Happy New Year. Let’s Break Up.

As my first order of business in 2015, I’ve decided to end a relationship.

It started as most of these things do: I’d heard all kinds of great stories about them from friends. For example, how supportive and helpful they were. My best friend even invited them to her wedding. Naturally, I was curious. However, it wasn’t until a fateful night before Christmas that we finally met and went out for the first time. I had high hopes for this union, but after one very long and chafe inducing date, I’ve decided that it’s never going to work out between us.

You guys, I’ve decided to break up with Spanx.

In case you’re a male reader or have been living under a rock, Spanx is a line of shape-wear designed for women. “Shape wear” is basically superhero style underwear designed to hold all your jiggly parts in place so that you have a smoother silhouette under your clothes. I think this scene from the movie The Heat, between Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy sums it up best.

whats-popping-ou
Although a lot of my girlfriends have long toted the virtues of Spanx, I spent the first 32 years of my life living in a bubble of ignorance where shape-wear wasn’t even part of my vocabulary. I lived a very fast paced, high stress lifestyle in a busy metropolis where I was constantly on the go. I ate what I wanted, worked out when I could and the weight just fell off. If you hate “old me” it’s OK – I kind of do too.

However, as I’ve mentioned before, when I moved back to the West Coast my body started to change. Whereas most people probably move to the “healthy lifestyle” capital of the world with the assumption that they’ll lose weight, I gained almost 20 lbs. My former willowy, slightly frail looking figure started to fill out, revealing curves that I wasn’t quite used to. Although I think I look healthier now, it’s still been an adjustment getting used to my new body. Whereas in my 20’s I never really spent much time thinking about my body, now that I’ve gone through what feels like a second puberty in my 30’s, I’m hyper aware of what I put into it and how I treat it. Like I said, I’m still getting used to this.

My body has continued to change, especially since I started lifting weights and boxing. I’m stronger and healthier than I have been in years, but  that isn’t to say I still don’t have my moments of insecurity.

Now flash forward to a few weeks ago, when I was trying to figure out what to wear to an upcoming Christmas party. I decided that come hell or high water, I would wear this gorgeous dress that I purchased to wear in Vegas a few years ago. After two years of not being able to zip it up, it finally fit again. However, if I was going to pull this off, I knew I needed some help so that I could feel 100% confident.

This is how I found myself perusing the Spanx aisle at my local department store. A friend if mine recently told me that she wore Spanx under her wedding gown (and looked gorgeous!) so, how bad could they be? I picked out a pair of VERY high-waisted panties, handed over my credit card and called it a day.

Spanx 4

Although the look was far from sexy, the Spanx were able to take all of my bumps and bulges, and streamline them into one, smooth, flesh-coloured meat suit. However, when it came time to get dressed for my Christmas party, my dress still didn’t feel right. In the end, I swapped my original frock for a short, black dress that’s always made me feel sexy and confident. I was running late and not really thinking, so I decided to just leave the Spanx on. After all, I’d paid $40 for this weird meat-suit and I was going to get my money’s worth! However, by the first course of dinner, when my insides felt like they were being squeezed by the hands of God, I realized that I was in for an interesting evening.

During my first and last date with Spanx I learned a few things:

1) Spanx and having to pee do not mix – My night was going well until I realized I had to go to the bathroom and actually remove the meat suit. I discovered that you can’t just take off Spanx, you have to slither out of them. This takes time. If you try and pull them down too quickly you’re in for some of the worst chafing of your life (I had a serious case of Spanx Burn for the entire week and a half after the party.) Because of this and the fact that the washroom facilities at the party were limited, I spent most of the night responding to knocks on the door asking, “Is everything OK in there?” Thanks to Spanx, I’m pretty sure that everyone  thinks I’m either a drug addict or have some kind of extreme intestinal disorder (or both.)

Spanx 1

2. The only thing worse than wearing Spanx, is having to explain to the person you’re about to have sex with that you’re wearing Spanx. It was a fun Christmas party. There were lots of cocktails. Stuff happened. At the end of the night I found myself in the bedroom of a handsome guy I was very much looking forward to having sex with. As he started to undress with envious ease, I remembered the Spanx.

“I need to tell you something. I’m wearing Spanx.”

He gave me a blank look. “I’m sorry – you’re what?”

“I’m wearing underwear that goes up to my boobs” I explained as I pulled my skirt up to give him a visual.

“WHAT ARE THOSE AND WHY ARE YOU WEARING THEM??!!”

“I DON’T KNOW!” I replied, panicked because really, I didn’t know.

Confused and unsure of where the Spanx ended and my body began, I decided it was just better if he waited outside the bedroom while I manoeuvred myself out of the meat-suit. As he slowly backed away from me, I told him, “This isn’t going to be pretty and it might take a while” with the wistful, tortured look of a soldier going off to war.

For the millionth time in my dating career I wanted to yell out the words, “I’M NOT A WEIRDO, I SWEAR!” After all, the irony wasn’t lost on me: I’m a blogger who writes about sex and lingerie, with a fairly impressive collection of underwear. Heck, I even just wrote a post about how to buy sexy lingerie. Yet, here I was standing in front of my soon to be sexual partner looking and feeling like the human equivalent of a tube steak.

Spanx 3

(Perhaps less ironically, I actually felt a lot more confident and sexy completely naked, once the Spanx had been shed and were lying in a heap on the floor.)

So, minor insecurities and bulges aside, I’ve decided that Spanx and I are never, ever, getting back together.

It’s not that I’m swearing off shape-wear forever. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it. It works. It has it’s time and place. I just think that after our night together, the Spanx and I need some space. Maybe forever.

In the meantime I’m going to try and tap into my inner bad-ass and go on a shape-wear cleanse. I’m only going to wear clothes and lingerie that make me feel good, instead of trying to squish my body into a different shape that makes me feel uncomfortable and unlike myself.

Because break-ups aren’t just for bad relationships. They’re also for bad habits, bad feelings and basically anything that no longer serves you.

However, if there’s a badge of honour that says, “I got laid while wearing weird underwear” I’ll gladly take it.

What are you breaking up with in 2015?

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