Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Another year older and a few pounds heavier.

Yes, today I am 56. Wow. That sounds OLD.

I feel so young inside it's incredible to think I have reached this age. When my Mum was in her fifties that was truly 'middle aged'. I like to think fifty is the new thirty (cough) because I do feel (inside) just as I did when I was in my twenties. I am wiser now, and more content with who I am, more self-assured, which are the plusses of ageing, most definitely. (Well, correction, I feel self-assured when I can avoid full-length mirrors.)

At the beginning of 2010 one of my uppermost thoughts was, (as in years past) that I would lose two stones - 28lbs - before my next birthday, which was four months away, in April. That was do-able. Easily.
Today, I am four pounds heavier than I was last week!

I could see today as the beginning of a new life and the year ahead as the year I finally controlled my mind and 'got with the programme'. I have never been very good at self-discipline. However, in my working life, in relationships and in family life I have always done what has to be done, and I like to feel I have been responsible and never let anyone down. I have always worked and have never missed deadlines and during those years - the years between my 18th birthday and 2005, I certainly wasn't slothful, the way I am now. OK, so in truth I did have to take my foot off the pedal when I was recovering from surgery, and some illnesses did make me weak, and some drugs did make me feel tired and lethargic..BUT that is behind me. I can forgive myself for the ill health years, but I shouldn't make excuses now.

There is no reason why today shouldn't be the day that my new life begins - the one that sees me look after myself a bit more. I have to find the mental strength to commit however. I'd like to think that if I did commit to 'self' improvement I'd stick to my plans. It's very easy to cheat on yourself though, isn't it? 

I do know however that if I do that I am the only one who really loses...although my kids might lose their Mum earlier and my friends might find they have to scribble my name out of their address books sooner rather than later. THAT is a scary thought. I can't imagine a world without me in it. The life my lovely partner and I want, when he finally retires, might be snatched from us - by my own stupidity and reluctance to commit to a healthier way of living. OK, so I may be older than you dear reader (anyone out there?) but ask yourself the same question? Who would be left behind if you remained unhealthy and fat and died young of an obesity-related illness?

See how good I am at pricking my own conscience?

The pounds I have gained this week are through complete self-indulgence - nothing more, nothing less. I went away over Easter to Dorset, a lovely rural county of England, where I spent time with old friends (and my man) holed up in a thatched cottage. We ate and we drank and we laughed, in between trips to the sea-side and trips to a few historic little towns. I walked lots. I actually LIKE walking and being out in the fresh air. It was a lovely, lovely break, and although I WAS aware I was eating too much - putting butter on my bread (and having bread with meals!) and having the hot-cross buns, cakes and chocolate eggs I wouldn't normally have at home, I just didn't care. This was ME time. When we got back from our travels we ate and drank wine in the evening and talked and laughed. It was good for the soul, most definitely, but very bad for the already podgy waist-line - and the heart and the arteries too of course.

How do you just stop having ME time, when every day is ME time? How do I stop being self-indulgent when my very being craves doing what suits me, just when I please? I do need someone to stand over me, scowling and barking orders at me, someone checking everything I eat and monitoring the way I spend my time. That person however has to be me.

So, today I am going out with my man ('boyfriend' just isn't right for a mddle aged woman, is it?) who is taking me for a drive to a country pub where we will have lunch. It's my birthday treat.

Do I order salad and grilled chicken or do I go for the steak, covered in sauce and served with chips? Do I eat profiteroles with chocolate sauce and fresh cream for pudding, or do I choose a fruit salad? Do I drink water or wine? Choices...choices. A life without choices would be so much simpler for me. Anyway, I'll tell you tomorrow.

Oh and it's not about 'good foods' and 'bad foods', it's about whether I love myself or whether I neglect myself. I have to be conscious of the choices I make.

You eat well now....I can't promise that I will, but it's definitely something I have to think about. I am off to shower (was on the road at 7.45am, driving son to work and have had no breakfast yet) and to make myself look vaguely presentable. Nothing looks good on a fat woman - not even a tent. Sigh.

I'll leave you with this thought...

'It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.'

~ Josiah Charles Stamp

Oh just shut up will you Josiah! ;-)

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