The pants I already have

List nine things you are done writing about.

It was a writing prompt from one of my favorite podcasts, Running on Om (check it out here in the iTunes store if you’re looking for a new running companion). I will admit I haven’t done many writing exercises since my creative writing days in college almost 20 years ago. But these seemed like they’d be fun and maybe get some sparks flying, burn up some of the proverbial cobwebs that have been forming between my ears.

The list was pretty easy to begin.

  1. Product reviews for things I don’t believe in or really love.
  2. Agonizingly descriptive race recaps full of information and detail that no one cares about but me (and maybe my coach). Because no one cares if you went to the bathroom, what you ate or where you ate it (or where you went to the bathroom).
  3. Agonizingly descriptive blog posts about recipes. If I ever share a recipe with you, I promise it will be exposition free (because please don’t get me started on my intense loathing for the current state of “foodie” blogs). Ingredients. Steps. Done. Eat. This is why I’ve started buying actual cookbooks again, to get past all the stylized bullshit.
  4. My weight.

And then I stopped making the list, because as much as I am tired of the eternal battle of me vs. the scale, it is very much a part of my life—my real, everyday life—and that is one of the things I DO want to write about (that was on another prompt list). But I know it gets old, the self-flagellation, the food diaries, the efforts to put on a happy face and get on the Love My Body No Matter What bus. This bus is often found in a caravan, sandwiched between the Your Body Is Strong! bus and This Is What a Bikini Body Looks Like bus. Here’s the truth: most days I just want to flip the bird to those buses. Or if I do get on board, the trips are very short.

When people said to me that losing weight gets tougher with age, I rolled my eyes and recalled my past successes with weight loss. It’s simple, I thought. You’re all complicating it. Now I find myself in this spot: where all the old tricks I’ve employed in the past no longer work. Despite the exercise I am putting in, I’m stuck. I have boxed up more pants and shirts than a reasonable person should have, and I’ve put those boxes in the attic. (And not the proverbial attic; I literally cannot have them in my line of sight any longer.)

I am a mother to three young ones, including two girls, who will one day be young women, and I want them to have healthy habits and positive body images. And on most days, I feel like a complete hypocrite.

I promise I won’t clog up this space with woe is me ranting on weight, but it’s taking up a lot of headspace right now, making it really difficult to focus on other things.

And yes, I could buy new pants. I’m 40 years old. I’m allowed. But buying bigger pants feels like giving up on what I feel are reasonable, healthy standards for me at my height and build. I am not ready to give up, not yet.

And the truth is, I really like the pants I already fucking have.