Your Stretch Pants May Be Making You Fat

stretch pants making you fat, trying to button jeans

I still remember the year I started putting on weight. I was in the fifth grade, and at the time, all the skinny girls wore Jordache jeans and Sergio Valentes, and I secretly hated them for it. Every time I attempted to squeeze into those jeans, I would struggle to zip them up and had to lie flat on my bed so I could button them. I then spent the day walking like I had a stick up my butt and I could hardly breathe. It was pure torture.  


There was always something about those pricey designer jeans that made you feel fat and skinny all at the same time. But the main thing about my Sergios was that they just didn’t give. No matter how many times I wore them, they were always just as tight as the very first day I peeled them on. And if I threw them in the wash? All bets were off and I had to convince my mom to buy me a new pair or else my friends would make fun of me because I was wearing the same pair of pants all the time. Not because I wanted to, but because none of my jeans fit.

By the time I got to high school, I was hooked on Champion sweatpants and Z Cavarricis. Both gave me freedom of movement. They were baggy and cozy, and I was comfortable wearing them. Except the more I wore my comfy pants, the more I put on weight. Which leads me to my current dilemma.

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Over the last two years, I’ve gained quite a bit of weight. Now, whenever I try to squeeze into a pair of jeans or even my PJs, they still fit because they are super stretchy. Sure, it could be the pizza, afternoon chocolate binges, wine, or the fact that I am working on my computer way too many hours each day, but at the heart of it, I feel like my stretch pants are totally sabotaging my weight loss goals. It’s pretty hard to tell whether you've packed on pounds if your pants are always giving you just a little more room so that you don’t have to admit your weight is spiraling out of control.

When I took a look at everything I’ve been wearing these days, I’ve discovered that each article of clothing I currently own has stretch material in it. It starts with my pajama bottoms, then continues with my yoga pants, dress pants, and the curvy jeans I wear to my son's baseball games. Even my Bermuda shorts that cover my knees have stretch.

And all this stretch means one thing ... SABOTAGE!

If you are not weighing yourself every morning (um, that would be me), you can get lulled into a false sense of security that you are losing weight -- especially if your jeans constantly give every time you slip them on. But here’s what happens when you find comfort in your stretch pants. I dare you to look at your reflection in a storefront window or car door, because trust me, you will not be happy with what you see.

That's what happened to me the other day. I was wearing a pair of stretch white pants with a stretch top draped over it, and when I got a look at my hips and butt, I wanted to cry. Hips don't really lie, and all that extra material isn't making them look any thinner.  

In the words of Heather Mooney (played by Janeane Garofalo) in one of my favorite movies, Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion, my pants "exacerbate the genetic betrayal that is my legacy."

So how am I going to stop the insanity and start slimming down again?

Simple -- I’m going to purposely start wearing my tight jeans. Sure, it will be completely uncomfortable, but it will also be a major wake-up call. I desperately need to get my butt back in gear. It's time to throw on my stretch yoga pants and wear them the way they're meant to be worn: for exercise.

Are your stretch pants doing you in?

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