So, here’s the thing. I’m fat. What does that mean exactly?
It’s a weird concept because we all have such screwed up ideas about fatness, health, attractiveness, thinness, intelligence, laziness, and how all these things fit together.
If you were foolhardy enough to comment on my weight, I’ve got a whole range of defensive responses to choose from. Which one I’d go for would depend on who you are and how I am feeling at the time. So, I might say: “How dare you presume I’d rather be thin?”, “I am fat because I eat too much, so what?”, “I am fit and well and get plenty of exercise, what’s your problem?”, “ I love food and intend to enjoy it until I drop dead” (from a heart attack, probably), or “I love being big, it makes me feel powerful.”
The thing is, while I truly believe in all of the above statements, none of them are true. In my heart of hearts, I hate being fat. I look at adverts for fabulous clothes and I dream about being thin enough to look good in them. I see people jogging past with lovely muscly legs and flat tummies and I really envy them. Some days every joint in my body aches from the excess weight I have to carry around with me.
You haven’t got a hope in hell of getting me to admit to any of these truths in person, though. They are my deep, dark secret. They are a secret because if I admit to thinking these things, how on earth can I possibly explain why I am not thin? I am not stupid after all. I know what and how much I should eat in order to be thin. But I don’t do that. While I have some ideas as to why not, the truth is I am bewildered by the silliness of it as much as anyone.
I have looked at very fat people on TV and wondered to myself, why don’t they just stop eating so much? The cheek of me. Surely I, if anyone, knows that it’s not quite as simple as that.
If I sense someone is critical about me because of my eating habits (my mother-in-law springs to mind) I often want to ask her if she always does exactly what she thinks she should do or does she also make mistakes or do things she wishes she hadn’t? Surely everyone has some aspect of themselves that they’d like to correct, but somehow can’t? Or am I deluding myself? Do most people trot around feeling as if they are in complete control and is it just us fatties and addicts who seem to be at the mercy of our desires?
The other thing about fatness, is the disconnect I feel from my body. It is as if the big blob that I glimpse in the mirror from time to time, has nothing to do with the essential “me”. Maybe that’s why I can’t fix it, because in a way it’s not even real? I am sure a psychotherapist would have a field day exploring my disassociation and splitting (and if you have any thoughts on this, please comment below, it will save me a fortune in analysis).
Despite all this, I am determined to never go on diet again. I have been dieting on and off since I was 14, and I firmly believe that each time I lose some weight, I not only put it back on again, but that each time I add an extra 20%. This is how I have ended up being the lard arse I am today.
Looking back at photos of myself when I was young, I sadly note that of course I wasn’t actually fat. I can’t believe I listened to the bitchy girls who told me I was, and wasted all that lovely luscious youthfulness in worrying about the size of my tummy. Why couldn’t I have listened instead to that bloke who told me I had gorgeous big tits and legs that went on for miles? Because I am an idiot, that’s why. A fairly normal human idiot, but an idiot nonetheless.
My absolute biggest fear now is that in 10 years’ time I will look back at photos of myself today and think, well that wasn’t really fat, now I’m really fat. (Don’t forget to check back in a decade’s time. Although the truth is, if I get much fatter, the chances of my still being alive in 10 years’ time are the only slim thing around.)
So, in a last ditch attempt to stave off what I fear may be inevitable, I have recently taken myself in hand and am attempting my own version of a non-diet, which hopefully is going to have the result of at least a slight moderation of my excess weight. I have managed one and a bit weeks of this so far, and I am feeling good. The difficulty will be in keeping going.
I read an article* recently about Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) that said that a feature of people with the condition is that they are not motivated by any of the things that most “normal” people are – namely importance, rewards or consequences. Instead, they can only be switched on by “a momentary sense of interest, competition, novelty, or urgency created by a do-or-die deadline.”I am not, as far as I am aware, someone with ADD, but that statement is certainly true of me. At the moment, I am interested in what I am trying to do, and it is novel, but I do worry about sticking to the plan. I hope that the pressure of having to write this blog regularly, will help.
*Here’s a link to the article: https://www.additudemag.com/symptoms-of-add-hyperarousal-rejection-sensitivity/?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social&utm_campaign=diagnosis&fbclid=IwAR1nF197DwlEAvs6r8vDtwrwKvxbkyf-Zdal5Ek_xB3a5l_oLxfhEWiMHDE)
So, what is this plan? I call it:
The Four Esses
For 12 weeks, this is going to be my mantra:
- No Sugar,
- No Snacks,
- No Seconds,
- No Sauce (ie booze)
Wish me luck, and watch this space.
- Start date: 6 May 2019
- Week one: 13 May – minus 1 kg