Sunday, May 3, 2020

Retrospective #442: Stepping into my new trousers…

A few years ago, I took several pairs of trousers to a local tailor to have them altered. In the previous 6 months I’d lost a lot of additional weight (60+ pounds, 188 total since 2002) while fasting 2 or 3 days a week, and there were very few pants in my closet that didn’t bunch up at the waist when I cinched them in. The tailor took a look and told me, “I can take them in, but you’ll always have a big baggy seat. You really should buy some new pants.” So, that’s what I did.
My wife cautioned me not to rush into it though. She said, “Buy one pair to see how it fits. Then you’ll know what size to order going forward.” That sounded prudent. But first, so there would be no going back, I went through all my clothes in the closet and the bureau and prepared to take them to the church thrift shop and the Salvation Army. With the previous year’s tax reform, who knew if I would ever have a chance to deduct them again!
Then I took a bold step: I ordered a pair of trousers with a waist size smaller than I have bought in over half a century. Fact is, I have no idea when I last ordered pants that small. I had nothing in my closet or bureau that small and some of the clothes there were ancient! So, I placed the order and anxiously awaited its arrival.
In the meantime, I tried on a few sports jackets. One was a Magee handwoven Irish tweed that I bought in ’04 in Donegal, Ireland, and had worn only a few times. It was much too large. Then I found another tweed that I bought at Harrods in London in 1969 and that now fit perfectly! It had been relined ages ago and still looks great!
Then I went through my bureau and found a few things that now fit that I hadn’t worn in maybe 40 years. I also found a few things that I had never worn and that now would never fit. They were much too large!
Finally, I went to the front hall closet where we keep our winter clothes. A Woolrich heavy winter car coat that I had hardly ever worn was much too big, but my favorite, a 50-year old, cherry-red ski parka now fit perfectly.
The exercise of “cleaning house” was cathartic. It brought back many fond memories of times and places that I have been and things I have done: shorts and knit shirts from a long-ago vacation in Bermuda, an embroidered knit shirt that my brother gave me when I skippered his 45-foot Bristol sailboat for a week. I took my wife and her 3 daughters and their husbands for a sail out in the Bahamas. And the 2-week golf vacation to Ireland, with the “Fat Boys,” where we played 12 rounds in 12 days, more than 1 in the rain without a cart.
And all the tee shirts from everywhere, especially those that I wore when I fished for 12 years from my kayak in the ocean and in the Indian River in Florida. Everything that no longer fit went to the thrift shop or the Salvation Army store. It was very “Jungian” to clear out the past with an eye to “making room” for the future.
I was also eager to secure the weight loss in my mind and close this “fat period” from my past. I decided I wasn’t going to take out any “insurance policy” that the weight loss would be temporary and that one day I might regain the weight that I had lost. I was confident that once “there,” my weight loss would now be permanent. And I was confident that I knew how to do it, and that I would put that knowledge into practice.
This step may have been the boldest of all. Most people who lose a lot of weight, including me, have put some of it back on. But I knew now that I had found the secret: Very Low Carb all the time, mostly 1-meal a day (OMAD), with sometimes a light, all-protein-and-fat lunch, and 1 or 2 300kcal/full day fasts each week (as needed) to keep my weight within a narrow range. My program includes a glass or two of wine daily, and an occasional cocktail.
A few days later the box with the trousers arrived and, with great anticipation, I opened it and took them out of the plastic bag. I then “stood them up,” opened the waist and held them in front of me with both hands, as though I was preparing to step into them. And…the “hole,” into which I imagined I would step – right leg first – was TINY! How would I…how could I step into such a SMALL OPENING! I smiled to myself as I came to this realization. If I was going to step into my new trousers successfully, it was going to take a little practice. I would have to focus on it – pay full attention. At my age I can’t afford to break a hip! 

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