These used to be my fat pants

A funny thing happens when you emigrate to a new country – and by ‘funny’ I mean really bullshit. You end up putting on piles of weight. And by ‘you’ I mean women, because for some reason this doesn’t happen to dudes.


Two years ago I bought a pair of black jeans but they were a bit too big for me so I had to wear a belt with them. Fast forward to now and, you guessed it, my fat pants are… snug. The belt is merely a decoration.

Many Aussies who head to London for their 2 year working visa complain of the ‘Heathrow injection’ – basically, the very act of entering the UK makes you gain 5 kilos. I was certainly a victim of the Heathrow injection back in 2005. I remember chatting to a friend and I said something about being skinny. She laughed her head off at me. “Hahaha!” she said. “You still think you’re skinny!”

Things didn’t get any better when I moved to China. Lots of rice and not much physical movement meant that I was well-and-truly no longer skinny. But I was eating what the Chinese people eat! Why did it make me fat?

Three years in Sydney and I went back to being skinny. But now… here I am in Croatia…

Croatian people love to eat. They love it. They eat until it hurts. When I try to keep up with them, I want to cry. If I don’t try to keep up with them, they get insulted. But how come they don’t pile on the kilos? What’s their secret?

Emigrating = change of lifestyle = weight gain

You might wonder why I care so much. A few extra kilos, on a person my size, is no big deal. But being thin is part of my identity – it’s how I think about myself. Having a couple of fat rolls makes me sad, not because I want to look like a coathanger, but because it’s not me. Plus, I spent a pile of money shipping all my clothes over and I want to be able to fit into them.

So, snug pants, it’s time you and I came to an agreement. Prepare to become my fat pants once again.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.


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