Cleaning out your closet can be a humbling experience. You’re apt to stumble upon more than a few ill-advised outfits from days past, and wind up questioning your fashion taste altogether. You’re also likely to discover that some of your favorite closet mainstays no longer fit the way they used to — and, if you’re like me, this discovery can send you into an existential tailspin.
Food artist Lucy Litman recently went through her closet and discovered an old dress that was now too small for her body. But, instead of freaking out and ruing her weight gain, Litman decided to use the opportunity as an example of the importance of self-love.
Litman posted an Instagram photo of herself in the half-zipped sundress, along with an important caption about her body image and relationship with food.
The caption reads:
closet cleaning reflections: here’s a picture of me in my favorite dress from 3 years ago. It’s a size 2 and doesn’t even come close to zipping right now. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about my body image and health, after a “friend” told me that I’ve let myself go and should stop eating so much bread. I don’t really talk about this much (or ever publicly) but I struggled with an eating disorder all throughout high school and college and was in and out of different therapies and centers. I used to weigh myself 5 times a day and the number I saw would dictate my happiness and the activities I “allowed” myself to do. This restriction on my own happiness and life ended a lot of friendships and relationships because I’d isolate myself at home so I didn’t have to be around food. A lot of my work that I share here is inspired by this experience – food wasn’t always a happy thing for me, and for many friends and family food still isn’t fun – so I’m hoping to show a more playful side to what we eat and get people thinking about colors, shapes and textures instead of calories or how much exercise they’ll have to do to burn it off. I’m happy to say that I now have the healthiest relationship with food I’ve ever had, but to all of you out there who are still struggling, know that you’re more than a number and that having a thigh gap is irrelevant (and physically impossible for some people’s bone structure), but most importantly that you are not alone and are loved.
So, don’t let your too-small, old clothing make you feel bad about your body. Emotional growth is far more important than any physical changes we may encounter, and there’s no need to feel bummed about not having the same body you did in college.
Also — if a friend tells you you’ve “let yourself go”? Kick that bitch to the curb, y’all. Because friends don’t tell friends that they should stop eating bread.