Tuesday, 28 September 2010

Secret Chocolate, Fat Misery.

I have had another weekend away - this time with 'the girls' - my old friends from University days, who now live in various places throughout England and like me, have aged since we were last together in the 1970s. We got together for a reunion in London and we had a great time. It was very good to catch up with them all. Facially, we all look the same as we did back then...all were easily recognisable - and it might be a sad fact, but we nattered on and laughed together as though we were still excited young women in our late teens!

I'd forgotten how busy it gets in London. Hordes of people rushing about, every pavement crowded with bodies, every street filled with cars, buses, taxis, coaches..and bicycles. And tube stations? Wow. We were like sardines packed into a can on the underground trains! It was all hustle and bustle and it was very tiring. We went to lots of places and whenever possible we walked from one tourist trap to the other, so we covered miles (and miles!) on foot. I was of course the fattest of them all. (Big sigh.) However, I was definitely as fit as they were. I climbed right up into the dome of the British Museum, where the upper galleries are, with no trouble. OK, so I was panting when I got to the top, momentarily but I took all those (marble) stairs without stopping. I enjoyed the walking too and even went off on my own for a a brisk walk through a nearby park rather than wait in an admission queue on Sunday morning. The girls laughed and reminded me we'd all done enough walking but I took myself off anyway. The sun was shining and it seemed a waste of time to be queuing up. The girls assured me they didn't mind queuing while I walked. I'd rather walk than stand still.

So with stairs (lots of them, everywhere) and almost three days of much walking I got in my 'exercise'. We had to eat too though...and we went to some fantastic restaurants and coffee shops. I can only say that I ate no more than anyone else, and because I am a slow eater, I think I left more on my plate too rather than hold them all up. I do tend to talk so I ought to concentrate on eating rather than yapping! :) Not one French fry passed my lips though, nor a burger...In fact, we didn't do fast food at all..or snacks although we did sit down mid-morning for a coffee, and some cake. We also had meal breaks in museum cafes etc, and I chose sensibly. Our evening meals were lovely and I ate sensible portions and didn't pig-out. We didn't have too many vegetables and the only fruit I had was the banana I travelled down with, (it wasn't a good companion..very quiet) and the apricots in a Turkish pudding! I had four glasses of wine over the whole weekend, so all in all, it wasn't a blow-out, in terms of eating, although it wasn't 'diet food' either.

Anyway. I have discovered that exercise begets exercise. I felt VERY tired yesterday after a busy weekend and all the walking and travelling. I was knackered in fact. I did however have the urge to get out in the fresh air. It would have been easy to have a 'duvet day' in front of the TV but I didn't. I made a shopping list and walked to the supermarket, and then with shopping bags weighed equally on both sides, walked up the long hill back home. It's very interesting that you don't see women (or men) doing the physical work of shopping any more. I was a lone walker...everyone else took their bags from their trolley and stashed the shopping in the boot of their cars. This middle aged, weighed-down woman walked back and at a reasonable pace. I quite enjoyed the outing and the incorporated 'weight-lifting'. Later, I also did half an hour on the bike whilst I watched television. Blimey! Anyone would think I was training for the Olympics! Serious stuff! ;-)

Today I gladly accepted an invitation from a friend to go for a swim. She is a member of the swanky gym I joined (and hardly used) when I was working. I do like swimming but lack the inclination to go on my own. The cost is also prohibitive. It's a luxury I just can't afford, but my friend had a guest pass, so we swam up and down, lengths and lengths of the pool and then went into the huge jacuzzi for a soak. I felt invigorated afterwards...and squeaky clean! :)

I have to get my eating in order though. Yesterday when I was sorting out clothes, I moved a box of blankets from behind the bedroom door, only to find a chocolate Easter egg, unopened, secreted inside. I always buy chocolate eggs for the youngsters I know - and my grown kids who still expect them! Last Easter I must have over-calculated how many I'd need, so stashed away a spare one. See...I can forget about hidden chocolate.

Hmm. Nice find. Would go well with a cup of tea to wash it down thought I. I didn't eat it all in one go (what a relief chocolate doesn't go off immediately because this had been there since the beginning of April!!) because I do find chocolate quite sickly. In fact, I had a nibble here, and a nibble there, and I am not sure why. It's sweetness tempted me at the time. Today there is over half a chocolate egg in the kitchen. I may keep it to have a bite now and then. I tried to think of a sweet substitute for chocolate to have instead but I found myself lured to the texture of the chocolate. Sweet meltiness....I had to tuck in.

I must be mad. It would have been easier to throw it away or to hand it over to the boys to share, but no, this was my find, my treat...my forbidden food. Fortunately I'll be able to eat it over the week...a bite here, a bite there so the damage to my calorie intake won't be massive.

No...cancel that. Last time I had a mouthful of that OLD Easter Egg the sweetness was just too cloying and over-powering. I wasn't even enjoying it!

Executive decision made. The Easter Egg is being dumped in the bin and covered with wet tea-bags and veg peelings. I shall go and throw it away now.

Job done. Egg binned. I DO want to lose this weight. I have exercised and at home I'll eat well. Why would I sabotage my own efforts?

One last thing. Today my friend emailed me and attached photos of us sitting in the cafe on Saturday morning. It was a happy time, full of laughter.

OMG. Guess who looked large and bloated? Me. Despite my hair being coloured and trimmed, and despite my wearing my best white cotton blouse and black trousers, and despite my full make-up, I looked awful. I was the token 'Big Woman'. It was nice to see my friends smiling back at me from the picture, but all I could see was the big woman with a round pink face in a white tent desperately trying to get one shoulder behind the woman to her side. Her (puffy) face was smiling but I could see the uncomfortable feelings etched on her expression and in her piggy eyes. (My eyes ARE piggy and my face is fat. I am not beating myself up. I can live with the truth.) Why did she have to be nearest to the camera? Why wasn't she half hidden by the table? Why did the stupid cafe owner taking the photograph stand near to her when he arranged us for a group shot? Would her arms arranged 'like this' cover up the fatness of her middle? Why did she have to be sitting side-on to the camera with her round fat back on display?

Hanging on to an old Easter Egg just because it's there? What's that all about? I am behaving stupidly. I have to discipline myself. THAT sort of behaviour means the day when I feel comfortable having my photograph taken remains in the distant future. Looking at that photo was PAINFUL. It took some of the gloss off the great girly weekend. On Sunday we parted, promising to get together again next year. If I am not slim by then I only have myself to blame. That's a goal which ought to be reached.

“The major reason for setting a goal is for what it makes of you to accomplish it. What it makes of you will always be the far greater value than what you get.”  ~  Jim Rohn


  1. I think you're over the first and most difficult hurdle, the recognition of your current state and what you'd like it to be. I think we all believe we know but there's nothing like a photo to smack me right between the eyes to bring it home. Even now after the first thirty pounds are off, I'm still fat and look it. I've a long way to go but I can see the progress, I can feel the changes. My job is to persist and keep the changes coming. Best of luck to you, you sure seem to be doing a lot of the right things!

  2. Pictures can be really hard. No matter how much I've lost, what size I am, how much progress I can see in the scale, clothes, jewelery, I always hate myself in pictures & if I'm at a thinner period I always feel like a whale again.

    I loved the way you talked about the positive exercise cycle & the feelings you had while swimming. I really enjoy swimming but somehow never get organized to get to the pool. - need to see if I can change that...

  3. Ms. M and I are taking all our fat pictures and putting them into a scrabook..."Big Book of Fat" or "I'm Twice The Woman You Are"...something like that. I cringe when I look at photos and even now, 56 pounds lighter, I still see myself as just as fat.

    That egg was a test of the Emergency Dieting System. Tucking it in with the garbage was a brilliant move.


  4. Cracking news on what sounds like a lovely, happy and active weekend. Don't sweat those photos. Remember, they show a determined lady who has her head on straight, who has successfully lost a stone and a half already, and who is well on track to keep on losing more.

    And, hey - feels really great when you bury something 'bad' but so, so tempting at the bottom of the bin, under the tea leaves, veggie peelings and general crud, doesn't it. Good for you. A nice self-congratulatory cuppa is well deserved, I'd say. I'll join you!

  5. Way to go with the chocolate egg..if it doesn't taste good to you Don't eat it...

    As for the picture..Don't let it ruin the good time you had..you are probably your worst critic..I have the same problem..I'll be thinking I'm not looking all that bad and having a good time and then it comes time to take the picture. YECH! Now I know some "Fat" women who can pose perfect for pictures and even look good..NOT ME! For some reason no matter how I pose every roll of fat shows..I also have "piggy" eyes..only I call them "Beady"...hidden behind glasses and I've always hated them. When I can I try to wear dark glasses so they don't show in the picture..not sure it works but I feel better about it..

    Loved hearing about your trip!

  6. wooo i can so relate to the picture issue.. I cringe most often at pictures of myself.. but you know something.. one day we will both.. be happy with what we see as we make our changes ... letting the chocolate go. bravo... exercising during your trip.. walking .. steps and all.. Bravo.. but next time you look at a picture of yourself .. try to find the one thing that you can focus on that makes you feel good rather than what makes you see the worst.. .. it might be a your temporary reality .. so focus on your good features.. it helps...

  7. Thanks for all your comments. It really does help to know that you can relate to some of the things which bother me. I definitely react to seeing myself in photographs, that's for sure! It's not the end of the world but I do squirm when I see myself in a photograph as I think for the most part I avoid full length mirrors!:)