That picture right there is a big deal. And it’s not because of the bruises you can just barely make out on the tops of my feet (those are from the trapeze when I tried to do this). It’s because of the yoga pants.
A little over a year ago, I didn’t even own any yoga pants. I hadn’t worn leggings since I started wearing jeans in third grade (that’s a long story), and despite their growing popularity among everyone else at my school I had no intention of ever wearing them again. It wasn’t because yoga pants aren’t pants (a fact I still firmly believe, but which does not stop me from wearing them for appropriate occasions involving exercise); it was because I felt like I was too fat and therefore had no business wearing them.
It wasn’t until about a month and a half into working out regularly and losing weight last year that I finally decided to take the plunge and buy a pair (er, “order” a pair because technically they were free – I probably wouldn’t have done it otherwise). And even then, I was only willing to wear them with an oversized t-shirt that went well past my butt.
Unsurprisingly, the more weight I lost, the easier it got to wear spandex, and eventually I became comfortable enough with them and myself to wear yoga pants even with normal t-shirts on runs.
But then I started stress eating and I gained about half the weight back. And then I started aerial. Even though I was still probably about five pounds lighter than I am in that picture above, I couldn’t help the sinking feeling I got when I put on my yoga pants (a requirement for aerial) and noticed how much worse I looked in them than I had just a few months prior.
At first I didn’t want to go. I wanted to put on a looser t-shirt, or maybe a pair of sweatpants – anything to avoid the roll of fat that was clearly visible over the top of my pants. But I’d already paid for the class, so I made myself go anyway. And fortunately, I loved it.
Because something funny happened after that. I have lost a bit of fat since I started aerial in January, but in the majority of my shirts there are still some fat rolls visible above my pants. And you know what? I don’t mind that much. Do I notice it? Sure. Am I self-conscious about it? A bit. But when I’m in the air, pulling myself up the silks or rolling around a trapeze, it’s the last thing on my mind. Because, as I’ve learned time and time again, what my body can do is way more important than what my body looks like.
And that brings me back to the snap picture at the beginning of this post. Until today, I had only been confident enough to wear black leggings (because black is slimming). I ventured out of my comfort zone a bit last month and wore some black yoga pants with colored stripes on the side, but today was the first time ever that I wore a pair that’s completely not black. And it felt awesome. And now I’m looking at buying even cooler leggings… like these or these!
There is something incredibly freeing about knowing that if I want to rock a pair of patterned yoga pants, I have the confidence to rock them like a pro.