy clothes right now, just move the things that don't fit into boxes somewhere out of sight and put the things that do fit closer to the front of the closet and drawers. If you have a little money, there are stores with budget prices, resale shops, and clothing swaps. Of course, if your finances allow, it is wonderful to treat yourself to something extra nice. You will find a resource for plus size clothes for men, women, and children at

People of all sizes, even very large size people, can shop for clothes that fit. For hundreds sellers of plus size clothes of ALL sizes see

Having clothes that fit is an experience of self-acceptance. Your experiences affect how you feel. People often ask me "HOW do I learn to accept my body?" There are many answers. There are many paths to self-acceptance. It always helps to take an ACTION toward your goals. Set up your closets and drawers so they are filled with clothes that fit your body NOW. This is one action you can take toward self-acceptance and feeling better about your body. Feeling better about yourself helps keep you motivated to take care of yourself.

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By Kelly Bliss M.Ed., A.C.E. author of Don’t Weight, Eat Healthy & Get Moving NOW!
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