Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Sitting on the fence.

I am not sure why I resist doing what's good for me.
On every health page on the web the advice is to move more, eat healthily and exercise if you are overweight. Fat people are consumed by guilt because they don't follow that advice. They'd rather eat...and the misery grows with the pounds that are gained. Why is so hard to apply the brakes?

I am reluctant to really commit to this lifestyle change and I am not sure why that is. It's a dilemma. I really have no idea why I just don't go for it, benefit myself by doing my best to lose weight - because I know all the theory. If you have been fat for any length of time you know the all the theory regarding the ways you make that blubber disappear.

I suspect my comfort zone is too comfortable, but not so long ago a hospital doctor kindly reminded me that being overweight could lead to heart attacks and strokes. He was the first Doctor EVER to mention my weight...and although I am now the heaviest I have ever been, the weight has been piling on slowly for most of the last decade. I have lots of chronic complaints and take a concoction of tablets every day now..some of which I am sure are SLIGHTLY responsible for my weight gain. Given I see so many medics, one of them would do me a favour if he or she said, quite bluntly, "Get off your fat arse and move. You need to lose six stones! Get a grip woman! Stop snacking - prepare healthy meals!"

It would be even better if they tied me up and took me away to a boot camp where they devised an exercise programme and diet for me - if my efforts were watched, monitored and recorded. That ain't gonna happen though. It's up to me. I have to be my own boot camp boss.

The good news is, that I still weigh, despite my procrastination, 223lbs. No gain. I haven't been a glutton since I decided to do this.

I know that if I had REALLY tried, I could have lost at least 5lbs since my last weigh-in and now. I have maintained my fatness.

Small steps need to be slightly bigger ones now. I am proud of myself in that I went food shopping this morning first thing and although I was sorely tempted by many foods, I resisted them. I bought the ingredients for a salad lunch...as I have some cold tuna pasta in the fridge to use up. I bought slices of cardboard to nibble on in between meals. I'll learn to love Ryvita and low-everything dry and tasteless crackers I dare say. I bought very low fat cream cheese with garlic and herbs to spread on them. I bought more soft dried apricots - my cake substitute. I bought a bag of apples - there are bananas, grapes and two mangoes in the house, and I know I'll have to force myself to eat them. I bought carrots, new potatoes, lots of green veg and chicken, but that is something I do anyway. I was guilty of buying some boxes of instant stuff for the boys who are at the stage where mealtime is a microwaved snack eaten on the run between showering after work and going out to spend time with their friends. They are young men now, and they could if they wanted to, snack on/eat wholemeal bread, yogurts, fruit, wholesome cereal, carrots, baked beans etc, etc, etc or defrost something home-made from the freezer, because they WERE brought up to eat healthily. (Both have a serious health problem.) They don't though, not always, although they'll eat heaps of buttered toast - so there are some ready-made chili wraps in the fridge and a couple of bung-em-in-the-microwave boxes containing fish pie and shepherd's pie.

That's one of the reasons I have grown fat. I don't have to do as much for them any more as I used to. We are like ships that pass in the night and we rarely (perhaps twice a week) all sit down to dinner together. I don't have to make 'proper' meals any more, because they eat on the run or eat out now they are working and have their own money.

I have to make the effort for me though. I didn't feed them junk when they were little (although they seem to be making up for lost time now they are independent - they are probably on first name terms with the bloke who owns the fish and chip shop!) I was able to buy myself junk though, not from drive-through places or fast food outlets particularly, but more from the bakery section of the supermarkets. It's time to REALLY care for me now. I have no excuse and the daily pressures and never-ending stress I used to experience, have been removed from my life to a great extent. I have every day in which to focus on ME. But I don't. I wouldn't feed junk to those I love, so why is it OK for me to eat cakes and sweet fattening things, without nutritional value? I wouldn't allow my boys to sit in their room all day staring at a screen or playing computer games. Children should be active and it's criminal if we don't encourage our kids to move, explore, play and burn off the stuff they eat in the fresh air. Why then do I think it's alright for me to stagnate, stay indoors, do less, move less?

My breakfast was healthy this morning..I had a small bowl of sugar and salt-free muesli with semi-skimmed milk and I added five (I counted!) raisins to it and two dried chopped apricots, to make it a little bit fruitier. I know dried fruit is sugary but I need a sugar boost first thing. I also sprinkled a few (a few!) sunflower and pumpkin seeds onto it..and washed it down with two mugs of tea. My bowels will thank me for it! :)

So..there is no diet in place as such. I am just trying really hard to make sure I don't a) eat junk and b) pig-out frequently. Planning is the key but like everything else, I am reluctant to plan. I like to drift and behave spontaneously whenever I can now I don't work any more. I don't put much structure into my days, and I suspect that is one HUGE reason that I resent I hate being hemmed in by 'must do' activities...by routine and by anything which exerts some sort of control over me. My lack of daily structure is actually my enemy.

All the motivation for this must come from me, and I have been wondering if I ought to join Weight Watchers so I have to be accountable to somebody for the number showing on the scale each week. There is a group held at my local Scout hut on Tuesday mornings at 9.30am. I could easily walk there. However, I wouldn't be the Fat Grump you know and love (ha!) if I weren't inwardly screaming "I won't go! I will not count bloody points...I won't pay to be weighed! Huh. Clap people because they have lost weight?  HOW BORING! I'll devise my own diet..I am not good at 'showing up at the same place and same time' regularly!"

I am an enigma and I annoy myself! I'll chew over the Weight-Watchers thought processes though!

Anyway...today I have two meals sorted...and a lot of plants sitting on my patio waiting to be put into the ground. I have a new outdoor broom and really have to sweep up all the winter debris of leaves and moss on the garden paving out there. My inclination is to sit here and procrastinate all day, but given I have read SO much about getting my act together in terms of dieting I am telling myself "Just do it! Just start! The first step is the hardest but you'll be encouraged when you can see results for your efforts today!"

So, I'll jump down from the fence and 'do something'. No exercise. I don't like that word..but lots of calorie-burning movement. I might even surprise myself by enjoying it! Hope any fence-sitters reading this do the same.

And now for today's wise words (because let's face it - mine aren't exactly going to inspire you!)

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.

~ William James (1842 - 1910)

I'd say that's true BUT I'd also say it's a very hard thing to do, to practice constantly. Attitude adjustment has to be worked on. I assume Mr James was talking about developing a can-do, positive attitude? I need one of those but I am aware that my thoughts will have to be tweaked through-out the day to make them positive ones.

I am however a firm believer in developing an attitude of gratitude. We all have problems, we all have areas of our lives that don't work as well as other parts, and we all have down days. I'd like to bet that most of us have heck of a lot going for us too but we often lose sight of it when faced with other problems. Losing weight is an uphill struggle, but in the great scheme of things, it isn't that big a problem. We need perspective. It means that we have the money and food at our disposal to allow us to become sluggish, fat gluttons. Aren't we lucky? There are many, many malnourished and hungry people in the world who wouldn't mind having similar problems.

See. That was positive. I can do this ;-)


  1. When I stopped working and the kids were grown up, I was into structureless days and soon weighed 185. Lost weight with Atkins but regained it. Now I like to build structure into my life and establish a routine. I am happier and thinner. It worked for me.

  2. Ryvita, hmm? The only one I've yet found that is more palatable than the box they come in is the Pumpkin seed and Oat one. That's not half bad, and with the low fat garlicky 'cheese' stuff is actually OK. Even nicer if you sprinkle a few chopped (fresh) herbs on top.

    As to WW and your "I won't pay to be weighed!" and "Clap people because they have lost weight?", nah, that never did it for me either. Too much the lone wolf, so I ended up doing it 'my way'... and cue song!