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When Your Leggings No Longer Fit Your New Menopause Body...

Denial: I confidently made room on the bed for 3 piles: "don't fit", "kinda fits", "fits". As a Pilates, GYROTONIC®, Personal Trainer and barre instructor, I own a significant amount of work out clothing. Over the many years, I have learned which leggings serve which purpose best, and I hadn't expected to get rid of much this time. But to my horror, each pair I tried on got tossed into the "don't fit" pile. What the hell was going on? I felt squeezed like a sausage and was transfixed by the muffin top created by each waistline. I was overwhelmed. Didn't these just fit fine last month? Or was that last year...? Holy crap. No. It was probably that these hadn't yet been worn since being laundered. They had shrunk. I was bloated from dinner last night. Yeah, that was it. Maybe I scrap this and clean out my closet another weekend.

Anger: I hate that lululemon's sizing is so off! Their 0s wouldn't fit my 8 year old beanpole niece. When the average women in the US is generally sized 14 or 16, it's ridiculous that lululemon or Athleta would even offer sizes so exclusive. What the hell is wrong with the fashion industry? I mean, for Pete's sake. As well, why are leggings made so cheaply now and cost so much? For the price of premium leggings I think they should come with a bottle of wine! Seriously. pretty soon every person who is not well size-represented will switch over to joggers and then the leggings world will crumple itself up and be destroyed by their own short-sightedness and greed and poof--all up in smoke! Rant over!

Bargaining: If only I didn't go into menopause, this wouldn't be happening. If only COVID hadn't shut everything down, I wouldn't have indulged so much. If only I were a candidate for HRT, I would be able to sleep at night and wouldn't be getting so thick around the middle. If only I could stop baking and eating cookies. If only my husband would stop stocking the kitchen with snacks. If only my work schedule were better and I could eat more regular meals. If only my son didn't have a penchant for pasta, then I wouldn't be eating so many carbs. If only Ben & Jerry's would stop making non-dairy ice cream. If only I didn't have so many damn leggings, then I wouldn't have to deal with so many leggings that no longer fit.

Depression: The best thing I should do is simply quit. I should just give up teaching and personal training. That way, I wouldn't have to even bother with leggings. It's all going downhill anyway. It's not just that I've gained weight, I've lost a good deal of muscle which means that I can't even do the exercises that I'm asking my students to do, with any sort of proficiency, so I might as well stop all that anyway. I'm probably a horrible teacher and it feels like all my students and clients hate me. I'm not sure what else I can do, though. I'm really not good at anything else. I'm not trained for anything and I would be just a disaster at learning new skills.

Acceptance: I got rid of every pair of leggings that did not spark any joy, and kept a few from the "kinda fits" pile that didn't make me want to vomit. I wasn't in a position to buy a whole new wardrobe, but I decided to shop selectively and budget so I could replenish slowly with clothes that are my new size. I'll go ahead and wear the scant few leggings when necessary for students to see my leg lines, but for now I am embracing jogger styles and working weekly with my personal trainer to build up strength and muscle in my body. My workouts are now about hypertrophy rather than "slimming down", and I'm no longer obsessed by my lack of hypermobility and am focused now on the yawning quality of movement, which begins from the inside. Am I still vain? Oh yeah, sure...but I'm learning to be vain about who I am now, rather than bemoan who loss of who I used to be.

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