Halloween is coming, hurrah! And that means the Last Tuesday Society (them again) will be holding another ball this Friday. Of course, Yr. Humble Chronicler will be in attendance.
This time, though, I have an extra motivation for going. This isn’t really a “personal” blog, so I don’t like to get too emotional on ya (though that doesn’t stop me from inserting my own opinions and crap jokes into every entry). But this is kind of important for me, so please forgive the general sappiness upcoming. You may want to skip a couple of paragraphs.
You see, for a very long time, I’ve been overweight. I mean, we’re talking twenty years here. We are talking at school. I’m not trying to paint myself as some kind of victim here, nobody forced the chocolate down my throat, but it isn’t exactly fun to be a fat guy. You get an awful lot of jokes made at your expense, and if you actually say “Hold on, guys, I have enough trouble getting trousers that fit without you prodding my belly and demanding that I chuckle like the Pillsbury Doughboy,” then you’re seen as a bit of a spoilsport. In my case, it became a sort of vicious circle. The only way I could feel good was to eat more, which of course made me feel worse in the long run. I’ve actually heard armchair psychiatrists suggest that it should be okay to ridicule fat people, because it might encourage us to do something about it – anybody who’s struggled with their weight knows what a lot of bollocks this is.
What got me to actually work on shifting the poundage was a number of factors. First of all, vanity. I was having real difficulty finding clothes that fitted. Nice ones, anyway. Secondly, health concerns. Hell of a lot of diabetes in my family, and I realised how much crap I was eating. And thirdly, bloody-mindedness. I read that only 2% of diets work, so the stubborn bastard within me thought, “Oh yeah? We’ll see about that!“
The method was simple – I don’t believe in miracles, and whatever method I chose had to be sustainable. Therefore, I started thinking long-term about food. In other words, “This cake is nice right now, but if I don’t eat it, I can be thinner in the future. I will enjoy the cake for a few minutes, but I can enjoy being thin forever.” The food I did eat had to be nourishing and well-balanced, and in the last couple of months I began a strenuous twice-daily exercise regime.
The end result was that, upon measuring myself yesterday, I discovered that I am, in fact, now a healthy weight. Given that the exercise programme was designed to build up muscle as well as burn fat, simple weigh-ins weren’t going to be a reliable indicator of progress. So, as with so many things that are important to a man, I decided to measure my progress in inches. Men should be aiming for a waist-hip ratio of 0.95, I’m now 0.93. There’s still work to do, but I’m feeling better about my body than I have in years.
That is my additional reason for looking forward to this ball – at last, I can work it without looking ridiculous.
A lowered budget has forced me to be creative about my costume. The theme for the ball is “The Beautiful and the Damned.” I’m going with something inspired by the excellent Poe story, ‘The Masque of the Red Death,’ which features people who are both beautiful and damned. Fortunately, I had most of what I needed in my wardrobe already, and what I didn’t have I was able to obtain inexpensively. I don’t want to show you the whole thing just yet, but here’s part of it.
In accordance with the style of the Last Tuesday Society, I’m going for something Victorian-esque, but a bit more bohemian than the standard top hat and tails. The real bitch was finding a mask I could wear comfortably over my glasses and customise to my design. I suspect I’ll be making adjustments right up to zero-hour.
I’ll let you know how the night goes. If there’s time – I’m also going to a party on Saturday and another Sunday, so basically I’ll be dead by next week. Appropriately for the occasion.