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Going by how my clothes fit – a cautionary tale

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My status says that I was going to clean out some dresser drawers and I did.

Stuffed in the back was an old pair of running tights.
I think I’m wearing them in my profile picture from 2006.

It’s time to throw them out, but first look at the comparison with the tights I bought 18 months ago – the same size, same manufacturer. Who knew spandex could stretch permanently like that? It was harder to get the “post weight loss” pair to lie totally flat since that waistband is still stretchy, but you get the idea.

So I have a visual record of how my clothes expanded right along with me.
It wasn’t just the hips that expanded. Look at the stitching in the leg of the old pair.

I really stressed them out didn’t I?

I’ve written before about how the sizing creep of the fashion industry and forgiving fabrics allowed me to feel good about myself during my weight gain and postpone doing anything about it.

I suppose that while you’re losing weight, clothes getting looser can be a valid and happy means of measurement. However, when in creeping weight gain mode or even maintenance mode, it can be a deceiving measure as it was for me. It’s not just tights that have a lot of “give.”

Another visual reminder made me LOL.
I found some stretched out underwear in the back of a drawer too – the same size I’m buying now, but I’ll spare you those photos as being in the TMI category. Once again, what kind of miracle fabric allows such expansion? It must be super-elastic.

Note: I still keep that old photo as my profile picture because it’s the happiest running picture anyone has ever taken of me. I’m even happier now that I’m not dragging the extra weight to the finish line.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • DEBBY4576
    One thing about the stretch fabrics is you can wear jeans that you wore 15 pounds ago. I just stretched em, but evidently not permanently because I was a 12 stretching the 10's and now am an 8, not stretching the 10s at all. I thought it was weird to still be able to wear em. So I agree you cannot go by strecthy anything to tell if you've lost or not.
    1959 days ago
    Even clothes that fit me now stretch. After a few wears, they start falling off so have to wash and dry to get them back to where they will stay on. It is very deceiving to my mind. Remember in my teens, zipping up friends that would lay on the bed - only way to get that zipper up on those jeans as there was no room for a few extra pounds.
    1959 days ago
    Yea, I've noticed clothes stretching too... anyway, it's yet another reason why I LOVE my scale... it tells the truth, and that's what I want, The Truth. Thanks for your post! Great job on your running! I hope that, one day, I'll be able to run. :D emoticon
    1959 days ago
    Good blog! Lycra and elastic are treacherous things...they help us maintain the delusion that our size isn't expanding (much). Thanks for the reminder to stay vigilant!
    1959 days ago
  • DR1939
    Good visual reminders.
    1959 days ago
    Know the feeling! I bought a new pair of yoga pants yesterday and noted how well they fit. The old pair I wore into the store was the same size, same manufacturer, bought in maintenance, but many washings and wearings have left them stretched out and baggy.
    1959 days ago
    Yeah, denim jeans really do the creeping stretch on us guys. I never had a weight problem until I was around 40 and then my waistband began stretching on my jeans. The tag said 30 waist, but I know they had stretched to 32 because when I had to replace them I needed a larger waist.
    I like that picture of you too.
    1959 days ago
    i suppose stretchy clothing is one way of maintaining in a "range" but the worst is believing the sizing from manufacturers - today's size 6 is humongous compared with size 6 back when we were young (and thin!).

    great blog and a good reminder that you still have to keep an eye on things!
    1959 days ago
    I agree, it's a great picture!
    1959 days ago
    wow, isn't it wonderful when you see how much you've progressed from what you were?
    1959 days ago
  • KANOE10
    Good blog. We need to use all measures to maintain. Watch out for those stretchy pants.
    1959 days ago
    It's nothing to do with the case in point, but when he was small, I knitted my son a jumper that fitted him from age 6 till age 11, when it finally disintegrated!
    1959 days ago
    My jeans definitely stretch over time. Congratulations on all of your successes -- you've done great!
    1959 days ago
    Thanks for the photo's and the blog, gave me new insight!! (made me laugh too)

    1959 days ago
    Thanks for this visual that conveys an important message. Yes, we need many measures of weight success to stay honest. Thanks.
    1959 days ago
    Well, that is a good point. Maybe I'll try a side by side comparison with my jeans because I think they do shrink over time in the dryer!
    In any event, this does point out that using clothes as a guide may not be the most accurate method.
    1959 days ago
    I have a pair of jeans that fit me the same now as they did when I was almost 30 pounds heavier. How's that? The miracle of Lycra! Like the scale, body fat percentage and waist-hip ratio, I think how your clothes fit is just ONE measure of your weight loss/maintenance success and should not be the sole measure you rely on. The bigger picture almost always tells a more complete tale.
    1959 days ago
    even jeans "stretch" at the seams
    1959 days ago
    never even thought of our cloths stretching. thanks i plan to keep it in mind.
    1959 days ago
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