A good use for jeans: watching one’s weight

The dropping mercury lately has sent me plunging into the depths of my wardrobe in search of warmer clothing.

Most people that know me also know that if I am spotted out and about on almost any given day of the week, working or not, I am to be found usually wearing a skirt and a top with short sleeves.

Short sleeves in my wardrobe are like what all-season tires are for a car, I use them all year round.

I may moan and groan about how cold it is from time to time, and I know that every time that I do, it’s my fault.

I’ve pulled out the long sleeves though a little bit this month with sub-zero temperatures popping up on the thermometer; and because of it, I’m a little warmer.

But with the cold, I’ve had to dig a little further into my wardrobe, looking for more warmth. Long sleeves aren’t sufficient.

Yesterday I had to dig out a pair of jeans. I don’t usually wear jeans, not anymore. I haven’t done so in such a long time. For me, they seem a bit too informal for my tastes, at least at this juncture in my life; but also jeans are not very forgiving, and that I know for sure.

That’s the one thing about battling one’s waistline — it’s also a battle with the fit of one’s jeans.

I pulled out my biggest pair of jeans, a pair of jeans that when I bought it about a decade ago through a catalogue, I ended up buying the wrong size. I rarely buy anything from a catalogue, especially clothing, but I took the risk and never returned the jeans.

I was disappointed then when I received them. They were huge. I could never possibly fit into these jeans the way they were meant to fit I thought, and who would want to? It meant getting bigger.

Fast forward to present day, I pulled these jeans out of my dresser drawer. Surely they would fit, although I knew they wouldn’t flatter.

In one leg and in the other; so far, so good – everything fits. I pulled them all the way up and buttoned and zipped those jeans. Yikes. They are a little snug at the waistline. Not too bad though it seemed – so far.

No contortion needed to zip these jeans up. No pliers needed for the zipper. Shamefully, I’ve tried pliers in years past when jeans would defy zipping up.

Anyway, all would be well. I would have warmer legs, even if they were in a pair of jeans that didn’t fit perfectly.

In the ten years or so that I’ve owned these jeans, I’ve only worn them a handful of times.

I didn’t expect that they wouldn’t fit as well as I thought. After all, I essentially wear the same size as I did 10 years ago – only I tend to wear more forgiving garments and fabrics, instead of the less forgiving type.

Putting on that pair of jeans the other day makes me realize that all these skirts that I have worn over the past 10 years have done me a disservice on some level, even if I have looked more formal as a result.

Why? Well Saturday’s jeans led to a minor case of muffin top – fixable only by hiking them higher on my waist than intended, where my circumference was a wee-bit smaller. Then after a day of sitting in those jeans, I discovered it — red indentations at my waistline. I looked at the marks and I realized it was not a good thing to see them there on my stomach.

When I was younger, I wore plenty of jeans and the appearance of any sort of muffin top or red indentations on my waistline served as a powerful notice to me when I was not weighing myself that I needed to lose weight. Not to say that these reminders worked, because they didn’t; but it helped me to be more aware of an expanding waistline, even if it resulted in me buying a larger pair of jeans instead. As I wear skirts now with elastic waistlines, my only warnings of weight gain most of the time are the number on the scale, the experience of increased difficulty as I walk or a visibly noticeable expansion of my already blob-like shape.

If only I had heeded the weight-gain warnings given to me by my jeans of days long gone, perhaps my waistline may have never gotten so far out of control. These were times when weighing myself was not a regular ritual; so such warning should have been quite useful in gauging my weight, at least to some degree. I could have turned things around before having to buy a bigger size.

With this in mind of course, I still don’t know that I’ll be wearing more jeans in the immediate future. This hasn’t been a part of my life lately, but perhaps as time goes on and the weight comes off, jeans will find a more active role in my wardrobe. When appropriate, those new jeans may make an appearance.

And when that time comes, I’ll know if the button on those jeans is too tight, it’s time to break a sweat.

For now, I will be working on fitting more properly into those jeans I wore on Saturday; and when I do, I’ll keep going with the weight loss, because I want to rid my wardrobe of those jeans forever.

If you want to follow my weight-loss journey, read about it occasionally in my column, “Healthy steps” or you can watch my weight-loss journey unfold and show your support by liking the page https://www.facebook.com/GretchenGetFit on Facebook or following me on Twitter @GretchenGetFit. Contact the writer at gbalshuweit@thedailyreview.com.

Healthy steps is written by Gretchen Balshuweit, news editor and Health & Wellness page columnist for The Daily Review as she pursues her own journey to health and wellness in hopes of losing a total of 200-250 pounds of excess weight.