Thursday, 6 May 2010

The Valley of Fat Gloom.

Have you been there? I bet you have. I went there because I forgot to value myself. I also stayed there far too long. It's a dark place and the scenery isn't wonderful. However, any of us can travel there. No passport required.

I went there and set up camp. No idea why I hung around, but I did. I probably waved to you when you camped out there too. I wasted time there. Look at my weight-loss progress. Look at the time I have wasted in that place..the days of my life I have given over to pitching a tent in that grim valley.

The beginning. January this year. 2010. I was going into another year as a fat person. I wanted to lose weight by my birthday in April, but I made no progress. I didn't really try. Then I decided to read weight-loss blogs again, because I know how inspiring many are for people who also have to embark on the journey back to themselves.  So, I read and made half-hearted attempts to take stock and eat properly and to get out more and move. March arrives, and I still haven't committed to an eating plan of any sort, nor had I put my arse into gear and got moving. I was wallowing, still camping out in Fat Gloom -  a place where the sun don't shine!  I had a sort of dread of committing to a weight loss plan. On my part there was lots of faffing about, lots of indecision, lots of moaning. Standstill. No progress. Days wasted, weeks wasted (years previously wasted) and pounds gained, whilst I worked myself up to a commitment, whining all the way. (How stupid is that?)

So, when I begrudgingly concluded that only I could make a difference to my shape I got a bit of a kick up the rear when Lyn at 'Escape From Obesity' created the Bethany McDonald Memorial Blogroll. I hopped on the scales, again. I decided life was precious and time was being wasted. I was going to blog myself into reality..and become accountable.

The numbers on the scale have fluctuated over the last six months..going between 217lbs and 230lbs. I didn't record my weight - I'd just sigh as I got off the scales and go and find something to eat. Why do we think eating helps? Why do we think munching on food will make our problems and the niggling self-loathing go away? I have been guilty of 'treating myself kindly' - with food. Having to deprive myself of those treats was, to my addled brain, cruel, a harsh punishment. That's why I was reluctant to embark on a 'healthy eating with exercise plan.' I wasn't going to move out of Fat Gloom Valley. It seemed a harsh, nasty, unfair way to way to live.

Being reasonably intelligent, fortunately the sensible part of me kicked in...'Looking like a walking dumpling is no way to live either' I told myself. There was a tug-of-war going on in my mind. I equated weight-loss with deprivation and self-cruelty. See my early posts. I was reluctant to get going. Very reluctant. WHY? What madness stops us treating ourselves well and loving ourselves? I was wasting time, months and years, indulging in food feasts with others - people who were slim, who worked off the food they ate and didn't pig-out, or only pigged-out occasionally. They had balance in their lives. I wanted to join in and I wanted no restrictions. I however had no balance. I had temporary immobility, and suddenly, no job to go to every day. I grew and grew. The pounds piled on to my already hefty frame. I was spending my time eating, thinking and hating being fat, but allowing it to happen.

'Until you value yourself, you won't value your time. Until you value your time, you will not do anything with it.'

M. Scott Peck

That quotation rings true for me. I am easy-going. I don't get worked up about too many things, including the way I look. However, the way I was beginning to look was depressing me, slowly..slowly, without me at first recognising it. I wasted years growing fatter, and as I grew fatter, I became sluggish. I began to dislike going to social occasions because I couldn't find anything to wear which looked good on me, and I imagined people I knew would be thinking "Blimey. She's a porker. Look how much weight she's put on!" I started to not like me. It was safer to spend my time doing little, not getting involved. It occured to me that I just didn't like myself or value myself any more. I wasted my days in depair...and eating gave me pleasure. I forgot to move my body, so days would go by and the only movement I got was going from room to room indoors. I am surprised the carpets didn't become threadbare on the route to the kitchen. I allowed myself to slide into an abyss of fat gloom. Fat Gloom became a place for me to stay.

I am not going there any more. In fact, I am burning my tent. A new day has dawned, and without 'dieting' -which drives me back down, I am climbing out of that dark valley and back into the light. I'll climb slowly and take the rocks I find easiest. I don't want to fall. I may even stop on a ridge to take stock and survey the scene. Rome wasn't built in a day after all, but I won't stop climbing. If you are down in Fat Gloom Valley right now, you can share my ropes. If you have faltered on the way out, I'll give you a shove, or a hand-up. I have decided there is a way out. I have decided to value me, and my days - my life even - so that long haul has begun. I am no expert climber, but I have devised a way to do this. I have my boots on. And you have too. Goodbye Fat Gloom!

1 comment:

  1. Hmmm, I know it's hard to look back at the 'wasted' time and be sad about it, but even feeling negative about that is probably better avoided. You can't change the past, but you sure as hell can blitz the future!

    Maybe it's better to regard that period as time well spent in mentally preparing yourself for 'now'. Time for you to really be 'ready' to make the changes you want in your life.

    You have made a fabulous start and your committment to change shines through. You are valuing 'you' again, and the decision to burn that tent means the valley of fat gloom won't even show up on your map from here on.

    Rock on! (she says... showing her age)