“I’ve been dieting all morning. Am I skinny yet?” and “I’d give up chocolate but I’m no quitter. “ I’ve seen these on fridge magnets every now and again and they used to make me smile. Used to, because I was smug back then. Thought I was gorgeous. Reckoned I had it all in the bag. Got a grip on myself, started losing some weight and doing a bit of running. Great stuff altogether. Thought I was the bee’s knees. I hit a wall on occasion, who doesn’t, but I cheered myself up by saying ah well, it’s only half a pound, or at least I didn’t gain anything this week. I still had a good 9 or 10 pounds to lose to reach my target weight of ten and a half stone but I was confident I’d get there quickly enough. Then I hit another wall. A big, fek off, you’re not getting over me, red bricked one. At least that’s what it looks like in my imagination. It even has menacing barbed wire and broken beer bottles cemented into the top of it. You know the one I mean. Bastard thing. Well, I’m going to be the wrecking ball for that bastard wall. If it kills me, I will. I am going to start knocking it down brick by damned brick and if you want to join me, you are more than welcome. In fact, this can be our own little Christmas Fat Club. Yes, I mentioned the C word. (Only 143 days away. If you’re counting.) Christmas is going to be my deadline. I am going to be a half stone down for the Silly Season and in order to do that I am going to name and shame each and every half pound I gain between now and then. I have put up four whole pounds over the past month, averaging half a pound a week and I would reckon maybe a pound on holidays. I carefully log each and every Thursday on my wall calendar, what I have lost or gained. I have been doing it for the past 13 months now, even Mister Husband checks the calendar when he comes home on those evenings. See, I got lazy. I got complacent. I got greedy and I got cocky. Once upon a time I had such will power. I was driven and super strict with myself. I was also bordering on having an eating disorder which is no good. No good at all! It was November and I was getting married the following summer so I went on a makey-uppy Wedding Diet. By which, I cut out carbs, lived on a bowl of All Bran, lettuce, fruit, a yogurt and half an egg sandwich a day. For seven months. The weight fell off me and my breath stank. I have no idea what I weighed at the time as I tend to go by my clothes but I got down to a size 8-10 through starving myself and doing a minimum of a 40 minute workout at least 5 nights a week. I also developed a head that looked slightly too large for my body. My one treat for the week consisted of a Butler’s cappuccino and croissant on my way into work on Friday mornings. Madness. But I felt great. I admit it. I never had as much energy in my life. I literally woke up in the morning and jumped out of bed. I credit this to the total abolition of junk food. White unrefined sugar in any shape or form is a mood and energy sapper. No joke. I still think back with fondness of the good form I was in all the while I was on this, there is no other word for it, starvation diet. But it did my mind good. At least I got to see first-hand the link between crap food and depression. I digress. I also, and I have to put this in here because it is my little carrot on the end of the stick, had killer abs thanks to all the stomach crunches and sit ups I did of an evening. When I sit down now, I get that little (ok, ok, massive!) roll of, again no other word for it, fat, spilling out over the top of my trousers. I didn’t used to have that. I also didn’t appreciate what I did have. I was too scared of putting more than a tablespoon of dressing on my iceberg lettuce and making sure I never had more than one digestive biscuit with my nightly cup of tea. Anyway, ten years and four back to back pregnancies later, I’m finding I need another kick up the colossal arse. The first hurdle was when Screecher Creature No. 4 decided to wean so that meant running was put on the back burner for a while. A week would have done it but no, I took a three week and three day sabbatical. Treated myself, like. I used up all the old excuses; it’s raining, I can’t go out in that. (I actually like running in the rain.) Mister Husband is working late and I can’t go out at 8pm, it’s too late. (Maybe, but it doesn’t get dark till 10pm. Loads of time.) And the other great all-rounder; ah, I’ll do it tomorrow/at lunch time/run twice over the weekend. (We all know tomorrow never comes.) Came back from the holidays feeling wonderful and decided to get back into the swing of things and actually went out for a short run that very evening. Good woman! Start as you mean to go on. I aimed for 4 runs a week. No bother to me. Sure in the early days I was walking 7 nights a week and then when the pace quickened, I managed 3 to 4 runs, easily. I did manage four runs that week. And one run the next. Autumn was upon us this week and even if the calendar didn’t scream that at me, my body did. Myself and the winter have always bitch slapped each other. He’d (coz it’s always a he) piss me off by getting darker earlier in the evenings and raining all the time and I’d get into a bit of a state and mope and moan and literally live for Christmas because then Spring is just around the corner. I found myself being forced out the door on Wednesday night, August 1st, by a very big workman’s boot firmly placed against the cheeks of my arse. There were threats of “if you don’t go, I will,” bandied about. It was a disaster. I walked my route. I didn’t have the physical or mental wherewithal to run it. When I was more than half way round my inner bitch piped up, “go on. Run the rest of the way. It won’t kill ya!” But it nearly did. I hauled myself, huffing and puffing a pathetic one hundred metres up the road and I had to stop. Every part of me felt like lead. A mere three months ago I was hitting 7k, delighted with myself, getting closer and closer to the 10k diamond in the sky. See? What did I say earlier on, something about being smug? Thinking I was gorgeous and that I had it all in the bag. Pride comes before a fall. Let me be clear. For me, I want to feel better and of course, look better, in my clothes. It is a lovely, added bonus to hop up on a scales once a week and discover that I am a half pound closer to my target weight of ten and a half stone. But that was a whole month ago. Yesterday, the scales gleefully told me I have gained a full four pounds in a month. Gaining on average, half a pound a week. Again the excuses were brought out and paraded in front of me; I was on holidays. I’m retaining water; I always am at this time of the month. I need my chocolate. It was only a little wine. (This one was said very quietly and very sheepishly indeed.) But there’s no getting away from it. Time to face up to it all. I need to get back on track and quick. So who’s with me? I am prepared to put up here, each and every Friday night until the 7th of December 2012, my hopeful reversing of gaining half a pound a week. In fact, if I manage it, I will have reached my target of ten and a half stone. This is still a full stone heavier than I was when I conceived our first and second boys and a full, crazy two stone heavier when I was at my lightest, ten years ago. I managed to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight after the first two boys, but not pre pregnancy shape. I’m realistic about these things; my body ain’t ever going to look the same again. I am proud of the shape I have now. My boys came from this body. But it’s still hidden under a good eight pounds of padding. Time to bring it out. I would love to be of some support and inspiration to anyone else battling the bulge, but without making a big deal out of it. No competition, no pressure, just a bit of fun. I’ll be deadly serious though, is that ok? See, I need to name and shame those pounds in order for this to work for me. I am wine free writing this. There is no Dutch courage. I am laying my soul bare.
Stats: June 2011 – thirteen stone four and a half pounds
September 2011 – twelve stone and eight pounds
December 2011- eleven stone and eleven pounds
March 2012 – ten stone and thirteen pounds
August 2012 - eleven stone three and a half pounds