With no disrespect to the beautiful Athleta model pictured above, Yoga pants make you fat. They lie. Those are pretty strong statements, I am aware. I can see them all over there at Lululemon getting their yoga twisted panties all in a bunch. That statement is truly as stupid as the ones written by Huff Po, “Drink Wine before bed and Lose Weight.” Darlin’, I’ve been doing that for years, and nada. And now the latest, Tequila makes you skinny. I don’t buy it, but of course I’ll try it. Now I prefer mine with fresh lime juice and a hint of simple syrup. I don’t think I’m losing any weight drinking Tequila that way. In fact, of this I am quite certain.
But, on the off-chance it does work, I’ll give it a shot (pun intended!) and let you know of my results. But I do know one thing for sure. Yoga pants make you fat.
As I scour the internet to find some pretty images I come across thousands of women, mostly in their 20s or 30s, who've not yet had children, who've not yet been privy to excess and stretched out skin and warped bodies, posing like trees and warriors, flying pigeons and what have you... these are not the women I am writing about. Or Olympic athletes. Or marathon runners. Yoga pants do not make them fat. I am writing about ordinary people. I am writing about you and me. The non-king-pigeon posers. And oh dear God, let's not get into a controversy about the F word. This is my story. And my experience with yoga pants. Yoga pants make us fat.
I know this from first hand experience. Price has nothing to do with it. From Old Navy to Lululemon, these stretchy pants are our worst enemy. Now, flattering indeed they are, and comfortable too. And that’s why we love them so and live in them as often as we do. Yoga pants are designed to stretch something ridiculous like 1000% and yet somehow hold you in. They’re automatic tummy control. And hip control. Thigh control. Ass control. And they’re all so damned comfortable. (If only Spanx had the same comfort factor.)
Every woman has a pair of yoga pants. And we wear them all the time. And by all the time I mean all the time. I know this because I see this. I see this at the grocery store, at the bank, at the post office, at the small café down the street, at Starbucks, at the bookstore, at Target, at the organic market, at the Farmer’s Market, at Home Depot, the flower shop, the deli, at restaurants (sadly enough) and even - every once in awhile - at the gym.
Mostly when I see women decked out in their workout gear with their hair coiffed, makeup perfectly applied I know they’ve not worked out and have no intention of doing so. When I see women in their yoga pants and workout gear, with their hair loosely knotted on top of their heads, no makeup on and not a drop of dewy dampness I know they were probably intending to hit the gym but other things were calling them… such as the couch and the bonbons. (I may or may not be speaking from first-hand experience here.)
And the latter is what is detrimental. Intent to work out. Intent is all well and good. But it is not enough. And those cute and very elasticized pants still stay on. Because they’re easy and they’re comfortable, especially while sitting on said couch eating said bonbons.
I don’t work in a “real” office. I work for myself at home. And even though I have a desk (two actually) I write best on my couch, sprawled out. It’s much better for my neck and back anyhow. Or so I’m told. And no one sees me. Except for the UPS man from time to time. And the milk man… (Bahahahha) But seriously...
Technically I have no reason to get dressed unless I’m out meeting with clients or interviewing different personalities. In the BYP days (before yoga pants) I had a uniform. I wore jeans and a shirt every day. If I had to run out I’d finish the outfit off with a nicely tailored jacket or sweater and nice shoes. Suddenly my jeans were perfectly polished. Yoga pants will never be perfectly polished. Ever. No matter what you pair them with. Ever. Yes, they do look cute with an oversized sweater and flats. And that too is part of the problem.
Yoga pants are easy, comfortable and super super stretchy. Like Stretch Armstrong (if you’re old enough to remember) stretchy. And here lies the danger. Not that stretchy is dangerous per se… But here’s what I have noticed: Yoga pants made me fat.
Ok, so that’s a slight exaggeration. I’m sure the wine, dinners out and other merriment contributed slightly more. In 5 years nearly 15 pounds somehow managed to sneak up on me. I say somehow because I have no idea when or how. It must have happened in my sleep one night. In those same 5 years I worked out regularly - between 3 - 5 days a week depending on work schedules and various recurring injuries. For the most part I found ways to remain active. Yet whether I was active or not there was one constant - my yoga pants.
It is also worth mentioning that in the same 5 years I started writing about and reviewing restaurants. A lot. And that too may or may not have had something to do with it. But I know this for sure, I wore my yoga pants far more often than I went out. I also know this for sure. I never gained weight (that I was aware) when I lived in my jeans. Curious, isn’t it?
Shall I deduce that jeans can keep you skinny? Maybe. Maybe there’s something to that. Here’s my thinking. Even though jeans have a certain amount stretch to them these days they’re a whole lot less forgiving than yoga pants. And this is important. Jeans get tight. Yoga pants do not. Jeans give us signs and clues. They start to feel tight or look not quite right. It’s as if they’re offering a quiet and gentle tap on the shoulder, discreet warnings to slow down or speed up. Eat less. Drink more (water.) Hit the gym. Harder. Because it’s not a matter of just going to the gym, but getting out there and pushing yourself harder and harder and harder. Somehow jeans tell you all of this.
I made a vow to myself early spring when I didn’t like how anything looked or felt; I would stop wearing my yoga pants except to work out. And maybe if I had a couple of errands to run right from the gym it might be easier to run them in said stretchy pants than to stop home and change first. My days are short, after all, and made shorter when the school day is over. Once the children are out I can kiss all productivity goodbye. But that’s a different topic. This one is about the yoga pants.
Now as I sit and write this in my air conditioned room it is about 97 degrees outside with what feels like 90% humidity. It is oppressive. And unbearable. And anyone in their right mind is not wearing yoga pants today. I also happen to be down nearly 10 pounds. Is there any coincidence? I wonder…
It’s summertime and we are exposed. There’s no hiding. Under baggy sweaters or in yoga pants… We wear shorts and skirts and little sundresses. They’re all revealing and honest to a fault. So honest are my shorts, that I’ve stopped wearing them except in the privacy of my own home. I live in little dresses and sundresses. And when I work out I wear running skirts. (If I can’t do shorts in public I am certainly not doing them at the gym!) I’ve upped the ante on my workouts and, for the most part, I leave sweaty if not downright drenched. Cute or not, the gym outfits must come off.
Here’s what I do know. I haven’t worn my yoga pants (or any type of legging) for months. I may have increased my workouts and the way I workout (substantially). I may have cut (way way way way back) on carbs and unrefined sugars… except for ice cream. I have not substantially decreased the times I go out to eat, whether for business or pleasure. I may have had some Tequila (with lime and simple syrup) from time to time. I have not stopped drinking my rosé. And yes, I often have it before bed (in lieu of said ice cream.) And so I think it is safe to say that indeed my yoga pants were making me fat.
By the way Athleta has an amazing blog.