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The Real Reason I Wear These Bright Yoga Pants

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To the world, they are just a pair of stretchy pants, but to me, they are so much more. My new leggings are symbolic — a reflection of the attitude and outlook of the girl inside the pants.

These new pants aren’t your typical pair of black slacks. My yoga leggings are made of the softest cotton and feature a geometric mandala design in varying shades of rich blues, pretty pinks and sunset yellows. These are not pants that blend in with the crowd. These pants are quite the opposite. They boldly proclaim, “Hello, I’m here!” The wearer of these pants does not go unnoticed.

The author wearing a white zip-up jacket and yoga pants

You may assume, since I purchased these pants and am happily wearing them, that I must be an attention seeker. I must want people to take notice of me and acknowledge my presence. The truth of the matter is just the opposite.

For the past six years, I’ve tried to do just the opposite. I’ve tried to hide my size, shape and figure — or lack there of. You see, six years ago, my weight dropped suddenly and unintentionally. The downward descent of my weight and the rapidly dwindling number on the scale happened so fast it was stunning.

All of my efforts to stop the weight-loss train proved futile. Changes in my eating and exercising didn’t correlate to the stark changes I saw in my size. Before I knew it, I was smaller than I thought physically sustainable.

Miraculously, and I believe by the grace of God, my body kept going. It has survived at this weight against all medical reasoning and rational. The same hasn’t always been true of my spirit. It hasn’t always thrived with so little bodily cushioning. I’ve wanted to hide in a burlap sack where the world can’t see my protruding bones and twiggy legs. When strangers and bystanders have questioned why I’m “so skinny,” my gut reaction has been to run and find the nearest hole to escape down. It wouldn’t be hard for me to do. After all, I could share a burrow with a rabbit.

But running away to a rabbit’s hollow isn’t rational in the real world. Only Alice gets to escape to Wonderland. I’ve had to stay here in reality where perfect strangers have felt comfortable questioning the cause of my size. From an eating disorder to envy, I’ve heard every response and reaction. Every dropped jaw, turned head and careless comment has only made me feel more isolated, stuck in a condition I can’t change or disguise.

The rest of my multiple sclerosis symptoms and complications can be masked. No one needs to know my eyes are seeing blotches of color or that my left foot is in a perpetual spasm. But I can’t hide my weight. Big clothes make me look like an ant in sweatpants and jeans fall right off my nonexistent hips. And the burlap sack look hasn’t come into vogue quite yet. There simply is no disguising my size.

I can’t hide my weight or escape the confines of my own body. That is a fact I can’t change. But I can change my attitude and outlook. I can change my pants.

Enter: the brightly colored, beautifully patterned yoga pants. My new pants are a reflection of my new perspective. I can’t hide from my body, so I’m going to embrace it. I’m going to buy fun, bright colored pants made of a stretchy material that won’t slide off. I’ll shop in the “tween” section without shame. I will smile at gawkers and answer the questions of nosy — I mean interested — strangers. I will love my tiny little legs and spindly small arms. I will choose to be thankful for every bone in my body instead of lamenting the lack of cushioning and covering.

Today, in these ridiculously comfortable, perfectly patterned pants, I am choosing to embrace the little me. I believe the future is God’s. But my attitude and outlook is all mine.

So I’m celebrating my tiny size and choosing to live with huge joy. I’m choosing to wear the pants and the heart that shout to God and the world, “I love this little life of mine!”

Follow this journey on Pippy Love.

Originally published: May 21, 2016
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