Tag Archives: weight watchers

Knee Jerk Reaction

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I’m yet to meet an adult that doesn’t cringe with the memories of their adolescence, regardless of how enlightened their parents were in dealing with their intrapsychic conflict (yes, I’ve obviously thought about this before). I was a rather gregarious teenager when it suited me but I also I suffered from what seems to be the unavoidable feelings of inadequacy that tend to go hand in hand with the period.

I maintain fiercely that adolescence is the most horrific time in ones life, only to be remembered fondly in later years with sentimental notions of skinny dipping in creeks and innocent kisses behind sheds. In reality, what we tend to forget is the girl in the year above yelling “Mooooooo!” and we disrobe and the boy of our dreams coaxing us behind the shed to laugh an “In Your Dreams!” in our face. But don’t pull out the tissue box on my behalf, scrape back the layers a little and I assure you, they’ll be something there for you too. Or better yet, just ask a sibling – they’re programmed to remember your most embarrassing moments!

So it was all this that came flooding back to me, in an unpredictable way when I was at the gym today. Having joined for the sheer fact that I would be amongst fellow “granny-knicker” wearers, I was shocked when faced with a demographic I had not accounted for when joining…the private schoolgirl!

Having not yet successfully evolved into true womanhood, I don’t find myself always able to look on with enough distance for these girls not to bother me. Instead of looking on with a “gee, I’m glad that’s over” sentiment, I found myself today wanting to hide inside the machine I was at that time straddling.

For some reason I haven’t yet understood, I perceive the fake tans, long nails and perfectly tinted hair as a personal attack. Perhaps I’m waiting for them to pull my school dress up as I bend over to fix my shoe.

I should at this time clarify that I wasn’t a bullied schoolgirl, and shamefully probably straddled the line of the bully myself. And maybe that’s why I’m afraid of girls, because I know that if I was capable of producing a “hey you” instead of addressing someone by their name, perhaps someone with a more compromised constitution could do worse to me now.

Perhaps all this is why I hurt my back today. Within three minutes, I let a 14 years old resembling a Whippet coax me into a rather enthusiastic knee-kick-with-hip-twist scenario, fuelled by the beat of Mamma Mia playing loudly from the speakers.

As the Mamma’s and the Mia’s blared out at a steady pace, the increased panting on the station across the room, propelled me into a double beat of kicking and twisting which I’m sure resembled a chubby woman trying to simultaneously stuff herself into a too-tight pair of jeans with matching turtleneck.

I’ve been on the couch, albeit laptop on lap, since my completely one sided showdown, wondering once more how on earth I got myself into this situation. You know, the one where I have all this blubber on rather important womanly bits that just won’t seem to go. Perhaps I should just end it all, throw in the bucket and declare myself “curvaceous, womanly, with more to hang onto”. Hmmmm…

Either way, perhaps a mixed and testosterone fuelled work out environment might have been a better choice. At least then, I wouldn’t hurt myself trying to compete.

Well, Well, Well…

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Well well well, what do we have here? I’ve found it increasingly difficult to recognize my own good self recently. My “go-getter” status has definitely reached a new high, depending on who you ask of course. In actual fact, I seem to be slowly but surely morphing into my father.

When this afternoon I was daydreaming about my newly purchased attachment for the garden hose (do you know what those things can do these days?) and found myself calling my husband to see if he could bring home an empty milk bottle so that I might concoct a home made dripper for my basil, I realized I’d gone too far.

I wasn’t quite ready to tear myself away, so whilst I watered (the mist nozzle really gets me going by the way), I considered whether I actually had tipped over the “cat-lady-rose-bush-croc-wearing” line.

The funny thing is that like a mysterious beast of prey, you wouldn’t know what I was truly capable of upon meeting me; that I would be daydreaming about giving the corn (yes corn!) a good mulch and crying with delight when I found a worm in the compost. Unfortunately I live only a few kilometres from the city of Melbourne and therefore live with what could most generously be described as a large courtyard with a small lawn.

I grew up in the city but find that I move ever so gently, year by year, towards being a woman I would have never thought I would know. The vain city girl still lives strong; the biggest indicator of which is evident in all the fantasies I have about moving to a more rural area.

My fantasies always involve a great set of pins in tight jeans, bouncy hair and (I can hear the collective sigh of us fat girl now), a beautiful shirt tucked in to said jeans. Ah….the serenity…

Unfortunately little dreams don’t manifest themselves, so in the last few days, I’ve stepped into a new world, hoping to help me get back on track. Anyone following my weight loss would see, blaringly obviously, that I haven’t lost any significant weight in some time.

The difference in my appearance has motivated many to comment positively on how I look, inadvertently resulting in a release on the weight loss accelerator. But well aware of a job half done, I decided to take up a free trial at my local gym.

Not so much a gym as it is an oestrogen laden, sweat soaked women’s group, where middle aged gals doodle their way through a serious of hydraulic machines, enjoying a good dose of Abba coming through the speakers.

Needless to say, when I walked in, I knew instantly that it was the place for me to be. Free trial up and a decision about joining imminent, I went in today to complete my final workout free of charge. It was only when a woman walked in, donned in lycra and a sweat band rolled and tied around her forehead, all coordinated of course, I realised that I couldn’t possibly be more comical than that and would therefore be quite happy there.

Unfortunately joining seems to be more difficult that one would expect. You need to make an appointment for a fitness assessment, at which point I’m sure I’ll be sold all sorts of pointless gym-ing paraphernalia. When I finished my final trial, I walked up seriously to the young girl behind the desk,

“Now I’ve decided that I would like to join. I think this could work for me”

“Well, you have to book in for your assessment. Tomorrow’s no good, Friday’s no good. Why don’t you call next week?”

My face dropped. I had half expected a brass band to emerge from the staff room with a personalised congratulatory rendition of It’s Raining Men, every girls’ power song (C’mon, you know it is!). Alas, nothing; not even a discrete applause. It put me off enough to consider backing out.

But some places you have to get to on your own. And it could be the crazy in me, but lately I’ve been carrying my own little orchestra inside anyway…

Just As It Is

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“Must write blog, must write blog” has been in the back of my mind since I returned.  Unfortunately, I’ve been must-ing my way around my home town, straight back into the groove of daily life, hanging hopelessly onto the memories of a trip now passed.

There are a few minefields one faces upon return from a holiday when re-telling their holiday adventures. Unfortunately, there is always the danger of painstakingly recounting what is to others, an utterly boring he-said she-said; there’s a risk of going on far too long about the meal you just didn’t want to miss, and of course, it’s easy to forget that those nodding appreciatively have most likely been scraping baked beans from a can while you were stuffing your face with crayfish, taking happy-snaps.

A few days ago someone asked me to see photos. I directed them to Facebook in their own time but they pressed me for a personal viewing. Filled with trepidation, I obliged. But 15 photos in, one party had walked off; the other yawned awkwardly, declared they had to go and then left the house completely. When I found myself starting a sentence of explanation and then realised that by the end of the sentence, there was no one left to make eye contact with, I knew it was over.

“See! See! This is why I didn’t want to do it”. Other people’s photos are always best viewed in private. Mainly so you can flick through the scenic shots that have no context for you, but also to reduce the awkward dilemma of trying to wind up the conversation before a yawn creeps into the back of your throat.

Most important of all, how does one having travelled to a country like Africa not reconstruct moments, people and conversations with just a touch of the clichéd? Descriptions of wildlife, mountain ranges and canyons can’t really be made without using words like majestic and splendour, both of which make my eyes water with embarrassment, so I tend to not say much at all.

The most special of moments I had were not because of the scenery or cities. They were with people I met and the conversations I had with them, resulting in a shared experience that couldn’t be easily translated. And sometimes, if you are open to it, special things can happen that you don’t want to share anyway.

Perhaps my experiences over the past few years, in a strange way, prepared me well for the trip. If you open your eyes, but close your heart just a little bit, you’ll be well equipped to see everything there is to see. And it has to be said (simply because it’s true), magical (oops!) things can happen there.

Luckily for me, my moment of fat-girl emancipation in the form of riding an African ostrich, just as my grandmother did many years ago, never occurred. I was just that bit too heavy, which means I just might have to go back some time soon!

Holidays have a sneaky way of making people see the light. ‘When I get home, some things are going to change’ is a sentiment we’ve all experienced. It’s a diet, more exercise, more time for reading, leisurely weekends…always something.

But if I learnt nothing else, I learnt to think less, smile more and yes, it has to be said, realise that even though I may choose to, changes aren’t necessary.

I’m a lucky little bugger, just as it is…

Wiggling Good Time

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“Lean forward a bit”

“Ok. Any better?”

“Worse. Stand up straight” she says with a giggle

“I am, I am”. I lift my left leg and bend it in front of me. The reason was twofold; first to show the world that I can do that now and to see if it made a difference.

“Have you been to the toilet today?” she looked hopeful.

“I just went before. Why don’t I take off my jumper? I weighed in my singlet last week anyway”.

Standing in leggings, socks and a singlet, I saw the loss of last week on the scale before me– 1.1 kilos (2.4 pounds), which meant that finally I had reached the big 2.0. Twenty kilos (44 pounds) and with 14 to go, I am well on my way to redeeming myself as the slightly pudgy but well rounded bouncy brunette I once was.

It felt so great that the slightly raised eyebrows I detected (from the oh-so-well-manicured-crowd) as I wiggled my bum in the air didn’t deter me from exclaiming, “I got there! I did it!”

Throw in a few working ovaries and some firmly attached nails and the world is my oyster…

And sometimes you just have to leave it there.

The Text in Context

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The past week has had me asking some pretty serious questions. The query at the frontline of my proverbial war on words has been “what makes me happy?”

I lost nearly a kilo this week which had me in a lather of personal achievement (for all of five minutes) but was soon overshadowed with the sense that the monkey on my back is far from falling off with a swift slap to the head, instead preferring to fang in with even greater savour.  

I have all the signs of coming of age. I now accept the eccentricities that are me: I keep a pen in my bra, I like to read a map upside down, I like to wear woollen shawls (and prefer to call them “capes”), I occasionally wrap my cat in muslin and rock her like a baby (put the phone down PETA, she loves it, I’m telling you), I prefer flat shoes for any occasion, and nothing warms my cockles more than a good size plastic container.

So having matured enough to accept all that with open arms, I can only think that my general displeasure comes from desiring most what I cannot have. I have been prescribed a rather nasty medication for a rather nasty disorder of the skin that has rather nastily (have I said nasty?) reared its ugly head in the past ten months.

In the same way that some may be envious of my curls and rather ample bosom (even if the toolman predicts that in time “deck hitters” may be a better description), I am envious of those with smooth and unbroken skin. The psoriasis I have developed has left me with scaly and occasionally bleeding hands and feet; a rather gruesome affliction for a young woman.

The drama continues as previous treatments have proven ineffective and it is now considered a reasonable therapy to try a rather toxic drug. Side effects aside, babies are off the cards whilst on the drug which may mean a few years without child.

“What me wants, me can’t have” as someone rather gloomy and blue (me) once said.

Ovaries, mental health and crusty complaint aside, I try to convince myself that things can only get better. There’s always another uniquely shaped plastic container to add to the collection….

And then, when things just seem too much and I’m delirious enough to ask the heavens why someone up there is intent on withholding me the most special of gifts, I open the good book. Give me a sec…this may not be going where you think it is.

I have three loving and loyal siblings. One of them, the eldest is a considered communicator and rarely says much without some forethought. The other two, bless them, say some important and meaningful things but you generally have to wait patiently for these little gems to pop up between much loved scandal and chat.

One day, about a year ago, the eldest gave me a book which at the time I thought was an odd gift. But later, upon opening it, I realised it was his way of saying, “Keep your chin up. I love you”. It’s times like these that I open the “good book” and read from it.

“I’m afraid that some times

you’ll play lonely games too.

Games you can’t win

‘cause you’ll play against you.

 All alone!

Whether you like it or not,

Alone will be something

you’ll be quite a lot.

 And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance

you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.

There are some, down the road between hither and yon,

that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

 But on you will go

Though the weather be foul.

On you will go

Though your enemies prowl….

 ….On you will hike,

And I know you’ll hike far

and face up to your problems

whatever they are…

 …You’re off to Great Places!

Today is your day!

Your mountain is waiting.

So…get on your way”

 – Oh, The Places You’ll Go (Dr. Seuss) –

When in trouble, some have the Bible, some the Qur’an, I have Dr. Seuss.

And that’s what big brothers are for…

Collateral Kilos

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I’m full of revelations. It seems that any time I do anything slightly positive for my physical wellbeing, I claim the behaviour as a revelation. Slightly frustrating for the toolman I would imagine,

“Baby, I went for a walk tonight. I had an epiphany…if I go for more walks the weight will come off faster!” He always smiles politely but even I want to shut me up with a quick blow to the head with a shovel when I hear it come out of my mouth.

But the truth is, I have been working hard at being active. By increasing my physical activity I have found that it quiets my mind. Having a mind that drags and being unable to soothe myself with drugs or alcohol, I sometimes find the burdensome weight of self awareness overwhelming. I have to be constantly prepared to fight the battle of self-depreciation and in doing so have realised that being active is a great help.

So, the past week I have been busy puffing around the block, cleaning out the veggie patch and living off home made whole foods. And even if I battle with the idea that “simple living” might actually be the thing that keeps me living longer, for now it doesn’t really matter. Because the weight came off this week.

And for once, it was a pleasant form of collateral damage.

The High Point of Lows

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In the spirit of full self disclosure, I contacted my loved ones and admittedly, some mutual participants in a few loosely formed friendships to let them know I was starting down the road of fatty emancipation.

That was early last year- 2009. When I arrived at the start of August, and had actually gained 3 kilos, I realised that a clumsily fashioned weight loss plan consisting of diet shakes and broccoli was not going to do the trick. Having already exposed myself to over thirty people (and gained a charitable donation for each kilo lost from most members), I realised that I couldn’t pretend I had never said anything, even though I am sure most would have been polite enough not to ask me.

Two days after that fateful day in August, I walked into weight watchers. Each month, I have sent a detailed account to those supporting me, detailing my failures and losses. Seven months down the track, I’ve hit my first milestone.

This is the email…

Hello Supporters,
 
I’ve just got one thing to say… 

“Ooh Eeh Ooh Ah Ah Ting Tang Walla Walla Bing Bang”

Today I finally reached a weight loss of 15kg (33 pounds)! Yes, it has taken me 7 months at Weight Watchers (an average 2 kilo loss a month) and no, it’s not in line with “biggest loser” expectations but I’m quietly proud as punch.
 
When I started this, I thought the weight would just slip off as quickly as it piled on but alas, it’s a bit more involved than that. Whilst the shakes, pills and the elusive goji berry have called may name when I lost little or no weight, I held strong and continued to weigh, measure, prod and poke my food the good ol’ fashioned weight loss way.

I’ve got a way to go yet, another 20kg in fact but I AM going to make it. Can’t wait to get to 18kg…don’t ask me why, it just sounds like an exciting number!
 
A heartfelt thank you for the sideline cheering!

As exciting as this self-affirming diversion has been, must run…I mean plod to the next weight loss goal!
 
Love (Hauling)

 

Even though some might be asking the question as to why it is taking me so long, or even worse, venturing to ask “Are you sure you should be eating that?” (enter Toolman), the support I have gratefully accepted has extended to those here in this forum.

And for that, I have been delightfully surprised!

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.

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.

A Grunt, A Gasp…& Some Fatty Overhang

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I tend to refrain from writing something until I have something to say (not my natural mode of operandi, I assure you). However, I am quite chuffed to announce that I lost another 800 grams this week (1.76 pounds), bringing my January total to 2.7 kilos (5.94 pounds). Chuffed graduated to jolly, especially after spotting what suspiciously looked like an emerging collar bone in a window reflection!

As clever as I felt yesterday, the immanent arrival of a brand spanking new series of The Biggest Loser due to hit Australian screens, filled me with a mild case of trepidation. How such an arguably crappy program could provoke such an emotion says something significant about both my intelligence and my viewing tastes. I dabble in ABC (BBC equivalent) viewing when my husband is in the room but tend to mute the volume and switch to the nearest reality program while he’s on the toilet. I mute it of course, because I’m still trying to hide the fact that I’m not as interested in world news, culture and general knowledge as I once made him think, even if that was seven years ago. I’m addicted to crappy viewing, like I’m addicted to crappy food. I’m working on both.

But the show that really sends me running to the screen is and always has been, The Biggest Loser (which my husband has eloquently nick-named “Fatty Fatty”). Years ago, even as a slip of a thing (seriously, that never happened), I’d watch it late on a Wednesday night when most normal people were asleep, espousing its virtues to all my friends on the following days. The Australian version has since become somewhat of a summer-schedule-staple in the past few years.

Consider first that I have inserted a clever and interesting argument about the perils of reality television and the social voyeurism it stimulates. Now, having been blown away by all that…let me get onto the real reason why even the teeniest of fans can be found glued to the screen and phoning their fatter counterparts in a froth of interest (but usually laughter)!

The “game” in itself is made up of a series of humiliating and dehumanising exercises designed to highlight contestant flaws with a good side slap of “you can do it, don’t give up and live you best life!” yelled from a muscular gym junkie standing above them. Producers love to pit these obese contestants against each other in physical battles of uncompromising positions, such as commando crawls through mud or sand, with camera shots rights up their behinds, as they struggle to get up off their knees. Heaven forbid that their shirt rides up throughout the battle, because the cameraman is directed to shoot an HD wide landscape shot of the flabby overhang.

If that wasn’t all enough, think of the “Temptations”! Some episodes will detail a full half hour where contestants are placed at a table choc-a-block (mind the pun) full of sweet and savoury treats, tempted to consume as much as they can in order to save themselves from elimination or secure themselves an overseas holiday. Talk about mixed-messages! Eat and win the prize, eat to save yourself,  eat and suffer a tirade of abuse from your trainer, eat and get fat! And then at the end of the week, we’ll put you in underwear and make you weigh in for national broadcast.

Having said all that, you will probably find me on Sunday nights, eating my dinner and pointing at the screen, screaming “Look, look!”, just in case my husband missed the slow motion replay of an obese contestant falling off the treadmill. Directly after the hum of uplifting closing credits play, I’ll then be found reliving salient moments over the telephone with my tiny sister, who I assure you, will experience equal delight in the difficulties these poor people endure.

And why, oh why, would these people go through this? Voluntarily put their hands up to be humiliated and patronised by producers and trainers? Because their desperation to be skinny, and I optimistically hope healthy, overrides their good sense. This good dollop of desperation only serves to make better viewing for us all.

But this week, when the premiere screens, I am hopeful that I don’t see my reflection. More to the point, I’m scared that I will definitely see my reflection. A young woman, my height, my weight, on a television program advertised to “save these peoples lives”, will only further illustrate the state of my ill health and obesity. Each grunt, bend, crouch and sweat pearl will make me ask the question- is that what my husband sees when he looks at me? And while 800 grams (1.76 pounds) is an achievement for me, I no doubt will compare myself to those losing weight much faster, along with ever widening smiles.

So let us not deny it any further. Many love the embarrassment, love to feel they are superior to those with weight problems, and many find the disability associated with obesity funny in a way that alcoholism and drug abuse is not.

And maybe it’s an act of self-preservation, but when I say “Many”, I mean “Me”.

And maybe, at the end of the day, I’m actually laughing at myself.

And maybe, that’s the saddest part of all.