I want the old Ryan back. I miss her. Really, really miss her.
The girl that used to be thin, long legged, brunette and could eat anything. This 34-year old Ryan is fine, but I miss who I was years ago. I miss being 24 and eating cheese fries and throwing back a few frozen ritas and being fine with it. At 24, counting calories and reading ingredient labels was about as foreign as learning to speak Farsi.
My closet officially misses the old Ryan too; the clothes that were constantly being worn and hung or thrown on the top shelf, the hangers holding all of my old suits, blouses, slacks, the weekend "going out for a night on the town" clothes that were so fun and carefree to wear miss being in my closet. I used to be a clothes horse. Clothes were extremely important to me. I aged. Life got in my way. So did my body.
I got home today and felt gross.
I felt fat.
I felt blah.
I felt shameful.
I'd let myself down.
I was shopping last night with a friend, and I caught a glance at myself in a mirror in a department store. I gasped. The girl I saw in the mirror is not the same girl I thought I walked out of the house looking like. My bathroom mirror at home is lying to me. And my clothes, were they lying to me as well?
In December just weeks before Christmas, my Mom and I went shopping together. My Ma turned around and was frank with me.
"Ryan, you need to invest more in your clothes and find things that aren't so cheap looking."
"But, Mom I work from home and have for the last 3 years. I don't need the suits and the business apparel I once did. Not to mention I'm in advertising and no one dresses up in this business any more."
"I think you'll feel better about yourself if you invested in some more expensive clothes."
Here's the dirty little secret. It's not about working from home. It's about not wanting to invest in nice clothes that will last more than 4 washes because you can't stand they way they look on you to begin with.
Damn my Mother for being dead on. I do need better clothes. Better clothes will make me feel more confident. I'll stand a little straighter. I'll smile a little longer. That twinkle in my eye will appear more often. I won't be sucking things in as much because I'll buy clothes that won't cut off my circulation.
My internal sage and dilemma torments me. Why invest in clothes when I don't want to be the size I am? I've a good answer, though. It's called Project Ryan. It's called stop blaming the medication I've been taking for the last 11 years that causes weight gain (but, it really, really does).
This isn't a project to lose weight (well, fine it really is about that), but rather its a project to help me feel good about investing in new clothes. Guilt free shopping. A new image. A new (or maybe the old) me. A better Ryan. Project Ryan. That rolls off the tongue quite nice, eh?
And while my Mom's words were hard to swallow, they've marinated in my mind for over a month now. The bitter sweetness of this all? I'm old enough to be recognize that mom's really do know more.
So, I initiated Project Ryan this evening. To start it off, I purged half (and yes, I mean half) of my closet.
Clothes I don't want to ever wear again.
Clothes that need to find new homes.
Clothes that won't remind me of the current Ryan.
5 bags full.