Monday, 7 June 2010

Only words, and words are all I have....

Ability is what you're capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. ~ Lou Holtz

So, stuff for me to think about. I have asked myself if I am ABLE to shift weight - and the answer is, yes, I can do that. I can lose weight. I am capable of doing that. I have done it and I know the theory. Then I asked myself if I was MOTIVATED enough to lose weight, and I answered no, I think my motivation is pretty weak. What's driving me on? Nothing. My motivation is quite faulty. Nothing has scared me enough. I am not fired up enough about becoming slim, for whatever reason. Finally I thought about my ATTITUDE. It's been one of a grudging acceptance that I need to lose weight, but the thought of tackling the problem hasn't filled me with determination. I am still grousing - to you lot out there, if you happen to be reading :) I am letting you into my thought processes. You are lumbered with my griping and whining. Sorry. I do of course, with a bright smile, tell people quite cheerfully, face to face, that I am on a weight-loss campaign and yes, I am cutting back, trying to move more and doing OK but it'll be slow progress. 

I am stating the reality of it here. My partner doesn't know how I waver. My kids don't appreciate how fed up I am, how some days I just want to be done with the pretence and the struggle and lower my face into a bowl full of lard. They don't see that side of me. I am to them the upbeat woman who says  "Oh yes. I am far too fat. It's unhealthy, so slowly I'll adjust my intake of food and because I have had a fairly sedentary lifestyle over some years now, I'll ensure I move more, because after all I want to regain my fitness."

All in all I am a pretty pathetic example of a fat person going about rectifying the problems associated with being overweight. I WANT to lose weight, but I want to be able to snap my fingers and transform my body instantly. I need to see big successes immediately. Piddling little pounds lost here and there almost make me wonder if the effort involved  in burning off a pound of fat is worth it. However, because I have a working brain in my head I KNOW and appreciate that getting rid of one pound of weight every week is good..and doing that regularly is even better. One pound of fat lost per week is 52lbs a year. That sounds OK! It could however take me more than fourteen weeks to remove fourteen pounds from my frame and I am STILL despondent about that fact.

The scariest things for me about being overweight are the diseases that are often associated with being fat and not exercising. However, no doctor is standing over me as I type, telling me that being fat makes me more susceptible to certain diseases, that my arteries may be clogged with fat, that my heart is struggling to pump blood around this fat frame and that my blood might pool, clot and then that clot might travel to my heart or to my brain and kill me.

THOSE thoughts are the ones which scare me into doing something. Vanity doesn't kick in. Am I not vain enough to want to look better? I do want to look slim, to wear more fitted, smaller clothes...but how much do I want that? That thought, that image alone doesn't get me up and running. I have moaned about how podgy and out of shape I am and how I hate my reflection, but even the knowledge that I look fat to all who view me doesn't have me leap out of my chair to go for a walk or pedal on the bike. I can live with it...can't I? I have done for many years, and so have so many of us. I am too contented. Contented with life but miserable about how I look. But not miserable enough, obviously.

What gives us that jolt? What makes us say 'Enough. Shape up and behave sensibly!"? All I can say is, for me the words above, about medical conditions, scare me. What if I have a stroke and end up paralysed and unable to do anything for myself? What if my heart gives out? What if my legs swell and become painful and ulcerated? What if they don't work any more? What if I have a heart attack and die? What if my weak body becomes susceptible to all those horrible diseases? What if I end up in a wheelcahir, depending on others? What if I become so sick that life holds no joy?

So, with this in mind, today I have adopted another stategy which I hope will motivate me a bit more to remain steadfast about this weight-loss campaign. I have, in red paint, made banners for myself. I shall stick them on the walls in my study, right by my PC so I can see them when I am typing (and spending far too long on the internet.)
One banner has HEART ATTACK on it.
Another STROKE.
One has CANCER written on it. For good measure I also have BED-RIDDEN and PARALYSED on other pieces of paper.

I think it's slightly pathetic that a woman of my age should need such aide-memoires to help her keep to her plan, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I need to stop the complacency that tells me I have all the time in the world to lose weight. I mentioned in another post that a sense of urgency is, for me a good thing. It spurs me on. I don't want to lose the weight next year, or a few years from now. I want to  lose the weight before I become another year older, but if I become a contented slacker, that isn't going to happen. I want to go into 2011 having lost a substantial amount of weight. That is do-able, but I have to want to do it, with all my heart.

Life can be cruel and it can knock us down. Life can be taken from us at any time, but why on earth would we increase our chances of that happening? For every day I remain blasé about my weight and plump body I am telling myself that my health doesn't matter.

My face is's pretty even. My personality and character are OK too. I am a pretty decent sort of person, honestly. My body though, the one that serves me so well, is struggling. It is not OK. This is serious. I have to treat myself well...not by indulging myself but by getting my head around the fact that I have to deprive myself of foods and ways of existing that have taken me to where I am now.

I am off to find some blu-tack. I have some wordy wall-art to hang. I am going to start a 'brand new story' with my words.

WORDS - by the Bee Gees.

Smile an everlasting smile
A smile could bring you near to me
Don't ever let me find you gone
'Cause that would bring a tear to me

This world has lost it's glory
Let's start a brand new story
Now my love, right now, there'll be
No other time and I can show you
How my love

Talk in everlasting words
And dedicate them all to me
And I will give you all my life
I'm here if you should call to me

You think that I don't even mean
A single word I say
It's only words, and words are all
I have to take your heart away.


  1. I don’t think it’s pathetic at all for you to pin up an aide-memoir to remind you why you want and need to lose weight. It’s on a par with me sticking my photos of my morbidly obese body on the fridge! If it works for you then go for it. I agree with the health reasons for getting fitter, slimmer and healthier. My idea of hell is to be confined to my home, needing carers, missing out on the more active aspects of life. I have shut myself away for far too long, putting life on hold until the last 9 months or so. I too am content, I have a wonderful husband, great step-son’s, good friends and family but my life lacked the joy that I had before I became this ridiculous creature riddled with depression, menopausal mood swings and the fitness level of a cadaver. Now I can climb hills and see the view from another beautiful perspective; I’ve seen sunrises and sunsets that have taken my breath away but also reaffirms I am not only alive but truly living in the moment. Contentment is good, joy, exhilaration and the confidence they bring makes my life worth living – that’s the difference I think.

  2. Grumpy:
    Remind me to NEVER visit your study--it sounds like a house of horrors with the frightening banners all around.

    But, really...whatever works! I know you don't want to go through the motions of losing weight. Who in their RIGHT MIND does? I think you do recognize the payoff of tossing some weight away and I feel confident you will do what work there is to be done.

    I pride myself on being one of the worst dieters I know and lazier than most. However, I have thrown away 42 pounds since January, so I know it's possible to make many small changes and still be successful.

    I have 90 pounds to go. Won't you be just the slightest bit ticked when I go whizzing by you? C'mon girlfriend, let's see what you've got.

    Carry on.


  3. Go for it! Yup, those banners do sound a bit scary (what, cancer? we can get cancer from being fat as well? aaargh!) - maybe you should let yourself take them down one by one as you reach goals, and replace them with good words. "Long life" are two that come to mind. Long life is good! We want it!

    I can't put my finger on any one thing that got me to start my weight loss campaign - it was a combination of factors. One of them was health related though. A few weeks ago, I went over on my ankle, for no reason at all (apart from being fat) and was suddenly flat on my face in town. I'd been in a total dream world walking along, and literally, did not know what had hit me for a few seconds. Then I realised, it was the pavement, and it hurt! I was really shaken by it. My ankle was in a bad way for quite a while too. So yes, my ankle being unable to hold me up was one of the things that got me going with a diet.

  4. PS You've got me singing Bee Gees songs now!!

  5. Yes MOB, the menopause has got a lot to answer for. I am well and truly post-menopausal. Mine began at 41 and by the age of 43 I was completely barren, and getting hot flushes regularly. I am not sure that I appreciated what a big deal it was, and all the knock-on effects it might have because then my children were quite young, I was working full time and also in the throes of a nasty divorce. I think menopausal symptoms played second fiddle to that lot and I escaped fairly easily. I had a complete whale of a time in my 40s - post-menopausal and single. Strangely, after the shock-waves and necessary grieving, life opened up for me, but I suspect that often happens when you get out of a bad relationship - one that brings you down. I looked good back then. My most recent times of ups and (many more) downs and stagnating was this last decade, when one thing after another hit me. I had little joy in my life. I think there is light at the end of the tunnel and I am moving on. I care more about myself now, which is a good sign. Yes, knowing that life is worth living and can provide us with many good, happy days in which we move, see the world, eat well and feel good about ourselves is a great incentive to do the work (often hard)that keeps us in shape. First, I have to find a shape worth keeping! :) (Round is a shape, right?)

  6. Jo, you have been so successful in losing pounds! I expect you feel a whole lot better for it, don't you? Yes, I ought to be rather ashamed that I have a 'relatively' small amount to lose. I have been so impressed by the blogs (and books) of women who lose 100, 200, 300lbs plus. What dedication and hard work went into making that happen. They did and still do inspire me, because now I realise just how dedicated to the cause they were/are. I need to think less, work more and accept that this is for real. It DOES matter that I lose weight. It's not THAT hard either but I need to find ploys and strategies to stop me thinking about food. I need to be busier, in truth. My days are lovely, but long and punctuated by meal and snack breaks. Not good really. I should do a Forrest Gump and just get outside and keep moving. Walking costs nothing after all.
    Yes, it is possible and highly likely that you'll reach your goal weight long before I do Jo. I shall try a bit harder and tweak my lifestyle a bit methinks.

  7. Christie, I quite like the Bee Gees music but don't tell anyone!:)

    Yes, we need to be incapacitated before it hits us that our hefty bodies are holding us back from doing all sorts of things. When they go wrong, like yours did and mine did, we have time to reflect. It's scary to realise that "use it or lose it" applies to our fitness levels and our well-being. It would be SO easy to become a person who just sits and then finds no joy in life because they've become so big. It happens and then it's an almighty struggle to get fit again.I am determined to stop the rot. So many blog writers are completely inspirational. I do however need daily reminders that my health is at stake if I continue to engage in health procrastination. My scary home made 'flash cards' certainly have motivated me today, but more about that in the next installment! :)