Most people measure weight loss with a scale. Most people measure fat loss with a measuring tape. I measure weight loss and fat loss with my belt and the notch being used.
I can’t be arsed (I love to use that non-American slang word) to step on a scale and I can’t be arsed to have someone wrap a measuring tape around my waist. Neither of those tools are correct anyway, not when it comes to obesity.
Way, way back, when I was a young man in the United States Marine Corps, I was underweight. Yes, underweight. My best weight has always been about 190 pounds and back then, I was lucky to reach 160 pounds. As my father liked to say, I was poor to carry it.
Okay, let me explain that since it took me years to figure it out. “Being poor to carry it” meant it took more energy to carry the food that I was eating than the energy the food was providing me. I really didn’t eat much until I was well into adulthood.
When I was a young Marine, I worked out all the time. I ran, I did calisthenics, I lifted weights. None of it ever added any weight to my frame. It added a lot of muscle tissue, however, and that’s where my weight loss story begins. I sported a lean frame for years, until I was well past 35. I had huge abdominal muscles, more than a six-pack. Later on, those muscles would be my undoing.
When I got older, fat started accumulating on top of my abs. I looked like I had a beer belly when in reality, there really wasn’t that much fat. Flabby muscles are what I ended up with. Today, I don’t have a six-pack. I have the whole damn case. Nevertheless, I still look pretty good for a man at nearly 60. Still, I want to look better by the time I’m a man of 65.
I can tell when I’ve gained weight or lost weight by how far I have to tighten my belt. Yes, really. When you wear a leather belt for any long period, a little hump appears where you notch it. If you have to use a hole closer to the tip than that notch, you’ve gained weight. If you have to use a hole closer to the buckle than that notch, you’ve lost weight.
Trust me, it’s as effective as a scale and a measuring tape combined. It depends on the person, but one notch for me is about 10 pounds.
You can usually tell if a man is fat or not by the size of the waist on his trousers. At a height of about six feet (five-ten to six-two included), anything over a size 36 waist (in the United States) is fat. End of story. I’m at five feet, 10 inches and I wear a 38. Yes, I’m fat.
But then, I have to cinch up the belt sometimes because I probably should be wearing a 36. Most of my trousers are 38. I have to wear a belt with 38 but not with 36.
I know I should be wearing a 36 because if I forget to cinch up the larger ones I’m wearing and I start walking, I have to hike them back up to my waist. Yes, because if I don’t, my trousers will fall to the floor. And yes, I accidentally tested that theory, amusing some family members.