Reader Question: Should I Work My Way into My Gi?

A reader sent us this email:

I just joined karate with my 8 year old son and my husband and I love it. I was inspired by a larger lady there doing karate with her family, so I joined as well. What a great way to get rid of stress and pounds. Problem, my gi doesn’t fit yet. I don’t know if I want to spend the money on one or keep working until I fit in the one they gave me. I don’t mind wearing my sweats and t-shirt to class and the instructor doesn’t seem to mind. What do you think? I’d like to work my way into it but feel a little out of place going in my sweats.

OK, I’m a little torn over this one.
Part of me says, if it doesn’t matter to your sensei, then it doesn’t really matter what you wear to class. What does matter is that you’re learning and moving.
But the other part of me wants to urge you to buy a gi that fits now. But, before I explain my reasoning, let me preface this by saying: I’m a blogger. As a blogger, I’m prone to navel gazing and finding deeper meaning where (probably) none actually exists.
How many times have we told ourselves something like: I’ll go to the gym when I “can” wear a pair of shorts, I’ll buy a sequence tank top when my arms are thinner? I don’t understand why we keep doing this to ourselves. Don’t get me wrong, I do it, too; I still don’t understand it.
Let’s just stop.
Let’s buy gi (and sequence tank tops) that fit us now. Don’t hang your gi in the back of your closet next to that dress you bought on sale two years ago because you’ll fit it someday. Your gi deserves better.
I’ve lost 96 pounds since I started this blog. And, in most of the pictures in which I’m wearing a gi (or part of a gi), I’m wearing the one I got when I first started. It’s my favorite one. It’s kind of grey, but it’s soft from constant wear and washing.
It’s also the gi I wore when I started karate. And the one I wore to my first tournament.
If the cost is not prohibitive to you, buy a gi that fits you now. When you lose weight, you can always take out the smaller-sized gi and wear it to tournaments, promotions and other dressier occasions. I guarantee you, no matter what size you start at, the gi you start with will mean the most to you.
What do you think? Am I over-analyzing everything and totally off the mark? Tell me what you think about whether this new student should shell out the bucks for a gi to wear now or work her way into the one she has.
PS – This is to all the Fat Karateka out there (whether you’re into karate, kung fu, tae kwon do or mixed martial arts). When you decide to change what you’re doing and step outside your comfort zone, it’s not just your life that you’ll change. You never know who’s watching you at the dojo or at the tournament. It could be someone else who’s been waiting to change her life, too.
The reader who wrote this letter was inspired by a woman taking karate with her family. And, the writer will probably go on to inspire someone else. You can be an inspiration, whether you you intend to be or not.