Shopping is hard for people who don’t like the way they look, and it’s especially difficult for people who find nothing fits. That person was me. Last year I weighed 280 pounds and hated the idea of shopping for clothes that didn’t fit and wouldn’t hide my overweight body. I was wearing 44-inch waist pants and 2XL shirts. Most retail stores didn’t have my size, and the stores I could find were expensive. Still, I looked where I could and found a surprising amount of clothes that fit me at Goodwill.
I decided to change my lifestyle and in eight months I lost 80 pounds. The rapid loss was achieved through diet and exercise and while it was exciting to feel the clothes loosening, it was also disheartening to have nothing fit ... until I went to Goodwill. In the months during, and following my weight loss, I ended up donating over 90 percent of my clothes, keeping only a few nostalgic items and over-sized cozy clothes. I would visit Goodwill at least once a week, often more than one location, and purchase new clothes as my body changed. Soon even my new clothes were too big and became transition clothes as I shrank from size 2XL to medium. My waist reduced from 44 inches to 38, then 36, and down to my current waist of 32 inches. I found I was donating clothes I just bought a month earlier to purchase even smaller sizes. I would never have been able to do that, had it not been for Goodwill. The price on most clothes ranged between $5 and $10, and allowed me to purchase an entire new wardrobe with brand names like Calvin Klein, Fila, Steve Madden, Guess, Converse, Banana Republic, Express, Adidas, and Nike along with new business attire.
Goodwill has given me the opportunity to rebrand myself, as well as find an entire closet of clothes I couldn’t realistically afford to purchase from any other store - let alone be so fortunate to find the great names and designer deals I was able to find. Having accessible and affordable clothes made my weight loss more exciting and I hope others can have a similar experience!
Jay Clair is the Goodwill Amazing Looks Model Contest for 2015.