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Life Is Too Short to Wear Too-Tight Shorts

My beautiful fast-growing shelled girl digging in to yet another hearty meal!

Yup. I said it. Life is too short to wear too-tight shorts.

Those aren’t just words, either. They are words I live by.

It doesn’t matter how long I’ve owned a particular pair of shorts. Once that day comes when I pull them on (or attempt to) and parts of me immediately start lodging complaints, the shorts come right off again.

In fact, these days, I pretty much always have a “to donate” bag going in my closet. Right now there are four….no make that five….pairs of too-tight shorts in the bag.

I don’t miss any of them, and I’m not tempted to pull them back out of the bag, regardless of what I paid or how good I thought they were going to look on me.

My thought process is: once they stop fitting me, clearly they are ready to meet their next owner. Since shorts can’t talk, this is how they can let me know.

What is so interesting here is to look back over my life and see so many years where a verdict of “too tight” was more like a guilty sentence than a statement of fact. The shorts (or jeans, or dress, or swimsuit pieces) weren’t just too tight.

I was too big. The solution during those years was not to donate the mini-me sized items in question and go shopping for something comfier. Nope….the solution was to whittle myself down until I could squeeze back into them again.

For many years, this solution was somewhat workable, given that I wasn’t yet committed to healing FULLY from my eating disorder and my metabolism hadn’t yet discovered the joys of reaching age 40.

But once both of those particular stars aligned, there was no going back. It was me or the shorts, and I’ll give you one guess who won. 

The thing is, I’m a lot happier now that I’ve given myself permission to downsize what I own and upsize what doesn’t fit. As a minimalist-in-progress with a marginally expanding waistline from year to year (or month to month, as luck, stress and hormones would have it), both of these permissions feel good. They feel timely. They feel right.

They feel self-loving and self-caring in a way that changes more than just the selection of clothing I see when I open my closet each morning. I see a person who lives better, loves better AND looks better because she is wearing clothing that actually fits her.

I feel more confident when I’m not walking about tugging this down or hiking that up, readjusting and wriggling, and checking and re-checking to make sure my personal presentation is still G-rated.

I can also pay more attention to what is going on, who is with me, the topic of conversation, and my own experiences of it all when I’m not constantly focused on my ill-advised outfit of choice.

In other words, I don’t want to miss out on the sight of one more lovely butterfly winging its way through the flower bed because my mind is busy elsewhere, worrying about wiggling thighs or dreaming of comfy (ROOMY) pajamas.

When my little tortoise, Malti, head-butts my leg because she wants to play “tortoise tunnels” again, I want to be so present to that experience that I laugh with delight right away rather than look away from her because – oh my god – there is a thigh jiggling.

I don’t want to spend one more day feeling trapped inside my own body or the items of clothing I’ve purchased to cover it. I especially don’t want to feel that way when I’m the only one who is there to notice!

So I upsize the shorts and donate their predecessors. I don’t permit myself to worry a moment over it – either I like something and I want to keep it, or I don’t like something and don’t want to keep it. There is no “I like it and want to fit back into it” option anymore to confuse the issue.

For the remainder of my years, I will be wearing shorts that fit….and spending all the extra time and energy this gives me playing “tortoise tunnels” with my fast-growing shelled girl, who, like me, is also getting bigger every single day!

Today’s Takeaway: What – if anything – is sitting in your closet right now that no longer fits? Do you know? Is there that one item, or small collection of items, that you just can’t quite bear to give up on just yet? What do you think is still holding you back from releasing them in some way, whether through repurposing, donation, gifts or some other means?

Life Is Too Short to Wear Too-Tight Shorts

Shannon Cutts

Freelance writer. Author. Cockatiel, redfoot tortoise & box turtle mama.

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APA Reference
Cutts, S. (2017). Life Is Too Short to Wear Too-Tight Shorts. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 10 Oct 2017
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