Goldilocks and the Three Pants

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Waisting Time Goldilocks.  She went for a walk in her closet.  Fall weather had suddenly arrived and, sadly, it was time to start thinking about long pants.  The big cliffhanger question in this fairy tale?  Would our heroine, the perennial serial dieter, once again at goal weight, find any pants in the closet that fit!?

This one is too loose:  Buried deep in the bowels of the basement is a cedar-lined closet for clothes (and assorted clutter) that are not often worn.  Our bedroom’s closet is just too small.  At the top of the closet, on a shelf above my head, was a box of unknown contents.  In the box, once I managed to wrestle it down with only a few things falling on me the process, I discovered several pairs of pants.  And a jean skirt.  So I climbed the two flights to my bedroom and stood in front of the full-length mirror and started trying them on.  Too big.  Too big.  Really too big.  Hmm…. not nearly as big but pretty baggy in the butt.  Too big.

Rather than unleashing Pandora when I opened my mystery box, I has opened the floodgates to memories of the past.  This was my “fat pants” stash.  You know – the pants I “outgrew” while losing weight but that I was just afraid to get rid of because, well, after all, I’m a yo-yo dieter.  Every time in the past that I got too small for the pants, I eventually rebounded and needed to wear them once again.  My excuse for not tossing them?  It’s hard to find pants that fit me comfortably.  I wasn’t going to get rid of something I might need again.  And that, dear readers, is probably the exact thinking that allowed me to regain weight time and time again.

But this time, there is no going back.  And that means – no fat pants tucked away, high on a shelf, almost forgotten, just in case.  Every pair of those pants that came out of that box, and the jean skirt too, has now been donated to charity.  Gone.  Just like my yo-yo dieting:)  And we can consider this a self-fulfilling prophecy.  No fat pants = no fat Goldilocks.

This one is too tight:  But what about the pants hanging in my bedroom closet?  The ones waiting, unworn and untested, for the day when I might once again fit within their seams.  Time to try them on.  I had my suspicions.  And, sure enough, most of the pants were too small.  But let me clarify:  the pants fit fine in the butt and the hips and the thighs, but not the waist.  Ah, my mother was right; yes, Karen, there is a middle-aged (drat those female hormones) spread.  Why did I predict that I might find the pants too tight around my waist?  Because the last time, and the time before, when I hit my goal weight, I discovered, much to my dismay, this very phenomenon of aging body-itis.  Hoped it wasn’t permanent.  Hoped weight loss and crunches could make it go away.  But no.  And that, dear readers, is just one reason why my blog name is what it is!

So, as I had done with the fat pants, I decided to let go of the past and move forward.  I am a realist, after all.  So no more thinking that my middle will whittle back to its more youthful size.  Yes, I’ll still work on my abs.  But, my muffin top is probably here to stay.  So the pants have got to go.  Besides, I don’t shop often and styles have changed and those pants are just a wee bit dated.  The “What not to Wear” folks would have been tossing them for sure, tight or not.

This one is just right:  So, hi ho, hi ho, a-shopping I did go.  Because just days later I was going out to dinner with friends and really did not want to show up in my sloppy sweats.  Store coupons in hand, I headed out.  Fully expecting this shopping trip to be like so many before, fat or thin:  futile as I struggle to find a pair of pants that fit comfortably and look semi-decent.  Maybe you can relate.  But, really, is there anything as challenging as finding a great pair of jeans!?

Will wonders never cease!  An hour or so and several dollars later, I had four new pairs of pants.  I can’t remember the last time I bought so many.  Okay, I can’t remember the last time I bought ANY.  My empty closet rack, just recently devoid of fitting bottoms, was now restocked.  Hello, stretch denim, my new best friend:)

And that, my blogworld friends, is how this horror story became a fairy tale and ended happily ever after.

Do you keep clothes around that don’t fit, either too big or to small?  What’s your favorite style or brand of jean or pant?

Fit Stanley update:  The little guy is off to visit The Chick at Fat Chick Fed Up.  Her name was randomly and blindly chosen by my husband:) 





Filed under clothing, making a change, shopping

73 responses to “Goldilocks and the Three Pants

  1. I’m guilty of hoarding too big and too small trousers 😦

  2. yay for the update
    boo for my closet
    yay for the fact I have lottsa dressup clothes for the child
    boo for the fact I apparently am a hoarder.

    • Karen

      The odd thing is that I hate clutter and am a big fan of tossing and cleaning out the crap. Except for clothes. I mean, really, you never know when you might need that one thing! A couple years ago I finally got rid of my leggings thinking how out-dated they were. Then they come back in style!

  3. I had three sizes in my closet for years “just in case”. I now have only clothes that fit in my closet. It was hard to let go. We just went through my husband’s closet and put away all the shirts that are too big. He won’t let me get rid of them. Maybe later. 🙂

  4. My problem is just the opposite. No matter what size I am, if jeans fit in the hips, they’ll be huge in the waist. Doesn’t matter if I’m a 8 or an 18. So I found one style of not so hip jeans that fit and I have them in EVERY size. Unfortunately, it has to stay that way! I do, however, have TWO pair in the size I wear when at goal!

    • Karen

      That is actually my basic problem too. So with the old pants I had really searched over the years for ones that were not too big in the waist. Which is why it was so discouraging to have my waist widen! But I’m still smaller there than the hips so very happy that several stores are now carrying different cuts of pants. And I was so surprised to discover that I like the lower cut pants! Yes, many that I got rid of were the classic “mom” jeans with very high waists. Once upon a time that was fashionable; not any more! The ones that are just a bit lower are much more comfortable with sitting since they don’t cut into the muffin top. And don’t worry, they are plenty high enough in the back to not show anything!

  5. I just love the way you wrote this post, Goldilocks! Yes, I am doing the same thing, trying on all sorts of pants out of the attic to see what fits this year.

    Of course, my ultra favorite jeans that would have fit wore out from using them so much last year. So they’re not in any pile. And, of course, that style is no longer made at that store.

    I did see cute jeans on sale this weekend, but it seems dumb to buy jeans when I’m losing weight right now. So, I’ve also been searching my house for various belts. 😀

    ❤ Marion

    • Karen

      I even have belts in different sizes from over the years! I forgot about that since I so rarely wear them; I’m just not a belt gal. I hate when we have something we love and it wears out and it’s no longer made:(

  6. Michele T

    I throw away clothes immediately when they become too big. Unfortunately, I haven’t thrown anything away in a while. And I won’t buy anything unless I can buy one size smaller than my current one. I have several new things one size smaller hanging in my closet that I plan to be wearing by Thanksgiving.

    • Karen

      I’ve never actually bought anything too small because I find it so hard to fit into stuff that I figured when I lost weight the new stuff just wouldn’t fit right.

    • Julie

      I throw out clothes too as soon as they are too big. If I put on weight I literally have nothing to wear. Honestly, that thought has saved me many a time!

  7. What a great FUN post! This is something I need to do. I have gotten rid of my “fat” pants. But I have some that might still fit one day pants that need to be “tended” too. This post just might be the “kick in the butt” I needed. We are getting a new dresser in a week or 2- so maybe it is time! You are such a good writer! I so enjoyed this fairy tale!!!

  8. KLA

    What?? What is this middle-age hormone spreading waist thing? Is this the same thing as my muffin-top Mommy pouch from my children? I have noticed that the pant legs and bum area of my pants are getting looser, but the waist not so much.

    I think I’ve come to grips with the fact that without some sort of scalpel intervention my stomach will never be as flat as it was before pregnancy, but I’m hoping the the pouch will reduce in size with some effort….

    The last time I lost weight (for the last time ever) I donated all my big clothes. Of course, I thought that I could manage my eating through pregnancy and not gain too much weight. Wow, I was wrong. Now, I’m fifty pounds heavier than my heaviest pre-pregnancy weight. Ho hum, how naive was I?

    Congrats on the new pants!!

    • Karen

      My kids are so old that I can’t even remember that far back! But I do know I wore maternity pants for a long time after giving birth:( Actually, I am pretty sure that once I lost the baby weight I was thinner then I am now. Aging brings realism that I just can’t be that small again.

      There really is something about our hormones changing as we get near menopause that causes the spread. Sigh.

  9. Jan

    Fat clothes all gone. A-little-too-big clothes still around until I reach goal. I still have a small waist relative to the rest of me. It’s the dang excess skin from 140 pound loss that is giving me a funny bulge and my flabulous upper arms that are so embarrassing,

    In two days I will have a better idea of my top size. Here come those new foobs then when I can drive there I go shopping!

    • Karen

      Despite my widening middle, I still have a proportionally smaller waist too. Just not so much as before:( Do you think you’ll ever have surgery to take the skin off?

      • Jan

        No way. Ignoring the favt that surgery freaks me out, the arm surgery really is painful. Plus on some level I figure I deserve to live with this. If it were a quality of life issue, maybe – I do hope things tighten up more when I become more toned.

  10. 4 pairs? My lord.

    Now the other confounding part of this equation that Goldilocks is working out. How to keep wearing those 4 pants to her social events. I am guessing she has a plan.

    Hooray for ditching BOTH sides of the yo yo. Does either side do a body/mind good?

    I long to be where you are right now. Is it perfection? Well, no. But there is a certain amount of calm. Reasonable expectation for your future.

    Those pants will find a good and loving home… maybe out on a farm… with other pants to walk with.

    • Karen

      Just today I was thinking about how many pants a woman “needs.” I mean, really. Realistically. A pair of black pants, a pair of khaki pants, a couple of jeans. Should be plenty. Right?

      Ditching the pants did feel good. Cleansing, maybe. Getting rid of the too big ones felt like I was committing. That I believed that I could maintain. That’s a good thing, I think.

  11. Love it! I went through this on the weekend too, except I don’t keep my “fat clothes” – wayyy too tempting. But I was searching for a pair of pants and found a pair that I’d bought at least 2 years ago for “incentive” – I was afraid to try them on but I did and THEY FIT!!! Ex.Cite.Ed!!!!

    • Karen

      Woo hoo!!! I love when I hear people talk about shopping in their own closet and pulling something out and… voila. Nothing shows progress like your own clothes.

  12. As I shrink, I toss out the old clothes. Some go to friends, others are donated. I will never wear them again – even if I do regain, at some point, they woill be old and worn by then.

    Next problem: Findings jeans and pullovers for the coming months. How I wish I was done losing weight!

    • Karen

      You are smart! I wonder if I had done the same any of my previous times losing weight if I would not have regained. Oh well, I’ll never know.

  13. How nice, size FOUR!! Wahoo!

    Yes, I keep clothes that I have outgrown. I have only tried on a few and they are mostly too small still. Getting in to those smaller sizes that once fit will be a great success marker for me!

    • Karen

      Oh no! Not a SIZE four. Four PAIRS! I wish! I think I’d better reword that part:)

      And I agree, nothing will show your progress like fitting into your own smaller clothes.

  14. Yep…. clothes in the closet. Most of mine are still small and waiting to be worn. Although I have shrunk out of my biggies for the second time. I didn’t get rid of them last time and indeed I did fit into them again. HOrror. When I read you were getting rid of your safety stash, I had a very strong reaction…DON”T!. But I thkn you’re right and I’m going to follow your lead.
    I sure won’t get there in a day or a week. It won’t happen without my noticing or my participation. You won’t ever have to yo-yo back up there either and if you don’t have anything to wear the first day your pants are too tight, maybe you’ll catch it sooner.
    It’s a good idea.
    If I don’t have anything comfortable to wear, I’ll have to diet that very day.
    And Congrats on the 4 pairs of pants you like!!! My mom always says that if you find something you love that fits well, get a few. It’s all so random.

    • Karen

      My mom says the same! If she finds something she likes she gets multiple colors. I actually told her I was being like her with this:)

      I say – get rid of them! I will never know, Teresa, but suspect that having those bigger pants made it all too easy to regain. Exactly as you describe. And my comfy knit pants don’t help either.

  15. I get rid of clothes as soon as they get too big. Like, the day they are too big they are OUT OF THE HOUSE. But of course I hold on to the “too small” clothes up to a year. *sigh*

    Congratulations on the successful shopping!! 🙂

  16. I got rid of 90 pairs of pants and shorts when I hit the halfway mark of my loss phase. It was both painful and freeing. 🙂

  17. LOVE this post AND that you got rid of the fat clothes – LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    As for the middle age spread – OH don’t I understand that!!! I will say that we can fight it BUT it may be way more than we want to do to get it where we would love to be. My bod goes up & down like a yo-yo, both in perimenopause & now menopause. I have great months or weeks & then bam, like right now, when it fights me no matter what! That middle crap!

    Yup, it all comes down to how hard we want to fight it & if we still feel good about the way we look & it is not like 2 years ago, so be it. I bet you look great Karen!

    I bought my first pair of jeans in years over the weekend. Had a casual event to go to but all I had was my old old jeans that looked horrible. I found a great pair at Macys for under $40! I will send you pics…. I may post about them too. I find we are so alike at times as I took pics specifically thinking about a post about them! 😉

    • Karen

      LOL. I was going to put on a pair of “too big” pants and have my husband take a photo of those but ran out of time because we just had a donation pick up come through the neighborhood. So, they got shot in the box instead.

      Ah, joys of aging.

  18. I wore a pair of pants out this morning, straight out of the hot-hot-hot wash & dryer. About an hour into my errands, I realized that I actually couldn’t shrink them enough. I will wash them one more time, then, they go in the donation bag. I’m a couple hours into wearing a second pair, and they, too, may already be too loose. I’m getting kind of excited thinking about the storage space that will open up once I don’t have bins of clothes in 4 different sizes.

    • Karen

      Good for you! I too often found my jeans fit more comfortably AFTER they’d been loosed up a few hours. I admit I’m a bit worried the new ones will shrink too much!

  19. I admire your willingness to let go. That speaks volumes! I have fat pants, not-so-fat pants…definitely no skinny pants, because I have never been skinny – EVER. But letting go of that old stuff is so important because it means you have really MOVED ON!!! And what better reason to shop than an empty closet. Congrats on finding the strength to say good bye to the past, and hello to stretch denim! 🙂

  20. Way to (let) go!
    I have an identical box full of jeans I should just get out of the house. I did throw out my Fat Jeans last year, but have kept the box of Skinny Jeans. (There is always Hope)

    If I want to torture myself, I will try to fit a leg in ’em… 😦
    I should and WILL throw them out ~ why torment my psyche any more than I already do? Maybe I want them as evidence to wave under my teenagers nose: “SEE!!! Your Mom was HOT in her day!”

    • Karen

      Oh too funny. The good thing about getting rid of the old ones is that styles really do change. Many of mine had high waists, what we know call “mom” jeans, or skinny leg bottoms, which I now know are not flattering when you are hippy like I am. Makes me think back to the days of bell bottoms!

  21. i’ve been trying to get rid of clothes i’ve out grew so i have no choice but to keep going forward as i don’t have any clothes to fall back on

  22. I have one pair of big jeans and one pair of small jeans and fit into my medium sized jeans when I tried them on this week. It was a good feeling not to have to wear my big jeans!

  23. Roz

    What a fun post Karen. Yup, I have some too small clothes that I hope to fit into one day. The the ones that are too big? Gone…I don’t want to go back there. Have a great week.

  24. No, I ditch them! And buy more and tailor down as I lose.

  25. Love your blog posts even more than usual lately 🙂

    Seems like everyone is going through their closets so I guess I should go through mine?

    I’m at that point right now where I don’t really have anything that is too big for me (got rid of it all before I moved to Austin) except for 1 pair of dress slacks for work, they are slightly big but the 2 I have at the smaller size are just a tad too tight so until they fit I’m holding on to those. I’m thinking of tailoring them down cuz they are just soo nice 🙂

    Anyways- I found walmart has some great affordable jeans that I use while I go down in sizes- $14 for a pair of jeans can’t be beat!

    • Karen

      Well, thanks, Bee:) Moving is a great excuse to clear all sorts of stuff from the house, IMO. None of my stuff was nice enough to warrant tailoring it, but that would be a great idea for nicer stuff. I wonder what would happen if I ever go back to work… I have yet to try on and clear out my “dress” clothes. I suspect most are terribly outdated. I’ll have to checkout Walmart next time I’m there. I did look at Target and saw they now have short jeans!

  26. All my clothes now are pretty much the same size. That is so awesome that you gave away all those too large clothes! There is no going back now! 🙂

  27. Great post. As you may remember, I have several boxes of smaller sized clothing, neatly labeled 175, 165, 155, 150 or less. I’ve discarded all of my big sized clothing except 2 pair of Land’s End jeans — about 15 years old,that are 100% cotton – no spandex — which fit the same as a size smaller present day jeans which has a little spandex. I do have a couple of really grubby tops in my current size which ought to be tossed, but they are so-o-o soft and comfy that I like to wear them when I’m relaxing. Cherokee pants and shorts were my favorite — always a perfect fit — but they don’t make them anymore. I used to love Liz Claiborne when I was slim, but I haven’t tried her stuff on in years. I don’t always love Land’s End, but I can always find something from them that fits very well since they offer several lengths and fits of the same pant.

    • Karen

      It will be interesting to see if when you get to each of those size, the clothes fit. For me, they didn’t:( Most of what I got came from Coldwater Creek. I don’t shop there often but had a coupon and knew they carried petites in the store. They also now have three cuts of pants with different fits and that helps a lot!

  28. Yay on getting rid of your fat jeans — doesn’t that feel good?! And congrats on finding FOUR new pairs that fit! That must be a record.

    I held on to some clothes (a few suits, a few casual outfits) that I only fit for a short time before my weight went up again. They taunted me for years as I tried to lose those “last 5 pounds” again. But, I am glad I kept them because they did motivate me to keep trying, and I finally am wearing them again.

    • Karen

      Good for you! I still have most of my work suits and have no plans to even bother trying them on unless I get a job that needs them someday. Sadly though, I think they will look very outdated even if they fit.

  29. My cedar chest is so full of clothes that don’t fit that I recently filled two boxes and hid them in the bottom of my closet.

    These are all my ‘skinny’ clothes. Unfortunately, I got rid of all my ‘fat’ clothes when I lost 30lbs last year (“for the last time ever”) and (now that the 30lbs are back) boy do I regret it! Having multiple wardrobes is expensive!

    Enjoy your new fancy pants!

  30. Karen

    Last time I lost a lot of weight I got rid of most of my larger clothes, only to regret it when I put the weight back on. But… there is NOTHING more cathartic than throwing out those too-large clothes (or giving them away as the case may be).

    One of the things I find a bit challenging is keeping the ‘too-small’ clothes, as it can be extremely depressing to be regularly faced with clothes hanging in your closet (or sitting in boxes on top) taunting you every time you walk in or open the door. It’s almost like a reminder of your failure.

    How exciting that everything is basically too big for you. And well done on finding new pants that fit you! You will feel great every time you leave the house!


    • Karen

      Honestly, I think I got rid of just as many small thing as I did big things. I think I got so used to them hanging in my closet that I just didn’t see them any more.

  31. Karen I have been there and done that too! At the beginning of the summer I did a huge closet purge and got rid of some little clothes that I know I will never fit into again! I had hung onto them for a few years but I finally realized that I wasn’t willing to starve myself to stay at a low enough weight to fit into them.

    The body does change with age and things shift and gravity does it’s work on us as well. Like you I will continue to work out, eat right and stay fit but I am also at a point in my life where I would rather weigh a few pounds more than my younger days and be able to maintain this weight rather than yo yo.

    So happy for you that you found 4 pairs of pants in the same shopping spree! Yipee! I like Lee jeans – they seem to fit me pretty good, and also Tommy Hilfiger.

    • Karen

      I used to be a big Lee fan myself. Yep, aging does a number on us. But as they expression goes, it beats the alternative:) My current “goal weight” is higher than my goal of years past. I think it is more realistic and doable. Fingers crossed.

  32. Tops are what I have a hard time fitting because I’m a EE, even if I’m a 32 it still has an EE on the end. So I end up with a lot of XL tops because I don’t like my shirts tight across the bust.

    I keep my pants to 1 pair of dress black, 4 pairs of regular jeans, 1 pair of dress jeans, and right now that’s it (outside of the exercise pants of which I have 7 pairs).

    • Karen

      I was thinking about how many pants I really “need.” Yep, black dress pants for sure! And black semi-nice pants. A pair of khakis. And jeans. Okay, lots of sweat pants for every day.

      I struggle with tops for the opposite reason. I am really so small busted that it is often hard to find tops that don’t look horrible.

  33. Ann

    Yeah new pants! I used to save all the clothes. I had size 24 down to 16s. NOW they are all gone. Not this time. This time is forever.

  34. I have TWO pair of jeans right now. TWO. One pair I just bought and a pair that is too small. I got rid of the ones that were awful. WHEN I lose weight I will get another pair .
    Then another… til i have a new wardrobe of jeans. MY HUSBAND has three drawers FULL of jeans that do not fit him. I asked him last week if I could go through them and “organize” them. Most of them are GOING.
    Have a pretty day!

    • Karen

      I’m thinking my husband would never let me near his stuff! I tend to be a “tosser” and over-organizer; he is a pack rat. Of course, clearly I hung on to my own clothes. Sigh.

  35. I used to keep them, but during that last weight loss attempt that worked, I tossed them by the wayside the second they got too loose. I only kept a dress and two shirts.

  36. I got rid of all of my too big clothes about 3 months before getting pregnant… kind of wish I had kept some of them, but oh well. Motivation, I suppose! It IS amazing what a good pair of perfect fitting pants can do for oneself, though. 🙂

  37. Thank the gods above for our ever changing sense of fashion. Mom pants are out, did you hear? Apparently I did not, because believe it or not, I still had a pair tucked away for ‘that one day when I KNOW they’ll fit’.
    Also, acid washed – out. Who knew? Donatella Versace I am not.

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