Thursday, October 7, 2010

Nothing to Wear

So it’s fall again, and I have nothing to wear. My closet is full. It looks like the staging area for a yard sale put on by people who originally purchased all of their clothes at a yard sale. One of my problems is that I don’t discard things on a regular basis. It is rare that an item of clothing will meet my criteria for removal from my closet. If something still fits, I tend to keep it even if I haven’t worn it in the last eighteen months because well, it still fits. If it doesn’t fit, I sometimes consider whether I should get rid of it. That’s about as far as it goes.

If a top is too small, which is pretty rare because all the calories I consume have homing mechanisms that lead them directly to the lower half of my body, I will keep it for layering purposes. The risk there is that for some reason I would be required to take off my top layer. I usually steer widely clear of strip poker, but I have envisioned the heroic rescue of a child from icy waters, hypothermia looming, and me the only one in the crowd with an outer layer. Even my slightest hesitation in revealing my tight, midriff-baring t-shirt would not be acceptable. But I can promise you that every person in that crowd would soon wish that they had worn their own jackets that day, even if the weatherman had predicted record high temperatures. (That’s really the only way this scenario works out, what with the icy waters and no one wearing jackets.)

So that leaves the mystery of my lower half. That sounds like a title from the women’s self-help section of the book store or maybe a novel written by an Amish spinster. I’ll rephrase. It’s really more of a brain-teaser than a mystery. Here’s the set-up. None of Ann’s pants, skirts, or jeans fit her. Ann has remained the same average weight for the past six years. She could stand to lose five to fifteen pounds but lacks commitment to exercise and the ability to control her caloric intake for extended periods of time. Why don’t Ann’s clothes fit?

I want to assure you that I’m not sitting here at my computer in my underwear. I do have a few things I can wear. Right now I’m wearing black sweat pants with a white stripe down the side. The problem is that I have not exercised today nor do I plan on it. I realized toward the end of last winter that I was in trouble when I had mentally classified my sweatpants as casual or dressy. Huge red flag—huge. However, spring was on its way so I just muddled through and was the first to don my warm-weather attire. For some reason spring and summer are easier. I love dresses and skirts, with their light, flowy, forgiving fabrics.

I, however, live in a region with four seasons, and I’ve got plenty of corduroy, denim, and wool hanging in my closet. So what gives? As I pulled on my dressy-casual sweats this morning it came to me. Yes, it’s true that my average weight has not changed over the last six years, but that statistic does not tell the whole story. About four times a year I purchase a fitness magazine, make a chart, print a calendar, and set out to become the svelte woman I was meant to be. About twice a year I go even further than that and actually put the plan into action. For a week or so I am a rock. A strong, new woman—the ounces flying off. About the time I lose anywhere from five to seven pounds, I race immediately to the stores for an afternoon of “Yes, that size fits,” and “Love these jeans—why did I ever hate shopping for jeans again?”

I head home feeling ready for any occasion that might come up between October and March. Then I realize that I forgot to eat lunch during all the shopping so I grab a combo at the drive-thru. I also didn’t plan dinner, so I order a pizza. And there it is. I have outgrown my clothes before the tags come off.

I now know what to do. I know what all women should do. Go shopping now. Right now—five, ten, fifteen pounds overweight. Perfect. But before you do, eat a huge meal. Its’ the only way to insure a comfortable fall and winter. When January comes around and you have the urge to get in shape, shed the pounds, firm it all up, go right ahead. Then you can even head to the stores for a very important addition to your wardrobe—a belt.

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