I’ve lost weight recently. Since July some 12 kilos have just evaporated. I needed to, to fit the ‘not obese’ criteria our medical
faci professionals bombard us with. And losing those bags of sugar (which is the best way I have of visualising this loss – that’s 10 to 12 bags) has been a boon. Exercise is easier; I don’t sweat as much or get out of breath going up hill as much, my ribs don’t get sore bending over. My family have had nice things to say about how I look (okay, they’re biased but I’m not about to look the proverbial gift horse in the mouth, okay?).
But there some unexpected consequences (you may say I’m naive but really I didn’t think about this) to weight loss. And while no one denies being healthy is a good thing, there ought to be a section on side effects, like on a medicine bottle. In no particular order I have noted the following;
- I now have pleated jeans – in order for me to not act like some ridiculous teen, showing off my M&S undies, I have to yank in my belt and scrunch up all this now redundant material;
- Which means I have had to buy more clothes; I don’t enjoy buying new clothes at the best of times but to do so when my existing clothes aren’t worn out is simply galling;
- This then leads to the realisation that my shirts are too baggy and all scrunched up too, my jackets can double as tents, my pullovers could house a party of refugees and even my shoes feel a bit loose – did I have fat feet? I could have sworn the podiatrist said ‘flat feet’ but maybe I misheard;
- I’ve had to knock extra holes in my belts but all that’s done is leave me with so much extra that it’s like I can wrap myself twice;
- I’ve had to borrow my son’s ski wear for a skiing holiday I have coming up soon – which if you see his taste in salopettes you’ll understand my angst – a sort of snot yellow;
- I need more clothes anyway because whereas my personalised quilting kept me warm, now I need help. It’s forcing me to shop; it’s like the retail industry promotes slimming to boost sales;
- And my bum has gone, to replaced by these hard bones. I could once sit on anything and pretty much be comfortable. Now I need to add padding;
- I sag; okay, I’ve left my fifties behind so that’s not a surprise but losing weight does rather bring home what an unrelenting mistress gravity is. My neck makes me look marsupial;
- Friends don’t know what to say; of course they notice but no one comments. I found that surprising at first. I mean I’d not said I was losing weight. I thought it was bloody obvious. Eventually I mentioned it, sort of in passing to a good friend as we went to watch some rugby. He looked utterly relieved. He assumed I’d contracted some awful wasting disease. Now I wonder if that is what everyone thinks. So I’m on the horns of a dilemma. If I say ‘hey look at me’ most of my friends will do what they’ve always done if they think I’m boasting – take the mickey mercilessly; if I don’t and they don’t comment, are they watching me to see if I’ll peg out at any moment?
- So I’ve started mentioning it, sort of casually. And happily most people are pleased… for five minutes before they start on about how did I do it and why they can’t. And it soon becomes apparent that this whole thing makes them feel just a little uncomfortable; which then makes me wonder if they wouldn’t have preferred the wasting disease; at least that way they could pity me.