Posted by: cmittermeier | September 4, 2016

Letting Go of Old Clothes… Part two: the purple sweater

Ah, my purple sweater!  If you’re overweight, you will have one, a perfect top that hides our imperfections.  For me, it was my purple sweater. They are cherished friends, always there to comfort when things are not going great weight wise.  When we went through my closet and I put it on, my niece did not know the significance of the item and stated it rather bluntly, “you have a purple potatoe sack!”.

When I turned and looked in the mirror, my perfect purple top was no longer so perfect.  The shoulders drooped so far off my shoulder I wondered if it had been stretched.  Having always been a bit roomy, it was no surprise that my niece could have stood inside it with me.  Being a knitted design, it should not have been so surprising that after all these years the fabric was worn and fuzzy.  It looked like something… An old woman would wear.  It was obvious camoflage.

For weeks I have been thinking about new clothes, though I do not have a full blown sense of style, I am starting to make decisions about what I like and don’t like.  Sausage casing tops have never been my thing, but when I had one, just pull on the purple sweater and I was fine. I don’t like tops that accentuate how when I sit down my bulk compacts.  My purple top had been my camoflage for just such moments.   If I eat the wrong things and bloat up, my purple top was there to hide my shame.  It was my shield, in the same way a throw pillow is when I sit down on a couch.  Looking ahead, I have to ask… In my new style, my new wardrobe… Will there be another purple sweater? Should there be another purple sweater?

This weekend was awful.  Instead of fasting on Friday, once again I found myself binging in private.  Though Saturday had an amazing hike with a bunch of the boys and my brother-in-law, in the evening I turned the graces down and enjoyed 6 cups of cheese popcorn and a really scrumptious chocolate cupcake.  Note the point of turned down graces, we’ll talk about it later… I had a troubled sleep and so it’s no surprise that from the get go things have been hard.  3 cups of BBQ chips does not an afternoon snack make!  A Beer with dinner… Ice cream and Chicago style popcorn for dessert??? 

And guess what?  Through it all, I found myself finding any excuse to wear… BA BA BA… The purple hoodie!

Yes folks, purple is my favourite colour.

Sigh.  I’m back to having that comfortable piece of clothing to “hide” in.  Put your hands in the front pockets and voila! No one knows what’s really behind.  So many times in my life I have turned to mama Mary, and tonight is no different.  I may be a unique person, but my problems aren’t.  I am not the first, nor the last, she will comfort over body issues.  

I highly doubt the wedding at Cana was the very first time she uttered those now famous words, “do whatever he tells you”, though I admit they were the first time they were written down.  She knows how to fix problems, and sometimes, like tonight, she didn’t whisper the answers to the person, but to those around them.  My sister-in-law made sure the tallest-bottomless-pit of a boy took home the rest of the cake, after making sure all the other kids ate up as much as they could.  She suggested the Chicago style popcorn, not sure she knew that very soon the potatoe chips and Doritos would be coming out, but they did.  Pretty sure the nutrition labels differ a great deal between those options, and, thankfully she had already eaten a lot from the relatively small bag.  

I wish this blog were just the shining examples of how living a righteous life led to great stuff, but I’m human.  I fall.  This Friday was the second Friday where my “fast” because a binge, I knew that something deeper was going on.  I am fasting for a purpose, it’s not my health.  Spiritual attacks come at weak points, and my gluttony is a weak point.  I prayed, and begged, for help to not let this be the place where the damn bursts. Saturday was so totally different… The graces were seriously through the roof.  It was amazing, I got to go hiking (and my kids loved it!), Mass was great, dinner was even reasonable (and trust me, dinner to suit three families, with dietary issues in a small tourist town during a long weekend can be quite the challenge).  But then… Slowly… things started to go wrong.  Oh, how I wish I had only one weak spot!  I have much to discuss with Mama Mary and my Lord.

As I sit and ponder my new purple hoodie, I realize it’s not such a bad thing.  This weekend has shown me a great many things, and I am thankful for the falls.  If it had been a single weak spot, I doubt I’d feel this way.  I have a long road ahead of me, there is still a lot of healing ahead and I will need a physical comfort zone for a while yet.  Knowing its there gives me a place to go for comfort that is not food.  It is a gift from Him, hidden in plain sight.  It’s not a crutch (as I feared), it’s a recharge station, like the confessional, where I can admit my faults and still find the love and strength to try again. Giggle, guess I gave away why my favourite colour is purple.


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