Tag Archives: willpower

One Whole Week

When I stepped aboard the Shitbird Scale last week and the number forced me to acknowledge exactly how rebellious I’d allowed myself to become, I took it on the chin. As the week went on, I resisted the temptation to check in every day, so between you and me I approached yesterday’s weigh-in with not a little bit of trepidation…lets be honest, there hasn’t been much good news coming out of my bathroom of late.

I’d had a good week, so I was confident that the needle wouldn’t have moved up. Given my recent trajectory that’s progress in itself, right? I was hoping for a solid two pounds off. I felt like I deserved two pounds, because I’ve tried really hard to kick the Asshole voice into the long grass and focus on my input this week. One of the biggest revelations for me over the last year or so has been that taking care of the input is my job, and actually all the scale needs to do is report the output. It’s less about the number, and more about my side of the deal.

Except the bitch in my bathroom used to toy with me…she seemed to get off on messing with my mojo by giving me a different reading within seconds of the last depending on which tile in the bathroom she happened to be sitting on when I hopped aboard. and I played right into her hands…best of three. No, hang on a minute, let’s make it best of five. Or ten, or fifteen…maybe I should take an average…? No wonder it twisted my melon.

Although initially I baulked at the price, I think choosing this particular Shitbird Scale when the old bitch hit the skids was one of my better ideas. I mean obviously we did the customary weigh-day waltz around the bathroom to get the best possible reading, but unlike the last one, Shitbird scale held the line – it didn’t matter which tile it stood on, the number was the same. There was a definite air of it is what it is, fool…take it or leave it, you know? And since the number was three pounds lower than last week, I’ll take it thank you very much.

Three pounds. That has a nice ring to it doesn’t it?  And it feel like a solid three, because it wasn’t a one, then a four and a two before it landed on three. Times past, when I’ve been awarded a good loss and I’ve declared a successful week, the bitch has been known to snatch it back the following day and revert to something less impressive. Rarely did it happen the other way around, although to be fair I wasn’t kidding when I hinted at the best of fifteen…it’s not unheard of, as rituals go.

The thing is, even before I clocked the number, I felt calm and self-assured on the inside. I’ve stopped bouncing from feast to famine, you know? This week, I managed to get a grip. And it’s fragile, I know that, but it’s there and it’s holding. I’ve been the one behind the wheel this last week, and the Asshole voice wasn’t even holding the map.

Seven good days. Seven days’ worth of skin in the game through a week that was as challenging as it gets – I’ve had two Christmas-related social events, two off-site meetings where lunch was out of my direct control and one night out with my boy where I selected carefully from the menu based on what I could have rather than what I wanted, and immediately followed up one sensible choice with another as I avoided the Ben & Jerry’s concession in the cinema. I didn’t even try and lick the counter as I walked past.

That’s progress folks  🙂

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Knowing Where I’m At

So, Friday night was work’s Christmas doo – if you’ve been reading along for a while you’ll know that the prospect of a big night out generally makes me want to run at warp speed in the opposite direction, but for once I decided not to be an antisocial old git, and I went along. As it turns out, I had an awesome time, in fact I can’t remember the last time I laughed so much.

We’d arranged to have a pre-party face make-over, so by the time we got there I didn’t really look like me at all. We all sort of ended up with a similar version of the same thing, dark smoky eyes and a ton of face paint which I’ve got to say didn’t look half bad, right up until I got a bit warm halfway through the evening and my face started melting…it was nice whilst it lasted though. Except, I looked a bit like a panda. There were two girls doing make-up, and I think I got the rookie, you know?

Saturday afternoon was a low point. I’d woken up with renewed determination that I could kick the Asshole voice into the long grass if he started being a twat, and by 2pm I still had a full house of smart points left. Eating nothing seems to be the safest option for me, you know? I can hold out for ages, it’s stopping once I’ve started that gives me a problem. Anyway I ran a few errands, went for my nails and eyelashes done and then walked Charlie dog before I turned my attention to food.

That’s the point at which it went horribly wrong. I had a full-on binge, having decided that (wait for it, Asshole logic at its finest) since Sunday was my weigh day, and I’d actually given up trying to programme my new scales with the fancy stuff and just taken them upstairs, midnight Saturday was my line in the sand. Sunday I was back on it.

So best buy a Daim cake now because from Sunday when I woke up I wouldn’t be eating anything like that, right? So I actually went to the supermarket and bought the offending article, together with a family sized moussaka. And a large bag of crisps to eat whilst the moussaka was cooking. Not cheese balls, I wouldn’t let myself go there and strangely I didn’t even try.

Having vaporised the moussaka and the crisps, I cut myself a quarter of the Daim cake. It was gone in sixty seconds and oh my days it tasted amazing. So I cut another quarter and ate that too. I was starting to feel a bit sick at this point, but I had that now or never logic going round and round in my head…if you don’t eat it now you won’t be able to eat it at all, you’re back on the diet tomorrow

The third quarter took a bit of getting down to be honest, but having eaten it I had to go hard for the fourth and final quarter, otherwise my boy would know I’d eaten three quarters of a Daim cake when he got in from work and I’d be too ashamed to look him in the eye. So I ate the lot, and got rid of the packaging in the outside bin before falling into a food coma and dozing in my armchair for a good couple of hours. I woke up feeling bloated and bilious with rampant indigestion.

Does that sound familiar..? It does to me. That was my life, once upon a time and I think I shocked myself at how comfortably I was able to just step back into the bad old days. And I brooded about it for the rest of the day, and into the evening. I felt so sick, which was hardly a fucking surprise.

Sunday dawned, and I didn’t feel any better. And then I stood on my new scale – which by the way will be known hereafter as the shitbird scale – and felt even worse. I wanted to know where I was at…well, let me tell you exactly where I’m at. I’m fifteen pounds heavier than I was when I set off for Cuba, that’s where. 

Knowing the damage I’ve done drove it home to me how broken my thinking has become of late…I thought I’d moved way past all that head spam, but I’m clearly not as free and clear of it as I’d thought. Mary made an interesting point on Friday when she said

…as a side note… it seems like at first naming the Asshole voice gave you power over him. Because you named him and separated him from who you were and what you want, you could say no. But lately… it feels like when you do something you didn’t want to do, it’s because you felt like you couldn’t say no to the Asshole voice. You don’t seem to have that power over him any more, the confidence that you can overrule him, that you can achieve your goal. It seems like you feel like you’ll inevitably give in, so you might as well get it over with…

Mary, you are spot on. I can’t pinpoint the moment in time where I started hearing my own voice instead of his but I’d lost sight of how quickly I can turn a deaf ear and close him down when I feel like I’m the one in control. So, that’s my homework for this week.

Back to basics. Listen for the Asshole voice, recognise him, and give him a big fat kick in the ging gang goolies every time he tries it on. One day at a time. Yesterday was a good day, once I’d got over the horror of the shitbird scale and I even went to bed last night with points in the bank. Not because it was easy, he was chewing my ear all evening as it happens…but I tuned him out.

I’ve forgiven myself for the fifteen pounds…it is what it is, and at least I know what I’m dealing with now, right? It’s time to get this show on the road 🙂

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Landing On The Wrong Square


I woke up early yesterday, having failed to fool my body into sleeping an extra hour as the clocks did their thing and rebooted ready for the dark winter months. I did however make good use of the extra hour, laying in bed for ages and contemplating the fact that I’ve been back from Cuba for two whole weeks – two fairly shit weeks in the grand scheme of things, with the last week in particular being a truly platinum-plated turd.

My general willingness to remember that I’m not that armchair-hogging food addict any more seems to have disappeared like a fart on a breeze, and I’m doing that thing where I’m refusing to look myself straight in the eye because I’m afraid of what I might see. For the few days leading up to the trek I was acutely aware that I’d taken my foot off the gas and made some dodgy choices, and whilst I was away my food plan went out of the window altogether. Neither of those two things would have been a massive issue. However. The two weeks since I came home have been a dieting car crash.

And you know what, I’d be the first to admit that I’m not very good with sums, but if I do a few quick calculations on the back of a fag packet I can’t avoid the reality of the situation I’m in…this isn’t just a bad few days. In the way that fuck-ups can run away with you like a freight train in a bad movie, this has morphed into a bad month.

I’ve been trying to think of ways in which to position it with myself so it doesn’t sound so bad and the most positive spin I can come up with is that I’m currently in hiatus between season one and season two. Season one was the start of this journey…begin the diet, find a voice, make some friends and build this awesome support forum. Find an adventure requiring focus and commitment, nail the plan and walk towards it as one big posse with the season finale featuring a finish line in Cuba. Season two picks up where season one left off, and it’ll take us right up to the point where the rest of my life can begin in a pair of size twelve skinny jeans.

The thing is, it’s not really a hiatus is it? The word hiatus suggests I’m pressing pause, kind of like a way to gather my thoughts and shape what I’m walking towards. Except that’s not what’s happening here, is it? I’ve fallen out of the naughty tree and I’ve put weight on…I’m struggling with my food plan and my head is refusing to play nicely. There’s a whole sub-story going on off-camera and that’s definitely not what’s supposed to happen when we’re taking a hiatus, at least it never did on Grey’s Anatomy.

It’s more accurate to imagine I’m living in a giant game of snakes and ladders, and right now I’m sliding down the back of the biggest fucking anaconda on the board. You know that one that always lurks right in the middle, and everyone in the game blows on the dice before they roll it when they’re in the general vicinity in the hope that it might prevent them from landing on that square..?

Well, guess who landed on the square. For fuck’s sake.

I didn’t see it coming but the more I reflect on the last few weeks, the more I think perhaps I should have, you know? Think about it. The trek was never supposed to be a thing in its own right…it was always a means to an end, something I signed up for as a way of staying on the path to Skinny Town.

And the fact that I brought it home was always going to be cause for celebration, given the amount of preparation I’d done to get ready for it. My mistake was allowing the Asshole voice to lead me directly to the I can relax now, it’s over! school of thinking, which was never going to end well. I could have prepared better for the fact that that might happen, and been ready for it. Note to self, that will ALWAYS happen because you have an Asshole who lives inside your head. It’s not rocket science, is it?

What I need to do now is figure out how to not let my bad month turn into two bad months, and then three. I can’t – won’t – go there.

First things first. I’m going to go to the Kingdom of Pain every day providing my work schedule allows me to get there…this week it does (although I’m away for the weekend which given the fragility of my food sobriety will throw up a new set of challenges but one step at a time, right?).

I had my eating under control last week between Sunday and Wednesday…it was the latter part of the week where it all went tits up. I was stressed, I couldn’t fit a work-out in and before I knew it the Asshole voice had snuck some all or nothing thinking into the equation…you can’t do THIS so don’t worry about THAT either.

Yesterday was better, in fact it was a good day. I worked hard in my circuit training class yesterday morning, I ate healthily, and I went to bed not having listened to any of the suggestions about popcorn or maltesers which were helpfully put forward by the Asshole voice as I was watching TV last night. Today I’m going to use yesterday as a blueprint and do the same again.

One foot in front of the other, and repeat, right? 🙂

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I Didn’t Even Notice

I had dinner last night with all my colleagues at work – our boss is leaving next month and last night we met the lady who’s joining the business as his replacement. It was really nice to meet her in a social environment first, and one of the things our team is really good at is being sociable. I think it’s fair to say that we all enjoyed the evening, and both our new boss and our team passed muster on all fronts I think…we passed each others’ tests.

Do you know what I didn’t think about, until I was in the car on the way home? What I looked like. This time last year I would have been completely pre-occupied with that, you know? Before, during and after the event. What would she think about the way I looked and what assumptions would she make about me based on first impressions? Were all my chins going to be distracting with their ongoing momentum as we chatted, and was my menu choice going to be scrutinised as part of her assessment of me..? Ahhh…that’s why she’s such a tub of lard! Bad choice, fatty…

Of course she wouldn’t have thought that at all, in fact she was probably far too daunted at the prospect of walking into a restaurant to meet a tightly-knit team who are collectively devastated at the prospect of losing their much-loved leader to pay much heed to anything other than hoping we liked her, but as a seriously fat girl I somehow always managed to make it about me, like I was some kind of special being requiring separate consideration.

I was quite comfortable last night. I fitted on the chair, which in that restaurant in particular used to be a worry – visiting it in past times meant sitting gingerly on small round seats and to be honest back in the day I could’ve done with one whole chair under each bum cheek. We sat in a different spot last night, they’d reserved us a long table with a bench running the whole length. I fitted in, and I wasn’t squashed. No need to push the table away and eat at arms length to accommodate my bulk…I was comfortable.

And you know what, I felt nice. Relatively speaking of course, because I’ve got a long way to go yet but I was wearing new clothes, in a size 18 – that’s a 14 to my friends across the pond – which is where I was aiming to get to before my holiday. They weren’t straining at the seams either…they fitted me just fine.

The funny thing is, I didn’t even notice that I felt nice until I thought about it afterwards, because I was too busy being in the moment. And that’s huge. I can’t even tell you what it feels like not to be preoccupied, worried, obsessed even by the space I’m taking up in the world and what people might think about it, to the point where enjoyment and being present in any moment is eclipsed by the cripplingly dark shadow of self-consciousness. God, those were dark days.

It wasn’t all sunshine and roses last night…faced with a menu stuffed full of fat-girl-wet-dream fodder, I’ve got to be honest, making skinny choices brought on a momentary strop in the Asshole corner of my mind. I didn’t choose the deep fried breaded cheese with onion marmalade, which made my mouth water before I’d even finished reading the description. I would have killed my granny for that appetiser, but the strop passed and what I had was lovely.

I got over myself. On a scale of  one to ten what I ate was a tiny bit naughty but nobody’s going to throw me in jail over it. It qualified as a treat without kicking the arse out of it. No guilt this morning, or feeling that I’ve gone off-piste…it’s all good.

Choose this, get this…I’m learning 🙂

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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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