Tag Archives: determination

Something Of An Epiphany

I can’t go on like I have been, right? I know, and you all know that something had to change. I’d lost it. That precious terra firma in the sweet spot that I was so attached to all of a sudden felt like shifting sand under my feet. I was struggling to even stand up straight, never mind pushing ahead with my plans to get skinny. And I’ve been battling with myself every day to the point where I’m just pissed off with it all.

That’s not right, is it? I mean, I’m used to a bit of internal dialogue with the Asshole voice, after all both of us have co-habited inside my head for years. But there have been long periods of time over the course of this journey where I’ve been properly in control, with just an occasional spat. I saw a steady weight loss and I was broadly okay because I can do it when my head falls in line with the rhythm of losing weight.

Towards the end of last year after I came home from the trek I lost the plot completely, and had a wild food-fest over the run up to Christmas. I pulled it back in January and this year was going pretty well, right up until August when I lost my God mum. Since then it’s been rocky to say the least. But I realised something over the weekend.

Somehow, all the shit I’ve waded through this year has tilted my thinking, and my focus has shifted away from all the possibilities of a skinny life and become fixated on the wrong thing. I’ve been spending way too much time feeling resentful about all the things I can’t have instead of feeling excited about what’s within touching distance. There’s no fucking wonder I’m struggling is there? I’m just one big ball of resentment and the more my head says you can’t have [whatever it is], the more I dig my heels in and cheat my way to having it anyway.

That’s how come I’ve managed to welcome thirty or so pounds back into my pants.

What I should be doing is focusing my energy on achieving my goals, which haven’t changed. I want that skinny life, filled with all those lovely clothes and just the one chin. I want my square knees back, and an arse that doesn’t feel like a tsunami going off in my pants whenever I take a step. Thinking about the possibilities of that life is what glued my feet to the sweet spot in the early days, but I’ve lost my way of late.

I’ve also lost sight of how me being positive and believing I can do it can help and inspire the people around me to do it too. My friend Nic is a case in point…if you follow her Shitbird page you’ll see she’s been ping-ponging all over the place just like I have. We sat and discussed it on Saturday over a coffee. And a dirty great cream scone. We didn’t have our eyes on the delights of a skinny life, we were too distracted by the contents of the cake cabinet. The thing is, we can inspire each other to great things one minute, and willingly, gleefully dive headlong into food fuckery the next.

Well, no more. We made a pact, even as we were wiping the crumbs from our respective chops…I promised not to lead her astray any more and she did the same. Yesterday was day one reboot for both of us and as we checked in with each other last night, it was holding. She’s relying on me, and I’m relying on her. It’s a big responsibility, right? If I don’t cheat, she can’t either. And vice versa. It’s a full on pinky promise.

That, combined with my shift of focus away from all the things I can’t have and back to the size of the prize was something of an epiphany…it’s a conscious step and let’s hope it’s the game-changer we both need.

Who else is in?



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Two Days And Counting

So I’m two days into my sugar divorce and I’m doing okay. I’ve only had one slip up and that was sort of an accident. Well I’m saying an accident, actually it was more of a reflex action. Someone was passing a tub of chocolate-covered hob nob marshmallows from table to table in a training course I was helping to run yesterday. I didn’t notice it heading towards me, but when the tub came at me from the left, I shoved one in my mouth and passed it to my right.

My arm responded to that tub of hob-nob chocolate in the same way me knee would’ve responded to a reflex hammer…there was bugger-all thought involved whatsoever on my part.

Yes, I know. I sat with that hob-nob marshmallow on my tongue and thought Shit! I’m not supposed to be eating this…

I didn’t feel it was appropriate to spit the damned thing out again, I mean that would make me a weirdo, right? So I made the most of my accidental snack, and sucked it until I only had one little oat left in the middle of my tongue. Which I appreciate still makes me a tiny bit weird, I mean who sucks a marshmallow..? The important thing is, I didn’t compound the situation by eating a bunch more of them and it only cost me thirty three calories.

I’d love to claim full credit for resisting the temptation to go back for more, but actually there were none left once everyone had pitched in. What do you mean, did I look? You fucking know I did. But, even with the taste of chocolate on my tongue I didn’t go find something else instead when I realised the tub was empty and I could have, because there was a shop and cafe dead opposite where we were working.

I don’t think that one indiscretion means I have to re-set the dial. I’ve got fifty six hours and one cock-up under my belt but I don’t feel any worse for having eaten it, and I’ve definitely got less sugar running through my veins than I did two days ago. Seriously, I’m as grouchy as it’s possible to be without actually ripping someone’s face off. Maybe I should be duct-taped to the bed with someone standing guard as I go cold turkey but so far, with the exception of that one incident it’s largely been uneventful. I’m coping, even if my turkey is still only lukewarm.

I did sack off the idea of going swimming last night, so I’m not entirely behaving like a skinny girl. The length swim last night was 9pm-10pm and by that time I’d been in pyjamas for three hours and I seriously couldn’t be arsed. My boy raised an eyebrow and commented that before the holiday I would’ve gone without thinking and he’s right, so there’s definitely still work to do on shifting the holiday mindset.

The fact that he noticed – and commented – has closed off my option of bumming for two days in a row though, so I’ll definitely be in the pool tonight… 🙂

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Forward Is Forward, Right?

You know, I wish I’d started recording my weight from day dot of being on this journey. It’s useful to be able to look back and compare where I am now to where I was at a given point in time. I used to reflect on my progress quite easily using the Weight Watchers’ app, but when I broke up with smart points and defected to calories, I think Weight Watchers binned all my data before I’d even shut the door. I tried to access it yesterday but they were having none of it.

I know when I started in August 2015 I was north of 320lbs. I did really well for a few months, but I definitely ran out of steam and fannied around quite a bit towards the back end of 2016, after I’d completed the trek. Honestly, this journey overall has been about as straight as a dog’s hind leg.

I can’t help feeling frustrated when I think about the way I’ve matched every two steps forward with one step backwards. I mean for fuck’s sake…I know roughly where I was on the scale when I left for Cuba this time last year, and at best I’m net 7lbs down from what I was then. I’ve not exactly brought my ‘A’ game over the last 12 months, have I?

Capturing a picture of my conversation with the scale every week from the beginning of this year has been one of the best ideas ever, because now I can look back and use it as a tool to spur me on. I’ve got a holiday coming up in a few weeks and right now, despite a couple of wobbles I actually weigh the same as I did when I got back from Italy in June. I haven’t gone backwards.

And better than that, I’m 15lbs lighter than I was when we cruised around the Middle East in February. By the time we set off again in a month’s time I’m planning to be a few pounds lighter still, and that will be my skinniest holiday in years.

I’d be the first one to admit that my progress hasn’t been especially fast. Says the Queen of understatement…seven pounds off over the last twelve months is fairly shit by anybody’s standards, right? Half a pound a month as an average, I mean it’s a joke really. However. It’s still seven pounds in the right direction. And I’ll take that.

So it’s not quick. Who cares? It’s happening. And I’m doing something I’ve never been able to do before. Of course, I’ve lost weight in the past and sometimes I’ve lost the weight quickly. Lots of weight. But I’ve never kept a diet going long enough for it to be considered a lifestyle change. I’ve never forced myself to exercise consistently when both my mind and body said no, and I’ve certainly never fallen down over and over again, whilst somehow finding the will to get back up as many times as it takes to just keep on going.

This time, I’ve done all of those things. I’m still doing them and that’s why I know that this time is for keeps, because there’s nothing that will stop these feet from carrying me all the way to Skinny Town.

It just might take a while, is all… 🙂

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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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Destination Disasterville

I was supporting a training course yesterday at work, which was centred around strategic planning for some of our senior team. I love days like that, where you go along thinking you could probably recite the content standing on your head but end up learning a bunch of stuff in the process. You don’t know what you don’t know, right?

One of the exercises really captured my imagination. As a way to drive home the importance of proper planning, the facilitator asked the guys to imagine for a moment that they’d failed to deliver one of the key things they are accountable for. He wanted them to really think about what the consequences of that failure might be. Serious stuff, right? The scenarios they fed back included us losing customers, business, revenue, jobs…the full monty.

Now, I’ve not seen that exercise done before, and as I listened, I found myself participating from the sidelines and doing that thing where my mind anchors everything right back to what’s important in my world. So I set off thinking about my journey down the scale, and the fact that I’m the one who’s accountable for whether or not I manage to shift the extra arse I’ve been carrying around in my pants for the last few years.

Losing weight is the most significant part of my life plan, and has been for the best part of two years, but what would the consequences be if I failed? I didn’t need to imagine very hard, I mean I’ve been there for real more times than I can even count.

I see myself laid in my big fat reclining armchair, peering over the top of my belly at the TV as I watch The Biggest Loser, all the while shovelling cheese balls into my mouth, three or four at a time from the third family-sized bag that I’ll share with the dog in one sitting. Well, I say share…two hundred and ninety seven for me, one for him. Come on, I’m a responsible dog owner and don’t want him to get fat.

In my mind’s eye, I see myself heave three hundred and fifty pounds of lard off the chair and waddle it to the kitchen, so I can retrieve the Daim cake which is defrosting. It’s still frozen but fuck it, I’ll eat it anyway. I don’t mind it being a bit cold. 

As I shuffle back to my armchair with the whole Daim cake on a plate, I feel pissed off at the way my ankles and my knees hurt. It’s not fair. I’ve got an itch on my foot that I can’t bend down far enough to scratch because my belly gets in the way and I look like I’ve got three pillows of fat strapped around my middle. You don’t even want to imagine the rear view. 

I don’t wear anything on my feet that requires more of me than shuffling my foot forward in order to put them on, because fastening any kind of strap or buckle below the knee would cause my eyes to bulge like they’re going to pop right out of my head. Along with the grunting…that happens automatically when the fat I carry on the inside forces the air out of my lungs whenever I try to bend down. I live a vertical life for that reason, or at least I would if I could stand up long enough. Two minutes is about my max, before I start looking around for somewhere to sit down.

With a bit of luck there’ll be a chair without arms, because my arse struggles with the concept of a one-arse sized seat. Chair arms dig right into my legs and my skin will turn blue with bruises. If I do manage to find a seat without arms I’ll never relax in case it’s not geared up to hold an arse the size of mine…the thought of being a fat girl flailing on an exploded chair like a turtle on it’s back fills my heart with dread.

That’s what failure looks like to me, because there’s no middle ground.

Like the sound of needle scraping across vinyl, I woke up to myself in the present day when the facilitator brought the room back, and I almost cried with sheer fucking relief that I’m just fat. On a scale of fatness, I’m still right of the midline but I’m definitely not all the way over to the fat fat fat side. Not any more.

I can walk without pain, left knee excepted from time to time. Hell, I can circuit train, I can box and I can hold a plank for almost a minute. I swing kettle bells. I can cycle, and they even make padded cycling shorts in my size, which tells you that I’m on the fat edge of fucking normal. Move along folks, nothing to see here.

Fat isn’t limiting my life in the way that it did two years ago, and fat will never limit my life again. That’s the promise that I’ve made to myself and with every step I take, I can see that old life getting more and more distanced from who I am.

Failure..? Not on your nelly 🙂

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