It’s Like Losing a Suitcase, but in a Good Way!

imagesWhen Dave and I were packing up to come home from Taiwan, we faced a major challenge. Fitting six years of living into four 50-pound suitcases (two for each of us). And we each had a carry-on. OK, we cheated a bit and sent three boxes of stuff literally on a (slow) boat from China. (Actually, the boat isn’t that slow, but you have to agree to let your boxes wait until a ship is going to the same destination as your stuff.) Anyway, you get the idea, reduce, reduce, and reduce some more.

As you may or may not know, Dave and I did not travel together. Since he was going to Iowa and I was coming to Michigan, the flights didn’t line up very well. So I left Taiwan with my two suitcases on Monday, July 27, and Dave left three days later. Luckily, since I left first, Dave was there to help me with my luggage at my point of origin. But I had to claim those two 50-pound bags at LAX in order to go through customs and then recheck them. Not a huge deal, but I was glad I didn’t have to haul them any further.

Which brings me to my weight loss. Between November of 2013 and April of 2015, I lost 50 pounds–the equivalent of one of those suitcases I hauled around in the airport. It was a matter of doing it step by step (literally) and persevering in the face of the multiple obstacles that make any habit change difficult. But all the effort was totally worth it. I can’t tell you how much easier it is to get around. It even makes it easier to maintain my balance without as much to balance.

thumb_skirtAn added benefit: when packing my two 50-pound bags, I could leave behind the clothes that had become too large for me, which left room for other things that were more important to me. One of the most “fun” things to bring back were five skirts that I had purchased two years ago (right before the weight loss — or healthy living — project began. They fit the old me just fine, but as I went through those 18 months, the skirts started slipping. I had to eventually put them aside and not wear them at all.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn those last few weeks before we came back to the US, I decided to see if a seamstress could save those skirts. I hated to part with them as they were practically new. I had nothing to lose, so I took the five skirts to a seamstress located on route to my favorite coffee shop. Three days later I had skirts that fit me with the added benefit of very professional and finished stitching in the new elastic. I had one other skirt hanging in my closet that I really liked, and even though it was older than the others, I took that in as well. For less than the cost of one new skirt in the US, I brought back six skirts that I love wearing.

My new wardrobe is building gradually with items from second-hand and thrift shops, a few new items on sale, and some gifting from my mother’s closets. From the clothes standpoint, I’m all ready for school to start next week. My current goal during my transition back to living in the US is maintenance, but within a few weeks, I plan to step up my healthy living habits and lose some more “baggage.”

I know this is a frustrating topic for many people–hey, it took me nearly sixty years to really get it,I can tell you that, in spite of the difficulties–including medical restrictions for exercise, an attitude of slow and steady went a long way to keeping me on track. That and having a specific plan for establishing the habit of healthy living. If I can do it after all this time, anyone can. So if you have specific questions about my journey thus far, post them below and I’ll respond in a future post.

5 comments on “It’s Like Losing a Suitcase, but in a Good Way!

  1. Hi, Debbie! Welcome home! Congratulations on the weight loss–so fine:-) Please tell more about “school”–teaching or learning or both? Job plans, family plans for the coming year? ❤

  2. I’ve lost just over 60 pounds in the last couple of years, and periodically, I’ll go to get dressed and put on a outfit, too big, fold it and put in the donation pile, and then do that for the next 5 outfits! At the beginning of summer I discovered that every single pair of shorts was too big! 🙂 It was a good feeling! But I’m glad that you’ve built up your wardrobe

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