Every girl needs some good ass jeans!

 Every girl needs some good ass jeans!

I don't weigh myself. At all. In fact, at this very moment, I can tell you exactly what size I am, how many shoes are on my closet floor, how many minutes of yoga I can do before I'm begging for final relaxation but there is one number I have no clue about -- my weight.

And for me, that's a good thing. It's a healthy thing. I threw my scale away years ago and I haven't looked back (or down) since. Stepping off the scale for good doesn't mean I'm not aware of my body or my size or how and where the calmness or chaos of my life is showing up. Instead, my best barometers are my favorite jeans.

Every girl needs some good ass jeans!

Sure, we can all hide inside a pair of deliciously comfy yoga pants until we catch site of ourselves in a dressing room mirror or they're hanging off our hips so much it becomes a bit of free show in the aisles of Target. But jeans, they don't lie.

Even if we work really hard to convince ourselves that the dryer or the stretch material is rebelling against us, deep down we know the skinny when the buttons dig in or you can't fit your own hand in to fetch the key from your front pocket.

Sometimes, a too-tight pair of jeans is worse than a screaming reprimand from Jillian on The Biggest Loser. And sometimes, sliding on a perfectly-formed pair of good ass jeans is the best feeling in the whole world.

I really believe that a great-fitting, fabulous feeling pair of jeans can transform a yoga pant-addicted in-denial mama into Elizabeth Hurley breezing through Notting Hill in a one quick zip. OK, that's a bit much. But really, don't you feel like an amped up version of yourself (and if that's Elizabeth Hurley, more power to you) when you're working your denim rather than pliers-zipping them or constantly yanking them up?

Of course.

First of all, find jeans that fit your body now. Not your fantasy body and not the body you had five years ago. Your body now. Stop here for what I think are the best take-away tips on finding and buying jeans that give you a boost (and not just in spirit). The advice from Stacy London on Oprah (don't laugh because she makes mamas and curvy grrrls and skinny thangs all look smokin' in their slacks) helped me find four pairs of jeans that are in heavy rotation in my wardrobe and put my old pairs to shame.

If you are losing weight or your body is changing because you've committed to strength training or other ways to get healthier, then embrace your transforming body. You might need a new pair of jeans in a few months, but is that the worst thing in the world? Don't hold off. Don't spend a ton of cash but do buy a pair of jeans that look and feel good on the body you've got today.

Second of all, find jeans that fit your life, not just your body. Do I wish I had obliques like Pink and could wear pants with a two-inch zipper? Oh hell yes. Do I? Oh no. Would I feel very good duck-walking while singing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" in incredi-lowrise jeans? Not so much.

Some questions that might get you started are:

Will these jeans give everyone on the bus a confident idea of what I do or do not wear under my jeans?

Every girl needs some good ass jeans!

Is it too risky for a cocktail server to wear a boot cut that causes one to stumble awkwardly if not wearing four-inch heels? Would it be wiser for a bike messenger to wear a skinny jean than tempt the spokes with a Three's Company Janet jean?

Is my little corner of the world ready for a revival of the Vidal Sassoons I've been saving in my hope chest all these years?

Do these faded outlines of my keys, wallet, gym membership card, lip gloss, Jackie O. sunglasses, teeth whitening strips and felafel sandwich on my jeans pockets mean that a cargo pant might better suit me?

Third, don't be afraid of getting help. And I don't mean from the fitting room attendant. I mean from what I once heard called "industrial strength underwear," which now actually no longer looks like you ganked it from your granny. If Hillary Swank and Jennifer Garner aren't afraid to admit they suck it up and wear Spanx and other garments to pull in the wobbly bits, then why should we?

Another terrific option? Pants with the slimming panel built right in to the right spots, from waist to inner though. Tummy tuck jeans are the balance to the scads of size zeros always filling up the clearance racks, now made by specialty companies and many more popular brands. The price, control and reviews for slimming jeans are as varied as the brands. You can trim your midsection with new Riders Ultra Fit Collection jeans for less than twenty bucks at WalMart or you can shell out nearly a hundred bucks for Tummy Tuck Jeans by Not Your Daughter's Jeans (NYDJ) with petite, plus-size and petite plus size pants styles that have a near cult-like following on eBay and elsewhere.

No need to spend a fortune and too much time in the fitting room on slimming jeans. The research on the many brands and styles has been done in this very helpful top ten list of road-tested tummy control jeans.

Last, grab a sharpie and your shopping bag. Write DONATE in big fat letters across one side of the bag and proclaim this new (and permanent, right?) change in your clothes. Then force yourself to fill it with every single pair of jeans that are ill-fitting or are outdated for the calendar year or your body or that don't make you feel like the gorgeous woman you are. If you aren't excited to go to brunch or the library or a poetry slam or to playgroup or on a second date or to see your therapist or to walk the dog in your jeans, put them in the bag. And then put that bag in the trunk of your car until you have time to drop them off so you are not tempted to dip into when you can't find any laundry quarters.

Do jeans make the woman? Of course not. But just like scales, I don't think we should let our denim weigh us down.

And now that you've tossed all the depression-inducing denim that you can barely sit down in, now that you don't look in the mirror and see yourself in the same droopy-bottom pants you wore to keggers in college, now that you've got some wiggle room to really do some wiggling, don't you feel good?

Here's to embracing change -- in our bodies, in our selves and honey, in our jeans!

No more buttoning up! What are your tips are for finding and fitting jeans? Have shapers or slimming jeans given you a little boost? And how are you working the denim in your active life?

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