Monthly Archives: August 2017

Wrinkle Patrol

Isn’t it a bloody lovely feeling, when everything just works?  I get a real sense of life slowly returning to normal, helped by the fact that I went back to work yesterday. It’s like I’ve stepped back into my own life, after wandering into someone else’s for a bit. Seriously, it’s great to be back…there’s a rhythm to my life that I rather like these days, and I missed it.

I’d almost forgotten what it was like to move through the day without a barrage of unhelpful suggestions from the Asshole between my ears. I’m not entirely out of the woods, in fact there was an incident last night where I spent an hour debating with myself whether or not I could be bothered to get changed and go for a late swim. It was only the fact that I’d actually eaten my exercise calories on the promise of going that swung my ass out of the chair, and of course I loved it once I was in the water. But the key thing is, I closed down the voice and that felt very satisfying. Powerful, even.

I’ve got seven days of food sobriety in the bank, and it’s a good feeling. I’ve treated myself to a handful of non-edible rewards and that seems to be working…I’ve always been open to bribery. So far this week I’ve acquired a new gym bag and yesterday I splashed out on an outrageously-priced face mask that comes with the promise of winding the clock back to a time when my face didn’t look like a deflating balloon. I have high hopes that by the time I go on my writer’s workshop next weekend I’ll look a bit less baggy.

It’s funny you know, I can remember my Grandma getting upset once about the fact that she had a really wrinkly face, and at the time I was baffled. I mean, she was my Grandma and it was sort of in the job description, right? Except now the man-child is almost thirty, technically I’m old enough to be a Grandma myself so I find myself on wrinkle patrol whenever I’m close to a mirror.

There’s definitely shit going south in the face department. And eye bags, what the actual fuck are they all about? I’ve never had bags under my eyes in my life, but these days there’s definitely baggage there especially first thing in the morning. I can’t pinpoint the exact moment when, if I’m not smiling, my face started arranging itself into miserable as the default setting, but I swear it’s got something to do with the fat marching its way downwards.

I’ve always been envious of girls with smooth golden limbs because mine have always been a bit lumpy, with corned beef colouring to boot which really hasn’t helped my cause. Let’s be honest, tanned fat is prettier, right? I’ve never really coveted anyone else’s face though, because I’ve always been happy with my own. Well, not counting my nose, which bizarrely seems to get bigger whenever my cheeks get smaller. It’s annoying that none of the red flags which are now screaming that middle age is upon me seemed noticeable when I looked like I’d swallowed the moon.

Just to be clear, if it comes down to face versus figure, I’m still going for figure. And I’m not going to bitch about the loose skin or the saggy boobs when I get to Skinny Town. I’m well used to tucking my belly into my pants so not a single shit will be given.

I definitely hope the face mask delivers though…that’s a bit harder to swallow 🙂

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Moving Forward With Belt And Braces

So I went back to see my surgeon on Friday, and he’s delighted with my progress. I’m on target for a 100% successful outcome which is the stuff that dreams are made of, right? Especially when you consider that for the last four years I’ve had a red-hot poker residing inside my knee. He showed me some before and after pictures which were taken during the surgery, and you’d never even know from the inside that it’s a fat knee. It’s a thing of beauty.

And now it’s my turn. My part of the deal is to strengthen my quad muscles by committing to physio and lots of exercise. And I’m all over that, even though when I proudly demonstrated to him how strong my knee was getting as I straightened it out, he looked me in the eye and said do more, like I’d barely even got started. I wonder if he’s related to the God of Pain?

I feel like I have worked really hard, this last week. I can’t manage the usual off-road walk that I do with Charlie dog yet, but I am up to almost three miles on even ground before anything starts feeling sore, and that’s awesome when you think it’s only actually a shade over two weeks since I had the surgery.

One thing he did say, was that my kneecap has been pulled off-centre because the muscles are slightly more well-developed down one side of my leg. Apparently that’s because I’ve been limping for the last four years and favouring a certain way of planting my left leg on the floor. Who knew! I mean, I know I’ve hobbled a bit when it’s been really sore but it must have been subtle but constant and I didn’t even realise.

Which, when you think about it is a lot like living a really fat life. When I look back, there were things I used to have to do to compensate for being fat, like rubbing moisturiser into one foot using the other foot, because I couldn’t reach down that far, or doing my ironing sitting down because it hurt too much to stand up. It became the kind of normal that I adapted to and stopped noticing, even though it wasn’t normal at all, exactly like my wonky walk.

I can go back to the Kingdom of Pain in another two weeks, but in the meantime I’ve taken out a second gym membership which gives me access to a network of leisure centres, where I can swim as often as I like and do aqua-fit classes, as well as a bunch of other stuff. I’ve done loads of water-based activity over the last few days which has really helped my arse to disengage from the armchair.

I can generally only manage three sessions with the God of Pain over the course of a week, because the fixed schedule of his classes and limited weekend opening times together with my long commute to and from work make it difficult to squeeze in more. This way I get the best of both worlds, because there’ll always be something going on somewhere that I can do.

It’s a kind of belt and braces approach, but I’m ready to take the last quarter of 2017 by storm…I am on it. I’ve got five days’ worth of food sobriety under my belt and after snatching victory back from the jaws of defeat I’m feeling great. I’ve evicted four and a half of those re-gained pounds from my pants this week, which was exactly the boost I needed.

I was gently reminded that not having a specific goal to strive for makes me drift a bit, so I’m planning to hit 215lbs by Christmas. I badly wanted to say Onederland by New Year but I think that’s a stretch too far…26lbs by Christmas feels do-able.

So…let’s crack on, there’s work to be done 🙂

Talking of Onederland, if you follow Nic’s Shitbird Page, you’ll see she sashayed into Onederland on Saturday, just before she flew out to Greece for her holidays…that’s 151lbs lost and I am so damn chuffed for her!

And don’t forget, if you’d like your own Shitbird page, all you have to do is tell me…the accountability definitely helps to glue your feet to the sweet spot!!

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Fighting Like An Alley Cat

So it’s too soon to hang out the flags, but I think I’ve managed to claw my way back into the game. My food sobriety is fragile, but after a couple more false starts it’s now seen two sun-downs. I’m feeling better. Calmer. I wish I knew why, I mean I haven’t done anything differently than I did on all those other days where I set off with the same steely determination then crashed and burned. Well, apart from not crashing or burning, obviously.

Somehow, on Wednesday I just held it together. And I managed to do the same again yesterday. It wasn’t without challenge…stocking up in the supermarket, the words just give yourself today and start again on weigh day were chanted at me over and over by the Asshole voice but I fought like an alley cat, and I didn’t give in.

It’s a complete head-fuck of course. I’m almost afraid to breathe, as I wait for the hammer to fall again and shatter my new-found resolve. Life would be much simpler if I could get even the smallest clue as to what it is that tips me in or out without warning, you know?

Wrestling my head back into the game has been harder than ever this time and I really struggled to get under the skin of why. I know I’ve had a tough time over the last few weeks but it feels like a cop-out using that as an excuse…life is always going to get in the way. There’s a difference between cutting myself a bit of slack, and throwing in the towel altogether isn’t there? The thing is, a fair weather recovery is no use to me, because sooner or later life is going to pepper my path with shit. Shit happens.

As I’ve reflected on how badly the wheels came off this time, I replayed some of the conversations I had with the God of Pain towards the end of last year, when he began to appreciate just how deep-rooted my issues with food really were. At the time, I was stepping in and out of my food plan like the flaming hokey cokey, and he nailed me one day in an impromptu counselling session, cleverly disguised as a bollocking.

We talked, not just about my go-to foods and my triggers but about the environment I was in when the binges happened. Where I was, who I was with, what I was doing…all of it.

He helped me to see that if I were to stand any chance at all of breaking the cycle, it was no good removing just one of the elements, you know? They all had to go because it wasn’t just about the food. My head would make associations with places and situations, and those subliminal associations would be powerful enough to undermine my food sobriety. Annihilate it, actually.

So sitting for hours on end in my big fat reclining chair, watching TV on my own was a no-no…it put me squarely in the danger zone, even without a bag of snacks because over the last seven years or so that’s where most of the magic happened.

In the first few months of this year, when I was refined sugar-free and completely in control of my eating, I barely went near the chair or the TV. I made sure that I was too busy.

So, let’s think about that. Where have I spent most of the last two weeks whilst I’ve been recuperating and resting my knee..? Yep…feet up in the chair. On my own, with just the TV for company. That’s a bit like leading a reformed but wobbly crack addict back into the crack den, just without the crack.

I’m all of a sudden inclined to be a bit more forgiving of myself. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s okay…the car crash that greets me when I hop aboard the Shitbird Scale tells it’s own story. But I do begin to see how all the events of the last few weeks came together and created a shit storm that has been really bloody tough to navigate.

But I’m still here, right? I might have fallen down a lot but I never stopped wanting to get back up. And I’m not claiming it as a victory, not yet. My whole focus is on one day at a time. I’m walking better and further. I’m putting in the hard yards with my physio and although my knee was sore yesterday, I’m going to have good days and bad days as I push myself towards a full recovery.

That doesn’t just apply to my knee.

But I’m out of the chair. And watch out day three, I’m coming to get ya 🙂

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Judge Me? Don’t You Dare

I read an article in the newspaper over the weekend, and it’s one of those pieces that makes my blood boil a little bit more every time I read it. The woman who wrote it couldn’t have made her contempt for people like me any clearer.

This is what she said, in response to the latest Government initiative against obesity.

A few years ago, after an hour working out in the gym, I headed off for my favourite treat. Standing in line for my double-helping bacon sandwich oozing with melted butter and brown sauce, I felt a tap on my shoulder.

It was Ronnie, one of the trainers at my gym. He said: ‘Before you stuff that in your mouth, look at the size of the backsides of people ahead of you in that queue.’

Cruel, perhaps, but honest. Because as a personal trainer he knows the basic fact about fatties.

They’re overweight because they eat too much and exercise too little.

Yet experts all talk about an ‘obesity’ epidemic as if people who fill their faces suffer from some illness over which they have no control. And now our nanny state is stepping in with its latest ‘cure’.

Yesterday, we learned it is determined to force food manufacturers to make burgers and pizza portions smaller, reduce the size of crisp packets and lower the fat and sugar content of unhealthy foods.

What infantilising nonsense. It’s going to put up the cost of food for all of us as manufacturers comply. And it’s going to do nothing to stop people guzzling. It’s greed that makes you fat. Not ignorance about the dangers of junk food.

Like all normal-sized people, I have to work hard to stay trim. Everyone knows endless burgers and crisps, washed down with litres of fizzy drink, are bad for you. But fatties lack the willpower to stop eating.

Reduce the burger size and the Billy Bunters after instant gratification will just order two, with extra chips.

We are among the lardiest in Europe. Two-thirds of adults and one-third of 11-year-olds are overweight, leading to heart attacks, strokes, cancer and diabetes.

But this initiative suggests the fatties waddling about our streets are the Government’s fault — they’re all victims, as though those giant sausage rolls automatically fly off the hot plate and into their open mouths.

Or they’re obese because they’re poor, and everyone else is to blame for cramming them full of junk food and takeaways.

Until we hold families and individuals, parents and children, accountable, waistlines will continue to strain at their belts. We don’t need more laws to ram home the harsh truth about gluttony — just common sense and strength of character.

Now, I’m not easily offended…sticks and stones and all that. But in these few short paragraphs, not only has she referred to me as a fatty and a Billy Bunter, she’s suggested that I waddle around being greedy and stupid, with no strength of character. In my opinion, for what it’s worth, she’s a skinny fuckwit who doesn’t have the first idea what she’s talking about. How dare she judge me.

In some respects, I don’t disagree with the spirit of what she’s saying, right? I happen to share her view that it’s not the government’s responsibility to save me from myself. But there’s a way to get a point across, and taking a cheap shot at fat people is not cool.

I might be fat, but I’m not stupid, as it happens. I’m a high-functioning individual who’s carved out a great career and held down some pretty demanding jobs over the last twenty years whilst raising a family single-handedly and putting myself through university. I’d like to think that speaks to strength of character.

I don’t lay the blame for the size of my arse at anyone else’s door, or act like a victim. I own every decision I’ve ever made no matter how dodgy. The fact that I can be completely in control of my food plan at 9.45pm but then find myself screeching into the supermarket car park at 9.55pm in my slippers because I all of a sudden can’t contemplate getting through the night without a tub of Haagen Dazs might not be normal, but it doesn’t make me a bad person.

It makes me flawed.  And you know what, even the brightest diamonds have flaws. And if they don’t, then they’re fake. We all have flaws, and I’m sorry but she doesn’t get to judge me for being fat.

Personal Trainers do know about diet and nutrition. So do 99% of fat girls. I’ve never met a fat girl who didn’t know that if she ate less and exercised more she’d be living in Skinny Town and feeling fabulous. Most of us have what borders on encyclopaedic knowledge of calories, or points, or whatever unit of fat currency. This woman’s missing the point completely if she thinks that’s not the case.

I wish I knew how to ‘just get a fucking grip’ and not be the way I am. I’ve spent the the last thirty odd years trying to mend my broken thinking and there have been stretches of time, months on end even, where I’ve managed to wrestle my head into compliance and act like a normal person instead of a gluttonous dimwit whose life has no meaning unless it’s filled with sausage rolls.

There have equally been swathes of time where I’ve lost every shred of control, and my Asshole voice has led me back to the dark side without challenge.

What upset me the most was her patronising and dismissive tone of voice. If it was that fucking easy, wouldn’t we all be living in Skinny Town looking fabulous?

I might be fat and flawed but you know what, even with my double arse I’d rather be who I am than a skinny, superior and unbelievably judgemental moron who wouldn’t recognise empathy if it came with a neon fucking sign.

I’m a bit miffed. Can you tell..?

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The Terrible Two’s!

I think I might have just realised what’s going on with my head and its refusal to play nicely. Think about it folks, it’s happened…I’ve reached the terrible two’s.

Two years ago to this very day, I’d just signed up with my web host and was trying to figure out what buttons I needed to push to make my words appear on a web page somewhere. As things worked out, no words made it anywhere that day because I just couldn’t fathom how it all worked. But I was excited, and I stuck with it because bizarrely – out of the blue and never having done anything like this before – I just knew that I needed to write.

My first blog post materialised the next day, and they’ve come on a regular basis ever since. Two years in, I get really choked when I think about how you lovely lot have stuck to my side like glue and what’s more you’ve managed to wade your way through just about three hundred thousand words. I can’t quite believe it.

This also means that I’m two years and five days into my diet. And that explains a lot, right? I’m officially a dieting toddler, doing toddler type things…pushing boundaries, acting out and generally ignoring all reasonable requests in the interests of touching hot things which are lying in wait to burn my fingers, not to mention working out how to climb over the safety gate. Yeah well I’ve well and truly figured that one out haven’t I, in fact I’ve turned into a regular fucking Houdini .

All joking aside, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting over the weekend. Mainly yesterday, which I spent in my own company. I had lunch with a bunch of friends on Saturday, who’d rescued me from another day in front of the TV when they realised that cabin fever was in danger of actually killing me. I can’t even tell you how awesome it was to leave the house. We went to a local garden centre for a bite to eat and I smacked headlong into my own rebellion, again, by dodging the healthier options in favour of a hot steak sandwich with fat chips and coleslaw. I know.

And a Florentine. Two florentines in fact, because I ate one in the cafe and took one home in a doggy bag for my boy. Now, if I look myself straight in the eye, I’m forced to admit that the duplicate florentine was never going to make it as far as the handover. If he’d been home when I got in there’s a slim chance he might have ended up with it, but only because he’d have likely rugby-tackled it out of my hands. He wasn’t there to take on the fight, and in the end it was out of the bag with indecent haste and eaten before I’d even put the latch on the door.

Yesterday also started badly. I had a less than inspiring conversation with the Shitbird Scale, and yes I know a pound off is a pound off, but I’d hoped that the four pounds on last week had been all bandage and now the big bandage is off it obviously wasn’t. So I went downstairs and ate leftover Shepherds Pie. For breakfast.

And then I cried. A proper, ugly cry because really what the actual fuck was I doing?

I’m still trying to pull all my thoughts and reflections from yesterday into a bunch of words that make sense. I need to let them cook for a bit longer and besides, it’s our birthday today so I’m not going to get all deep on your ass. It’ll come when it’s ready.

It’s a proper milestone today. We are two years a blog, and two years a tight-knit community who support the living daylights out of each other, even when one of us is acting like a complete brat.

*Coughs, and tries to look innocent.

I can’t begin to arrange enough words in anywhere near the right order to tell you how much your support means to me, and how you guys are the reason that I haven’t given up. You’re the reason why, two years in, I’m still here and I’m still trying. And today more than ever, out of respect for all the sheer bloody effort that’s gone into this journey over the last seven hundred and thirty days, I’ve rebooted my head, again.

Day one, take…whatever, I’ve lost count. It doesn’t matter. Day one is all that matters 🙂

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