This post could be seen as bizarre. Laughable almost. That a certain pair of jeans could play such an important part in a person’s life could be hard to understand unless one has experienced an eating disorder…
I hesitated to share this post but thought that if in any way it could be helpful to some else struggling out there than it would be worth sharing.
So here we go!
My pair of jeans did not begin life in a fancy, high end store in the mall. I did not wish for them, beg my parents for them or even expect to receive them at all.
You see my jeans were simply a pair of used hand-me-downs, given to me by a friend whom I admired for her tenacity, determination and energy, not to mention her petite frame. She was moving and needed to clear out her closet a little so I was gifted several items of clothing.
I tried the jeans on, along with all of the other clothes in the bundle she had given me. I noticed I couldn’t fit into them fully so I put them away.
Reflecting back to that time, I realize that the early stages of an eating disorder were looming on the horizon. I had been experiencing tiny twinges of body dissatisfaction and there were some significant changes in my life. I put the jeans away with the secret hope that maybe, just maybe I would fit into them one day.
And that day came. Gradually, slowly, and silently I lost some weight and discovered that my usual jeans fit looser than usual.
Digging in my clothes drawer for alternative options, I rediscovered the jeans. Those pair from my friend that I hadn’t been able to fit into before… The jeans I had wished that one day I could wear comfortably…
I tried the jeans on in nervous anticipation and they fit! I quickly slipped them on and they fit! Suddenly I felt exuberant. It was too good to be true.
At that very moment a wave of decision and determination washed over me. These were MY jeans. The pair I had dreamed of fitting fit me now! I was never letting go of them. I would wear them forever–even as an adult.
And for years I did. I wore them almost every day. I planned my outfits around them. They gave me a sense of security and achievement. I gauged my life by them as I could tell by their fit exactly if I had gained or lost weight.
When they would get a little tight, I’d automatically lose weight just so I could continue wearing my jeans.
My jeans became more than just stitched pieces of denim. To me, they were greatly significant. They were my made me feel secure, successful, slim, and in control.
I would wear them forever. I would never outgrow them–not even in adulthood…
And then they broke. First it was the button, the band, and the zipper. As if by miracle, my jeans began falling apart!
So I ingenuously patched and sewed and stitched them up, desperately trying to keep them alive. I was not going to let anything happen to them if I could help it.
My patching worked for awhile. Let me tell you, where there is a will there IS a way because I can’t sew! 🙂
And then it hit me! One day while I was painstakingly installing a zipper in the jeans I was like what in the world am I doing?
Why in the world am I trying to live my life by a pair of jeans? Why am I using them as my support, my security, a symbol of my success? How absolutely ridiculous?
I now believe that that was the Holy Spirit speaking to me. However, it took time to act. Slowly by slowly, I quit wearing the jeans and finally placed them semi-permanently back in the drawer.
But I needed to make a clean break. I needed to separate myself from that false sense of security. I needed to make a change.
And that’s why on Thursday of last week they went in the trash.
I did not a second glance or a lingering look. My sister did it for me (thanks girlie!).
Because do I really want to live a life defined by a pair of jeans? Nah.
Not at all actually.
Instead, I want my strength, my security, my beauty, my success, my very life to come from Jesus!
As for control? There is no need to fight for control in my life anyway. God is the one who made me, who loves me, and who has an awesome plan for my life. He will satisfy every need and desire. He will give me ultimate satisfaction in Him.
So my dear friends, if you are struggling with an eating disorder do not hold on to your skinny clothes. I know it can be extremely difficult but let them go! Don’t let mere cloth hold you back from experiencing God’s best for you.
If I had never let go of those jeans I would never allowed myself to gain needed weight. We must allow ourselves to live, grow and be free in Christ!
I’m so not on a pedestal shouting down to others. No way! This is my story. Every day I struggle with allowing externals to define me. I still fear weight gain and am constantly fighting the thoughts and feelings ED wants to dictate.
But let’s keep fighting with the help of God. With Him we can never fail. He wants our life and our worth to be so much more than a pair of jeans or whatever our ‘skinny clothes’ may be. He gave His life for us!
Have you ever allowed/do you allow your ‘skinny clothes’ to hold you back from recovery? Have your clothes ever held undue significance to you? How do you deal with fear of weight gain? No more questions. Just share your thoughts! 🙂