Is there anything better than a soft, broken-in, great-fitting pair of jeans?
It’s pretty high up on my list of good things, at any rate.
I was thinking about that as I pulled a pair of worn jeans from the bottom of my drawer this morning, since the weather has finally cooled down enough that I want to wear pants. There they were, folded and lying in wait.
If you’re like me, trying on clothes, and getting dressed generally, can be a harrowing emotional experience.
For years I avoided dressing rooms altogether except for a few times a year—and then I hated the experience of picking out clothes and trying them on. That was because I very rarely found anything that fit.
Long story short: When you are overweight and out of shape, one consequence is that clothing doesn’t fit right, unless you can afford tailoring.
As I’ve worked out on a regular basis now for about a year and a half, I have not lost the 100 pounds I initially set myself as an informal goal. But I have lost many, many inches from my waist, hips and thighs. I’ve lost inches from my bust and arms, too. And my clothes fit better as a result.
They fit better for a few reasons, including all the exercise I’ve gotten, but mainly because I now have a rule for my clothing: If I don’t love it and the way it fits, it’s out the door to be donated. I don’t have any more patience for poorly-fitting clothes. I’ve gone through every closet and every drawer, and I kept two items that I would like to shrink into. Everything else I own fits, and fits well.
My clothing fit me more snugly at the beginning of the summer—some items are now getting loose on the waistline, but that is a “problem” that I’m willing to grapple with.
I’ve been looking for what fits in other ways, also. In working out, I need exercise that fits my desires, my abilities, my budget and my schedule. That is a tall order for sure, but I keep plugging away, because when something really fits, well, it feels like a hand sliding into a glove. Or putting on a great-fitting pair of jeans.
Recently my clothes have started to fit me more normally, because my body shape is not as extreme as it once was. My proportions are evening out.
Gone are the days when I would cry in dressing rooms. But I remember those days.
I well remember, throughout almost my whole life, hating everything about my body. This summer, however, I’ve been reflecting a lot on the short and precious nature of this existence. What else do I have to do besides care for my health? Shouldn’t caring for myself feel more like a sacred trust and less like pulling weeds out of the yard? Shouldn’t I wake every day, glowing with anticipation for the gorgeous chore of caring for this amazing body, which is so responsive to my actions? Shouldn’t I be thrilled to be able to walk this journey?
If I had suffered a heart attack but survived, I know I would have a different attitude. If, like my mother, I overcame cancer, I believe I would have a different view. If I were in a wheelchair, what wouldn’t I give to be able to run, even slowly?
Humans are fascinating creatures. Each day, I continue to take baby steps toward the attitude I want to have. It is frustrating because progress always seems so slow, and when progress is incremental, it is so very hard to notice.
But then there are days when you reach for a long-ignored piece of clothing like a pair of jeans. You slip them over your hips with no squeezing or shimmying, no gasping or wheezing. They fit just right, maybe even a little too loose. Ahhhhhhhh.
What is your attitude about clothing and weight loss? Do you keep a range of sizes, or only what fits you currently? You can reach me at 505-286-1212 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Or join the conversation in my Facebook group, “I’m Losing It!” I’d love to hear from you.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at email@example.com.