Tag Archives: posse

There’s Safety In Numbers

So I’m looking ahead to this week with a bit of trepidation, I’ve got to be honest. It’s full of lovely things to look forward to, but most of them involve food. I’m trying not to feel inconvenienced by being on a diet, you know? That’s the wrong kind of thinking and I don’t want to start feeling pissed off all over again.

Monday we’re having a lunch for the seven of us from work who did the trek to Cuba last year…we won some recognition at last December’s company bash for raising the most money for charity, and we’ve just never got around to spending the voucher. It’s well overdue and it’ll be fun to reminisce. Tuesday I’m working in London all day and we’ll be catered at lunchtime, and home late with dinner on the fly. Wednesday evening we have a meal out with the team at work, and then Thursday we’re away overnight at a sort of team spa night which also involves a meal, and more than likely a tipple or two.

My food sobriety has held quite well this week and I don’t know about you lot, but for me it’s always a bit more fragile in the early days of a reboot, you know? That said, I have a whole week under my belt now. I just need to stay focused on dodging the food bullets which will be coming thick and fast from every direction over the next few days.

It’s been a bit noisy in my head over the weekend with the Asshole voice being petulant and demanding. I took Charlie dog for a walk yesterday and it was just a constant barrage of head-spam.

It’s far too cold to be out, turn around and go home immediately. You don’t have any gloves, you might get chilblains. (I’ve never had a chilblain in my life.) Besides it’s muddy up here on the bridleway and Charlie-dog had a bath and a haircut yesterday, you’d better turn around and go home before he gets dirty otherwise you’ve wasted your money.

And your ankles are aching. That must be a sign of something, so don’t overdo it. You’d both be much better curled up in front of the telly with the fire on. You’ve had a busy week, and you deserve to relax instead of walking around in this cold. Even the dog looks miserable, go on and turn around, you know you want to…

On and on, all day. I just couldn’t quite manage to tune it out, but I did manage not to act on anything. I stayed solid. I’ve got no reason to suppose that the Asshole voice will be any less intrusive this week with all the food-fuckery opportunities that are coming my way. I’m also going to be time-poor in terms of opportunities to work out or swim.

I am planning to drink lots of water and plenty of coffee to try and keep myself feeling full. It might only help a little bit, but at the very least it’ll diffuse some of the temptations, right? I’m really lucky to have the support of some good friends who I can message and lean on if I’m feeling wobbly. I’m going to pay particular attention to the way I look because  if I look nice, I feel nice and that helps me stay in control.

I’m doing what I can. The bullets will fly and I’m really hoping none of ’em get me, because I know they’re coming, and I have a plan. It’s silly season and I’m guessing a fair few of you will also be staring the run up to Christmas straight in the eye and wondering just how the actual fuck you’re going to navigate it all.

Together, that’s how. Come on, link arms…there’s safety in numbers and we’ve got this 🙂


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Picking Over The Bones

do not feed

I’m feeling more sure-footed as the week goes on, and this is day three of being back to normal and in control of my food budget. The whole episode last week has had quite a profound effect on me, in the way that I imagine a near-death experience might. And before you tell me to get over myself and stop being a drama queen (good luck with that) I’m serious.

I felt myself hurtling towards disaster with the first mouthful of naughty on day two, when I could no longer pretend I was making proper grown-up decisions from a vantage point of control. Pretty much the whole of day one was accompanied by the Asshole voice, doing what he does best. Surely you deserve a treat, you’re working so hard in fact I’m sure you can pretty much eat as much as you like because if you hadn’t ever joined the Kingdom of Pain you’d never have accrued all these exercise points, so even if you ate every extra point you’ve earned over the last two months you’re still only where you would have been otherwise…it’s practically not cheating at all…

I’d fallen asleep after Thursday’s free-for-all muttering it’s just one day to myself in a vain attempt to try and do a bit of damage limitation…my self-esteem had taken a bit of a battering like it always does when you realise that you’re not as good as you think you are. But obviously tomorrow was going to be better, right? Only it wasn’t, and that’s what shocked me the most.

Friday was like groundhog day, you know? Same tables, same set up. I remember looking around and observing with interest how all the edible goodies seemed almost like wallpaper to most of the people in the room. Unnoticed. Not everyone was salivating , or distracted from the agenda by all those individual foil-wrapped pieces of heaven…just me then. I felt like a freak as I tried to wrestle my head out of the goodies and focus on the job in hand.

I’m still not sure what miracle fished me out of the naughty pond at the weekend. In past times, breaking the diet always meant the end of the diet…just another failed attempt lining up with all the others. One bad day always led to two, then to five, then a week and a month…I caught a hold of this one two and a bit days in. Miracles do happen.

Picking over the bones of it all and trying to analyse why it happened has led me to a couple of things. Firstly, I need to accept that my relationship with food is different to that of normal folk. It’s not normal, to be so distracted by the promise of chocolate that you shut out the life that’s going on around you. But it’s my normal. And I will learn how to deal with it…that, or I’ll die trying.

Secondly, you lot were front and centre of my mind as I clawed my way back from the edge. I could almost hear the collective sigh of relief on Saturday when I hooked up with my friends and started walking away from the slippery slope. I imagined Fleury fist-pumping the air, and Susan cheering, and Mimi doing her happy dance…Tracey and Autumn and Jo and Natalie and Margaret high-fiving each other as the fuck-up fairy left town and life returned to normal. It makes more difference to me than I can tell you, knowing that you’re all in my corner. And I’m accountable to you…you’re my support system.

It’s probably three months until the next conference-style meeting…I’m thinking of hanging a sign around my neck like the one at the top of the page. Either that or accessorising my outfit with a little duct tape over my chops…what do you reckon? 🙂


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Nothing To See Here


I spent some time in the company of a good friend of mine a couple of weeks ago and we had a long-awaited catch up with each others’ news. Not that I had masses of news to share, to be fair my life revolves around work, family and blog, in that order and almost exclusively. I’m incredibly lucky to have a very tight group of close friends, and whilst I love them all to the moon and back, we don’t actually see each other that often you know? Busy people with busy lives and we’re spread far and wide to boot.

So it’s fair to say my down-time is mainly spent focusing on me. I fill it with a bit of writing, a bit of reading…some walking of course, I guess just burning time in that way that I seem to be able to do effortlessly. I appreciate my life might look a little solitary and introspective to anyone on the outside looking in, but actually after a Monday to Friday full of early starts and late finishes with more than a little bit of madness sandwiched in-between, solitude is generally how I like recharging my batteries, and it works for me. Except I always feel a bit lacking in the news department when eyes turn to me for any kind of update.

My friend, on the other hand was full of news. She’s busy ’till she’s dizzy, all the time. Her work isn’t hugely demanding, in fact she freely admits that she goes to work for a rest from her massively over-stuffed social life. I’m telling you, my ears were exhausted by the time she’d done updating me on everything she’s been up to. As well as side-helpings of who’d done what to who, and what this person and that person thinks about it…I think I was fully appraised of the comings and goings of anyone I’ve ever known by the time she paused for breath. She thrives on being in the thick of everything, not to mention being the glue that holds several different groups of friends together.

And then it was my turn to fill her in on all my stuff…hmm. It didn’t take long! We chatted about my blog, and my diet of course, and how it was all going…it’s the biggest thing in my life right now. We talked about how I can feel my body starting change in response to all these hard yards, and things which felt impossible as I emerged from my fat and painful summer last year are starting to feel not just possible, but like actual plans. We sketched out what my life as a skinny string bean might look like, and reached the conclusion that it would look pretty much like the life I live now, just with smaller pants. I like my life, and I’m not  looking for anything else to change.

I don’t know that I could do what I’m doing, against the backdrop of a hundred other commitments. If I lived my friend’s life, for example…I’m not sure I could get my shit together under that amount of busy. Our conversation, and the opposite nature of our lifestyles made me reflect I suppose, about how lucky I am to be able to dedicate so much time to just me.  I mean, my mum’s quite needy these days and work is busy, but the way I juggle those things with the time I spend in here and focusing on me, is to empty my dance card of as many other commitments as possible, which I guess on the face of it makes me appear quite anti-social.

I’m not, not really. But I am quite selfish of my time, and I’m not inclined to apologise for that. Seriously, I take my hat off to those of you in the posse who manage work and family commitments and an active social life alongside your diet and exercise needs. I mean seriously, bloody good effort…I don’t know that I could juggle all that. Being a single girl, I’m lucky in that it’s okay for me to focus on just me…there’s nobody to get in a strop because I’m only pleasing myself.

It’s an interesting thought though. Maybe I need to learn how to juggle more balls..?


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Dragging It Out Of The Bag


Do you ever get that feeling that you’re ever so slightly out of control? Just recently I seem to be juggling stuff with an ever-increasing reliance on blind faith that things will work out fine, rather than laying proper foundations to make sure I can bring it all home. And you know so far I’ve lucky and the wheels haven’t come off but it’s getting a bit too close for comfort.

I got home late ish last night after a six hour round trip with a full day’s work sandwiched in-between. And my day had sub-inbetweens too, for example in between conference sessions I managed to tuck myself away in a corner and write a full competency-based interview for some recruitment that I’m involved in tomorrow, and ticked one or two other bits of stuff off my ‘to do’ list. All that, on the back of a pretty tough day the day before, but necessary because I knew I wouldn’t have time today. And so it goes on, it just feels relentless at the moment.

As for the thoughts I love to share with you lot as part of the process of sorting out my head spam, way back in the early days I used to have three or four blog posts marinating all the time, slow-cooking if you like, to the point where they were tender and tasty and just needed seasoning with the odd word here or there before I was ready to let one of them go.

These days you’re far more likely to see me sketching something out when I climb into bed and letting it marinate overnight, so I wake up with my head bursting with words all trying to come out at the same time. I pull them into some semblance of order before I get up and at my day, and then usually dive back in at the end of the day to kick them around a bit more before I’m happy, and ready to push the button.

Lately I’ve been last minute dot com with my finances too. I’m normally pretty good at balancing the books, because I use a piece of software that tells me what’s coming in and going out, and at any point of the month what I’ve got to spend versus what’s already allocated for this or that. And it works brilliantly, if you actually key in what you’ve spent. Thing is, I haven’t touched it for at least a couple of months…so I’ve sort of got a vague idea that I’ll hopefully make it to payday without quite running out of money, but I’m not 100% sure.

I’m tired, and I’m so ready for a break from work just to catch up with myself and take a breath, you know? There’s a four day weekend just around the corner and I’ve never been so glad at the prospect of a few days’ down-time. I feel like I really need it.

How on earth, in the middle of what’s starting to feel like utter chaos, I’ve managed to pull it out of the bag where my food plan is concerned is a little bit beyond me. Or drag it out of the bag, which is probably a little more accurate. On reflection, I reckon it’s all to do with posse power. I can’t think of a single other pressurised time in my life where I haven’t reached for food to alleviate some of the stress, whereas now you’re my secret weapon.

One sniff of temptation and I find that my blood runs cold when I think about how I might have to tell you all about the way I face-planted into a bag of cheeseballs. About how they happened to be in my cupboard because during my weekly shop I was forced to make the purchase by the Asshole voice, on a for-emergencies-only basis, obviously never intending to eat them but it’s a good job I did because only five minutes after getting home and locking the door behind me I had an unexpected emergency and well, thank goodness I had them to hand.

Then I think about the response I’d get from all of you, and how it wouldn’t be in any way pretty. So I find a different way to deal with the pressure. I try and laugh at it. Throwing stuff works too, and I’ve even shocked myself with an occasional bit of over-ripe language falling out of my potty mouth. But no cheeseballs get consumed, and despite the chaos my food plan holds firm.

I don’t think I tell you enough how grateful I am. You’re making such a difference to the way I’m managing this journey, truly I couldn’t do it without you guys. You are the oasis of calm in the maelstrom that is my life at the moment, and the single biggest reason that I’ve not fallen into a ditch on the side of this road to Skinny Town.

Just…thank you 🙂


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If You Don’t Back Yourself…


I had a lovely long chat this morning with a friend of mine who knows Break Out The Skinny Girl is my voice and she’d called me, full of excitement having read yesterday’s post about the UK Blog Awards. She really made me laugh when she cut straight to the chase and demanded to be part of any red carpet event, ever, which resulted from my blog having a moment in the spotlight. She’s already planning her outfit, and more importantly, the shoes.

I found that so funny, given that it’s her dream to pose and smile in front of popping flashbulbs, where the same scenario would be my absolute nightmare. I’d be the one sneaking in the back door whilst nobody was looking! I brought her down to earth just a tiny bit and re-based her expectations that in the unlikely event that we got as far as being invited to the awards night it probably wouldn’t be on the same scale as the Academy Awards, and Brad Pitt probably wouldn’t be there.

I’m still feeling a bit like a rabbit caught in the headlights at the fact that I even entered a competition in the first place, you know? It’s not like me at all. Living life in a really fat body means that I get judged on a regular basis by people who don’t even know me, whether I invite their opinion or not, so to put myself in a position where I’m asking to be judged isn’t something I ever recall doing before and I’ve got to admit it’s making me a bit twitchy.

But you know what?  You’ve got to back yourself.

Take my individual blog posts as an example…when I’ve finished writing one, and I’ve done my usual tinkering around the edges, I press the button and send it out there into the big wide world for you guys to read, along with a bright shiny five-star rating to see it on its way. And yes, of course, I know that when you read them, you’ll relate to some more than others, but that’s not the point…if I don’t believe myself that a post is as good as I can possibly make it, how could I even hope you’d enjoy reading it?

It’s the same thing with my diet. I’m backing myself 100% on this journey. I’m going to do it, I know I am. I have an unshakeable belief. And what’s more, I believe this time when I get to Skinny Town I’m going to stay there. When I haven’t felt this way, my diets have failed and Lord knows over the years there have been so many epic fails. To pinch a quote from that great philosopher ‘anonymous’ this time I’m too positive to be doubtful, too optimistic to be fearful, and too determined to be defeated.

Which brings us back to the UK Blog Awards…I have no hope or expectation that we’ll win anything, and for me it’s not about that, as much as being up there, side by side with the big guns you know? Our modest little blog with a few hundred regular readers sharing the same platform with folk who have gazillions of followers and do this for a living…that’s what success looks like to me, right there. I’m going to feel a tiny bit proud…we might be small in the grand scheme of things but we’re in the game, right?

So anyway, voting opens tomorrow and lasts for a couple of weeks – tomorrow’s post will probably go live a bit earlier than usual once I have access to the links so I can shamelessly beg you all to cast your votes and ask everyone you know to cast theirs too 🙂 I shall also have to beg your indulgence for the next couple of weeks, you may see the logo and the link appearing once or twice more..!

Will I be voting for myself..? You bet your sweet ASS I will, every day for as long as voting is open, because I can! 

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