Tag Archives: fat

A Camera Click and Dash for Cover

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There’s nothing like a photo to shock you into a calorie deprived stoicism that rivals even the most dedicated organic-eating-water-drinking-carbophobic-skinny-minny.

Thanks to Facebook, even the most discerning Fatty cannot immunise themselves against the flagrant attack their friends seem hell-bent on launching, without diversion, straight into fatty’s heart. Over the top you say? Absolutely! But can I venture to stay…

BLOODY WELL STOP IT!

Yes, I am fully aware that I am overweight. I do not however want this reflected in digital form for all to see. It not only gives fatties everywhere the opportunity to zoom in and pan across images of themselves they despise; it gives others the opportunity to gaze at wobbly bits without the distraction of our over-engaging-over-compensating-very-funny-story!

Add another important variable into this state of affairs. When I look in the mirror, fully dressed, ready to go out, I think I look at least passable. That at minimum, people won’t notice me and at best I don’t offend. In truth, sometimes I think I look quite nice, all things considered. This thinking, my friends, is for my very survival.

After going through the rigmarole of viewing oneself from all angles (side with stomach sucked in, stomach out, from front on with shoulders straight, front on shoulders slumped, belly out, belly in…you get the drift), one must pull themselves up straight, think positively and grab their keys. For if I looked at the situation through clear eyes, I wouldn’t go anywhere at all.

And then, unsuspectingly, you log onto Facebook and someone has snapped you without you knowing (which means belly out) and BANG…your heart sinks as you realise the situation is much worse than you realised.

But I’ve lost 14 kilos! But I’m lighter now! I even sprayed myself  last week with fake tan! How can I look like this? And then, you finally drag your gaze away from fleshy thighs and look upwards towards your eyes and it’s even worse.

Sad eyes are hard to cover up. Anatomically, my eyes are the same as those of my former, slimmer self. Inside, I am the same person, with the same gregarious attitude to life but I am covered with all this extra…stuff…that weighs me down.

And whilst I understand that those who “tag” others in photos on Facebook are probably well meaning and more concerned with how they look in the photo than their loved ones, I beg of you: Look at the whole picture, imagine you are each person in the photo and ask yourself whether you would like to be put out there on Stalk-book…I mean Facebook.

I have a dear friend who would innocently ask of me, “What? You look good!” She has said this about me for as long as I have known her and for most of my life I believed her. It’s a lovely sentiment but even she now half yells frantically…”I won’t take one of you!” as she pulls a camera from her bag. My cousin now hands me her camera to delete any I don’t like before she even has a chance to look at them. Bless!

But sadly, for someone who used to slap on a cheesy grin at the hint of a “click” or unrelated “flash”, this is just the way I like it.

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….

The Christmas Tree…A Cautionary Tale!

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I spent most of last night yelling, groaning and swearing at a very sad looking Christmas tree that knew it was going to be finally taken down. By “taken down”, I mean that it was subjected to a psychotic frenzy of revenge because as far as I was concerned, it simply wasn’t behaving.

I was convinced by the toolman, that last year, we should have a real Christmas tree. The real vs. fake debate is usually championed by impassioned tree lovers (but not so loving they mind hacking one down!) like my husband who harps on endlessly about the smell and charm of a real tree. In a moment of weakness (and ignorance), I agreed to a real tree and all was good in our little casa. Yes, the pines dropped regularly and yes, the cat found it a constant source of messy amusement but I was full of cheery optimism.

Nevertheless, yesterday I decided that I needed to let go of the fantasy that whilst it still stood, a new present was going to miraculously appear under its droopy branches. With every ornament that came off, the pine needles came with it and I sighed a little louder. But when it came to removing the lights, my logic of walking around the tree proved to be a failing system. If anyone has seen the movie “Christine” about a possessed and evil automobile, they may have a superior insight into how the following hours played out.

“Can you please just get rid of this” – to the toolman sitting on the couch watching.

“Take the lights off and I will”

“I don’t care about the lights, just get rid of it will you?” – yelling now (but a high-pitched-I’m-kinda-anxious yell).

“I can’t put it in the green bin like that. You’ve gotta get the lights off”

“Just throw it all out!”

Silence…Locked Stare…Matrimonial Standoff.

I look at him, then back at the tree. Then with my anger fuelled strength, a bad back and a gammy shoulder, I pick up the pot one handed, walk to the kitchen door…open it…and throw the tree as far as I can…lights and all… slamming the door for effect. With needles now all over the kitchen, hallway and on all surfaces of the lounge room I return and sit on the couch as if nothing had happened.

“I’m outta here” the toolman leaves with a slam of the front door.

I knew that I had been beaten but decided that how I now dealt with the situation was going to be the character mark for the day, perhaps even the year. Where am I going to get if I give up every time I am frustrated, sweaty and tired? Certainly not uphill! So I sat in the needles for half an hour, preparing myself to face the backyard.

I approached the back door tentatively, peering through the window, half expecting to see that the tree had erected itself again on its own. What ensued was a lot more swearing and sweating as I yanked the lights from its branches, with little light globes flinging into all crevices of the garden. The ball of tangled lights was dumped in the Christmas box for next year (haven’t we all done that?) and I broke the needleless branches in a sweaty act of revenge. If it had been winter, I probably would have set it alight!

The next hour was a futile attempt at vacuuming up the bags of needles strewn all over the house. You know the drill – banging the vacuum head on top of the item that is never going to suck up, so you end up picking up both the item and the vacuum head and feed one into the other. Lord help me when it comes time to actually empty that vacuum bag (perhaps the whole thing will go in the bin…).

When the toolman walked in the door at about 9pm, the sight was one of domestic bliss. Clean, clear surfaces, an empty sink and a semi calm wife. It’s made me wonder- how many women and men propel themselves into a crazed frenzy completing simple tasks of daily living? And why do we continually ignore their efforts as menial, dry, lacklustre contributions to our lives (yes, admittedly, a monkey would have dealt with the tree situation better than I did)?

Having weighed in yesterday with a loss of 900 grams for the week (1.98 pounds), I’ve realised that these moments of “incidental exercise” (as it’s called in the business) really do add up to significant amounts of calorie burning time. Moments of insanity may actually be the key to losing weight, allowing me to avoid the embarrassment of plod-plod-puffing down the street!

So please, contact me on 1800-CAT-LADY (ignore the sounds of miaowing on the answering machine) and invite me to increase my heart rate in your home, completing those tasks too hard to face, free of charge, whilst I simultaneously burn my swinging tuck shop lady arms away!

Best to send the kiddies to Grandma’s….just a thought.

Is it really all relative?

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The strange thing about being a fatty is that whilst you cannot see your reflection in something (mirror, shop window, windscreen or even spoon), you can convince yourself the situation is not that bad. I’m well trained- I no longer even look at the television screen when changing channels as that split second of blackness can send me into a spin of self-hatred. The fact that at that moment I am usually stuffing something into my mouth is neither here nor there; it remains a moment of severe self aversion even when said food is hidden behind the chair.

It’s these moments that I truly believe contribute to the irrational rage experienced when dealing with slim and sexy “weight loss success” candidates. Please stay with me here- I’ve got something to say and could use some help on this one.

Yesterday morning I woke optimistically and ready to get weighed- I felt better and slimmer (having not yet reached anything even closely resembling “slim”, I should really say I felt “less obese”). Now to illustrate the ridiculousness of these public weigh-ins, I share with you a secret- every week I have a double short black half an hour before I flee the nest, which has me running to the…well…I’m sure you can work that one out. Having spent time reading about others’ weight loss struggles, I’ve discovered that this is a very common theme- do anything to reduce that number on the scales. “We” are obsessed with the scales, what they say and most importantly, terrified that we will miss out on the public applause (signifying “in” group membership) that weight loss results in.

I was a little annoyed that I wasn’t permitted to undress before I jumped on the scales- it was deemed inappropriate. Hey, I had on leggings and a singlet and was convinced my cotton dress would contribute heavily to my weight (have you guys caught on yet how ridiculous this whole industry is?).

I lost 500 grams (1.1) pounds- yes a victory! But I was soon deflated and close to tears when the team leader called heavily on a woman to speak about her weight loss experiences as if she was a star achiever. She spoke eloquently and assertively about how she was successful (I’m all ears) and then revealed she had lost six kilos in total (I’m tearing up). I was angry that I had to listen to her story for 20 minutes, eating up my time when she had lost six kilos and was now, to be honest, both very slim and very attractive- case closed. This my friends, is not an inspiration (too honest?). But why the internal rage?

Is it not an achievement to lose six kilos? Should she not be applauded for tackling a problem (who says it’s a problem?…that’s a subject for another day) before it became a health issue? Isn’t being unhappy about your weight the same at 10 stone as it is at 15 stone? Good on her, rise of the sisterhood etc etc.

But actually…no. It’s not the same and I’ll tell you why. When I was smaller, I was actually seen, spoken to and occasionally admired. When you are larger, you are not seen and can be laughed at. Yes, it’s true- men have seen me and laughed collectively at….well, I don’t actually like to think about it but have a star witness who can testify.  Six kilos heavier does not significantly change the reactions of men, women and shop assistants. I’m glad for her, she is happy and I am jealous certainly, but why was she the benchmark of success when I was surrounded by very overweight women who had lost more than her. Perhaps a job half done doesn’t mark success, perhaps the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts (ok, ok, gone too far!).

All I am saying, is that for me (and it may only be me), I want to hear from a fat woman who is losing weight. Why can we not see that here lies the true inspiration? A fat woman who has lost 30 kilos has a lot more to say about the industry than a person who has never had to look ahead of them and know that they have 50 kilos to lose.

And so this week I did what all women, all over the world, would not choose to do. I stripped bare, opened the curtains and looked in the full length mirror…at midday. It was suggested in something I read that I take a good look at myself. I’m sure I heard the mirror groaning – It was horrific! And I cried. Not because there I saw fat, cellulite and stretch marks (what a beauty!) but because I saw no muscle, no tone, and certainly no sexuality. Did I already say it was horrific? I urge you to do it- I promise the mirror won’t shatter.

But fatties (and all ladies alike), I saw (and I tread the line of “cringe-ville” when I say this), my own inspiration. Fat, skinny, slim, beautiful, plain, who cares? I have to rely on me and the only legs going to pull me around are those flabby white ones, so we better get well acquainted! And I better give them a little respect!

I am fatty, standing on fatty legs….hear me roar!

Another bloody chickpea and all that…

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Last night I came perilously close to unwrapping a left over Christmas present (liqueur filled chocolates) meant for somebody else but which still sat under the Christmas tree. Five days into the New Year, the tree still stands with twinkling lights, encouraging my optimism that the silly season is not yet over and I can therefore continue shovelling sugary delights into my gob at top speed.

Somebody aware of my struggle with weight asked me before Christmas how I was going to cope with the holidays. We all know that for some reason I cannot explain, we centre our entire existence at Christmas around food, alcohol and indulgence. The real question should then have been, “how will you deprive yourself when you are constantly being offered and surrounded by high calorie treats?”

“It’s just food!” I replied, “I’ll be fine”. On reflection I’ve realised what a silly response this was. If it is all “just food”, why in the hell am I so overweight, jiggling at the slightest hint of a sea breeze? Having spent the last week at the beach, being constantly reminded of the jiggle factor, I’ve coped by generally depriving myself. (Let us not talk of the day I drove by a friend’s camp site, throwing a fast food wrapper out of the window, screaming “Hide it!” as I left them in a cloud of dust). You see, nobody likes a wowser and there are only so many little containers of nuts, fruit and smoked salmon one woman can pull out of her handbag quietly. The end result has been a hell of a lot of shovelling in the past few days, particularly of the soft white roll variety.

I have spent months supplying my own meals when visiting friends, sometimes forcing myself not to slam my pathetic plastic container onto my plate. That container and I have developed quite a relationship over the last few months and it knows (yes I’m assigning it human like faculties such is my calorie deprived delirium) how I feel about it. When I pull it out, I can hear it scream to those around me – I’m unhappy I’m here, I’m unhappy I’m overweight, I’m unhappy that I’m eating another bloody chickpea but most of all, I’m unhappy you don’t have to.

I try to reframe my current eating habits into being a choice. I choose to eat this way, I choose to be healthier. And really, I cannot blame anybody else for getting this fat in the first place…or can I (more on that another time)? No, I can’t really. So why the rage? Skinny and slim are words that leave my mouth with significant amounts of spittle attached, such is my anger towards them. But really, all that anger is about my own condition and a deep disappointment that I am a young overweight woman. Blah blah, human condition, blah blah, we know.

What was it about those chocolates under the Christmas tree that seemed so appealing when I was completely satisfied (physiologically only, lets face it) with my chickpea/brown rice dinner?  Is the label “bad” too tantalising to resist? Hot chips (bad!), chocolate (bad!), cheese (bad!). Why is it bad? Can’t we all just get along? Hot chips meet my friend taste buds, enjoy yourselves responsibly and part ways before you make each other sick.

A perfect summer romance…