Highlights for Free Jeans Freakout
- Free jeans freakout! (1:50)
- My mind and me: Round 1 (2:40)
- The belief that lay beneath (4:30)
- My mind and me: Round 2 (7:15)
- “It will be okay. I can do this.” (8:50)
- Did they fit? (9:30)
- Coming out of hiding (11:20)
- How about you? (13:50)
Free Jeans Freakout
About a month ago, I was at a business-building retreat when they announced that each of us was going to get a free pair of jeans, courtesy of Democracy Jeans.
The host of the retreat looked amazing in her jeans; they fit her body just right, and she’s not a small woman. She looked incredible, and I thought “DAYUM! She looks good!”
Which was great for her, but jeans have always been a bit of an issue for me.
My body shape hasn’t been conducive to traditional jeans. Stretch jeans are a little different, but regular denim jeans…?
If the legs fit, then the waist doesn’t, or if the waist fits, then the legs don’t … jeans have always been a struggle for me. It’s part of why I hate getting clothes as gifts, like for holidays or my birthday.
Clothes and I have always had a tough relationship, but I was excited about the offer! Maybe they would give us a coupon code to order them online, or something like that … something where I could try them on in the comfort of my own home. YAY!
The jeans were there. On a table. Behind me.
In my mind, I screamed, “FUUUUUCK!”
Free Jeans Freakout!
Those free jeans caused a MAJOR freakout!
We had to try them on there, and all I could think was, “Oh, Dear Lord, Jesus Christ, I’m gonna die right here.”
Whoa. I had to get ahold of myself.
Ya know, letting your mind run the show is like letting a 2-year-old run wild with a machete. Which you would never do, right? 😊
Well, that’s why you can’t believe everything that you think … you wouldn’t let a 2-year-old run wild with a machete, and you can’t let your mind run wild unchecked.
You have to make a choice. You have to check it by asking yourself questions like, “Is this true? Am I really going to die if these jeans don’t fit?”
As for me, I had to regain control of my mind … and fast.
My Mind and Me: Round 1
I had SO MANY unhelpful thoughts racing through my mind at lightning speed—
- “Nothing is going to fit me…”
- “Everyone else will get free jeans, and I’ll be the only one left out…”
- “I’ll be humiliated because nothing fits…”
And other insanity.
Would it suck not to get a pair of FREE jeans? Yeah, it would! But you know what? I could handle it. I didn’t need the free jeans. I’d survive if I didn’t get a pair.
But that wasn’t where my mind was at the moment. That is all way too rational for what was happening in my head at the time.
I was in full freakout mode when the team ripped the cover off the table to unveil the jeans.
Which were lined up. On the table. By SIZE.
My heart started pounding-pounding-pounding in my chest as it does for most thick girls when they think they’ll have to try on clothes in front of other women – I’m talking a full body sweat!
My table was closest to the jeans, but I did NOT get up and run over there like it was free cake. I was frozen. It was as if I was wearing cement shoes.
I could not move … I was so worried about the jeans not fitting and having to try them on in front of the other women – it was like being in the locker room for 7th-grade gym class all over again! ACK!!!
Then, a few of my new friends started to move towards the table…
That’s when I decided to take control of the insane shitshow that was going on inside my head. It was time to grab that machete-wielding 2-year-old who was running around, because now my brain was telling me all the ways I might die of embarrassment or humiliation.
Whoa. I had to reel it in, and quickly.
The Belief That Lay Beneath
I asked myself, “What’s the worst thing that can happen?” My immediate answer was—
The jeans will not fit.
And then a white-hot panic washed over me like lava, from head to foot. (That’s the feeling of embarrassment and shame, in case you were wondering.)
I wanted to run out of the building like it was on fire, or like I was, but then I wouldn’t get the jeans that made Rachel’s butt look so damn amazing!
Then I had a moment of clarity—
If I don’t try them on, then they’ll never fit … because I didn’t give them a chance TO FIT.
This running and avoiding tactic has played a central role in my life since I learned to walk.
Well, running out of the building like it was on fire wasn’t an option, so, what did I want?
DUH! Free Jeans!
…annnnnd to be part of the group.
What I really wanted was to feel like I fit in with all the other women who were going to get a free pair of really nice jeans.
There it was … the truth. The real reason for my panic was a fear of not fitting in, of being left out.
I thought, “So, if my ass doesn’t fit into those jeans, then I’m making it mean that I’m not good enough or worthy. Ugh. There it is … I said it.”
It took a moment to realize why I was panicking and sweating and freaking out, but I had to be willing to see the real reason – because I was afraid of not being good enough.
The belief of not being good enough was what was causing the shame to be triggered, and once I identified that, I could manage it.
I had to realize that it was okay if the jeans didn’t fit. I thought—
I can buy my own jeans. I don’t particularly like jeans, anyway, because they don’t fit me very well, so why not give these a try? I’m no worse off if I go home empty-handed. I wasn’t planning on getting jeans anyway.
My Mind and Me: Round 2
So, I got up and pretended to be calm as I walked over to the jeans table. When I got there, I saw all the sizes … except for mine.
And I started having ANOTHER meltdown!
At this point, I was willing to walk out of the building and leave all my shit behind … like, I didn’t even care if I got my purse back, I just wanted to get the fuck out of there. My heart was beating like it was going to beat right out of my chest!
I was, like, “Do I walk away and pretend that I’m not hurt that my size isn’t there? Do I pretend it doesn’t matter? Do I make up a ridiculous story about how I’m not allowed to wear jeans because they’re bad for my back or some other insane shit?”
A lot of really horrible options floated through my mind in that moment, so once again, I took control of that crazy 2-year-old with the machete, and I decided to grab a pair of jeans that was closest to my size and go try them on.
I was convinced that they weren’t going to fit, and I resigned myself to that. When they didn’t fit, I’d just fold them up again and put them back on the table – no harm, no foul.
At least I would know for certain that they didn’t fit instead of never really knowing and beating myself up for not being the right size.
“It Will Be Okay. I Can Do This.”
Okay, so now I was in possession of a pair of jeans that was at least 1 size – if not 2 sizes! – smaller than I usually wear. I told myself—
I can do this. If they don’t fit, it’s okay. I will not die from jeans not fitting. I can sit with whatever uncomfortable feelings come my way. I will be okay. I will not die.
And then I realized that I would be okay. The feelings might initially be uncomfortable, but I could do it.
Did They Fit?
So, I walked into a bathroom stall and began trying on the jeans.
By the time I had one leg in past my knee, I knew they were going to fit. I put the other leg in and started to pull them over my ass, and I began screaming in my head—
OHMIGOD!! THEY’RE GOING TO FIT!!!
And what do ya know – they fit!!!!!! I buttoned them, I zipped them, and then I almost cried in that bathroom stall.
The only thing that stopped me from crying was the fact that there were at least 10 other women in the bathroom trying on their own jeans, and I didn’t dare let them see how vulnerable I was feeling.
When I walked out and showed my jeans to all my friends, they asked, “How’d they fit?” and I said, “They fit great!”
I also told them I was shocked that they fit because the size was smaller than I usually wear, and they were so damned comfortable that I never wanted to take them off!
Now I’m strutting out of the bathroom with some newfound confidence, and I walked up to the stylist, Raven Roberts, who was also one of our speakers, and I told her that the jeans fit!
She cheered me on, and I shared with her all of the panic that had been going on in my head for the past few minutes, and how I almost didn’t allow myself to try them on.
And what a shame that would have been because I would have missed out!!!!
Coming Out of Hiding
Right then, I had a HUGE aha—
For my entire life, I have been told that I need to hide my body.
You’ve surely heard that message, too…
- “If you wear this, it’ll hide that.”
- “If you wear this, it’ll minimize that.”
- “If you wear this color, it will minimize this.”
- “If you wear stripes this way, it’ll hide that.”
The message has been to hide-hide-hide, and that my body is bad. I bought into that message, hook, line, and sinker, and I didn’t even realize it was there.
Clothing became the vehicle to hide what was wrong with me … that’s why I’ve hated clothes! They’ve never made me feel good because I was supposed to be hiding.
It’s no wonder that I’ve been beating myself up all these years. Clothing wasn’t supposed to be celebrated … clothing was a means to hide what was wrong with me.
As I shared this breakthrough with Raven, she helped me see my body and myself differently. She suggested that I follow people on Instagram who look like me to see what they wear and see what I like – GENIUS!
It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about what you look like in your clothes, she said. How you feel and how you feel about how you look are what matter.
That day, I honestly felt as if a ton of weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
I went back to my room and looked up some of her friends on Instagram, and I bought one of the cutest damn dresses you’ve ever seen! I can’t wait for warmer weather because I have something that I feel really great about – and that’s MY body in THAT dress!
How About You?
Here’s a bit of Mind Management 101 for you—
What you believe creates how you feel.
You have the choice to let your mind run wild and unchecked and spin you out of control…
You can check it and decide if that’s how you want to feel. And if it’s not how you want to feel, then you can change it. YOU are in control.
Change the inside, and the outside will follow.
p.s. And thank you to Democracy Jeans for making the most comfortable jeans I’ve ever had the pleasure of trying on!