A word in your ear - January 19, 2012

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It is one of life’s great mysteries to me, as a bloke, but how do the makers of shirts know how big you are?

I felt the need to buy a new shirt this last week after becoming somewhat restricted in several I put on.

I’ll be honest, I won’t lie to you, I’ve put a bit on. To be fair I’m not at my marathon peak, granted.

And I have to say I felt a tad tight around the neck.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not what I’d call a bloater, not quite, but I reckon unless I find those retired running shoes soon and hit the Fylde’s mean streets, I may get a shock when I next blow the dust off the Wii Fit and that virtual fitness trainer laughs in her annoying high-pitched tone.

Anyhow, I decided to buy the new shirt and, on the basis of comfort, I decided to go for the next collar size up than my usual.

It was the look on the Put Upon Wife’s face as I got it out of the cellophane wrapper and removed those annoying plastic clips which was a real picture.

“Blimey it’s a tent,” she announced, “that’ll never fit you.”

Sadly she had been a little too kind as it looked fine, and had plenty of room to grow into, as they say. Well as parents say to their growing children that is.

Still it amazed me in the 21st century that men’s formal clothes are dictated by the size of our necks.

Is it true we are so proportionate that when we worry about our midriffs we should really be taking a closer look at the small (or not so) area between our chins and our torsos? Women, does it work that way for you?

Is the immortal phrase “does my bum look big in this?” about to be replaced with something along the lines of “does my jacket look a bit too jowly?”

Anyhow, weight loss. It has to be my target for 2012.

I reckon I have a stone to lose to get back to rival my 2009 running exploits, and it is fairly achievable given I, at present, have forgotten what exercise is and need to desperately get back in the groove.

Given I fell off the alcohol-free wagon last weekend (well I did say it would be tough when I made that foolish boast in this here column two weeks ago), I need to get back on it sharpish.

Well, my mate Slothlike Paul was in town, and it had been an age since we had enjoyed a tincture together. Coke simply would not have done.

Crisps, they are out, even my beloved pies will have to stay in Sayers’ and Greggs’ warming cabinets.

Bring it on, I say, as I need a goal. One stone and one shirt size in the next few months. Well it’s a busy summer of TV sport this year and I need to be in shape – if only for my new England replica shirt.

Thankfully, sports casual is a little more forgiving than formal wear, especially around the neckline.