March 2, 2015

“I hate my jeans.”  Ever said that?

I have big legs.  Always have.  “Solid”, or “strong” if you’re trying to be tactful, but big nonetheless.  Stocky is how I have always been built – I can see my chubby little legs powering me around in pictures of my childhood.  I stopped growing at 5’0”, around the time I turned 12.  My legs have never been long, graceful, or slim.

As such, buying jeans and pants has always been an ordeal; one that I came to resent. Over time I slowly amassed a collection that fit kinda-sorta-ok-but-not-perfect, and throughout my twenties I was able to get by without buying too many more.

And then I had a baby, and my whole body changed.  Ugh.

After I lost the baby weight (an ordeal unto itself, believe me), I was looking forward to being “me” again and wearing the clothes that I had packed away for a year.  I pulled on my favourite pair of jeans, ones that I had worn in to fit semi-roomily around my thighs and butt, and… they didn’t fit.

Wait, what?

Panic, momentarily: I thought I was back to normal. Are these the right jeans? Yes, they have that small rip near the right heel… these are the ones! But they’re not fitting! Did I throw them in the dryer by mistake? Holy crap, what’s going on?

I tried another pair: tight in the thighs, tighter than usual.  And another: loose around the middle, tight in the bum.  Another: overall just… not right.

What the heck is going on?

I stared at myself in the mirror for awhile, sans jeans.  I didn’t hate what I saw: I’m strong. I lift heavy weights and I run; I have muscles in my quads and calves, and only minimal cellulite.  I’m (relatively) proportionate from top to bottom, and I have pretty nice skin.  But I guess I’m different now, in structure.  Maybe my hips are a little wider.  Maybe my fat distribution has changed because of hormone shifting, and pregnancy, and age.

I stared for awhile longer, and then I realized the right answer: Jeans are just evil.  I needed a new perspective.

They're. Just. Jeans.

They’re. Just. Jeans.

My jeans are not me.  They’re just clothing.  They don’t deserve all of the power I have been giving them all of these years.  I deserve that power, because the body under those jeans is me.  And as a living, breathing person who is pretty awesome, I should have priority.

I need to stop letting my jeans dictate how I feel about myself: If they fit well today, it means I’m a better person.  If they’re too tight, I’m going to feel fat, and gross, and worthless.  False.  What was I thinking?  Saying it out loud puts it all further into perspective.

Jeans. Are. Just. Clothes.

But saying it isn’t enough. I have to do something about it.  So here goes: I am purging my closet of pants.  All of my pants.  Total fresh start. All of those jeans and slacks and cords and dress pants that I’ve amassed over the years.  All of those useless things that hang in my closet and torment me because I’m afraid to try them on lest they don’t fit well and make me feel bad about myself. All of them are going.  I’m going to embark on a new-pants mission.  I’m going to try on jeans and judge them on how they fit, not myself on how my legs are genetically.

I can’t control the way my body is, naturally.  I can continue to be in good shape and treat myself well so that the pants I do have fit the best they can.  And I can, with a little practice, remember that jeans are just jeans.

I’m not wasting any more hate on them.


Jen Wright is an RMT and the owner of Whole Therapy. She is an avid gym-goer and loves to lift heavy stuff.  She sees clients of all ages and stages, especially those who are engaged in bettering themselves.  She believes that pain-free is possible.  For more about Jen, click here.