My Jeans Are Shrinking

jeans1It was so easy to stay fit as a kid and young adult. Activity took care of things. I must’ve been about 40 when I noticed my jeans shrinking. It seemed odd that after all of their launderings they would start shrinking now, but I knew it had to be the clothes drier.

My ex was a huge man, part by inherent build and a lot by indulging comfort foods. If he wasn’t talking about his next meal he was making grocery lists & menus to plan for it or shopping or cooking or eating its leftovers. He loved buying food almost as much as he loved eating it. You could literally hear him salivating from across the room as he fondled food from the grocery store in putting it away. For many more deep-rooted reasons than these he came to represent all the disgust of a fat, self-indulgent slob.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, every time he came back from the grocery store (which was daily) or every time he cooked he demanded praise for what a good choice in food he’d made or what a bargain he’d found or how well he’d cooked a meal. If I failed proper umph in my praises he bombarded with temper tantrums accusing that I didn’t highly-enough regard his exceptional self. It was easier to belabor praises than to deal with the punitive fits and I suppose that was the whole goal of them. [Vent done.]

You aren’t married to a spouse like that without acclimating to food yourself. It wasn’t jeans3until after we divorced that I realized why I had such difficulty cooking for one person. I was so used to feeding him that only then did I realize he ate enough at one meal for a family of four. My considerably more meager, natural appetite was a mere fraction of what I ate in trying to appease his overly-inflated appetite and ego. [Okay, vent really is done now.]

Between the stresses of divorce and not eating all of the food I used to, I lost about 30-pounds. That was fine by me, it was a gradual loss and I was finally back to a weight of many years earlier. Man, did that feel good. At one point I got so thin that I deliberately bought fatty foods (whole milk rather than 2% and such) to keep from losing more. I weighed myself every day to make sure I didn’t lose too much weight. What an irregular but enjoyable freedom of mind that was!

Though I put clothes shopping off longer than reasonable, eventually I had to buy clothes that fit. I would still, invariably, head directly for plus sizes in a department store. That was instinctual. I’d have to force myself to slowly migrate into sections of the store that I hadn’t jeans2seen in years. While examining myself in a mirror once, determining whether an XL jacket fit okay, it took a passer-by who must’ve been thinking surely I couldn’t be serious, to yell out, “You need a smaller size, that’s way too big!

So now I have three sizes in my closet: those that fit when I was thinnest; those that fit now, where I am so comfortable; and those that fit back when I was way too heavy to live in my own skin. It’s almost three years and I gradually gave away most of the larger sizes, finally confident I would never be – and never wanting to be – that weight again.

After these brief few years of feeling good about my weight, all of the sudden my jeans started shrinking (again). I cut back the quantity of what I eat (again) then I started buying low calorie products (again) and still my jeans keep shrinking. This is getting scary. I’ll be darned if I am going to the expense of another wardrobe OR feeling as lousy as I felt when I weighed too much. That is unacceptable. With my jeans still shrinking, the next thing to try is ~gulp~ activity.

I’ve considered taking walks. I think about it every day and with our beautiful weather right now there is no better time. With all of the thought I give to walking it feels like I should lose weight by just thinking about it so much. Isn’t that a form of activity? It should be. I never was one for aimless walks or redundant exercise. Walking could be enjoyable, I tell myself every day, as I continue to hide from people.

Ironically, my logical if only-to-me deterrent for taking walks is “I have nothing to wear.”jeans4 The only thing left is to replace my clothes drier, for surely it must be the culprit just as I suspected some twenty years ago.


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