The day I wore teeny tiny shorts.

This post is about my feelings. Sorry in advance.

It’s about 150 degrees here. (I think that works for “Hot” in both fahrenheit and celsius, yes?)

Okay, wait. Backing up. I usually keep this blog “in the affirmative.” That is, I don’t like to dwell on, or live within, my insecurities or those “issues” which seem insurmountable. Often, giving these things voice simply awards them more power than they deserve; not to mention the fact that most – if not all – of EVERYONE’S insecurities are completely unfounded and ridiculous. At the very least, they’re a complete waste of your emotional capital. Guess what? You’re not fat. Your hair is quite pretty. You’re special, and gosh darn it, people like you.

I don’t focus on “dieting,” but on eating with gratitude, fighting self-judgment, and making fun of people like Tracy Anderson. I trust that doing so will, over the long-term, lead to a deeper appreciation of my body. In the end, I know that a good body with a denigrated soul is no more valuable than Gorga money.

But I’ve felt the need to express lately that I have many insecurities and mental blocks that I’m working on, day by day. While the mean thoughts creep in often, I try to focus on simply doing the right thing for myself, which – when it comes to food – is prioritizing my sanity above calorie restriction or obsessive rambling about body composition goals. That’s just where I am in my experience. This means maintaining a backdrop of healthy choices while really focusing on silencing self-judgment and mean self-talk. Because I can do some seriously mean self-talk. I’m a lit major. I know a lot of synonyms for “ugly,” “failure,” and “Reality TV Reject.”

So back to the fact that it’s hotter than the inside of a Sous Vide out here.

I’ve spent about 10 years generally avoiding shorts and swimsuits. I’ve been very vocal about my wish to return to the days when beachwear looked more like this:

I have a lingering insecurity about my thigh-butt region. This insecurity, compounded by my genuine appreciation of the art of modesty and my love of shapeless exercisewear, means I’ve made it to the gym in just about every incarnation of sack, drapery, and mom-pri that you can imagine. That’s no judgment against those who rock the crack wrappers and  bikini tops while they overhead squat. I fully support that inclination. I just like being covered up.

And as much as I love my skintight lululemon capris, they’re a bit too skintight, so I generally wear those to Whole Foods over two pairs of spanxx and use my knee-length, relaxed-fit, cotton power-walking capris for Hot Yoga class.

That’s not even a joke.

But it’s too damn hot for full-coverage. I’d be an idiot to try to throw any weight around on a 99 degree evening in my mom pants (not that my mom wears “mom pants.” My mom is super duper hot and a better CrossFitter than I am). So yesterday I went to my CrossFit affiliate, which is an awesome garage gym free of Air Conditioning (grunt-grunt-sweat-sweat), in what I consider the Holy Grail of “Goal Shorts.” These teeny-tiny* puppies are cute, not too tight, and they have built-in panties so that they can’t ride up when I do something awkward with my eight miles of leg. And until yesterday, they’d been worn only within the walls of my house.

*And yes, ladies, these do qualify as teeny tiny. If you wear something smaller or tighter, those qualify as eensy beensy teeny tiny.

So I made my choice. My legs would have their public debut. I left the house and was on the verge of tears the entire drive to the gym as I battled insecurities and anticipated the judgment of everyone around me.

I wish I could say it went well. The workout went fine, but allow me to tell you EBTT shorts-wearing ladies one thing.

Your crotch is falling out. You need to know this. It is physically and mechanically impossible to keep your lady parts concealed in a sub-2″ inseam while doing the Samson stretch. Period.

Other than that, I think I pushed myself past a major fear yesterday. Hallelujah.


33 Comments to “The day I wore teeny tiny shorts.”

    Genuine, honest, and freaking hysterical!

  2. Hugs!! That is all. 🙂

  3. Congratulations 🙂 But I’m with you – I’m a “cover upper.”

  4. love it! I recently embraced short shorts too and had many of the same thoughts you did! And I think anything shorter than the shorts pictured here are called underwear! Thanks for sharing and from a fellow long legged girl- keep rockin’ those shorts!

  5. Coulda been worse. You coulda been a guy. Seen it. It ain’t pretty.

  6. I share similar insecurities, but thankfully (or unfortunately?) CrossFit doesn’t allow for insecurities!
    I have no time to worry about what my legs (or anything else) look like while trying to crank out a WoD or difficult Oly-lift. I am thankful for the distraction because it’s all directed in a positive direction.

    Congrats! You’re very brave! =]

    Next step…compression booty shorts? haha

  7. ha! my fellow CrossFitter and I were talking aobut this exact thing this weekend… he was saying how he could see a girls part all through out the workout. Needless to say he wasn’t pleased!

  8. LOL..Liz, you’re hysterical!!!

  9. this is one of the best posts I’ve read in a while 🙂 and I can definitely relate! I have to say though, body temperature control has always taken precedence over how I look at the gym. I train at Crossfit Love and, like yours, it’s a garage gym with no AC. I kinda love it, except when the forecast calls for three 100º days in a row. but running shorts with built in underwear thingies are the best, they’re basically all I wear. maybe someday, I’ll be confident enough to rock the spandex! but right now, all I care about is being comfortable and cranking out the WOD without dying of heat exhaustion.

  10. “..if not all – of EVERYONE’S insecurities are completely unfounded and ridiculous. At the very least, they’re a complete waste of your emotional capital. Guess what? You’re not fat. Your hair is quite pretty. You’re special, and gosh darn it, people like you…” I rest my case… 😉

    But, the one thing I can say is that generally guys don’t care as much about looks as women do. Meaning even though we feel insecure about certain things, we don’t look and the mirror as say “do this pants make my butt look big?” 🙂

  11. I’m wish you ALL the way – esp. about the negative and really horrible self talk (and the wool “swimsuits” ;).
    It’s… an issue for me for sure! This year though I did buy a NEW bikini – my boyfriend is thrilled and I’m still terrified to wear it but in the long run if someone’s got an issue with the way I look they can go soak their heads (to put it politely).

  12. Congrats on pushing past a major fear!! 😀

    P.S. – John Torres (above) is correct. But, us girls will be girls won’t we?

  13. Yay for you! I still haven’t gotten the confidence to hit up my CF box rocking shorts yet, but maybe one of these days….

    And thank you, thank you, thank you for pointing out that the EBTT shorts let certain things all hang out or tend to leave nothing to the imagination, if you know what I mean…

  14. I wear spandex shorts under my shorts like that. My box is hot as hell too!

  15. I’m new to your blog so I don’t know you very well yet but I can already tell I’m falling in love. This is freakin’ hilarious! Thank you so much for your humor. So well written. I live in Sacramento and it gets plenty hot here too. I still cannot work out in public in shorts. I may die but capris is about all I can brave. Maybe someday! Wishing you tropical breezes! =)

  16. Yea i have a bunch of those shorts in addition to soccer shorts. However I noticed that if you’re gonna wear shorts at CF they have to be spandex. Not the short ones tho… The biker length is perfect! I received a few joking remarks from my friends about my style…. But at least I can do sit ups without feeling self conscious!

  17. HAHAHA! I don’t wear shorts for the simple fact that I think it’s illegal in Iowa for one’s labia to hit the floor during a spiderman complex. And really, that’s what would happen unless I wore the super tight labia-holder-inner-ones and NAY, I cannot pull those off.

    Also, thank you for allowing me to use the word labia twice today. Oh, three times!!

  18. OMG, you’re killing me with this one! Can you say FUPA and camel toe? How about chub rub? I wear compression capris AND shorts and it’s a bazillion degrees and I hate squatting in shorts, but what are ya gonna do? Duct tape?

  19. This is why I won’t wear loose short shorts. I’ll wear some spandex shorts that I only fit into when I’ve been working out for months and eating right with no problem, but Soffe shorts or the type that you posted? Not happening. End up flashing everyone within view of you or one of the many mirrors around a regular globo-gym.

  20. Built in underwear so they don’t ride up? That’s genius!

  21. I want to say, first of all, that I really appreciate the courage it took to write this post, and I’m huge fan of your blog. I wanted to comment on your efforts to dampen negative self-talk (I am a therapist so I can’t help but pontificate a bit :)). First, I think negative self-talk is absolutely normal. Second, I think it is absolutely normal to want to rid ourselves of negative thoughts. But, I also think it is extremely difficult to stop ourselves from thinking something (e.g. Whatever you do, don’t think “giant purple gorilla right now”). Another option is to practice acceptance. That is, accept the fact that you are having a negative thought about yourself and do what you value anyway (which, by the way, is exactly what you did in this case. Easier said then done, but for more info on this check out the workbook “Get out of your head & into your life” (I don’t get any royalties from the book or anything :)).

  22. If you’ve not yet written the book on how to use personal voice in writing you should probably get on that. I could’ve used it in my days as an English Major.

    Also, as a fellow butt/thighs hater, I’m all for bringin’ back 1920s swimwear!

  23. When women stop obsessing over their looks and forget about making up their faces, then we’ll begin to have political parity. Neat and clean is enuf for both genders.

  24. you go, girl! 🙂

    i have suffered from debilitating insecurities that prevented me from fully enjoying many of the usual reindeer games like swimming, hot yoga or the simple act of staying cool on a summer day in a rad pair of shorts… until recently.

    i remember going to my first crossfit regionals event (this was before i began my own crossfit journey), watching female athletes of all shapes and sizes walk around in shorty shorts and sports bras (i was demurely cloaked in full t-shirt and capri sweatpants). i was amazed at their feats of strength, depth of heart and endurance, and THAT is what i remember about them, not what was jiggling or misshapen or odd about their bodies — and yes, even the fittest of crossfitters have those kinds of flaws, because they are human. i also recall pointing this out to my husband, that — gasp — that girl over there had cellulite just like me! to which he said, “yes, but she doesn’t care. she doesn’t let it stop her. crossfit girls let it all hang out.”

    i felt there was freedom in that sentiment and have recently (after over a year of crossfit) decided to let “most” of it hang out (i’ll keep my lady parts to myself, thank you — and you’re welcome). i wear the short shorts. i take off my shirt. i work hard. i try not to let my insecurity stop me from being the best me i can be.

    and while i think everyone should do what makes them feel comfortable, let us not forget the lesson that crossfit teaches: the only way to see real progress is to push beyond your comfort zone, get comfortable in the uncomfortable and break through the walls of perceived limitations. my fine fellow females, let’s not regard our bodies as limitations, but as conduits for greatness!

    • “…i also recall pointing this out to my husband, that — gasp — that girl over there had cellulite just like me! to which he said, “yes, but she doesn’t care. she doesn’t let it stop her. crossfit girls let it all hang out…”


  25. You gave me the courage to by my own Tiny shorts! Love them but still nervous doing deadlifts:)

  26. I’m a knee length short gal. And only if I it is too hot to wear capris and right now in Texas it is. For working out I’m a capri wearing gal. I refuse to wear shorts purely for the ride up my rear factor and capris I don’t have to adjust as much. I’m also self conscious of my wiggly areas. But I will forgo the baggy tee shirt (sadly all of my fun college date party shirts are showing their age) and will wear a tank. I do like my arms.

  27. Thanks, Liz, for writing something so honest. I can’t say I’ve been as adverse to the fitting workout gear, but I’ve become that way recently after a back surgery and subsequent three-month hiatus from any sort of actual work out has completely altered my once reasonably-fit physique (walking 45 mins a day at a 20 min/mile pace just isn’t cutting it). Eating Paleo has helped tremendously but without any sort of reasonable workout to help me keep muscle tone in my thigh and butt region, my only saving clothing grace has been SkirtSports. I wasn’t ever a “skirt” girl for workouts – skirts belonged in either the office or casual section of my wardrobe. SkirtSports, however, actually manage to make skirts look badass, athletic, and, best of all, they cover every flaw imaginable, real or perceived. As long as you get the ones that have the built in shorties, you get full coverage, no chafing, no riding up, and still stay relatively cool. I’ve put them to the test in mid-afternoon summer outings in Kansas City, and fell in love with every aspect of them 🙂

    Anyway, love the blog, love your contributions to Paleo Magazine, and so appreciate your take on Paleo in the modern world!

    • Thank you for commenting Chelsea! A fellow KC gal! I’m going to check these SkirtSports out. If they’re cute enough to be worn for non-sports activities as well, I’m sold. I wear my Lululemons for non-workout activities more than workout activities, so these should be right up my alley.

      THANK YOU again for a wonderful, self-esteem-boosting comment. You made my day 🙂

  28. Well, my lady parts have never shown…

    Great post Liz. And yes, I still have your DVD.

  29. Such an awesome post. I share the same sentiment about my thigh/butt region (self-nicknamed Quadzilla…ha) and though I finally screwed up the nerve to wear Lululemon shorts, I still am extremely self-conscious. Thanks for your honesty and saying what some people need to hear (re: lady bits popping out)!

    • Aw, thanks for reading Steph 🙂 Just today I LEFT THE HOUSE in those skintight, knee-length yoga lulus – which is a completely separate, yet still terrifying exercise in “showing stuff.” Short things and tight things both involve a level of self-exposure that I’m still not entirely comfortable with. I will get there one day!

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