How I gave up chasing unattainable tail
At the beginning of fall, I bought two new pairs of jeans. I packed away the jeans that I wore every day last winter, and stuck them under my bed. I knew there was nothing to do about gaining weight. I knew I was going to have to wear clothes that fit me this winter. And that last year’s jeans weren’t them.
When I noticed that my metabolism was starting to kick back in and my body seemed to stop getting bigger and start moving in the other direction, I decided I wanted to see how far away I was from my last year’s body. Or more accurately, how far I had to go to get back into last year’s body. I went under my bed, pulled out the jeans and tried them on.
I didn’t think I had any expectations, but it became very clear very quickly that I had indeed. I pulled the jeans up. And that was it. That was as far as it got. There was nothing else to do, except take them back off again. I gained 24.4 lbs from June to January. And apparently, 23.4 of it settled between my waist and my knees.
Thank God I didn’t do this a month ago. I don’t know what I would have done. To myself. I really don’t think I would have been able to handle it. It is a blessing that I waited until I started producing dopamine again. (Thanks God! Good looking out!)
Very quickly and without tears (yet), I realized that I might never get back into those jeans. Or that body. (Since then I have cried about it a few times. I’m crying about it now. But it’s not despair. It’s mourning.)
If I have a lament, it’s that I didn’t know that I was skinny when I was skinny. I knew I loved that body. That I was comfortable in it. But I was skinny. And I didn’t know because I’m a fat girl. And skinny is something I can never be. It is incompatible with my existence. My mind has never been able to wrap itself around the idea. Which is a shame, because I would have liked to have enjoyed the experience.
And then I had an epiphany of sorts. And I took a bold action. Yesterday, I got rid of last year’s pants. I put them in a donation box. I made a decision. A really freaking empowering decision. I will not chase that body. It was a good body. It was beautiful. But it’s in the past.
There are things that I like better about this body compared to that one. I’m more hourglass than I was a year ago. Last year’s body was more pear-shaped. My hips have always been kind of square, and now they are round. I really like the curve from my waist to my hips right now. It’s beautiful. And I have a butt, which has not always been the case.
Oh, right! And I was poisoning that body. It’s not a moral issue for me. I am not lashing myself over having been a smoker. But it is probably safe to say that in the long run, the body I’m not poisoning with cigarettes will end up more beautiful than the body I was.
I like that I have given up the idea that there is a specific mould I’m supposed to fit into to (literally). It gives me a certain amount of freedom to let me be in the body I’m in now. And to let it go where it’s going to go from here. And to let me see the beauty of my body as it unfolds. Instead of stubbornly insisting that my beauty can only exist in a form that doesn’t exist anymore.
And it turns out that stores are still carrying jeans. If I do lose a lot of weight (I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for that, of course…) and need to buy some new ones next fall (I don’t wear pants in the summer), chances are good that there will be a pair or two that fit next year’s body.