Blogging from A - Z about clothes...

sleeping fat by Nakae(CC BY 2.0)

XL is a size: Extra Large, which is quite okay if you’re an egg, but it might not be so desirable if you’re a person.

XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL. XXXL: the clothes on the racks in the shops are all labelled according to how big or small they are. Are we happy with the one that fits us or do we yearn to be a different size, a different weight?

Worrying about weight starts almost from the minute we’re born. We’re taken from our mother’s arms and tossed onto the scales and that measurement is recorded forever. It becomes part of who we are:

Baby Frodo: born at 6.37 am, weight 4.56 kg

No one ever forgets a birth weight: “Frodo was a big baby! Oh my! It was just as well he was born a week early. Can you imagine…”

Then for months, and even years afterwards, we are weighed regularly and the numbers are entered into our ‘baby’ book, and become the subject for discussion: "He's putting on weight nicely." Or, "She's getting rather chubby. How often are you feeding her?" Or, "You're going to have to supplement. She's not gaining enough weight."

Mothers seem to do a lot of talking about weight. I remember a story I overheard when I was child:

“You know Ruby Skinner, the woman who works at the post office? Well, apparently she can’t seem to keep weight on. She has to eat cream buns every day to make sure she doesn’t get too skinny.”

I imagined eating cream buns every day. My! That sounded good.

But it wasn’t just the mothers who gossiped about weight:

“Have you seen Brady’s mother? She’s so big she can’t fit into a telephone box.” I turned that image around and around in my head and couldn’t quite believe it. But what if? Wouldn’t that be so sad?

So many people watch what they eat in order to stay small, or they diet in order to become smaller, or they don't do anything and feel dissatisfied. Then there are people like Ruby who want to weigh more. (Or others want them to weigh more.) I imagine there are many people who think constantly about their weight. How many people are happy just as they are? 

When it comes to sizes, S seems to be more desirable than XL.

My son used to wear XL clothes. He wasn't happy. One day he decided he had to do something about his weight. So he watched what he ate. He started an intense exercise program. The result? He’s still wearing XL clothes. But he looks good! All those muscles would never fit into a smaller size. 

Sometimes the size on the clothes tag is irrelevant. It’s all to do with health. Just like a healthy big egg, XL could be absolutely perfect.

I like eggs. Do you?

The Essence of Egg) by Brenda Gottsabend(CC BY 2.0)

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  1. I like eggs, especially our own fresh laid eggs. Sometimes we get an egg so big it does not fit in the egg carton. It's a bit impractical, as I cannot close the lid before returning said thing t o the fridge, but ... there's almost always two yolks in those eggs. Maybe XL people also carry something extra inside?
    I like the size I have now. A year and a bit ago I was too fat, My knees hurt, I huffed and puffed when I had to tye my shoestrings. I still could fit into a telephone box though, even if they're getting hard to find.

    1. Uglemor,

      Ooh I like the sound of fresh eggs! I don't like the thought of our new dog terrorising the hens though. She'd love some hens in the garden!

      Telephone boxes... Yes, not many of them around any more. Actually our public phones no longer have a box. There's only the phone under an open sided shelter. Everyone, no matter their size, can use the public phone!

      I remember you writing about your new diet. Sounds wonderful!

  2. I was one of those whom everyone was always trying to fatten up. 5 pounds at birth, extremely small boned, 'skinny' became my identity, how I saw myself, and believe it not, that wasn't 'okay' when I was a child. It was considered unhealthy. I told a classmate about a new Christmas doll when I was 8, and she told me very seriously that I'd better enjoy it right then, because I was so skinny that I probably wasn't going to live much longer. I can still see her face. It was the first time I'd ever thought about THAT.

    Now little girls seem to want to be exactly as I was. Teenagers and young women DEFINITELY want to be as I was, and starve themselves to get that way. Oh how things change! I always dreamed of putting on some pounds. Now, as a larger-than-skinny (wink wink) grandmother, I can say that if you wait long enough, your childhood dreams just might come true! ;)

    1. Nancy,

      Oh my! Your story about the doll is so sad. Children can say things that cut so deep. I am so glad you did live longer than that girl predicted.

      Yes, everyone today wants to be skinny. As a mother, I have come to realise we have to be very careful what we say about weight and size, especially when we're talking to our daughters.

      So you're larger-than-skinny? I like that description. It sounds a perfect size to be!

  3. I buy a lot of clothes on eBay and I can't tell you how often the best clothes are size XS or S. I used to feel bad about it--but then I realized the reason so many clothes are available on there in those sizes is that nobody really stays a size S or XS forever! I guess some people do, but we won't talk about those people.

    1. Stephanie,

      Oh yes! I've often seen small clothes on ebay with the description: 'Never worn. Was hoping to lose some weight but never did.' I don't know if I'd want to admit that in public, but those words might sell the clothes to someone else, who also hopes to become or stay small.

  4. I do like eggs! I know what you mean about weight and being obsessed with a number; you are right, it starts from the moment of birth and continues on with check ups, etc. I am in an XL size, would like to be a L size, but not working too hard on it, maybe if I pushed away from the computer more :)


    1. Betty,

      Your comment about pushing away from the computer made me smile. I remember several years ago, I put on a couple of kilos without realising it. One day I closed my computer and looked into the mirror. Oh my! I knew I'd have to exercise more or give up blogging. I couldn't give up blogging so I took up running! If only we could blog and exercise at the same time...

  5. Hi Sue,

    You're right, weight and size is a matter of discussion about a person ever since he's born! It can be both a compliment and a criticism.

    I admit I consider myself heavy for my 5 foot 1 frame. I've always felt conscious about my size despite still fitting in S clothes. I was going to the gym before then I stopped because I became swamped with professional endeavors -- that made me grow large (horizontally!). Blame all the sweet coffee and cakes in Starbucks to get me through grueling nights of studying and working!

    Right now, I'm doing my best to go back into exercising. And thanks to that, I am getting more endorphines w/c is a lot better than glucose in my system!

    And yes, I love eggs too. Srambled eggs for me :)

    Warm hugs,

    1. Maria,

      You are about the same height as me! I think we are at a disadvantage. Any extra weight is more obvious on a short person. If I put on a kilo, it's a greater percentage of my body weight than if a taller and heavier person put on a kilo. I'd love some longer legs! Never mind. I really don't mind being the way I am.

      It can be very difficult fitting in exercise when we are busy with work and other things. My husband gets up at 5.30 am so he can visit the gym on his way to work. He knows if he leaves exercising until the other end of the day, he'd never do any. He is tired after work and just wants to come home and eat dinner. My day is much more flexible and I really have no excuse for not exercising!

      Exercise does make us feel good. Eggs are good too. I also love scrambled eggs... with a sprinkling of salt and pepper!

  6. Depending on the clothing brand, I'm either an L or XL. Now and then I can get down to an M. It definitely feels good when I wear an M, but I also feel like I'm in the limelight. Could be why I never stay an M for long. I'm approaching M again. This time I like to think I'm a bit more secure about myself and will maintain at M.
    The View from the Top of the Ladder

    1. Susie,

      People do notice when we change weight. Maybe there's a lot of pressure trying to maintain a lower weight. It's hard work. As long as we're happy and healthy, I don't suppose it matters what size we are!


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