Hoo boy, this lockdown is finally getting to me.

While I generally love having Fat Fella at home, it does mean that I don’t have access to the “big, fast computer” because obviously he needs it for work. This makes perfect sense, but I really miss it. It means that I haven’t been doing any writing at all for months and months. Not that I would have been doing much if I did have access, because I am a lazy slapper, but you know what it’s like – we always want most what we can’t have. Anyway, if I was serious about writing, I could easily have made a plan – we have so many other electronic devices that could be fit for purpose — but obviously I’m not, because I haven’t.

I have also put on a lot of weight, which is making me feel miserable and fed up with myself. While there has been no obvious reduction in my daily exercise routine – I still walk the dog 5-6 times a week – all those endless, unnoticed little daily physical activities, such as getting in and out of the car or carrying shopping and running errands, have just evaporated like smoke. Initially, I thought I might actually lose weight because I was doing a lot of gardening and house tidying and so on. But clearly, I was also eating and drinking a lot more. My extra-tight clothes and scary bathroom scales do not lie.

dig Image by Adina Voicu from Pixabay
Image by Adina Voicu from Pixabay

Recently, in an effort to get moving again, Fat Fella and I have been doing daily low-impact aerobics sessions in our sitting room. These are great. I have tried all sorts of different ones and so far am finding the PopSugar ones on YouTube to be really good. We haven’t been at it regularly for long enough for it to have had much of an impact, but hopefully it has improved our health and fitness a little already.

aerobics Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay
Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay

It is no joke that we fatties are more at risk of dying from Covid-19. Suddenly all my blustering “I’ll be fat if I want to,” or “Being fat is not a crime,” or “I enjoy my life, what’s the harm?” is ringing a bit hollow. Of course, I have always known that being fat is an unhealthy and even life-threatening choice, but the current situation really brings it home to one with a bit of a thump.

That’s a good thing in many ways, but also hard to do much about, because it is the current situation that is making me feel low and lethargic and not inclined to diet or exercise in the first place.

And yes, the previous paragraph is merely a pathetic excuse. I know it. As with the writing, the healthy lifestyle could happen if I wanted it enough. Maybe I just don’t…

20: Resus


Code Blue!

Mojo has flatlined.

Quick, charge up the defribillator to 2 peaceful nights of Shoelace staying with his uncle in Spain.





Increase the charge to 4 nights without Shoelace worries.




Still nothing.

Right, take it all the way up to 6 nights.

Oh doctor, are you sure? Think of the side effects.

Just do it. We’ve got no choice if we are ever going to get Mojo back.



Beep-beep, beep-beep, beep-beep.

It worked.

Mojo is alive!

But still very weak. We shall have to take great care over the next few weeks.

I prescribe one bowl of oats to be taken every morning.

Increase water therapy to a minimum of 2kms swimming weekly.

Book a therapeutic weekend away with Fat Fella in a beautiful 14th century inn. This must include bracing walks, breath-taking scenery, delicious dinners and a substantial amount of good wine. Maybe a bit of shopping.

We’ll have Mojo back to full strength in no time.

landscape-Image by Elinor Puttick from Pixabay
Image by Elinor Puttick from Pixabay

13: Good Times

As Kurt Vonnegut asked: “If this isn’t good, what is?”

We come to this little Balearic island every year for a couple of weeks in the summer and it never disappoints. The weather is glorious and reliable, and I spend most of my time floating in the pool with a book and a glass of white wine.A9E6EFF0-08D0-4DBC-AA16-D9AE66AB3A99

The food is also heavenly — luscious  Mediterranean tomatoes, creamy cheeses, dark, peppery olive oil, fresh seafood, crusty bread, perfectly salty olives, and on and on.

The little tapas bar at the top of the hill makes some of the best food I’ve ever tasted and I am seriously thinking of kidnapping the chef and forcing him to hand over his recipe for their patatas bravas sauce.

I had the very good sense to invite a dear friend to accompany us on holiday. Not only is she an excellent cook, but she is also an enthusiastic one and as big a fan as I am of shopping in foreign supermarkets. Somehow the novelty makes a boring everyday errand into a bit of an adventure.

Sumptuous salad courtesy of my cooking friend.

I have been eating and drinking whatever I feel like and I feel fabulous. Not one teeny bit of regret. Salud!

12: State of Play

There are only two people who know I write this blog. Fat Fella, obviously, and one of my sisters. I’ll call her Slim Sister to differentiate her from the sister I mentioned in a previous blog – that one is Skinny Sister, the one whose high cholesterol level produces a shameful frisson of schadenfreude in my fat heart.

Slim Sister may be slender, but she has to work just hard enough at staying slim to be able to understand and relate to the trials and tribulations of lard arses such as myself. She is also probably my biggest cheerleader, and I know is very keen that I should do well on this particular journey. And not for any other reason than that I should be happy and well and satisfied with how my body looks and feels. She’s a good egg, is Slim Sister.

She also has opinions on what I write, and one that she expressed recently is that it is perhaps a mistake not to include a weekly weight report. She felt that it was a good “hook” to draw in readers, along the lines of Bridget Jones’s Diary etc.

I am sure she is right, but I fear that a weekly weigh-in is a dangerous thing for me. I get so influenced by the numbers, both positively and negatively. Looking at weight in numbers also reinforces the problem I have with externalising the whole issue and not feeling it from within. Somehow I have to try and get my heart to agree with my head that the number on the scale is irrelevant and it is what I look and feel like that counts.

But I am not there yet. And today is the day that I leave to go on holiday. The holiday that I was aiming for when I started this blog. The one that would mark the end of the “No Sugar, No Snacks, No Seconds, No Sauce”  rule that I had imposed on myself. If you have followed this blog, you will know that I have altered course since I set out. I ditched all those absolute prohibitions because I felt that they were traps that I was falling into. Traps that would, in the long term, result in my failure to achieve what I really wanted – a healthier body and a happier self-image.This feels like a good time to reflect a little and sum up what I have achieved so far and consider what I might do to keep myself going.

I have lost some weight — 4.3 kg (9.5lbs) in total. To my mind that is a miserably small amount and a figure that would normally do nothing to inspire me to continue. I need much more dramatic results to motivate me. Yet, that is exactly the sort of weight loss that I should be aiming for.

Even slower would probably be better. It shows how making small, but permanent changes to one’s diet will, over time, have the desired result. And I won’t suddenly start packing on the pounds once I am “finished”  because I never will be. They are forever changes and not based on a number deadline. Just as I have been a non-smoker for 14 years, I now need to see myself as someone who consumes almost no sugar, doesn’t drink much alcohol, only has snacks once in a while in social situations and almost always says “no” to second helpings.

My future mealtimes? Not bloody likely!

Sadly, I was not that someone last weekend. I was at a party at Skinny Sister’s house. She is a marvellous cook, so I not only had seconds of the sumptuous lunch, but I also tucked into a generous helping of pudding. I found it almost too sickly sweet to finish. Not because it was particularly sugary, but because I am really not used to sugar anymore. Later though, when I got home, I started craving a sweet treat. I had awoken the sugar demon, and it wanted more. Fortunately, there was nothing tempting in the house and sugar demon has gone back to sleep for now. But it is worth remembering that, like nicotine, it is a craving that is always lurking, ready to pounce, and I feed it at my peril.

Giddy weekends aside, I am not doing too badly. I have seriously weakened the grasp that sugar has on me. I no longer routinely eat second helpings and I am drinking far less alcohol. I would prefer to cut this particular one even more, and I probably shall once I get back from my holiday. And as for the last of the four Esses – snacks – well, to be honest that has never been a major vice of mine. I added it in to make up the “Four Esses” rule. Still, it’s good to remember that snacks can be very tempting, especially when one is being so “good” about everything else. And I must also remember not to try to be “too good”, because I am in this for the long haul.

So, that’s the state of play. I fully intend to enjoy a fortnight of mild hedonism and will return to my “normal” life determined to carry on with this journey. Wish me luck.



Total weight loss: Minus 4.3 kg (9.5lbs)

10: Disconnect

Last week, I was suddenly overwhelmed by a desire to weigh myself. In my usual feckless way, I succumbed and hopped on to the bathroom scales.

Do you ever do ridiculous things on the scales to try and make the numbers go down? I have a wonky wooden floor and fairly ancient dodgy scales, so if I indulge in some creative contortions I am able to lose and gain several kilos in a mere matter of minutes. Fortunately, my better self usually prevails, and I take the mean weight to be the accurate one.

Image by TeroVesalainen from Pixabay

On this occasion, I was relieved to find that the figure showed a small weight loss, but it struck me with some force that I had had absolutely no clue beforehand what those scales would show. I seem to have a some completely disconnected wires in my brain.

Firstly, I can’t feel or see if I am heavier or lighter. I need numbers on a scale to tell me what is going on with my weight. I suppose I have usually relied on the tightness or looseness of my clothing to give me an indication of my size. But this summer, I have discovered the absolute joy of wearing loose, linen shift dresses. I have never before felt so comfortable, cool or free. But without a tight waist band warning system, I could, as far as I was aware have loaded on ten kilos.

And this points to the second disconnect. I clearly do not fully believe that if I eat a bit less and a bit more healthily that it is in fact inevitable that I will lose a little bit of weight. Instead I, like many long-term dieters, seem to have swallowed this mad idea that there is a kind of magical alchemy about weight loss that I don’t fully understand.

This “magic” explains why sometimes I don’t lose weight even when I’ve been “good”. It consists of eating at the right times, of excluding certain food groups entirely, or only eating certain “fat-consuming” things. It is the magic of the keto/cabbage soup/Atkins/5:2 diet. Somehow my brain cannot grasp the simple fact that if I eat fewer calories, I will lose weight. There is no magic about it. The explanation for gaining weight despite being “good” lies in a less than honest memory of what has actually been consumed, not in anything mystical.

the-magician-Image by Vasili1316 from Pixabay
I suppose being sawed in half could be one “magical” way of losing weight! — (Image by Vasili1316 from Pixabay)

No, there is no miracle “cure” for fatness. It’s such a shame, because if there were, and I knew what it was, I’d be a very rich woman. Many people are extremely rich today simply by virtue of being able to convince me and those like me that they hold the secret to weight loss. If I just follow their programme, drink their milkshake or buy their books, I can be a sylph-like goddess. Ha!

At the end of the day, I think we need to be honest with ourselves, and really try to start believing again that fatness is the result of the amount of calories we consume being greater than the energy we expend. Until we can make that connection in our heads, no amount of weighing, measuring, planning and plotting is going to help us.

7: New Resolution

Last week I caught myself chanting the following as a kind of motivational mantra: “Five weeks, five kilos, five weeks, five kilos.” Yes, you read that right. The person who is NOT on diet and is not trying to slim down for an arbitrary deadline is, in fact, doing both those things with a vengeance. No matter how vehemently I insist that this whole endeavour is primarily concerned with a change in lifestyle and an adoption of healthier habits, it is quite clear that I am fully immersed in the dieting mind-set of old, which, in theory, I utterly reject.

meal-plan-Image by Vegan Liftz from Pixabay
Image by Vegan Liftz from Pixabay

That dieting mind-set is the product of years of participating in the diet industry. Popular dieting clubs and programmes were first developed in the 1960s. By the time I joined up for the first time in the 1980s, they were well established and many of their features had become deeply entrenched in our dieting consciousness. The weekly weigh-in is a good example. Back in the day, you were weighed publicly and your weight loss or gain was announced to your fellow dieters each week.

Over time, the idea of shaming people into losing weight waned in popularity and the weigh-ins became more discreet. But in the big business world of dieting, they remained an invaluable tool, providing a boost to morale when the scales showed a loss, or a useful kick up the jacksie when they showed a gain.

I decided some years ago that paying someone to stop me from over-eating was an almost obscene concept in a world where so many go hungry every day. As a result, I haven’t been near a weigh-in or diet programme meeting for some time. Yet I still find myself very wedded to the idea of the weekly weight check. Since I embarked on this particular journey, I have been struggling to resist weighing myself too often and have been very affected by what I see on the scales – celebrating a substantial loss by allowing myself extra treats and responding to gains with depression and despair.

Inkedweighing-machine-Image by Spencer Wing from Pixabay
Image by Spencer Wing from Pixabay

I have also found myself moving the scales around the bathroom in order to get the “best” reading. How utterly stupid. I know very well that the number on the scale is not the point. But I bet I am not alone in falling into the trap of concentrating on numbers to the exclusion of everything else. I did a bit of reading on the internet about current dieting programmes and I see that Weight Watchers, for example, have rebranded their weekly weigh-ins. They are now marketed as “Workshops” with the emphasis on wellness rather than on weight loss. I wonder if the participants have managed to shift their mind-sets accordingly? I know, from my own experience that it is a lot more difficult than it seems.

The only time I have ever lost weight without thinking about it at all was just before my wedding. I was too absorbed in other stuff to spare a single thought to what I was eating. And interestingly, I am unable to tell you how much I weighed at the time. I simply had not bothered to check. In the photographs I look like a person with a healthy weight, but I have never again managed to be that unconscious of my weight – fatter or thinner, it has remained a big issue for me, front and centre in my consciousness.

So, I have had a big re-think and have made a few decisions.

Firstly, no more weekly stats. I am going to weigh myself once a month from now on and may eschew the scales completely if I am brave enough.

Secondly, I am throwing any notion of a timetable or a deadline out of the window. I did not, thank God, gain weight at the rate of a kilo a week, and it is quite mad to expect to lose it at that speed. I also know, from past experience that weight lost quickly as a result of a strict diet goes back on just as quickly once normal service is resumed.

trash-9Image by OpenIcons from Pixabay
Image by OpenIcons from Pixabay

Thirdly, I am sad to say that my original bright idea of saying “No” to sugar, seconds, snacks and sauce, must be abandoned. By this I do not mean that I am going back to gorging on all four of these things. But I am not going to attempt to give them up completely. Right now, I feel like I am at a reasonable level with all four. This week, for example, I had some wine on Sunday when we had a barbecue and I ate a meringue. That’s it, and that is just fine, I think.

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




2: Delusions

I have this “big” friend who insists that she doesn’t eat that much and that she eats fairly healthy food. At times I have tried to gently explore with her what she actually eats to show her that it is, in fact, quite a lot, and at other times I just let it go by, but I always think to myself: “Who is she kidding? You can’t be that fat without eating too much.” no-eating-149235_1280Obviously, I think she is deluded. But what about me? Until very recently I would solemnly tell you that I am fat because I eat too much, but that my basic diet was essentially healthy. Outrageous delusion! A basic diet that includes several bottles of wine and a tub of Haagen Dasz every week is not “essentially healthy” in anyone’s book.

I managed to get away with this smug little delusion because up until now I have generally enjoyed good health. Routine blood tests have always come back showing that my liver and kidney function is fine, I don’t have diabetes, and my cholesterol levels are acceptable. I have a very skinny sister who has high cholesterol levels and I am ashamed to confess that I have often secretly smirked to myself that the big fat sister has the healthier blood. Well, not anymore. Last week, I got a pretty stiff talking to by my doctor as my cholesterol levels are now way too high.

I was a bit surprised by this. Not only because of my “essentially healthy” basic diet, but because a year ago I actually gave up eating meat. Isn’t it sod’s law that my cholesterol level would go up just as I took such a virtuous step? Another sad delusion, of course. It has nothing to do with sod’s or anyone else’s bad luck law, and everything to do with the fact that I basically swapped lean meat for as much cheese, butter and cream as I could stuff into my fat little mouth. Not to mention the carte blanche I gave myself to eat lots and lots of eggs and to fry and roast vegetables to make them more tasty and thus make up for the fact that I was missing out on meat.

Image by gaurav tiwari from Pixabay

Fortunately for me, when discussing this situation with my husband, he said something that has almost guaranteed that I will successfully take action on this. I was explaining that I had asked the doctor to give me three months to try and bring down my cholesterol levels by improving my diet instead of starting on medication. My husband, rather knowingly said, “I bet she (the doctor) thinks that hardly anyone manages to lower cholesterol by changing their lifestyle and she is just biding her time before putting you on medication and thus solving the problem quite easily.” I am a very curmudgeonly person and telling me I can’t do something is a brilliant way of getting me to do it. Now I am feeling really inspired and absolutely determined to prove him and the doctor wrong.

I’ve googled “cholesterol lowering foods” and have started to add these into my diet. In fact, for once my “essentially healthy” diet delusion is a reality as I am reducing dairy and salt, in addition to foregoing the Four Esses — sugar, snacks, seconds and sauce (aka booze).

Image by silviarita from Pixabay

Of course, the danger is that delusion’s best friend “cheating” is also lurking around. I have caught myself wondering if I could maybe have the blood test before I go on holiday (it is scheduled for right afterwards) because, as I mentioned in my previous blog I fully intend to have a wonderfully indulgent time on holiday.

I wonder how I am going to get myself back on track after that holiday? Past experience shows that I will go a bit mad, especially if I have managed to lose a bit of weight. Before I know it, I will be back to my bad old ways. I am putting an enormous amount of faith in this blog to keep me on the straight and narrow. I am secretly very keen on impressing other people and not disappointing them, so if I achieve any sort of audience for this blog, I’ll be able to use it to put the necessary pressure on myself to exceed expectations. Who knows? It might actually work. So far, (granted 2 weeks is not very far at all), the stats are encouraging. Here they are:


  • Week two: 20 May 2019 – minus 1.5kg
  • Total weight loss: 2.5kg (5.5lbs)
    emotiguy-thumbs up Image by SilviaP_Design from Pixabay (2)
    Image by SilviaP_Design from Pixabay