I’m wearing my fat pants. I wonder what percent of the general population knows what fat pants are. For me, fat pants are what I pull out when my "regular" pants don’t fit, usually due to unexpected fatness. I would love to pull them out for pregnancy – they would immediately be transformed from garments of shame to pants of honor. Of course, if that happened soon, which it isn’t going to, the fat pants would not be enough to accommodate the pregnancy, and so I’d need even fatter pants, because like I said: I am wearing the fat pants now, in my distinctly un-pregnant state. But I digress.

For me, fat pants are a size I swore I would never be again. Or, not again, after the last time again. Since I was 250 pounds at my fattest, as I took off most of the weight I descended through many sizes. When I got to my lowest point, I thought I still would take off a size or two more, but alas, instead I bounced; and here I am in my fat pants. The sad thing about the fat pants – well, there are many, many sad things about fat pants – is that I had plenty of pants in this size on the way down. But with the hubris of the newly thin(ner) I took them all to the Salvation Army. I actually took 24 garbage bags of clothes to the Salvation Army and could probably have my pick of very familiar fat pants if I went back up there and shopped now. But that would be so heartbreaking, I could never consider it.

No, no, no. My fat pants are new, because I told myself a lie in order to buy them. I just want something comfortable, I said, something baggy. Old Navy jeans run a size small, I said, and Old Navy and Gap are part of the same company so Gap jeans run small too. What’s a size, anyway, I said; I like these and what’s more, I can breathe in them. So I bought the fat pants as a temporary measure until I can take off the weight and get back to my regular size.  Regular size, ha. I have not been the same size for more than a year since I was about 10. There were gaining years, losing years and very little else.

I feel sorry for these fat pants that I have on, because as long as I was ever any smaller, they will always be the lowest caste of clothing in my closet. Even though I was that mythical, single-digit size for only about a week, I planted my flag and claimed it as my real size. Without complaint, the fat pants do the day-in, day-out work of covering my butt as the fat months turn into years, but no; I am only marking time in these fat pants until I can return to those impossibly small pants as my true, thin(ner) self.

My clothes have always betrayed me, and I hate them for it. My clothes are mean. They look great in a dressing room, but two weeks later they sprout horrible wrinkles at the crotch and belly. They get tight without warning, they gap, they split, they roll down, they ride up and they make my upper arm look like a small ham when I turn to see myself in profile. Jeans fresh out of the dryer fill me with terror. I can never count on my clothes to stay the same week after week.

But the fat pants are faithful. While I don’t like how I look in them, I actually like who I am in the fat pants, because I’m not thinking about how tight they are every second of the day. I also like the surrender. No, that’s a lie; I hate the surrender (I always get those two mixed up). But surrender I did. Even if I don’t want to hear myself say it with words, I said it when I pulled the pants out or bought them. Yeah, I’m fat. I might even be the size the label says. I lost some weight and then I gained it back. I felt like I was better than every fat person I saw, and now I’m one of them again. Yep, I’m fat.
And even though I hate the fat pants, swear I’ll burn them when I take the weight off (again), say "moooooo" every time I see a picture of myself wearing them, and refuse to accessorize them, the pants are there for me every day. The pants remind me that I might be making just a little bit more of a big deal of my weight than I should. The pants also remind me that I am loved by my husband, God, and everyone except myself no matter how big my butt gets, and maybe I should figure out how that works.

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