Fighting Weight

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I wear ‘skinny’ jeans, not because I am myself skinny (I am not) but because I am short and in standard fit jeans I have a disturbing tendency to look like Wimpy from the Popeye cartoons.  (And yes, I know what is going through your mind now – if, by chance you are old enough to know who Popeye is – and I’ve just looked it up.  J. Wellington Wimpy, the burger loving character in Popeye preceded the burger chain by three years, the latter being named after the former.  Wimpy, itself, preceded McDonald’s and it had those frankfurter sausages, scored and pulled into a circle with half a grilled tomato in the middle, that looked so enticing to an eight-year old, but surprisingly tasted exactly like any other cheap frankfurter – especially when washed down with a strawberry milkshake because nobody could afford the Ice Cream Float. Now, that’s made the whole thing worth reading hasn’t it?)  When I was skinny, being short (five seven since you ask which, when converted into metric is something like seventeen kilometres according to my calculator which has, I admit, got a couple of keys missing and a little line across the LCD which allows the display to flow across the screen at will) was not so much of a problem.  My proportions were normal, I just looked as though I was standing a little bit further back.  Now, unless I am very careful, I have a tendency to look as though somebody has dropped something heavy on my head.

Anybody who is anything short of svelte will understand the problems associated with buying clothes in which to look and feel human.  The common conception is that this all matters much less as one gets older and I must admit that I find myself much more drawn to a baggy cardie these days, but only behind my own, firmly closed door.  I have shrunk in height by about an inch since I was thirty.  I do not know whether this is normal, but, unless my tape measures have got longer, it has definitely happened.  I am what the kindly amongst you may once have labelled ‘sturdy’ with, in the wrong clothes, a tendency towards ‘porky’.  I actually weigh less now than I have for much of my adult life.  I could weigh less, but for my age.  It is a sad fact of growing older that life removes many of your available weight divisions, leaving you, by the time you reach sixty, with only ‘fat’ and ‘gaunt’.  If you manage to get your bulk down to a reasonable ‘fighting weight’, then you inevitably develop wattles that would shame the average turkey.  I personally have a neck that is twenty years older than the rest of me.  The only way to get rid of it is to ‘flesh it out’ which involves me developing a whole new set of chins, and tits that stop me running without a surgical support of some kind.  Which is why I never wear ‘skinny’ tops…

Passing through Marks & Spencer the other day, I noticed that they sell ‘skinny’ jeans in a 40 inch waist size and I started to wonder just how tall you would have to be to meet with Trades Description regulations, but then I noticed that this girth is also available with a 29 inch inside leg and I couldn’t help but wonder, just who has been messing around with this language which I fondly thought I understood…

19 thoughts on “Fighting Weight

  1. I recently took up wearing what you call over there “braces” and am more comfortable than I have been in quite a while. I was measured at 5′ 8′ tall in my Army days but I think I’m 5′ 7″ now.

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    1. Am I dreaming this, Herb, or do you call them suspenders? Suspenders over her has a quite different connotation (try ‘suspenders uk’ in Google) and the thought of you feeling comfortable in them might well amuse me for many days 😊

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      1. We do call them suspenders but I found the difference by accident one time and have waited to use it. I toyed with the idea of just saying, “I’m comfortable in suspenders these days,” but chickened out at the last minute.

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  2. It’s all a diabolical plot to keep us confused. Over here without bothering to tell anyone, some decades back sizes were changed so that 12 became 8, 10 became 6. For a short while I was happily deluded into thinking I had finally got my body under control. Yes, it is normal to lose height. I used to be tall (well for those days. People are getting taller) now I am not quite short though I have a stoop. Oh, who cares anyway. Now feet…they get bigger and mine were huge to start with.

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