This was my first Thanksgiving in six years without pregnancy pants. I’ve never actually been pregnant on Thanksgiving, but surely that’s beside the point.
Pregnancy pants, as I’ve noted many times before, are God’s gift to women, avid buffet-goers, shoplifters and Thanksgiving diners everywhere. The expandable pouch and elastic waistband could easily make any human a suitable stand-in mother for a baby kangaroo, were there ever a need — or simply a desire, because really, who hasn’t had that fantasy?
Pregnancy jeans have been my bedside companion for many a moon, ready to slip on and take on the day, koala-style. But this year, my Thanksgiving lacked the pouch.
The rest of my holiday attire was still intact. The morning Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was watched with footie pajamas that had a fold-down butt flap. The nicest of the winter coats was pulled from the closet. Sneakers were replaced with sleek boots, both stylish and snow-proof. Only the jeans were new, because my beloved pregnancy jeans no longer fit.
I had made a promise to myself that I would lose my pregnancy weight by my daughter’s third birthday. I didn’t make the cut, but I’m getting there. Turns out that the daily midnight nachos weren’t doing me any favors — despite being delightfully delicious. And after years of stop-and-go diet fads and workout routines, I finally decided to buckle down and simply, though painfully, watch what I eat — diet for real, versus my typical diet of half-day-when-I-feel-like-it-then-nachos. It’s been working.
But it has left me in a new place clothing-wise. What does one wear when losing weight? The pregnancy jeans — which stretched through my 65-pound weight gain, twice, were falling off. It broke my heart to give them all away, so like a true hoarder, I’ve kept the pair with ripped knees and vowed to make use of them the next time I paint the house or make a scarecrow or make a weird boyfriend pillow or want to wear a mommy kangaroo costume. (C’mon, I can’t be the only one who thinks that sounds fun!)
Of necessity, new jeans were purchased. Ones that button and zipper and everything! However, jeans aren’t the only clothing item that begs to be replaced. All my favorite shirts have ruching on the side for the ever-expanding belly. I’ve been pregnant only twice. How did all of my clothing become for the infinitely pregnant? Looking at my wardrobe, you’d think I’m a Duggar. And much like the case with the nachos, I didn’t realize I was making for myself nightly, I have no idea when I got rid of all my normal clothes and replaced them exclusively with maternity wear.
Perhaps this was the natural progression for the daughter of a buffet elitist. My dad refuses to eat at any restaurant where only a single plate of food is provided. Maternity clothes not only were practical for a growing fetus but simply adhered to the standards of my upbringing. Exercise came in the form of getting up and walking down the buffet line. Belts come with multiple holes for a reason. No one is expected to live his or her whole life in the same notch.
This weight loss has me fluctuate daily on what I want to wear and who I want to be. What is my style in a post-postpartum body? Do I still like baggy and flowy, or is it time for a radical perm and a sleek black unitard ala what Sandy wore in the final scenes of “Grease”? Though, undoubtedly, Olivia Newton-John’s version of being sewn into that outfit and my version would be shockingly different. I find myself looking at pictures of celebrities on the red carpet and fantasizing about myself in the same outfit. Ooh, Emily Blunt in a gold sequin midriff shirt and skirt! Gold is totally my color! But then I remember that I am far from having a flat stomach, that I actually hate the color gold and, most importantly, that it’s cold outside.
Dressing a body in transition seems challenging, especially around the holidays, when more festive fare is expected. But really, aren’t we always bodies in some sort of transition? For now, I will rely on leggings, a few new sweaters and only the occasional snack of midnight nachos while snuggling my boyfriend pillow made with my stuffed pregnancy jeans.