I was on autopilot, and I knew it. Sweatpants, hoodies, and distressed jeans (especially the ones with holes in the knees when I’m feeling fancy) had become my daily uniform.
I had an entire closet full of pants, cashmere sweaters, slinky skirts, sundresses, printed tops, and other dope pieces. But I didn’t wear any of them.
I only gravitated to clothing that was comfortable, preferably elastic and required very little ironing (yes I actually fold my clothes right out the dryer). Cue sweatpants and hoodies.
I don’t know how it happened, well actually I do. I quit my job and went back to school to figure out what I wanted to do next in my career (but that’s another story for another blog).
Soon my day-to-day grind became a lot less D.C. corporate and more sweatpants swag and Chuck Taylors. Comfort became king of my closet. I hated thinking about what to wear, so I stopped, especially since I really didn’t have to anymore.
That is until I saw a quote by the late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
“Sweatpants are a sign of defeat. You lost control of your life, so you bought some sweatpants.”
Really sir? This can’t be me, or can it? Lagerfeld’s quote made me laugh not only because it’s so deliciously petty, but because I knew there was some hard truth. I had lost control … at least in this particular area of my life. This was about more than being comfortable, and I couldn’t pretend otherwise.
For me “defeat” was not being able to zip up yet another pair of pants, or having to pray that my Spanx was tight enough to help me wiggle into a way-too-tight dress suit. I was self-conscious about how my body looked and ashamed of my little chubby chub fat rolls ( I said it).
The thing about sweatpants and hoodies is that they can hide you. They can hide all the parts that you don’t want the world to see. I struggled with my weight for several years until recently, and I dealt with it by trying to hide behind baggy stretchy garments.
For me, it was easier to try and camouflage my rolls, my butt and my gut in a pair of sweatpants and a hoodie than to put in the sweat equity necessary to build the body I had long wanted and take control of my health.
Everybody’s story is different, but this right here is mine. I used my closet of sweatpants and hoodies to cover what I didn’t want to confront. I knew this wasn’t how I wanted to show up in the world.
So how exactly did I find freedom from my sweatpants and hoodies? I had to first recognize that I was in bondage.
I had to confront my insecurities surrounding my weight and make my wellness a top priority. I got back in the kitchen and the gym, meal prepping, and working out. My goal is to live well and be well for the rest of my life. I embrace the body I have now, and any weight loss is a byproduct of the journey. That’s what makes me feel sexy.
I also limited access to my “comfortable” clothes. I went through my closet and dresser drawers and got rid of stacks on stacks of sweatpants and hoodies. I allowed myself to keep two of each, but the rest had to go. It forced me to start incorporating different pieces into my day-to-day ensemble or wear the same four pieces over and over.
I took my time. I slowed down my morning routine and made Dijon a priority. That meant picking out my clothes the night before, styling my hair, spritzing on my good perfume (no more waiting for special occasions) and my favorite lip gloss. I did all the things that made me feel good. Things I had stopped doing for whatever reason. I packed my lunch, bought fresh flowers for my apartment, tried new recipes, painted my nails in vibrant shades of red, orange and pink, meditated, and ate my meals off bright, beautiful plates. I showed up. Life isn’t always about being “comfortable” beloved.
Never the less, freedom feels good.