My Jeans Don't Fit Anymore

I picked up running a month ago. 

And I’ve been trying to eat more watermelon than Moose Tracks ice cream.

When I’m fooling myself, I say it’s because I’m trying to make healthier choices. 

But when I’m channeling my inner Candor, it’s because my jeans don’t fit anymore. And that bothers me.

I was pregnant only three months ago. I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. I know this is one of those "I'm my own worst critic" kinds of things.

{Insert: quote about how my post-pregnancy body is beautiful and I should really have higher self-esteem.}

I try to run between twenty to thirty minutes. My speed depends on the day, as well as how annoying our jogging stroller chooses to be. I don’t worry about distance though. As I told my friend on the phone, I’m OCD about enough things already.

But my jeans don’t fit anymore.

That bothers me because one of the babies my body so beautifully bore is not here anymore. She isn’t here to nurse away those extra pregnancy inches. She isn't here to distract me from ever wanting to wear jeans again. To make me want to salute the rest of my life to stretch pants.

While I admit the running is healthy and feels really good, the reminder aches. 

Minus a year and a half of my first pregnancy and recovery, I have worn the same size jeans for a while. My aunts love to remind me often about the correlation between weight and age: “You just wait, Kendra. I was skinny like you once!”

But Change happened. And sometimes, I handle Change poorly. 

If you looked at my life over the past four years you might think otherwise: graduate college, get married, move to a new country, start a new job, have a new baby, move back to a new city, make new friends, find a new church, try to have another new baby.

New, new, new. Change, change, change. Adventure. Excitement. Then heartache.

But I handle Change poorly when it sprints ahead of me and I can’t seem to keep up. And I handle it even worse when it drags its feet instead of progressing at my steady jog.  

Basically, I don’t like Change when it reminds me I am not in control. 

For example, after only two days of running I tried to put my jeans on again. 

As if. 

It would have taken a bucket of Crisco and three Ninja Warriors to get those pant legs any farther up my thighs. Too slow, Change. Let’s pick up the pace.

I know Change can be good. 

I think about the husband I sleep next to. The daughter I care for every day. The church and friends who found us over the past year. Change, you have been good to me. 

And I think back to “that girl” I used to be before Change came around each stage of my life. Most of the time I don’t miss her:

I don’t miss calling my mom to pick me up because the boys were teasing my flat chest. {Thank you, Middle School.} Or telling my mom that all I want for Christmas is acne medication. {Thank you, High School.} Or crying through first semester because I am horrible at making friends. {Thank you, College.}

Life has come to mean different than what music is on my iPod, or who I’m hoping to hang out with Friday night, or how tan my stomach got this summer. Although, Change? It might be nice to go back to the innocence and naivety of childhood for a while.

Life has come to mean different than being a college athlete. My knees and shoulders like to remind me of that too. Slow down, Change. You’re going to fast!

Change has gifted life with more understanding, meaning, maturity, depth. 

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. {2 Corinthians 4:16}

My jeans don’t fit anymore. And I guess that with time, I might get over it.

I would probably feel just a smidge better if the Black Eyed Peas would come by and sing to me: "What you gon' do with all that junk? All that junk inside that trunk?"

But I'll get over it. 

Like I did when I realized that small breasts and acne are not the worst things that could ever happen to me. And that there indeed are other things to pour my time and energy and passion into besides athletics.

Maybe I'll come to a point where I don't even want those jeans to fit anymore.

Husband tells me he's more of a "butt over bust" guy anyways. May the Lord shine His face upon him for that.

But Change. It's not always easy to swallow. Not as easy as a bite of triple chocolate cheesecake, that is.

I have tried to come up with some sort of concrete conclusion as I write this. But I'm starting to agree with Husband when he tells me that not everything we read, write, or watch has to have a perfectly textbook ending. 

Because that’s the thing about Change too. It's not always neatly tied up with a pretty bow around it. It's not always tidy.

Change can be exciting and adventurous. 

But sometimes it’s also tangled and messy. Sometimes it hurts like hell. Sometimes it just feels melancholy.

So instead of trying to think of a clear cut conclusion, let me just leave you with one name:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. {Hebrews 13:8}

I might not always handle Change well. But I can hold on to that.

 

Grace and Peace,
Kendra

 

P.S. How is Change introducing itself to you in this season of your life? Are you and Change getting along? Are you adjusting to your jeans not fitting anymore? Who have you become since you had to buy a new pair - bigger or smaller than the ones you had before? Are you grateful for your new jeans, or are they a reminder of some of the painful results of Change?