Thigh Gap For Chubby Women

If you pay attention to vapid twenty-somethings, you might have heard of the quest for “thigh gap,” which is basically the space between your thighs when you’re standing with your feet together. But that’s not what I’m talking about.

If you’ve got some meat on your bones, you know what it feels like to leave the house on a hot day in a pretty skirt, walk a block, and then run back home to change into shorts. I don’t know about you, but my idea of a fun summer day doesn’t involve icing my burning, chafed thighs. And yes, I’ve tried Body Glide – it’s not up to the challenge, unless you want to reapply every ten minutes.

Last summer I had a bit of a breakthrough. I was still going strong on the FastDiet, but wasn’t training for any long races (I tend to gain weight when I do a lot of running – I eat like a maniac). I was at my lowest weight in more than a decade.

My husband and I went away to Rhode Island for a long weekend, and I packed several cute dresses for our planned fancy dinners.


Bicycle shorts of shame

When it was time to head into town for our dinner reservation the first night, I put on a dress and reached for my bicycle shorts. And then I reconsidered. I’d lost some weight. Was it enough to keep my thighs from rubbing together painfully during the 20 minute walk from our hotel to the restaurant?

I gave it a try. And when I got to the restaurant chafe-free, I was giddy! And I had an entire summer without bicycle shorts (except when I was actually on a bicycle).

But right now I’m seven or eight pounds heavier than I was last summer. And while that hasn’t made much of a difference in how I look, it was just enough to reverse last summer’s thigh gap victory. That really hit home this past weekend when I was waddling around water parks in a bathing suit.

And this is really highlighting for me how weight loss is not about a number, it’s about how I feel. Sure, I have an ending number in mind, but it’s not a magic number that I picked out of the air. I remember how I felt last time I weighed that number, how going clothes shopping was fun because clothes fit properly.

And my bike shorts were only for biking.


  1. Cara Robinson says

    I stand by my theory that if you got rid of all the junk food in your house you would lose weight (and alter your behavior around food in the process without even trying) because your self-proclaimed laziness (and those that know you, know you would not be offended by this…hence the self-proclaimed!!!) would prevent you from heading out to a store to get more (Don’t lecture me about my run on sentence…stay focused ha ha ha). Now I know that this wouldn’t prevent you from eating it when you were out and about but lets not forget how much time you spend at home because of your occupation. I know you think you would hate it and can think of a million reasons why it wouldn’t work but mostly I think you are terrified by the idea of not having this food around you. I am offering this up to you as a CHALLENGE! I know you like challenges :)and is it really that crazy? I mean I’m talking to the girl who tried to alter her sleeping schedule to get more hours out of the day. so there you have it….I put you on my couch for ten minutes :)

    • says

      @Cara Robinson: Sorry Cara, I know you mean well, but we just have totally different relationships with food. I did live like that for five months once and HATED it. All I did was think about the food I wasn’t having. The thing I’m trying to control is not WHAT I eat, but HOW MUCH I eat. If left to my own devices I tend to shovel in food until I’m sick to my stomach. Would not eating junk change the way my brain deals with food and cravings? Probably. But it’s not worth it to me. I know you won’t understand, just like I can’t understand how someone could be anorexic or spend four hours in a gym. If it were all about how I looked I would be 120 pounds right now. It’s much more important to me to be happy, and maybe because I didn’t grow up in a leotard being judged constantly on how I looked, being thin does not make me happy if to get there I have to give up the things I love. What does make me happy is little things like my thighs not rubbing together. If I can find a way to get there without clearing my house of potato chips, that will make me ecstatic. Like I said, I don’t expect you to understand – you’ve always seemed to make being very fit a priority in a way that I just can’t bring myself to care enough about.

      • Alissa W says

        @Amy Oztan: I don’t know how it feels not have my thighs rub together. Do you feel the wind instead of the burn? As I roll into my 40’s, I’m getting better in my relationship with food. There’s no good food or bad food, it’s all just food. What I love about my 40’s is I’ll eat those 2 pieces of cake, and don’t feel guilty or feel the urge to work it off. I stay comfortable in my decisions and at peace with chocolate cake in my belly.

        • says

          @Alissa W: Oh, I’ve never felt wind! Even when I’m thin my body just isn’t shaped that way. No, for me it’s just enough room for my thighs to pass each other nicely, instead of rubbing and causing friction. But they still touch. They’ll always touch.

  2. says

    The weird thing is, I never chafe whether I’m thin or heavy, and Dave said he did more when he was training and had more muscle. I wonder if a person’s gait/muscle/posture has something to do with it too.

      • says

        @Amy Oztan: But then it didn’t happen when you lost more, and did when you gained a little back, or do I have that backwards? Anyhow, doesn’t matter — it sounds cruddy, whenever it happens. Having said that, I like the idea of bicycle shorts for underneath summer dresses, especially shorter ones, because I’m always afraid the darn things are going to go flying up.

        • says

          @Toni: There’s a window of about 35 pounds where I get the dreaded rub. Under about 165, I’m fine. Over 200, I’m also fine, because my thighs are just too big for anything to slip past anything. But in the middle, it’s rashy torture. I hate wearing the shorts underneath in hot weather because I just don’t want an extra layer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *