I haven't worn jeans for about three months.
That's not because I hate jeans. Far from it. They're a winter staple, an easy, go-with-anything option. I have two pairs, one black and one blue, hanging clean in my wardrobe. I've had them for about a year and a half and they're pretty much perfect in every way except one.
Right now they don't fit me.
Not in a must-throw-away-now ill fit, but an "It takes a couple of minutes to do up the button but when I get fit they'll be fine" kind of way.
They hang there taunting me. The obvious option is to just replace them with a pair of jeans that fit Current Me, rather than Future Slim Me or Past Me, but that would be giving up, raising a white flag of surrender.
I exercise a few times a week and try to eat well, but I'm partial to a dessert or two, a sleep in and the four times a week sweat session I promised myself I would stick to hasn't quite materialized. Buying new jeans means accepting this—and accepting "failure".
It's not a singular event—the jeans are just the latest garment in a long cycle of clothing to make me feel this way.
I'm not alone. Talking to a friend who had just returned from holiday recently, she was also lamenting the realization that her trusty summer clothes that have lasted years don't fit her anymore. It's not a nice feeling.
Then I read a brilliant piece on BuzzFeed by Arianna Rebolini. In the article, she wrote a detailed and personal account of her experience with shopping after she made a simple but radical decision: Instead of losing weight, she lost the clothes she hated.
To put it in the most simple terms, she bought clothes that actually fit her—right here, right now—rather than the "ideal" her she would like to be.
It sounds dramatic, but it was truly a lightning-strike moment for me.
I'd spent so long avoiding my jeans and the feelings that had become associated with them, I'd forgotten the main purpose of clothes—to wear them. I made a promise to myself that I would buy or choose clothes that fitted me, not the other way round.
I won't throw away the old jeans just yet, but I will go out this week and buy a pair of jeans that I love and that love me back. I want to put them on, look in the mirror and feel good, not guilty.
It's a small change but a significant one too, I hope.