Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Saved the Granny Panties

All this time, I have had a secret lurking in my underwear drawer. For the past three years, as I culled my Fat Clothes and got rid of the pants that were ten sizes too big and the 3X-4X shirts, I never really got rid of the too-big underwear. I mean, hey, it is underwear... no one sees it, it can fit for a long time, and besides, what do you do with the pretty ones that no longer fit? It is easy to toss the ugly, ratty ones in the trash but what about the silky ones in colors I liked? I didn't feel right about trying to sell them with my other fat clothes on Craigslist... just too weird. And even the not-so-pretty ones stayed in the drawer "in case of emergency." As a result, my underwear drawer has started to overflow with five sizes of panties. Crazy.

I remember back when I was 278 pounds and went shopping for new panties. For more than a decade I'd been using a brand that was only sized by measurement (and was wearing ones that were too small and rather old) so when I finally went to the store to buy some normal ones, I remember being so pleased with myself for fitting into a size 14! Wow, I wasn't fat at all... size 14 was skinny, right? I wore size 14 jeans when I was relatively thin. Little did I know that underwear is NOT sized like jeans. I still don't really understand it, but as close as I can figure, your panty size is about HALF your jean size. Thus when I was in 26/28 pants I wore size 14 underwear. But I thought I was thin. Oh, the mind games we play.

I had some 15's, too. But as I lost weight my sizes have gone down... 15, 14, 12, 10, 9, 8, going on 7. Sevens looks *dramatically* different from even 10's, let me tell you. The bigger sizes had enough fabric to make a small pillowcase out of, but as the sizes decrease, not only is the waistband smaller but the amount of fabric is, too. I actually feel like a normal person when I pull out my underwear to put on, rather than like I am gathering the sail from a boat that I have to fold into sixths to put away.

All this is great, but what is odd is that all this time, I kept the granny panties. Like I said, I didn't know what to do with them. Some were 'too nice' to throw away. But today I was digging around in there are couldn't find the right size. It is just ridiculous to hang onto all of those panties that are so huge. Even on the rare occasion (late laundry day) when I resorted to wearing the big ones, they felt like I was wearing boxer shorts under my pants. The amount of fabric is just not doable and the edges threaten to hang out over my waistband in scrunched folds. I look like I have a muffin top but it's just extra underwear sticking out.

So today I purged the drawer. I sorted out everything from oversized 10's to 14's and made a pile. It was strangely difficult to do this. Some of these panties I *thought* were very pretty when I bought them, but seriously, two of me could fit in them now. So I took a good dozen of them and threw them in the trash. It made me kind of sad in a hard-to-describe way. In fact, I actually saved 4 pairs of rather large size 10's and stuck them in the back of the drawer 'just in case.' I guess I will purge them later, when I get my head around it.

All this time I had the granny panties in there and it was some kind of way for me to hold onto the past. It was the one part of my wardrobe that was familiar and comforting, that I didn't have to get rid of as I lost the weight. As I sold my jeans, my sweaters, my dresses that held many memories, I hung onto those silly panties because they were the *only* thing that didn't change, even if I never wore them. I'd look in the closet and everything was unfamiliar, but open the underwear drawer and see what I've always seen. It was an odd comfort.

I am getting better at letting go and accepting the changes in my body and my life. This process has been wonderful and terrifying all at once, but because I have taken it slowly and carefully, listening to my feelings and being aware of the evolution of my thoughts, it has been successful. And I feel great about that.

The 20 bras in the Rubbermaid tote in 8 sizes? That's another matter for another day :)


Andra said...

This post made me LOL. Purging the closet is awesome. I loved when I got rid of my circus tent undies.

My granny pants that I wear with my pajamas now are my "skinny" undies from when I lost my first big chunk of weight. They are too comfy to part with at the moment. When they start to fall off, though, I will have to wear my current "skinny" undies as my granny pants.

Debbie said...

I will be glad when I can get rid of the granny panties. I have lost 30 lbs so far though. They are getting loose. I love this post. lol..

Helen said...

OMG I wish you could get those panties back! I think a photo collage of all the different sizes would be a great thing to have. Or line them up side by side and take a photo of the progression.

But congrats - you have come a very long way!

Splurgie said...

When I finally lose all the weight I need to and my panties are too big, I'll sew up the legs and use them for lawn and leaf bags.

Christine said...

I *JUST* posted about my own underwear conundrum this week!! Great minds think alike! LOL! I had underwear that I could pull up past my breasts, they were THAT BIG. Yikes.

So yeah...I can totally relate.

Annie said...

LOL @ Splugie's comment!

I can relate. My undies are getting too big, too. I'm not sure if I'm ready to get rid of them, though. I've tossed pants and some shirts, but why not the undies?! Strange how our minds work!

Vee said...

Lyn: I'm just now getting to where my huge granny panties are getting too big. Have to keep pulling them up. Hadn't gotten to the thought process yet of whether or not (or when) to purge my clothes. Some I won't ever get rid of, like pregnancy clothes, wedding outfit, a favorite dress, but didn't even think about my panties and certainly not the bras that are finally fitting without huge folds of fat hanging over the edges.

You've given me something to think about. Ah darn it! I have no time for my own introspection today!

Vee at

Leslie said...

Splurgie's comment cracked me up...lawn and leaf bags indeed. Great and amusing post. Great that you're purging the drawers - hahahaha - literally! (just saw that:)) And truly, underwear is really not something to donate or try to sell, unless it's still got the tags attached and never worn. Another reward for you of your hard work, Lyn!

Pubsgal said...

You know what I had the hardest time getting rid of? My maternity underwear. Heavens, those were comfy! Ugly as all get-out--I could pull them up to my bra post-partum, but oh so comfy!

I think the hard part for me is just the throwing away. Clothes I can donate or sell, but textile recycling is really hard to find. (Although there is a textile recycling event in San Mateo August 28-29, so I'm in luck!)

beerab said...

Hey that's a great non-scale victory IMO!

I wear 7/8s right now. I guess that makes sense since I'm a 14/16 in jeans depending on the brand.

Pamela said...

LOL to Helen..

But I think Josh Groban sang it best - "You're still you, after all, you're still you.."

Congrats..Like everyone else I get every single word! Slimslampam

Anonymous said...

This post made my day! My husband doesn't understand why I'm holding on to all mine that clearly are way too big and are making my drawers overflow. Maybe I'll have to take a page from your book and do the purge :P

Lori said...

Funny you should post a blog about panties today, since I pulled out a pair this morning I didn't recognize. They were from a previous thin time in my life. I thought I'd put them on to see how much longer until they fit. I'm wearing them!!

I had no problem tossing my panties once they got to big. I rather enjoyed taking them off and tossing them in the trash. I did get one last wearing out of them.

Now, the bras are another story entirely. I'm still wearing the old ones on the last hook with the straps all the way pulled up! If I raise my arm up over my head too quickly, my bra comes along for the ride!!

christina said...

I have lost 40 lbs since January and I was still wearing the same bras and underware without evening thinking about it. One morning I woke up and said this isnt right! SO I went and bought some cute underware and new comfy much smaller underware and I went and actually got sized for bras. I was wearing a 42DDD... my new size... 38D... that is a cute difference and wow the lift is so much nicer!

screwdestiny said...

Oh dear, Lyn, it sounds like you need an underwear drawer makeover! Now that you've parted with most of the old ones that didn't even fit, it's time to get some new, pretty ones! I do understand how it can be hard to get rid of panties and bras though. I never keep ones that don't fit, but they do get old after a while, and then it's really hard for me to part with them because I LOVE cute panties and bras.

But I'm wondering, where are you getting underwear that's sized so strangely? I mostly shop at Victoria's Secret, and they just have the S, M, L, XL, etc. So that's normal. But sometimes I'll get stuff from Wal-Mart, too, and they have number sizes, but it's pretty consistent with the size of pants I wear. I've never heard of the sizing being all weird...

Lyn said...


I just usually get them at whatever department store I am at. Walmart, Shopko, etc. I got the larger sizes at Catherine's. But the ones I wear now are just regular ones from Shopko and they are 7s and 8s. I think Hanes does theirs as S, M, L, XL and an 8 is an XL.

Fat Grump said...

I look forward to the day when I can throw my big knickers out. What a nice feeling that must be. Sadly, not so long ago I used to wear skimpy, slinky undies, and as I grew I started buying plain cotton knickers..and they got bigger and bigger. Bikini styled ones were too uncomfortable...then bigger midi ones just didn't fit right. In the end I plumped for comfort over vanity and big waist-height cotton knickers (a la Bridget Jones)hanging on the washing line to dry remind me that I AM becoming my mother. I never thought I'd see the day when my big knickers looked like the sort of things old ladies would wear. I kept my good stuff. Lots of incentive to slim down and wear pretty things again one day! Your post has just made me realise that I am buying bigger and bigger clothes to wear and thinking about comfort rather than style. I shall definitely have to shift some of this weight. I feel quite depressed! LOL :)

Steelers6 said...

Lyn, good for you. I'm proud of ya girl.

I don't know what is my deal, but it has been hard for me to part with things too. I guess it is partly what Pubsgal says about donating vs throwing away, (you can kind of handle it if you know it is going to help someone vs trash) but the reality is even donating to good causes is hard for me too. But, yeah, throwing away 'perfectly good' panties is hard.

I think I am doing ok with purging stuff throughout my journey though. (I don't have a rubbermaid tub of bras.......haha)

You have hilarious commenters. Helen's idea of a picture of the evolution of panties is a riot. And lawn & leaf bags...bahhahaaa.


Joy said...

This is a great post!!!

My problem is, I can't figure out how to throw them away.

Do you do it when they are dirty? ACK - what if they fall out of the garbage truck?

Or do you throw them away clean? HUM...I hate to toss out perfectly good laundry.

It's been something I've been thinking about for a long time!!!

"Leaf bags" ~~~ hahahahahaha!!!!!


Anonymous said...

I didn't throw mine away either when I lost 100 lbs, but now I'm glad I didn't because I'm 3 months pregnant and don't have to buy bigger undies as I "expand" again. Ha! Congrats on getting them out of your house, though. It's hard parting with familiar clothes.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to purging my wardrobe as soon as I can fit smaller clothes. I'm not going to hang on to any clothes that might allow me to easily dress myself if I start to regain weight.

Carboholic said...

This is a great post and I can relate to it so much! I have panties in my drawer that are way too big. Ones that I wore when I fit into a size 24 (I'm now an 18), but like you said, no one sees them. I would purge my drawer but I wouldn't have anything left!


Kristi-Bisti said...

Wow, sounds like you've hit on something very pervasive -

"underwear tossing phobia"

I too have kept my bloomers from 135lbs ago. I hearted them so much. I got them from Junonia and they wicked away the sweat during the hot summer months. They are so durable and still in such good shape. I really do hate the thought of throwing them out.

Hey does anyone out there want some great quality wicking underwear that will fit anywhere from 240 to 300lbs?!?!?!? LOL!

Great post, Lyn.

Practical Parsimony said...

Oh dear, I had underwear on my mind today. I weigh 262 and wear a size 10. Yes, I am trying to lose weight. But, the panties are wearing out fast, and I don't ever want to wear this size again. However, when old cotton panties are past use, cut a rectangle of cloth from the front and back. Now, you have cleaning cloths, dust clothes, a cloth to throw away after a gross clean-up.

Yes, you can donate or sell panties. I put panties in a yard sale about 30 years ago and put 25 cents on them. They sold first and fast. Also, freshly laundered, not stained panties might be appreciated by a women's shelter or taken by a thrift store. Yes, they do sell panties. And, not all have the labels. You never know how much someone will appreciate what you don't need.

Cotton panties can be composted, btw.

Love this blog.