Online Shopping for 2XLT

Shopping Locally for Breakfast!

I have no idea why, but there are actually skinny people who read my blog from time to time. While many of these kind folk sympathise, some of them find it difficult to truly empathise with the predicaments we larger folk face. This post should give them a chuckle. It makes me want to throw up! But that’s the kind of motivational kick in the pants I need every now & then.

Let me start out by saying that I am a big supporter of the idea of shopping local. I prefer to buy local products, from farmers & producers as close to me as possible. Now, during the Canadian winter, that may mean my neighbours in California & Mexico for some products, but still. I’m even willing to pay more (not to a ridiculous extent, of course!) to support my local community. Along with that, I try to buy from local brick & mortar stores. They pay rent & taxes locally, & they employ local folk. All of which makes a contribution to bettering the community I live in. I still go to the checkouts that have real people & not those automated checkouts. That’s all true until it comes to shopping for clothes for a fat guy!

Despite the growing girth of the population at large (😜😁😂), it is pretty challenging for a fat guy to get reasonably well fitting clothes, at reasonable prices, on Main Street. In my case, I “stock” about four different sizes of pants in the closet. That covers an 8″ range of waist sizes, with a 3″ variation on inseam length. I also have a compliment of shirts that run from large through 2XLT. I must admit that the low end of my clothing inventory is a little optimistic. And perhaps a little nostalgic!

Now normal people might have missed the nuances of the size variations here. Inseam variations? Tall & standard length shirts? Why?

An expanding gut wreaks havoc with sizing. Along with the larger waistband, we have to make a serious decision. Do we let the waistband fall below the bulge? Or do we go bigger & pull it up over the tire? No, the latter is not an option, so we drop it! That means that we need a shorter rise, lest we want to look like those kids with the crotch of the pants hanging between their knees. And we need a shorter inseam to match. Of course, that also means that our standard length shirts run the risk of disengaging from the waistband. After all, they now have to circumvent the belly. And the waistband is suddenly further away. So now we need tall shirt lengths too. Crop tops may look cute on flat bellied teens but a bare & bulging midriff on a middle aged fat guy? Not so much! Shopping has just become a big deal for anyone that crosses that line. I wonder if larger women have similar shopping challenges?

You skinny people go in to your favourite big box store, grab a nice pair of jeans, on sale, check the leg length, & you’re good to go. I go in & root through the entire stack to find the one & only pair of pants with the correct waist size. If I’m lucky. Then I take that to my local tailor to have it hemmed to the correct length. Yes, I know there’s more material in the bigger size but the cost penalty is often disproportionately huge. Especially if we have to resort to the big guy clothing store.

Enter online shopping!

I’m a big fan of Amazon. Is there anything that you can’t find on there? I can get my tall shirts. I can get my large pants. With the correct inseam length. The shipping is free. And I can sometimes even find stuff on sale! I love my local stores but, on occasion, the costs & the pain are just a little too much to bear.

To be honest, I’m a bit of a Jeff Bezos fan. He’s one of those people that is on my list of famous people that I’d like to have dinner with. Since he announced that 10 billion dollar Bezos Earth Fund, I’m feeling a little less guilty about not doing all my shopping locally. I’ll certainly continue to buy my food from local sources. And maybe that will help me lose the weight. So I can go back to shopping for normal sized clothes again. Locally!

PS … Today is the first national “I Read Canadian” day! In Canada, the market share for Canadian authors has been halved over the past decade & a Canadian initiative is trying to reverse that trend. You can learn more about the program here.

I know most of my regular reader are tired of hearing this but … I am one of those Canadian writers! And, to boot, Amazon print on demand titles are now printed in Canada. If you’ve already bought a copy of my book, thank you. If you haven’t, please do. And if it’s just not your cup of tea, please share this link with your friends for me.

There are more in the works but nothing close enough to be worth talking about yet.

A Wry Eye on Snow

Casting a wry eye on winter’s beauty!

A softer mantle blankets all,
The earth a virgin white.
One of nature’s wonders,
The crystal snowflake’s flight.
A winter’s day, so dull & grey,
By magic, made so bright!

Despite the gentle words I use,
To praise this wonderous sight.
I’m really not a fan of snow,
In fact I think it’s shite!

Paul Walsh ©2020

Dieting at APEX 2020

Carbs anyone!?!

Last week was our annual visit to the IPC APEX Expo, in San Diego. Those who attend this event regularly, particularly those of us from the winter-ridden northern part of the continent, will be chuckling at the idea of “dieting” in San Diego. Along with a much needed infusion of vitamin D from the Californian sun, we get to eat a little differently too. The huge influence of Mexico on the cuisine of San Diego, one of America’s most beautiful cities, is hard to ignore. And I didn’t!

I went down to this year’s show with every intention of thoroughly enjoying stuffing my face with every delicious morsel, or bucket, of food that came my way. And I did!

My activity level is usually up during show week. What with setting up & tearing down the booth, & all that running between booths for meetings. No consecutive two of which are ever at the same end of the show hall. For me, it’s a fair bit of additional movement for a normally car-bound keyboard jockey. I know I can’t exercise the weight off. But I was curious to see if this extra movement could mitigate the damage that might occur over the course of a week or so of misbehaviour. It’s a lame excuse, I know, but it was the best I could come up with to justify cutting loose. And that’s what I wanted to do.

Modern Mexican food, in America, might be the perfect combination of carb, protein & fat overload for adding weight. Fast! Toss in beer & margaritas, & it gets even better. And how can you not do that? Though I’ll admit, I really shouldn’t have given in to the crème brûlée, the deep fried ice cream & those cream cheese filled pastries. It was so unnecessary! 😜

The damage?

Only 3 pounds. Just returning to a lower carb regimen should see that resolve pretty quickly, as the retained water is shed. Is there a little extra fat on board too? Probably. But still, it’s nice to know that additional movement, & I’m not talking huge activity here, can increase the tolerance for cutting loose every now & again. Some walks on the beach & a little dancing, for example, might allow for some pretty liberal eating whilst on holiday. Now that’s a pretty liberating thought to carry forward, as I prepare to engage in the battle again.

Though I’ll probably just start tomorrow. What with having returned a day late because of a cancelled flight, & tomorrow being Monday & all! 😜😁

Results … Month #19

I’ll take it!

Phew! This was a very messy month but that’s not a bad result, all things considered. And I was considering all things, good & bad, as being diet-worthy this month! Holy smoke, did I eat some stuff that really makes me cringe as I look back.

What saved me? Fasting!

I alternated fasting with bingeing & I can now confirm that I can outbinge a one day fast. Pity that, but it is what it is. I could have exercised a little more control. But I didn’t. And what gave me the result for the month were a couple of two-day fasts. And some vaguely vegetarian days.

This is a new departure for me. I have a lifelong bias towards being a carnivore. Over the past couple or so months, I’ve caught myself making veggie-heavy meals. Worse, I found myself choosing fish over real meat in restaurants. At times, I’ve ignored my need to avoid starch, & I’ve had potatoes AND rice at the same meal. What is going on here!?!

I’m a little worried now. I can almost see myself turning into a tree-hugging, green-loving, vaguely vegetarian kind of guy who takes reusable bags to the grocery store!

Now if all that makes losing weight a little easier, I might be okay with that. But one thing for certain … I think, maybe, perhaps … is that fat, animal or vegetable, will be a part of whatever dietary aberrations I find myself following next.

Any other vaguely vegetarian folk out there with any advice?

Roll on spring, have a great February & Happy St. Brigid’s Day!

Grey Day? No … it’s Blue Monday!

I doubt it’s really true that the 3rd Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year for everyone. But it sure felt like it when I went outside for my predawn coffee & saw the ridge of icebergs that the snowplough left at the end of my driveway!

Blue Monday … Grey or Great?

I was aching from the shovelling activities of the previous day & I made the mistake of “treating” myself to some starch selections for dinner last night. Followed by sugary choices for dessert! I love cramming that junk into my face but there is always a price attached to it. Indigestion, poor sleep &, for me, some sugars & starches are mind altering substances. They bring my weight up & my mood down.

Since that terrible week of eating on the road at the beginning of the year, I’ve been doing reasonably well. I wouldn’t pretend that my head has been 100% in the game, but I’ve probably been around the 80% mark. I’m not checking in with my scale, that thing is heartless, merciless, so I’m going to leave that ’til the first of the month to come.

A little later, I went for predawn coffee number two. Taking my cigarettes with me, not even a sliver of guilt attached to it, I went out to soak up some additional angst. I was trying to perk myself up with the thought of those lucky folk living in the southern hemisphere at this time of year. I bet they are enjoying the January temperatures at that end of the planet.

Imagine my elation at seeing the end of driveway clear! Good neighbours can be mind-altering too. Thank you, kind neighbour.

Bring it on Blue Monday, there are people that have my back. And I’m betting that’s true for you too.

Happy Blue Monday!