October 15, 2012

Goodbye My Big Fat Chunky Calves. Hello Knee High Boots.

Too embarrassed to claim this photo of my own “radish calves.”

A Non Surgical Way To Re-Sculpt Calves (Part One)

Hands down (or rather feet down), my regular yoga practice helped to resculpt my “chunky and plumpy” fat calves and I have boots to prove it…

For those who have big, chubby, chunky, fat, muscular, plumpy, strong, sausage calves and want (or need!) to wear knee high boots—but can’t—read how this “well heeled guru,” care of a yoga practice, is now able to wear them. Just when I thought all hope had gone.

Put yourself in my shoes. Literally. My job as a shoe designer who shopped several times a year, traveling to cities all over that are meccas for shoe and fashion designs, for all intents purposes was awesome and well paid. I created my own schedule and travel budget and got to be über creative.

Yet, every fall—when the high of arriving in one of my favorite capitals in the world was uploading into my system, as soon as “we” entered the first gorgeous shoe store—it was inevitable that I would come crashing down to a sorry-for-myself low.

Why? Because “we”—my cute, same sized five-foot-five petite footed and trim calved friend and partner in shoe shopping crime and I, with my fat sausage calves—would line up our personal selections.

And here’s where my heart ache began.

Undoubtedly during the fall season, there would be an array of boots of all heel and shaft heights. My selection would be heavier on the mid-calf or short bootie styles (pun intended) with maybe one knee high shaft boot with the widest opening plus stretch plus zipper plus every adjustment feature possible. It wasn’t the most gorgeous boot in the store, but it was the most likely to fit.

It didn’t matter how much stock I invested into my mathematical, illogical and logical thinking, it never worked out. As much as I adored my lil’ shopping colleague, whenever she zipped up or pulled on a mutually desired boot with ease, I have to admit, my “They look fantastic” was laced with envy, more envy and self-loathing.

So how did I cope seeing my sausage calves bulging over tops of boot shafts, while my shopping buddy slid her credit card with the same ease as she tried on boots? Well I used to do stuff like this…

1)  Declare how we found these great boots and then in the same breath find something to criticize… The boots look great and if it wasn’t for me, she would have never have worn them with that skirt.
2)  Pretend to be okay in the skin I’m in 90 percent of the time.
3)  Try boots on hiding from store assistants or view. Pretend to be okay in the skin I’m in.
4)  Be okay with the shorter bootie. They were always cheaper and they always made a statement. And be okay in the skin I’m in 10 percent of the time…
5)  Stretch calves, the mindless way, at every given step or moment (fail).
6)  Have sample factory room make custom boots for me (fail). When the pattern makers started laughing at the size of the paper pattern required to make me a pair of custom boots, I chose not to follow through.
7)  Plot when I sold my first container of Plank yoga mats, to schedule a calf shaving surgery that is only successfully performed in Korea, for what is endearingly termed “radish calf.” (Folks, although I’d love for you to buy more mats, I’m letting you know early on—surgery was not required.)
8)  Give up on my dream, as a shoe designer, of ever wearing a knee high boot.

The list could go on, however taking you to my lowest, chunkiest calf point misery is not my goal.

My goal is sharing with you that what they do say about yoga transforming the body, mind and soul is indeed true.

Although I didn’t believe it then. I had all but given up on the quest for the boot shaft that doth fit, however, in the fall of 2008, at the ripe old age of 41—after wondering for several months if my calves looked slimmer—I thought maybe it was time to revisit.

My ah-ha moment happened thanks to a pair of Frye Engineer boots, in grey/black ombre patent leather. I was fully prepared to open up the shaft adjustments and all. I hesitantly lowered my foot into the shaft and to my cautious surprise, my foot dropped all the way to the insole.

Just like one of the contestants in the Biggest Losers, who drops 10 plus pounds or more, my inner ego went crazy—trumpets and songs of Hallelujah were booming.

This moment turned my wardrobe world and my belief system in what’s possible upside down.

Sometimes when I share this story, I hear women tell me how they struggle to find boots that fit, since their calves are too skinny and my head wants to scream STFU (Shut The F**k Up). Having learned that most people, including myself, don’t really listen and only want to talk about their agenda, I get it.

However, skinny calf bitch, this really is not about you, this is about my many years of lack of confidence and the impact it had and no longer, has on my life.

More importantly, the reasons why I want to share this insight is a) for other women who have similar calf concerns (my goal is to get everybody to the mat) hoping this information will make a difference, and b) in my Iyengar Class yesterday, we did a series of calf stretches, which was great for the bio-mechanical benefits for pose work.

For me, the mental benefits of finally having calves that are bootable wins hands (or rather feet down) and I can’t wait to share them with you…

I don’t have the skinniest calves in the world, however I’m able to wear knee high boots and that’s what matters (to me). I know without a doubt, that this is a result of my regular yoga practice.

For those who aren’t okay with their chunky mofo plumpy calves, (you know I say this with love, as I know a lot about what you are feeling), I’ll share with you the hows and whys in my next elephant blog post.

For those of you who are okay with the skin you’re in, thanks for reading this all the way to the end. And hope you’ll check out part two.

Age 41, after yoga resculpts My Big Fat Chunky Calves, I can finally start my collection of knee-high boots…

Editor: Lynn Hasselberger

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