A new self-help group has been set up to help middle aged men through the trauma of admitting they have outgrown their trousers.
38 & Proud provides a safe haven for those who struggle from Belly Blindness, a disease of the ego which convinces the sufferer that their stomach is the same size as it was at school.
Former 34” waister Simon Drew says the group has helped him understand his condition. “For years I felt something was wrong but I didn’t want to acknowledge it,” he says. “Frankly, I was down to my last belt loop. I was showing all the symptoms of middle-aged spread denial – sucking it in when a woman walked past, and standing at the back in photos – but I just couldn’t see it. To be honest I couldn’t even see my feet.”
“Then one day a good friend took me aside and told me he’d been to Debenhams. At first I was disgusted and threw up in my mouth, but he gently insisted I went with him. That’s where I first encountered 38 & Proud. With love and patience, they showed me it’s possible to buy trousers that actually fucking fit. In the privacy of the changing rooms, me and other like-gutted blokes were able to explore our new waistline in a supportive environment. One guy there came out as a 42” Blue Harbour chino wearer. They had turn-ups and everything. His bravery inspired us all.”
Simon says that with the group’s help, he is preparing to wear his old man strides in public. “It’s a big step,” he adds. “I’ve told my wife – she says she knew before I did that I was a 38-er. Now I just have to come out to the darts team and the girl at Greggs who always looks at me like I’m some kind of pathetic loser. But without the external gastric band of a young man’s belt I’ll have room for more Sausage & Bean Melts, so who’s laughing now?”
38 & Proud facilitator Felicity Thorpe said: “Seriously, these fat fucks just need to get the hell over themselves and dress like adults.”
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