So here I am, back at work and no longer able to hide from myself how much weight I put on over the Easter holidays.
Oh how smugly I wore track suit bottoms over the holidays! How easy it was to ignore my jeans and think, ‘I’m doing work round the house, don’t want to get anything dirty, these old stretchy tracksuit bottoms from my fatter days will do. Where’s the bread?’
I know, I KNOW, OK? NEVER wear loose waisted/drawstring trouser bottoms because you lose sight of any weight you’ve put on. But that’s the thing, I knew I was putting weight on but deliberately and consciously chose to ignore this flabby fact. I even ‘forgot’ to fast two days a week. This is my bare minimum to offset any binges so at least I don’t put on any weight, but I couldn’t even do that. Sigh
Since coming back to work I can no longer hide from myself. Back to suits, normal waisted trousers, fitted dresses and jackets. All of them are tight and uncomfortable. Have you ever seen that (shudder) horrible advert for ‘anti-chafing gel’? Well that’s me right now.
I feel fat. Very FAT. One good thing is I’ve kept up the exercise, but I can feel the extra weight slowing me down. (I can still jump on a box you’ll be pleased to know)
Oh it’s so depressing. I thought the days of waistbands cutting into my flesh were behind me. When I strip I look like I’ve been whipped, with bright red welts marking the lines of my clothes. Now my stomach is a round solid ball that gets in the way when I bend over like an intrusive, over stuffed, and unwelcome guest.
This is the worst thing about dieting. Also the hardest. Keeping the bloody fat off.
I hate myself. I also hate how this hating myself has now seeped into all aspects of my life. I’m snappy with Rob and the children; at work I’m paranoid and defensive about every tiny thing.
Yesterday, I spent a particularly delightful three hours or so comparing side my side two photos. Photo one showed me giddy (and thin) with a joyful thumbs up because for the first time IN MY LIFE I am wearing shorts. I am delirious with joy because I don’t look like Jabba the Hut on his holidays after a few weeks of feasting on maidens.
The second shows me that morning wearing the same outfit. Because I could still get into the shorts I kidded myself I hadn’t put on THAT much weight.
This became all too clear when I compared the two photographs. In the second photo I looked like I had recently consumed the woman in the first photo.
OK so I could still do up the shorts but were the legs of the shorts swinging loosely from my thighs?
They were not.
The words ‘sausage skin’ ‘bulge’ and ‘crammed’ were the first ones that sprung to mind.
For some reason this triggered me hitting rock bottom. I remember as clearly as anything how over the moon I was to wear those shorts outside, in front of people, last summer.
There is no way I could even leave the bathroom in them now.
After a tearful few hours alternating zooming in to compare a skinny arm (photo 1), with a pendulous, dropping, bingo wing (photo 2), and swiping left/right/left/right to compare exactly how much fatter my belly was, I felt like utter crap.
Everything I had achieved, all that hard work… all gone to absolute fuck.
And of course, that shitty little Jiminy Fucking Cricket voice is chattering away in my ear.
‘Should have weighed yourself, shouldn’t you?’ It sing songed. ‘Should have done a couple of fast days each week to balance the binging, shouldn’t you?’
I wish that voice was an actual physical presence so I could kick the skinny little sanctimonious bitch out of the window.
Anyway, facts were facts. The woman in photo 2 was a long way from the woman in photo 1. It looked like a horrible distortion of the traditional before and after pairing.
I had to accept it.
I had turned back into my before photo.
Shame. Sadness. Self-loathing. Anger. Denial. Bargaining.
I went through them all until finally I got to the point where I realised there was no getting round it, I had to weigh myself.
Taking a deep breath I stripped naked, took off earrings, rings and necklaces.
I stood on the scales.
‘Please don’t let me be as heavy as I was at the start, please don’t let me be as heavy as I was at the start, please don’t let me be as heavy as I was at the start,’ I prayed to myself, eyes tight shut.
Summoning all my courage I looked down.
The screen was blank.
The fucking batteries had run out.
Flinging my clothes back on I ran to the corner shop to get batteries.
As I panted my way back up the stairs I consoled myself that all this running about must have sweated off a couple of pounds.
Back to the bathroom. Clothes off. Door firmly locked. Scales working.
It wasn’t as bad as I had feared. Still a good way from my original fat weight- but a stone heavier than I would have liked.
Since then I’m back on the Blood Sugar Diet (again) and I’ve managed to stick to it for two days. I cannot, CANNOT allow myself to go back to where I was.
I feel more in control and once I get cracking it’ll be easier. Being back at work and busy helps too.
Meanwhile the family continue to be as entertaining as ever.
Just before the end of the holiday Rob was striding up and down the house moaning about what a tip the car was in. After a good two months of the children merrily disposing of whatever crap they happened to be holding by simply chucking it behind their seats in the car, there is now a mountain of crap in the boot.
Things came to a head when the car needed servicing. So Rob didn’t have to endure the judgemental gaze of a handful of car mechanics, he decided to go down and ‘sort out the bloody car.’
What Rob calls ‘sorting out the car’, I call ‘shoving everything willy nilly into random bags.’ He doesn’t even bother to distinguish between an old banana skin and a pair of son’s school shoes.
I didn’t discover this until the first day of school when despite assuring me, ‘Yes Mummy of COURSE we’ve got everything ready for school,’ in voices of indignant outrage, in fact they weren’t AT ALL ready for school.
At 7.45 – five minutes before leaving, Son informs me he can’t find his blazer, school tie, shoes and cricket trousers. Daughter hasn’t a single pair of white socks and her cardigan is nowhere to be seen.
While I am ripping through sixteen crammed-full carrier bags of crap, tossing aside barbies, crisp packets, exercise books, bottle of car oil, windscreen wash, eight pairs of grown out of pyjamas and 27 empty drink bottles, I scream at Rob. Why the HELL didn’t he check he hadn’t shoved important bits of the children’s uniform into a hundred different bags thus rendering them as easy to find as a needle in a haystack of child-generated rubbish.
He walked past, loftily claiming, ‘when I cleaned out that car there wasn’t ONE thing that belonged to me.’
This apparently absolved him of all responsibility for getting the children prepared for school.
In revenge I nicked one of Rob’s darkest ties and yanked it round Son’s neck assuring him, ‘It’ll be fine, darling, it’s practically dark blue. Yes I know there’s a saucy lady on the label, just tuck it in and nobody will see.’
Miraculously, Daughter has finally got a compete uniform on. I realise later it is because she’s discovered the clothes she took off on the last day of term and shoved in a drawer, and she has just taken them out, given then a shake and put them on. I wished I had some febreeze I could spray over her, but make do with an old can of Elnett hairspray which I quickly squirt over her dress in the hope it will take away the worst of the stink until I can dig out her lovely clean dress which I washed over the holidays and must have been hidden somewhere.
The end of the holiday has also seemed to have engendered eleven billion baskets of dirty laundry. I don’t know how this has happened because I did laundry every week of the holiday.
After the children had left for school and I was pottering about before leaving for work I discovered this unbelievable proliferation of odd socks.
I know this is a time- worn cliche, but where the HELL are all the pairs to these socks?
This is what I am left with after washing every single item of clothing in the house. I fact, I did so much washing I managed to blow up the washing machine. I called the engineer and when he came in he had to dodge his way around damp and drying clothes which were draped EVERYWHERE.
No radiator, no surface was clear. Shirts hung from doors, jumpers were draped over the shower enclosure, underwear gaily swung from every door knob. Imagine the hanging gardens of Babylon represented with laundry.
‘Been doing some washing?’ He said.
‘Ha ha,’ I said.
It’s Daughter’s birthday tomorrow. She is ten. I can’t quite get over how I am old enough to have a ten year old daughter.
She is very excited and spent a good hour before going bed singing, ‘I’m going to be TEN! I’m going to be TEN!’ Like a character from Annie the musical.
This year she has insisted on getting a pair of goldfish for her birthday. To put her off when the idea first appeared a few months ago, I told her she couldn’t even think about getting fish until she had read up and researched how to look after them properly.
Not only did she do the research, she then created a complete, illustrated, PowerPoint presentation which went on, at great length, about everything you could possibly want to know about goldfish but were afraid to ask.
Well, she got me. Nothing more I could say. Hoist by my own petard.
So last weekend we bought and set up a little tank. Tomorrow we go and collect the goldfish. I don’t think they are actual goldfish, they are called something else, they look like goldfish but don’t grow so big you have to put them in a pond.
She has decided to call them ‘Bob’ and ‘Gary’, even if they are girls. (?!)
I don’t know why she is giving them names more suited to Radio DJs from the 1980s, but that’s my daughter for you.
As we left the pet shop, rather shaken at how much all the fish related paraphernalia cost, Daughter turned to me and said, ‘it’s OK, Mummy, the actual fish are really cheap, only about three pounds, so if I DO accidentally kill them we can just replace the fish! We don’t need to buy the tank again.’
Happy birthday to Daughter, and here’s to me losing some weight.