Monthly Archives: April 2010

Skinny You Want And You Shall Receive

Standard

If ever there was motivation to be found within, I just may have found it during a recent visit with whom I like to call “my ovary finder”. Some of you may remember the day my ovaries hid during a rather embarrassing examination which I am pleased to announce, were later found hiding behind a rather generous paunch.

What was to take place during the short visit with said “finder” last week left me in the very least, melancholy. Apparently folks, I am not a good “candidate” for fertility treatment. Yes, I need it. Yes, I desperately want it. No, I can’t have it.

As if I wasn’t a full blooded woman sitting in a very intimidating office, abreast the most recent and revered fertility treatment specialist in my town, I was turned down because of my weight. In a very short amount of time I was reduced to a body, an infertile mound of fatty waste, a non thinking entity deemed not eligible to experience the joy of motherhood.

I must admit, the woman who offhandedly threw this information my way was indeed professional, knowledgeable and attempted to be inclusive in her diagnosis. What she failed to tell me was,

“I can imagine this is very difficult for you to hear. Unfortunately, you don’t deserve to be a mother. It seems you are what we call in the business, a fatty-boom-ba!”

She would continue, “Please come back when you are eligible to be considered a skinny-minny. You will know you have entered this phase as you will feel light headed and hungry a good deal of the time”.

I explained to this woman that in fact I have always been rather munificent in the hips and buttocks stakes, and wondered whether I had been a significant player in the long standing misconception that this would in fact make me a prime candidate to carry a little one and put this belly to good use.

Apparently Not.

And just to add a little insult to injury, I was also informed in a hushed voice as she lent over the tiny desk which I’m sure was there to highlight how huge I am, that the medication I have taken for two years to keep me well and happy is not compatible with the hormonal treatment I need.

This part I knew. It didn’t surprise me one bit. I have become increasingly comfortable with the looks, the quite lean-in, the whispered voice that white coats use to give me even basic medical information, as if I might fly off the handle just because they exhaled a breath.

I have long suffered from an illness that can leave me devastatingly low, and then very quickly see me packing my bag to head to the beach at midnight. This too makes me an undesirable candidate for fertility treatment, so it seems. I’m used to my dynamic life, lived so much of the time in my own head; used to the active participation of my thoughts. Fortunately, the toolman is also coming around to this life that requires us to often be combat-ready. Just last week, as that beach bag was almost swung over my shoulder, he diligently and patiently distracted my attention to something inside the home, where I was safely under his watchful eye.

Having understood this, please understand me. Whilst some little girls wish to be fairies, or princesses, and the special ones even diligent lawyers, when I was asked what I wished for, I replied,

“I’m going to live in a caravan and have twelve children. I might even wear moccasins”

I have since marveled at the response. Not only was I proud to think of myself as a mother, childhood play during school holidays predisposed me to the idea that a caravan full of children was the happiest place on earth.

So yes Doctor, fat will turn to skinny. The pounds will not be my enemy in a quest to do what I have always felt would be my most magnificent role. I will return to weight loss with a new vigour if that is what you require of me.

But even as that caravan dream evolves into a country property, lovingly tendered by the toolman, you will not take my dream because I’m partial to life’s extreme highs and lows. Because that’s who I am.

But sure Doctor, I can give you skinny.

Advertisements

Knock-Knock…Not.

Standard

I have a confession to make. A quiet evening at home on a Saturday night watching a relatively successful movie about a blogger and her infatuation with an infamous French chef has really left me in a rather precarious position. I should have been in cosy-night-in-heaven, watching a film based on food, cooking, blogging and the often elusive goal so many of us aspire to; getting published. But I was left feeling confused about my goals.

And so I confess that yes, even the thought of being picked up to write a chatty column in my favourite weekend broadsheet leaves me squealing just a little. And to think my story interesting enough to make it even to the small screen, well, I just fell off my chair. But these are fantasies in the same department of crazy-town as climbing Mt Everest, growing straight blond locks, and let us be honest, flying.

Soldiering on with my curly brown hair, frizz and all, I ask what on earth I am doing here? Never fear, this is no existentialist question. I just wonder what all this weight loss blogging jazz is for…could I add a recipe or two? Maybe have a knock-knock joke theme? I know, I know, why’d the fat chicken cross the road?

To Hell With It. I just have to write what I know…but do I have the guts?

The Loss of Gains (and those comments from Karl)

Standard

Mysteriously, the blogosphere community to which I belong simultaneously fell silent along with my keyboard. It was a few days ago that the mechanical hum of my laptop and untapped keyboard started to bother me, just as ideas about weight loss and fattydom really started whipping up a storm in my mind. Gaining half a kilo last week, whilst it wasn’t entirely wretched, certainly left me feeling that way. The deafening silence from other bloggers has left me feeling there is something in the air.

This week, I lost that 500 grams plus a small fraction and therefore have neither failed nor succeeded in the past fortnight. That is of course unless you are one of those people who prophesise that all experiences in life are opportunities to learn and are therefore valuable; this woman I am not. Some situations are just darn right stub-your-toe-in-the-middle-of-the-night-tragic!

I feel at this stage that a confession of sorts would be valuable in understanding my occasional cynicism and episodic lacklustre attitude to life. Please don’t misunderstand me; I am generally a smiling woman who laughs easily. But picking myself up, pushing down the intermittent “why me?” and copping it on the chin are not things I am great at. I prefer theorising about what motivates behaviour, the elusive underlying psychological premise, and jumping on the Freudian couch.

Where all this cynicism came from is probably best explained by all sorts of experiences that will remain unsaid. I will spare you the details until A) I work up the guts, and B) feel that society won’t judge me. What I will tell you however is that even though I have never been a mere slip of a thing, I did once enjoy a curvy body that moved exactly the way I wanted it to. It went up stairs when I asked it to, it could manoeuvre behind someone’s chair in a restaurant and curled up in the corner of a couch easily.

And then one day, about this time two years ago I fell ill and it lasted over a year. As my body started to betray me and I found myself permanently in a tracksuit and unable to continue with my usual routines, I turned to food in a way that left me completely transformed within less than 6 months. What I will say next will undoubtedly leave a few people thinking, “yeah right, fatty” but I swear that one day I looked in the mirror and saw a fat person. I was so disconnected and angry that I didn’t see what was happening to my body as I indulged in anything and everything I found under my nose.

With stretchy pants and a mirror that started from the waist up, I rarely looked at myself and rarely said no. On one level, I was a person who thought they wouldn’t see the year out but instead of bungy jumping or travelling to Rome, I just ate….and didn’t move. And I didn’t care.

Now, being in a much more self aware state, I simply cannot believe what I have done to myself. I can only admit this now as I truly believe I am on the path to a better me. But I will never be the same; the striations of stretched skin will never go away and I’m terrified of what will be left once I reach my goal weight.

I. Am. 25.

I confronted my husband recently with this news, like he hadn’t been watching me from the sidelines for the past two years.

“You know that when I lose this weight I won’t be like I used to be”

“I know”

“But you know I can’t do anything about that now, right?”

“I know”

“You know I’m terrified about that don’t you”

“I know. But you know I think you’re gorgeous, right?”

“I know”

He’s rock solid that boy of mine. For a woman who shrieks in fear if the bathroom door swings ajar as I’m showering and now dresses in the dark, I’m a far cry from the girl I once was. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing to myself in those months – even when my thighs started to rub together, I was still completely unaware of the gauntlet I was about to subject myself to and the permanent scars I would leave on my body and my mind.

It would take a very special person who has never had this struggle with fat to understand my position. I am understanding of those who simply don’t get it…I am painfully aware of the common misconception that all overweight people are simply unmotivated and lazy.

A good friend revealed to me that when she told her new work colleagues that she had lost over 20 kilos, the response was “what, you’re joking, you can’t be serious”.  In truth, the reason people respond this way is because the overweight person is of course seen as purposeless, work-shy and lacks a determination and resolve that slim people naturally possess. It’s hard for some people to imagine the skinny “determined and fun” person as the “fat lazy” overweight person. It rarely occurs to people that the “determined and fun” person was just overweight.

Naturally, if asked the question, “Are fat people ineffectual?” people would reply with a stern “No”. At least the polite ones would. But I believe the words of Karl Lagerfeld (whom so many women inadvertently love and support) are felt rippling through all the tut-tuts and eye rolling of slim people, suggesting that fat women simply “do not care enough about ourselves to be skinny”. Karl famously remarked,

“No one wants to see curvy women…You’ve got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly.”

I suppose according to this premise, I can’t really comment can I? Being an overweight woman who is quite partial to the odd chip, I don’t deserve an opinion. Is it so hard to believe that some curvy women like to look at curvy women and feel sexy as curvy women?

I digress.

What I would like to suggest is that many overweight people are very effective in their lives (I won’t go as far as to list my accomplishments here for fear of seeming like a bit of a nutter) but struggle with food and exercise. It’s one portion of life that is out of control.

Other unfortunates who have drinking problems, light gambling problems, spending problems…(the list goes on and on) are not generally referred to as lazy or disconnected. Some even go as far as to admire these people, with comments of support like “gee, they really play hard and party hard don’t they?” which is the very opposite of lazy. We might as well pat these “high achievers” on the back with a congratulatory slap.

That is of course, unless they’re overweight.

I wish someone had told me what I was getting myself into when I gained so much weight. I wish I had been aware that my whole life would change; my perceptions, my attitude, my social worth, and the way I am perceived. Naturally, I would have shredded this brave person with my bare teeth at the time but maybe, just maybe, a fellow woman who has come back from where I am could have convinced me.

Because of course, I would have seen the desperation in her eyes.