Tag Archives: determination

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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That’s Not Normal

I’m a bit late posting this morning, on account of the fact that my ass was dragging when I got into bed last night…sorry about that. I remember propping myself up on my pillows and balancing my Macbook on my lap like I always do when I’m getting ready to talk to you, but somehow things get a bit hazy after that point, right up until I woke up with a crick in my neck at about 4am. Muppet.

So, the post went unwritten, and I grabbed another couple of horizontal hours before scooting down to the Kingdom of Pain for my hour of torture and then coming home to eat beef stew for breakfast. I know, but in my defence there were the same number of points in the leftovers from last night’s supper as there would have been in poached eggs on toast and I’ve got to say for an impulse food choice it’s up there with the most enjoyed ever. Nom 🙂

So much for my lazy week off, it’s been hard work, due to my determination to sort all these clothes out. I spent half the day on Wednesday at it and all day yesterday – you might have seen the chaos if you follow the Facebook page- and although I’ve broken the back of it I’m probably looking at another full day today. Fuck’s sake, my storage locker is starting to take on mythical qualities, because despite carrying a steady stream of stuff out it doesn’t seem to be getting any less full, and I’m starting to suspect someone keeps bunging more stuff in it when I’m not looking.

I rent the storage locker because my little cottage has barely any storage space at all, so you know when you need somewhere to store random stuff like Christmas decorations and decorating equipment…the kind of things you don’t need very often? I do need additional space and it’s cheaper than selling up and buying a bigger house. Except over the years it seems to have been taken over by clothes. And you know what, as I’ve been going through them I’ve come to the realisation that I’m not right in the head. Nobody needs that many clothes.

On some level I get it, you know? Last time I reached the hallowed territory of size 12 – or 8 to my friends Stateside – I went wild with clothes shopping, and to be fair after losing a ton of weight I felt like I deserved it. Except I only stayed there long enough to smell the fucking roses and before I’d had chance to get settled in I started filling out my pants again, and then some.

Looking at the stuff I’m surrounded by as I write this, I can’t help thinking that maybe I was filling the void previously occupied with food by buying all this stuff? I mean, every skinny girl needs a pair of linen pants for the summer, right? I’m not sure she needs a pair in every fucking colour of the rainbow with several tops to match each one. Much less strappy tops which look gorgeous on anybody else’s body but never on mine because I don’t get my arms out for anyone.

For some reason which baffles me now, I’ve bought stuff I’d never wear in a month of Sundays, because being a skinny string bean still doesn’t unlock the door that stands between you and being able to wear anything ‘just because you love it’. It has to flatter the residual effects of all the time served in a very fat body and trust me when I say that in my case, that does not include strappy tops. The sight of that would scare children and small animals.

So I’m still plugging away. I’ve now got piles and piles of size 12/14/16/18/20/22/24/26/28 clothes to put on eBay. A lot of the smaller stuff hasn’t ever been worn for all the reasons I just talked about. I’m also looking at stuff through the lens of being the wrong side of fifty now, in particular the length of skirts and the depth of necklines. I mean I don’t mind being a rebel and I’m not particularly conventional anyway, but I don’t want to look like skinny mutton dressed as lamb, you know? *Shudders at the thought*.

I’ve got similar piles of stuff to keep in 18/16/14/12 and they’re all bagged up in sizes, so it’ll be easier going forward, I can just sell on the things that get too big, and go bring home the next size down. I’ve probably got another 4 big bags of stuff to bring home and sort out, and then I can take all the stuff I’m keeping back to the lock-up, and I’ll know exactly where to put my hands on it when I need it.

Yesterday, I sat and cursed the fact that I’d even started this…today I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and I’m going to crack on and finish the job. It’s a bit like this whole journey when I think about it…daunting at first and feeling like I’ll never make any inroads much less finish the task but with the right amount of effort things always start to take shape, right?

Onwards 🙂

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A Moment Of Pure Joy

It’s funny isn’t it, how sometimes it’s the little things which make you pull up short and take stock. Last night I was dying on my arse halfway through the second of two back-to-back classes in the Kingdom of Pain when I noticed that the laces on one of my trainers had come undone. Almost without breaking my stride I bent down and re-fastened it, and then carried on. In that moment, I was hit by the best feeling of wellbeing ever.

I was transported right back in time, to a world where tying shoelaces was pretty damn near impossible. At my heaviest, there was too much padding in my mid-section to even bend forward and reach my feet, never mind tie a shoe lace. I’ve come a long way since then but in that moment, all the occasions where I had to sit on the edge of the bed and try and manoeuvre my foot into an errant shoe without actually bending down sprang to mind.

I remember having to psyche myself up to go for the laces…I’d grunt my way through it with my eyes bulging as I tried to bend my body and when I eventually managed it I’d emerge red-faced and sweating and horribly out of breath.  I remember buying a pair of Ugg boots which sat unworn in the box for months because they were very snug on my fat feet and I couldn’t bend down far enough or long enough to hold the back of the boots with two hands whilst I pushed my feet in. There’s no wonder the easy mechanic of tying my laces last night gave me a moment of pure joy. Life was hard back then.

It’s good to remember how bad things were because it makes me genuinely appreciate how much easier life is these days and it reminds me why this journey is so important, you know?

I got my gold seven disc from God of Pain last night, which signifies two months and one week of clean eating. I have just two more to collect before I’ve completed the three month challenge, which by happy coincidence started as I emerged from my Christmas food coma and hit the New Year with renewed determination. I don’t want it to end if I’m honest, I mean I have no intention of changing the way I’m eating because this is totally working for me right now but I must admit, having something to work towards has provided an extra layer of glue to keep my feet in the sweet spot.

You know how dodgy things were for me in the last three months of last year. I was on and off my diet, with my resolve all over the place, binging one minute and determined the next before falling off the wagon all over again and hating myself with alarming regularity. There were dark moments where I really thought I’d lost it to the point I wouldn’t get it back.

I’m so bloody grateful that I did. Your unwavering support and belief in me through each and every one of those fuck-ups made all the difference in the world. The moment you stop believing in yourself is the moment you quit, but you lot didn’t allow me to lose faith and that’s why I’m here now.

You guys rock 🙂

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