Tag Archives: skinny Town

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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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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Hey! That Used To Be Me!

Well, this is day four of my fledgling food sobriety, and days one two and three passed without drama. I’m doing okay. I ate more crumpets last night than I’d intended after my fat furnace workout – four, not two – and yes I know that’s a lot of crumpets but I stayed within points, and on both Sunday and Monday I left points unused on the table, so we’re all good.

See that picture? That used to be me. I reckon the Gods of Skinny are rooting for me…I suspect they realised that I needed a helpful nugget of resolve lobbing in my direction this week to help nail my colours to the skinny mast and keep them there, so this little gem appeared in my Facebook memories feed. It was nine years ago yesterday, at my work’s Christmas doo. I barely remember even looking like that, although to be fair I think I only fitted into that frock for about ten minutes which is probably why my memories are a bit hazy. It was fleeting, you know? A moment in time.

That night, well…I felt great. From March 2007 to November of the same year, I’d existed on protein shakes and soups. Not a single morsel of food had passed my lips, for eight months. I drank four litres of water every day and ate four meal replacements – I think I was on about six hundred calories daily and apart from the fact that my hair was falling out in clumps, I felt amazing.

That picture was taken on the first night out I’d had in my new skinny body, and far from being the reclusive anti-social old bat that I’ve morphed into these days, I never left the dance floor all night. It helped that everyone was full of compliments and I felt like a million dollars but the thing I remember most of all was feeling completely free, you know?

I didn’t worry once about whether my arse looked like blancmange inside my frock, or whether my bingo wings were on display. I checked myself out in the mirror before I left home and felt very happy with what I saw looking back at me, and then I got on with the business of having a ball.

It seemed like I’d found the holy grail of diets – I was able to completely break the habit of leaning on food as a crutch. I never once felt hungry and I lost steadily, around 15lbs every month. I never stuck, and I never gained…it was a poker-straight route from Mooseville to Skinny Town. The thing is, as soon as I started eating again and un-pressed pause on my fucked-up relationship with food, the weight all came back again at warp speed, and then some.

I’ve got to be honest, I’ve seriously considered whether I might try that again. Especially coming off the back of a really screwed up couple of months, where I’ve massively struggled to play with a straight bat. I just don’t think I could stomach any more of those chalky soups though, you know? I could hurl at the thought of going back there. But maybe if I make a deal with myself…behave, or else!!! Eat clean, or else 2017 is the year of soup that tastes of feet all the way until the moment you can zip up that frock. Sort of a suspended sentence, if you like.

I’ve completed day three of three. This is day four of four and I’m going for it again today. I’m going to eat well, and move a bit, and keep putting one foot in front of the other. I intend to say goodnight to this day later with a smile on my face, knowing it’s another good day in the bag 🙂

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This Wasn’t Part Of The Plan


Well, yesterday’s post really struck a chord with you lot, and I’ll tell you what else, it reconfirmed to me that I’m not alone in this journey. I’m not the only one who has an asshole living inside my head and just because I argue with myself about whether I should or shouldn’t go/do/eat/work out it doesn’t make me a freak of nature. I’m normal. It’s irritating but it doesn’t mean the men in white coats need to come and cart me off.

Back in the early days when I first started writing, I remember feeling a bit guilty because my growing band of subscribers weren’t getting much drama out of my journey. I was locked and loaded into that sweet spot, and temptation crumbled to dust once it hit my orbit…it barely even registered in the early days. I ignored naughties of all descriptions whilst I was busy tipping out the contents of my head for examination. Life was easy, you know?

Now it feels like all you get is drama. I’m walking a tightrope and to say I’m wobbling all over the place is an understatement. I felt less isolated and a lot less scared once I’d talked about my post-trek struggle to stay focused because so many of you reached out to say it’s okay…it’s a thing. I felt reassured, but to be honest that’s starting to wear a bit thin now…I’m still wobbling and it’s pissing me right off.

Take yesterday for example – I’d arranged to meet a colleague at the motorway services so I could leave my car there and travel with him to a team meeting. I nipped in to pay for my parking and the lady behind the counter offered me a big bar of chocolate for a pound. As I was shaking my head and saying no, I noticed it was Daim chocolate and my pound was in her till before my head even had time to process the fact that I’d walked out with my parking receipt in one hand and a bar of chocolate in the other.

All the way down to the meeting I convinced myself that I’d offer the chocolate to everyone else and by the time I’d gone around the table there wouldn’t be enough left for it to put a significant dint in my diet. So boys and girls, let’s have a pop quiz.

How many squares of chocolate did my team eat? No Squares. And how many squares of chocolate did I eat? All the fucking squares. I know. That wasn’t in the plan. Neither was the posh fish finger sandwich at the local pub at lunchtime, accompanied by my second lot of cheesy chips in a week. I did have the good grace to go to bed without supper last night but I’m very sure that I weighed more when I went to bed than I did when I woke up yesterday morning. Two steps forward and two steps back again.

The thing is, this time last year, you couldn’t have paid me enough money to make me take a square of chocolate, and I would have faced a firing squad before considering a cheesy chip. I would have happily sat there and watched all my team eat cheesy chips without batting an eyelid, because I was on the road to Skinny Town and nothing was knocking me into the ditch, right? My resolve was cast-iron, rock-solid, and at least ten times more watertight than a duck’s backside. Now..? Now I’m a pushover in the battle for supremacy between me and the asshole in my head…I feel like I’m on the ropes.

And I’m terrified. What if I’ve lost it? I mean I know I’ve lost it momentarily, but what if I can’t find it again? This wasn’t supposed to happen. I can live with the odd bit of drama but for fucks sake there are limits…it’s turning into an almost daily occurrence.

I get lots of mail from people who’ve hit the skids and don’t know how to claw their way back into that sweet spot. I hear you sistahs…I’m right there in a heap with you. We’ll just have to help each other figure this shit out.

I’m not giving up…not in this lifetime. Today’s a new day and anyone who tries to wave a cheesy chip under my nose is going down. That is all 🙂

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It’s Because I’m Fat!


Occasionally, when I throw some words out there in a blog post they come back to me like a boomerang, you know? My head sends them down through my fingertips onto the page, but it’s like a carbon copy of them gets stuck inside my head and that usually means that there’s another knot in my thought process which is demanding to be unpicked.

I made a throwaway comment the other day about blaming everything in my life that had ever gone wrong on the fact that I was fat. And that got me thinking. What am I going to blame when I get to Skinny Town if the shit hits the fan?

Yeah well that happened because I’m f…. oh.

The fact is, I’ve spent most of my life either putting weight on or taking weight off, so being fat was always within touching distance and therefore fair game where blame was concerned. My boy crush doesn’t fancy me..? Well there’s a surprise…it’s because I’m fat. Why did I marry this arsehole? Well all the decent blokes were out of my league, because I’m fat. I didn’t get an interview for that job I really liked the look of…yeah they were probably put off because I’m fat. They must have smelled it on my resume.

Isn’t that strange? I can’t think of a single other catch-all reason that would account for so many things going tits up where I wouldn’t have banished it from my life immediately – what a millstone to have around my neck, right? The omnipresent threat of failure, purely down to the size of my arse.  And yet, despite being utterly convinced that being fat was the root of all evil, I stayed fat. Got fatter, even. I mean seriously.

Unless. Maybe I secretly found it useful? If you think about it, I had at my disposal a well polished reason why I couldn’t do…whatever. Why something hadn’t worked out. Anything or everything, it didn’t really matter. I was fat, so no wonder…

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first to hold my hands up and admit that there have been times where being fat has served a purpose…it’s been useful, you know as in it provided a genuine excuse not to do something I didn’t want to do. My boy wanted to zip-wire off a mountain in Wales a couple of years ago, and he wanted me to do it with him…yeah, right, good luck with that. Sorry love, I can’t…I’m too fat. And for once I was grateful for my extra arse.

I suppose it’s about taking responsibility isn’t it? Being accountable for stuff rather than blaming the blubber. I didn’t get the job because I wasn’t good enough. My bad. I married a dickhead because I was chasing a fairy tale and I was dumb enough to imagine that despite all the red-flag-waving-in-my-face warning signs, he was really a good sort. My judgement was off…more than once, as it happens. My bad.

Someone once said to me that when they got to Skinny Town after carrying a lot of extra weight for years, they were disappointed to find that everything in their life didn’t get better immediately. And I get that…being skinny doesn’t guarantee entry into some kind of charmed life where no shit hits the fan ever. I just need to be prepared to apportion responsibility for things not going my way in the right place instead of leaping by default to the because I’m fat bucket.

It’s all good…I’ve got a good year to practice that before I cross the county line 🙂

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