Tag Archives: start on Monday

Pressing Pause


On my commute into work this morning I was kind of half listening to something on the radio in between pondering my ‘to do’ list and trying to ignore the Asshole voice who was busy trying to persuade me that 7.15am would be a good time to eat my lunch, which was on the passenger seat behind me.

My ears were tuning in and out of the radio intermittently, and I caught the tail end of something which sounded interesting enough to prompt me to reach for the remote control so I could rewind it…duh, I immediately realised of course that the car radio doesn’t come with that option. How annoying. I could go on iPlayer at some point I suppose, but the moment has kind of passed and I can’t even remember now what it was I thought I’d heard.

I’m just so used to being able to pause the TV, or rewind and re-listen when my ears have been multi-tasking and I’ve lost the plotline, you know? I don’t know however we used to manage before that sort of technology existed… I love the way that everything can fit around me, rather than the other way around.

A good friend of mine takes that approach to her diet. She knows she needs to lose weight, and she really wants to, but her diet gets paused every time something more interesting comes along. She has the ability to just step in and out of it at will, and I’m beyond envious of her ability to do that. No way could I ever make that work for me, with my default all-or-nothing psyche.

I almost feel like I’ve paused everything else, to focus on this, you know? It just feels more important than anything else I could be doing right now. It’s my time.

My friend and I both have plans this weekend…she’s having a weekend away with a bunch of friends, and then immediately setting off on holiday for a week. Once I’ve finished writing this I’m heading up to spend the weekend with one of my besties. It’s the spring version of the craft and foodie fair that I’ve mentioned before, so I’m going to be bombarded with temptations at every turn.

I’m busy thinking about strategies to stay on the straight and narrow, where my friend can hardly wait to hit stop on her working week and throw caution to the wind so she can dive into the prosecco and hand the flight controls over to her Asshole voice…she knows he’ll probably crack on and do his worst, and she’s kind of okay with that. When she gets back from holiday, she’ll un-pause her food plan and get right back on track.

I wish I could press pause this weekend…I’d sell my granny to be able to sashay around the food hall accepting samples of whatever anyone wanted to give me like I have in the past. There will be cheeses and oils, and artisan breads begging to be dipped. Cupcakes and fudge and a hundred different flavours of cookie, and that’s before we’ve even gotten started with the cookery demonstrations. I’m going to be all kinds of torn.

The thing is, if I were to press pause, it’d be pretty much game over. Fact. Not a cat in hell’s chance of me waking up on Monday with the Asshole willing to relinquish control and move back to the jump seat…I know that. I’m just going to have to say no, and mean it. Not the kind of no which really means yes. The kind where the word no comes out of my mouth and passes a piece of fudge on its way in. Short of having my jaws wired together, willpower is my only option.

I’ve bought sugar-free chewing gum so I can fill my sinuses with peppermint to combat all the awesome smells. I’ve promised myself a really nice piece of jewellery in exchange for not allowing the Asshole to talk me into anything, and I know I’ll have to ‘fess up to you guys if the wheels come off.

I think I’ve got all bases covered, dammit 🙂

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A Rock To Lean On

Who’s supporting you on your dieting journey? I’m not talking about the posse here, I mean that’s a given and we all know we’ve got each others’ back in this corner of the virtual world that we’ve carved out for ourselves…I’m talking in a real ‘day in the life of’ kind of way. Because you know, when we get serious about staying on this road to Skinny Town it’s not just us that have to make changes to what we do, and how we do it…it’s the people around us too.

For me, it’s my son who’s born the brunt of this broken relationship I have always had with food. We’ve never sat and discussed it as grown-ups…maybe we should, one of these days. His perspective would be fascinating – maybe I’ll ask him to write the foreword of this book you’re all encouraging me to write 🙂 But either way, one thing I know for sure is that all he has known, practically his whole life is me either going down the scale, or moving up it. Diet, or binge, with no middle ground.

To be fair, he has the patience of a saint. Well actually that’s not strictly true…like me, he got a raw deal when the patience gene was handed out in vitro…he’s definitely his mother’s son. But despite his short fuse with the little things in life that drive him bat-shit crazy, with me he has all the patience in the world. And trust me when I say he needs it.

He is blessed with an appetite for food that you can get away with as a young bloke standing six feet three inches in your stockinged feet. With the exception of liver, I’ve never found a food he won’t eat, and whatever diet I happen to be on he tucks in with enthusiasm to whatever comes out of the kitchen on any given day.

He can quote points values in food with a higher degree of accuracy than I can. And to my eternal shame he’s seen his own weight fluctuate when I’ve been cooking with no carbs, using lots of protein, cream and fats instead, but serving them to him with carbs too since he wasn’t dieting..he’s got the constitution of an ox and believe me it’s been challenged at times. He’s been supportive of all my efforts, to the moon and back again, whatever diet I’ve been doing, and through every false start.

But over the years he’s learned to walk on eggshells, when he’s seen me fall off the wagon. You know the kind of thing – one day I was dieting, the next there I was in the armchair vaporising a litre tub of Ben and Jerry’s and a large bag of cheese balls. When he tried to talk to me about it in as supportive a way as his twelve or fifteen or eighteen or twenty five year old self knew how to do, it would largely depend on how shit I felt about myself in that moment, or how much of a sugar rush or craving I was in the grip of which dictated the tone with which he got his response.

Trying to broach the subject must have been excruciating for him, and I’m sure there have been times where he’s just bitten his tongue and said nothing. But to give him his due, he’s never said an unkind word, or made a sarcastic comment or even rolled his eyes when I’ve mentioned that the diet’s starting on Monday, and this is going to be the one that sees me crack it this time. He just quietly supported me through it all.

As a mum, I could weep when I reflect back on how utterly conflicted and confused he must have been. It breaks all the rules of being a good parent you know? Being a role model, doing the right thing. Showing, as opposed to telling. When I really look back at how this constant cycle of binge – get fat – diet -get skinny must have impacted on him, it’s hard not to feel guilty.

But I can’t afford to do that – it gives the asshole in my mind too much leverage you know? It’s done, and by some miracle my boy turned into an utterly lovely, funny and warm human being, with a normal perspective on food. And as the person who’s lived that life, I’m not sure before this point I could have done it any differently anyway. I just wish I could have found a way to do this work and sort my head out sooner.

But I’m here now.

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Magic Me Skinny Please.


This is the first thing I see every morning when I open my eyes – yes, that’s right I really did write ‘I am awesome’ on my bedroom wall.  My mum, who was never particularly arty and who has, many times over the years looked at me like I had a screw loose just didn’t get it. She stood there last year, five feet nothing in her stockinged feet, admiring my newly decorated bedroom, enjoying the feel of new carpet under her toes, admiring the new throw and the window seat, and the new shutters, nodding her approval, then she saw the writing and just looked…confused. She genuinely thought I’d lost the plot.

I bet you get it don’t you?  I’d put money on the fact that a fair few folk in our posse would understand the need for validation before they’re ready to get up and at the day. It’s an idea I got from a great lady I spent a couple of years soul searching with…therapy makes me sound very pretentious and actually that’s not really how our paths crossed. Like too many times in the past, I’d decided to go on a diet – it was a Monday, of course (it always is) but prior to the actual day I’d not really decided what food plan I was going to follow, so of course I woke up full of enthusiasm but with no real plan or idea of how this diet was going to pan out. There’s a surprise said nobody!

So anyway, in the absence of a plan, and without wanting to fall off the wagon before I’d even left the house, which would have been a personal best even for me I decided that since one of the things I’d never tried was hypnotism, this might be the right time to have a crack at it. I mean on the face of it, come on it was a bloody marvellous idea. Somebody talking to me in a soft voice whilst I sat in a chair and relaxed, my brain all the time absorbing all the hooky spooky magic, and I’d wake up with a craving for carrot sticks and a hatred of cake. Get in, how come I’d never thought about this before..? So out came the laptop, I googled hypnotists in my local area and by lunchtime I was on my way to my first appointment.

I have to admit that first meeting didn’t go quite the way I’d expected. Well actually you know, I don’t really know what I expected. Mystic Meg maybe? She wasn’t wearing a kaftan or a turban and there was no sign of a watch on a chain. We sat and chatted for an hour about what I wanted (to be skinny) and how I might get there (penny’s starting to drop now that she wasn’t in fact going to magic me skinny) and I left after an hour feeling a bit deflated – that’s not how it happens on the TV. I was still fat, I still loved cake and I had no cravings for carrot sticks whatsoever.

But I went back. And then I went back again…before I knew it I’d been back lots of times. She did in fact agree to hypnotise me once – it wasn’t a great success, even I had to acknowledge that. After snoring my way through 45 minutes that I have no memory of at all I conceded defeat. I mean there’s relaxed and suggestible, and then there’s fast asleep with dribble leaking out of your mouth. Enough said.  But, over the course of a couple of years’ worth of going back I learned more about myself than most people could hope to know.

The more digging I did the more layers appeared and the more it felt at times that I was a hopeless case. I’d describe myself as still work in progress, although I’ve been on an extended hiatus from all the soul searching for the last year or so. It’s exhausting. And if I’m honest, what the blog has done for me over the last two months has probably given me more practical support than therapy ever did. But one thing that I realised as I turned over stone after stone is that I might be broken, wired wrong, fat and not getting skinny any time soon, but I’m still bloody awesome on the inside, where it counts. That doesn’t mean I’m comfortable in my own skin…you know I’m not. That’s why I’m here. But on the inside, I’ve got it all going on.

I am awesome. It says so on my wall.

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Asshole Logic


I like to think I’m a fairly intelligent person. I mean not in an academic kind of way – I’ve got a handful of smarts but I was thinking more along the lines of plain old common sense logic. Give me a problem and I’ll usually figure out a way to solve it. Make it a complex problem and that really gets my grey matter working – I love a challenge. Thing is, when it comes to dieting, logic deserts me before I’ve even counted a single calorie.

I suspect it’s the asshole factor if I’m being honest. I’ve thought about this a lot and you know that way where someone from the I.T. service desk can dial into your computer and move your mouse? Well I reckon as soon as I talk myself into another diet, the asshole gets hold of my mouse and moves it around the bit of my head that controls logic.  I can provide examples.

I’ve never ever started a diet on any other day but a Monday. Why is that? Even the mandatoryJanuary diet – obviously you can’t start a diet on New Year’s day because of the hangover munchies. But unless the 2nd of January is a Monday, I can’t start it then either…it would have to be the first Monday after that.

And say for example I decide on a Thursday that I’m starting a diet on Monday, the next bit of asshole logic means that I have four days left to eat my bodyweight in all the naughty food I won’t be able to eat once I’m on the diet. That exact thing happened before I started this one – I got back from holiday on the Saturday having basically spent the previous 2 weeks eating my way through Northern Europe, in fact I don’t think my jaws stopped moving for two straight weeks. But between Saturday night and Monday morning I still managed to fit in a chinese takeaway, fish and chips and an Indian meal. Because asshole logic told me that I wouldn’t be able to eat them ever again, so it was now or never.

Of course had the asshole not been controlling my mouse, I would have realised that the more I ate pre-diet, the more I’d have to lose on the diet.  And god forbid I put a foot wrong – let’s say someone’s passing a bag of Maltesers around at work, and I take one. They’re like 8 calories each, but well that’s the day ruined isn’t it. I’ve cheated now so I may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

So as the asshole jumps up and down with glee I’ll ignore the rabbit food I brought for lunch, and have a cheese and ham toastie from the deli up the road oh and a piece of battenburg cake whilst I’m there. I’ll start again tomorrow. Except tomorrow’s not Monday. I’ll start Monday.

Real logic would tell me that’s like walking 500 steps forward, stumbling back 2 steps and feeling like I’m back to square one. Of course I’m not – I’m 498 bloody impressive steps from the starting blocks and despite the stumble I’m still facing forward. But for as long as the asshole has his hands on my mouse, I’m afraid I’m shafted.

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Motivation theory (Part 3)

bunnyI’m warming to the theme now – it’s a funny thing isn’t it, motivation – what works for some won’t work for others, and actually over the years I have found a few things which I will  arrange in my toolkit to be wheeled out when I need to turbo charge my willpower or find a bit of added oomph. And I will talk about them on here at some point, I promise. Just indulge me one more post though, in taking the piss out of the ideas which (in my humble opinion) have clearly been cobbled together by someone who has probably never even sported a muffin top.

So, the next nugget of wisdom was to join a gym class and pay for loads of sessions up front – that way, you’re bound to attend because otherwise you’ll have wasted your money. Kind of like a psychological contract. Genius idea that.  Let’s have a pop quiz. Do you think this suggestion came from

a) a gym bunny, or

b) an exercise dodger.

Yeah, that’s what I thought too. Come on, I’ve been there. On Monday, I start the diet, I’m brimming over with enthusiasm, this time it’s going to work. I know, I’ll even take an exercise class, in fact look, it works out cheaper to pay for six. Tuesday I go to the first class. Wednesday I can’t move. Thursday I can move a little bit and comfort-eat my way through the pain (because after all, even factoring in the 45 minutes I spent wheezing on the sidelines I must have burned off at least, ooh 3000 calories in the step class which almost killed me , so actually it cancels itself out) and then it’s Friday, which is the weekend and we all know that weekends are about pleasure not pain, so I’ll go back for my second class next week when I’m bound to feel a bit better.  The diet’s gone to shit anyway so I may as well have the weekend off and I’ll start again on Monday.

No, hang on, I can’t start my diet on Monday, I’ve got a works’ do a week on Saturday and that’ll ruin all my hard work, so I may as well start my diet two weeks on Monday so I can have a good run at it. In the meantime, pass me the cake  because when I start my diet I won’t be able to have any of that. And look, there’s no point in going back to the gym class until I’m dieting, that’d be a complete waste of money, everyone knows diet and exercise go together. Actually what I might do, is to diet for a few weeks and drop some weight, and then go back to the exercise class. It wouldn’t hurt as much if I was skinny. Yes that’s what I’ll do. I’ll definitely go back though.

And repeat. I think you get the picture. That’s the psyche of a fat girl – sorry, I shouldn’t generalise, that’s the psyche of this fat girl. I know it’s not logical on any level whatsoever, but then addicts will say and do anything to convince everyone – including themselves – that they’re in control, they’re on it, in fact they’re all over it.  Someone once told me that the definition of madness was doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

This time, I’m trying something different…I have my blog 🙂

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