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Breaking Up With My Old Self To Date My New Self

by Tammeca Rochester

PHOTO: Unsplash / Hannah Grace

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"Stop staring at me! I know it’s been months — alright years — since we went out, but I just need more time. One day we will be back together again. But right now, I can't take all this pressure".

This was me two days ago in utter tears, just staring into my closet. How did a few extra pounds lead to years of me not being able to wear the clothes that used to make me feel so great? I'm not even sure how we got here.

It seems like just yesterday they were fitting a little more snug than usual, then all of a sudden they don't fit at all — like we should have never even met in the first place. And now, I sit nervously wondering if they are in there judging me for abandoning them. Is this what they mean by separation anxiety?

So last night I did the unthinkable, I cleaned out my closet. One by one, I pulled everything out. The little red dress I wore to the office holiday party six years ago. The green dress I wore when I went to see Jill Scott perform back in college. The orange one that I wore in Barbados five years ago, and the list went on.

For months I contemplated throwing everything out, but thought it would symbolically mean I was giving up on my fitness goals. These few extra pounds had added up over the years and these dresses were my constant reminder of the work that needed to be done. But instead of motivating me, they added a layer of pressure to my life when I had no more layers to give. I needed to be free.

As I said my goodbyes, I noticed how my shoulders started to roll back down, easing all of the tension I had from opening the closet. It was like a weight had been lifted. I no longer had the need to hold on to the constant reminder of what my past used to be. That dress I wore when I was 50lbs lighter, before I became a mother, before I turned 30, before I opened my own business, was no longer there to remind me of my old self. My new self was pretty amazing, and she needed to be acknowledged as well. Yes, I may have gained a few extra pounds, but I've done so many more amazing things than that young girl who could fit a size 4 jeans.

Far too often we forget to acknowledge the beauty there is in getting older. It's time to figuratively (and literally) clean out those closets. The ones that are making us feel ashamed of who we have grown to become. The ones holding us back from loving our current and future self.

I ended by writing down my fitness goals based on where I wanted to be versus what I once was — and said my goodbyes.

But I do hope my old clothes find a good home.


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