Size matters

The zip on one of my favourite pairs of Levis self-destructed the other week, so time to buy a new pair.

Something I learnt working in the menswear shop during my high school and uni years was that there are an inordinate number of ways of measuring the size of a pair of trousers. There’s imperial (eg in those days I was a 32 inch waist), metric (81cm), clothing sizes (S – short for Small, as in Small, Medium, Large, Extra-large…) or the numeric size system (14), or some arcane system whose origins I have no idea about, which defined this size as 4, but also features weird nonsensical sizes like 7 1/4.

Levis have actually switched (even on their jeans made in Australia and sold locally) from metric to imperial. Maybe they think it gives them some kind of cool American chic.

Today, I’m roughly an 86cm waist, or 34 inches. Or M, 16 or 5. Easy, huh. So I’m gradually expanding, though being this size, I don’t believe I’m fat, and it hasn’t changed in quite a few years.

I was interested to read one bloke’s weightloss experiences on melb.general recently: he lost 35kg in 6 months. If I lost 35kg, I’d be wasting away, very unhealthy, but I was curious to see how many of the methods he used that I would be willing to adopt if I had to lose weight.

The full post is here. The main points are below, and before anybody I know reads this and wonders if it’s some kind of hint directed at them — it’s not, okay? I just found it interesting.

1. Low fat everything. If there is no low fat equivalent, you can’t eat it. If it has more than 10% fat, it’s gone. … If you must eat out steer everyone to Japanese, where generally sushi/sashimi is as about as lean as you can get.

Since I’m not exactly the world’s most accomplished cook, I do like my meals out. Japanese is okay every once in a while, though I’m not exactly superkeen on sushi, and there’s plenty of other genres of restaurant I like to patronise. Variety is the spice of life, you know.

And some foods simply don’t have a low fat equivalent. The super-tasty ones, principally. I also wonder if low fat necessarily means healthy.

2. Low sugar everything. Pure glucose is an enemy. It provides no nutrition and only kJ. All soft drinks, sweets etc bye bye. Articial sweetners are your friend if you are like me and need sweet fizzy stuff.

Can’t quite get there. I don’t generally have softdrinks (just the occasional Coke), but I do love my chocolate, and I’m afraid the low fat versions don’t really cut it for me.

RMIT nutritionist's opinion of Vegemite In A BiskitOne thing I may have to give up is Vegemite in a Biskit. Such a miraculous taste in a biscuit, but according to an article in the Sunday Age a few days ago they’re loaded up with just about every additive imaginable, and the nutritionist interviewed panned it comprehensively, saying he wouldn’t give it to anyone. Damn. I suppose I’ll just have to substitute it with… Vegemite on a biscuit.

Then there is the temptation of the Freddos, Caramello Koalas, and the M&M dispenser at work. All funds to charity, which makes them good, right? Right?

3. Breakfast is a must. If you skip breakfast 100,000 years of genetics kicks in and your body goes “uga boga I’m a caveman and I haven’t eaten after sleeping, that means I must slow my metabolism down and hang on to my fat cells until I can kill my next woolly mammoth”.

Apart from the historic bending of facts, no problems there: I eat breakfast pretty much every day, usually cereal and fruit, no sugar, all good stuff.

4. Control your carbs post lunch — big carbo loaded meals for a dinner are a no no. For dinner I never had pasta, rice, potato etc. All you do is energize your body up for exercise which is not coming. You have your meal of lean meat and green vegies.

No way. I love my pasta dinners! I love my Spag Bog! And my mashed potato. And rice, dammit. Well, okay, not all three in the one meal, but at least one of the three invariably features in my dinners.

It’s good that it worked for this guy, that he was able to find his own weight loss solution. I suppose that’s what everyone is looking for. I’m glad I don’t have to be so strict with my diet. I think I get a reasonable amount of exercise and probably eat healthily enough to get by. Hopefully maybe.

Ooh. Hungry now. Need a snack…

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

7 replies on “Size matters”

Daniel – it’s about $15 to get a tailor/seamstress- type person to put in a new zipper. Since they are your favourites…. just a thought.

I’m with Coralie – I’ve been at 65Kg since I was about 15 (31 now…), and the only times I’ve ever grown another chin were the times I’ve been unemployed (twice in the same period). Working in IT Support/Training, I’d estimate I walk a good 5-6Km per day, including to and from the bus stop…

Your comment, “I also wonder if low fat necessarily means healthy” hits the proverbial nail on the head!! “Low fat” foods are generally low in fat, but are also lower in nutrients because of the further processing the food goes through. They are also higher in sodium and sugars, used to enhance the flavour of the food because it has lost most of the natural flavouring through the processing.

Personally, I think that anybody who thinks that they can succeed in losing weight by eating “low fat” foods is kidding themselves by making a half-arsed attempt at it. Hmmm….too judgemental???

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