19: Shoelace and Oats

I have been having a bit of a rotten time lately. It seems my “mojo” has died a horrible death. I just can’t seem to get myself motivated. Not only am I not doing a lot of things that I really wish I were (my cleanerobics are now slotherobics – slow and not very efficient), but I am doing some things that I really wish I weren’t (eating a whole slab of chocolate – blush).

Having given it some thought, I have come up with a few reasons for this sad state of affairs. Firstly, we are having a tough time with Captain Shoelace. Life with him has never been straightforward, but at the moment he is causing both Fat Fella and me a lot of sleepless nights. Like most people, when I don’t get enough sleep, I get grumpy and miserable. I feel sorry for myself. I feel the need for a treat to cheer myself up. I feel that eating a slab of chocolate will do the trick. Of course, deep down, my sensible self knows that this isn’t true. It knows that eating a slab of chocolate is actually going to leave me feeling a lot more grumpy and miserable. But my sleep-deprived brain won’t listen to my sensible self. It just goes right ahead and gets what it wants for a bit of a short-term boost.

Sleep deprivation also results in discombobulation and disorganisation, which in turn leads to the second reason my “mojo” has expired. I have not been eating my oats for breakfast. Instead of scoffing that satisfying, cholesterol-reducing bowl of loveliness every morning, I have been going off for my dog walk on an empty stomach, returning home ravenously hungry and then eating far too much lunch, far too early. This leaves me starving again by about 5pm and needing something to tide me over until dinner. Bad habits are hard to break and good ones (like eating a healthy breakfast) seem as fragile as tissue paper.

The final nail in “mojo’s” coffin is the fact that I have not been losing any bloody weight. Even before the chocolate/no breakfast/ too much snacking incidents, that number on the scales would not budge. Running up and down stairs, swimming for kilometres, dancing while dusting – none of them made a blind bit of difference to the size of my lardie arse. I know I shouldn’t need the boost that losing weight gives me, and that I should be satisfied with better health, but I jolly well do, and I really am not.

Where does this leave me? Can “mojo” be resurrected? I suspect that some of the reasons for its demise are more intractable than others. For example, I think it would be frowned upon were I to attempt to get rid of Shoelace along with the sleepless nights he causes. But I can start eating breakfast again and in fact, that’s what I have been doing for the past few days. And yes, it has improved my mood to the extent that I have been able to write this. Another major plus is that I have carried on swimming and am really loving it. I feel stronger and fitter each time I swim, and if that doesn’t breathe new life into ole “mojo”, nothing will.


6: Disgrace – My Arse

I am so fed up with myself. I wish I could work out where I am going wrong with this whole thing. The week started off so well. By Friday, I had already written the blog in my head – it was going to be called “The Raisin” and was all about how wonderful it was to have stopped eating sugar and how sublimely sweet a couple of raisins in your porridge can taste once you’ve stopped eating other sugar. I was going to wax lyrical about the amazing life lessons I have been taught by this – be satisfied with less, enjoy what you have, excess is awful, blah blah blah.

muesli-Image by moerschy from Pixabay
Image by moerschy from Pixabay

What happened next, I can’t explain.

Fridays are generally a tricky day for me – I have to get my son to an appointment that he doesn’t want to go to, so it takes a lot of effort, patience and a certain amount of stress to make that happen. This Friday was no different, but I managed it and all was looking rosy. Then the phone rang. My mother-in-law was having some health problems and I needed to spend the afternoon with her. No problem. By now it was nearly lunch time and I was really hungry. So when we went through the Macdonald’s drive-thru to get my son his reward lunch, instead of just ordering a black coffee as I usually do, I ordered a veggie burger and chips.

In itself, I don’t see this as much of a problem. The odd fast food meal is perfectly okay in my book. In fact, I was glad I had done it, because it would be a long while before I finally got home and could have something to eat. But why, oh why did I need to buy that bottle of wine on my way home? And the slab of chocolate? And why, oh why did I need to drink and eat them in addition to a generous dinner? Okay, so I was a bit tired, a bit disrupted, and a bit in need of reward and comfort. But really. That was ridiculous.

But it wasn’t a disgrace. And it wasn’t the end of my dreadful weekend.

On Saturday I had to be up early to get down to the cycle track where my son’s club was holding a big fundraiser. I worked there until 2 pm after which I met my husband and daughter and hopped on a train to go into town to watch a comedy act at a festival next to the river. I completely failed to eat breakfast or lunch, so by the time we got there I was ravenous and had a slice of pizza as my first food of the day at 3 pm. And a big glass of wine, because the sun was shining and we were next to the river and it was all so lovely and sociable and blah, blah, excuse, excuse. Then, guess what? They let you take drinks into the auditorium. So, I had another glass. And after the show, we decided to have dinner, and I proceeded to order some really crappy and not very filling and another glass, and then we went home and this happened…

Disgrace (2)Disgrace.

Also, it turned out that one of the nasty, unhealthy meals I had inhaled during my day of badness had something wrong with it, and I woke with a churning stomach-full of acid at 3 am, and proceeded to throw up for an hour.

Double disgrace.

I just don’t understand myself. I really do want to lose some weight. I am already enjoying the benefits of eating more healthily. Why would I do this to myself? Am I just a pitiable weak-willed moron? What should I do next? I seem to swing from one extreme to another. And the minute I allow myself a bit of smugness at success (as in being pleased with myself for stopping eating sugar) I seem to need to sabotage my efforts. It is so damned frustrating.

I know that if I was reading this blog I would want to give myself a slap and say, “Don’t be so ridiculous. Just stop yourself. How can you say that you really want to be thinner and at the same time not be able to stop yourself putting fattening stuff into your mouth? It’s not rocket science. Are you lying to yourself? Is there a deep, hidden reason that you don’t want to be thin?”

Whoah!!! Just a minute. What exactly am I saying here? I consumed a slab of chocolate, a packet of biscuits and a couple of bottles of wine. So what?? Big bloody deal. I am acting as if I had murdered a small child. I cannot believe I have dived headfirst into the trap whereby my entire sense of self-worth and well-being is based on what I do or do not put into my mouth. Ridiculous. I completely reject this view. The only “bad” thing that has happened is that I am now feeling a bit sluggish and have shocking indigestion. I didn’t even put on any weight.

I have no idea what I am going to take away from all this and no idea what I shall be writing about next week. I hope I lose a bit of weight, but I do NOT want to lose sight of what I believe is really important in life – and that is definitely not the size of my arse.


  • Week six: No weight gain or loss
  • Total weight loss: Minus 3 kg (6.5 lbs)

3: Cheating

I could write a whole book about the morally charged language we use when talking about weight and dieting. When things aren’t going according to plan, dieters routinely talk about having “cheated”, “sinned” or “having been bad” while on days when things are going well they will say they have been “good” and “virtuous”. Is it actually morally wrong to be overweight? And why do we feel so free to condemn, in pretty harsh terms, those who are fat? I think it is because fatness is what I call a “visible vice”. Please don’t tell me that every thin person you meet is a perfectly morally correct human being without a single vice. I simply won’t believe you. But their vices, unlike mine, are not wobbling around on their butt and tummy for all the world to see and judge. True, gluttony may be considered one of the seven deadly sins, but then so are wrath, pride and envy. If you have managed to get through life without doing any of those, well, all I can say is you must be a saint!

My thoughts have turned to the word “cheating” because I suppose that is what I am planning to do this weekend. On Saturday evening, a few of my girlfriends are coming round and I am going to have some wine while we sit outside around the fire chatting. It will be lovely. If this is “cheating”, bring it on I say. My decision to not drink was mine and my decision to drink is mine. I am not entirely sure who I am cheating by changing my mind on this occasion, but there we have it.

Image by Pexels from Pixabay

Of course, you could argue that this is just an elaborate self-justification for being weak-willed and having no self-control. You are probably right. I have been thinking about this a lot lately. In some ways I accept that I lack self-control, and yet in others, I could argue that I am capable of exercising great self-control. Fourteen years ago, after having been a heavy smoker for many years, I put out my last cigarette and I have never had another. I did this as a result of reading Allen Carr’s book on giving up smoking*. It was very useful to me, especially one part, which essentially stated the obvious point that I was entirely in control of what I did and I could just decide to never do something again.

“Oooh, I could never manage that,” say the fatties, the smokers, the drinkers. Well, they could, but they do not choose to. We all manage to not do things by choice. Most of us, for example, do not go around killing people who annoy us, sorely tempted though we may be. We generally don’t even give them a hard smack. Why? Not because we don’t really want to (at least as much as we want that tub of ice cream). No, we choose not to do it. We don’t want to suffer the consequences and the regret arising from these actions. If I succumb to a large burger and fries in a McDonalds drive-thru, the news is unlikely to be splashed across the front pages of tomorrow’s newspapers, whereas if I strangle my supremely annoying teenage son…


I am a bit disappointed in myself. I deliberately wrote the above paragraphs before the weekend. Mostly because I wanted to make it clear that my decision to indulge was a conscious one and not some spur-of-the-moment weakness. Sadly, the initial, planned occasion gave rise to a couple of further unplanned ones. Why is it so difficult to get this food and eating thing right? I really despair. All these decisions to cut and curtail various “bad” or fattening and unhealthy food and drink are like a tight elastic band. When I cut it, just a little, it pings wide open and all my good intentions come spilling out. When I tie it back together again, it is that much shorter and tighter and the desire to cut it and get a bit of relief is that much greater.

I feel a bit miserable about it. Instead of just enjoying some wine on Saturday and that being that, I found that in my relaxed state the need for a giant cookie became an imperative, and the following day the half-drunk bottle in the fridge needed to be finished. Then, as I was being “bad” anyway, I reckoned I might as well eat up the big bag of crisps (chips, to you non-Poms) so they wouldn’t tempt me when I was being “good” again. Just wind me up and off I go – chomp, chomp, chomp.

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels

So much for avoiding Sugar, Snacks and Sauce (booze). This bright idea of mine of abstaining from the four esses is starting to feel like the wrong way of going about achieving my ends. But I really am at a loss as to what would work better.

On a brighter note, it was a lovely evening with my friends. Perfect weather, the air heavy with the perfume of roses and woodsmoke, a delicious meal, some fine champagne and great company.

Friends evening (2)


  • Week three: 27 May 2019 — Holding steady. No significant weight gain or loss.
  • Total weight loss: 2.5kg (5.5lbs)                                                                

    emotiguy-neutral Image by SilviaP_Design from Pixabay (2)
    Image by SilviaP_Design from Pixabay

* You can find out more about Allen Carr’s stop-smoking book here: https://www.wikihow.com/Quit-Smoking-by-Using-an-Allen-Carr-Book