Tag Archives: jeans

The Unbearable Lightness of Being Really Sick

A few days ago, a friend’s blog featured a guest post on body image – specifically in relation to dieting and discipline, and the idea of a child being put on a diet by their parents, and how early exposure to a culture of dieting sticks with us throughout our lives.

This week, I hit my lowest weight since high school, excepting one transient moment when I was seeing a trainer and got a bit lower – that lasted all of two weeks, and was in no way sustainable, as I was simply counteracting all the crap I ate at the time with seven or more hours a week at the gym. The second I stopped using a personal trainer, those pounds crept back on.

This week, on the other hand, is a totally different deal. I’ve lost eight pounds in three days. EIGHT POUNDS! SINCE LAST WEEK. Noticeably shrinking waist circumference!  All my skinny clothes will fit again! Which means some of my larger-sized dresses are going to be too big for me now! I can give them away to other curvy ladies in need of some plus-size fashion! This should be exciting, right? Because giving dresses away leads to BUYING NEW DRESSES. Or something.

Oh wait, except I’m sick sick sick and haven’t been out of bed in four days, my last square meal was on Wednesday last week, and I’m convinced the only thing that’s currently keeping me alive is the all-natural root beer that’s delivering sugar to my system, except that it also makes my heart pound, so today I’m switching it out for Lady Grey decaf with honey.

Also (cough hack hack cough) I think I dropped a bit of my lung over there, mind passing it back to me?

It doesn’t help that this whole “loose jeans resulting from being quite sick” is also throwing a spotlight onto how feminism plays into my own life. Can I be happy to have lost a few pounds, when it’s through illness? When I tweet that my jeans are loose and I’m not sure that I care why – and then a moment later confirm that actually, I realized I don’t care why, but I’m going to have to parse the implications of that vis a vis feminism – and a friend, normally more committed to these things than I, then follows up to my “my jeans are loose” comment with “rough life” – are she and I both playing into a mode of approach that we both struggle, on a daily basis, not to reinforce? Does the fact that we acknowledge the ickiness of the logic behind the feelings give us the ability/permission to express them, nonetheless?

Those eight pounds didn’t go anywhere because of any healthy decision I made. They got lost because I got sick. I have felt physically miserable for days. MISERABLE. (Does anyone else ever forget, so quickly, just how bad it feels to be sick? Because I swear I never think it’s as bad as all that until the disease is IN ME and I feel like THIS:

Me, for the last four days

So the minute I think, well, at least this is one positive thing this stupid illness has done that’s good, I also slam into a wall of the following logic:

“Don’t feel good about this. It isn’t healthy. Feel good about healthy things. Don’t feel good about being too sick to move, waking up in a cold sweat for four days just because at the end of the rainbow there’s a pair of loose jeans. This isn’t sustainable any more than having a trainer and working out seven hours a week was sustainable. This isn’t real weight loss, it’s not going to put your body in better condition, and you better be able to keep something down today because quite frankly writing while lightheaded is not fun at all.”

Sigh.

I’ve been working hard to lose weight for a long time. Primarily for health reasons, and I can say that honestly because the one thing that motivated me to *actually lose weight* was a health reason. So I shouldn’t feel guilty if I have a little twinge of glee, no matter what the cause, when I get a little closer to knowing what that “healthy weight” is going to feel like when I get there.

But I do. Do I ever.

Not only because I know I didn’t lose those eight pounds under anything that could possibly be interpreted as healthy circumstances, but also because those loose jeans tapped into just how ingrained and destructive my own weight (and weight-loss) expectations are.

Falling short of your own standards is never fun. Especially not when you’re sick.

Free Levi’s, New Friends

Friday morning, I went to the Levi’s Curve ID fittings in Bryant Park. After arriving at nine a.m. and waiting in line till about eleven, I was joined in line by Nicole Poole, the author of Thrift Store Confidential; we and others near us passed a while discussing fashion and clothing, and I have to say, the lady knows what she’s talking about. Her shoes – from Housing Works, I think – were GORGEOUS. There was another girl in line with us who was bigging up the idea of shopping at Nordstrom and I loved how she kept calling it “a hidden gem.” I know she kept a blog, so if she happens to see this – hi! Comment and send me your blog’s URL!

The system the Levi’s were working under assigned a color-coded band to each “fitting period,” and I got a time at the end of the day. Which was good, as I was donating a couple of giant wardrobes to Housing Works. When I got back and got measured…

…and this is really sad…

…they did not have my size. Now, I’m not a thin girl, and I think I’ve owned up to this on a few occasions. I’m working my way toward it, but no, I’m not there yet. And yet…and yet…the entire concept behind the Levi’s Curve ID Jeans is that they’ve measured women all over the place and found ways to fit us all with jeans. I wouldn’t even have minded getting up early, if someone in the line had mentioned (or if the online materials, which I consulted I think about as closely as most of the users of this brand would check) that the jeans were only made (not in stock, not available on the day, but available in the entire range of produced sizes) up to a size that didn’t include my XL derrier.

Whatever. I met some great ladies in the line (oh – the other two I didn’t mention were a photographer/filmmaker from Ghana and a near-retiree who joined us and who I lost track of; thanks to both of you for livening up the morning!), and my younger sister got rewarded for being of a more typical physique ($59.99 jeans for fre-e-e-e-e-e if you don’t count my time!). Levi’s, you could use a bit more thoughtfulness about either your marketing or your sizing, particularly when you’re advertising a line that’s meant to take the “real woman” and her “real dimensions” into account.