Monthly Archives: July 2017

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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On Guard Against The Afters

So, I’m reliably informed that The Afters are coming for me, which is what Vickie calls it when you’re past the crisis and the urge to go rogue sneaks up on you without warning. I’m taking no chances. I might not have expected it, but that four pound loss on Sunday was hard-won, especially  when you consider it in the context of what was happening in my life last week, right? I’m doubly determined that the fuck-up fairy is not going to creep up behind me and make off with those four pounds like a thief in the night. So I’m on guard, 24/7 against myself.

I can feel her lurking. I had a bad day on Monday when the reality of life without one of my special people started to bite, and by mid afternoon I’d eaten breakfast lunch and dinner, with a handful of snacks thrown in for good measure. I was at least six hundred calories over my daily budget. I managed to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat by forcing myself to cycle down to the Kingdom of Pain and back – a very hilly eight mile round trip – and doing an hours’ worth of boxing whilst I was there. I brought it home on the nose, but only just…it was a close call.

I did a similar thing yesterday. By late afternoon I was in deficit, having eaten a big lunch and grazed through the afternoon. It was another tough day and seeing my mum so broken and missing her friend sent me hurtling towards Snacksville at warp speed. I pulled it back by going to an unplanned circuit training session last night, which meant that I ended the day with a few calories in the bank but again it felt like I was teetering on the edge.

Today, I’m determined that I’m not going to dance to the tune of that same upside-down fuckery. I’m done with the white knuckle ride. I am working out tonight, but I’m determined to walk through the doors of the Kingdom of Pain with a dinner’s worth of calories ring-fenced in the bank for afterwards. That means dinner and any additional healthy treats can come when I’ve earned them rather than spending my food budget up ahead on tick, and having to sweat my way back from the cliff edge.

I’m exhausted. For the last few nights, any hope of sleep has disappeared as soon as my head hits the pillow. I’m worried about my mum, who’s elderly and very fragile, and not in the best of health herself. I’m trying to sort out a funeral and I’m worried about holding it together long enough on that day so I can deliver a eulogy which is worthy of my Godmother. Most of all I’m grieving. It’s a killer combination and it’s fucking grim trying to hold it all together full stop, you know?

When food has always been your person, or the blanket that you wrap yourself up in whenever life takes a pot shot, finding a new way of processing stuff which doesn’t involve medicating with food sucks till the end of time. Despite logic telling me that five family bags of cheese balls and a Daim cake wouldn’t actually make me feel any better, it doesn’t stop me from wanting to give it my best shot. I won’t go there, but for the love of God I want to.

I just keep telling myself that this too will pass.

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Sometimes, When You Need It The Most…

My Godmother passed away on Saturday evening. I’m incredibly sad, but relieved at the same time that she’s no longer in pain and can now rest in peace. I sat and held her hand for the last three days of her life, which has been both harrowing and comforting all rolled into one. She didn’t have any family of her own, but we were her family through choice, and with a bond every bit as strong.

Always one to have the last word, she waited until I’d nipped home to grab a shower and some food before she drew her last breath and left this world behind.

I thought I’d feel guilty that she died alone, but actually I don’t. I see it as glorious affirmation that she lived life on her terms to the very end and there’s no doubt in my mind that had she wanted to die with her hand in mine she would have done so, and that actually makes me smile.

I think I’m still processing the fact that I’ll no longer be able to pick up the phone for a chat, you know? It doesn’t quite seem real. Hi, it’s me! Hello me… every conversation we had started that way, for as far back as I remember. It was our thing. And breaking the news to my mum that her closest lifelong friend had passed was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It’s going to be a period of adjustment for all of us as we navigate our way around the massive hole which has opened up in our lives.

When I walked the green mile to the Shitbird Scale yesterday morning, my heart was heavy and the Asshole voice was positively bristling with advice. Skip the weigh-in Dee, your thoughts should be elsewhere…you’re grieving and now isn’t the time to think about dieting. In the grand scheme of things what does it matter today what the number says…take a few days off, just until you’ve got your head around everything…

Now, I’m not suggesting that when my Godmother’s spirit soared on Saturday she had a quiet word with the Gods of Skinny on her way up that stairway to heaven…I mean, I wouldn’t be so bold.

However.

I did step on the scales, and somehow, despite meals snatched at odd hours and a lack of exercise this last week as I’ve kept my vigil, I’d bagged a 4lb loss. Are you serious?

I have no idea how it happened, and actually I don’t feel like I deserve it this week but what I do know is this…if the needle hadn’t moved, or worse than that if it’d gone in the wrong direction, I reckon I’d be midway through the mother and father of all binges right now. I was emotionally fragile, and the Asshole voice was seductive and persistent. Plus, he had a point. In the grand scheme of things does it really matter?

Yes. Of course it fucking matters, because I matter. And whether skinny divine intervention was in play or not, that number kicked the Asshole voice hard in the nicky nacky noos and I didn’t hear another peep out of him all day. No binges, no going off the rails. Just a quiet sense of satisfaction that I’ve taken care of business even in the midst of one of the single most difficult weeks of my life.

Sometimes, when you need it the most, help comes from unexpected quarters, right? I’m just sayin’ 🙂

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An Indomitable Spirit

You’ve all been so lovely, with your messages and notes and emails. I’m more grateful than I can tell you to feel this massive cradle of support all around me. To our surprise and delight, my Godmother continues to stick two fingers up at the prognosis and despite a really bad day on Friday, is once again holding court from her hospital bed and bossing the nurses around.

The way her medication is being administered now means she’s no longer wracked with pain, so we’ve seen glimpses of her famously indomitable spirit over the last couple of days. She despatched me yesterday with a wave of her arm to go get her some of ‘that Ataxia yoghurt’, which she insisted was the only thing she could possibly eat. I’d never heard of it, but I assumed it was some special old lady thing like the luncheon tongue that my mom insists on eating every Sunday, and I was happy to go find it for her.

Ninety minutes and several supermarkets later, and with an increasing sense of desperation at where the actual fuck I might source this wonder food, I managed to speak to the lady who generally helps my Godmother with her shopping and it turns out that Activia yoghurt had been in plentiful supply under my nose all along. As I took the bollocking for writing it down wrong and keeping her waiting, I was chuckling on the inside at this God-given demonstration that despite her failing body, she really is still very much calling the shots.

I’ll tell you what, I thought I’d found the holy grail of dieting yesterday when I was in one of the more upmarket grocery stores looking for the elusive Ataxia yoghurt. I noticed a stand full of seaweed squares, which were being marketed as the ultimate salty snack at just twenty four calories per bag, I was so excited. Healthy, nutritious, virtually fat free…what’s not to love, right?

I didn’t even make it back to the car before I had my nose in the packet. I spat my first mouthful out right there in the car park, I mean they were utterly rancid. I can imagine they tasted like something that had washed up on the beach and died…oh, hang on…

My own eating has been a bit hit and miss. Not the wrong stuff, and not even the wrong quantities but if I tell you that I’d eaten my daily calorie allowance by early afternoon yesterday, it’ll give you a sense of how I’m being pulled towards food as a source of comfort. Not bad food, but still a day’s worth of food squashed into a morning…perhaps I was hoping that the mechanics of eating might act like a balm on my frayed nerves? Old habits really do die hard.

I just toughed it out and coasted through the rest of the day on water with a face like a smacked arse. It seems that my ability to moderate my food intake is a tiny bit compromised by my fragile emotional state, you know? On the other hand, I recognise that it’s happening, and knowledge is power…at least it shouldn’t catch me unawares.

Let’s keep on 🙂

 

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A Tough Old Time

It’s been a tough weekend in many respects. Not because I dragged my double arse over a bunch of giant inflatables, I know that was on the cards but sadly it didn’t happen in the end. I got the call on Friday to say my Godmother had taken a turn for the worse, so I cancelled all my plans and I’ve pretty much been with her all weekend.

She’s better, actually, than she was on Friday. I’ve been able to push her outside in a wheelchair over the last couple of days, and we’ve enjoyed a bit of conversation in the sunshine in between her naps, which are becoming more frequent. She’s nearing the end of her life, and I’m so grateful for the extra time we’ve had, because right after Christmas her doctors didn’t think she’d see the spring. I’m not entirely surprised that she’s defied expectations, since she’s never followed a single rule in the whole of her colourful life.

I was ambushed by the Asshole voice in the relatives kitchen at the hospice on Friday night. He’s been very quiet of late, but isn’t it amazing how quick he shoots out of the traps when my defences are low..? I’d gone in to make a cup of tea, and in the middle of the table sat a huge sleeve of Rich Tea biscuits with a handwritten note saying help yourself…for fuck’s sake, I didn’t need asking twice.

In my defence, I was hungry. I’d taken the call early in the afternoon, and rushed straight over there from work. By the time I clocked the biscuits it was around seven hours later and I hadn’t eaten anything since lunch. I did a swift calculation…thirty six calories per biscuit. I didn’t think that was too bad, so I made a conscious choice to eat two. The Asshole voice made a pitch for me to liberate the whole packet, on the basis that firstly I wasn’t going to have any proper food because there wasn’t any to hand, and secondly I was upset, which automatically bestows emergency permission for my diet to go to shit.

In the end I stopped at four, which I didn’t think was too bad. Let’s be honest, they’re not the most exciting biscuits in the world, but to me, in that moment they actually tasted like a piece of heaven. I could’ve done the whole sleeve, but I didn’t. Given that my default setting when I’m upset is to feed my face with crap until the crap runs out, I thought four was a bit of a result to be fair.

I had another decent loss this week, did you see? I’m now officially at my lowest weight in years, and I’m breaking new ground. That’s exciting, right?  I’m just hoping that when the inevitable happens I can keep the wheels on. I think I’ll be okay. My heart is hurting but my mind feels strong and those four biscuits haven’t even caused a ripple, much less a bump in the road. I only ate four, which means I walked away from the rest. I’ve seen that packet of biscuits a dozen times since, and it hasn’t tried to seduce me again even once. I’ve got this.

If my posts are a little sporadic this week, please bear with me…I know you’ll understand why.

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