Project 333, and a Segue Into Body Image

Last November, I stumbled across Project 333.  I was at the point where I needed maternity pants, but not necessarily shirts, and a friend had just loaned me 4 garbage bags full of her maternity clothes.  My closet was completely stuffed (especially as Alabama was ambling out of late summer fall into winter), and I was facing a pretty intense case of overwhelm with my wardrobe.  I had SO MANY clothes all over the house (bedroom, laundry room, clean baskets, storage in the guest room), and I wasn’t sure what would fit, or what was appropriate for the season, or what I even liked and wanted to wear going forward.  So I sat down and made a list of the roughly 20 pieces I could think of off the top of my head that I knew I could and would wear in the next three months.  When I got time the next weekend, I went through EVERYTHING and tried clothes on, decided if I liked them, decided if they looked appropriate (age- and style-wise), and packed up anything that didn’t make the cut.  Then I went through what was left and pulled out the remaining 13 pieces to go in my regular daily rotation.  I also kept a handful of pieces – about 5 things – that I knew I would wear for special occasions (Christmas, New Year’s Eve) that were coming up, but I pushed them to the back corner of the closet.  And I gave living with 33 pieces of clothing for 3 months a try.

I’m not going to tell you it was liberating, or that I realized how much I have that I didn’t really need, or any life-changing emotional catharsis happened.  But it was definitely a much more pleasant way experience dealing with my laundry, day in and day out.  I don’t have to think so much in the mornings about what I will wear, because I only have a handful of things to think through, and I spend 1/10th of the time hunting for that-thing-I-want-to-wear because it’s pretty much always in my closet.  I also like knowing that everything in the closet fits me and is something that I like wearing.

Full disclosure here though – I stretch the “official” limits because I don’t count jewelry, shoes, sunglasses, purses, or outerwear.  I’m not big into accessories, and have about 3 pairs of shoes, 3 necklaces, 2 sunglasses, one purse per season, and 3-4 coats of various weights (it IS Alabama).  For all those accessories – I don’t swap them out.  I wear them year round (minus the coats).

Technically, my next Project 333 swap (for spring) should have happened at the beginning of March.  But it has been SO COLD that I hung onto my winter clothes a few weeks extra.  So I just finished rolling over my closet this afternoon – and here’s that segue – and it wasn’t as much fun as I expected.  My 33 pieces are fine, I have plenty to wear for work and home that will fit me.  But I can’t say that I’m excited about it.  In fact, I feel kind of down, which honestly, I’m trying to figure out.  I think part of it was trying on clothes to see what fits right now, and feeling huge.  My due date is 6 weeks from Monday, which means that I’ll most likely have a new baby in 4 or 5 weeks.  Going off the assumption that this would be a 9-lb baby at term (I refuse to contemplate another 10-lb baby) and that they put on about 1/2 lb per week at this point, the math works out that this baby is probably around 6 lbs right now.  I have friends who had FULL TERM babies that were 6 lbs.  And I’m so short that I am all belly.  So all my pants and shorts are uncomfortably tight around the belly and hips and my shirts have a tendency to ride up a little and show skin (which I am *really* not comfortable with).

I also started putting on what feels like a lot more weight about 3 weeks ago.  I didn’t gain anything until the end of the second tri, and now I just feel like I shouldn’t be gaining this much.  I’ll admit to adding dessert to my daily consumption, but otherwise my eating habits haven’t changed that much.  But I’m noticing my blood sugar starting to drop again if I go too long between meals/snacks, so I know that something is going on.  Add in to that my pelvic instability making it incredibly painful to walk, climb stairs, roll over – pretty much do anything other than lay on my side – and I’m not getting ANY exercise.

So I’m sore, I’m tired, and I feel like a blimp.  Winning combination for being happy in my spring clothes, right?

The other I-has-a-sad, I think is due to looking at all the clothes that I didn’t get out.  I have two boxes of spring/summer not-pregnant clothes that I had to put back in the closet, things I would really like to be wearing right now.  Things that I don’t know whether will fit this summer at all.  Which, being pregnant, I KNOW things won’t fit.  It’s expected.  But those post-partum months where I will be not-pregnant but still big?  Those are depressing to contemplate.  I also have a box of “aspirational” clothes that are a size below what I was wearing before I got pregnant.  Which just reminds me that getting un-pregnant is not going to necessarily make me feel any better.

The truth is, I can say I want to be strong and healthy, and it’s true – I want to run fast, and I want I have a healthy metabolism.  But right now, what I really want is for the number on the scale to be small enough and to fit into those clothes from college that I just added to the “donate” pile instead.


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