A couple years ago I bought a pair of running shorts without trying them on. When I got home and put them on, they fit terribly. Not really too-small, but just too-wrong – bunching in some places, squeezing in others, with mysterious pouches of air. Maybe they were defective? Maybe they should have gone right back to the store? But a crazy lady who lives in my head said “keep them. Strive for them.” and we were off. Those shorts became that item in every woman’s closet that magazines christened “skinny jeans” — not the ultra tight hipster variety, but the ones you only fit into when you’re skinny. The barometer of success, the fabric scale, the judge and jury of if
you are going to feel happy today.
Every so often I’d put on those shorts and NOPE, I still looked terrible. I had a lot of work to do, I told myself. I forgot about them for awhile and they resurfaced last week when i had no clean shorts and found them at the back corner of my drawer. Id been feeling pretty positive about my body that day – that month, really, lots of healthful eating and long runs anddamnit, those shorts were going to look awesome on me.
Except, of course (of course!) they did not. Not even close. And right as the crazy lady was about to take the wheel and spiral us into a self hatred/pity cycle, I realized that those shorts were the worst kind of skinny jeans. Because they never fit. No matter my size, they looked awful. They simply did not fit me. I had been beating myself up trying to fit into something That was just not built for me. And if that’s the standard I was holding myself to I was never going to be happy.
So I looked in the mirror and laughed because they looked truly terrible and told myself I’d buy a new pair of awesome shorts that fit tomorrow. And then I threw on a top and took off for my run, looking terrible, but feeling pretty victorious.