Pants Update AND Evening Run

January 20, 2012

A lot of you read my last post about my favorite pants – hopefully you liked it! I ended the post with a plan for my newly-mended pants: I would wear them around the house, and once confident they weren’t going to rip again, I would venture out of the house and wear them in public.

Last night, I tossed the plan out the window. Screw the plan! I wore the pants out of the house. Without a trial run. I went with my friend Kristy to a party. Kristy’s come up on this blog before – she’s one of my best friends, and an amazing singer/songwriter (check out her website) who has even written a song inspired by this blog. The party was for our friend Haviland’s birthday. Haviland is a really talented actress and singer – she’s been in a Lifetime movie and in big Broadway musicals, and she’s a sweetheart (check out her website).

The pants worked out great. They didn’t rip, they were comfy, it was awesome. Here I am, in the pants, with Kristy (on the left), and Haviland:

I think we’re each looking at something different! I’m also wearing a gingham shirt from H&M, the swazer I bought on my trip to Seattle last summer, and some new kickass shoes that were a Christmas present from my sister. I think I looked pretty good!

MOVIN’ ON…

I decided to go for a run last night. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I was in the mood for a run, because I don’t think that’s true. It was more like I realized that I hadn’t been running in a few weeks, so I should probably go running. Running isn’t my favorite form of exercise in the world (although my first 10K was a completely wonderful experience), but it’s a good form of exercise, and I like having it in my arsenal for days when I don’t feel like going to the gym, and when I’m places where I don’t have access to a gym.

It’s been a month since I’ve updated my Running Chart, although I have gone running once since then: it was on the final morning of my cruise, when I ran a 5K around the track on the ship. But that run was interrupted by a short but torrential downpour (during which I did lunges and jumping jacks under an overhang), and because of the interruption, I wasn’t able to gather all the stats I need for the Running Chart, so I couldn’t add it.

Last night’s run, however, has already been added to the Running Chart. It was a good run – I ran, without stopping, for 47 minutes, and went 4.4 miles during that time. I felt pretty strong, although a touch sluggish (which my average speed of 5.6 MPH confirmed), but that didn’t bother me.

My route:

I learned two new things about my neighborhood on this run:

  • Where the closest police station is located! I’ve lived in my place for over two years, and while I frequently see police cruisers patrolling the streets around me, it’s never occurred to me where the precinct was. Now I know! It’s only a couple miles away. The fire station, by the way, is about a block away, right on my street. So I feel pretty safe when I play with all those matches and greasy rags.
  • There’s a street I ran down that I never been on before – not on foot, and not even in my car. It seemed like a pleasant enough residential street, but I’m not going to run down it again at night, because there aren’t street lights, and I quickly grew paranoid that I was going to trip on a piece of sidewalk pushed up by tree roots, like I did that one time when I nearly died during a run.

My run was also notable because I jogged past a ton of fast food establishments. Wanna know how many? Me too. Let’s count.

  • Del Taco
  • Subway
  • Baskin Robbins
  • KFC
  • Donut shop (don’t know the name, but it might just be “Donuts” – or “Donuts & Croissants”)
  • Carl’s Jr.
  • Denny’s (I know, it’s a diner, not fast food, but I’m including it just because they once had, on their menu, a Mac ‘N Cheese Big Daddy Patty Melt, which has 1,690 calories and 99 grams of fat)
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Taco Bell
  • another Subway
  • Yum Yum Donuts
  • Burger King
  • Yoshinoya
  • McDonald’s
  • El Pollo Loco (“The Crazy Chicken” if you no habla espanol)
  • Jack In The Box
  • Last but not least, three different 7-11s.

That’s an 19-item list right there. A lot of potential temptation! But not for me.

Keep it up, David!

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My Incredible Shrinking Clothes – Casual Pants Edition

January 19, 2012

Come see me speak at Whole Foods Pasadena in two weeks! I’ll be there on February 2nd. Click here for details, and tell all your friends in southern California!

Gather ’round, because I have an epic tale involving a pair of pants. This is a post I’ve wanted to write for five months, but there have been delays, due to events both good and not-so-good, my own procrastination, and a good solid stretch where I forgot about this idea completely.

Let’s start from the beginning, shall we?

Part 1 – Finding the Pants (Early Sept, 2011). At the end of August, I flew to Michigan for a couple weeks, and on one of my very first days there, I went shopping with my mom at Macy’s. We entered on the opposite side of the store from the Men’s Department, and as we approached, the very first thing I see is a display featuring an awesome pair of pants. I had a feeling this would be fortuitous, so I snapped a crappy picture on my cell phone:

They’re the pants on the mannequin in the front. I made a beeline for them. They were awesome. My mom liked them too. I grabbed a pair in my size. When I got to the dressing room, with an armful of options, I tried on these pants first. Something didn’t seem right, so I went out and showed my mom, who said something that I’ll never tire of hearing: “Well, you’ll just have to see if they have them one size smaller!”

I found them in the smaller size (more on that size later), and they fit. Perfectly. So I took them home with me, along with a pair of jeans I also ended up blogging about.

Part 2 – Wearing the Pants (September 10, 2011). I had the perfect occasion to break in my awesome new pants: Cedar Point. They were the most awesome pants to wear to the world’s most awesome amusement park. Before the big trip to Cedar Point, I called my sister Laura, who was going to come with me, and I said: “I found the best pair of Cedar Point pants ever.” Her reply: “Do they have zippered pockets or something?” Laura knows me pretty well! In addition to zippered pockets (which keep important items from flying out on crazy and super-fast roller coasters), they were lightweight and comfortable.

The first time I wore the pants was at Cedar Point, and, as I predicted, they were perfect. Here I am, in the pants, near the entrance to Millenium Force, Cedar Point’s 310-foot coaster:

The pants have eight pockets total (two on the butt, two on the side, two zipper pockets, and two flap pockets just above the knee), and I made good use of them at Cedar Point. Not ever did I lose my phone, wallet, camera, chapstick, gum, or the jerky that I carried around for 1/2 the day just in case I needed a quick protein fix. It was a long day: 10 hours in the park, and another 5 in the car, and by the end of it, I was more in love with my pants than ever. (You can read more about my Cedar Point adventures here – that day was 10 years in the making!)

The pants were worn frequently during the next few weeks… until disaster struck.

Part 3 – Demise of the Pants (October 2, 2011). This day was supposed to be celebratory, because the night before, at 9:15pm, I set out to accomplish a goal I had set a year earlier: to run past all six strip clubs in my neighborhood without stopping. I completed the run (6.4 miles), and, for this blog, wanted my picture in front of each strip club. So, on October 2, I drove around to all the establishments I ran past the night before, and photographed myself. You can see the photos and read about the run here.

I wore the pants. I was kinda in a rush, because I had a dinner party to go to that night, but I stopped in front of every strip club and snapped away. At about the fourth strip club, as I was getting out of my car, I heard the rip.

I’m very familiar with the sound of pants splitting up the backside. I split more than my fair share of pants when I was heavier (and always pairs that I really liked), and when I heard that sound, I knew exactly what had happened. I reached around and felt, and sure enough, there was a tear. A big tear. CRAP.

There were two more strip clubs to photograph, which I did with ripped pants, and then I went home and changed before the dinner party. Once the pants were off my body, I was able to confirm what I already knew: the rip was bad.

At least the rip wasn’t right up the ass. It was a little off-center, and up the side of the back pocket.

Part 4 – Forgetting About The Pants (October-January). The ripped pants stayed out in the open for about a week, with the intention that I would try to fix them, or have them fixed for me, but that didn’t happen, and soon, they were tossed in the deepest, darkest corner of my closet, where I forgot about them.

Part 5 – Finding The Pants, Again. (January 18, 2012). Yesterday, while rooting through my closet, I found the pants. I held them up, and my fond memories of loving the pants came back. Then I turned them around, saw the rip, and those memories came back. I decided on the spot that it was time to fix the pants.

I wouldn’t say I’m a whiz with a needle and thread, but I know enough to make some simple repairs, like reattaching buttons or stitching up a tear. This was a big tear, too – I had forgotten how big. I could fit my hand through it:

So I got out my sewing supplies.

I picked a brown thread, because I didn’t think I had enough black. It took over an hour, but I was satisfied with my work. It was a two-part process: first, stitching together the base fabric that covers the butt, and then reattaching the pocket. Check this out – you can hardly tell it had ripped! The tear originally extended the entire length of this photograph, but you can only really see the mismatched thread where the pocket ends:

And you can’t see any evidence of my work at all when the pocket flap is down!

Nice work, David!

There’s one other piece of information about these pants that I had forgotten about until I had them inside out yesterday. They’re a size medium. MEDIUM. The first pair I tried on at Macy’s (the pair that was too big) were a size large. When I ran to grab a medium pair, it occurred to me: I had never fit into medium pants before. This was a new experience.

Here’s a photograph to show how far I’ve come in pant sizes:

I lined up these two pairs of pants, so the seam on the right for both pairs are on top of one another. The khaki pair on the bottom are a size 3x. I wore these when I was at my heaviest. I wore pants with drawstrings almost exclusively when I was heavy – they were more forgiving. Not having to worry about buttons was a good thing. I wore these pants most recently as part of my Halloween costume last year – I dressed as Jared, the Subway guy (see pictures here).

From 3x to medium – that’s freakin’ impressive! Now I just gotta prove that I can still wear these pants without ripping them again! I’m a little hesitant to wear them out, so I think I have a dry run where I wear them around my house for an afternoon, and if that goes well, I’ll venture out in public. I’d hate for my pants to split when I’m around other people, but I do love these pants! And I did wear them successfully on many days before they ripped the first time, so I’m confident they’ll continue to serve me well.

Keep it up, David!

Check out the other seven posts in the My Incredible Shrinking Clothes series by clicking on “My Favorite Posts”!


My Incredible Shrinking Clothes – Jeans Edition

September 7, 2011

I’ve covered lots of different types of clothing in the “My Incredible Shrinking Clothes” series on this blog, from my swimsuits to my dress shirts (all six prior editions are archived on the My Favorite Posts page), but today’s post is about one of the most popular types of clothing that can be found in nearly everyone’s closet…

…JEANS.

Usually, these posts include a photo of a piece of clothing that I wore at my heaviest, which I compare to clothing I can fit into now, but this post is a little different, because I don’t have any pairs of jeans from when I was at my heaviest.  It may be hard to believe, but for a span of close to a decade, I didn’t wear jeans at all.  I didn’t even own a pair.

At some point in college I stopped liking jeans.  As my waistline expanded, I found them less and less comfortable.  Meanwhile, the pants in my closet that I grew to favor most had one thing in common: elastic waistbands.

Oh, elastic waistband, how I loved you!  You made my life so easy.  I never had to pay attention to my actual pants size, because elastic waistband pants aren’t sold by the number, they’re sold in basic Small, Medium, Large, and Extra-Large sizes.  I was a 3XL.  Plus, elastic waistbands are forgiving after junk food binges – you never have to worry about not fitting into them the next day.

As my love and reliance on elastic grew, my love for denim shrunk, and by the time I moved out to California after college, there was none left in my closet.  I found jeans with elastic waistbands at the big & tall store, but they were so goofy, unflattering, and ugly that I couldn’t bear the thought of wearing them.  So I went jeans-free.

By June 2010, I had lost around 80 pounds, and the thought started percolating in my brain that maybe it was time to buy my first pair of jeans in a looooong time.  Despite my 80-pound loss, I was still too big to shop at major retailers, so I went to the big & tall store and started trying jeans on.  I found a pair that fit that were 46″ around the waist.  A few months later, I was able to buy 44s.  A few months after that, I bought my first pair of 42s, and the bigger sizes ended up in the donation bin at Goodwill.  And so on.

Lately I’ve been noticing that my current jeans are a little looser, and then all my friends on the kayaking trip I went on last month came to the consensus that my jeans were just too big.  That’s when I started trying on jeans, and realizing that I was fitting into jeans that were one size smaller.  That’s an amazing feeling, by the way.  Even though smaller jeans were fitting, I wasn’t finding any that were quite right for me:  the cut wasn’t flattering, I wasn’t nuts about the finish or color, there was some other detail or stitching that bothered me.

The other day I went shopping with my mom, and I finally ended up coming home with a new pair of jeans.  It’s my first new pair in about 6 months, and yep, they’re a new smaller size.

Ladies and Gentlemen, take a look at my SIZE 36″ JEANS!

They’re Levi’s 514 jeans, waist 36″; length 32″.  514 jeans are called Slim Straight, which means the jeans are slim cut through the butt and thigh, but have a straight leg.  They’re comfortable, and even though you can’t see it in the picture, they make my ass look good!

While fitting into 36″ jeans is certainly a notable milestone by itself, there’s a greater milestone that I must mention.  Even though I wore elastic pants almost exclusively before I started losing weight, I went to a wedding two summers ago that required the purchase of a new suit.  The suit pants that I bought were size 56″ waist.  That’s right, folks…

…I’ve lost TWENTY INCHES around my waist!

Keep it up, David!


My Incredible Shrinking Clothes – Workout Pants Edition

October 25, 2010

A month ago today I posted a really great photo that shows the difference in size between the t-shirts I was wearing when I was 402 pounds, and the t-shirts I can wear now (click here to see the photo).  The other day, while doing laundry, I decided to stage another photo, illustrating the difference in the pants I wear when I go to the gym.  Take a look at my incredible shrinking clothes!

I lined up the seam on the right side on all three pairs of pants, so you can fully appreciate the shrinkage.  The black pair on the bottom is size 3xl.  I used to love these pants – I would buy them from a big and tall catalog in 3 colors, all at the same time.  The blue pair in the middle is size 2xl.  I bought these at Casual Male XL (a national big and tall chain) in May or so.  I think they might have been one of the first items of clothing that I bought that were a size smaller, and I was annoyed because Casual Male only stocked sweat pants that were banded at the bottoms of the legs, which I hated, so I bought these, took them home, whipped out the scissors, and cut the elastic bands off so the pant legs hung straight.  The grey pants on top are size XL, and I bought on sale for $8.99 at either Sears or Kohl’s a few months ago.  They were maybe even a little small on me when I bought them – the pockets puckered out a little bit – but now, they fit perfectly, and are really comfortable.

What surprises me most about this picture isn’t that there’s a huge difference in the waistbands of these pants, it’s the huge difference in the legs.  Took a look at the legs on the right side of the photo (which would be the left legs of the pants) – the seam along the sides are lined up, and the black pant leg looks to be slightly over 50% wider than the grey pant leg – crazy!

I plan on staging at least a few more photos like this… In my non-drawstring pants, I’ve down about 16″ or 17″ so far, so that will be a fun photo to see!

Keep It Up, David!