Most people measure weight loss with a scale. Most people measure fat loss with a measuring tape. I’m not one of those people. I measure weight loss and fat loss with my belt (also called a waist belt).
I can’t be arsed (I love to use that non-American slang word) to step on a scale and I can’t be arsed to have someone wrap a measuring tape around my waist. Neither of those tools are correct anyway, not when it comes to obesity.
Way, way back, when I was a young whippersnapper in the United States Marine Corps, I was underweight. Yes, underweight. My best weight has always been about 190 pounds and back then, I was lucky to reach 160 pounds. As my father liked to say, I was poor to carry it. Okay, let me explain that since it took me years to figure it out. It meant it took more energy to carry the food that I was eating than what I was eating provided for me.
When I was a young marine, I worked out all the time. I ran, I did calisthenics, I lifted weights. None of it ever added any weight to my frame. It added a lot of muscle tissue, however, and that’s where my weight loss story began. I sported a lean frame for years, until I was well past 35. I had huge abdominal muscles, more than a six-pack. Later on, those muscles would be my undoing.
When I got older, fat started accumulating on top of my abs. I looked like I had a beer belly when in reality, there really wasn’t that much fat. Flabby muscles are what I ended up with. Today, I don’t have a six-pack. I have the whole damn case. Nevertheless, I still look pretty good for a man at nearly 55. Still, I want to look better by the time I’m a man of 65.
I can tell when I’ve gained weight or lost weight by how far I have to tighten my belt. Yes, really. When you wear a leather belt for any long period, a little hump appears where you notch it. If you have to use a hole closer to the tip than that notch, you’ve gained weight. If you have to use a hole closer to the buckle than that notch, you’ve lost weight. Trust me, it’s as effective as a scale and a measuring tape combined.
You can usually tell if a man is fat or not by the size of the waist on his trousers (also called pants or britches). At a height of about six feet (five-ten to six-two included), anything over a size 36 waist (in the United States) is fat. End of story. I’m at five feet, 10 inches and I wear a 38. Yes, I’m fat. But then, I have to cinch up the belt because I probably should be wearing a 36. I have an old pair of black jeans that are 36×30. I can wear them now, but they’re not presentable. I’ll wear them in the house and nowhere else.
I know I should be wearing a 36 because if I forget to cinch up the 38s I’m wearing and I start walking, I have to hike them back up to my waist. Yes, because if I don’t, my trousers will fall to the floor. And yes, I accidentally tested that theory, amusing some of my very young nieces and nephews.
By: RT Cunningham
April 25, 2015
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