Incentive Pants


I’m all about encouraging folks to have goals, and celebrating milestones and stuff. A new PR in a lift or run, a number on a scale or tape measure. That sort of thing. Achieving something feels good.

To that end, a few weeks ago, realizing that one of my pairs of jeans is beginning to wear a little thin in an inopportune location, I did some poking around the ‘tubes to try and replace one of my favorite pair, ever. I failed in that, but did end up with what I called “incentive pants” (the manufacturer, Columbia Sportswear, did not, during my relatively mild scouring of their site, appear to make the jeans I was after any longer, so I ended up going with a different style. I’m less happy with them than I would have been with what I’d been looking for, but they are a nice, lightweight denim, just not the cut or fit I was hoping to snag).

I don’t know if men’s clothing is undergoing the same sort of size creep that women’s has of late (since it tends to be boringly designated in plain old inches, I’d kind of hope this isn’t the case); thus, my IPs were intentionally at a size that ought to be “Disqualification Specification” – 30″ waist, 32″ inseam. Since the tape measure has consistently been saying my waist is about 33″ for a while, my plan was to fit into them about the same time that my abs showed up.

In the wake of dropping about five pounds of plague weight, they fit.[1] On the one hand, it’s pleasing, but on the other, it’s a bit of a disappointment – either the bar I’d set myself wasn’t high enough, or the pants (like the cake) are a lie… in either case, abs are still in hiding, the bastards. I’m very reluctant to take it up (er, down) another notch, because I don’t see myself sticking to the relatively low weight that would probably engender. If, however, I meet my body composition & development goals and it looks like that’s both attainable and sustainable in the long term, I may revisit the notion…. I’ll just make sure to buy my jeans in person, rather than online.

[1] “Fit” is a relative term, and dovetails with my dissatisfaction in the cut of the garment. Around the waist, they’re absolutely fine, but they’re cut a bit shorter in the waist (I don’t do lower-rise pants, period), and are substantially less roomy in the thigh than my usual jeans. “Relaxed Fit” is apparently the de rigeur cut for anyone who does any sort of muscle-building in the leg department.

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