Tag Archives: self-esteem

A Wardrobe Full Of Nothing To Wear

It occurred to me this week that we’ve stumbled into Spring, and I didn’t even notice. There are lambs in the fields and the clocks have gone forward…it’s light when I leave for work and when I come home, and I even managed two commutes this week without wearing a coat. I know, right?  

It’s time for a bit of a spring clean I think. More importantly, it’s time for a bit of a wardrobe clear-out. I’ve got to hold my hands up and admit that since my arse commenced its steady march down the sizes, I may have treated myself to the odd thing here or there. Says the queen of understatement. Yes okay whatever, you caught me with a smoking credit card.   It’s hard not to get carried away with yourself though, at the prospect of being able to buy nice stuff for the first time in years. My wardrobe is groaning.

I’ve got to be honest, this time of year has been known to fill me with dread. I always struggled with the transition from winter wardrobe (black pants, shapeless swingy stretchy top) to spring wardrobe (black pants, shapeless swingy stretchy top) to summer wardrobe (black pants, shapeless swingy stretchy top). It felt like the whole world except me ditched anything black in favour of floaty fabrics and linens in lovely spring-like colours.

I’m only halfway through my weight-loss journey, in fact I’m not quite halfway. I’m almost there. I’m seventy eight pounds down and I’ve got ninety seven pounds left to lose, so obviously I’m nowhere near Skinny Town yet, but I do have a toe in the suburbs. I’m no longer required to shop only in fat-girl stores for one thing. Normal shops for normal people now stock a size I can wear, and trust me when I say I’ve taken full advantage of that.

I’m still doing that weird thing though, where I’m buying a size smaller that I really need. And I’m buying way too much stuff. I know that. I keep telling myself that I’m only passing through this size so chill my fucking boots and just have a few essential wardrobe staples but it’s like all my willpower is being used up in the food department and there’s none whatsoever left over to maintain control of what I’m spending on clothes.

The irony of all that of course, is that I’m still not happy with how most of it looks. I’ve gone from pulling on those shapeless stretchy tops and avoiding eye contact with the mirror, to pulling stuff on then obsessing in front of the mirror, twisting this way and that to try and make sure that whatever I’ve put on doesn’t show off my back fat, or my spectacular muffin top, or that it covers enough of my arse to quash those wicked rumours that my rear view looks like puppies fighting in a sack whenever I take a step.

Is it just me?

I keep telling myself that I’ll feel happier when I get to the next size down, or the next. I wish I could make my fucking mind up, you know? I’m much happier now than I was, of course I am. And I do have some stuff that I like wearing because I know it flatters my shape and hides all of the above, but going back to the wardrobe thing, clothes which are too big, new clothes that are too small yet and stuff that fits me now that I like or that I like but won’t wear for all the reasons I’ve talked about are all squashed into one place.

I’ve also got some stuff in storage from my last attempt at getting skinny and I’m sure some of it was the size I’m wearing now, which I haven’t fit into for at least the last five years and probably longer. Don’t get me wrong, most of it’s probably a crime against fashion by now because it’s a few years since it saw the light of day and the world has moved on, but I should really go and dig all that out too for a good root through. It’s definitely time for a sort out.

Looks like that’s my weekend taken care of. Have a good one y’all  🙂

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Fabulous Is A State Of Mind

This weekend has been a tough one in a lot of ways. I’ve been spending time with my Godmother, who sadly is approaching the end of a long and very privately fought  battle with cancer…she didn’t even tell me she was ill until the back end of last year. She’d have my hide in a sling if she caught me feeling sad, mind you.

Her perspective, shared yesterday as she lit up her ever-present cigarette and poured herself another very large slug of whisky, was that we’ve all got to die of something, and at eighty two, providing she can depart this world on her own terms she’s had a bloody good life and she’s done fighting thank you very much.

Her Ab-Fab attitude to life has always been utterly infectious. She’s a big lady – even now, her doctors are scratching their heads at why she’s not losing weight when every rule in the book says she should be. We did chuckle at that yesterday, especially when we unearthed a pair of vinyl-clad bathroom scales from the bottom of her wardrobe which were the size of suitcase…a proper throwback from the 1970s. And several kaftans from the same era, which she insists were the reason she got fat in the first place – you could get away with murder under that much fabric, so she did.

As we systematically set about clearing out cupboards, with her directing operations from a distance we talked, I mean really talked, about her life. It’s been a life lived in technicolour, no doubt about that…she and my mum have been best friends from the age of three or four years old, but where mum was always a real homebird, ever since I was a little girl I’ve known my Godmother as the glamorous auntie who used to breeze in, dolled up to the nines and dazzle me with tales of travel to faraway places. I think that’s where I get my itchy feet from to be honest. Funny thing is, I never remember her being fat.

I said as much to her yesterday, which made her snort with laughter. Well my darling, being fat never defined me like it has done you…

Fuck. That stung a bit. A killer line, delivered in a way which was devoid of any malice, just completely matter of fact. But as soon as she said it, I knew exactly what she meant. Being fat has defined me, or should I say my weight has defined me, for pretty much my entire adult life. Hers never did. Looking at those kaftans yesterday which were loud and exotic and certainly not designed to let whoever wore them blend into the background, it was obvious that it would never have occurred to her to feel apologetic for being fat. Nor should it have.

So why do I? I mean, it’s less of a sharp and pointy feeling these days but it’s definitely still there…given a preference I’d still much rather blend into the background in the hope that nobody notices that I’m fat. I’m not sure how comfortable I’d be wearing the sort of brightly coloured garments which could probably be seen from the moon…and yet. Two of those kaftans came home with me yesterday.

On the basis that I’m the wrong side of fifty now, I’m allowed to look a bit retro, dare I even say eccentric – it’s practically the law – so I figured it would be a nice homage to my aunty if I adopt the fuck you attitude to being fat, on the odd occasion when I’m feeling brave enough. It can’t hurt to try it in for size, right? I have a holiday coming up in around a month, so it’s a perfect opportunity to be loud and exotic.

Watch this space…there may be pictures 🙂

By the way, there’s a very thought-provoking new post on our Thoughts From The Posse page today…one of you lot, doing what you do best and making me think! Enjoy 🙂

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A Bona-Fide Badge Of Honour

I might have mentioned before that when it comes to exercise I’m all about the gear. The number of times I’ve been fully kitted out in the right gear for this activity or that is ridiculous, only for said equipment to quickly find itself out of favour and stuffed in the back of a cupboard, where it’s usually stayed until the point I admit to myself that my dalliance with whatever it was had lasted for just a brief moment in time, and now the gear is surplus to requirements.

I’ve always been the same, you know? I like to look the part even if I have no idea what I’m doing. In my early teens when I was learning to ride horses, I’d leave the house looking like I was about to put in a clear round at Olympia with my pristine jodhpurs and hacking jacket finished off with shiny boots and a blue velvet riding hat. I must’ve stood out like a sore thumb at the stables, where I was surrounded by lots more teenage horse-lovers, happily milling around in their mis-matched tops and bottoms, usually finished off with a pair of wellies caked in horse-shit and a shapeless old pullover.

I was the fat one that never broke a sweat, although to be fair my reluctance to join in with the mucking out of stables was more born out of a decision on my part not to bend down in jodhpurs. They’re not the most forgiving of garments, and my hormonal teenage self was already regularly locked in dialogue with the Asshole voice about what I must look like from behind. Conscious even then about the size of my arse, I felt that I looked the part, if I could just stand still with my back to a stable door and sort of…pose.

Looking the part has always seemed quite important. Fast-forward a number of years, and I had to go to court to support a friend of mine who’d witnessed something dodgy. She was giving evidence and I was fascinated by the pomp and ceremony of it all, but utterly distracted by the very tatty robes worn by counsel. I remember thinking to myself that surely if I was earning that much money I’d get myself down to the robe shop for some new ones immediately. I’d want to look the part.

Incidentally, I tapped one of them on the shoulder and pointed out that his robe had a big rip in it, I thought maybe he’d trapped it in the car door or something and hadn’t noticed…he gave me a death stare and walked off. How was I to know that ripped robes are a thing amongst barristers, because shiny new robes scream novice, and experience is measured by the number of rips in your frock? Weirdos.

I’ve certainly never worn any kind of exercise gear often enough to wear it out, in fact this is the first and only time I’ve managed to wear something in. My friend on the other hand has just worn out her first pair of trainers. It’s a big moment…like me, it’s only in the last year that she’s come to appreciate the whole exercise thing, and she wouldn’t mind me saying that like me she’s also spent her life going up the scale, and down again.

As we sat on the cool-down mats earlier this week after an hours’ worth of boxing, we collectively admired her big toe, which was all but poking through the top of her trainers and we basked in the pride which came from slaying them. She was proud, and I was proud by association, I mean worn-out trainers are a bona-fide badge of honour, right? They’ve been worked. And as much as my OCD demands that I look the part, in her shoes – busted up as they are – I don’t think I’d be hot-footing it down to buy new ones either.

Sadly, there’s no sign of my trainers getting ready for that big fitness studio in the sky just yet. Work to do then, eh? 🙂

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So, Two Things Happened

PS288398 Feeling Great (oil on canvas) by Scott, Pat (Contemporary Artist); acrylic on calico; Private Collection; English, in copyright

This week’s been a great week, in fact it’s fair to say that although I wasn’t wearing my impressed face when I greeted Monday morning after two weeks off work, it shaped up way better than I was expecting. And that’s not because anything monumental happened, you know like I didn’t win the lottery or get ravished by Hugh Jackman, which are my go-to fantasies when the week needs brightening up a little. It was just a great week.

That said, two things did happen, which wouldn’t justify a diary entry in their own right on the life pages of most folk but you know what, in the context of my journey damn straight they’re getting on the page. Firstly, on Monday I wore heels.

I know! I can’t pinpoint the exact time in my journey up the scale where heels became too difficult, although that’s not surprising…during that whole time I didn’t acknowledge any of the signs that the wheels were slowly coming off. That would’ve required me to deal head on with the fact that I was eating myself to the brink, you know? However, whether I acknowledged it at the time or not, there’s definitely a point on the fatness scale where flat shoes become your only friend.

Your centre of gravity takes a direct hit as extra rolls of flesh pop out here and there, and the weight of your body can no longer be thrown forward onto the ball of your foot, because it hurts too much. So the heels get lower and lower until you end up with flat as the only option…I lived in Ugg boots and slippers for at least a year.

Anyway, I’d been saving the excitement of wearing a pair of black trousers with a fixed waistband and no stretch for my first post-holiday day in the office. Those pants haven’t fitted me for at least five years but I knew they fit me now, and I was good to go except when I put them on I remembered that the legs were way too long…I’d always worn them with my pointy black boots. So I grappled with the whole should I take them off again, not ready for heels yet debate before thinking fuck it, it’s now or never. Out came the pointy black boots with their three inch heels.

I’d like to say I glided around the office with a degree of elegance throughout the day, but the reality is I just looked taller and a bit wobbly. But my pants didn’t trail on the floor and I made it to the end of the day, admittedly slightly footsore and not in any rush to pull them back on again any time soon, but I did it. My body allowed me to wear heels and walk. 

The second big milestone this week was wearing a bra, like a proper bra as opposed to the kind of stretchy crop-top type garment which keeps the girls in check without giving any kind of shape whatsoever. Same as with heels, there comes a point where underwear becomes problematic, you know?

As I got bigger and bigger, I relied on bra-clasp extenders which coaxed a little extra life out of my stretched and tired old bunbags but even then there came a point where I felt like I had cheese wire pulled tight across my upper body, digging in and accentuating the rolls of flesh on my torso. I’d often have weals on the side of my body by the end of the day. Discovering the crop top bras with deep sides and no wires took away the discomfort, along with any suggestion of shape.

Last week, I bought myself some new bras, and this week they got their first outings…I’ve gotta say my norks looked awesome. Lets be honest, my spare tyre and the underwires are never going to see eye to eye especially after more years than I can count wearing the slouchy comfort of elastane, but the new bras fit, and they’re not cutting me in half. Come on, I was perky…that’s got to be worth a bit of negotiation with my midriff, right?

It’s all coming together. Every day just lately there seems to be something else I can do, or something else that’s just a bit easier…little by little I’m chipping away at the fat suit.

New bra and heels..? I’m not on the pull, honest 🙂

 

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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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