Keeping Old Jeans

After my drastic and dramatic weight loss in late 2009, my trouser size came down a notch, thus necessitating a massive shopping spree. The amount of shopping required then was marginally lowered because I’d retained some of my old pants, which were of the lower size. Now, the same question arose – whether I needed to still keep my Size 36 clothes. Back then, I’d taken the honorable decision to postpone the decision. But space constraints at home and the arrival of some charity workers at the door asking for old clothes has made me revisit this topic.

So, should I keep my old Size 36 trousers, when my waist size has stabilized at a comfortable 34 for over two years now? The argument in favour is that given my eating habits and inconsistent fitness regimen, there might come a time sooner or later when I might actually need those 36 size clothes, and I’ll be spared of a shopping spree then. The counter (this is what the wife advocates) is that by giving away my Size 36 clothes now, I’ll make it that much costlier for myself (leave aside the health concerns of becoming fat) to become fat, and that will keep me more interested in remaining thin.

I took an intermediate decision today. I held on to a couple of large trousers which I used to really like, and gave away the rest. So that has partly eased the space constraints in my wardrobe, while still retaining a small number of “big” clothes. But given the frequency with which we undertake clean-up drives at home, I never know when the next time will be when I’ll have to make the decision about holding on to these loose pants. So what do you suggest?


So it seems like my school uniform has changed, and I don’t like it. I happened to notice this a long time ago, actually, when I saw this boy standing close to my apartment wearing a shirt that was mostly blue, and trousers that were mostly grey.

The thing that bothered me was the mostly part. Back in our times (1986-98) there was no mostly business. We wore simple plain blue shirts and simple plain blue trousers. No frills, no extra fittings. No uniform belts or ties or uniform sweater or leather shoes or any other such inconveniences.

So I see this boy quite regularly nowadays. He is there, in front of the gate of my apartment that faces the main road, waiting for the school bus. He lives somewhere close by I think, for I’ve seen him walk to his spot. I was somehow hoping he was living in my apartment building, so I could get to know him.

So there are lots of weird fittings on the uniform now. School emblem near the chest (I must mention I didn’t even know about the existence of one such emblem), borders for the shirt sleeves and trouser pockets, and so on. Even on thursdays, there are lots of extra fittings to the white uniform. Some craziness seems to be happening.

The only heartening thing is that one day I saw this boy, in blue and grey with all the extra fittings, wearing sneakers. Some things, I realized, never change. And how much ever people try to change things, some awesome things remain.

Volatility of Human Body Weight

Ever since I shed roughly 20 kilos over the course of the second half of last year, I’ve become extremely weight-conscious. Given how quickly I shed so much weight, I’m paranoid that I might gain back so much again as quickly. This means I monitor my weight as closely as I can, limit myself in terms of “sin foods” and check my weight as often as possible, typically whenever I manage to make it to the gym (about twice a week on average).

Having been used to analog scales lifelong (there’s one at home, but it is wrongly calibrated I think), the digital scales (with 7-segment display) that are there at a gym provide me with a bit of a problem. I think they are too precise – they show my weight up to 1 place of decimal (in kilograms), and thinking about it, I think that much detail is unwarranted.

The reason being that I think given the normal cycles, I think the weight of the human body is highly volatile and measuring a volatile commodity at a scale finer than the volatility (when all you are interested in is the long-term average) is fraught with danger and inaccuracy. For example, every time you drink two glasses of water, your weight shoots up by half a kilo. Every time you pee, your weight correspondingly comes down. Every time you eat, up the weight goes, and every time you defecate, down go the scales.

Given this, I find the digital weighing machine at my gym a bit of a pain, but then I’m trying to figure out what the normal volatilty of the human body weight is, so that I can quickly catch on to any upward trend and make amends as soon as I can help it. Over the last couple of months, the machine has shown up various numbers between 73.8 and 75.5 and I have currently made a mental note that I’m not going to panic unless I go past 76.

I wonder if I’m making enough allowances for the volatility of my own body weight, and if I should reset my panic limits. I have other metrics to track my weight also – though my various trousers are all calibrated as “size 34” some have smaller waists than the others, and my algo every morning is to start wearing my pants starting from the smallest available, and go to work in the first one that fits, and when I know that I’m having trouble buttoning up my black chinos, that’s another alarm button.

Yeah sometimes I do think I’m too paranoid about my weight, but again it’s due to the speed at which I reduced that I’m anxious to make sure I don’t go back up at the same rate!


Economist Ajay Shah sends me (and other members of a mailing list we belong to) this wonderful piece he has put together on weight management. Do read. But my question remains – how do you measure your body’s weight volatility?

Return to corporate whoredom

Waking up early in the morning
Formal shirt and trousers, neatly pressed
An hour’s commute each way

Conversations by the water cooler
Team lunches; Expense accounts
Hourly coffee breaks

Meetings. Conference calls. Presentations
Studs. Fighters. Free-riders.
Reviews. Deadlines. Status reports.

Salary credit!