Like many others, I own too many clothes that I don’t actually wear. It’s not because I buy so many, it’s that I’m reluctant to throw them away. There’s one dress I bought in the 1980s, and I guess I’ve worn it twice. It’s way too big for me now, as I’ve steadily lost weight over this time, and the style of it wouldn’t suit resizing.
I reason that if there’s a space for something and it’s not in anyone’s way, I might as well keep it. Why not? My justification is supported by my fear of getting rid of something and regretting it later.
I have done this. I remember a much-loved sweater, very good quality cotton, ribbed, with a little collar that stood up behind the neck. One day I decided it was just too old and worn, and it went to a local charity shop. The regret arrived later that day and the next morning I returned to the shop to find it had already gone. It was a nice sweater.
So I keep some clothes mostly because I haven’t found a good reason not to. Which is interesting to me because over the same length of time I’ve got rid of an extraordinary amount of food. I don’t mean that I threw out tons of stuff from my kitchen. What I mean is that the food that lives with me in terms of daily consumption has changed beyond recognition.
One big difference between these two aspects of my life is that when it comes to food, I had and continue to have what seem to me to be very good reasons to make these changes. One of the strongest is the curiosity I’ve had to understand the process of changing eating behaviour – and a very good way is to do it myself. Alongside that, I have a strong intention to live my life as healthy as I possibly can for as long as I can.