Half way through losing 20 pounds (Which to be honest is more like 17 pounds right now. Hey! It’s a process!) I was getting depressed. My weight loss coach, Our Lady of weight Loss, Janice Taylor, wanted to know what was getting me down. This is how our phone call went:
Me: This is going to sound weird but when I put on my old jeans and they’re really loose, it kind of weighs me down. I don’t get it. Shouldn’t that make me feel good?
J.T.: What do you really think of when you put on those fat jeans?
Me: I think of when I bought them. The sales lady, called the jeans “Mommy” jeans. I had to tell her calling them “Mommy” jeans was not a good thing.
J.T. What else?
Me: I was at my most over-weight. The jeans fit well at the time and looked good, but now when I put them on even though they’re loose, I still feel big. I don’t know if I’m making any sense.
J.T.: You make perfect sense. You’ve heard of phantom limb syndrome? You have phantom fat syndrome. As our mind adjusts to the new body it still clings to the old image and all the feelings connected to it.
Me: Sounds like the pathological body image people with anorexia struggle with.
J.T.: Kinda like that.
Me: What do I do? The jeans are perfectly good. With a belt I can still wear them.
J.T.: Stop wearing them. Donate them to Goodwill. Go get yourself a new pair of jeans that fit you NOW! No more Mommy jeans. If you don’t, every time you wear those old jeans you are emotionally gaining those 10 pounds all over again. That’s traumatizing!
Me: As you were saying that I took those jeans out of my closet and put them in the ‘To Donate’ pile. I already feel better.
J.T.: Good. Now look at everything else in there and get rid of the Fat Wear. Get rid of it! You will never need them again! As long as you hold on to those bigger clothes you are telling yourself you do not believe you have permanently lost that weight! Slowly your mind will catch up to the new reality.
Me: I get it. I need to act on my convictions. That will help my mind understand I mean business this time. No more ‘I need to hold to this in case I gain the weight back.’ Thanks, Janice.
J.T.: Now go shopping!