Monthly Archives: February 2010

So That’s How It’s Done?

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Oprah would be proud of me. For the past week I have been quietly espousing the virtues of moving to anyone who will listen but have disguised the lecture as a personal revelation, or “light bulb moment”. For those who weren’t glued to the box watching Oprah but pretending they didn’t know who she was in equal measures during their university days, the former refers to an epiphany whereby the owner of such thought realizes the error of their ways and continues on in their life in an enlightened fashion.

Not to say that I haven’t had a moment of dietary related enlightenment before. I’ve often faced the reality of food consumption and exercise and understood why my shape remains the same. But this week, I am flying high on the result of a 1.5 kilo (3.3 pound) loss that I am convinced is due to simply sweating.

For those of you who hate moving, like I do, take heed.  This is what I have learnt this week:

Don’t:

  • Go to a specialty shoe store and spend 300 dollars on those specially designed running shoes with the pretty pink stripe that you are convinced will make that bulging ankle look less like a strung ham and more like a feminine curve; you’ll wear them once, then use them as a door stop forever more
  • Purchase hundreds of dollars on a perfect sporting outfit that you believe will make you look less of a novice than you so obviously are; squeezing yourself into a Nike singlet isn’t fooling anyone
  • Buy an exercise machine and park it in the middle of your lounge room; I know, I understand, I truly do, but honey, you’ll stop using it after a month and will have to do the walk of shame as you move it to the garage in the dark of night

Do

  • Think about an activity that you feel like or have to do that may raise even the slightest of perspiration, then do it
  • Clean something. Just get up and clean the bathroom, the kitchen, really put your back into it until you feel some moisture on your neck
  • Just walk somewhere that you have to be; no need for special clothes or shoes, just act normal, avoid eye contact, try to breathe and no one will notice this is a big deal for you!

Moving is normal, moving more than normal will break a sweat. I both cleaned and walked to a bookshop, the supermarket and to a coffee shop with my husband. I got out of each encounter with the pavement unscathed and realised that in fact, the world’s not out there to hurt a fat person trying to be a little more active. But if you get dolled up in all the sports gear, it’s embarrassing and it puts a lot of pressure on the fatty standing in them- I’ve got all the gear, should I hop or throw in a little leap somwhere? Perhaps I should be stretching?

I’ll admit, I’m paranoid about going to a gym, a yoga or palates class and have a general aversion to runners that I can’t explain. Moving however, can be done in thongs (my absolute favourite- it’s the Australian in me), slippers or no shoes at all. Just get a bit hot and sweaty!

Don’t worry about the slight whiff of B.O. : In the words of Kate Moss, “Nothing smells like skinny feels…”

I’m sure that’s what she said….

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Ticking Along

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Water Consumption…Tick.

22 Point (Weight Watchers) Food Consumption…Tick.

Tracking aforementioned consumption like “skinny girl gone mad”…Tick.

Just to recap folks; tick, tick, tick!

I’m already sensing the roar of applause as I suck in flabby tummy and stand tall on the scales this week. And yes, I am aware that the “suck-and-stretch” doesn’t make me lighter according to the metric system but it does make me feel good.

Oh, and in regards to the walking. I didn’t get out there today but managed some really good incidental exercise (as we say in the biz)! Scrubbing on all fours not only gets all those little nook and crannies clean, it gets a great sweat up and manages to entertain the toolman no end (imagine larger than life bottom bouncing up and down as I really put some elbow into it)!

Wasted Weeks and White Roll Redemption

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February has been a period of blatant teenage-inspired petulance. For the last three weeks I have been “doing” weight watchers but unlike the months gone past where I have been successfully losing weight, this month my energy has been spent on lies, manipulation and pointless negotiation. Such arguments between Me, Myself and I have included:

  • Convincing myself that a packet of white fluffy rolls are ok, finding myself halfway through said packet, panicking, then running the remainder under the kitchen tap
  • Telling myself that I should probably plateau at current weight, should new, cheap flimsy dress sit loosely on ample bosom rather than stretch across appealingly (so mistaken on all fronts!)
  • Presenting what I thought was a very convincing argument: I’ll get fitter and exercise after I’ve lost weight; I’ll lose weight after I exercise….hmmm
  • It’s perfectly justified to eat lunch after a five hour fast, so it’s equally valid to have a light meal at midnight seeing as the last time I ate was 7pm…my body needs it, I’m telling you!; And the real cracker
  • Berating myself for not moving enough whilst finding comfort under a fuffy doona; “Ah…num, num, num, num….”

All this energy spent lying to myself only helps to maintain my current weight and therefore my unhappiness and ultimately, a sense of failure. Why oh why would I be so self destructive? There are those that eat well, exercise, read, talk and socialise with confidence. To you, Congrats! There are so many of us though that choose our poison, hell bent on preserving the status quo. The toolman is very good at recognising these toxic patterns in his life and annoyingly and consciously works towards breaking these shackles…which only serves to highlight my inadequacies.

Then again, he’s my husband and I’m happy for him and his highly evolved state…umm yeah…absolutely…

So this week, I’m breaking it down so even an ape couldn’t get it wrong. It’s shameful that I’ve got this low (and I can hear even the dearest of loved ones sighing with exasperation) but it’s all I can do to get the momentum going. There’s nothing witty or clever about it; diarising the most basic of tasks certainly doesn’t make for good reading. For those of you whom understandably couldn’t be less interested in my goals for this week, LOOK AWAY NOW:

  • Walk! Four times, four hours, would be lovely.
  • Limit food consumption to 20 points (Weight Watchers System)
  • Track food consumption like “skinny girl gone mad”
  • Drink 2L of that scrumptious stuff we call mineral water (without the ginger wine snuck in would be an added bonus)!

So if you happen to stumble upon a snoozing Hauling, permission to propel foot up enormous bum granted. And if you see me strolling through suburban streets on Wednesday with a gorgeous Eurasian baby, I’m exercising, not pretending he’s mine…

Note to concerned over-eating anonymous professionals: You don’t need to tell me, there will be no more rolls passing across the threshold of my front door.

Farewell My Ovaries

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Today I found myself experiencing a series of embarrassing medical examinations, all in an attempt to find my ovaries. They (my ovaries that is) are two of those things I just assumed were there, enjoying the cushy environment I have supplied them. Apparently not so.

At midnight last night I could be found shoving a hot cross bun in my gob as the panic of a 12 hour “fast” approached. I even woke my husband to ask him, “I’ve got to fast till 1 o’clock tomorrow afternoon for my blood tests. Do you think I can make it?”

“Of course”, he said. And of course, I did. I arrived for my blood tests on time and explained politely to the nice lady that she should expect to have to try at least twice as my veins are notoriously difficult. She peered and prodded at me for a minute and informed me quite innocently that my veins aren’t the problem; they’re just hard to get to, being so deep under the fat and all.

Slap. Slap.

Next stop was through the door marked Ultrasound. Not the warm-gooey-on-your-stomach type that brings tingles to the skin with the thought of a little one. Oh no, this is the Star Wars Lightsaber, humiliation variety. For all those women who have been spared this experience, Mozeltoff. For those who have not, I feel your pain.

The lady was very nice, I’ll give her that. But whilst she tried to distract me with talk of the weather, I really wish she would have kept her perfectly painted lips together. I was all too aware that she was going where no woman had gone before and I half expected to hear the “pshhhhewwwww-pshhhhewwww” of Luke Skywalker in the corner, when the whole episode climaxed in my sheer panic. All because she offhandedly commented,

“I’m having a little trouble finding your ovary. It’s all very odd”.

Great. Brilliant. She continued to ask me a series of questions, all resulting in the same anxiety, “Would you describe the pain as stabbing or dull? (Just emotional scars at this stage). Have you had trouble finding your ovaries before? (Ummm, yes, we often dabble in a little hide and seek). Do your knees go any wider? (Can you buy me a drink first?)”

I’m not even joking about the last one. The thing that really got me going was the deep exhalation and long sigh-hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh she finished the examination with. And whilst the dull dread that sat with me all morning was really about the fact that this anonymous lady may judge the size of my thighs, when I left I realised that some worries are actually bigger than the size of my girth.

So this Valentines Day I hope for a surprise card…posted direct from a pair of hiding ovaries…

The Cupboard That Called

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I had a moment today, leaving me in such a state that I decided the first step in moving onwards and upwards was to share it with you all. I’m a fan of full disclosure which can leave me in some awkward situations (strangers staring with open eyes as I tell them my life story) and am probably known as an “over-sharer”. However, I’m sure there is someone out there who will be heard “mmm-hmm-ing” as they read this little tale.

I awoke well meaning today and fuelled my body with fruit, honey and a delicious muffin, all accounted for within my daily food budget (religiously documented in a food diary- yes, I have food issues). I was feeling confident as I sat down to enjoy the tangy aroma of my espresso. Then the thought came flooding back to me, I was suddenly in distress, a sweat of anxiety. Thoughts that had been plaguing me for exactly four days (my last supermarket shop) overwhelmed me. Some people choose the high road, I usually don’t.

Before I knew it, I was in that cupboard, popping open the packet, little specs of its contents flinging over the counter. A family size packet of original CC’s was my undoing. I must admit, I was quite clever about the way I consumed THE WHOLE THING…I took a tiny bowl and filled it once, then again, and again, and once more. In this way, I was able to convince myself I was only having a few. It was only when I saw a few crumbs at the bottom that I realised it was best to just get rid of the evidence.

How many of you have done this? Bought that cake, that packet of biscuits, that cheese and realised that you had crossed the line of polite consumption? Got to the stage where you realised you’d be best to just get rid of the contents and its packaging before that loved one came home?

It’s classic bingeing and classically disturbing.

Why is it so hard? Seriously, what is the issue here? Many will not understand the self-hatred and determinacy that comes with each new day for a fatty; the resolution that today you will walk that kilometre and eat from that fruit bowl. The skill involved in opening the fridge door noiselessly and crunching down with muted tones really shouldn’t be a skill to be proud of!

So today, when I caught a glimpse of my stomach actually looking up at me as I peered down my shirt (looking up people, it’s growing up!), I realised I’m on the cusp of imminent failure. It’s time for a change, time to shake things up. And with a birthday just around the corner, I want to feel good about myself and free to celebrate (I’ve always ignored birthdays that I feel fall in a year marked with non-achievement).

And maybe, just maybe, with the CC’s gone for good, I can enjoy just one glass next week…

My Fat Made Me Say It

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I found myself discussing the meaning of my very existence with the toolman at 1.30 in the morning last Wednesday. What began as an innocent discussion about interest rates and inflation (the toolman being an endless source of educational information on the topic), ended with a heated discussion about what motivates human beings to get up and keep going every morning. The result was an emotional epiphany that revealed itself close to 2am.

It wasn’t earth shattering and it probably isn’t news to anyone that knows me. It may even be common knowledge that manifests in quiet whispers behind my back. It is of course, that my thirst for knowledge is a heavy compensation for my lack of aesthetic quality, even heavier than I am.

I spend much of my time reading, learning and searching for information. I fancy myself to be no dumb bum. I hope that others have the same fancy. I am in short however, barking completely up the wrong tree. I’m even searching for that tree in a city landscape. All this came about when the toolman asked what motivates me. Imagine that, a fully grown male, just throwing the question out there:

“But what motivates you?”

“What do you mean?” I’m thinking, now, tomorrow, in the morning, what is he talking about?

“What are you living for? What do you want from your life?”

“Oh, you know. Babies, of course. Love….Actually, no. Success, lots of success”

“What makes you successful though?” he asks with open eyes.

“I want to be the best. I want to be special. I want people in my field of work to think of me when they have a question. I want to be THE source of information”

 I then broke down in frustrated tears. What followed were a tirade of scattered thoughts and the type of argument that comes from high emotion; that is, semi-screeching, loosely formed sentences and lots of finger pointing.

“I desperately want to be respected” I kept spitting out.

I felt backed into a corner, the only way out being a self-righteous speech about positive regard and admiration that made me sound very shallow indeed. I’d been in this position before. In fact, am often in this position with the toolman; the only way out is brutal honesty. And most often, not even I know what I am about to reveal about myself.

“Look, we go through life as social beings. As much as I like to think that I read, I learn and I groom myself for myself, we all know I’m doing it for others. The checklist goes like this (imagine now that I’m standing above the toolman drawing giant boxes in the air and filling them with vigorously sketched imaginary lines)”:

Pretty: Cross

Skinny: Cross

Fashionable: Cross

Good Hair: Cross (Yes, I actually brought my hair into this!)

Particularly Nice: Cross

Knowledge: Tick (I can control this, I can control this, I can control this).

“That’s my worth- can’t you see? If I’m sitting at a table with family or friends and I have nothing to say about a topic, with no good references to back up that said, I am genuinely saddened and disappointed because that’s all I’ve got to give.”

I recalled the day that I was asked the capital city of Canada and ran a blank. The memory of that moment tormented me for weeks. Shallow? Yes. Introspective? Yes. Issues? Yes. Crazy? Yes, yes, yes.

I had simultaneously, with my admission that night, wiped the illusion that my search for knowledge is less about me and more about what other people think of me, and made myself 100% less attractive as a human being. And whilst the toolman threw around concepts such as ‘freedom’, ‘happiness’ and ‘fulfilment’ as his motivators for grinding the day away at work and building wealth, I asked the question,

“But would you be as interested in building wealth if it meant representing a lower status occupation rather than being the small business owner that you are?”

He maintained that if being a (insert crappy, low income, low standing job of your choice) meant he could build a substantial portfolio allowing him personal freedom to spend time playing with our children (which remain to be seen), he’d be riding the back of that truck in a jiffy. And please, let us not be so good intentioned as to argue that these concepts of “status” and dare I say it, “class” don’t exist. I remain sceptical, believing that all things personal are only relevant in a social context.

Would you still pluck those eyebrows living alone on a desert island for eternity? Would you still look up that unknown word in the dictionary? Perhaps a good tacky romance might tickle your fancy instead?

I suppose what I am waxing lyrical about this time is that as an overweight young woman, it’s hard to find yourself a niche. Difficult to find a social currency, if you will. In the past eighteen months, I’ve quickly realised that to stay relevant, to be seen and to be heard, I have to draw on more than my aesthetics, my fashionability (or total lack thereof) and social standing; there’s none of that here, I assure you. The result has been a desperate attempt to educate myself on all things topical and regurgitate this information at top speed, lest I be seen as a fat blob with nothing to say.

And whilst I have been spending all this energy reading and “googling”, I could have been walking round the block, planning meals or heaven forbid, actually holding a conversation.

But then again…what would I say?

So I ask you- how much of what you do is for others? And is there any worth in knowledge if it cannot be regurgitated at some point to an audience who nod their approval? A more highly evolved or spiritual creature may have an enlightened response to this.

But how could I respond…I have no references.