Having Two Sets of Clothes

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11 April 2011

Every time I get depressed, I eat a lot and I add weight.

If the depression episode is short - say, one week long as it used to be for me - this wasn't a problem. You can add a few pounds in a week, but it's relatively easy to lose those, especially if you hit a manic period afterward and get into a gung-ho exercising mode.

On the other hand, if the depression period is more than one week or if your moods are unstable and you keep on having depression episodes with only short breaks in between, you can really add on the pounds.

Guess which pattern I've been following lately.

So, here I am at about 27 pounds overweight. I'm not happy about it and while it may be easy to lose a few pounds, it really takes effort to lose 27.

The good news is that the weight packs nicely on me, so I don't look grossly fat. Just, er....big.

The bad news is that my clothes don't fit. Well, lots of them don't fit. Especially the 32 waist pants.

Which brings me to an important issue.

If this pattern happens to you, you must own two sets of clothes.

You need your "This is how I want to be" fitted shirts and t-shirts and your narrow waisted pants, and snazzy shoes that make you look good. And looking good matters because knowing you look good can help delay the onset of depression. Not a lot perhaps, but every little helps.

You also need your "I'm depressed and I'm getting fat and piss off, I don't care how I look" clothes. These are the baggy comfortable T-shirts, the shirts one or two sizes larger, and relaxed fit jeans that are 2-4" inches bigger than you'd like. You might also need longer belts.

You probably have all of this already. Here's the really important thing - if you hit a good spell and for a few months you are looking fantastic, do NOT throw away the bigger, baggier clothes. No matter how good you feel or if there is some pressure to get rid of extra clothing.

Regardless of how you feel now, there is a high probability that sometime in the future you will get depressed and add weight. So you'll need the bigger clothes then. And trust me, realising that you are depressed and adding weight is bad, but having to wear slightly too tight pants or slightly too snug shirts just piles on the humiliation. Or even worse, having to go out and buy bigger pants just to be comfortable.

Keep the big stuff and think of it as one of the methods of coping with depression, not as a waste of cupboard space.

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