Now in other news, I was a kilo down on the Wednesday Weigh In. And RPM is still Hell on Wheels. I wish I could have pedalled into a pool last night, it was so stinking hot in the room. How do those Tour de France guys scoot all over the Pyrenees? I am beetroot and spluttering after three dinky little songs. RPM is a lot like running in that I want to weeeeeep about 20 minutes into it because everything huuuurts, Mummy! Can I have an icecream?
I always feel I’ll never make it. But of course must ride on, coz you’re in a room full of people and you don’t want to be known as the Wimpy McWimpyson who skulked out halfway. I am sure all this sweat and suffering must be good for me.
Thanks for your kick ass comments on the magazine story and photos! You guys rule the school. And yes Beckie dear, I am paying attention to what you guys are trying to tell me. Same goes for my mother’s hilarious text message: U R 1 FOXY LADY!!!.
I am really excited by the whole thing – and immensely grateful to Erin and the groovy publisher for the opportunity. Last entry I was just trying to convey how wacky and surreal it’s been, and how exposed I felt. Donna commented, "I bet you never imagined this when you started your journey!". That just about hits the nail on the head. As I wrote in Tales From The Scale, losing weight and transforming your body is like being a mad professor tinkering away in a lab on a top secret project. It’s a very private process and you don’t want people looking until you’re done.
This also goes for the writing – it’s felt like I’ve been doing that in secret too, even though there’s lots of you reading it feels rather cosy and unthreatening 🙂 After four and half years of the mad professor, suddenly there’s my big red mug in a very public magazine. Initially I wanted to throw a blanket over my head and scream, "Look away! I’m not ready yet! Nothing to see here!".
And of course being a few pages away from Kate bloody Moss means you can’t help compare and contrast. My brain went into hypercriticism mode. For example, there was a photo of ten Grazia readers who’d won a contest to attend a party with David Coulthard and other Formula 1 stars. They were all tanned and slender and wearing those Sexy Little Dresses that folk with stomach rolls and jelly arms can only dream about. What was I doing in the same publication as these glamazons?
I had the same insecurities at the photo shoot. The photographer and makeup artist were both really friendly and nice. But for the whole three hours of the shoot all I could do was think, "You could staple these two chicks together and I would still be wider." They do lots of different photo shoots so they were asking me what MY story was about, and I found myself feeling really embarrassed to say it was about My Inspirational Weight Loss.
This whole experience has forced me to confront my self-perceptions. It seems despite losing a generous stack of weight, I still like to cling to a big greasy bucket full of Fat Girl beliefs.
- I am immediately inferior to anyone in the room smaller than me
- Any success I have is undeserved
- People don’t really notice anything I do or say because my fat makes me invisible
- My opinion and thoughts wouldn’t really count anyway
- No matter how much weight I lose I will still look like A Big Girl to most people
- I shouldn’t celebrate my weight loss success. People will just think, "Well why’d you get so fat in the first place?"
- If I was to celebrate my achievements, people would think I was full of myself, therefore wouldn’t like me anymore… therefore it’s a better idea to be mediocre!
That last reason is why I have kept Dietgirl secret for so long and not even mentioned Tales From The Scale on my other blog. I worry they’ll think I’m a twat when they discover I’ve had this whole other Secret Internet Life for years and/or they’ll think I am a raging egomaniac.
I’m beginning to realise now that all of the above is pure bullshit. It’s like I am saying, "Here folks! Let me save you the energy of making assumptions about me, I’ve already done it for you!". Nobody thinks this shit about me. It is quite arrogant of me to assume that my intelligent friends and readers would think that way. It’s only me who thinks this rubbish and it is bloody ridiculous. I need to stop looking at the world through the eyes of the Fat Girl. There is so many things in life more important than fretting about fat, and I deep down I know this. But letting go means losing my favourite excuse and leaving my comfort zone. If you don’t try, you can’t fail.
I think I’m mostly talking about writing here. I’d half hoped the book wouldn’t be published in the UK then hoping the Grazia story would be pulled so nobody would notice me. I wanted to stay secret as Dietgirl: invisible and anonymous with friendly, sympathetic readers. If the Outside World™ paid any attention then there’d be the risk that someone might think I’m shithouse. But the real world is a scary place and if you sit around worrying what people think and don’t take some risks, you won’t get anywhere. I’ve managed to get over my Fat Girl Fears in terms of romance and travelling and running and RPM – so now I need to decide if I want to do that with the writing. It’s the last real chunk of my life where I am still holding myself back. So now it’s time to apply that fearlessness and determination to the thing that actually means more to me than anything else.
The thing that struck me the most about the women at my photo shoot was how comfortable and relaxed they seemed in their own skin. The makeup artist was so relaxed as she dabbed away at my mug, knowing exactly what colour she wanted to use and how to fix my hair. The photographer loped casually around the room, arranging the lighting and peering through viewfinders. So natural, so at ease. What was their secret? Where do I get me some of that? But then yesterday some of you commented how happy and relaxed I looked in the photo. At first I scoffed and snorted at the screen. But then I realised you guys were right. This may just be the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever written, but I am scared to admit I feel happy and more confident now. At first I felt like I was looking at a stranger in that picture, but that is really me these days. It doesn’t make you a flaming egofreak to like yourself. It just makes you someone getting on with things and living your life. I really wish I had realised this years ago.
CRIKEY! Holy navel gazing Batman. I realise how ridiculous this all may sound. Apologies, but I had to write my way through all these crazy thoughts. It’s taken five hours of deleting and rewriting this waffle today to finally figure out why I’ve been freaking out. Cheers again for being so patient and cool.