in which I am done being a judgeypants

Close- up image of white and pink flowers.

This photo has nothing to do with the content of this post. It’s just a pretty photo I took of some flowers we had on our front porch. Hooray!

I made a daring choice this morning, folks. I wore yoga pants to the studio. SCANDAL, I know.

They were a size too large, so they were a bit too loose, but they were yoga pants, sure enough. I almost changed my mind at the last moment, but stuck to my guns and did it anyway. My legs were bothering me this morning, and I’ve been working on listening to my body- really trying to be good to myself- and I wanted to wear something I knew wouldn’t bother them.

Clothes have been a tricky thing for me lately. I’ve been replacing my wardrobe now that my weight seems mostly stable, and now that we are in summer, this is the hardest part. I have a lot of concerns with heat. Part of my MS experience is Uhthoff’s phenomenon – a form of heat intolerance which brings on temporary symptoms of my disease when I’m exposed to high temperatures. I’ve spent most summers hiding out indoors as much as I can, but that hasn’t been enough, even with cool packs; I do have to go outside sometimes, and the accumulated time outdoors seems to get to me.

So, I’m modifying what I wear. It’s a big change. I’m modest by nature: by way of example, I mentioned I’d bought shorts recently and that was met with outright disbelief by someone at work. Disbelief, folks. It’s modesty at that kind of level. Most people had no idea what my knees looked like before this year. I’ve only just started wearing sleeveless shirts and dresses, although that has more to do with the lipoatrophy from early Copaxone injections than anything else. (I’ve clean run out of fucks to give. Behold, my dented arms!) Wearing yoga pants out in public when I wasn’t headed directly to a gym or yoga studio seemed pretty impossible until very recently.

I’ve started thinking about that modesty lately, though. Some of it I can source: “Halter tops are for hussies,” comes my mother’s voice, and “You should never leave the house without at least mascara and a swipe of something on your mouth, Sarah, and never show your shoulders and your knees at the same time” from my grandmother, who would be very disappointed by the state of my daily pout.

Some of it comes from nowhere, though. No yoga pants in public? Who made that rule? It’s not exactly formal attire, sure, but who genuinely cares about my pants? And how public is my studio in an industrial park in south central Baltimore, really? AS IF. Who’ll see me? The people who work with me? They dress the same way I do, and sure as hell don’t give a damn what I wear. Who are the boogeymen?

And that’s it, really. The boogeymen are who we hold in our heads, the judgey voices that tell us how we should behave. My grandmother’s opinion on lipstick, my mother’s opinion on halter tops, and… well, someone’s opinion on yoga pants. Possibly mine, and I think that’s the worst boogeyman of them all: our own judgement.

Oh, I’m so sick of my own judgement.

I’m done being a judgeypants.

I don’t have all the answers. I don’t have even half of them. The truth is I really don’t know jack shit. Like anyone else, I’m just feeling my way along, stumbling and fumbling, figuring it all out as I go, and making a gigantic mess of it along the way. I’m okay with that. Life is messy, like good food, and I enjoy mucking my way through it. What I’m not okay with is abusing myself as I go. I have no call, no place talking to myself the way I do some times. I would never let anyone talk to the people I love this way.

There’s no reason to judge myself for showing a perfectly average amount of skin, or for showing any other amount of skin, either. Bodies are bodies and bodies are okay. I should stop being such a giant jerkward about this. I have no idea what this is about but it’s weird and it makes me behave in ways that make me genuinely, physically ill and that’s just ridiculous. If I’m going to be a judgeypants about anything, I should judge that behavior and deem it too stupid to repeat. I could be spending my energy on MUCH more awesome things, like pretending I’m Tim Roth.

Same goes with accumulating summer clothes.

Side note: the sun feels so nice on skin, you guys. I know there’s a general aversion to the word “nice”, because it sounds a bit trite and a little dull at times but honestly, it’s the perfect word for this: the sun feels just so damn nice. How did I forget this? I totally forgot. It’s nice. Nice nice nice nice nice nice NICE.

So: midyear resolution to be less of a judgeypants to myself. If you see me, and I’m significantly less dressed- possibly even looking like most everyone else, even!- it’s part of this new health resolution thing I’ve got going on, inside and out. Go figure.

  One thought on “in which I am done being a judgeypants

  1. Martha Meyer
    June 4, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    If your Mom & Grandma knew what you braved everyday, they’d approve of anything you wear out in the world!

  2. June 4, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    This. If *anyone* talked to my people the way I talk to me…. That’s when I know its time to reassess.

    Just remember.. no white after labor day ;> (An excellent reminder of how… ridiculous it really all is…) Glad you’re letting your comfort lead you.

    (I find that sometimes I put my body in clothes that hurt because I’m pissed at my body that clothes hurt.) Yes, we are geniuses.

  3. June 4, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    I’m wearing yoga pants right now too. I didn’t actually make it out of the house today, but I totally could have.. 🙂 nobody judges when we make choices for health over form. I hope.

  4. June 4, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I can so relate to the line “I am so sick of my own judgement” – when I hear my little girl badmouthing ME again, I now find the thickest gym sock in my drawer and shove it in her mouth! No more judgepants for me either…thanks for the reminder.

  5. June 5, 2013 at 5:47 am

    Before becoming chronically ill I would never even have considered leaving the house in sweat pants – they were what I wore alone at home or at the gym and nowhere else. Now I’m ill I wear them all the time for comfort reasons. The first time I ever went out wearing them I felt like such a slob, till I passed two women unashamedly walking their kids home from school in PJs and slippers. I’ve never felt embarrased about wearing sweatpants since.

  6. Barbara Hoffman
    June 5, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    I wish I could wear yoga pants to work…I’d be in them or sweats daily and probably no bra either. Too bad I’m supposed to be a professional.

  7. June 7, 2013 at 2:26 pm

    I had another idea for you: trekking poles. I just tried these out myself yesterday instead of my walker, and I like them a lot. I’d still use the walker if I was going to be out all day, but for appointments or short walks, the poles allow me to go places that the walker doesn’t. There’s a useful post here (http://www.activemsers.org/gear/reviewtrekkingpoles.html) that talks about features that would be helpful for someone with MS. The poles he recommends are no longer being made, but I called the manufacturers’ customer service departments and got their recommendations from their current stock.

  8. June 28, 2013 at 8:34 am

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