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

Via Doreen Hing
on Oct 15, 2012
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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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About Doreen Hing

Doreen Hing, AKA, The Well-Heeled Guru, is a repenting Elitist Fashionista & Serial Upgrader who delights in the beauty of well designed and mindful products & services. She believes conscious consumerism has the power to shift perspectives, to enhance and move societies’ forward. The WHG recently dropped the ‘Elitist’ and prefers to share the how-to, where’s & why’s of an upgraded, well human being lifestyle, hence Plank her yoga lifestyle brand. The voice is an unapologetic, ironic Brit and through her discoveries of Ridiculous Body Awareness on her yoga mat, the results are almost incredulous, yet real & immediate. Hands or feet down, her goal is to get everybody to the mat to experience their own power & self-healing through their own Ridiculous Body Awareness…


20 Responses to “Goodbye My Big Fat Chunky Calves. Hello Knee High Boots.”

  1. shaydewey says:

    Frye boots are the answer, I like the scrunchy heeled ones, I have four pair and keep getting them resoled

  2. Agreed. I love my Frye boots. I also love that yoga was where I learned to make peace with my body. Big calves and all.

  3. Vision_Quest2 says:

    This may sound un-yogically-PC, but score one for our team!

  4. Good tastes… When I came to America & discovered Frye boots, it was heartbreaking that it took me from 1995-2008 to actually be able to fit into a pair, never mind own a pair or 4. I too resole reheel them continually… They are my go-to & go-from studio footwear…

  5. Yes making peace with one's body, does save a lot of grief. Also knowing with a lil' regular practice, transformation is possible in its own time… Yay to another Frye Fan…

  6. Well, see there, that's actually what I take issue with. For me, yoga was a transformation away from disordered eating and self-harm. Weight loss and gain when one's body is out of balance, sure, that can be a very good thing. But reducing the point a yoga practice to transforming your legs saddens me.

  7. Thank you for sharing what you've struggled with. I'm sorry that you're sad that I managed to overcome something that caused me much sadness. I'm thrilled too that you have come to peace with whatever caused you suffering as a result of your yoga practice. People come to yoga for many reasons, for me, health, weightloss, strength, self healing and amazing powerful fitness, are all the benefits I have personally witnessed and experienced. What is success for me, is self confidence and it will be different for others. I wish you could be happy for me, but that's Ok if you can't too… I hope you read my follow up post, which will explain more of how the transformation affects the whole being, including the mind… For me, I need small success stories to either enter, commit fully or to keep going, when things plateau…

  8. Vision_Quest2 says:

    … and I need cross-training, to keep returning to yoga … (I am someone who gets to exercise more-or-less on a fluke, however–too busy/no privacy/no breaks surrounding my job and my long commute)

  9. shaydewey says:

    I too have the huge calf muscles. I think more boot makers should have liberal sizing because some of us played sports as a child and don't have little flamingo muscles. I know this is not a small problem because I see people squeezed into boots all the time, even when they have otherwise slim bodies.

  10. Vision_Quest2 says:

    Pretty non-athletic, myself. As a kid, I'd drunk a lot of milk and lived in a 4th floor walk-up apartment. So maybe all the stair-climbing was part of the "culprit". Whether developed or undeveloped, these calves have always been large … even now at my older age …

  11. Hi Shay, you know I know a little of what you are feeling. As a shoe designer, the decision for shoe makers to make the shafts wider is challenging, cos as I mentioned when I asked the sample factory to make a custom pair of boots for me, the paper pattern was huge. What that means for the leather or material used, it means that the boot would have used 3-3.5 times more material than ta regular boot shaft, and this obviously has an impact on pricing.
    If you have a yoga practice, in the next post I'll be sharing some poses, tools and specifically what was different about the instruction, that made a difference for me. I'm not saying it happened over night or this was the goal, however it was a surprising benefit & I hope it will at least make you aware of somethings you could add to your practice…

  12. Hi Vision Quest, climbing stairs or wearing heels will definitely tighten the calf. I have no idea about the effects of milk. All I know, is I wish I had know the many different ways that yoga stretches the calf whilst I was growing up. The good thing to know is that the body can learn new ways to use and stretch the muscles at any age. Since yoga asks us to use muscles, bones and the body differently than we are used to, yoga can correct the bad habits that we are teaching our bodies to participate in…

  13. theotherD says:

    Although your memory is slightly different than mine, I found great humor in your post- and as your aforementioned "shopping partner in crime" I feel nothing but love when thinking back on that part of our lives. I did experience your disappointment and frustration firsthand regarding the 'calf issue', just as I'm sure you sympathize with the issues that everyone else struggles with, as well. I love that you are feeling the awesome sense of accomplishment and am sure the metaphor of that is not lost on you… whether it's through yoga or meditation or therapy or some other form of exercise, letting go of the 'ties that bind' opens us up to a whole different level of comfort- mind, calves and soul…! loveyoulove
    (i also lu-u-r-r-v-e my plank mats…)

  14. HELLO my shopping partner in crime, please forgive any criticism at the result of my lack of self confidence… We had such great fun shopping together, discovering the world through shoes… I learnt a lot with you and because of you. Thank you, for being the best shopping partner & friend in crime, ever… Lots of love to you & yours… Dxx

  15. Hi you damsels dashing in boots. can’t say that shopping was ever anything joyous or fun – no matter what I was buying – forr most of my life. Ok some exceptions were buying a size 6 leather jacket after losing 20 pounds and shopping at the age of 14 at a department store for beautiful dresses to get ready for private school. At that point I had a figure that basically fit anything that I looked atand liked. ironically my legs were the only skinny part of my body that I never had it any problem fitting shoes or boots into. . it has taken a good 40 years to get to the point where I’ve decided that it’s the job of the dress or the clothes to fit my body rather than my job to fit into the clothes.

  16. Amanda says:

    So where's part 2?!!

  17. HI Amanda, thanks for the nudge, I'm working on Chunky Calves no more, part 2…

  18. Slim boots says:

    Well, I think there is one more option for the chunky calves. You can also go with wide calf boots.

  19. Alia says:

    Is part 2 ever gonna be finished?

  20. Deislav says:

    sorry for being so open, but I actually have fetish for that type/size and shape of calves!