Life & Everything

Healthy Habits & NSV | 6 (a.k.a. the black linen pants)

May 18, 2014 | No comments


Lately, I’ve been very focused on my healthy habits (or rather trying to establish those healthy habits). Each week I keep notes and lists (because who would attempt any life-changing project without a designated notebook and at least one list?) and at the end of the week I summarize my stats and compare to previous week. I might even make a diagram if I’ve had a really good week. Everything is so much prettier in a pie chart.

The problem with this is that life, no matter how much my planner is trying to convince me, doesn’t always conform to the 7 day cycle. I might be very good at going to the gym one week (let’s call this week A), and the next (week B) I have to work late every evening and don’t get to the gym before it closes. Does that mean that I went from making great progress with my attempt to exercise regularly to be back at my starting point at the end of week B? Surely, the progress I made in week A must still count for something? And maybe, even though I didn’t make it to the gym during week B, I still ate healthy all week. Maybe even healthier than week A. So then, is week B really worse than week A? Or does gym week A equal healthy eating week B?

This is getting complicated. I feel that I need some kind of weighing system. One visit to the gym equals two days of healthy eating? I find it much harder to get my but to the gym than to resist eating a pint of ice cream every evening, so surely the former must be worth more? (On a side note; a year ago, resisting ice cream would have been impossible so I guess I’m making progress).

Even though it pains me to have to admit this, I think my calendar and lists and weekly summaries are making this harder than it have to be. Once again, I’ve gotten lost in the details and forgotten about the big picture.

I think I need to approach this in a different way. Think of it in general terms and strive to eat healthier overall and exercise more overall, rather than feeling like a failure every day I don’t cross of all the items on my list.

Looking back at the last month, I do feel like I’ve been making great progress. I’ve been walking more, I’ve done some yoga and gone to the gym a couple of times (and every time counts!), I’ve been eating healthier, and I’ve been drinking a lot more water (and less soda and juice). The May #4weeksfit challenge (hosted by Erin and Kristin) have been a great help. I set 3 quite general goals and even though I haven’t done all of it every day, or every week even, overall I’ve made some progress on each of them. The fact that I have a month to attack these tasks made everything seem more possible. The world would not end if I didn’t do everything every day.

I feel like I’m in such a better place now than just a couple of months ago. I am in a better place. I have proof.

If you looked up non-scale victory in the dictionary, there would be a picture of a pair of black linen pants.

I think everyone that struggles with their weight have that one clothing item that you keep in the back of your closet but never use, because it doesn’t fit. You can’t throw it away, because one day it might fit again. It’s the thing that motivates you (may it be consciously or subsconsciously). The idea that if you work hard enough, one day you will once again be able to wear your favourite jeans or that dress you used to love so much. In my case, that item is a pair of cropped black linen pants.

Except, those pants never fit me in the first place. I have never worn them.

When I was about to move back to Hawaii from Europe three years ago, I had what can best be described as a small panic attack about pants. Or the lack of pants rather. I had a couple pair of jeans that fit ok, but no lighter pants or shorts. Even if you have never been to Hawaii, or to the tropics, you probably realize that you need something else than jeans to wear. I didn’t even bother looking for shorts, because I will never wear them. (I hate my thighs. I can deal with cropped or knee length pants, but shorts will never again be found in my wardrobe.) I looked for any type of lighter fabric pants for weeks. I went to every store, even the ones completely out of my price range. A few days before I was about to leave I bought a pair of black linen pants that didn’t fit. It was the largest size they had, and when I put them on it looked and felt like the seams would burst any second. Walking, sitting down, or bending over was not a option. But I bought them anyway.

Remember, I was in extreme panic mode at this time, and somehow, a pair of pants that didn’t fit seemed better than no pants at all.

So I moved to Hawaii, and put the black linen pants in the back of my closet. A couple of times every year I’ve had days when I’ve been struggling to find something to wear (more than usual that is) and thought about those pants that would be so perfect if only they fit. I try them on, only to be reminded how much they don’t fit and how it feels like I just gained 20 pounds by putting them on. Clothes that don’t fit tend to do that to you.

I frequently sort through my closet and donate clothes I no longer use, but I haven’t been able to get rid of these pants so they stay hidden in their corner.

Yesterday, I was going shopping and out to lunch with some friends. Summer has just arrived (compared to the Hawaii spring time summer) and it has been very hot and humid the last few weeks. The weather app told me to expect temperatures of about 82 degrees. Clearly, jeans wouldn’t do. I wasn’t in the mood for a skirt or dress. I needed a pair of light pants, like the black linen pants. So I tried them on.

And they fit.

I repeat, they fit!

The fabric was no longer stretched to the limit across my thighs. They didn’t dig into my waist anymore. I could move around comfortably in them.

I wore them to lunch and shopping, and I felt great in them all day.

Somehow, it even gave me confidence to try on clothes that I would normally not even consider. I ended up buying a black formfitting dress that really highlighted the best of my curves (and downplayed the worst) and a black and white maxi skirt with chevron print (a print!).

NSV is a weekly linkup hosted by KTJ and Samantha. I highly recommend visiting them both and everyone participating in the linkup.

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