Tag Archives: comfort


The other day I decided that I was going to confront my fear of jeans.

Everyone at work is always talking about “getting” to wear jeans.  They’re so “comfortable” and “casual.” Who are these people and what kind of jeans are they buying?

When I contemplate putting jeans on, when I even so much as glance at the one surviving pair of jeans I have hanging in my closet, comfort is the furthest thing from my mind.  I go straight to constriction, inflexible, inner-thigh holes, muffin-top, flat butt. I go to all the jeans I used to have that I can’t fit into anymore. I go all the way back to my first pair of Joe’s jeans with a patterned patch on the rear pocket my mom bought me when I was in tenth grade and a size 27.  I go there and I feel the (by now) predictable onslaught of old, buried feelings; I feel a wave of familiarly crushing failure, of humiliation that I had to give away an expensive pair of jeans (and then several increasingly larger pairs) because they no longer came up past my thighs.  I still go there, my non-teenage self, about eight years later.

Why can’t I give myself a break???

Anyway, so it’s getting cool out, crisp and breezy, and I was standing outside on my lunch break and staring at this girl’s butt.  It was an average butt, nothing spectacular, she wasn’t a rail, just normal. And I thought to myself, there’s no reason I can’t have a comfortable, warm, weather-appropriate pair of jeans.

And so I walked, very purposefully, mind you, to Nordstrom Rack, feeling ready to be self-accepting, ready to fight any implications of any particular numbers on any particular tags, and to just find a pair that fit.  Comfortably.

Here's a pic I snapped of myself in the dressing room mirror.   (Heheh)

And voila! Look how GREAT I looked! (Just kidding).

But despite my determination and my relatively calm, collected mindset before the lunchtime shopping extravaganza (challenge, really), I found myself hesitating to take the size 32s off the racks, and sticking to the 31s. That one extra inch, something in my head just wouldn’t let me go there.

The first pair of 31s didn’t even come close to buttoning.  They didn’t even entirely clear my thighs. And I knew this would happen, too.

… the thoughts started to bubble up, I could feel them forming and festering, like water being heated on a stove, little bubbles at first, then bigger, stronger, threatening to blow the lid clear off.  I’ve never worn bigger than a 32, and the way these jeans were fitting (or straining, rather), it seemed like I’d have to go all the way up to maybe a 34, and they rarely even carry that size on the racks.  Soon I won’t be able to shop at regular department stores. Soon I’ll know names like Lane Bryant and have to buy jeans at Costco and wear only miu mius and black. Lots of black…

I struggled to keep that lid down on those thoughts.  I fought hard. Because I know where that leads, letting the thoughts spill out and over, and I refused to spend the rest of my day under a big, thick cloud of self-loathing, debating whether to throw in the towel on the whole intuitive eating, trust-your-own-body thing and just get back on Weight Watchers.  Quick and easy fix.

Like a Band-Aid.

What deeper issues?

Nothing’s wrong, just fat. Fat’s in the way.

I carefully peeled those jeans off my bulging thighs – how had I not noticed before walking in here how soft and offensively BULGING they are??? – and bit my mental tongue as I tried on the next pair.

Here’s where I stopped feeling shitty about myself, blaming myself, (okay I didn’t stop I just lightened up on the self-hatred a teensy bit) and instead got really pissed.

Same brand – True Religion.  Same size – 31.  And they buttoned.

No, they didn’t fit comfortably, but they fit one hell of a lot more comfortably than the previous pair.   Same number on the sewn-in tag, but undoubtedly different sizes, unless there was some kind of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants bullshit going on.

I can at least begin to understand how sizes might vary from one brand to the next, but within the same brand? It just doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t make any sense at all and what infuriates (and saddens) me even more is that I know there are so many women out there who are beating themselves up over these numbers. These numbers rule our lives.  And they’re not even reliable.

I don’t know what I’m suggesting.  I know it’s not possible to throw out the whole sizing system and start afresh, with everything matching up perfectly and consistently across the board, from California to Italy to China (though I’m not aware of any Chinese designers…).  But I just wish we could take some of the stigma off of certain numbers, and, because I know I’m not dramatically overweight, if I’m even technically overweight at all, and because I know there are probably tons of girls just that little bit bigger than me who would love to shop at Nordstrom Rack, I wish the good, quality jeans-makers would go bigger than a size 32.  How is that the biggest size on the rack?  Why is that where they draw the line?

Well, I left the dressing room empty-handed and bought myself a nice, size-free Steve Madden purse.  Because purses are non-threatening.


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Half-Mast Panties: A Day in Uncomfortable Undergarments

I always dread those final few days leading up to laundry day – the days when my hamper is bursting at the seams and I’m futilely scratching the bottoms of drawer after drawer for something decent to wear.

I dread these days not because I’m forced to throw what could feasibly pass for an outfit together with only a raccoon-hat-tail and a sarong (admittedly, that was an extreme occasion), but because of my underwear drawer.

The comfortable underwear is always the first to go. And then things get… tight. And holy.

I know I shouldn’t keep old underwear. I know that the six or seven pairs of what were once cute, sexy, lacy Hanky Panky’s don’t fit anymore, and that they’re only taking up valuable space in the dark corners of my panty-drawer. Yet I can’t seem to get rid of them. Throwing them away seems like giving up, acknowledging my too-fatness, being forced to face the very realistic possibility of my never fitting comfortably in them again.

So yesterday morning, after some fruitless drawer-rifling, I resigned to wearing a pair of lacy, lavender booty-cut (I’m bad with underwear terminology) panties from Victoria’s Secret… just barely too small.

Seriously, though, they’re really cute. They fit perfectly like, practically, eight months ago. Or maybe nine. They’ll surely fit again, in the very near future. I mean, look, they even pull up all the way, so what if I used the conveniently torn holes scattered along the waistband as leverage in my upward yanking. You can barely tell. They’re lacy, after all, and what is lace, really, but just a bunch of holes anyhow, right? Right? (Wrong.)

I looked at my reflection from a few different angles in the mirror, but before I could get too caught up remembering, in painstakingly nostalgic detail, every and any long-past instance when the panties did fit, when I had been able to put them on without even a second thought, when I might have even pranced around in them in front of some (probably dumb) boy, I forcibly snapped myself out of it, threw a loose dress on and got away from the mirror.

(This is a good rule of thumb, by the way: When in doubt, walk away from the mirror. Just stop it.)

About twenty minutes later, before I had even stepped onto the bus two blocks away from my apartment, my lovely lavender lacies were halfway down my ass. And, as it turns out, not only is there no discreet way to effectively pull up your sagging underwear on a packed bus, or while walking from the bus to work, but also it’s rather difficult to get a good grip on the waistband-holes when an additional layer of fabric is in the way.

After a whole day in half-mast underwear, I can say only this: Comfort cannot be beat. No one needs a constant nagging reminder, whether it be a waistband that’s too tight, sleeves that cut into shoulders, or underwear that’s falling off your butt, of not being small enough… which inevitably leads to thoughts about not being pretty enough, desirable enough, good enough, etc. And the same goes for the clothes you keep around. Your space is yours and yours alone, so why clutter it with ultimately useless, and unnecessarily painful/triggering reminders of how thin you aren’t?

Confidence, freedom of movement, and, ultimately, body acceptance won’t grow from discomfort. How can you live your life fully when you’re constantly on the look out for the most inconspicuous location in which to give yourself a wedgie?

Throw out the underwear (or the pants, jeans, bras, blouses, whatehaveyou.) Buy stuff that fits. You deserve comfort. I know I will… Once I do some laundry.


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