I’ve put on weight. A (former) colleague told me when we met in a high street grocery store. Thank you for your weight? I was buying ingredients for a cake (pear and almond as it happens but there may be a clue here). I dared not look in his basket. It was nice of him to tell me so. Sometimes your best friends are the ones that tell you how it is. I noticed that he’d lost some since the last time we met. His loss was obviously my gain.
I knew really that I’d put on weight. It’s not something that happens overnight. It just gradually creeps up on you. Over the last five years perhaps my girth has been expanding. Like the trunk of a mighty oak, each year I seem to add another ring. One minute your trousers are slack and the next you’ve gone up another waist size. One minute that shirt fits snuggly and the next it must have shrunk in the wash. One minute you can feel your ribs and then it’s just too much effort to check.
I have never been slender but I am slipping slowly and hopefully not inexorably into stocky. Why worry, my size is just a number. I had to get some new clothes anyway.
Perhaps I’ve grown large on the fat of the land. I’ve become a fat cat, comfortable in the way my life has been, settled, at ease and at one with the world. I’m living the dream, like the cat that has literally got the cream. I have had my cake and eaten it.
Perhaps though, it’s not that at all. Perhaps I’m concerned about how life’s twists and turns are affecting me. None of us are getting any younger and the world seems to be a more dangerous place than when I grew up. Everything is changing too quickly and suddenly the gilt is coming off my gold-plated pension. Perhaps I’ve been comfort eating.
Whatever the reason, it has to stop. I have to reverse the expansion. I need to go into negative growth. A few quarters should see it. I need a food depression.
Weight is a complex issue yet is driven by a simple formula. More energy in than what goes out makes you fatter. More energy used than what you consume makes you thinner. I know it’s not that simple and a lot depends upon the type of food that you eat and the type of lifestyle that you lead. I certainly don’t want to become obsessed by how much I weigh and count every calorie or step that I make. I don’t want to become a gym bunny and find myself in lurid Lycra. I’m not a member of a gym, I don’t own a set of scales and I intend to keep it that way. In this case I’m going to judge things by how I feel rather than by numbers.
So starting tomorrow I’m going to walk to the shops, climb those stairs and try to eat a little less. I just need to finish this cake first.