Category Archives: In the here & now

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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Nearer To Good Than Bad

Well, I’m in a much better frame of mind today, and to the blessed relief of everyone I’ve been driving round the bend, I’ve stopped being a muppet. It’s taken me a week to get my head around the fact that I’m not going to feel better straight away. I’ve also come to realise that not every twinge means it’s all gone wrong. It’s normal to have good days and bad days after surgery, right? Wednesday was the worst day, but yesterday was better.

Stressing about my food plan hasn’t been especially helpful. After my prolonged dalliance with the binge demons, getting back on track would have been hard enough in itself, but doing it in a week where enforced inactivity has ruled out any opportunity to boost my pitiful calorie quota…well. I’ve narrowly avoided eating my own fucking arm.

And I’m still obsessing about Daim cake. I mean, in my repertoire of go to foods it’s up there towards the top of the list anyway but for some reason my head has stalled at the crossroads where I choose to walk either towards it or away from it. So I’m still standing there having the same conversation. I shit you not, it’s like Groundhog Day.

The Asshole voice is lobbying hard.  Look, just go get it out of your system, then you can move on. I’m not going to quit reminding you how that buttery taste will melt on your tongue and make you feel better, and sooner or later you’re going to cave. You know it, and I know it. Why don’t you save us both the trouble and go buy the cake.

I thought it would be easier because I’m stuck in the house, you know? My ability to nip out to the shops has been severely compromised by my not being able to drive. I know better than to ask the fun police to bring me a Daim cake, and in any event he’s been working so I didn’t even try. I did think about calling a cab to the place that sells them, and I also considered doing a full on-line shop just so I could get some contraband delivered and eat it whilst there’s only me in the house. Thankfully I haven’t done any of those things.

But I’m still thinking about doing all of those things because my head is refusing to play nicely.

The thing is, I’m clinging on. My food plan has not been the stuff that skinny dreams are made of this week, and there’s been a couple of days where I’ve gone a bit over my calorie budget but the upshot is, I haven’t eaten Daim cake. Whether I’ve coloured inside the lines or not, it’s been nearer to good than bad and that’s something to celebrate. I doubt very much that the Shitbird Scale will award me a loss on Sunday but to be honest this non-scale victory matters far more. It’s been one hell of a battle.

I don’t think it’s over yet. But it will pass, eventually. The non-Asshole side of my brain knows that, and I’m riding out the storm 🙂

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The Polar Opposite Of Easy

I don’t know about you, but in that moment where I desperately want to eat something I shouldn’t,  the Asshole voice spits out reassurance after reassurance about how easy it’ll be to pick up the pieces pretty much straight away afterwards. My head totally gets on board with the whole concept and works in tandem to erase any old memories which may tell a different story, and right up until the chewing is over I remain convinced that getting back in the game is going to be a walk in the park.

I fall for it every fucking time.

Before you start throwing things at the screen out of sheer frustration that I’m still fannying around, I’m not. I’ve got five days’ worth of skin in the  game but honestly, pulling myself back out of that hole has been a full-on stinking turd of a task. I’m wrung out by the relentless assault on my willpower to the point where it feels like my week has been directed by Quentin Tarantino.

The reality of getting back on plan after a ten day hiatus is the polar opposite of easy. It’s compounded by the sheer boredom of not being able to do much else apart from sit in the chair with my leg elevated and have the occasional potter about. It seems that dragging my mind out of the refrigerator is much easier if I can take Charlie-dog out for a long walk, or go work up a sweat at the Kingdom of Pain.

I’m tetchy from the sugar withdrawal and my mind and body are not occupied with anything other than how much I want to eat whilst I’m sitting around doing nothing. There’s no unsuitable food in the house, so my options are deliberately limited but that doesn’t stop the steady stream of help and advice from the Asshole voice as to how I might engineer a situation whereby I’m left to my own devices and therefore free to order take-out pizza.

Fair to say then that it hasn’t been a textbook week so far. I had some ice-cream on Sunday that I haven’t paid back into the calorie pot yet, but that was my very last sugar-related transgression and other than that I’m doing okay as I claw my way back to clean eating. There might have been an incident with some out-of-budget sprouts and a battered haddock fillet yesterday but I was due to take pain meds and I needed to eat something. It could have been worse.

The big bandage came off yesterday, to be replaced by a full length elasticated support stocking. This didn’t improve my mood any, since my knee blew up like a football and I realised that said support stockings are just not built for fat legs.

Getting it on was easy so I was lulled into a false sense of security, but to stop the dratted thing rolling down from the top every time I moved, I had to make a sort of cuff with the top of it which then proceeded to cut the circulation off in my leg. Drama queen that I am, I convinced myself that I was having a DVT until it dawned on me that the stocking was just too damn tight.

On medical advice when I couldn’t stand it any longer, the support stocking went in the bin and I’m once again swaddled in bandages. Two steps forward, one step back. I’m sore, and my cranky pants are pulled all the way up to my armpits. Surely three family bags of cheese balls and a Daim cake would make me feel better right now..? Except I know they really wouldn’t, beyond a brief moment in time. So it’s a no from me.

It doesn’t stop the image of them playing on a constant loop in my head though 🙁


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Just A Bit Too Cocky

I’ve had some lovely notes and messages relating to my knee surgery, which were much appreciated, thank you. It all went well, and I was home by mid-afternoon on the same day. It’s sore, but it’s not unbearable. I think I’ve been battered by the anaesthetic as much as anything, because in between all the knee exercises that the physiotherapist has given me to do I’m sleeping more than a middle-aged moggy. I guess that’ll wear off in a few days.

My friend came over yesterday evening and we decided to go see a movie – that was the point that I realised that perhaps I’d overestimated my ability to bounce back. Pottering around the house is one thing, but the car journey to the cinema was uncomfortable and although we parked right outside and didn’t really walk very far at all, by the time I got home last night I was exhausted. And my knee hurt. A lot. So no matter how bad the cabin fever gets, I won’t be doing that again any time soon.

The doctor raised an eyebrow at me on Friday when I said I was planning to go back to work in a couple of days…sometimes I can be a bit too cocky for my own good, you know? Lesson learned. I’ve assumed the position again with my leg elevated, where it will remain until the swelling goes down, and I guess I’ll be sending in that sick note after all.

I’ll tell you what though, just cast your mind back a couple of years. I couldn’t wait to lay back every weekend with my feet up in my big fat leather armchair and do nothing at all. Well, except feed my face. It’s almost worth being driven crazy with cabin fever as a reminder of how far I’ve come. That life doesn’t belong to me any more, which is why I reckon I’m finding the inactivity so hard.

These days, weekends are about getting out in the fresh air and walking with Charlie dog or setting off with a bunch of friends on my bike, not hunkering down with an armful of snacks and a steady stream of crappy TV. Hopefully it’ll only be a couple of weeks until I’m properly mobile again. I’m not sure how much more of the doggy death-stare I can take, for one thing.

My encounter with the Shitbird didn’t go too well yesterday. Again. I was in two minds whether to bother hopping aboard at all given that I’m wrapped from thigh to ankle in a massive padded bandage, but on the basis that I didn’t properly climb out of the sink hole until Friday, I figured bandage or no bandage I had to face the number. It wasn’t pretty, but I’m happy to report that the anarchy is over and I’m properly back up and running with my food plan.

Not before time. That twelve day fuck-up has put me back to what I weighed on 19th March. For fuck’s sake. Five months’ worth of effort wiped out in less than two weeks. Next time I’m in the mood to rebel I’m going to remind myself about that 🙂

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