There are people who have challenged themselves to swim the English Channel, climb Mount Everest, or collect millions of dollars for famine relief. I, on the other hand, had challenged myself to fit into my “skinny” jeans.
This momentous event was part of the great “ 2011 Summer Pants Challenge,” launched at my Sunday Weight Watchers meeting. My goal was to fit into the skinny jeans (which should bear the moniker “skinny jeans for fat people ” ) by the end of the summer. The jeans were designed to fit like a glove (albeit a very, very, very large glove), and they gave me the shape of a Fantasia dancing hippo, tapered as they were from ankle to waist. No matter. I’d always felt young, hip, and sexy wearing them.
It was very brave of me to use my skinny jeans for the Summer Pants Challenge. I bought them five years ago during my “I have to lose weight before I turn 50” phase, and they were in the bottom of bin “D” in my closet. I have five bins of pants, corresponding to the five sizes I’ve been over the last 20 years, labeled A through E. My husband, who doesn’t even know about bin “A” hidden in the attic, thinks I am hanging on to way too many clothes. “I’m going to make a denim quilt with them,” I’ve explained.
I began Weight Watchers wearing the pants in the “E” bin. E” as in “excuse me for living.” The “D” bin holds the pants of “denial.” I’ve cut all the tags out of the “D” bin pants so I have no idea what size they are. The “C” bin? “Can’t believe I’m here again.” “B” holds the “Bulging Muffin-top” pants. From the waist down, I’ve looked amazing in the “B” pants. Just don’t lift the Nehru shirt. And up there in the attic sits the holy grail, the “A” bin – “As If…” My “As If” pants even include a pair of Levi’s with the pants size emblazoned on the outside.
My “E” bin pants are like the pants of someone who’s won “America’s Biggest Gainer.” All that material, the huge circumference of those waistbands – and I filled them out. As this summer wore on, I noticed that the E bin pants were finally getting very roomy and, dare I say, some were even too droopy to wear anymore. Even with the slow-cooker method that is the Weight Watchers system (you people who get weighed in tenths of a pound know what I am talking about), I was actually losing weight.
I waited until the Friday before Labor Day to dig out the skinny jeans from the “D” bin. I held them up. What was I thinking? I braced myself and tried the things on. They slid easily over my knees of course (I’m of average size in the knee department, thank goodness). They slid up and over my butt. Then the test – the waistband. Would it count if I did my mom’s waistband trick? (The waistband trick: fasten a rubber band through the button hole then hook the other end of the rubber band to the button. You get a good two inches of post-menopausal breathing room without having to bring your pants to the tailor). I sucked in and fastened the button on the waist and…zipped up the pants. They zipped up! They felt okay. I looked in the “skinny” mirror in my bedroom. They looked okay. There was a measure of extra flesh hanging above the pants, but nothing a big peasant shirt wouldn’t cover. I stepped gingerly over to the bed to try sitting. I sat. The pants stayed closed. I did it! I met the summer pants challenge! I wore the pants that Sunday to the Weight Watchers meeting, and I believe I continued to breathe the whole day.
My next challenge: climbing Mount Everest.