My Leaky Toolbox

I can’t believe the reaction that Monday’s post drew from you lot – it’s a while since my mailbox has groaned under so many ‘me too’ emails. And although it made me feel less isolated, it also forced me to really reflect on how flimsy our toolboxes are when it comes to keeping a hold of the things that could really help us along the route to Skinny Town.

If I’d bought a toolbox like this from home depot, I’d be standing in front of the customer service desk right now, complaining about how fucking useless it was, and how easily holes opened up and allowed stuff to fall out of the bottom. 

I’ve been writing this blog for almost two and a half years, right? And we’ve talked about all sorts of stuff. We’ve laughed a fair bit, we’ve celebrated successes and we’ve commiserated with each other when the wheels have come off, but mostly we’ve picked over the bones of stuff and pulled some proper golden nuggets of learning out of the shit we’ve waded through. The plan has always been to keep hold of those lessons and use them to drive us forward until we look for all the world like we’ve never met a single doughnut in the whole of our skinny lives.

What I’d really like to know, is where have all those lessons gone? It’s like we unwrapped them, exclaimed over them, wondered why it had taken a lifetime to switch the light bulb on, and then we tucked them away in the toolbox for future reference, safe in the knowledge that we’d never forget that new thing that was going to help us forever, now we knew about it. I can only speak for myself, but in an un guarded moment when my back was turned most of the things I’ve learned have fallen out of the bottom of my fucking useless leaky toolbox and nobody’s seen them since.

One of you even suggested to me a couple of weeks ago that I go back and read some of my early blog posts where I seemed to be switching on light bulbs all over the place, I mean my life was floodlit for months. I was flying, with the strong wind of all this learning behind me. I can’t really pinpoint the moment where my progress stalled and then started going backwards, but somehow I’ve ended up scrabbling around in the dark again, hoping against hope that I’ll find my way back. On reflection, I think I probably should re-trace my steps, I mean it’s the sensible thing to do isn’t it when you’re trying to find something precious that you’ve lost.

Shit. There’s more than five hundred blog posts and close to half a million words to trawl through, I mean that’s a bit daunting, right? It might take a while. And what if I forget them all over again?

I’ll tell you what – why don’t I make a new page, where I can call out the blog posts which have helped me the most as I rediscover them? I could call it the Skinny Lessons page, and as I’m working my way through my back-catalogue looking for inspiration, I could pull out some links to the ones which have switched on the brightest floodlights in my head. Y’all could do the same if you like, and signpost the ones that’ve helped you…having a go to page when we need propping up might at least solve the problem of that leaky toolbox if nothing else, right?

I’ll get on it this weekend when I have a little more time.

And yes, in case you’re wondering…I’m still on the naughty step 🙁


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27 thoughts on “My Leaky Toolbox

  1. Thinking of you from across the pond. It’s hard to compose a post when you’ve “fallen, and can’t get up.” Not sure if this is the case or not, if that’s why we haven’t heard from you, but success is in not giving up. Your posse awaits, no matter what, when you’re ready.

    1. Hey Keira, thank you so much for your note 😘 I’m fine, and I’m so sorry I’m silent!! I posted an update on the BOTSG Facebook page but I’m guessing you didn’t see it…I’ve had an accident with my laptop and it’s currently away being fixed – the screen smashed. I can’t write and post from my phone so I’m effectively gagged until I get it back 🙄

      Thank you so much for caring enough to reach out, I’m doing ok…I’m still on the naughty step but I’m hanging in there. I miss you guys but I’m checking in on Facebook as and when I can. I’ll be back as soon as I can, I promise!! Xxx

    1. Oh bless ya! I’m sorry – keep an eye on the Facebook updates, I had an accident with my laptop and it’s out of action with a shattered screen 🙄 I’m not able to create posts using my phone, so I’m temporarily out of action. I’m missing you guys too! I’m working on getting it sorted as soon as possible 😘

  2. My own story: I was effortlessly slim for a very long time. Yes I worked out quite a bit but I also ate whatever I wanted and it was a lot. I slowly gained about ten pounds a year, and because it was slow I didn’t pay attention. This went on for years. Yoga pants are very forgiving. Menopause hit with a bang and no matter what I did, nothing worked. I am just like you, I can lose twenty and blink and it comes right back on. I am worried about it for health reasons more than looks at this stage. The real reason I don’t stick with it is because food is pleasurable, and it’s so much easier to not have to constantly restrict. I love to shop for it, I love to cook it, I love how it smells. No way am I eating just as fuel to stay alive. The God’s honest truth is if I knew I only had a year to live let’s say, I would eat even more, start baking, having pina coladas, whatever. I just cannot work up the motivation to do what I need to do. Unlike all the other addictions you can’t go cold turkey like with ciggies or booze. I can read up on all the blogs, what others do for success, try out this protein shake, that supplement. I have absolutely no idea how to make myself do this.

    1. Well it’s a bit like the blind leading the blind then Paula…me either!! When I do it, I do it very well but you’ve seen the frequency of my spectacular falls from grace…sheesh. And I am one hundred percent with you on the year to live thing. I think that would absolutely qualify as an all bets are off situation. However. We’re here and we need to live a long and healthy life so stick with me kiddo and we’ll figure it out together!

      1. Hope so, and I am sure glad I found you! Do you ever friend people on FB from here? Understand if you don’t, but if you do would love to, if only to see all your fab trips

  3. We should be able to manage self-improvement long-term, because we are doing it for ourselves, but it doesn’t work like that, does it? It takes a mammoth effort to deny a former life, one where we slobbed out, ate and drank as we pleased, did little exercise and actually enjoyed living like that. Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that always and not gain weight? In many ways it is surprising that we imagine we can sustain a new way of life long term. Look at all the stars who lose stones, totally transform their looks yet are caught on camera a few years later having regained all their weight and more. Even when we are really fired up to do it we know damned well there is temptation all around us to slip up. The path of least resistance is always in front of me. It probably does have to be a good day/bad day thing for me for life. I just have to power through and refuse to let good days become bad days. It’s mental.I know myself now. I just aim to have more good days than bad. Here’s to all the good days.

    1. Oh My DAYS can you imagine being able to live in a world where cheese balls and Haagen Dazs didn’t pile on the pounds? That’s close to how I imagine heaven to be!! Here’s to the good days Dawn!

  4. Give yourself permission to be naughty — tomorrow. Today, be good. Tomorrow, try again. Sometimes it helps if you know you aren’t signing off on those foods, just choosing to delay them, until tomorrow.

    Good luck, and yes, flag the lessons in some way so you can refer to them as soon as you feel like you can’t wait until tomorrow.

  5. I’m with Vickie, too. While I’m not a huge 12-step fan (although if it works for you, go for it), I think it’s useful to treat the abuse/use of food like drug use. (I know myself, and I often use food to self-medicate.) Right now, I’m inhaling sugar in a misguided attempt to deal with stress. I should be kinder to myself, but it’s so hard to break the cycle of sugar binge/guilt/stress/sugar. Repeat ad infinitum ad nauseum.

    I think what works best for me is to treat my mis-use of food as a “one day at a time” thing, which means: don’t fret about yesterday, don’t borrow what might be trouble tomorrow, and just focus on today.

    It’s so frustrating that if I *know* what to do and I *know* what works, why am I not doing it?

    1. Exactly!! They say knowledge is power but I’ve got masses of knowledge…knowing and doing though, are two separate things, right?!

  6. Dee I like the idea of a page that lists the best lessons on the blog etc some place for a quick reference.

    Also keep in mind the process changes what I do now is day and night different to what I did when I started in my 30’s what worked then doesn’t work now in my 50’s.

    Now days I try to have a tight window that I eat in 9 am-6pm, this also amounts to a short fast daily, I track calories period, I weigh in daily.
    As for exercise I walk 4x weekly for about 2miles at a time on my treadmill. I try to lift weights twice weekly and I work on my abs three times a week to help with bad lower back issues it seems to work. This is what is working for me now in maintence and as long as it keeps working I’ll keep doing it but it may have to be tweaked eventually.

    I have blathered enough for one day. Its time to get yourself back on track and off the naughty step you can do it!

  7. I think the skinny lessons page is a great idea! Of course you know my favourite (or should I say the post that smashed the biggest lightbulb over my head), I probably don’t even need to say it -Choosing My Miserable. It’s very close to home. We don’t have to remember who or what made you come to this conclusion, just that you *did* come to it, that’s the important bit! Every time I’m sitting in a pile of my weight loss wagon’s burning ashes it’s the precise thought of choosing my miserable that pulls me back up. Good luck with the reading!

  8. One off the things I WILL mull over: what has changed in the way I use the posts, the forum for sharing, the archival stuff? What is so different in my life now, that those “tools” aren’t front-of-mind all day?
    Vickie has got my number… I shouldn’t abandon my clanking, rickety construction elevator and just fucking step off into perdition.

  9. Ok well first of all. Since I am NOT on the naughty step I can tell you to knock yourself off the fucking naughty step and get back onto the good step. This post speaks to me as well. Get the fuck out of my head!!!!!! (Yes I have a potty mouth and you do to. I think I love you.) Many, many, many times I can think of those lightbulb moments I myself have had. However, it is like bad short term memory and they just flutter away. Out of sight out of mind. I often think about doing one of those weight loss board/sheet things for the visual. But then I worry about how it will make me feel blah bitty blah blah blah. My handwriting sucks so I would need to do on a computer. Who has the time. It will take forever to make myself happy. So for now every once and a while a spark hits and I remember but then it is gone in a flash. Poof!

    1. We are very similar indeed!! I’m loving the idea of a skinny lessons page more and more. We could all hop on for five minutes and offer a nugget of wisdom or a piece of learning…I’m on it!!!

  10. The thing that I have been watching happen for years (I have been blogging since 2005) is people (dangerously) think – I have this. Sometimes they even write those words.

    This is particularly dangerous when moving from weight loss to maintenance because there is hardly any difference between those two.

    It is like they are on an elevator and simply step off with nary a thought.

    The people who do best seem to remember it is a continuous process and if they step away from that process, or think they are above/beyond it, they are in serious trouble.

    The people who seem to do the best follow different “plans” but really seem to think of themselves as in recovery. Recovering from previous habits, addictions, lifestyles.

    They GUARD their process.

    1. This what Vickie said AMEN Vickie you are SO RIGHT! None of us who have previously been over weight can kid ourselves that we can eat like every one else and not regain the weight. We can’t eat like everyone our bodies don’t work that way!

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