I hereby resolve not to buy new pants in 2017. Specifically, I resolve not to buy bigger pants. Success in this resolution depends on certain behavior changes. For example, if I eat one more cracker adorned with a dainty square of smoked cheddar, my trousers won’t hold back the tide, and no belt will shore up the banks. I will need to buy the next size up, if not two sizes, and that is unacceptable. I hate shopping for pants for two reasons. First, as regular readers know, I am cheap and buying something that I don’t really need, were it not for my gluttony, is anathema. I’d rather spend that money on cheese and crackers (yes, it’s a tangled web). Second, buying pants requires trying on pants, and that is a frustrating process. Often, they don’t fit, and when they do, they don’t look good. It takes up a lot of time I could better spend watching TV. Or eating crackers. I need help.
It has become a tradition for me, when possible, to take a few days off between Christmas and New Year’s and wallow in the joys of the holidays. Those joys involve, obviously, crackers, cheese, beer, and a significant amount of summer sausage, which, despite the name, works just fine in the winter, I assure you. I complemented my caloric intake with a marked reduction in calorie-burning. I work out twice each day most days, so a Christmas-time period of sloth is a sort of present to myself. It doesn’t take long to get comfortable waking up early to make a pot of coffee and camp out on the couch to watch Netflix rather than lift weights or do a cardio circuit workout, and by December 29th, I was deep into a new pattern of inertia. When it was time to get dressed, so that I could go to the store to buy more cheese, I slipped on the pair of jeans I had been wearing for the previous five days. I wore those jeans because they were growing with me, slowly stretching out as my snack consumption carried on unabated.
By New Year’s Eve, I had to make a decision. The jeans were in need of a washing, and that meant either putting on a clean pair or wearing sweat pants. I knew the jeans would be snug, like denim Spanx, and, therefore, the button front would create an uncomfortable tension. The elastic waistband sweats would be much more cozy but are the only sweats I own, purchased for their low price rather than style. They are at-home sweats. I would not look sexy buying a wedge of edam wearing those sweats. Rather, I would look like I’ve given up. I could have opted to go pants less, like my friend Jen likes to do on her time off, but that makes grocery shopping even more problematic. I hoisted the dungarees onto my increasing frame and got them fastened around my waist. They were not as uncomfortable as I had feared, but there was no question it was time to put down the gouda and pick up the dumbbells.
Yesterday, I lifted weights for the first time in ten days, and this morning I did a cardio workout and went for a run. Two days of exercise in a row was a shock to the system, but not nearly as big a shock as seeing the number on the scale this morning. I had actual numerical data to confirm what my pants had been telling me for a while. If I don’t get back to regular exercise combined with an increase in the amount of flora I consume, I will be scanning the Sunday paper menswear ads and planning my assault on Kohl’s for the President’s Day sales. I don’t want to be that guy. I have perfectly good pants waiting for me. So, as this year gets underway, I’m going to ease up on the cheese and get back to my regular running routine. For the record, I’m not a big proponent of New Year’s Resolutions. Real change take more than a promise at midnight. However, I have every intention of taking a few days off next Christmas, and I have no intention of buying new pants. I guess you could say I’m resolving to remain exactly the same. Happy New Year.