I have a friend who recently spent a day wearing tight jeans. She wasn’t wearing them because she was especially fond of them. She struggled into them for a reason.
She lay down on her bed and managed to yank up the zipper. She sucked in her middle and buttoned the top. Then she covered the excess spillover flesh that surged above the tight waistband with a large loose shirt.
She spent the entire day able to only take short shallow breaths. Being unable to breathe comfortably was part of a scheme to remind her to eat less.
It was a dieting tactic.
I commented that she must have been quite uncomfortable.
She said, “Yes. Definitely.”
I asked if wearing tight pants all day actually worked as a food deterrent. And she told me it only worked for one day. Then in an aftermath of aggravation and unhappiness she spent the following day shaking her (possibly plump) fists at the sky while raiding her refrigerator.
Today I had a similar experience with my running shorts.
These are not even close to my smallest sized shorts. I have many pairs of tiny (at least tiny to my current larger self) running shorts in various colors. Bright colors. Attention grabbing colors. Because I was surprisingly bold about accepting the inherent attention demanded by bright colors when I used to be small.
I even wore some of the little flippy running skirts now hidden beneath larger duller sweatpants on my closet shelf. I felt like a woman in charge in those skirts. My internal message to the world was, “Yes I’m a woman. In her late middle age. In a skirt. Running. I own all parts of this statement. Now you deal!”
I liked that statement, but I can only fit about half of myself in those skirts now, and I just don’t think the statement would be the same.
I tell myself I could get larger skirts to run in, but the flippy message just wouldn’t resonate internally in the same way. Plus, of course, chub rub. You know, the uncomfortable demoralizing rub of two fleshy thighs against each other. Chub rub has been the end of many an attempted run.
This morning I did go out in shorts that were a little too small. Not tiny colorful ones, but black larger ones. As I headed out my door early enough to beat the Texas summer heat I reminded myself that no one cared how I looked when I ran. I told myself the run is the thing and that appearance during the run is a null concept.
But it was not motivational. My internal statement was more like, “Don’t look at me. I’m just a woman sludging along here. Just sludging.”
I was not motivated to run further in order to counteract the tightness of my shorts.
As I face the rest of my day I don’t think the memory of my uncomfortable run will help me make better food choices either.
It would be nice if that were true. I’d like to think I am a rational person motivated to better behavior by obvious evidence.
But if that was the case, I would never have let my shorts get so tight in the first place.
Well, on to a shower and a hopefully healthy breakfast.
I can tell you this. I’m already planning to wear a very large loose pair of pants and a big tee shirt for the rest of the day.
There is only so much personal honesty I can face in one day, and this morning’s run already used up all of it. I have nothing left but self-deception and loose clothing.
Hopefully these two things will be enough to craft a new internal statement. Something like, “Nothing to see here. Just a woman doing her best. Whatever that best is at the moment.”
That will just have to be enough to take me through to tomorrow.