You know what isn’t fun?
Too tight pants.
Now don’t get me wrong, my wardrobe is as simple as a super hero’s, same thing, different day and littered with “yoga” pants which yes, you are right, are tight.
But not too tight.
This Winter, I returned to too tight pants.
I can hear the easy cheesey joke in the back of all of our minds right now…”Can pants ever be too tight?”
Well yes, jokester. Yes, they can.
And they were.
Apparently, California had been even more kind to me than I had expected and although I couldn’t figure out where it was hiding, some of California had stowed away. In my pants.
Wow, I am really leaving an opening for the sleazy jokes today.
Have at it.
Jokes aside, returning to our cabin in the woods felt like being reunited with a long lost love. I was in a delightful mood and absolutely in adoration of our little abode the morning after we arrived. I decided I wanted to see more of this place I had missed and venture out to see how things had fallen into Winter since I’d left.
I went upstairs to dig out my Winter Walking ski pants (a little less insulated than my super insulated bibs) from my Winter Clothes bin. Then, as I do every single Winter (and by every I mean one singular past Winter) I donned a pair of thick underlayers, top and bottom and went to put on my Winter Walkers.
Not so fast. In fact quite slow. As the pants approached my hips, I felt a sudden resistance I’d never felt before, as if a small child was below me, pulling the pants in the opposite direction. I looked around, searching for an answer to this opposition.
I tugged a little harder and did the shimmy-shake-jiggle-wiggle-jump dance every woman knows (and based on the near legging like quality of men’s fashion these days, I can assume many men know this as well) and finally…
Up they went. I buttoned the double button in a hurry, as if the pants were about to split in all directions at the seams if I didn’t get them secured. And then, I just stood there, pondering my situation for a moment.
What in the heck?
When I had bought my Winter Walkers (which I had bought to use for solely that Summer in Alaska) it had been the middle of Summer (typically my heaviest time of year. Oh BBQs, how I love thee!) and still I had tried them on with a pair of jeans underneath and still I’d had room to spare.
I felt like a sausage and so I quickly decided it must be the leggings.
Off came the WW (Winter Walkers) and off came the leggings. This was sure to work. I donned the WW and…
What in the heck?!
I immediately huffed off to downstairs. Each step was less comfortable than I remembered as I bent my knee to make the journey. The knee and the bum simultaneously requesting space in the pants made for quite tight lodgings. I found the Chief.
“What in the heck?!”
“What is it?”
I love him.
Despite my sausage-y self, he was quick to see no fault in my appearance. I assured him that these pants had not been so tight before we left three months earlier. He assured me that everything was just fine.
And so, off I went on a much needed (emotionally and apparently, physically as well) walk into the woods to see how things in the woods had changed and to ponder how I had changed without noticing. As I unzipped the side pockets to give my thighs a little more breathing room I broke into laughter. This would be how things were until I slimmed back down again. We had just spent a huge chunk of change in Town to last us through the next few months and there was no way that I was purchasing a new pair of pants when these were perfectly fine (aside from the tightness factor).
They would have to do.
The funny thing is, just a few short years ago I would have spent the entirety of that walk planning. None of it would have been spent laughing with myself. My happiness would have been dependent upon my size. I would have decided what I could and could not eat on that walk, how much I had to workout and how fast I expected to lose the weight. I would have spoken unkindly to myself in my head, cursing the cookies and despising the desserts.
Instead, I thought back. Sure, I guess I had slowed down on working out the last few weeks we had been away. The weather had turned from Fall to Winter seemingly overnight and the rain had come and stayed. We were living in an Airstream which, while beautiful did not provide much space for my daily yoga/pilates/random moves to feel healthy routine and without a way to dry off I didn’t want to send Cinda and I off into the rain before work each day. In addition, our home cooked meals had been few and far between. Overall, our life had lacked ryhthym and consistency and the healthy traits it normally holds and thus lay the culprits of this too tight pants dilemma. Oh well. Lesson learned.
Upon returning home, I was grateful to slip out of the pants, and by slip I mean peel them off. And then…
I retired them.
Just kidding. No fire pants here.
I switched to my roomier bibs (basically insulated overalls) and said “goodbye” to the pants.
In my bibs, I was able to make all the maneuvers I needed. Sure, the bibs themselves were even a bit tight but they were nothing like the second skin of the WW pants.
And so, the months went by. I started doing my Winter Chores, and living the Winter lifestyle and slowly but surely, the pants began to fit. I would pull them out of retirement every few weeks and check.
The first time, they fit a little looser.
The next time I could comfortably wear leggings under them.
And eventually, I donned jeans under them.
It took me most of the Winter to get to where I had started last year and if I had said that years ago, I would have been furious with myself. I would have ridiculed myself, wondering why I hadn’t tried harder, eaten better, eaten less and gotten fitter faster but this year was full of high-fives with myself and The Chief.
It had been a kinder journey. Without a mirror to gauge how I looked, I focused on how I felt and the process was slower because of it.
Some days I was ready to jump into an hour of sweat inducing, heart pumping exercise, other days I was in pain and didn’t want to push it. I had setbacks and steps forward but throughout, I was happy with myself, my worth wasn’t based on my weight. and eventually I got to a place where I felt myself return to my personal normal.
Slow and steady had won the race and hadn’t even had to buy new pants.
And I hope it stays that way but I won’t beat myself up if it doesn’t. 30 brings with it changes that I hadn’t expected and so, I am learning to adapt. I guess we will just have to wait to see what next Winter brings.
Hopefully some cookies (and I guess some exercise to go along with them).
Cheers to you, tight pants or loose. Either way, I hope you’re happy.