Monday, 21 December 2015

The Winter Expansion

In an ideal world belts would come without any holes. Yes, in that world what would happen is that you'd go into the belt shop, they would measure your fat-free waist and then punch a single hole in your custom-fitted belt. Sorted.

It would be the only hole your belt ever needed.

However, in the real world belts come with loads of holes. If you thought this was so that belts can be mass-produced to cover all sorts of sizes you'd be wrong. It's because one person can be all sorts of sizes! After a belt has been worn a few times it develops a little groove where the buckle edge sits, and the favoured hole gets opened up a bit. Pretty soon it's easy to see exactly where the belt is regularly buckled. But on a well used belt of some vintage it may not be so easy to tell, because several holes have been opened up a bit and there are several buckle-edge grooves. It must be said: this is the belt of a normal person. Only athletic automata own one-groove belts, and they are far from normal.

Owners of multi-groove belts probably experience the Winter Expansion. I know I do. Frankly it's pretty depressing when you grudgingly have to give in to the next hole out. It feels like a defeat, a failure. Well, it should do, because it is. You've been defeated by the surplus calories of indulgence that you've failed to shift. That is, 'shift', as in 'work off'. Like many a multi-groove belt owner I love chocolate, cake, etc. Especially cake. And chocolate. In the spring, summer and autumn I can get away with it by simply going out cycling a lot. Come winter, and the cycling reduces but the consumption does not...

This photo was taken back in the summer from the top of Eggardon Hill - you can see the trig point on the right. In the distance is Lyme Bay. It truly is a superb view. That van is just about to head down a hill I have ridden up many times. It's quite a long hill, relentless and steep, going to about 15% in places, and generally takes me 12-14 minutes to climb. This photo is pure motivation. Next summer I want to be cycling up it again. Often. I want to see that view, to feel I've earned that view. I want to revisit those inner belt holes. I must. Because the alternative is unthinkable...

A wobbly descent into elastic waistbands. No-o-o-o-o-o..........................!


  1. Well I feel ten times better now, I thought that only I had a belt like that. If there was room you could write comments against each hole with your age.
    20-trim like an athlete
    30- great six pack
    40- well a three pack still ain't bad
    50- need to by a bradawl to make more holes
    60- need to tie a bit of string to my willie from the belt so I know where my willie is, fat stomach has meant I haven't seen it for a while.

    1. Currently sporting a one-pack myself. Definitely needs work...

  2. Not that there is anything stopping you getting on the bike & climbing that hill over the next couple of weeks eh?

    1. No, not really. Only my indolent streak. I am duly chastened.

      You're not a PE teacher or something are you Col? Or a regimental sergeant major?

  3. Another NQS classic.
    Gav, your post has been observed and approved by people in NZ.

    1. Cheers Ric. Greetings to you there in the southern hemisphere...