British English readers, please mentally replace the word “pants” with the word “trousers.” Or don’t, and snicker the whole way through.
There are a litany of reasons my pants don’t fit, all of them collaborate to help each other out.
A little over a year ago I was diagnosed with “situational depression.” (I’m much better, thank you.) There are personal factors that set that in motion — and oh, the election with the near constant worry created by that mess. I got That Thing That Was Going Around Last Winter, and when I finally shook it, I had injured my back from coughing. (No, really, it’s a thing you can do, isn’t that great?!) Pile that on top of a tenacious case of plantar fascitis — meaning I couldn’t walk like I had been.
TL:DR (too long, didn’t read), I was depressed and my body hurt, so I’d been eating my feelings and not getting any exercise.
There were environmental issues, too. I work at home so days can go by when I don’t leave the house. I don’t get even the most incidental of exercise–unless you count my 10 foot commute. Living at the edge of the urban village–rather than in it–means things are just far away enough it’s easy to rationalize taking the car instead of walking.
TL:DR again, living in the burbs and working at home adds up.
Finally, there’s the fact that I like carbs. No, I love carbs. Waffles and toast and biscuits after they’ve spent a few minutes on a hot grill so they’re just the tiniest bit fried, and don’t get me started on confectionery, like those ridiculous twice baked almond croissants stuffed with marzipan or have you had a kouign amman?
TL:DR once more, my pants are full of carbs and said pants were not built to hold quite this many carbs, goddammit.
See? A perfect storm of things conspiring to make my pants unwearable.
I hate shopping for pants for so many reasons. Good lord, fashion is a social and environmental nightmare. I have issues about the fashion industrial complex and how it conspires to make us feel like we look, well, wrong. Fuck that noise. Also, I like being the kind of person whose very clothing choices radiate a giant “Screw you” to Ivanka Trump.
But my pants don’t fit. So I decided it would be easier to drop some weight than to buy new pants.
People give you all kinds of unsolicited advice when you mention you are dieting. All you want to hear is “God speed, friend, plus, you are gorgeous already, don’t let anyone — even that vicious voice in your head — tell you otherwise. Also, doesn’t shopping for pants suck?”
I decided to ignore everyone and figure out what I was eating that I should not be eating so much of — oh, look, it’s waffles! I decided to be a bit more aggressive about getting some kind of exercise each day. I decided to find ways to get more protein into my diet. I decided to set an ambitious calorie goal for each day, but not to worry if I went over, because sometimes, you want ice cream. I can have ice cream, I just can’t have it every damn day or my pants won’t fit.
I have learned that it is hard to eat out, not because there are no good choices (Seattle is a fine food town, it was not always so) but because it’s nigh impossible to get nutritional information on what you’re eating. I have learned that I rather like making omelets for breakfast. I have learned that seeds and nuts are high in calories and I cannot absentmindedly snack on them–which is too bad because I like absentmindedly snacking through a bowl of pistachios. I have learned to measure before I eat, rather than just, you know, eating. I’ve learned it’s not just what, but how much. These seem like good lessons that are applicable for all eating; they’re not restricted to a person who is angry at their pants.
Another factor. Until I crossed 50, I could eat whatever the hell I wanted, mostly, and not spend much time thinking about it. Now, there’s a worker slow down in the metabolism room and those bastards just don’t seem to keep the engine stoked like they used to. This is some infuriating biological bullshit; one might conclude that evolution is in cahoots with the garment industry to maintain a market for pants for women over 50.
But I’m simply not going to invest in some metabolism reset plan — they make you give up coffee, for crying out loud. I’ve given the engine crew a break and swapped out the donuts for a fruit plate; after all, they’ve been at it for more than 50 years. I don’t need to get on them. Plus, a nice fruit plate is genuinely enjoyable.
When I got on the scale this morning I was five pounds down. I have a ways to go to get where I’d like to be, which isn’t a number so much as it is that I would like to ride my bike comfortably while wearing that one pair of jeans. I guess whatever I’m doing is working and it’s nice that on the whole, I’m not feeling particularly hungry or deprived. It’s a shift in habits rather than a diet, and that feels like a reasonable approach.
Plus, it beats shopping for pants. I fucking hate shopping for pants.