Tonight, after years of deluding myself into thinking that I can make low-rise jeans work, I finally gave up and bought what I suppose some people would call "Mom Jeans."
Yes. I did. Because I just can't deal with the muffin top anymore. More than that, I can't deal with the possibility of anyone else asking me whether I am pregnant. (As it turns out, that question really bothered me. I didn't think so at the time, but not a day has gone by since that I haven't looked at myself more critically in the mirror.)
I can't remember when it was that low-rise jeans became the go-to jean fit (seven years ago? More?) but let's face the fact that a good portion of the population, in shape or otherwise, can't really make these work. At least, not if they're buying cheap, mass-produced department-store brands like I do.
Here's the thing. I'm in the best shape ever, for me. I feel strong. I can see muscles in my arms now, and muscles in my legs that I didn't know existed before I started marathon training and ballet/Pilates. In Xtend Barre class, I can plie, releve, and squeeze a ball between my upper thighs multiple times without thinking twice about it (three months ago, that move almost made me collapse in a sweaty, shaking heap). Plank, times two? No problem. 20 mile run? Not easy, sort of painful, but I can do it.
Yet I have hips. I have stomach flab. I have extra skin that will never go away unless I get plastic surgery, which I would never do because even if I HAD the money, which I do not, I'd much rather pay for a fancy tropical vacation than go under a knife. No question.
But do I really want my I'll-never-leave-you muffin top doing all the representing? No thank you.
I hesitated to try on the dreaded "mom jeans," and even when I had them on I was sort of cringing at first... But then I looked in the dressing room mirror and was like, HEY! Look at that! I can work this cut. No fleshy waterfall, no pseudo-baby bump. No sucking in my gut. Butt looks fine. Do I sort of look like I belong in a JC Penny ad? Kind of. But I'd rather my muffin top can hang out behind the zipper instead of over my waistband.
Also, Public Service Announcement: be warned that walking into the women's wear section of Target this fall/winter is like walking back into 1989-1992. I SWEAR I wore some of the exact same bulky/long sweaters in 7th grade.
I also saw sweater pants, but I can't find them on the Target website. Sad.