I got so mad at my jeans this morning. I was on round 3 of picking out an outfit for church, I had the top, the earrings, but the pants I had on just weren’t making me sing. As my brain sorted through other possibilities, I remembered the perfect jeans for this scenario were in the hamper. That’s not the disappointing part. No, that was fine. I found them, they really weren’t dirty. Come on now, we all know that sometimes jeans accidentally get tossed into the laundry long before they’re supposed to. I had only worn them three times and in an effort to get rid of the enormous pile on the chair in my bedroom I threw them in the laundry. They were there, waiting for me. As though they knew I wasn’t completely done with them. I’m always happy when they’re where I left them. Sometimes I just lose clothes and I have no idea where they are. Did they get up out of the basket and go out of town to some faraway place? (Like behind the washing machine or in Olive’s laundry basket). Thankfully, they were right where I left them. I was very happy to see them.
Until I put them on.
Two twists this way, three twists that way, a slight detour at the top and a minute of desperate inhaling to button them. I was so mad! So, they hadn’t gone out out town but worse, they had shrunk! They shrunk themselves because they were mad at me. They wanted more time in the bin with their buds, just hanging out. They were tired of having to hang out with me all day. So, they shrunk themselves. This was not cool.
I opted to wear them anyways. Might as well, I had spent the better part of the morning thinking of them, sorting to find them and then shimmying them on. But with every step I took, from bedroom to car to drop off kids at nursery to crossing my legs in the pews at church I felt every inch of their shrinkage. I was having a bit of a hard time breathing and I just, plain and simply, did not feel comfortable in them.
Y’all. I hope you’re getting it. The jeans did not shrink. But, for whatever reason, today they were just a snitch too small.
I used to be horribly mortified when things like this happened. If something didn’t fit me right or made me feel “fat.” I would feel defeated, imprisoned, like I didn’t want to leave the house. But today, by God’s supremely sweet grace, as a woman who has made huge strides in this area, I can handle this reality. My jeans were too tight and I shouldn’t have worn them.
But the reason I shouldn’t have worn them is not the same as it used to be. Wearing jeans too tight meant my focus was completely changed. I couldn’t focus well on catching up with friends or on the meaning of worship in church. Instead, I was thinking, “man. I just can’t breathe.”
These days, for me, breathing and talking is more important than slipping into a size that I can’t slip into. It was more like I powered-through these jeans today. They should have been left at home with the rest of the hamper. Yoga pants would have been like riding on a cloud..
As you may know, I am a Tina Fey fan. And with that, I’m not sure I’m a Tina Fey fan as much as I am a Liz Lemon fan. As an avid 30 Rock-er, Chris said something to me today that was really, really special.
Just close your eyes and try to imagine this scene from 30 Rock:
Liz Lemon is obsessed with these orange chip things (Sabor de Soledads) that she knows are not good for her, but she eats them anyways. After deciding to try to overcome her fetish, she turns to a health-food delivery service that provides her with meals having the best ingredients and offering the proper portion control. Her producer, Pete, pleaded with her NOT to start this diet this particular week as food-deprivation puts her in a bad mood. Flash back to Liz turning over tables, throwing glass across the room, etc. She says she can do it. And she does, she’s surprisingly happy at work. But, the truth is, it turns out she does great during the day because she’s actually sleep-walking-eating-pizza in the middle of the night. All that to say, she finds a way around it.
Coming home from church today, I felt a similar desire to cut something out of my diet. I suggested to Chris that it might be time to reduce some sugar intake or breads from breakfast, lunch and dinner. To which he said, “Maybe you should wait a couple of years.”
“We all need you in a good mood.”
I love this man. Like Liz Lemon, he knows that removing carbs for me is like a trap for those around me. We started a Whole30 diet a few years ago and on day TWO I was crying to him IN A BOOTH AT CHIPOTLE because like a small child, I wanted the rice and beans and cheese on my salad. What’s the point of Chipotle without the rice and beans and cheese and sour cream and chips and guac and large coke? What’s the point?????????????
At that moment in time, in the booth, Chris kindly suggested that I go ask for the heavenly toppings and disregard the agony of Whole30.
And I did. And I laughed with joy at every bite. And loved him even more for it.
Here’s the thing. The jeans I was wearing today were too tight. They were the wrong size for today. I fear that some women wear the wrong size (say a size too small for them, like a “goal” weight size or a “what I used to be” size) and this puts them in a bad mood, or plays a huge role in her head, telling her she’s fat, undisciplined, losing it, you name it. Our clothes can be good indicators of what’s going on with our bodies, but our minds have to make sure we manage it well. Sometimes it’s better to leave the too-tight clothes in the hamper.
I was wearing the wrong size today. And wearing the size I’m not can mean putting comfort as a lesser priority. On a morning like Sunday morning, it can mean making the time of worship a lesser priority. Being consumed by what you’re wearing (no matter the size) what you look like (no matter how great or not great you feel) is not a great place to be, is it?
The whole topic of body image and our purpose to revel in the bodies that God gave us is a whole, huge topic. But for today, I will just say, sometimes the jeans are just too tight. And that doesn’t have to be awful. Breathing is very important.
Wearing clothes you are comfortable in, that fit, not that WILL fit or that DID fit, but that fit, is a great place to start each day.
God gave us our bodies for his good. I do pray you feel good in yours.
Guess I gotta go do some laundry now.