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The F Word

October 19, 2008

Being fat is the weirdest thing.

It isn’t weird as in unusual.


We’re all aware that in this day and age obesity is this ‘out of control disease’ that has the likes of him trying to single-handedly turn our country around from the beer swilling, kebab eating, heart disease, city of cholesterol that we are becoming into the allotment planting, organic vegetable growing, home cooking, olive oil users of the Med by starting with the kids and progressing to the adults.

But nevertheless actually being fat is the weirdest thing. And this is what I want to talk about. I need to get this off my chest.

My fatness has been a journey my entire life. I have been unhappy most of my life. I have been limited by my weight, for most of my life.

I have been overweight. I have been obese. I have been very obese (easier than you think). I have been at a BMI of 22.5 (ideal) and at a BMI of 39.1. Potentially deathly.

I know this journey.

I have traveled this road before. And it’s getting so boring.

And now, I am traveling it again. Hopefully with a longer lasting effect.

Those keen eyed among you may notice that I have placed a weight loss ticker at the top of my blog. It’s time to get committed to this again and finally get back to a healthy weight and not only that, but to be a healthy role model to my kids. I am serious about being.

I remember being slim.

I loved it. I think.

It was the final year at university and I had split up with my boyfriend in January 1999. I realised that I was alone and fat and that I didn’t know myself. At all. I was so lost after this relationship that when my sister took me round the supermarket to help me stock my own cupboards, I had no idea what to buy because I didn’t know what I liked. what I liked. None.

I remember walking round the shop looking at shelf after shelf, aisle after aisle and thinking to myself… ‘I have no idea what to buy.’

I absently picked up salads, tuna, potatoes… bell peppers… crackers… tinned soups… cottage cheese… pasta… just realising that I had been eating all these other foods, with this guy, that I didn’t even like. Actually I didn’t like the food or the guy… but that’s another story.

I was 16st 13lbs. That’s 237lbs. 107.5kg.

That’s a lot of me.

As I walked round the shop picking up these foods that were actually genuinely appealing to me.. I realised that I was making healthy choices without even really meaning to. I felt like I had been lulled into this lifestyle of unhealthy choices, comfort eating and fatness without even realising it was happening. Duped. A world of second portions and bread and butter on the side. A world of elasticated trousers and puddings.

I had been choosing not to look in the mirror. Choosing not to notice that my clothes sizes were in the 20s. Choosing not to notice when I got out of breath walking up the stairs. Choosing not to look at the quality of my skin. Looking the other way when I couldn’t quite fit my sizable arse into the seat at the cinema properly. Ignoring the folds of body as I showered.

I resolved there and then, that I would lose weight, feel better, look better and be better.

And I did. I changed. I followed Slimming World with the help of my sister and lost 7st over the course of the following year or so.

I maintained it pretty well and even continued to lose weight after getting together with my wonderful husband the following February in 2000.

The weird thing about weight loss and the journey that all of us are on who have ever struggled with this demon, is that I think your brain and your body never seem to be at one with each other. When I was very obese, I chose not to see it. I avoided the issue and got on with being in a dead end relationship that absorbed my personality and my sense of self.

When I was slim, I still thought I was fat.

My brain never caught up with what had happened to my physical appearance. It never occurred to me that I was wearing clothes in size 10 or 12 and that when I picked up T-shirts, jumpers, cardigans or anything in shops, that I was picking up ‘small’.

Not medium, not size 2… but size 1. SMALL.

I missed that. How did I miss it…?

My brain still thought I was overweight. I looked at my body and criticised it. Constantly. I watched myself in the mirror and felt like crap. Not good enough. Saw only the lumpy bits. The bumpy bits. The fat bits. The parts with stretch marks. The thread veins. The pale skin. The extra chin. The hips & thighs. Oh, the hips & thighs. The pasty complexion and the small breasts. I ate less and less. Became slightly obsessive about how much I ate and when I ate. Until eventually I wouldn’t eat later than 4pm and even then nothing more than soup.

Sometimes I smoked instead of eating. It was the best thing for me.

I was convinced I was in control.

Even when I started to get muscle cramps from walking around. I was in control.

Not good enough.

I remember once BN came round to my student house and watched me cook myself tea. Cooking has never been my thing. I know how to cook and I can throw together a good meal with an understanding of what goes together, what will work and what won’t. But it’s never been my passion. After finding myself single at uni, a lot of my meals came out of packets. Quickness. Ease. Storage. Money. Laziness. BN watched me serve my meal and we walked upstairs to my room where I settled down to eat.

I don’t get you, he said. You cook some food, you serve yourself half of what you cook and then you eat half of what you’ve served. WTF is that about?! It’s such a waste!

He wouldn’t get it. He couldn’t get it. I had to control it. I had to be the boss. Deprivation was the only way to control it. Total control …. and I was clever enough to stay in control.

to be continued….

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 19, 2008 1:01 pm

    It’s amazing how something that should be so nomal, can turn to be something so abnormal and controlling in our lives. I remember how it used to seem that eating issues were the domain of the rich and famous, and then there was me. Over time you come to see that everyone has their issues with food, whether too much, too little or the wrong sort of thing.
    You’ve not continued much on how you’re going to lose weight this time, I only hope that it’s safely, with sensible food choices.

    Vic´s last blog post..Cobalt Blue Sky

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