Ahh…vacation! While it is always wonderful to get away and to recharge, it is also always difficult to get back in that groove. Our family’s get-away was fabulous and long overdue. My husband’s career is very time consuming and can be intense. G.P.’s busy season is March through October, with many weeks demanding at least 70 hours or more, with no days off. Needless to say, it was time for a break!

We had such an amazing little trip! Highlights included a home game of our favorite MLB team (Go Twins!), a trip to the zoo, and outlet shopping. So this is where my tale of bliss goes slightly downhill. Outlet shopping. You know the feeling. You go to a store, determined to find a great outfit or a pair of jeans that look and feel hot. You have been eating well, working out, and are in much better shape than the last time you were there. Why then, can you not find a pair of flattering jeans to save your life?

I made a vow before leaving the car that I would try on clothes somewhere other than our favorite store (the Nike outlet). G.P. also needed some jeans, so we decided to go to a certain store-that-shall-remain-nameless, famous for its selection and prices. My husband took the boys and went to the men’s section, while I perused the women’s/junior’s section. I loaded up on various styles in two different sizes and marched confidently into the dressing room. Pair after pair turned into an epic failure. Sweat (or maybe it was tears) pouring, I muttered under my breath, “Ok, store-that-shall-remain-nameless, you brag about your different styles, but it appears that they are for only two body types.” In the meantime, the boys are all waiting for me, at the checkout area. I came out, red, sweaty, teary, and disheveled. My husband was smiling, armed with jeans. “Are you ready,” he asked me innocently. “Yeah sure, if I were an apple or a boy,” I snapped, cursing my body type. I might as well have been speaking a foreign language. He did just as most men do. He grabbed the first two pairs in his size, held them up, and walked to the checkout. And yes, they fit perfectly.

So, no, I did not come away from that shopping trip with new jeans. I did come away from there with some realizations though. First of all, God knew what he was doing when he gave me the gift of a wonderfully understanding husband. G.P. did ask me to explain my mutterings, so I told him about the body-shape issue with women’s clothes. He grabbed my hand and reminded me of the work I had put in to become healthier and how proud he is of me. He reminded me that I can’t let one chain retailer and its weird sizing/shape issues define me. He also made sure that I knew how I looked to him through his eyes. I am my own worst critic. The truth is, I felt loads better after that.

Secondly, I find the women’s sizing issue on different pants and jeans completely confusing and utterly ridiculous. The sooner manufacturers realize that though female consumers are certain sizes, we all have unique shapes, the better. In doing the research this week, I have found that certain companies are making pants/jeans with the shape issue in mind. Even the aforementioned certain-store-that-shall-remain-nameless has gotten in the game. Eventually, the outlet will do the same. Hopefully, this much-welcomed trend shall continue to spread. On behalf of us hour-glasses, apples, pears, and boys: bravo and thank you!

So, my friends, I leave you with this. Each time you go and try on clothing and have that inkling of doubt about how you look or how the clothes fit your body, remember this: you have put in so much work to be healthier and you are beautiful! Do not let that moment define you and your hard work!


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