Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Victim Of Vanity Sizing

There must be many ladies this has happened to and I have to wonder how dangerous the habit of manufacturers altering clothes sizes for vanity actually is.

When I left school in 1976 at the age of sixteen, I was a portly 10 stone 7lbs (147 lbs) and a (UK) size 16 going on 18.

Thirty six years later I was 14 stones 7lbs (203 lbs) and a size 18 going on 20 ... now if I'm only one size bigger despite being 4 stones (56lbs) heavier, methinks there's something wrong with this picture.

Suffice it to say I did suspect that I'd chunked up a bit ... I'd been on several diets over the years, only weighing myself during these brief interludes, and I never measured my ample proportions at any other time - I mean, why would I, it's not nice.

Around 2004 I'd decided dieting wasn't for me ever again. What was the point in all that deprivation for a few months; only for me to regain all that lost weight - plus more for good measure.
So I spent the last few years avoiding my reflection and hiding at the sight of a camera because what I didn't see couldn't hurt me.

Arranging to get married and going to Center Parcs - where all the fit people tend to go - for our honeymoon late 2012 made me rethink my decision on trying yet another diet. I didn't have very high hopes of success, all the diets I'd followed were fine for a quick fix but not sustainable in any permanent way.

Let's face it, what diets are sustainable? How many people GO BACK to Slimming World and Weight Watchers because it worked last time. Yes it did, and they're both very good diets to follow, but can you keep it up? ... No - or you wouldn't be going back.

Seeing some photos of us waiting for the Olympic torch going through Skegness - June 2012 - my so called friend had taken WITH ME IN THE MIDDLE - how very dare she! - was something of a revelation. But it was still one heck of a shock when I stepped on the scales, then I was even more shocked - and quite upset - when I got the tape measure out ... OUCH!!

I was fortunate enough - only one week into my cereal diet - to have watched Horizon's 'Eat, Fast and Live Longer' with Dr Michael Mosley ... this changed my life completely - I may have mentioned it before ... happy, happy days.

Then out of curiosity, and because I've got a good memory for detail, I fetched out an old pair of hardly worn - bought during one of my brief 'slimmer moments - 'Marks and Spencer's leggings that I'd saved from the early 1990s ... for when they'd be back in fashion (they were expensive) and also for when they'd fit me - ever the optimist - the label said size 18 and 32" waist.

Here I was 20 odd years later, wearing size 18-20 with a 40+ waist. It's not right is it? ... I'd been lied to, I wasn't just middling to chunky, I WAS FAT.

Now a year and a half later - after following the most amazing weight loss lifestyle (I'm in easy-peasy maintenance now) - that I simply can't stop talking or writing about - I'm a few pounds under the weight I was when I left school and there's not many women my age can say that.

And what was porky for a sixteen year old doesn't look too bad on a fifty four year old ... and my clothes size - 14 top and 12 bottom. I'm not bragging here. My point is ... if the sizing of the good old days - 1970-1990 - were implemented now, I'd be at least a 18 top and 16 bottom ... but it doesn't sound anywhere near as nice.

Even my sister has been fooled, she was a size 12 when she left school and was recently telling me that she must be slimmer now - albeit a stone or so heavier - because she's down to a size 10.

The clothing industry is not doing us any favours. We're becoming obese whilst convincing ourselves that we're still the same size we used to be - hardly good for our health is it? ...

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Be nice, I'm very sensitive.