86. Yoga. Brunch.

86. Yoga. Brunch.

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Curvy & Confident

Yoga. Brunch.

Yoga has a sly, clever way of short-circuiting the mental patterns that cause anxiety.

~Baxter Bell, MD

When had I become so weak? I mean honestly. I don’t mean to start this story off with such a self-deprecating question, but it sure is a legitimate one.

I used to be so confident. Maybe it was when friends and family started making comments about my new size 20 body. Sure, I had been a bangin’ size 4 not too long ago, but I was still me. And Me was still pretty great . . . right?

When had I started feeling bad for myself? Not wearing make-up? Not buying cute clothes? Not caring an ounce about what I looked like? When had I started to allow others’ opinions to stunt my social life? I no longer went out because it was hard for me to walk. I got tired easily. I couldn’t stand looking in the mirror.

I chose the couch over a night out. And sweat pants over jeans, because I didn’t have a pair that fit. If I couldn’t wear sweats, I wasn’t going. I loathed going to work because I was a prisoner to muumuu dresses and tight slacks.

I was consumed by what people thought of me and scared of what they might say. At what point was it that I started to care?

When had I become so weak?

That was all I thought about as I stared at my e-mail in horror. I was given a shot with a new publication about entertainment/nightlife. As a journalist, this was my dream job. Getting paid to drink, eat and live life was something unattainable a very short while ago, and now there it was, in my lap. All I had to do was impress the editor with my piece and everything was golden.

So why was I horrified by my trial assignment, you ask? Two words. Yoga. Brunch.

Okay. So the brunch part I could totally handle. But yoga. Really? My palms started to sweat and my eyes glazed over. I was not just out of shape, but I was wildly, WILDLY uncomfortable with my weight. I was nervous that I would be the biggest girl in the room, that people would be talking about me or that I wouldn’t be able to complete the yoga session. I was nervous I would pass out. Or get sick. Or cry. Or all of the above. Of all the events in the city, this is the one I was assigned. Quite possibly the only workout-related event EVER.

But I really lusted after this job. Finally, I was given an opportunity, so I was determined not to blow it.

I just had to prepare myself properly. New clothing and a great night’s sleep would help me master this challenge. I was sure of it.

As my husband and I walked through the clothing store I started to become even more uncomfortable. So many cute things that I would have looked so great in before. Back when I thought I was “fat.” Wow, what I wouldn’t give for that body today.

Yoga pants. I was confronted with a large towering shelf of cheap five-dollar pants. Different materials, different lengths, different daunting levels of tightness. I decided on the green label ones. They were the loosest I could find. But, like always, it appeared that the store was out of my size. Not many stores carried my size anymore, so I was already scraping the bottom of the barrel. But there, at the very tip top of the shelf was one last pair of size 2x yoga pants.

On to the sports bras. If shopping for workout clothes could get any worse this was going to be it. Finding sports bras that fit nicely was worse than trying to find real bras, which was actually worse than trying to find a nice bathing suit. I have always had big boobs. Always. And until recently it has been a blessing. No matter what size sports bras I chose the girls always seemed smushed into one big uni-boob. Half in. Half out. It’s a tragic sight.

I chose the only 3x I could find. It was boring. Cotton. Stretchy. Yuck. Then I saw some more attractive ones that were bright pink and looked like actual sports bras instead of the boring piece of cloth I already had in my cart. “Go big or go home,” I thought (no pun intended). I switched out the 3x boring bra for the fancy pants 2x bra, crossed my fingers and hoped for the best. I figured trying the clothing on in the fitting room would stress me out even more, so, deciding to just take a chance, we made our way to the register.

On the way we passed some loose fitting, very trendy, workout tank tops.

I tried desperately to wriggle my way out of this tiny torture device, but to no avail.

Those would definitely hide my rolls!

I skimmed through the racks of funny sayings, and as chance would have it, the only one in my size was a tank with the words “Can you keep up?” The irony . . . Yes . . . Yes, they can.

Thinking it would be humorous, I added the shirt to my cart. I really wanted this job. And if I wasn’t going to allow myself to cry, at least I would be able to laugh.

And laugh we did. Once home, I attempted to try on my new threads, but the shirt I purchased didn’t have a full back. That’s right. There was a huge slit, exposing all the fun parts of my very large backside. #Return.

Then for the sports bra. Turns out the fancy bra was not the wise choice after all.

I think just about every woman has had a run-in of some sort with a sports bra at least once in her life. Over the head. The straps get tangled. Your arms aren’t long enough to pull the back part down.

I twisted and turned. Grunted and winced. Breaking a sweat, I slumped to the couch in utter defeat. Sports bra 1–Jamie 0. I tried desperately to wriggle my way out of this tiny torture device, but to no avail. Reinforcements would have to be called in. I would have to ask my husband for help.

Just as I was playing the scenario out in my head he wandered in to the room, took one look at me sprawled out on the couch with sweaty, grimy parts hanging out everywhere, and started laughing maniacally. Reaching down, as if I were a little girl who needed help getting dressed, he tried to pull down the front of the sports bra, but it wouldn’t budge. At that point we were both laughing so hard tears streamed down our cheeks.

The yoga pants fit, and went on without incident, which was a confidence booster at that point. I chose a charity marathon T-shirt to wear (as if I had ever run a marathon in my life), but it would cover any body issues I had, so I was satisfied.

I laid out my new yoga pants, T-shirt and shoes, packed a bottle of water and placed my yoga mat by the door.

I couldn’t sleep. The suspense was too much for me. The idea of yoga, in an ultra trendy part of town, early in the morning, while writing for a new publication, terrified me to the core, and my husband could tell. He rolled over, looked into my eyes and spoke the biggest truth.

“Don’t forget, you define the moment. Don’t let the moment define you,” he said.

And he was right.

The morning came quickly. 8 A.M. on a Sunday. Yay. But I was determined. Plus, brunch and drinks were involved, so it could be worse.

After putting on my big girl panties, literally, I headed out the door.

And ya know what? It ended up being okay.

I was the biggest girl there.

I was one of the only ones who didn’t complete all the poses. But

I honored my body and did what I could.

I defined my moment and made a change in my life. I changed the way I viewed myself. I changed the way I approached my moments, and in that moment I made the choice to change my life.

Namaste.

~Jamie Leigh Miller

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