fat man and the comfort waistband


Creative Commons License photo credit: lucianvenutian

I have seen some good stuff written about fat man pants. What are “fat man pants”? The idea is simply that when you gain weight, you need to buy new, comfortable pants rather than walk around in your waist-cinching pantaloons. Simple enough. If you have a size 32 waist and you wear size 32, you’ll be comfortable and look fine. If you are size 32 and wear size 34, you’ll look a little puffy, maybe, but still OK. Size 34 man stuffed in size 32? Ouch, and it can get worse – size 36 trying to squeeze into those nice size 32 jeans that fit just a few Coca-Colas ago? Not a pretty sight.

But fat man pants are a big mistake. I recently felt the need to buy some new pants (always need to look presentable in the fashion-conscious accounting field…hah). I was a little bit unnerved to see that my usual size 34s were suddenly a little too tight unless I got the “comfort waistband” – a code phrase for “fat and/or bloated stretchy waistband.” It was not a proud moment for someone who lost 100 pounds.

I got a little bit lazy over the last two years.
With a baby boy and a sports injury my weightlifting and running trailed a long way back. A cold winter slowed me down even more. A pregnant wife meant that I felt like I was able to “gain a bit” since hey, she did too! That is bad thinking.

So my fat man pants moment came and passed like this: I got the comfort waistband, but I also took a hard look at my diet.
I’ve been down this road before.  I cut out bread, pasta, rice and sweets from my diet. I switched from eating toast with cream cheese in the morning to eating an omelette (few carbs, less fat). I started doing pushups and started taking the stairs again.

And you know what? Just like that, my comfort waistband slackened. I haven’t been starving myself, or doing any weird exercises: just restricting the worst of the carbs (I’ll still eat veggies and some fruits) and avoiding the easy way out of taking escalators or elevators and making sure I drink plenty of water.

My point? Weight loss is not difficult – changing your mindset is. People make it difficult by treating it as a massive project; I see people launch into diets with the fervor reserved for political campaigns. Just make a series of gradual changes. Don’t be halfhearted – you ARE making a lifestyle change – but don’t feel that you are entering a “special time” of dieting, at the end of which you will emerge thin and able to eat anything. You will not. You need to change your approach to food and exercise to match your life as it is now, not as it was before the kids or back when you had more free time or before the knees got stiff. Evolve.

And for the record, I have shed 8 pounds by doing nothing more than this.

12 comments

  • Ah, so this is the “itch” you were talking about a couple of days ago. Good for you! Sort of like most diseases, losing weight is easier if you can catch it early before it spreads. I’m right there with you and am always having to keep an eye on what I eat. So, good luck, keep it up, and keep writing. I enjoy your blog every day!

  • Agree 100%. If people stopped calling it “weight loss” and realized what a big, serious project it really is, maybe they would do better.

  • It’s very similar to finances. Once you reach your goal, you can’t go back to your old ways (at least not completely). Hitting the goal is awesome, maintaining that level of “exercise” for your finances can be difficult.

    I’ve been meaning to start running for the past, I dunno, six years. Last night I came home and jogged in our neighborhood for all of nine minutes. (Honest, we have a really steep incline that I went up first and that pretty much finished me).

    But it was a first step.

    I hope to take more tonight.

    Cheers!

  • I only WISH it were that easy for a post-menopausal woman! I have to work like crazy watching everything I eat (I don’t even remember sweets….) & changing up my exercise program frequently just to stay “even” – fortunately like “no debt plan” I live in a hilly neighborhood and have several dogs that I have begun walking one by one instead of all at once. However, keeping the fat at bay is SO much easier than having to lose it because it’s crept on. Keep at it & you’ll be back to your fighting weight before you know it!

  • For years, I didn’t even go near a scale. As long as I fit my jeans without pinching, I knew I was ok. I can see how comfort waistbands would make that trickier.

  • Hey there Brip Blap

    I think change can occur in a moment with people. All that it really takes is the mindset. Saying, “Okay. I’m going sit down (Or stand up in case of exercising?) and do this today. I am going to make this happen. I know I can and so I will succeed.” It is in that discipline, that great and visionary things are achieved.

    Thanks for the insightful comment on my site by the way. If you have time, could you hop over there and tell me if the tags are showing? I always see them in my preview… ohhh my techy uselessness… I want to hide those tags. They look so ugly lol.

    Alright man, hope all is well!

    -Greg the Coddigus

  • One of the big problems in our society is what we think of the word “diet.” For most it means some sort of restriction you put yourself on for a period of time to lose weight. Really though your diet is anything you eat throughout time. You never go off a diet! If you eat Twinkies then that’s your diet. I think the real key to health is realizing your diet fluctuates and needs to be tweaked from time to time when you see something not working right as you did. It’s not something that can be done quickly for a short period then stopped. You nailed it when you said it was a matter of changing your mindset. Great post and congrats on your weight loss.

  • Solar Yard Lights

    Absolutely agree, changing your mindset is an extremely difficult thing to do. People do jump into diets and get a little something done and then they die off. But this ain’t that bad a thing to do, jump in and jump out of diets. Every single time you jump in you gain a victory and maybe you start to see some results. When the results stop showing themselves though people start to lax off there diets and eventually the diets disappear until people see the need to go on them again.
    But when you get off a diet you learn what it was like, you know for the next time what it’ll be like. Diets are hard to set your mind too as anything else. You have to focus and know your goal and every time you think this is getting me nowhere, look in a mirror and just imagine a change. Imagine what could happen and stay focused.

  • My husband can do this too. Make a few small changes and lose 8-10lb. It’s pretty impressive actually. I honestly think it’s a lot tougher for women.

    No Debt Plan – try the couch to 5k program. It’s a lot easier to get into regular exercise when you don’t have to design the plan, just follow it.

  • Due to changes in our environment globally, we need to do exercise in daily basis for our highly stressed life. I think this is only way that we can loss some weight and lead a healthy life.

  • Did you know men can lose weight earlier in a diet program than women men usually start losing weight immediately, it can take women up to 4 weeks to start losing pounds.
    Just a littl epiece of info, loved the post

  • Menopause or menopauza symptoms can be a real problem for middle aged women. The body suffers a lot of modifications and because of other problems like urinarry stress incontinence this can prove to be a very hard period for any kind of woman. Luckily there are products like the Zoft gum or similar which help reduce these simptoms but overall it's a tough stage in any woman's life.