Okay. So, I hate diets, have had weight problems since aged 9 and have tried several “diets” over the years with little success apart from hunger, continued thoughts about food, what I can eat, what I can’t eat, when will I next eat etc.
I recall back in the 70’s, yes over 40 years ago, attending a slimming class (possibly like Slimming World or something). I think I was the only person who arrived to be weighed and over the month rarely lost anything, actually some weeks I would have gained a pound. I don’t remember whether I ever joined a class again, as I think I felt rebellious so would be throwing my money away if I wasn’t going to stick to the plan. I vaguely think I might have joined Weightwatchers for a while too…..so vague is the memory, it would only have been for a month.
In 1992 the company I worked for went into liquidation and I found myself without a job, without a company car, and my choice was either the the family Skoda Estelle
as you can imagine, that wasn’t an option I was interested in, so I chose to walk if I needed to go anywhere.
I applied to do nurse training, was accepted for the following September, so had to find myself something to fill the gap. After a couple of temping placements, I became a registered childminder, and for about 6 months looked after an 18 month old girl. Most days to pass the time and keep her occupied, we’d walk the just over 2 miles into town, around town and back. At the same time I was following the Rosemary Conley Fat Free diet (I think that was what it was called). Over the period between me losing my job with a car, to starting at college 11 months later, I had reduced from a size 16, to a 12 I think. I was 38 (20 years younger than I am now).
So, in 1993 I started my training, with lectures not always fitting into strict meal times, and vending machines with unhealthy snacks. Student Union with higher fat food and me sitting again and not being as active. Weight went back on over a year or two. At that time I also bought a bike, I’d separated from my first husband, and couldn’t afford to live on my student bursary and run a car. I topped up my bursary by working odd bank shifts at the local hospital, so would ride several miles (not many) to work and back. When I qualified I continued to ride back and forth to the local mental health hospital, and later in the other direction to the day hospital. So, throughout the early 90’s, I was probably maintaining a size of around 14/16.
As life became easier, I was given an old Audi 80 left-hand drive (yes given!) and I became less active. My job was a sitting job, working one to one, or facilitating groups in the local mental health day centre. So, car, sedentary, more affluent seems to have equal more food and more weight. In 2000 I managed to persuade my now husband that we should be a couple, and in 2001 we moved to Devon. We both enjoyed food, we both worked in sedentary jobs and were both overweight. I of course (I know not everybody does but it’s how I operate) showed some of my love by feeding him. We were both working in stressful jobs, and I found by Tuesday evening I was too shattered to consider cooking, so we would invariably eat take away. Sometimes Chinese (and I now know far too much) and sometimes Fish and Chips.
By the time we got married in 2006 I can see from the big wedding photo a friend framed for us, that we are both very big. Very happy and big.
In 2006 we moved to France, became a little more active again as there was much to do, and I think were eating more healthily as access to takeaway food was limited to pizza (I don’t like pizza). My cooking over the years (now I am not working and have time) is all mostly from scratch, so rarely do we have anything processed. Despite that, we managed to gain back the weight I think we may have lost at the beginning. I have become less active due to firstly a neck problem stopping me from cycling, and in the last 10 months I have something wrong with my feet. Orthopaedic insoles have helped at times, but there is still a lot of pain and I am awaiting an Xray later this month. So, no walking for me apart from daily stuff around the house and garden when dealing with chickens and sheep.
I have a very good idea about why I continue to be morbidly obese despite knowing most of what I need to know about food, nutrition and weight loss. What shocked me the other day when I once again decided that we really have to do something about our weight was when I looked up online what a portion of pasta was (and since then rice etc). It really is very small. 1 ounce of raw wholewheat pasta, and I think a little more of brown rice is the recommended portion per person. We’ve each been eating for 4 if that’s the case!! Do you measure your pasta and rice?
On a visit to the doctor last week, he mentioned my weight for first time and I could see he wasn’t at all convince there was any point in mentioning it, and that he wasn’t really invested in my problem with my feet. I guess he sees no point if I do nothing myself and continue to be this big. It felt like those consultations one has when the doctor is probably thinking what does this fat old cow know.
Anyway, I’d already been cutting back the portions of food we were eating before this appointment and didn’t bother to say, cos I don’t think people believe you when you say you’ve tried this and that. I find it really hard when commentators who really haven’t any idea how it is to be morbidly obese come up with ideas that have worked for them. I hate it when people judge my intelligence based on my weight and yet that is the world we live in.
So, I can now make sure we only eat those measurements of pasta/rice. We’d not been eating pasta/rice/bread/potatoes much anyway for the last 15 months, in an effort to lose weight and deal with insulin resistance, but it hasn’t worked. In fact I’d but on 3 kilos in the last 5 months and have been feeling bloody depressed with it. It’s odd, I was only a couple of kilos more than my constant but felt so horrible and fat, when actually (I know I am not horrible) I am fat and have been fat for a long time.
The doctors was nearly a week ago, and when we got home the following morning I weighed myself. Note I am not putting my weight on here because it embarrasses me to weigh so much (being a short arse too). However, this morning I find I have already lost 2 kilos and I am very happy. I then thought, how can I know and explain to Mark how much this is. I found a large, thick green glass storage jar in the cupboard and it weighs a fraction over 2 kilos. It’s heavy! It’s good to be able to know that is what I am not carrying around with me. I have several large, thick green glass storage jars to go, but feel that with measuring out portions and with a bit of luck getting my feet sorted and being more active, I might just manage to lose a few.
So, we’re not on a diet, as diets are not forever (in my thinking) but we’re reeducating ourselves to eat less.
I’m off now to think about other things besides food.