Life After Diets
The Myth of the Goal Jeans
How to cleanse your closet and your soul in three easy steps
In 2006 I bought my very first pair of size 2 jeans. They were 7 For All Mankind, very trendy at the time, and they cost a small fortune, but I was so incredibly proud of them. The year before, after graduating high school as the “fat girl,” I had joined Weight Watchers so that the literal weight of that label would not follow me to college. And I had been successful. I lost over twenty pounds that summer and felt proud of my body when I stepped foot on campus that fall.
Over time, though, my restrictive diet and intense workout regimen began to take its toll. I didn’t have the mental or physical energy to maintain the lifestyle that had brought me so much success and keep up my grades and work a part-time job and make friends and do activities. It wasn’t possible.
So, the weight started to creep back on, and I panicked.
It certainly isn’t easy, but getting rid of uncomfortable clothes that do not fit, and that make you feel bad about yourself are doing you more harm than good.
Over the next decade, I’d battle constant yo-yo dieting, disordered eating, and bulimia. I’d see my weight swing wildly between 120 and 200 pounds, often in relatively short periods.
Quickly, those size two jeans were relegated to the back of my closet, stored in bags with other goal weight clothing. My wardrobe grew to include pants and dresses from size 2–16. I kept all of it because I had no idea what size I’d be from one month to the next.
That practice of keeping clothes that don’t fit can take an emotional and psychological toll. Those size two jeans, to my disordered mind, were there to encourage me in my diet efforts, to keep me on track when I felt exhausted by the whole thing. In reality, they were just a reminder of everything I thought I had failed at. They weren’t motivating me, they were mocking me; they fueled self-hatred, reminding me of a time when I was thinner and therefore better.