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Reduction

I’ve put back on 11 of the 30+ pounds I lost two years ago.  I stopped exercising and really thinking about how many calories I was consuming, and lookie there, it turns out that your body retains the excess.  I actually thought I had put on more weight than that, so the strange part was that I felt a sense of relief as I looked at the scale.  11 pounds?  That isn’t so bad, right?  I can take back off 11 pounds and fit in my favourite jeans again.

It feels as if I have two sets of conflicting habits.  On one hand, I have the ones that got me into this situation; the habits that pile all my calories late into the night and skive off exercising and eat the wrong things and too much of everything at that.  And then I have the habits that I’ve slipped back into this week.  The daily yoga or running in the morning, measuring portions, recording every morsel of food that passes over my lips on My Fitness Pal.  The two sets of habits each grab an arm and tug at me as if I’m the rope connecting them.

Right now, the healthier habits are winning just because I want to fit back into those jeans.

It’s almost summer; it feels like the right time to let things go.

*******

Beyond losing weight, we are trying to trim down the house.  Get it back to its fighting size in regards to clutter.

Every time we do this, it makes sense to get rid of more baby things, especially the ones that don’t hold sentimental value or are easily replaceable if our life changes in the future.  We have limited space, why are we holding onto things for a what if?

Especially things that make me cry every time I have to enter the storage room.

I told the twins over dinner that we were getting rid of things; old toys and clothing and books.  They were upset — not because of what getting rid of those things meant (at least, in my brain), but because they didn’t want to part with their old things.  We eased the idea by writing out a list of what we’d do with the money from selling those items; the fun places we could go by getting rid of these things.

That part is easy to do.  The preparing of objects is easy to do.  The only hard part is remembering the twins in each article of clothing; how upset they would get if paint got onto their sleeves.  Or the toys that they played with.  They pretended to be parents over the doll crib and swing, taking care of their boy-girl twin dolls.  The puzzles and the blocks and the fake cell phones.

Someone had the brilliant idea of photographing everything we gave away or sold, that way, we could always look back on the picture.  So that is what I am doing.  Maybe one day I will also be able to delete all the images, cleanly cut away the less important tangible objects from their childhood.  But right now, I need to be able to look back and see that once upon a time, these objects held meaning.  They were important to us.  They were emblems of how far we had come.  And sometimes it hurts to get rid of those less obvious trophies; especially from a game where the only form of winning is a life well lived.

What do you need to let go?

19 comments

1 Persnickety { 05.05.14 at 8:11 am }

Oh so many things! I am feeling weighed down with stuff at the moment, it’s keeping us from moving on ( and we have gotten rid of so much). But it’s hard to get rid of stuff, and at the moment the market for used stuff is gone. Books don’t sell, DVDs don’t sell, furniture doesn’t go. The charity shops are getting so much.
One of the things I need to let go is the idea that I will have kids. That idea is very hard to let go, but I can see that I need to do it.

2 Serenity { 05.05.14 at 8:21 am }

I was just telling Charlie last night that after my marathon this weekend we need to get back into making sure we’re counting calories again; unfortunately now running a ton of miles is my normal and my jeans don’t fit. For me, it’s sugar detox. I need to let go of the candy. And brownies. And chocolate. Sigh.

I can SO relate to the two sides of me warring; the obsessive (a little) side that loves to count calories and track workouts in MFP and the other one who gets kind of angry at the idea that I’m running 30+ miles a week, why CAN’T I eat 15 small handfuls of M&Ms without gaining weight?

Sigh.

I also need to get rid of baby stuff; I just keep putting off going through it all and donating/selling it. Now that I know you’re doing it (and I like the photograph idea – if I’m selling something on craigslist I’d need a photo anyway!), I can find the time to make it happen here too.

xoxo

xoxo

3 Pepper { 05.05.14 at 9:02 am }

It’s the baby stuff for me, too. But I’m not ready and our basement is big so I’m just ignoring it. That’s healthy, right? 😉

4 Justine { 05.05.14 at 9:14 am }

Me, too, with excess weight. Not sure where I will get time to exercise, but I need to stop giving myself permission to snack late at night. We’ve recently decluttered, so I don’t have much by way of extra “things,” but I know I have baggage of other kinds that weigh me down …

xo … sending you love for the hard work of letting go.

5 Ana { 05.05.14 at 9:34 am }

Same as you. 10-15 pounds, and a lot of baby stuff. I did a BIG purge over a year ago, I just needed stuff out and I got 90% of what I planned to get rid of OUT, and then I cried over the last 10% and regretted it and haven’t gotten rid of anything else (including a rubbermaid box of maternity clothes) in the past 1.5 years. I just…can’t. But we have a small house and growing kids, and its time, I know.

6 loribeth { 05.05.14 at 9:54 am }

Oh, there’s a lot I need to get rid of… I have been trying, but it is a slow process. I did just go through my closet & send a couple of bags of clothes to Goodwill, and that felt good. I want to go through my makeup soon & do a major purge of that… I have a ton of stuff that I barely use (gift with purchase samples, etc. — how many shades of pink lipstick does one person need, anyway??) & after awhile the lipsticks all dry up anyway. :p And if I retire in two years like I hope I’m going to, I’m not going to be wearing makeup as much anyway, right? I’ve also reluctantly come to the conclusion that I need to go through my books & get rid of some of those. THAT is going to be painful. There are some novels (like the Shopaholic series) that I know I will never read again, and others that I now have in e-form so I can let go of the paper version. It’s going to be tough, though. :p

I endorse the idea of taking photos of kids’ outfits & toys that you particularly want to remember. We did this when we were cleaning out my parents’ basement a few years ago. It made me feel better about letting some things go. Even if I hadn’t looked at said things for more than 20 years. 😉

7 Valery Valentina { 05.05.14 at 10:25 am }

I kept my maternity clothes for my niece, the one I feel closest to and who looks just like me. Except that just last month her SIL told me she doesn’t want to have children anymore. So 1 -she will not need the maternity clothes and 2- I will need to let go of the idea that we are close.
3- Does anyone else still keep paper bank statements?

8 Mel { 05.05.14 at 10:38 am }

I will admit that when Josh asked what to do with the maternity clothes, I froze. And asked him to put them back in storage. I just couldn’t wrap my brain around the maternity clothes and the nail that would be in the coffin. Whereas the baby clothes, I felt like I could easily re-buy if need be or borrow from a friend. It’s much harder to find clothes that fit my body vs. clothes that fit a baby’s body.

9 loribeth { 05.05.14 at 10:44 am }

@Valery: I’ve gone completely paperless with my banking, except for the investment statements, which will soon be available paperless as well. I can’t say I miss them at all. I don’t know about your bank, but mine offers online statements that go back at least 7-10 years, so they’re easily printed off if you really need a hard copy for some reason.

I’m also signing up for ePost (e-bill delivery via my online banking site) for most of my bills… Canada Post has announced the end of home mail delivery and that’s what’s pushed me to do it. I rarely look at the things once they’re paid anyway. I generally keep a year’s worth of statements before I shred them, and I keep the year-end statement for some of my utilities that shows the total charges for that year. (Ditto payslips, which have been paperless for years… I print off the one at the end of the year to keep, & that’s it. )

10 loribeth { 05.05.14 at 10:45 am }

And re: maternity clothes, I still have all of mine, 15 years later & well past any chance of a future pregnancy. They’re not going anywhere anytime soon either. 😉

11 Mel { 05.05.14 at 10:49 am }

I do keep paper statements. I am terrible about getting rid of paper things. I have a file cabinet that it goes into. Then when the folders are filled, I move the old papers to a box. I need to shred things and get rid of it.

12 k { 05.05.14 at 11:55 am }

I have two large bins of the twins’ baby clothes I can’t even open. They were set aside, for the baby(ies) that would come and wear those clothes again. They don’t just represent the twins’ babyhood, they represent the babyhood of the babies who never came, or who never stayed. And I can’t. I can’t even open them.

The maternity clothes. Gosh. I hadn’t even thought about those. They’re in there too.

I need to let a lot of things go. But right now I feel like I’m holding on for dear life to everything.

13 Tiara { 05.05.14 at 12:45 pm }

I need to let go of the 10 lbs I’ve gained since my aunt’s death…& the 10 lbs I should have lost before that, if I’m being honest with myself. I also have to to let go of a lot of my aunt’s things. I sold her house & just moved everything into mine…I’m just not ready yet even though being cramped & cluttered is driving me nuts.

As for baby things & my maternity clothes. They only way I was able to let go of any of that was by giving it to someone who needed it more than me. Every single item has gone to a friend or family member who really needed it.

14 Chris { 05.05.14 at 2:28 pm }

9 pounds and a ton of paper. Must go. For now I’m working on the 9lbs. No time for the paper.

15 It Is What It Is { 05.05.14 at 5:36 pm }

I am still trying to lose the remaining 20# I have left to get back to a pre-IVF, healthy BMI, maintainable weight. It has proven to be SO difficult at my age (48 in 13 days), in perimenopause, hypothyroid, and on anti-depressants. SOOOOOO hard, but I keep at it. I probably eat 50% less than I did during my pregnancy with G and work-out intensively 4 times/wk, but that doesn’t seem to budge the scale.

As for letting go, there are some friendships (or even the hope of blossoming friendships with new folks) that I’m letting go of. To little time for such effort for too little return.

16 a { 05.05.14 at 7:39 pm }

I just get in a mood to get rid of stuff. I purged some of my wardrobe, so I could go out and buy new clothes. My husband is a major purger, so I have a hard time keeping stuff. He sold or gave away all of our baby stuff when our girl was 4 and we realized we wouldn’t be having any more babies. As soon as that thought crossed his brain, it was time for everything to go. I do still have maternity clothes, though. I assume my girl might someday be able to use them. 🙂

17 deathstar { 05.06.14 at 1:36 pm }

We just rid of a whole bunch of the kid’s old stuff, I’m still trying to sell his Bob stroller and I have a whole bunch of toys left as well. When things are not good at work, hubby goes on a rampage trying to throw things out at home. He reorganizes and bitches and moans about all the stuff I keep and when am I going to get rid of it, etc. The only thing I’d like to get rid of, but for some reason I’m hanging on to it, is 30 pounds.

18 Lori Lavender Luz { 05.07.14 at 2:40 pm }

I can’t believe that was 2 years ago. Whoosh!

Gosh, this really dovetails with the comment I just left you on the temporariness of things.

I have a lot of clutter because I’m lazy. But once I decide to get rid of stuff it’s not so hard because I ask myself which I value more: the thing I’m holding or the space it leaves behind. Space wins much of the time.

Sometimes you’re shedding your past, and sometimes, perhaps the most difficult times, you’re shedding a possible future. That’s hard. Sending you my love.

19 Battynurse { 05.08.14 at 3:53 am }

I have no idea how much weight I need to lose as I refuse to get on the scale. The numbers make me crazy. Most of my stuff still fits although a bit snug so I’ll work on keeping it that way or a little less snug. As far as everything else? I haven’t really decided yet what goes and what stays etc.

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