The Wrong Trousers?

I’ve just made a lovely beef stew – and I’m sitting in the garden enjoying the smell of freshly cut grass mixing with the coriander in my dinner.

As I eat I’m thinking about the events of the last week.

My life definitely feels a bit weirder than usual at the moment.

I’m confronted with my own image everywhere in various sizes, shapes and periods of my life. People that didn’t previously know I was ever overweight have seen these and are beginning to realise who I used to be and ask me questions about my route back to health.

It’s been nice to get compliments – but I’ve also faced a lot of really direct questions – which I don’t mind.

It goes with the territory.

As usual the most common one (both online and face to face) is about what I do with the excess skin.

It’s clearly something a LOT of people worry about – but I’ll be honest and say that I’m perpetually perplexed by people’s preoccupation with this aspect of weight loss.

It seems to loom really large in almost all people’s minds.

More worryingly it actually seems to be a barrier to losing weight (or maybe an excuse not to) for some – which I find really bizarre.

Irritatingly it’s also one of those things that continually gets referenced as something that’s ‘worse for women’, or ‘it’s ok if you’re a man’ which is something I always fail to understand.

Men are no different.

Men have feelings too – and we (just like ladies) have to deal with the possibility that people might not find us attractive when they find out what lurks beneath our clothing.

I occasionally worry about the loose skin that I’m left with (it’s impossible to lose 20+ stone and not have any) but I see it the same way as I viewed gastric surgery.

I felt strongly (when faced with this being a distinct possibility) that it’s wrong to be cut open and remove huge chunks of myself – then throw them in the bin all because I lack willpower.

Probably because I felt that way about gastric sleeve surgery (which I came close to having) I also think it’s wrong to cut off excess skin that remains as a consequence of me finally finding willpower.

If I choose to do that then what I’m really saying is that I’m willing to be judged by a prospective partner from a visual perspective alone – and not because I’m someone with a mind and a personality that deserves to be loved.

The issue of skin is in a similar vein to the other comment (or variants of it) that I’ve heard a lot over the last few days.

This goes along the lines of ‘…it’s easier for men to lose weight’ or ‘…men just get on with it and always do better.’

It’s not true.

I’ve seen and spoken to plenty of men (particularly since my story went public) who’ve failed to lose weight or backslid and put loads back on just like I did many times before.

They struggle with self perception and they too worry about skin and how they will look, how they will find love, or how they will retain partners they already have.

I get the impulse to be ‘normal’.

I really do.

I also understand fears about judgement in the eyes of others and that people will recoil in shock when they see me topless or in more revealing clothes.

If I’m absolutely honest I’d dearly love to go swimming – but I can’t bring myself to do it… yet.

One day I will – but that’s something for the future.

Some things come easily – others (like this) take time.

It’s not like I’m in any rush though. There’s a lot to take in and process elsewhere – because not only am I getting an amusingly broad (and often quite strange) variety of people contacting me from all over the world on social media – but the traditional print medium still seems to be writing articles about me.

Since I’d only looked at the newspapers online to see what had gone live about me I’d not realised that the physical copies of the papers differ significantly from their web counterparts.

The Daily Star’s print article on me gave me the nickname ‘the muffin man‘ – referring to my old habit of eating two McDonald’s double sausage and egg McMuffins on the way to work every day.

I must admit I was perturbed by this for a moment – but then I thought ‘…what the hell – who cares? I’ve been public property thanks to my blog for two and a half years now and this is no different.’

What was a bit different however was how I discovered this headline.

I was told at the weekend that I’d appeared on Sky News – and although I missed the live segment today someone kindly sent me a recording of it and I watched the footage.

Not only did I see the Star’s headline but at the same time had the surreal realisation that Anne Diamond was talking about my huge old trousers and suggesting they could be re-purposed by being upended and used as a parasol.

Genuinely I didn’t see that coming – and neither did I expect to be likened to Wallace from ‘Wallace and Gromit and the Wrong Trousers’

I guess there’s humour to be found in every situation and honestly this did rather make me smile.

This afternoon there’s been more of the same ‘surrealness’.

Today I’ve been doing another interview to camera – this time in my garden for the BBC’s social media team – which I’m told will go live some time next week, although I’m not entirely sure whether this will be just on the web or will be on TV too.

Honestly I’m not in the least bit bothered which it turns out to be.

Every single time someone engages me and asks a question because I’m visible to the world it means that they’re thinking about how they can improve their own lives – and because of that there’s real and tangible value to being critically assessed by people who have never met me.

I genuinely don’t mind – I really don’t.

If I struggle to make sense of any aspect of this period in my life then all I have to do is refer to the real people with real lives and real problems that say my story has helped them.

Then it doesn’t matter.

It’s all completely worth it – because I’m helping people – just by not hiding and standing out in front of everyone and everything with no shame.

They’re not the wrong trousers internet.

They’re the RIGHT ones.

I didn’t know that when I purchased them and I had no idea they would be when I put them on – but now…

Now I realise they have power – just like I do – to inspire change.

Davey

Advertisements

29 comments

  1. I absolutely love how you can switch almost any negative now into a positive. Once anyone gains this power, no one and no thing can take them into captivity again. You are the master of your own future. And because it’s all connected with giving the same joy to others, your reward keeps multiplying. So you can give yet more.

    Did Slimming World miss an important trick in not suggesting members have a look at you blog?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely words as always Dave. I think people who sat its easier for men need to step into a Slimming World meeting with men present. He may be the only man there among 40 women – that takes some guts to do! We have a couple of men at our group and they have their ups and downs same as us women, their journeys and struggles are just as important as womens. This plan is not plain sailing for anyone whether male, female, 1stone to lose or 20! It takes willpower and a determination to change your life. The loose skin issue – it is something I very BRIEFLY worried about when I started my journey, but quickly put it out of mind as to me the benefits of losing weight far outweigh the downside of excess skin. I know my husband loved me when I weighed in at 30 stone – Im pretty sure a bit of saggy skin isn’t going to send him running for the hills. Of course for anyone meeting new partners I imagine it could be daunting but if they are worth having in your life they will understand and stick around. At the moment I dont think I will have surgery either – the excess skin will be a reminder of how far I have come and how I NEVER want to fill out that skin again! I cant say if I will stick to that of course I may change my mind further down the line but for now I am not worrying about it at all. I think you have handled your new found fame brilliantly and look forward to reading more about your incredible journey xxx thanks for sharing it with us all – you are an inspiration x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much Stacey – and I’m glad you agree about us guys going to group.

      These days I think it’s rather awesome that I get to be stuck with lots of ladies every week – but I have to say when I started it was a little daunting. In my group we’re an endangered species!

      Hopefully more will see what can be done and try to improve their lives too 👍🏽

      That said – women rock too.

      You’re living proof.

      Keep up the STERLING work 👍🏽👍🏽👍🏽

      Like

  3. Feeling pretty guilty now, after asking about your excess skin. Sorry 🙄🙄 I guess it’s something that’s on my mind for when I reach my target wait….as for the swimming..what the hell. Be proud. People will stare, let them! Jelousy breeds rudeness. I go swimming s couple of times a week with another sw member. I double dare you to join us. In fact let’s go in mass from group x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Don’t feel guilty Yvonne – it’s something that EVERYONE asks – and I’m never offended. I’m just confused by the thought process.

      Initially when it first started happening around a year ago I thought people imagined me in a ‘I bet he looks freaky now’ kind of way and that was why they asked.

      I realised after a while that they weren’t asking what they were actually saying.

      The question wasn’t ‘what do YOU do with your excess skin’ (which is always how it’s worded) and in reality meant ‘I’m worried about MY excess skin and I need to know how you cope’.

      The instances where people are looking for insight about how to deal with the issue a are just normal questions and I just matter of factly tell people my opinion hoping it helps to normalise their self image.

      Sometimes it does and other times I’m sure it doesn’t.

      The ones that really baffle me are the people who use it as a barrier to weight loss – as if in some way having loose skin is worse than being overweight and often immobile.

      At the end of the day if I can help with or change EITHER perception I’ll try – so keep asking the questions and I’ll keep answering 👍🏽🤗

      Like

  4. I went to my first swimming world meeting last night, Dave, and you’re right. There were about 20 women and only another man apart from me, and he’d recently achieved his goal weight so I’d be the only man actually trying to lose weight!

    I’ve got 2 stone 3 1/2 pounds to my goal weight which I’m hoping to shift by about November if I can manage about 2lb a week. I’m not sure if you’re meant to give yourself date targets like that but it’s nice to think I can get there in the not too dim and distant future.

    The group leader seemed very nice but I did find the initial run through of the “system” quite complex. Free foods, speed foods, healthy a and b and syns. I was slightly gutted to find out a pint was 15 syns! Anyway I’m sure I’ll get used to it.

    I’m actually going because of you. I woke up early on Sunday morning and the blog entry of you at the Ritz had just dropped into my in box. I read that and then tried to find your blog entry when you first went to slimming world and what your experience was like. It took me a while to find as you’d been writing the blog I think for a few weeks before that point, but i found it and read through your first few Saturday meeting: an interesting mix of huge weight losses and then weeks where you’d stuck to the plan but had fustratingly put a pound on. I did laugh when I saw a comment from our mutual friend Bob who pointed out the inaccuracies in the scales could be to blame – such a Bob comment! (I used to sit next to him in Maths at sixth form)

    Anyway just wanted you to know your journey has motivated me to get off my arse and lose some weight too!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I have faith – and if I’d give you one tip it’s to read the book.

        I started – heard ‘unlimited free food’ and ignored ‘speed food ratio’.

        That’s where my first gain came from and I was gutted!

        Like

    1. “Such a Bob comment…”, how very dare you :-p

      As our mutual friend Oscar said: There is only one thing worse than being talked about….

      Good luck with SW, Jim! I lost 2 stone about 7 or 8 years ago (not via SW I hasten to add) and it is no less a personal challenge to modify your life in some way to achieve it I don’t think. Progress spreadsheets and graphs help too, haha. Can’t help myself 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. If anyone is concerned about daring to wear budgie smugglers for swimming after or during weight loss, have a look at rash vests. They are very acceptable for indoor swimming and even advisable for outdoor for their sun protection. I’ve seen men and women wearing them at the local pool recently, it’s almost fashionable! A rash vest and board shorts would cover most areas of concern and I suspect the vest might act like spanx😄

    Great blog, as always, Davey. Good to see comments from people you are inspiring, you sure are making a difference to a lot of peoples lives one way or another xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are so full of wisdom, compassion and empathy, I hope somebody from SW has (or will) suggest to you that you run your own groups. You’re already helping so many people with your honesty, frankness and insight, I can’t help but think any SW group would be super-lucky to have you as their leader.

    An aside… I was fascinated that in all those newspaper articles, you are outed as a ‘call centre manager’. Up until now, I had no idea what you did for a living. It seems we have some common ground, as I spent many, many years selling and then marketing the big-ticket technology/solutions (not that word!) for… call centres. 😱🤯🤪

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I worked in a large multinational telecommunications company for many many years and ended up being made redundant from there in 2016. At the time I was managing a number of network technicians.

      Currently I’m once again in a similar role, but without IT being involved.

      I did look into franchise opportunities and it’s always a possibility for the future – however I’d dearly love to make writing my thing.

      Who knows what the future holds!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are a very talented writer, particularly skilled at communicating the emotional aspects of your experience. Writing is already your thing! Onward and upward ☺️.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Well said Dave, lovely to see you are keeping your head and being true to yourself. Very well done. I know what an inspiration you are to all of us in the 3.30 Monday group. I knew I could do it because you did, and I know my husband will get there soon too. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Dave, did you receive my comment from last night re one of your posts from 2016? I had a password issue so I am wondering if it is lost in the ether x

    Liked by 1 person

  9. This post just made me so happy! I am so glad you realized that a bit of lose skin won’t make much of a difference and won’t send a potential partner that is really into you running for the hills 😀

    Once again, I am super proud of you and really happy for you. Enjoy all the buzz 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the post, insightful as always and especially the reference to Wallace & Gromit. Crackin! ✋🤚( shame they don’t have hands with the fingers folded down like Wallace).

    If there is anything you want to do, I say why not do it. Who is anyone to pass comment on you. You are a very different man to the one you used to be.

    Interestingly I have been catching up on your old posts. I started reading them last year from the beginning and also in real time. Then for one reason or another I didn’t finish reading the old ones so yesterday decided to carry on where I left off. On December the 16th 2016 you included this statement
    ‘None of the lovely ladies there need to be subjected to my expansive underpants just yet. I’m a long way from feeling confident enough to stand in front of a room full of people in just my trunks’.

    This was written as you were talking about a lady who had got weighed in her pants and vest and the following day you were celebrating losing 9 stone. That was 18 months ago!! Since then you have lost a further 11 stone, are SW man of the year and no longer need expansive trunks. The clock is ticking. How much more time do you need before you can cross swimming 🏊‍♂️ off your list. Only you know the answer to that.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oooeer Mrs! I bet the ladies at group were pleased about that 😄. Well done you. That is progress.

    We have a man at group who has lost 3 stones so far and his trousers have been slipping a bit. Our consultant has said to him he needs to get a tighter belt. I think he might be showing us his pants soon. I don’t think he would mind. He is quite a character. A few weeks ago he really made me laugh when talking about the support from his sister. He said if there was indeed Slimming World police, she would be the Commandant 😂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s