Monday, 21 June 2010

Messing About With Blog Design - And Life!

Any regulars out there (or even those who pop in for a read occasionally) think their eyes were playing up? If you wondered if my blog had been taken over by a three year old hyper on food additives I apologise! It has been looking quite erm...colourful (or should that be 'garish'?) lately. Well, we were given new design templates, and a girl has to experiment. No updates, but there have been a lot of bright colours and fancy patterns over the last few days! I think I have sorted out a scheme I like now.

I wish the same could be said for my weight-loss plan.

I am still very aware and conscious that I need to lose weight. I still want to lose weight. I am not sure however that I am 100% convinced that I can or that I have the determination to make it happen.

It's up to me. No one else can do it for me, but I am still rather half-hearted about the whole thing. I have been wondering - can a person be 'too contented'? Do you have to be driven and desperate, and perhaps quite unhappy before you tackle weight loss with gusto and determination? All these questions have been running through my head, because I can't work out why I am not spending every single day a little more determined to shed pounds. I seem to have no sense of urgency...and I can only put that down to not wanting it enough? Any ideas?

Tell me, please, what was your motivation to slim?

What was behind that final "I have had enough. I am going to ensure I see a loss" day, when it all began?

Trust me, anyone out there thinking "You are too lazy, undisciplined and careless to see any success", I have had exactly those same thoughts too.

I know I go through life in a fairly optimistic, laid-back manner. I am hard-working but not particularly competitive. I have never really had the drive to want to be a winner, or top dog, but...surprisingly, I have done well, at school, then University. With examinations - I revised 'Hamlet' quotations on the bus going into school before my A level English Lit exam and passed - so I'd make the effort but it would be last-minute, desperate and determined effort. You can't lose weight like that, sadly. I didn't do an awful lot of preparation for my degree either. It was all last minute cramming. I wrote essays the night before they were due in. I burnt midnight oil to meet a deadline, and I never missed it. I've done OK at work with promotions (many I didn't seek - I was recognised to be doing a good job and 'invited' to apply for advancement - being in the right place at the right time I guess?) and luckily in life I seem to make friends quite easily. I tend not to get into bitchy falling-out situations, ever, because, well, because it's all too much effort. I like my life to be as uncomplicated as possible and I hate bad-feeling. I have always been the 'pouring oil on troubled waters' woman. I have been lucky in love too - at least initially. Not meaning to sound vain but I was blessed with having a pretty face when I was young, even though I was painfully shy and a virgin LONG after all my peers had begun having sex lives. I was shy, but probably came across as being snooty or stand-offish, but only because I really was so self-conscious (because men looked at me) and painfully shy. I didn't know how to flirt but I was a world champion at blushing, looking away, trying to hide in corners and feeling awkward. Back in the 70s 'good girls just didn't' end of. I was virtuous. (See me grin.) Thankfully a man was charmed by me and swept me off my feet or I suspect I'd still be a virgin or a Mother Superior now instead of a woman with three children :)

Sadly, the marriage wasn't a good one and we really weren't suited. No regrets though. I have worked out my sorrow over the years and bounced back. As a newly divorced woman my life was OK, although it was hard. I had friends, family and also appreciated having a strong backbone. I had to get on with it - life alone with three children, so I did. I carried on working and ploughed all my earnings into keeping us going, ensuring the bills were paid and food was on the table. I went without lots of stuff for me, because there wasn't much left over after the basics were funded, but that was OK. I didn't mind that much. I guess I am not overly materialistic either? I have enough, more than enough. I managed to do that...I got through it, and didn't waver. I also looked after my elderly mother's needs too. She was quite deaf and needed a companion and a friend, but she was such a lovely lady - always bright and cheery despite having had the grimmest of early lives. I loved her dearly. She was MY rock if only she knew it. Life was hectic and exhausting, but I didn't break. A few years after Mum died, I met a lovely man, someone who restored my faith in partnerships, someone I could trust completely, and that silly fool wants to marry me. I am amazed. And even though I have given up work, been ill, grown fat, he is still by my side. I found someone wonderful and we jog along well together. Well, not jog..I don't jog, but we er, er, walk fast together, holding hands :) OK I am still very loathe to sell my house and give up my independence. That I'll admit to. I am still Mum to my young men who can't afford to move out, so plans of cohabiting are on hold, and that's OK. We aren't going anywhere. See - things can work out  and life doesn't defeat me. (See all the above. I have just re-read it. It sounds very earnest and heroic, but I am no saint. Far from it. I often cursed my lot, alone in the darkness, and I have shed many lonely tears along the way, but realised griping and grousing didn't change things.)

So, if I am not easily defeated, why am I finding losing weight rather daunting? Again, I have quite a laid-back approach to it all, which probably doesn't help me, but why am I making it harder than it needs to be? I still grouch because I feel I WANT certain foods. I deny myself (sometimes) and give myself a good talking to about consistency and determination, but I am not happy that I have to give up cakes, and biscuits and convenience foods with little nutritional value. I am not sure I'll ever want an apple or a piece of fruit more than I desire a cake, even though I know fruits are good for me and cakes aren't.

What is my motivation for doing this? Good health I suppose. Looking better in photographs. Surprisingly I am reasonably fit. Walking has never been a problem for me. I like walking. I like swimming and have been OK with letting the world see my blubber in a swimming costume. I don't swim often but if I feel like it, this fat woman will take to the water. I do however (as explained in earlier posts) like my sedentary pastimes. I don't watch day time television - we now have our own ghastly version of the Jerry Springer show. It's has crossed the pond and programmes of that ilk have multiplied in the UK. Everyone will tell you about their dysfunctional family life and embellish it loads for payment. Yuk.

I like to read, I like to paint, I like to surf the interweb. I like to write (You noticed huh?) Such 'activities) make the old backside spread, and the waist grow and well, every other bodily part pile on the fat too. The calories going in, even though I am being sensible, aren't being burnt up and I swear it's harder to lose weight once you hit fifty! I am well and truly post-menopausal and have been for years..over a decade.

What kick up the arse do I need to truly embrace weight-loss and make it happen? OK, so I lost one pound this week. 1lb. One ell bee. It's better than putting it on but erm, I have been writing this blog for months now and haven't even lost a stone yet! I am just not getting into it properly. NOTHING seems to give me a sense of urgency or a real need to lose the flab. This chair here is the place I want to be. I should be on my feet and moving. I know that. It's fat..more than flab. I have rolls of blubbery wobbly fat all over. I seem to get along OK with the flab..The only thing is, I KNOW it's bad for me to carry this weight of a small sofa around with me every day. Would we willingly go through life with a sofa strapped to our frame every day? Or several sacks full of potatoes...or a huge lawn mower?

Sadly, I could put back on what I've already lost with a good weekend away, eating and drinking with friends. It could all go back on in a couple of days. My weight could creep upwards and upwards if I am not conscious of what I am eating and how I am moving, and if I find this amount of fat hard to shift, how on earth will I ever tackle a larger amount?

I am blowed if I can find anything or think of anything which makes me REALLY want to restrict my intake severely. Does there have to be an embarrassing incident or a health scare first? There is nothing exciting me about moving out of my comfort zone, not even the thought of the fat melting away. Being fat does make me unhappy - I don't look good no matter what I wear, and my BMI is far too high, so why can't I seek out the happiness and satisfaction attached to making myself healthier and slimmer?

Right now, slimmer and healthier doesn't seem to be motivation enough. Hit me someone. Tie me up and lock me in a boot camp.


  1. You asked about motivation to slim down, but for me there wasn't just one thing that kick-started me - it was a combination of factors. Being scared of what I was doing to my health was near the top of the list. A healthy measure of self-loathing was probably there too. I was fast approaching fifty and got really scared that if I didn't 'do' something I'd end up depressed, disabled or dead... or more likely all three... and if I didn't start 'now' I'd never be able to in the future. I wasn't terribly confident up front, but what the heck.

    A couple of very public events made all too clear to me just how bloody big I'd got. Oooh, photos can be so damning, can't they. And I had a friend's posh wedding (where I had to stand up at the front, in full view, and give a reading) to... er, look forward to! It really was high time to do something.

    I knew 'diets' were pointless - over decades I'd lost/gained with the quick fix 'solutions' way too many times. I knew I didn't do well with the whole 'group' thing (e.g. WW and Slimming World situations), although they do help a lot of people. I knew I had to get off my ass and move, and that every little extra would help. So I thought of it as changing my life, in my own way, and making long-term changes. That took some pressure off as I didn't have I 'must lose x lbs by y date' to worry about - long, slow and closely measured was the plan.

    It's been quite a learning curve throughout, and I've lost motivation and stalled many times. I never did quit though (stubborn mare, me). It isn't over yet, and it never will be. I will always have to be conscious of what I eat and make myself move. The alternative is buying bigger clothes again and whimpering whenever a camera hoves into view. Only with hindsight can I see how unhappy I'd got while accepting that as 'normal'. I don't want to go back to the old me. That bit is the continuing motivation.

  2. Hi...ran across your blog from another blog and I wanted to write. I too have been in a rut and stuck in this body i'm not real happy with for many many years. I'm 45, married with 3 kids. Here's what got MY motivation going. I started thinking about what I wanted to do in the future. I want to travel, I want to retire somewhere tropical, Iwant to have fun, I want to live the next 40years of my life without regret like I have the last 45 years (well, not all of them, started getting overweight around 10 or so). I realized I have to do this one small bite (no pun intended) at a time and so I started to look to the way I felt about food. Not a great relationship. This is the ONLY body i'll get. No second show...anyways. long story short. I realized that most of what I ate was poison and so I started out with cutting out gluten and dairy, and for a couple of months, while a bit difficult at first, I felt so much better after only 3 days! then felt like that wasn't quite enough and so I decided, after reading quite a bit about it, to start eating the "paleo" way. (no, this is not a commercial for this). I have been eating this way, very strict, for 8 days now and I can't tell you how different my mental and physical state are already. What helps is that there is less "choices" . It makes food my friend becasue all the things I can eat, I can eat whatever I darn well want and how much. The basic gist is: All you can eat: Meat, Veg, Fruit, Seeds, Nuts, certain oils.
    NO legumes, grains, (including soy and corn and rice) NO dairy, NO processed sugars, no sugar really except some honey unless you're trying to kick a sugar habit. I would urge you to read about it. It may give you some insight and some encouragement. Here's what is posted on my refrigerator. "Quitting heroin is hard. Living in a war zone is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Choosing to eat what is good for my body is NOT hard. Welcome to reality".
    I hope you find your motivation somewhere but know this... You deserve to be healthy. You deserve to feel good. You are worth it. Never forget that.

  3. I suppose I can't make any claim as to what motivated me to lose weight, but I can say why I'm trying to lose it. I fear for my health. I'm not unhealthy, as far as I know, but I'm a bright man and know I see the warning sign posts of an early shrugging off of this mortal coil, bad diet, big stomach and not much real exercise. I think the big push came when I watched a show from Dr. Amen about the brain scans of fat people. The one thing I'd jealosly guard is my intellect and there is clear evidence that it goes by the way side for fatties.

    Of course, that's not exactly been enough as I'm still feeling my way. I'm down a few pounds but I've ninety pounds to go to get to a normal weight. I'm not ready to give up yet and I don't think you are either.

  4. I could give you a list of lots of little things that happened one after another and motivated me to lose weight - like when I went over on my ankle in the street, when the Wii Fit called me "obese," when I had a second dinner while my daughter was in her dance class (nipped in the Indian restaurant across the road) and disgusted myself by eating till I was almost sick.

    But underneath all of that, I guess what drives me is that I really don't think it's OK to be fat. It's obesity. It's something wrong, a medical problem. When I think back to being a kid, hardly anyone was fat. Now, it's like an epidemic, and I don't want to be part of it. I don't think "I'm fat so I could get sick" I think of myself as already sick, because when you're fat, you can't live life to the full.

    The other element to it is that I underachieve. I always knew my eating had an emotional side, but I'm beginning to realise that I used it to a) blot everything out when I was down and b) as a means of procrastinating what I should be doing - and as a consequence, I didn't acheive.

    Yes, I guess I'm at a point where I'm pretty desperate to turn life around, and that's what motivates me.

    I wonder it there's something deep down that makes you a bit scared of the thought of being thin. I know I am. I'll be all exposed, uncovered, and people will have expectations of me again. (I know that's illogical, but it's how I feel about it!). What will being thin mean for you?

  5. Grump: I like the new blog look; except...Can you make the font bigger? I hate squinting to read your fabulous writing.

    At some point the payoff for staying stout wanes and the scales tip in the other direction and it is no longer worth hauling the extra ell bees around.

    Do you feel better when you are less, how you british say, stones?
    Do you think you look better in clothes?
    Do you have more energy?
    Is your self esteem higher?
    Do you knees and feet thank you?
    Do you think you might live longer?
    Do you think your offspring might want you around longer?

    I'm just saying....

    Happy Summer Solstice. Carry on.


  6. Before I started going to the gym and all that, I used to watch "Obesity Clinic" and a few other shows on TLC about morbidly obese people. Not sure why, maybe to keep myself from eating like a pig that day. But what I did know is those people weren't all that much bigger than I was (probably close to 250, I know for a fact I was 239 cause that's when I started keeping track) and that I was headed straight for 300+ lbs, plus I just felt like crap! I was only 38 and I felt terrible and I was very worried what I would feel like at 50 if I didn't change anything. I found a gym close to my work (so I couldn't talk myself out of going) and set my goal to just go there every day I worked. That was it. That and to be able to walk up the 2 flights of stairs at work without sucking wind. I did that for about a year. I don't think I lost any weight, but I did get in better shape (not sucking wind) and was able to establish a habit of getting to the gym. Then I saw a picture of myself. I had been going to the gym for a year and I was as fat as I ever was. What a waste of time (not really!). Wish I had an inspiring breakthrough moment to share with you, but it's just been a gradual process for me over the last 2 years. This year I finally got serious about it and I've lost about 35 lbs. There is no secret. Don't eat crap, try to excersise daily. I do A LOT of little things that I have incorporated gradually that are making this possible for myself. If I had set out to do them all at once I would have quit before I started. There is no way to "ensure" you are going to see a loss in a set amount of time. Bodies are funny. But if you do everything you can, every day eventually you will see results. I only loose about a pound a week and I'm very OK with that. I know it will very likely not come back since it is a result of good, positive changes and not a drastic diet.

    I would say the one thing that has helped me the most is learning how my body works. I am a massive sugar/carb addict. Even now, I know that if I were to eat a cookie or anything sweet or some other carb (like white bread) that it will set me off and I'll be craving/shoving as much carbs and sweet stuff into my mouth as I can find in my nearly empty pantry. Learning what my triggers are has helped soooo much. I know that I can't go sit on my couch and watch TV without the thought "what can I eat" popping into my head, usually before I have even sat down. So I just don't watch TV anymore, or very little.

    Sorry this is so rambling. I like your blog and I appreciate your honesty!!