Monthly Archives: July 2017

Full Of Good Intentions

So the Shitbird scale pulled a mean trick on me yesterday morning by declaring pretty much a 3lb gain. I don’t think I deserved it, and to be honest I’m not even sure I believe it but what I do know is that I’m not obsessing about it. At one point it would have ruined my whole day, but thankfully my fuck you yesterday was directed towards the scale, and not the diet.

As it happens, I didn’t have a textbook week. I set off with the intention of being above reproach after the creative accounting shenanigans of the week before. We’ve all been there, right? Sunday dawned and my intentions were whiter than white but it felt like a proper uphill slog all week. It’s not like I didn’t know trouble was coming…I even stood up and told you how niftily I was going to sidestep The Afters but I guess it’s not the first time that my intentions have been a bit more impressive than my execution.

That said, although I was at the top end of my calorie budget most days – and some days I pinched calories from Peter to pay Paul – at worst I should have maybe stayed the same. I didn’t deserve to get shunted three steps in the wrong direction so I’m writing it off as water retention or hormones or something. Stupid shitbird scale. It hasn’t dinted my determination but back-sliding does make everything feel just a tiny harder, don’t you think?

Life is slowly turning the right way up again after all the upset of the last couple of weeks. My Godmother’s funeral is taking place next Monday, which has felt like an awfully long time to wait. I’m on at least draft number ten of the eulogy that I’ll read on the day but you know what, it’s been very cathartic delving into all the memories I have of her and deciding which ones I’d like to share. It’s helped, but I’ll still be glad when it’s over.

On Friday I got the results from the MRI scan I had to have on my dodgy knee. I don’t even think I mentioned it to you, there’s been so much else going on and seriously, it feels like all I’ve done over the last few weeks is moan about one thing or another. To cut a long story short, after three months of physio I knew my knee still wasn’t right, and the MRI scan confirmed it. I have a complex tear in the cartilage which is going to need surgery, and I think it’ll be scheduled for the end of next week.

What a royal fucking pain in the ass that is. It’s the very last thing I need at the moment, but the problem is I’m not allowed to fly for eight weeks after the surgery and I have a holiday coming up in October, so the surgeon has a bee in his bonnet about it having to be done in the next couple of weeks.

I’m a bit freaked out about it if I’m honest. On Saturday I had the best time, out cycling with friends and I had no pain in my knee at all so I started questioning whether it was even necessary. But then there are so many days where it gives me hell, and there are at least a couple of classes down at the Kingdom of Pain that I’m not allowed to do because my knee isn’t strong enough, so I don’t think I have a choice really. C’est la vie. Better done and out of the way I guess, although I am shitting myself. I admit it, I’m a wuss.

I’m determined to hit this week hard. She says, having woken up this morning with two of yesterday’s nut bars pre-loaded onto today’s food budget…here we go again, with the good intentions.

Whoops 🙂

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Breaking The Rules Of Engagement

I caught myself doing that thing yesterday, where someone in the office said Hi, how are you? and I started to tell him. I mean really tell him, despite a well-developed understanding of the rules of engagement when it comes to small-talk.

Hi, how are you? I’m good thanks, how are you? Yes I’m fine thanks…

Instead of that widely accepted exchange, my mouth went rogue on me and he almost got chapter and fucking verse. Poor bloke. I managed to rein it in before his eyes glazed over but still, I bet he won’t be in a rush to exchange pleasantries with me again any time soon.

The thing is, I felt a long way from fine yesterday. I suspect the events of the last two weeks caught up with me a bit. I’ve always been able to cope whilst the shit is actually flying, you know? On the odd occasion where things have gotten a bit too much, any ensuing meltdown has been perfectly timed to happen behind closed doors after the dust has settled. I’d be the first to admit that I’ve got a terrible track record when it comes to letting the mask drop. I just don’t.

Yesterday, there were probably four or five points during the day where I almost went over the edge, you know that way where you teeter on the brink of tears for no reason whatsoever? It’s a bit disconcerting, when you’re used to being in control.

I’m wondering whether my desire to over-share has anything to do with the fact that for the first time ever I haven’t taken solace in food as a way of coping? Perhaps if my mouth was busy eating cheese balls or Daim cake it wouldn’t have time to try and provide an update on my wellbeing to innocent bystanders who have no reason to be interested in what’s going on in my life.

The other possibility of course, is that it’s an age thing. Maybe those small-talk rules of engagement are no longer valid once you hit middle age? I can guarantee that if you sat my mum on a park bench next to a complete stranger, within ten minutes she would’ve given them the complete lowdown on her medical history and enquired after their own.

I remember coming out of a shop once, where my mum had been sitting on a seat outside waiting for me. As I approached, she introduced me to the woman she’d been passing the time of day with…this is Joan. Joan had a prolapse! I said hello to Joan and wondered whether a round of applause was appropriate.

Either way I was mortified yesterday at this urge to spill my guts about what a shit time I was having to anyone who’d listen. I felt stressed, not to mention old and weary. I guess that’s what a sore heart, lack of sleep and a head full of worry does to you, right?

However, despite everything I still haven’t tried to use food as a crutch. I’m counting every sodding calorie that goes in my mouth, and I’m managing to find time to work out. I don’t pretend to understand why or how, but the discipline is strangely comforting.

What a weirdo, eh? 🙂

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On The Hook At Hello

So I spent another few hours at the hospital yesterday with my mum, who’s having a really shitty time with this broken shoulder. She already takes a bunch of meds every day to control heart-related stuff and some of the pain relief she’s had over the last few days seems to have created a weird kind of alchemy. The bruising down the right hand side of her body is like nothing I’ve ever seen, I mean it’s out of control. Her whole arm has turned black, even the palm of her hand and it’s swollen to almost double it’s usual size. She’s being very stoic but I know she’s in a lot of pain and I feel completely helpless, you know? It’s pushing my buttons off the chart.

Which might explain why, when I was sitting in the cubicle with her yesterday waiting for the results of some blood work and reading her snippets of stuff from the newspaper to keep her mind occupied, my eyes latched onto an article about the latest miracle get-skinny-quick product. By the time I’d skim-read it, I was in.

Now, I like to think I’m the proud owner of at least half a dozen decent brain cells. The kind of brain cells that are unlikely to be taken in by news of an unexpected inheritance from Nigeria for example, if I could just be so kind as to provide my bank details on email to the nice gentleman. I’m the kind of person who might read about someone getting scammed with a shake of my head and a dismissive how could they be so stupid? Seriously, how could anyone fall for that baloney?

(Says the woman who married a fucking con artist, but let’s move swiftly past that one, eh?)

However. Show me a good fat-to-skinny-in-one-leap-with-no-effort story, and I’m on the hook at hello. I’m also likely to have my credit card in my hand before the ink’s even dried on the page, especially when I’m at a low ebb…which is exactly what happened yesterday.

It took my fingers about ten seconds to jump onto Amazon and source these miracle sachets which you dissolve in water and drink before a meal. I have it on good authority that they taste like heaven, chop your appetite in half and you lose like forty pounds in a week. Honestly, it said it in the paper so it MUST be true, right? I’m not even kidding.

Dee, seriously? As IF it could ever be that easy. But by the time the blood had returned to my head, I’d already parted with my twenty quid and organised delivery for this afternoon.

What an ejit.

As I reflected on my purchase, this time without a woody in my pants for a quick fix, I realised that this miracle drink probably wasn’t the silver bullet my mind had latched on to, and it probably wasn’t going to deflate this fat suit overnight either. The blinkers came off and the brain cells kicked in...effective only as part of a calorie-controlled diet…ah, like the calorie-controlled diet I’m already doing anyway…?

I have no words.


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The Killer Question

Do you ever shake your head in wonder at the food-related situations you find yourself in?  I do. I found myself in a face-off with a freezer full of ice-cream lollies on Saturday. My feet ground to a halt in the middle of the supermarket in what felt like an act of betrayal, and I probably stood and stared at that freezer for a good ten minutes.

Earlier in the week my friend had included a picture of a raspberry magnum amongst the holiday pictures she’d shared on social media, and I’d made a jokey comment underneath the photo about how I’d once eaten six of them in one sitting. That was true, in fact it happened during my last four day binge and if I close my eyes I can still taste them.

Now, you’ve got to remember that my head was up my arse for a significant chunk of last week, and that perfectly innocuous picture seemed to fire the starting pistol for my tastebuds. Every day since, I’ve been lusting after a raspberry magnum like a dog on heat, and fantasising about beating my personal best by going for seven, or maybe even eight. It was just one in a long line of assaults that the Asshole voice made towards my food sobriety at the back end of last week…it was relentless.

The thing is, when I’m in the grip of an urge to binge, it’s very easy to convince myself that as soon as I’ve eaten whatever it is that I’m fantasising about I’ll be okay, you know? You’re going to cave at some point, so quit with the pathetic attempts at resistance. Just get it out of the way. Fill your boots now and then you can move on…

It never works out like that though, does it? I don’t know about you, but once I’ve got the taste for something, I’m screwed. That’s why I very rarely have a one-incident binge.

How can I even describe what the urge to binge feels like, to a regular person? It’s like a massive build-up of pressure, which in that moment I am utterly convinced can only be relieved by shutting myself away and pushing all the things I shouldn’t be eating into my face. I’ve heard people who self-harm talk about how slicing into their skin with a blade somehow relieves the pressure which is building up inside, and I guess binge-eating is different but the same. It’s certainly followed by all the same emotions…guilt, shame, the whole fucking nine yards. I might not carry self-harm scars on my body per se, but I do have a double arse inside my pants for remarkably similar reasons.

In the ten minutes I stood rooted to the floor in front of that freezer, with the pressure of the last few days threatening to blow like a volcano out of my ears, I literally clung on to food sobriety by my fingertips. I even had hold of the freezer door at one point.

Is this me making a conscious decision then, to choose fat over skinny? That’s the killer question, because if I reach for that box, whether I admit it or not, I’m choosing to wake up heavier tomorrow than I am today. 

That argument swung it, in the end because…well, it’s true isn’t it? Nobody ever ate seven raspberry magnums and woke up skinny the next day. So I didn’t go there. Somehow, I let go of the freezer door. My feet started moving again, and I walked away. Isn’t it evil, the way your mind can manipulate a memory…in the grip of it, I didn’t recall the bilious bloated day-after effect because I was mentally blinkered and could only focus in glorious technicolour on how they tasted.

I did buy a box of peanut bars from the healthy snacks section, and ate every last one of them. But they weren’t raspberry magnums…they weren’t even close to being that naughty. And yesterday I rebooted, and had a textbook day without incident.

One more pound gone this week despite everything, and I can live with that… especially after an obscene amount of healthy peanut bars which, in those numbers probably weren’t that healthy at all.

I’m back at work today, and I’d be really grateful if we could all just keep our fingers crossed that this week passes without incident 🙂

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You. Cannot. Be. Serious.

So, you already know that this last week wins the award for shittiest week ever. I thought we were past the storm. I didn’t have a bad day on Wednesday, in fact I managed to do a few hours’ work from home and it was comforting to start picking up the pieces. I wasn’t in a great place, but I felt like I was doing okay.

And I was doing okay, except it clearly wasn’t written in the stars for our shit time to be over quite so soon. My mum, who is very wobbly at the best of times, took a tumble yesterday morning, and she’s broken her shoulder in two places. I mean, you just couldn’t fucking write it could you?

She’d been laid in agony on the floor for around an hour before anybody heard her cries for help, and yesterday morning as we sat in the ER, my tiny frail eighty four year old mum sobbed like a child in my arms. On top of the heartache of the last few days, it was just all too much.

Now, I held it together beautifully all day. I wiped her tears, and propped her up. I intercepted doctor-speak and translated it into something she could understand. Most of all I promised her everything would be okay, because that’s exactly what she needed to hear. She’s reached her fill level of bad news, and she coasted through yesterday on a combination of codeine and reassurance. I limped through on adrenaline and focused on her.

Last night though…I didn’t know what to do with myself. The urge to binge was overwhelming. Fortunately, before I could face-plant into the food cupboard, two of my good friends arrived with a big bunch of flowers and a hug, which pretty much saved me from myself.

I did eat eight Ryvita Marmite thins with some soft cheese before I went to bed, which may or may not have found their way onto Saturday’s food budget on the basis that yesterday’s calories had already run out and the dieting day was closed for business.

It’s okay though, I can get away with it. Saturday still belongs to this week, and on Saturday I get more calories to play with. It’s creative accounting at it’s finest and you know what, if I count the calories at some point this week who really gives a fuck? I know I’m not supposed to be propping my battered spirit up with food, but yesterday was just exceptional in it’s shitness and a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Surely, that must be it now…I’m kind of approaching that fill level myself, you know?


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