Saturday, 27 October 2012

The importance of donation

A few years a go Dan and I really struggled to make ends meet.  Every payday we would take every spare penny we had and spend it on junk food.  It felt like we deserved a "treat" because we certainly weren't getting anything else out of our paychecks and hectic lives.  I remember counting down the days until payday and planning a big glorious meal out. Or maybe we'd order pizza and watch movies all night.  Maybe you understand how I feel.  A week with terrible sandwiches and canned soups, and checking your bank account to see if you can afford McDonald's out with your friends one day.  Then payday comes, and you get that money and you don't care about anything else other than treating yourself.  Sitting down with pizza, or maybe some burgers.  It was like heaven on earth.  I would be so giddy! After I ate the food there was always a sense of euphoria for awhile.  I would be completely content chowing down all of that food, and it was so cheap too!

I remember the less money we had, the more I felt like I had to treat myself with junk.  It was an addicting feeling.  You feel desperate, but then you feel so much reassurance once you have the food.  Like life really will be okay, and then such a sweet euphoric feeling while eating.

Well junk food, no matter how cheap doesn't help pay the bills.  Dan was laid off one year on Valentine's day just a few months before our wedding.  (Boy did we ever "treat" ourselves that Valentines!  I think it was a pizza and steak filled day with a big food hangover afterwards)  Things were hard after that. We had no money for food, so I whipped out my credit card and sparingly bought groceries with it.  I mean, we bought cans of soup and macaroni and cheese on sale and that's what we survived on.  I would say we probably spent about $50 on groceries a month for the two of us.

By the following winter I had gained so much weight from bad eating choices that I didn't fit my winter coat anymore.  In fact I barely fit any of my clothes anymore.  I was lucky that I worked in a clothing store and I got a hefty discount, but even then I was bigger than the biggest size we carried.  I would bundle up in 3 sweaters and trudge out to the bus stop to go to work every week and I would absolutely freeze.  Going to work in -40 Celsius and waiting for a bus, with no winter coat and no winter boots is insane.  I remember going to a thrift store to look for clothing, only to end up leaving (and bawling my eyes out) because I was too fat for their biggest sizes.  I couldn't even find any cheap clothes to fit me, let alone a winter coat!

Eventually I broke down and used my credit card to buy the only coat I fit in the whole store.  I remember being angry and bitter that I had a choice of going without a winter coat and making a credit card payment, or having a winter coat and wondering where and how I was actually going to pay it off.

Well, that winter coat was amazing.  It was really worth the over $100 I spent on it.  It was warm (SO warm!) and comfortable.  I loved it so much, that Dan found a matching green scarf and bought it for me as a surprise!

Now Dan and I are so blessed to be able to stand on our own two feet.  I am able to buy new clothes when my weight changes, and this year I bought a new fall coat without the same amount of stress as back then.  When I think back, I'm very humbled.

Now I always have a small stack of clothes in my closet (okay, sometimes a large stack!) that don't fit anymore.  Jeans, shirts, even coats that I shrunk out of.  Part of me wants to keep them so I can show off my weight loss one day.  I mean, we've all seen those pictures of women standing in one leg of their jeans showing off how much they've lost.  I really want to do that, but I remember what it was like to wear 3 sweaters and dollar store ear muffs to trudge down to the bus stop in the blowing snow.  It was cold and terrible.  And I remember crying while leaving the thrift store because I couldn't find cheap clothes in my size anymore.

So now I donate all of my clothes, I even donated my beautiful green winter jacket.  Wearing plus sized clothing is expensive.  At least where I live there are very few cheap options for women.  So please consider donating your clothes when you lose weight.  Winter jackets are expensive, at least good warm ones are.

Dan and I both fit into my old green jacket.  Donated a few days later.

I have nothing against women who wish to save articles of clothing for "before and after" shots.  I love seeing those photos!  I personally donate my clothes and I use my wedding dress for all of my "before and after" shots since I will never give that away!


  1. I can't even imagine how frustrating it was for you trying to find clothes! I feel bad right now to think that I get frustrated trying to find a pair of jeans or a t-shirt that fits 'okay'. There has always been something that will fit me at least.
    And I think it's okay to save really important pieces of clothing, but I also personally like to donate any clothes that I don't fit anymore either or just don't even wear anymore.

  2. Great post! I used to not be able to shop in plus sized stores and had to order everything which was frustrating (and expensive if I had to return something). I've always made sure I donated my clothes as soon as I sized out of them because I know there can be so few choices in that area for women. I also donated my work clothes to women's shelters that specialize in getting battered women back to work and looking professional. Congrats on your loss, you look amazing!

    1. Thanks for the comment :) I'm glad you donate your clothes! Some people suggested selling my clothes online, but I feel better giving them away myself.