I read somewhere today that instead of sitting on our fat behinds and writing about losing weight we should be out exercising.
Hmmm, a couple of things spring to mind, the way we approach this is up to us. We, as I’ve said before, are the experts in this losing weight business, we know what works for us and we know how we have to make our attack. Because we use our computers doesn’t mean that we sit here using them all day. Some people, myself included can hammer out a blog post in a couple of minutes, I type 100 words a minute touch and my ideas flow as freely out of my finger tips as words flow out of my mouth. There’s very little editing goes on and the thoughts tumble out, I don’t sit pondering, this is not a literary masterpiece this is me, it’s what’s inside my head coming out, raw and uncensored. Besides we are allowed to do normal things just because we’re fat doesn’t mean we can’t eat or we can’t use a computer or watch the TV, many of us do exercise and do have a programme.
That said though, I know I have to exercise more and I have to move more, it’s something I’ve recognised and something which I am doing but the reason I started my blog was not so I could have an excuse to sit on my ass for longer each day, the reason I started it was because winning this battle is something that goes on in my head and losing it is something that goes on in my head.
This is a very solitary journey, people offer advice, people offer support, people do truly empathise but we are all unique. We know what brought us here and often we don’t know what brought us here. We know how we feel. We know how we want to feel. We know how much we are in denial about some things and brutally conscious of others. We kind of hide away, we become reclusive, we feel like non people (not all of us but many of us) and we suffer largely in silence. I started this blog so that I couldn’t do that, so that I had to get my thoughts out of my head and away somewhere, anywhere, just out of my head. I wanted to be brutally honest without burdening anyone, without expecting anyone to understand me.
You know, that’s one of the things that sends me back to food, when someone (and it can be someone very close who genuinely cares) starts trying to imagine they know how I feel and they offer advice, advice i am capable of giving myself over and over, and have given myself over and over. You want to know about weightloss ask an expert and fat people who have struggled their lives with being fat are the experts, not some skinny nutritionist who studies calorific intake versus calorific useage. We, the fatties, the time served obese who have perhaps lost and regained so many stones it would amount to a few whole people in our life times.
We know what to do that’s not the problem, it’s the mental issues that are the problem and I don’t even mean whatever hang ups we have from childhood or wherever although part of it, but the mental attitude to just keep going and to be able to start on the road in the first place. No amount of preparation will help if we are not in the right mind set and it can be something very trivial which takes us back out of that mindset.
One time I had been going to Weightwatchers, I wasn’t even fat, society and the media made me think I was. I look back at that time now and wish I was as fat now as I thought I was then. I was 22, I was 5 months away from a holiday to the South of France at an exclusive resort where people were rich and beautiful and perfect. I’d had a heavy Christmas at home being spoiled by the mother and I’d gained a few pounds. This was probably the catalyst for me feeling huge. Maybe my clothes were a bit tight. So I joined WW and did really well, I consistently shed weight, I went to the gym for my Jane Fondaesque work out every morning, rested at weekends (well rested involved dancing at clubs and parties till I dropped). I managed to lose a couple of stone and was my thinnest ever. I’d never been slim, I’d always carried weight on me, I was obese as a teenager and shed most through a crazy diet which made me ill when I was 17 but I’d mostly stayed at a sensible size for my height even if now it would be considered to have been at the upper end of my BMI (hate BMI’s but that’s another post). After an abusive relationship (19-21) I gained weight but lost it again and eventually got to the point where I was before this luxury holiday. As I’d done so well and consistenly lost or remained the same and had managed to get into a size 10 swimsuit, shorts, dresses etc I was determined to continue with my healthy lifestyle on holiday even though I knew it was going to be difficult with all of the temptation around (these were the early 90’s when a size 10 was slim and shops rarely stocked anything smaller).
Still I did it, I avoided the delicious ice creams, I didn’t drink alcohol, I opted for vinegar only on my delicious salads and when I came back after two weeks I headed to my WW class. My regular class rep was away on holiday herself and so we had a stand in. I will never forget her (because this is in the head right?) she was called Angie (I am useless at remembering names but this one stuck), she was middle aged (old to me then) and wrinkly (too much sun on her skin) and a nasty blonde short cropped hairstyle. She was quite matter of fact about processing us and not very friendly or nice at all. I remember standing in line thinking “she clearly doesn’t want to be here and has been drafted in to cover for our regular rep (whose name I significantly cannot remember in spite of having been in her class for months) under duress”.
I arrived at the scale and got on, I’d lost 1.5 pounds. I was over the moon (as you are at those tiny losses when you are brainwashed, already too thin for your height and really shouldn’t be on a weight loss programme at all). “One and a half off” she said without a smile or even a glance up at me. “Oh wow, I’m really pleased with that, I’ve been on holiday for a fortnight so expected to have gained.” I smiled at the top of her head. “Don’t get too excited, it’ll probably show next week” she virtually spat out, with eye contact this time and with a vitriolic expression “Next!” she called out as I was physically ushered off the scale.
I used to always stay for class, I didn’t that day. I left right after being weighed, I didn’t bother to browse the merch as I usually did, I took off. As I got outside into the sunshine I felt like I’d gained 5 stone. Seriously I’m not joking. I had walked into the church hall feeling bronzed, slender, refreshed from my holiday. I’d been tooted at so many times on my walk down the busy high street to the church hall, I knew my long toned legs were an eye catcher, my hair a freshly sun kissed natural blonde. I felt a million dollars, probably the best I have ever felt about myself, the most confident, the most attractive, the most valid as a member of society and with just one sentence that was destroyed. I left the hall feeling HUGE. I felt like that obese school kid again, plain, ugly, fat, disgusting. I walked to the nearest shop and bought 10 mars bars, I shoved them into my bag like some kind of heroin addict who had just scored a fix after a few months on the wagon and I hurried home feeling sad, feeling like a failure. I got in and ate all of the mars bars one after another and my eating continues out of control until a couple of months later I was trying on a size 16 again.
This is the kind of shit that goes on inside the head of a fat person. It sounds ridiculous, it sounds like I’m totally nuts but this is what happened to me. It’s almost like that woman, Angie, was saying to me “no matter what you do you can not escape the fat you and you will be back”. That’s what I heard when she said what she said. It meant the mental battle was over for me, I’d lost. I don’t blame Angie, I blame whatever demons are in my head.
I need to talk about these things to get them out of my head. I feel better now, for the first time I’m actually laughing about how much I hate Angie and hope she’s had some miserable fate. I can tell this story to people but they don’t really get it. Writing it here I don’t care if anyone gets it, I’ve got it now and that’s what matters. I know what it all means and I’m glad it’s out there. That’s why I’m blogging, not because I want an excuse to sit down for five minutes but because I need to heal myself mentally and I just know this is the way I’m going to achieve that. This blog is my psychotherapy. The problem is in my head and in my head is where I’m going to solve it. The healthy eating and exercise are all fluff. I know how to eat healthily I know how to exercise, I know what will make me lose weight on a physical level, that’s not the problem.
I can’t run or hide from myself on my blog, it’s honest, raw and it’s true and that’s what I need, somewhere I can be honest with myself to try to find a way out of this nightmare before it kills me.