Confession: I have a Spanx addiction. I’ve been known to wear 2 pair in seriously insecure fashion situations. It’s possible I’ve worn them under work out clothes. (Gross, I know. I’m crazy, we know this.)  I may have worn them with: jeans, formal wear and layered over body shaping tights, (AKA: Spanx with nylons attached.) I’ve worn them out. I’ve worn them for speaking engagements. I’ve even worn them when I know I’m not leaving the house. It’s possible I’ve worn them home from surgical procedures. (I once thought I popped a stitch trying to pry myself into Spanx after surgery…  I nearly cried… no one wants to explain THAT to their doctor…) (For the record- I mostly wear the off brand knock offs.Real Spanx are great and hold up well- but are pricey.)

I once took the extra 15 seconds to throw a pair on under my jeans- before taking my kid to get stitches….. (Third child…. you get dressed before going to the hospital with the third one.. ) See? I have a problem.

WHY? (If you don’t click to read the rest- you will miss the unspanxed embarrassing pic of me at the end. Just saying.) 

Because I don’t want anyone to know how fat I am. Well- at least I don’t want anyone to know how lumpy I am. Cause I know the fat can’t actually be hidden. Compressed a bit- yes… But, let’s face it- it’s like compressing a handful of bread dough… it pops out the top and bottom. Spanx may smooth you out.. but they don’t trim you down. When you take them off- you look like you’ve been through a failed mummification.

Here’s the thing: this started when I was at my mothering thinnest. I’d shave my self with a hedge trimmer to get that thin, now. And- I wouldn’t wear Spanx- I’d wear a bikini. (Well… ok maybe not- but you get the idea.)

So yeah. It’s a problem.

So I gave up Spanx for Lent. Confession: I’ve also already pseudo cheated a few times by wearing shaping tights. Mostly when I had speaking gigs and needed my dress pants to fit over my bundt cake butt. And once to church cause my Muffin top was out of control and I feared it would be sold at the donut/ coffee/muffin counter. )

Here’s what’s interesting:

  1. No one has noticed. I’ve even had a few people say they thought I’d lost weight. (For the record- I have lost a bit… but not that much.) I recognize that people probably won’t say: “Hey Tracey- whats’ up with the back fat?” But still.. I haven’t noticed any weirder glances than normal. And I’ve been hit on at Target by um the same kind of old guys who always hit on me….. since giving them up. Just keeping it real. I’m an elderly- African American Man magnet. At least at Target. It almost never fails. Momma got back.:P)
  2. I haven’t turned up on The People of Walmart site due to extreme back fat bulge .(Back fat? GIrls… in the wrong T shirt and bra combo…we’re talking back boobs. Oy.)
  3. I feel more comfortable. (Let’s face it- with chronic pain from my neck/back and being entombed in the stupid neck brace again… I’m in enough discomfort as it is.)
  4. I can breathe easier. (Apparently lungs are more compressible than fat is.. Who knew?)
  5. I am not constantly tugging and pulling and adjusting. (I’m still doing it.. just not as much. Seriously. can’t my body parts stay where they belong???? I need duct tape underwear. Oh wait, that’s what multi -layered Spanx is. Pretty much.)

So….here’s what I’m learning…. it’s not worth the discomfort to be one inch thinner or one bulge smoother. It’s just… not. At least…not on a daily basis.

Especially when NO ONE NOTICES. Which means: NO ONE CARES. In fact- I wonder if all these Spanx are having a counter effect….

People who know me in person know I’m a “what you see is what you get” kid of girl… I AM two faced- but it’s only with and without makeup. In a way…. all this body control obsession is lying at worst- false advertising at best. While I’m always honest about the wearing o’ the Spanx…. (a nod to St Paddy’s day:P) I’ve often had women say  “You always look so put together, blah blah blah….” The truth is: I don’t I’m a mom who’s had 3 c sections and I have the subsequent kangaroo belly pouch that could carry my college kids. Or at least their books.

It’s really true…. when we realize how little other think of us (they’re too busy thinking of themselves for the most part… as we are.) we are free to be who we are… bumps bundt cakes and all.

So today- I’m coming out. Of my Spanx that is.

And my make up. The truth is- I haven’t even showered today. Yet. So there. I gave up Spanx for Lent. No Lie.

“Dear lord… I struggle so much with the desire to be beautiful. I hate it. I spend too much time, money and energy in trying to be. I know that the truth is… it doesn’t matter. Please help me to learn from this…help me to get over this. And help me to learn to balance this area of my life. It’s ok to let my outward appearance be a creative expression of who I am…. it’s not Ok to try to make it be something it’s not. PS if you could do something supernatural about the kanga-pouch and bund cake butt- I’d appreciate that too. I love you Lord- and am so glad you love me just the way I am. Amen”

So… how bout you? How do you feel about your appearance? Do you make yourself miserable trying to look a certain way? Or am I the only one…..

PS: My Spanx fast will end with Lent….but I’l not be wearing them everyday any more. Just when necessary for clothes fitting purposes;)

PPS. Dear readers- you have no idea how hard it is to post an “undone” pic of myself. I tried to get it as real as possible. but it’s kind of hard to do in a neck brace- when no one’s home. But there.. now what you see is really what you get… the lumpy bumpy chick behind the stories. ;) Please stop by my virtual friend Kathi Lipp’s blog and read her post today…. “Thoughts on Being Fat and Loved By God.” 

I know I needed to read it;)

And I needed to read this- too:

5 Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we[a] have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we[b] boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we[c] also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.  Roman’s 5 

God loves me as I am and has a plan for me. and for You- Fat, thin, lumpy- bumpy- Spanxed- or not. Let’s focus on that;)

Sorry about the cleavage…. and If I can get someone to take an even more unflattering pic- I’ll post it later- but really? I’d rather post a great photo shopped pro- looking shot instead… OY. Also-this isn;t about weight- really… I’ve felt like this when I’ve been thinner. and I’m sure I would if I were heavier… I doubt I’m alone. Maybe tomorrow we’ll talk about the comparison game……

 Spanx less In Michigan