Tag Archives: motivated

A Brand New Copybook

Ok so this is special. It’s a Monday, and it’s the first day of a brand new year…that happens only once every seven years, right? Unless leap years bugger up that sequence once in a while, but whatever. The stars are aligned and I’m actually feeling more than a bit giddy as I write this. It’s a sign, kind of a double whammy if you like.

I’m trying to frame this in my head as though everything I’ve done, and everything I’ve learned in the two years, four months and sixteen days since I decided to wrestle my life back from the brink of obesity-related immobility has led me right to this point. And this point is where my dummy run ends, and I step out for real. I know. I feel like I should be speaking in hushed tones, so significant is this moment…

Okay okay so I know I’m being a bit over the top, but come on, if ever there was a new start that was worthy of being called a new start, this is it. I’ve opened a brand new shiny book, and I’m ready to start filling the pages with my 2018 story. I’m going to make it a good one.

Last year…well. Let’s just say that 2017 failed to impress me on a number of levels. That’s an understatement actually, it was probably the most difficult year I’ve ever had. Losing my Godmum was a sucker punch even though we knew it was coming, and watching my mum become increasingly frail in both mind and body has been excruciating.

On the other hand, I have so much to be grateful for. I’m surrounded by some amazing friends. My boy makes my heart swell with pride every single day. I have a job that I love and I feel really established in my life, you know? I get to travel to some amazing places and I’m healthy enough to really enjoy all of it in a way that I couldn’t before this all started.

And lets not forget these pages…having this creative outlet where I can let all my thoughts and feelings loose and hang out with you guys is awesome. I can be completely honest, safe in the knowledge that you understand me without judging because you’ve walked a mile in my shoes, and you’re always ready to join me in laughing at the utter tragedy of living my life on a fucking diet. All of that is the reason I’m still hanging in here as determined as ever to reach my goals.

I’m still trying to get a grip of it all but to be fair that’s one of the things I’m most thankful for, you know? There’s been no quick fix, no instant results and most of all no cure for the surplus curves I stuff into my pants every day but by some miracle I’m still here almost two and a half years into my journey.

I’ve fallen down a lot and I’ve taken so many wrong turns I’ve lost count but it doesn’t matter does it? All that matters is that I learned over and over how to get up again and keep on pushing forward. Perfection isn’t the secret...tenacity is where it’s at.

Let’s try to take more steps forwards than backwards this year eh? I’m looking at my weight loss across 2017 and accounting for the genius relocation of the shitbird scale into the bath which bumped the number upwards, I’ve netted out the year with a 2lb loss. Yes boys and girls, in the whole of 2017 that’s all I lost.

Now, I could hurl myself at the floor and have a big fat tony bear tantrum and the sheer injustice of that, or I could suck it up and pat myself on the back for at least ending the year smaller than when it started. I choose that one, because I don’t want any negativity colouring the pages of my brand new copybook. Only good things are getting included in my 2018 story.

How about yours? Come on, let’s make this year count…we deserve skinny after all this effort, right? We have so much support in these pages, because we’re all on the same journey and we’re all here to prop each other up. See that little map at the top of the page? That’s where you’re all at…it’s the geolocation footprint of everybody who reads along. The orange bits are where we have the highest number of friends, but there are readers, and lurkers, and regular corresponders everywhere that’s coloured in…that pretty much blows my mind.

Wherever you’re celebrating New Year, I’m sending big love to each and every one of you in the hope that 2018 will be your best year yet. I’m excited to continue sharing this journey…Skinny Town here we come 🙂

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Buckled In And Ready For The Ride

So we’re officially in the second half of 2017. I mean really, how is that even possible? It doesn’t seem two minutes since I kicked off the year with a renewed determination to get back on track and stop throwing the door wide open for the fuck-up fairy to waltz right in and make herself at home. I’m happy to say that with the exception of one four-day visit, her open invitation remains suspended and I’m doing fine.

It’s good to take stock. I’m 29lbs down so far this year, which averages out at a cock-hair over 1lb a week. I’m not gonna lie, I’d prefer the average to be a bit more impressive, but the momentum from switching up my food plan to calorie counting through My Fitness Pal is going to carry me forward a bit faster, I can already see that. I’ve had another cracking loss this week which I’m  so excited about especially after our holiday, and the Shitbird scale is definitely losing the upper hand.

I would never diss Weight Watchers, right? It’s been my travelling companion for a good 18 months and it’s served me well. That said, it was the right time for me to move away from counting points, which I suspect is built around normal people who don’t have a tendency to eat their own bodyweight in anything positioned as ‘free’. I mean come on, some folk just take liberties, and I’d be the first to admit I’m one of them.

Hooking up the technology on my wrist with the MFP app means I’ve been forced to compare the exact number of calories in whatever I’m eating versus the exact number of calories that I’m burning, and shit, there’s no wonder some weeks I’ve lost the equivalent of a gnat’s ass. I know I’m fairly active these days but on the other hand so are my jaws, right? Most weeks I’ve felt a bit aggrieved at my snail’s pace progress because to all intents and purposes I’ve been sticking to the plan, but the reality is the plan I was following was probably just giving me too much rope.

Now, I feel like I have insight and complete control, and it’s a game-changer. I’m excited to see what I can do with this over the next few months, you know? It took me the first five months of this year to lose twenty two pounds, but I’ve lost another seven in the last three weeks, which says it all really. Honeymoon period..? Possibly, but I’m happy to see where it takes me. I’m buckled in and ready for the ride.

How weird is it, that I’m embracing this level of discipline? I don’t ever do too well with rules and rigidity in fact I’ve made it my life’s work to push back against anything that feels like it’s tying my hands, and yet right now I appear to be living in an Asshole voice-free zone. I suspect that at the deepest level I recognise this as the silver bullet that could free me from this fucking fat suit once and for all 🙂


On another note altogether, may I ask for five minutes of your time to answer a couple of questions for me? I’d be so grateful for your help. When I started this blog as a way of supporting my own weight-loss journey, I discovered a love of writing that I never knew I had, and as we’ve walked this path together over the last couple of years, many of you have reached out and suggested that I should think about writing a book.

Now, I’m not daft enough to let a few bits of nice feedback turn my head, but you know what, I get the biggest kick out of knowing that what goes on in these pages helps  some of you guys too, and I’ve got almost three hundred thousand words’ worth of blog posts in the bag…imagine if I could turn them into something resembling a book?

I feel a tiny bit dizzy at the thought of it…I’m not a writer, I’m just a fat girl who loves to write but if this journey has taught me anything, it’s that dreams are worth chasing, so I’m doing a little bit of market research to test the water and I’d really value your thoughts. You can help by clicking HERE and it’s completely anonymous so please be honest!

Before I go, I just want to wish Nicola well with her goal this week…if you follow her Shitbird page you’ll see that she’s incredibly close to kissing the hallowed turf of one-derland and I’m excited for her weigh-in on Thursday!


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Back From The Land Of Sunshine And Guessing

Is it just me, or does the last week seem to have disappeared at warp speed? Time flies I guess, but anyway here I am, back from holiday and making the most of my last few days off work. I always miss you lot like mad whenever I take a break, but it does me a world of good to really switch off from time to time, and have nothing at all on the ‘to do’ pile. My batteries are completely recharged and I feel better for it, you know?

We had a fabulous holiday in possibly one of the most magical locations I’ve ever had the good fortune to visit. Did you see the photos? If not, and you’d like to look you can find them here. (Don’t let my Sunday name fool you, it’s me I promise!) I love Italy anyway, but oh my days the Umbrian region is really spectacular.

We managed to get a bit of walking in, way across the valley so we could look back at the castle we were staying in from a neighbouring hill. I rediscovered my love of swimming, which is very easy to do when you pretty much have the pool to yourself and can cut through the water with the sun on your back and the sound of bird song and cicadas as a backing track. I managed at least a hundred lengths of the pool every day and earned a few more food tokens for dinner.

I was so sad to leave, although I know I’ll go back and to be fair it’s always great to get home and see my boys. And guess what…despite all the food temptations, I never stepped a toe out of line all week. I know! I pulled it off and chose skinny, all day, every day. I’m not sure I can find the words to tell you how great that makes me feel now I’m out the other side.

Having no means to weigh or measure anything took me right out of my comfort zone, I’ve got to be honest. Don’t get me wrong, My Fitness Pal tries to make it easy by giving you the option of choosing a cup’s worth of something instead of a weight in grams, but that sets my OCD off all on it’s own.  I mean, how big is a cup? An espresso cup? A Starbucks size cup? I’ve got cups at home which are the size of a bucket and my fat eyes would try and default to those ones every time. Whaddya mean that’s too big?? It’s a CUP Your Honour!

I’ve had to pretty much guess my way through every menu I’ve looked at in the last week and that has twisted my melon big time. The irony isn’t lost on me, given that I’ve pretty much guessed and estimated my way through the last two years. It was easier somehow, when I was counting points instead of calories…there was so much free stuff that you could usually ignore half your plate for the purposes of food logging.

It’s different now. I feel like MFP is making me take accountable to a whole new level, you know? I finished splitting out a punnet of grapes yesterday afternoon into separate little carefully weighed zippy bags. There were six grapes left over at the end, and I didn’t even shove them in my mouth as a freebie…that’s how on it I am.

I’m relieved that after a few days of having to feel my way through the food minefield with one hand tied behind my back, I’ve reignited my relationship with the kitchen weighing scales without a fight and I’m right back on track with my food prep and planning…I was half expecting the Asshole voice to jump on the freestyle bandwagon and propose we continue with this guessing malarkey but he remains reassuringly quiet.

So, the acid test will be Sunday when I go toe to toe with the Shitbird scale. God of Pain’s scales confirmed last night that I’d stayed exactly the same as I was the day before I left, which is great and I suppose it shows that my guessing was pretty bob-on, but I’m not settling for that. I’m pitching for a loss…better watch this space 🙂

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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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Getting Into My Groove

Old habits are hard to break sometimes, right? When I got back from the Kingdom of Pain last night after an hour of circuit training I was ravenous, and before I’d even climbed out of my sweaty togs I had my head in the fridge to explore supper options. I started fixing myself an omelette, but despite getting myself all set up first with kitchen scale and the ingredients I needed to weigh, I caught myself lobbing a handful of chopped pepper straight into the pan.

I mean, the scales were right there  on my production line, but my hands chopped the peppers and the only thing that landed on the scale was a swift fuck you as my auto-pilot messed up the system and bypassed that step without a second thought. My app was open right next to me so I could log the calories, but my head was still living in the world where peppers didn’t count.

Like a fully paid-up drama queen, I stamped my foot and acted like the world had ended.

Well that’s it Dee you’ve fallen off the wagon, you may as well go eat cake immediately because you’ve ruined it. You’ll never know how many calories were in those peppers now…

I must have stared at them sizzling in the pan for a good thirty seconds, fighting the temptation to fish them out piece by piece and weigh them after the event. Fortunately common sense prevailed before OCD could kick in, but I did chop about the same amount of pepper all over again just so I could weigh it. It’s currently in a bag in the fridge ready to be eaten later today so it didn’t go to waste, but I’m beginning to see how this could become a bit…obsessive.

The discipline of logging everything isn’t worrying me as much as I thought it might, but I’m becoming disproportionately fascinated by all the reports and graphs which analyse in the minutest of detail exactly what I’m putting into my body.

What do you mean I’ve eaten too much sugar??? (screams at smartphone) – aside from all the stuff that tastes of MDF because it’s busy being all high fibre and low fat, over the course of the day I’ve had a child-sized banana, a handful of grapes and a hundred fucking calories’ worth of cherries. I can’t possibly be over my sugar goal, I’m NOT HAVING IT!!!

I need to chill out a bit, and I’m sure I will eventually once I’ve worked out all the kinks. Exercise has taken on a whole new meaning since God Of Pain approved the new regime on the condition that I eat my exercise calories, because I’m working out and it’s important to properly fuel my body. And let’s be fair that means extra rations so I’m hardly going to argue.

I rarely have time to get to the gym before work because the office is just shy of fifty miles away, but I nipped out for a cheeky half an hour on my bike yesterday morning and then did an hour or circuit training last night…I’m getting adept at sneaking a look at my watch as I work out. Not to keep an eye on the time, more watch the calories rolling into my food bank…ooh look, I’ve earned another grape…

It’s not too bad you know, in fact I’d go so far as to say I’m actually enjoying it 🙂

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