Good-Bye Jeans

I learn a lot from my clients. In fact, that’s one of the things I love about my work. A few weeks ago, I got an email from a client who wanted to bring in some old jeans to our next session. These were jeans she wore when her eating disorder was pretty darn bad. So, she suggested she bring them in (with some of her art supplies) for us to have a little fun. From this experience I learned that in order to move forward, there are certain things you have to let go of first.

So after you read her blog post, you might want to consider, the following questions:

  • Is there anything toxic in my life (beliefs, thoughts, relationships, tangible items, habits) that are holding me back from living a life this healthier and more free?
  • If yes, do I need support to let those things go?
  • If yes, what could take the place of those toxic beliefs, thoughts, relationships, items, or habits?
  • If yes, is there one small thing I could do right now that would point me in a better direction?

Dear Jeans,

After I said goodbye to my scale (with a hammer), I relied on you to gauge my worth and my value as a person; your job was to dictate what kind of day I would have, to punish me on days when you were tight and to urge me to restrict even more when you were loose. You whispered to me constantly, “You are not enough.” You were a constant test. Like the your friend, the scale, there would be no number good enough, no size low enough, to satisfy you. I used you to compare myself to others, never measuring up.

When I started to get better, you started to get tighter.

You tried to undermine my recovery by telling me I didn’t deserve to feel good in my clothes. Every morning I tentatively stepped into you, feeling you grow more restrictive, more punishing. As you got tighter, your voice grew louder, and my recovery began to fade.

It was then that I decided to destroy you, and in doing so reclaimed my recovery.

I wrote on you in permanent markers, things you didn’t like but that made me feel empowered, in control.

I have a body, I am not my body.
These cute pockets are not worth my sanity.
These jeans do not define me.

I think I will cut you up, take your voice away, the way you took mine away for so long. I will make you into a blanket, a blanket that will provide warmth and comfort rather than hatred and self-loathing. You will provide memories, not of cold, restrictive days, but rather of the day I took my power back, the day I decided that a piece of cloth does NOT define my worth.

So goodbye, Jeans. Rest in peace.


  1. What an amazing idea! Your client should be very proud of herself. 🙂

  2. great post! oftentimes even when someone makes a positive step towards self-acceptance-like getting rid of the scale, there are still a lot of things that hold you back from complete self love. Thank you for sharing your story of strength!

  3. Thanks Jessica and Elizabeth for your comments. I agree that this client (as with all of my clients) have a lot to be proud of. They take so many brave steps towards letting go of self-criticism and self-hate. And this is one great example!

  4. marci, thank you for helping me “let go” in so many ways. i’m glad the jeans are gone — like you said, i can always buy new jeans but i can’t buy happiness or self-worth. kara

  5. Thank you for that powerful message! I am currently in recovery from ED and am sitting here right now in those same jeans, wondering when the day will come that I can no longer get them on. Now I have some inspiration about what to do with them. My jeans

    do not define who I am as a person! Thank you.

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