It’s an age old problem most women struggle with daily. Body image. And as I get older, image is not just about looking as good as we can, it’s about the ability to wear cute clothes without having to tuck in the extra fat.
Gravity is bad enough…my bust line and waist line are one and the same, therefore I refer to it as my BAISTLINE.
Gone are the days of flat stomachs, perky boobs and anything whatsoever in my “trunk” let alone junk. Hail damaged legs are not attractive. Now that it’s taboo to have a pantie line, I refuse to wear something resembling a swatch of fabric sewn to elastic – I just don’t see the point.
Thank goodness for Spanx. At least, thank goodness once you get them on.
Before Spanx came out, I did try to fit into other body shapers, but that didn’t work out so well. Maybe my logic is the problem, but when I decided it was time to suck in and smooth out all these lumps, bumps and extra weight, regardless of what I weighed or what size I was, I figured the smaller the body shaper, the smaller I would appear.
I’ll attempt to paint the picture. Poor Courtney was with me. She must have been 12 or 13 at the time, so the very thought of shopping with me for any undergarment was mortifying. But I made her come into the dressing room with me anyway. The first problem arose when I attempted to pull the darn thing up over my thighs. Never did I consider where the extra fat was supposed to go once it was on – but let’s just say, it “overflowed.”
Now I’ve got it halfway up my thighs, but I needed Courtney’s help to pull it over the pounds of excess blubber. Together we managed to get it about mid hip level, but then it was stuck. Obviously it wasn’t going to work, and it was cutting off circulation to my lower extremities, so it had to come off. By now the two of us are laughing hysterically, thus losing any strength we may have had. After several attempts, including me standing on the chair in the dressing room and having her attach herself to the girdle, literally suspended in air, the silly thing came off. I don’t think Courtney has ever been the same since that day and suffers from emotional scars, vowing never again to enter a changing room with me.
Years pass and Spanx arrives on the scene. Oprah brags about wearing them, so, as usual, if Oprah says something is necessary we mortal beings succumb to pressure. As though wearing something Oprah wears will make us HER.
I started with the kind that cover the stomach down to the mid-thigh. And though my stomach was flatter and the potholes on my legs appeared smooth, it kept rolling down when I moved, which meant I could look okay, but movement was out of the question. And where in the world was the extra flesh now but grotesquely oozing out from under my arms and the middle of my back. Not attractive. Trust me.
Out comes the perfect all-in-one bodysuit version of Spanx. Without it, I would have no clothes I could wear since I’ve gained a bit of weight since I took the spill down the stairs. The fall resulted in several broken bones in my arm and elbow, so I’m basically only able to use my good arm. Getting into the bodysuit takes 3 arms. My good one, and the two very strong arms of my husband.
I can manage to get it halfway up, but again, the fat spillage is overwhelming so I need someone, namely my husband, to tuck the excess and to pull upward HARD. Once we get it over my thighs and successfully push and tuck the mounds of fat that have spilled out, then comes the final transformation. I put my good arm in the armhole and pull the strap over my shoulder, then Tom maneuvers my hand through the other strap. It’s probably quite comical if anyone were ever to see us. The process takes a good 5-10 minutes, and by the time it’s on, not only am I sweating, but now I have to use the bathroom.
Why didn’t I go before I put it on? Because I didn’t need to. But since the fat is now tucked and shoved and forced into this “body armor” (as my husband calls it), it’s putting pressure on my bladder. But the makers of Spanx knew nature would call, so they include a very small opening so we can answer that call without completely undressing.
The only problem is getting one’s self into the correct position so as not to miss the opening. The odds are not in one’s favor. As for me, I’m in the 30% range.
But it’s on, and things are smooth. Losing weight is easier because eating is out of the question, which makes me think I should wear it all the time because then I eventually wouldn’t need it…but Tom would miss out on the joy he gets from laughing at my expense. I’m fortunate to have a wonderful husband who faces the humility I impose on him with dignity. In between bouts of laughter that is.
But one night after he had to pry it off my body for me, since taking it off is almost as tough as getting it on, he brought up a good point. What about the guy who has been fooled into thinking that the woman he loves is a petite size 2, only to discover that without Spanx, she’s…not? He says it’s wrong, deceptive, and misleading. I on the other hand, think of it as being no different than wearing make-up, covering the gray roots of your hair, or wearing 3″ heels.
Those, however, do not impede your ability to use the toilet. And in spite of that fact, I will continue my loyalty and devotion to smoother tummies and firmer thighs. Besides, after 25 years of marriage, the Spanx process adds a little spark to our lives, and remember, it only take a spark to get a fire going.
Note: No pictures were used in this topic of me wearing Spanx, or the processes used to get into or out of my Spanx. Some things are better left to the imagination.