I’ve lost a bit of weight recently. I don’t know how much because I don’t own a set of scales, nor am I going to buy any. All I know is that my clothes don’t fit so well any more and I look a bit less cuboid-shaped.
One of my New Year’s resolutions was to move around a bit more, so I’ve been doing that and it’s pretty fun. I like to do something active outside of my usual daily foot-commutes and wandering around town four or five times a week, and it’s got to the point where I start looking forwards to it and, shock horror, enjoying it. I don’t really have any goals (I’m using the Nike philosophy of “Just Do It FFS”, albeit with a little tinkering) and I’m not on a “diet” in the traditional sense, I’m just in it for the endorphins.
Unfortunately I’ve discovered some downsides to my new-found activities, and ones that the various lifestyle, fitness and health articles and websites never seem to mention:
1. You have to buy new clothes.
Remember at the start of the new school year everyone would turn up wearing giant school uniforms because they’d eventually grow into them? I’m experiencing the opposite. Jeans that fit quite nicely a couple of months ago are starting to sag, and there’s only so much you can do with a belt. A belt will make your pants sit better on your waist, but you’re left with excess material bulging out everywhere and over the course of a few hours they’ll eventually start to droop, leaving you pulling your pants up all day. Tops start gaping in all of the wrong places, so eventually you need to bite the bullet and go… ugh… clothes shopping.
2. It’s cooolllld…
Winter and cold days are usually a smug time for me. I pride myself on being able to throw on a sweater, good trousers and a thick jacket and get on with my day while skinnier people shiver and start turning blue. We’re currently experiencing the coldest May since… some time, and I’m suffering a bit. I miss my insulating flab!
3. Being asked to share your magical secrets all of the time and only providing disappointing answers.
I’ve mentioned before that I work in a place with real people, and one thing that real people love to talk about is diets and new ways to lose weight that don’t involve the basic rules of “Eat less crap, move around a bit more”. After a while your changing shape will become noticeable, and people will demand to know how you’re doing it. They rarely like the answer. I’m sorry
4. “Give us a twirl!”
Once people start noticing that you’re not as tubby as you used to be, they will want you to show them all of the time. On a few occasions I’ve felt as though I should stand on a desk and do a little dance, or maybe do a bit of flexing and posing. Just leave me alone please, ta.
When you have low self-esteem and don’t stand out, it’s easy to go about your day unnoticed. As soon as you start feeling good it shows, which alerts creeps to your presence. It’s not flattering when you have to run the gauntlet of people standing outside the pub and leering just so you can buy some milk from Tesco, and it’s certainly not nice when some prick shouts “NICE ARSE!” when you’re running in the park. The best solution I’ve found so far is to never go out in public without my iPod, so I can pretend that a gurning old man is actually miming to Bonnie Prince Billy.
6. Elbows become weapons.
JAB! JAB JAB JAB! Hey I just found another weapon against the creeps! Maybe it’s not so bad after all.
Although I guess if you weigh (har) everything up, feeling nice and getting a bit fitter makes up for all of the crappy stuff. I guess if I have any advice it’s to just enjoy yourself. Don’t get obsessed with numbers, and accept that your weight will change throughout your life. Sometimes you’ll be lighter than you are right now, and sometimes you’ll be heavier. Just do things for the enjoyment of it, and don’t let the pursuit of apparent perfection rule your life.
Or else you’ll end up like the real people. We can’t let that happen! Have fun, enjoy the ride, be happy with even the tiniest achievements. Ta-daa!