Sunday, June 16, 2013

On the Pursuit of Fitting Into Skinny Pants

I donated my skinny pants today.

I haven't done an official poll, but I would imagine that the vast majority of women keep at least one pair of skinny pants in their closet. They act as a simple (sometimes sad) reminder that one day, you didn't weigh as much as you do now. They're also supposed to act as a motivator to get yourself to the gym.

Let me tell you about my skinny pants, or rather, ex-skinny pants.

I ordered them online in 2008 from Forever 21. I underestimated my pant size and they didn't fit. I decided to hang onto them in the vain hope that one day, I might fit in them. Yada yada, you know the drill. In 2009, I weighed probably the most I ever have, although I have no idea what that number was, as I didn't own a scale. I didn't like it, so I started working out constantly and managed to lose 15-25lbs, possibly. Again, no scale to know for sure. Lo and behold, the Forever 21 pants finally fit. Toward the end of my obsessive working out, they were even getting a bit big.

Me, in said pants. Christmas 2009.

...And then the PARE happened (for the lazy: it's a fitness test). I'm not going to go into the whole story, but I did the PARE in 2010 and it didn't go so well. Okay, I actually did really well until the part that required upper body strength. I failed (albeit, not terribly) but ended up having to go to the hospital for crushing chest pain and a heart rate that wasn't decreasing. I know now that I have exercise asthma, which likely played a big role in my failing, but at the time, I was devastated I didn't pass. I thought I was in such great shape, and the embarrassment of failing a fitness test, especially in front of a bunch of people, was upsetting. I had even done some temporary damage to my ribcage during the PARE, and was told by the doctor to lay off the gym for awhile. I was so upset by the whole thing, I stopped working out.

As you can imagine, within a few months, the skinny pants stopped fitting. At this point, I was pretty wrapped up in moving back to Ontario and was too busy to care either way.

Since then, they have sat in my closet along with the rest of my pants. I've since returned to the gym, although it's a different story now that 1) I screwed up my knee in late 2010, and 2) I don't have a concrete goal anymore (the PARE being the previous goal). I had come so far in 2009 and every time I go into a gym now, the disappointment of the PARE and my knee are sometimes all I can think about. It's just not the same anymore.

Additionally, in the last 4 years, I've come to realize that being skinny is overrated and I shouldn't want something just because society tells me I should. You know what? I like food and dare I say it, YOLO. It's important to me to be healthy but it's more important to enjoy my one chance at enjoying myself. Everything in moderation. If I'm carrying a bit of extra flab, so be it. At least I'm happy, right? I'm also old enough to know that happiness isn't magically achieved as soon as something happens, be it the possession of a tangible object, or due to an event occurring. Happiness is achieved by appreciating what you already have and accepting who you are now. I don't need the skinny pants to lie to me, whispering to me that if I fit in them, I will finally be happy. I'm already happy, size 10 pants and all.

This weekend I went on a purge of things I don't wear/read/use, and away the skinny pants went, along with the pressure to fit into them. If I never fit into them again, I'll never know, and that's perfectly okay.

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