I’ve always hated my thighs.
In high school, jeans shopping was a complete nightmare. I know what you’re thinking, “Isn’t it always?” or “Wouldn’t we all rather stick our heads into the yawning mouths of lions or alligators or piranhas than shop for jeans?” To which the answer is a resounding YES. Yes, we certainly would. Hell, wouldn’t we all rather stick our heads into the ASSES of these animals, if it meant we’d get out of jeans shopping ever again? I’ll let you answer that last question on your own.
I cringe when I think about the multitude of shopping trips needed, hours long, to find a single pair of jeans that I thought I looked not-like-a-lumbering-mastodon in. My mom patiently (or fake patiently) sat there while the sales lady brought me pair after pair after pair. I didn’t want jeans that were too tight, because then people would see how big these thighs were, but jeans that were too baggy made them look even bigger. The Flabby Flank Conundrum.
It was also the mid 90’s and our entire generation was wearing everything ultra-baggy. When you only wear jeans and hoodies in a size XL, because, for some reason, THAT is what is cool, even though you really fit into a size S or M, you don’t really learn what kind of clothing is most flattering for your body. I was essentially plucking random jeans off the shelves and hoping they magically fit. It was like trying to find a tactful and well informed politically inspired status update on Facebook. Highly unlikely no matter how hard you search. My thighs are still hard to squeeze into many normal-person sized pants, but now I can usually spot jeans with a size 10 thigh hole and a size 6 waist without shedding too many tears. In high school I hyperfocused on the sheer bulk of my two trunks; I realize now that it doesn’t really matter how big my thighs are.
Except when it does.
Yesterday I went running, in shorts. Cute little blue and yellow running shorts with a white stripe down each side. And about 1/2 mile in, the ensuing chafing reminded me why I never run in these. You don’t have to deal with this crap when you’re primarily a winter runner, like I am. Rub. Rub. Rub. Rub. Rub. Raw. Raw. Ouch. I have a good friend who would get embarrassed when her thighs would “clap” (and cheer her on!) really loudly while she was running. I was embarrassed that there was no way that would EVER happen to me – since that would require them to be separate entities. In the past I might have cursed the chafing and my thick thighs, but now I chalk it up to simply choosing the wrong garment. I should have worn the ridiculous looking spandex.
No matter how much you hate a body part, there becomes a point where you know it isn’t going to get that much better. No matter how toned I get or how much weight I lose, my thighs are always going to rub together. So, I have to let it go and honor my physical and mental health by remembering to stick to my Three Guiding Principles.
1. Work on Creating A Positive Self-Image
My thighness isn’t going away. It’s genetics. And, since I want to be happiest of happies, I’m going to work very hard on not caring about my damn thighs because I have approximately 93472 million more important things to care about. I will look like a complete buffoon in spandex in order to think less (thus care less) about what I look like. This is the runner’s paradox.
2. Work on Fitness
These thighs look better the more toned they are. The stronger they are the better I feel. These thighs have squatted me through stress-relieving yoga during my depressing battle with infertility, squatted me through prenatal yoga, even with the additional pounds from Baby Grouch, and accidentally trained me for a marathon. They’ve taken me from point A to point B my entire life and I need to appreciate them by taking care of them. So, I will continue to run and squat and thoroughly tire them out. This aging, post-baby body demands it.
3. Be Gluttonous
Just not every second of every day. I will eat leafy greens, and fruity fruits, organic grains and beany beans, but I am not willing to give up on what makes me happy and balanced and fun. I do not want to be the boob sipping soda water and munching on carrots at girls weekend. I do not want to be the one who can’t agree to go to a restaurant until I’ve ensured they offer grilled chicken and zucchini. Bor-ing. I will be as healthy and fit as I can be, whilst indulging, on a somewhat regular basis, in mounds of nachos. And pizza. And most definitely, wine.
How do you bow to your thighness?