I know I shouldn’t complain – but I’m in a crappy frame of mind today. My mood is (probably ironically) irritating me still further because I’m fully aware that in the great scheme of things how I feel is silly and unreasonable.
I always think twice about putting these kind of thoughts in print – but wherever possible I try to be open about how life makes me feel, be it good or bad.
This morning (while getting ready for an appointment) I was deciding what to wear. It’s not easy – and not because I’m a diva, but because my wardrobe is now mostly populated by coat hangers with nothing on them. There’s a big pile of folded shirts and jeans on my dining table downstairs, and the vast majority of them now look like I purchased them for comic effect when I put them on.
One shirt in particular is roomy enough to smuggle several litters of puppies through a border crossing – if that is I was inclined to embark upon a career as a puppy smuggler (I’m not).
They also suddenly seem longer than I ever realised they were before and many of them probably only need a belt with a swanky buckle to appear more ‘dressy’ than ‘shirty’. However – since I’m not planning to start shaving my legs and wearing heels just yet (although I never rule anything out) my only option is to take them to charity and replace them with new ones.
Whilst looking online for fresh sources of large (and cheap) menswear the other day I came across several news articles from early 2016. They stated that the UK department store Debenhams had started stocking shirts up to a 5XL size – and that one in nine of all of their online sales was now for men over an XXL.
There were many versions of this story in the British press but the Daily Mail managed to phrase this turn of events in its headline the most delicately and clearly attempted to be as sensitive as possible to the plight of the UK’s larger chaps.
Despite the delightful rhetoric of this publication (and others) the expanded choices offered by Debenhams do at least open up a semi reasonable avenue of cheaper clothing to men such as myself – especially ones on a very tight budget.
In my current specialist retailer’s catalogue the average price for a 5XL shirt is £40. The price for a pair of jeans is £40. A belt (wait for it – you’ll never guess) is £40.
If I decide that I need no coat, socks or underpants I can step out into the big wide world for £120 – but woe betide me if I need to change clothes. If I want to do that (unless I stand around naked for a while next to the washing machine) then this embodiment of opulent luxury adds another £80 to the cost, meaning that I’m down £200.
Debenhams in comparison have (quite nice looking) shirts that start at £18 – but I can’t try them on in store. I can only get them online, so ordering from them may well be very hit and miss. I’m a bit more worried about this than I was a few days ago.
Following my unexpected run in with a surprisingly roomy 2XL jacket in a previous post, yesterday I found a different high street shop that had a range of 3XL tops and grabbed a few off the peg to try on in a changing room.
It seems that 3XL is a size that differs wildly depending on where you go.
I’ll just say that the look they produced was not flattering, and that the tee-shirts I tried on made me think that I’d also need to source a large corset and a bra if I planned to wear them in the near future.
On the bright side if I ever wondered what having a second skin felt like – now I know.
However – everyone needs to buy clothes. I’m not daft enough to think that this is an expense or experience that everyone else doesn’t have to go through from time to time, or that these feelings of frustration when things don’t fit are unique to me.
The thing is that unlike people whose weight doesn’t fluctuate too much, I’m talking about buying (what I consider to be) expensive items that will probably last me a few months at my current rate of weight loss.
I also don’t want to not buy them and begin to look like an idiot in my current clothes.
I need practical, no-nonsense items that are smart, multi purpose and comfortable – but before I’ve even taken them off the peg I feel resentment that they represent (what I currently see as) wasted money. By the time I try them on (even before I buy them) I’ve already got a very complicated relationship with any item of clothing that I end up wearing.
I also (before anyone helpfully suggests this) can’t source any of the things I need in charity shops. They just don’t exist. I’ve looked. A lot. Ebay is also seriously hit and miss and it can be very hard to return new items that aren’t suitable or 2nd hand ones.
The objective side of me knows that today I’m looking with tunnel vision at the cloud within my silver lining.
Optimistic Davey (who unfortunately seems to be on a hiatus today) would say that it’s awesome that I’m no longer stressing about whether or not I can get rid of my fat – and that I’ve moved forward in my journey enough to be at a point where I’m instead managing the practicalities of what is essentially success.
These real world issues however (and some other unrelated stuff) are getting me down today though.
I feel added pressure to find a job for instance, not just for obvious financial and self esteem reasons but because my smart clothes are already beginning to feel big. My trousers keep sliding down (they did the other day as I stood up to leave a job interview) and I’m at the final notch on my brand new (£40) belt.
On the bright side though I can re-use the rather nice tie and comfortable shoes that I bought and buy a leather hole punch for my belt to make a new notch.
Normally around about here I’d have a literary turnaround moment where I’d look at the joyous aspects of being thinner and the added life expectancy etc – but today I just feel the pressure that only things like money and career worries can supply. I’ve lost sleep thinking about it all over the last couple of nights – and nothing will make you lose your mojo faster than having less downtime than you need.
I hope I get a better sleep tonight and wake up with a refreshed sense of perspective.
Hopefully then internet normal service will be resumed.