by Kristen Troy
You are working out, eating clean, and feeling great. Then you go to put on that dress, pair of pants, or another piece of clothing you have been saving, and they still don’t fit right. Don’t let the piece of clothing undermine all the great work you have put in to feel great. You are not alone if you feel this way – many people have trouble finding clothes that lay just right on their body, myself included. The pieces of clothing we save, although we love them, they may not be doing much for our confidence and self-love.
I recently lost 15 pounds by working out and eating clean, so I was hoping to put on the dress that I keep in the back of my closet and feel great in it. That was not the case. All that positivity and confidence that came from a 15-pound weight loss was gone. I was not okay with this, so I was determined to do something about it.
I decided to take an unconventional approach to detox an area of my life that tends to lead to unhealthy mental thoughts and emotions about myself and my body: my wardrobe. Getting ready in the morning shouldn’t cause you to try on multiple outfits because they make you feel less than the beautiful person you are and start your day off on a negative note.
For me, I have loved shopping since I was a young girl, so I tend to have a full closet and dressers. The problem with this is that I don’t wear a good portion of the clothes I own for several reasons. Some of the clothes weren’t the best fit and some made me feel too old or too young – you name the reason, I’ve probably felt it.
In addition to the clothes themselves, the clutter from too many items in each drawer and no more space to move things in the closet was making me feel stressed out whenever I had to deal with anything involving clothing. Getting dressed and doing laundry were stressful, emotional, and mentally-taxing activities. Every time laundry had to be done, I dreaded putting away the clothes because it was so difficult to fit them back in, so the clean laundry would stay in the laundry basket for days until I couldn’t deal with it anymore.
One day I was listening to the She Thrives Podcast and the host, Taylor, talked about doing a Life Detox. The idea stuck with me, and for weeks I thought about doing it. Finally, when all my clothes were washed, I set some time aside and I did it! I took a Marie Kondo method to cleaning out – dumping all my clothes out into a pile and inspecting each piece of clothing one-by-one.
First, I would look at each article of clothing and think about how it made me feel. Did it make me happy? Did I like the style? How long have I had it? (Some of my clothing I have owned for about 10 years, which at 23 means I was keeping some of my favorites from middle school!) If it made me happy, I would try it on and re-assess to make sure it made me feel great. If it made me happy and feel great, I kept it. Through this process, I cleaned out a good amount of clothing and even inspired my husband to do the same. Together he and I had a pile that was almost 2 feet tall of clothes to donate. We also filled a grocery sized bag with clothes to throw out and had one bag of clothes to give to people we know that might be able to make use of it.
When we were finished, we both felt a weight lifted from our shoulders and were so much happier being in our bedroom. The days following this detox we had an easier time getting ready in the morning because there was positivity with every outfit we picked, and only one outfit had to be put on each day instead of 3-5. Doing laundry is easier because we know that when we go to put away our clothes, we won’t have to shove them into a drawer that may not close or use our body weight to try and push hangers apart to hang another article of clothing.
If you are struggling to get ready in the morning, have a cluttered wardrobe, or need a refresh after a weight change or life event, a wardrobe detox may help. Put aside some time to look through your clothes. This detox does not have to take place all at once. Maybe you want to detox your workout clothes one day and the next you want to look at your business clothes or casual clothes. You could split up your detox on category or articles of clothing. The important part is not the process you use to detox, but that the outcome makes you a happier, mentally healthier person. Go forth and purge!