My Life’s Happiness as told through the medium of denim

I’ve read lots of posts recently about health, happiness, fitness, love and peace. But I don’t want to talk about any of those things, I want to talk about jeans. Yes, of the denim variety and no, that wasn’t a spelling mistake for ‘genes’.

I put on a great new pair of jeans this morning and it got me thinking, there’s so many points in my life that have been punctuated by jeans. Denim as a material is pretty unforgiving, it doesn’t pretend that it fits and it will always let you know if it’s too tight or loose. 

When I was a kid I wanted to spend every day in jeans, the older the better. Rips, soft denim, never-washed, shorts or full-length, they were the best, perfect for climbing trees, riding bikes and digging holes in the garden. 

Good god, so much 90′s sass in one so young… 

The problem came when puberty hit and I no longer fitted into boys’ clothes which I loved to wear. Jeans suddenly became restrictive and something to highlight parts of my body that were growing in all kinds of wrong directions. 

I tried to ignore the course of nature by buying baggy mens’ jeans, trying to hide all of the bits that I didn’t like. Top tip: baggy clothes will just make you look bigger. Sorry 14 year-old self… 

It’s worth nothing that it wasn’t like I was blossoming into some curvaceous beauty, I just had puppy fat which always made me feel big and rather lumbering. Just great when you’re growing up. 

It was only when I hit about 17 that I realised that perhaps all wasn’t lost.

Throughout university I took great delight in those times when my jeans were hanging off me, only serving to reinforce my unhealthy habits and disordered eating. Equally there were times when I couldn’t get my jeans up over my thighs which created a vicious circle of bad habits. 

Continuing the trend of jeans being a barometer of my feelings towards my body I wore particular pairs into holes when they fitted and felt comfortable because I thought they made me look skinny and cool. Note to self – skinny does not = cool…

About 3 years later, in the midst of a job that I hated and a particular obsession with McFlurrys, I stopped wearing jeans altogether. They didn’t fit, they reminded me of how much weight I’d put on and everyone else looked better in them than me. 

And then I discovered leggings. All-forgiving comfortable leggings. I wore them every single day for about 2 years, in denial about how unhappy I was with my body shape. I refused to believe that I’d gone up 2 or 3 dress sizes so I just ignored the problem. 

And then suddenly, enough was enough. I started to get fit and over the last 18 months that’s what I’ve been doing. 

Ever so slowly jeans have started to reappear in my wardrobe, cautiously and subtly. The first day that I went out in a pair of jeans again was a big step, one that was so surprising that I celebrated it in my head. 

And finally, today, I put on a new pair of jeans that I never thought would work, a pair of dark denim, super skinny, HIGH-WAISTED jeans. And they look good. I think. And as I strutted to work I realised how crazy it is how influential jeans have been throughout my life in how I see myself and my body image. 

Excuse the lack of face but today was not a good hair day… 

Surely it’s about more than this but I still can’t help myself from feeling all of these feels today. Strange but there we go. 

My Fitness kit list

It should come as no surprise to you that I’ve been a big fan of shopping, spending money I don’t have and coveting other people’s clothes for years. My only problem now is that this obsession has turned to fitness kit.

Seeing as it’s something that I put on at least once a day, it’s not really that much of a shock!

Here’s a round up of my current kit list, guaranteed to make you look fitter, sexier and like you know what you’re doing…

1)      Saucony Kinvara 5 LDN trainers

I’ve been a big fan of Saucony’s for a few months now since I was paired with a beautiful pair of Omni 12s that stop my annoying over-pronating feet from doing too much damage to my knees. However, these new Kinvara 5s are something else… Made specially for the 2014 London Marathon, they’re an eye-catching red, black and gold and they’re obviously limited edition. Get yours at the Neal Street pop-up store 3rd-21st April and hurry, sizes are selling out fast! RRP £105

 

2)      Forever 21 leggings

There is plenty of activewear on the market that is overpriced (IMHO) but Forever 21, everyone’s favourite American version of Primark, has introduced a great range of affordable activewear. The leggings are my favourite as they do plain ones, crazy patterned ones, yoga ones, harem ones and lounge ones. So many types… Not only do they look good but they also come with moisture-wicking tech and performance designs. Pick them up online or in store at one of eight stores around the UK. RRP from £8.25 – £18.75

 

3)      Marks and Spencer sports bras

Although I’ve come some way from that first embarrassing bra fitting that my mum dragged me to, I still haven’t found a sports bra that can beat M&S on comfort and durability. Granted, I’m right towards the smaller end of the scale in this department but the elasticity and support that these simple crop tops provide is perfect for moderate impact exercise. Find them online or at most M&S stores, RRP from £12.50

4)      American Apparel tank tops

Call me old school but I like to wear a bit of cotton when I workout. These American Apparel tanks, while not the cheapest, are definitely the best feeling. They’re light, come in a good range of colours and the racer back cut is very flattering. Always a bonus when you’re looking your best with sweat pouring down your face… Get yours online or at any American Apparel store round the UK. RRP £16.00

 

5)      Yoga mat

A yoga mat is an essential piece of kit, even if you don’t always use it for yoga! I use mine to do my home workouts/yoga/pilates on as well as taking it to picnics and using it as a sleeping mat (when I camp. Which is hardly ever…). Mine is a USA Pro mat and is very basic but for a RRP of £6.99 you can’t go that wrong!

And finally, for your viewing pleasure, here’s a photo of me trying to look fierce before my Seen On Screen Beyonce dance class… Review coming soon!