Tuesday, 8 June 2010

I Am In A Scary Place Of My Own Making.

Have you ever been frightened? Did something frighten you into your weight-loss campaign or did you contemplate dieting and exercise and then just get on with it? I admire people who can do that - make a life-changing decision without fear driving it - and then stick to it with determination. I know some people are like that - strong willed - but I am not one of them, alas. I need a bit of fear.

We go to work and get in on time because fear motivates us. If we stay in bed or arrive late, continually, then our performance is monitored and we face the sack. We go and see the horrible dentist with all his spiky, pokey sharp instruments because we don't want rotting teeth or toothache. We have routine medical check-ups, because we want nasty things found early on, if they exist. We try to put a little money aside each month for that rainy day when the roof leaks - we fear having no disposable income (my situation now) and we pay our insurance premiums because we worry that something awful might happen to our homes...We cover ourselves and do the sensible thing. We ensure our cars are serviced...that they have oil and good working parts, because we don't want them to let us down - to break down on us when we rely on them. We do as much as we can to alleviate the horrible happening.

Why then do we eat large amounts of greasy or sweet foods with no nutritional value? Why do we sit a lot when we do this...and why, when we become even bigger, do we allow ourselves even more rest? Isn't that a sure-fire way to have our arteries clog up? Yet we like eating. We like the taste of ( - insert names of favourite junk foods here - ) so we eat them regularly and look forward to buying them and eating them. We 'treat' ourselves to them. We also stagnate and allow it to happen, knowing our bodies were built to move, and that the whole system becomes achey, creaky, swollen, tired, painful, sluggish and completely unhealthy when we live like this, yet we carry on. Would we put salt/grit/sand/water/cream/sugar into the fuel tanks of our cars?

Early man lived on what...animal meat, nuts, fruits, berries, roots, water, vegetation? We call 'progress' the eating of microwaved meals,  fast foods, deep fried foods, sugary iced doughy/cakes, alcohol, fizzy drinks, coffee and chocolate and sweets (candy) full of chemicals, sugar and salt. My mother created meals out of 'raw' materials - fresh meat or fish and vegetables, which needed washing, peeling and preparing. It's only lately that we've woken up to the fact that this is what we have to continue doing. Some  people have seen the light, some people always walked in the light, some find that way of getting meals laborious and time-consuming. I count myself as one of that particular group...for much of the time. I can pick at things for days if I am not expected to prepare a meal for anyone, yet when my children were young I gave them good foods and lots of fruits and vegetables, almost religiously. Of late, I don't make much effort for myself. I'll cook an extremely healthy meal for a guest....but me, here alone during the day? I can pick at things.

A huge swathe of the world is hell-bent on decay, and grows fat, weak and dies early, whilst a huge part of it hasn't heard of the word 'gluttony' and starves and dies. We have got it all wrong haven't we? Sadly, an individual cannot save the world alone (unless they are called Clark Kent or Bruce Willis) but we can make our own little part of the world better..our lives healthier and we can educate our children about the dangers of a fast-food society.

Hummmph! I am a fat woman spouting off about these things. Ironic or what? However, for most fat people the light dawns eventually. (Look at how many weight-loss bloggers there are!) For some people the damage is too great. For many big people disease and illness has taken hold and they can only begin a course of damage limitation...if they decide to improve their lives at all, that is. I chose to ignore the 'pigging- out-on-crap-foods-makes-us-fat-and-fatness-and-sloth-inevitably-leads-to-ill-health-of-one-sort-or-another' equation. Many of us do, hating ourselves for continuing our piss-poor lifestyles but feeling overwhelmed and depressed and unable to stop the rot. Sound familiar?

Then we decide to stop the rot. What makes us change course? Fear? Fear of what we might become..or the lack of future we'll have if we continue living as we do.

There are times when fear is good. It must keep its watchful place at the heart's controls. ~Aeschylus

I am not 'enormous'...but I am roly-poly, plump all over, big, flabby, rotund, much fatter than I used to be, and yes, morbidly obese. I am 16stones worth of middle-aged, morbidly obese woman. I know others are bigger than me, I know others feel discomfort long before they hit the 16 stones mark. (That's 224 lbs) We all get to a place where we say 'enough' don't we? It's a scary place. Our lives could be in the balance. We know the theory..all fat people know the theory. Eat well, eat less, exercise more - a lot more. Yet we are reluctant to do that, or have been. That's why we've become so big.

I need scaring into losing weight. I am a pretty contented woman, but, not a particularly healthy one. No fat person feels good. Even if we are fit (some big people remain fit) I'd place a bet on the fact that our fatness concerns us and causes self-esteem issues. I am in the Indian summer of my life. (I haven't hit autumn yet and feel  the same as I did at 25 inside.) I want a looooong Indian summer of life, a delightful, lengthy and colourful autumn and a winter in which I go on skiing holidays in the snow. (OK, so I embellished the winter bit. Sod the skiing. Make it sledging. I'll also do the apres ski in a chalet full of tasty young male ski instructors who will of course find me charming and witty company and be tempted to enter into a bit of granny-snatching.) I want to go out with a bang, not a sickly whimper! :)

So, I made my self some scary posters. I need to feel the fear before I get off my ample arse and do something about it. See yesterday's post. I have a very scary area around my computer, and yes, today I have been doing as much training as an Olympic athlete. (OK, so I lie...but I have swea...er.. perspired greatly!) I also ate a small bowl of bran flakes for breakfast, an apricot when I wanted cake, a small fistful of pumpkin seeds when I went in search of something to nibble, and a slice of wholemeal bread with sardines (in sunflower oil with lemon pieces) for lunch. I drained off the oil of course. Mmmm. Very tasty. I followed up with a low-fat yogurt, I'll have a small slice of fruity maltloaf this afternoon and I shall be having something with lots of spinach, carrots and peas for my dinner tonight - probably a bit of cooked chicken. I have seen off three large pint glasses of water...but have had three huge mugs of tea as well. I have said it before - what would life be without tea in it? I can live without coffee. Now I need fresh air. I have been on the bike (for half an hour) and doing sit-ups and floor exercises and working with stretchy elasticated band thingies as well as my mobile rowing machine. I shall shower when I come back so I hope I don't meet anyone when I go out walking, even though I have freshened up my 'bits and pits'.

I daresay every neighbourhood dog will pick up my scent - this could be embarrassing, but I have psyched myself up for a walk, and the sun is now shining. I could chicken out, fearing being something of a Pied Piper for every dog out this afternoon, but I shan't.

Determination. Today I have it. Let's hope I keep it! Oh..and somehow, beyond all my expectations, I lost two pounds this week! That was a bit of a pleasant shock! Yeah - I can see that Olympic gold medal sparkling round my neck now. There is a winners' podium somewhere, just waiting for me. Whoosh. I am off.


  1. First and foremost - wey hey! 11lbs gone! That's great news - you should be really, REALLY proud of yourself.

    The scary posters are a good idea - nowt wrong with a little fear to keep us on the right track. I made a poster of why I should never go back to being obese - it lists all the things I hated about being 'me' then. See http://shrinkingmyass.blogspot.com/2010/01/what-did-you-really-hate.html

    Keep at it, me dear - you have made a fabulous start and that winner's podium is ready and waiting. Just off to polish your gold medal :-)

  2. Aww..thanks deniz. You know, those people looking in who've commented, like you, really HAVE kept me going, even though progress has been slow. I think if I hadn't had people cheering me on and being constructive I might have been tempted to slope off and eat a six-pack of jam doughnuts and erase Fat Grump from the online world. I have a list as long as my arm of all the things about being obese which upset me. Now I have to make sure I keep getting my weight down instead of messing with those eleven pounds which have gone. It would be SO easy to regain them. It's amazing how they come back quickly but are reluctant to leave once they've parked themselves on your hips! Thanks Deniz x x

  3. I know about fear. I caught a show on public television with Dr. Amen and the scans he showed of the brains of fat people frightened me more than any cancer or heart attack risk ever did. The thought of my mind slipping away has been enough stimulus to get me back into caring and trying.

    Best of luck to you!

  4. Yup, fear is a motivator alright. As long as you react positively to it, then it can only spur you on towards your goal. I started this diet by desperately looking for inspiration. I found it by very simple means - a newspaper article on women on different diets losing half their body weight. The visual stimulation along with the inspirational stories really spurned me on. Diet clubs like Weightwatchers turned me off many years ago so I resisted them. Rosemary Conley with the exercize bent is much more my style now as I have to be forced to do it and reminded why. The weeks I am lazy about exercising are the weeks I have lost half a pound - dismal! The weeks I put in the effort 3 and a half pounds - success! But what is important is that I diet with a friend and exercize once a week with 30 others as part of the class. The rest of the time it's me on my own and I have to force myself. I would like to lose another 40lbs to the 55 I have lost. I am over half way there. It feels like a long long haul but in reality it's a no brainer - I have never felt better with each smaller size I can get into, my joints don't ache anymore when I get out of a chair, my self esteem is rising and I feel more included in the human race. I know how hard this struggle is for us all and I can identify fully with yours. I sometimes visit the online Rosemary Conley tv website for the interview testimonials of the newly slimmed dieters, the psychology chats and the other supportive stuff that is on there. There are also chat sites - I haven't been on them yet but I would imagine them to be a great motivator and support. If you are dieting on your own, the struggle is bigger. Blogging is a great way to find like minded people for support but these interactive chat rooms dedicted to weight loss can be more immediate in bolstering a faultering moment. Just another support to compliment the blogging.

    11lbs is a gteat weight loss, a nice big pile of lard that you don't have to carry around anymore. I think in pictures a lot - it helps me see my progress. Go on, picture all that lard on your body - hope that spurns you onto the next 11! All the best.

  5. Hi Grumpy (can't keep calling you that - how about Lady G?)

    See Diane's post for today at http://www.fittothefinish.com/blog/

    Have a great day!