Friday, August 17, 2012

Unmentionables*

(WARNING:  This post has nothing to do with infertility, but mentions pregnancy and the body changes it causes.  So feel free to skip if you don't feel like reading about that.)

As I've mentioned in several posts over the 3+ years I've been writing this blog, I've struggled with my weight throughout my adulthood.  I am fat, chubby, overweight (obese, if you'd prefer the medical term). . . choose your descriptor.  I am just under 5'5" and wear a size 16, comfortably most days.  My BMI is consistently over 30.

I'm not looking for weight loss advice, though.  (As I often say, lack of knowledge and information is not what's keeping me fat.)  I'm looking for underwear advice.

So because my body was never great before my twin pregnancy and c-section, I figured it wouldn't be too much worse afterward.  Boy, was I wrong.  I'd venture to say that anyone who saw me fully clothed would not perceive a difference in the way I look now and the way I looked before, but the shape of my belly in particular has changed for the worse in a big (pun intended) way.  (I've also lost a lot of the muscle tone I had pre-pregnancy due to months of activity restriction while pregnant and lack of time for exercise since delivery.  But that's another topic for its own post.)

It's true that I have always had a fat stomach.  I mean, someone who is my size has to have fat somewhere.  But it used to be fat that I could "suck in" or restrain with Spanx or the like.  Also, more of my abdominal fat was above the belly button and therefore easily concealed by loose fitting shirts and dresses.

Now I have a lot of fat (and loose skin) below my belly button.  And it's the type of fat that cannot be restrained by Spanx or sucked in.  And it shows in nearly every pair of pants and skirt I own.

[I suppose weight loss could potentially make a difference in how much fat I have overall, but I'm not sure it would make a real significant difference in this new post-pregnancy distribution of my fat.  In any event, at present, I am in no position (or, frankly, frame of mind) to vigorously pursue weight loss through diet and exercise changes.  I hope to be someday in the not-too-distant future, but currently I'm lucky to find time to eat when I'm home, let alone time to prepare healthy meals and snacks, and time exercising would be either time spent away from my boys (not going to happen, as I am already away from them 50-ish hours a week for work) or time taken from the hours I currently spend sleeping.]

So, accepting that my body is going to be like this for the forseeable future, I am in search of workable underwear options, specifically panties.  I'm finding that most of the styles and brands I wore before I got pregnant no longer work for me, and I hate being uncomfortable every single day.  (I've given up on trying to look "not fat" except on rare social occasions.)

Another complication is that I have an area about 3 inches square starting a few inches under my navel that has been numb since my c-section and continues to be numb.  So I try to avoid panties that bind or cut into that area because I don't think it's good for my skin, especially when I don't feel the pressure there.

I have generally favored hipster-style underwear.  Briefs cover too much for my taste and feel too "granny panty"-ish for me; bikinis have always rolled down under my fat roll (sorry for the visual) or cut into me; I hate the feel of thongs; and boy shorts always bunch up on me.

With my fatter lower abdomen, many of my hipsters now roll down also, the same way bikins always have on me.  One brand I used to wear and love (example here: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NWT-JENNI-COTTON-SPANDEX-HIPSTER-PANTIES-WHIMSICAL-MLXL-/130516993159?pt=US_Women_s_Panties&var=&hash=item641f375aa9) has apparently been discontinued (and I'm skeeved out at the idea of purchasing panties on ebay).  All the pairs I still have are worn and in need of replacement.

In digging through my underwear drawer, I found a pair of Jockey hipsters I bought 4-5 years ago and forgot I had, and I love them.  They are super-soft, and they stay put without binding.  But I checked the Jockey website, and it appears that the style has been discontinued.

I've also tried Hanes, Soma Intimates, Cacique (the Lane Bryant brand) and a few other brands of hipsters without success.  Spanx still work--thought not as effectively as they once did--but I'm not going to wear control panties every day.

So how about it, ladies?  Anyone out there have a great brand/style of hipsters they want to recommend?

*On a completely unrelated side note, can I mention that I hate using euphemisms for things?  I have always been plain-spoken and blunt.  I never say "pee-pee" for penis, "making love" or "making whoopee" (or anything else) for sex, and I don't say people "passed on" when they actually died.  So I used the term "unmentionables" to be funny/ironic because it's a term I'd never use in real life.

5 comments:

  1. I was going to suggest the Lane Bryant hipsters. They aren't true to size though is the only problem. I bought their largest size to wear during my pregnancy and they are starting to get snug! I might have to invest in some granny panties...

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  2. I don't have any recommendations, but I wanted to say that while I don't think you'll go back completely to the way you were before, my body did continue to gradually revert for a long time after my pregnancy, probably for well over a year if I remember correctly. It's true that the biggest changes happened within the first 3-6 months, and then I stopped paying attention, so when I noticed recently (after 2 years) that things seem much more "normal", I was happily surprised. So don't lose hope completely.

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  3. We are similar in size though I'm a bit shorter than you and I have the same redistribution problem as you do post c-setion. I've never had luck with the bands on lane bryant (not intentionally disagreeing with Jules). I always felt too high and too ridged, just me though. I like vanity fair seamless hipster from Macys as well as the madienform micro boyshort. The lace isn't annoying and it doesn't get caught in the roll. All in all I like Macys for the variety. Incidentally I used to have several pairs of the jenni undies too. When I was pregnant I decided to cut the waist band to make them fit. That was so stupid! If you ever are in the predicament while pregnant again I'd strongly recommend belevation. I wish I had these the first time.

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  4. I bought a pair of no name brand hipsters and love them. They are the store brand for AAFES.

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  5. I know it seems totally vain but I'm giving myself a year before I seriously consider a tummy tuck. I think my uterus is still stretched out from my twins and I have abdominus rectis. I too feel I work too much to exercise and I hate the way I feel. I wear ratty cotton bikinis from VS. also discontinued. They're comfy w my c sect line.

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