I am currently reading Thrive Fitness, a book by vegan endurance athlete Brendan Brazier.

One of the first things that struck me in this book was his tale of trying to find something to wear for an impromptu after dinner speech he had been asked to give but had not packed for. He found himself in Michigan looking for a suit. As a tall, lean, endurance athlete he was struggling to find anything in his size. He approached a sales assistant who looked him up and down, measured him as a 38 tall and advised him they had not stocked that size in some considerable time as requirement for anything that small had waned.

In a world where celebrities and the media perpetuate the theory that starvation is a good look on women, this alternate version of events surprised me. Yes, I am fully aware that we, as a society are becoming more and more obese, and there are many tales of ‘”plus size” people having difficulty finding nice clothing, but for a regular sized person to not be able to find suitable clothing is just ridiculous.

Following up on this, the author learned that over the years companies have been re-sizing their lines. What was a size 12, ten years ago, now shows 10 on the label to make us all feel better about our gradually expanding waistlines. I can certainly attest the truth of this and am a very good example of how this is a very bad idea.

Buying my first home meant extra financial pressure which led to more overtime, more stress, less time for working out, poorer diet and a whole lot more alcohol, which in turn led to piling on the pounds. I was still finding the time to hit the gym until I changed jobs to my current one and started working shifts, which suddenly meant the gym wasn’t open when I was ready to work out. A spiral of hard working, hard drinking and not so hard working out, meant even more weight gain.

Funny thing is, I didn’t actually notice. I am neither stupid or blind, I knew I had gained some weight and I could see that my body shape had changed, I just assumed it was due to loss of muscle tone because every time I hit the shops to buy new clothes, I slipped perfectly into the same dress size I had worn for 10 years, lulling me into the false sense of security that I was actually still the same size, just a little flabbier around the edges.

It wasn’t until I had to register at a new doctors and step on some scales that the extent of my weight gain hit me. I had put on two stone while remaining comfortably in the same size jeans. I took a long good look at myself, took some steps to rectify the matter, and was soon back to the lean, toned, specimen I remembered seeing in the mirror. I swore I would never let myself be so fooled again. Unfortunately, life took the matter out of my hands for a time and once again I am trying to shift some unwanted flesh. This time I gained three stone, but you know what? Yep, I’m still in the same size jeans I was almost 20 years ago.

I strongly suspect that, should I return to my regular weight and maintain it, by the time I’m sixty, I’ll be a size zero without all the effort of pesky starvation diets and airbrushing.