One morning this week I was going through my closet, and collecting few items for the donation bin – hats I don’t wear, few arms sleeves that I have not used in years, cropped jacket that is just not comfortable. I pulled out a leather jacket that’s been hiding in the back of the closet, and tried it on. And…… couldn’t zip it up.
I am super sad about the jacket, because…. COME ON!
But… bodies change.
I remember this pair of black skinny jeans I bought when I was fourteen. A very pushy salesperson convinced me to buy a pair at least a size smaller than what I probably needed. They were black, and oh they were skinny. So skinny, I could juuuuuuuuust zip myself into them if I was holding my breath, and if I skipped breakfast.
A year later I could not fit into them no matter how much I was holding my breath. In my mind that meant I got fat. And fat was unacceptable. So, I put those jeans on the shelf and held on to them for almost ten years, feeling bad every single time (!) I caught a glimpse of them. I never fit into them again. Finally, I had some sense to throw the damn things out. Now, looking back, I realize that my hips just got wider in that one year. That’s… it.
This is, of course, why I also disagree with using an item of clothing as a yardstick of “goal achieved”, whether that’s a wedding dress, or smaller size pants.
Remember this video, where I took my pants off? And put them on? And took them off?
They will gain weight, and lose weight all the time. They will gain muscle, lose muscle, gain fat, and lose fat, and then possibly do it allllll over again. They will get new wrinkles, new scars, and stretch marks. Spots, moles.
[Minds! Minds will change too!]
We won’t just lose inches, and lose weight as we get fitter and stronger. Yet, this is often the only acceptable scenario of “success” in the fitness industry.
We may lose weight, and not inches. We may lose inches, and not weight. We may keep the weight, and keep the inches. And feel better, and sleep better, and have better sex. We may also keep weight, and gain inches (my case). We may gain weight, and gain inches.
How are you measuring success? What indicators are you after? And is it possible that you just need a bigger jacket, and that’s…. a good thing?
When I used to teach developmental psychology to eighteen year olds, we’d talk about ageing, and body changes – sagging skin, grey hair. “EEEEEEUW!”, they’d scream. And I’d remind them that:
We all get wrinkly and saggy. IF we are really really lucky. And if we are not lucky, then we get hit by a truck when we are young and wrinkle free. So… let’s hope every single one of you gets a shitload of wrinkles, and saggy skin, mmmkay?
Ok, but wait… so, what the heck happened with the jacket?
Well…. lats (and shoulders, and back) happened. That V-taper is on point. ????Today, I am walking around leaner than I was in university, yet… fifteen pounds heavier. I fit into all of my clothes from university days.
On that note, I think I also need new jeans. Because, quads. ????????