Daylight saving has begun in the Northern Hemisphere!
Over here they have a phrase to help you remember which way to wind your clock – Spring Forward, Fall Back. I keep getting this mixed up. Firstly, it’s because I think of "springing back" after a setback. And even more so, I often Fall Forward. I am notoriously uncoordinated and can fall in any bloody direction.
Catchphrases aside, it didn’t get dark til after 7pm last night. The will to live is returning! Now I can’t wait for those wacky summer days where it’s still bright at 11pm.
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Wednesday Weigh-In: 0.7 kg (1.5 lb) lost this week. Happy days. Lainey, I’m back with you in the 12 Stone Zone, woohoo!
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Guess what, comrades? My size 14 trousers from Oz can now be put on without undoing the zip or buttons. There’s a good three inches of empty space when you pull them out from the waist in After Photo style. I am too stingy to buy new ones until they fall down, so I will just wear tighter tops to hold them up!
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Let’s talk about happiness!
( * * WARNING: Lengthy Rant Ahead! * * )
Over the past year or so I’ve received a few emails and comments that have touched on this subject. Some common sentiments from our correspondents:
- I appear to be so happy and positive
- They wish they could be like that.
- I am so lucky. What’s my secret?
My first reaction, if channelling the Inner Fat Chick, was crushing guilt. I would feel the need to apologise for my apparent happiness. Then perhaps I’d pile on some self-deprecating comments and a bullet-point list of Unhappy Things happening in my life, just so noone thinks I am a pampered lady-of-lesiure.
But I am not going to do that anymore, because I’ve worked bloody hard to become happy!
First of all – my definition of happiness is: a general sense of well-being and contentment with ones life. Nothing to do with bank balances or the size of your thighs.
While I’d never say my life has been harder or easier than average, many years have been dominated by various traumas/ dramas/ challenges, etcetera. And for many years these circumstances shaped my personality – the paranoia, self-doubt, anger, depression and burning self-hatred. Spend any time in the archives and you’ll find mentions of these dark and wacky times!
So when I started my fat busting journey, I wasn’t happy. I did not like myself. The journey began purely because I’d reached the lowest low — I was motivated by anger and disgust.
But the more I did things that were good for me – eating well, exercising, not trash-talking myself – the more I slowly began to feel positive.
None of this happened quickly. I now realise that my fat-busting has taken so long because changing my head takes even longer. Recently I’ve been re-reading the paper diary I kept in 2003, the year I moved to Scotland. It was unsettling to look back at how much fear, paranoia and pessimism still ruled my days. Moving to a new country was daunting – I struggled with weight, work, and social life. Reading back you can see the points where I was just about to crack up and run back to Oz!
Yet somewhere along the line I made a conscious decision to be happier. There wasn’t a particular event to trigger it, more like a resolve that grew stronger as my healthy "baby steps" accumulated over time. It was like that old adage, about faking it til it’s true. So acting like a happy, self assured person until you actually start to feel like one.
There was also a realisation that I’d wasted so much energy on unhappiness. I’d let it affect my relationships – whether that be friends, family or work. An example: my crushing self-doubt made me doubt other people’s sincerity and motives – I’ve been untrusting and paranoid. I’ve let friendships be ruined because I felt so crappy about myself — I just assumed everyone else felt the same. Being miserable was hard work and exhausting. And when your unhappiness isn’t just about you anymore, there’s even more reason to do something about it.
In summary: I just got fed up with my own mopey ass and decided to change my way of thinking.
People have also written to say my life seems "perfect". What?! Perhaps it’s because I write more about the good times rather than dwell on the bad? Or perhaps because I don’t fancy airing my dirty laundry on the net? But mostly it’s a conscious decision to be positive. I’ll talk about the lows of fat-busting, but the overall tone is optimistic, because that’s just how I want to live.
While there will always be bad times and obstacles in life, I feel better equipped to deal with them now. I cry or grieve or throw tantrums, but I bounce back more quickly. I guess after so many years living with depression and/or an overwhelming sense of doom and gloom, I want to make up for it by striving to be a cheesy cheery optimist, even when things are shitty. ESPECIALLY when things are shitty.
Finally, here’s a couple more messages I’ve received from visitors to this site:
- They wish they could get skinny so they could meet a man – like I did!
- The reason for my happiness and contentment is because I found a man.
No no no no. I was happy and content long before I met the Scottish Companion! I was also not skinny when we met. Dudes, I weighed over 100 kilos, still classified as obese in my tatty size 22 jeans. There was nothing particularly alluring about my physical appearance, so maybe I wooed him with quiet confidence or fart jokes? Who bloody knows.
- My happiness is enhanced by knowing the good Doctor, but not dependent on him.
- Meeting a bloke wasn’t about the size of my arse.
What does happiness mean to you? I am bloody easy to please. For me happiness is sifting through the shitty bits of life and looking for the good things to latch onto. And always making sure you have something to look forward to, whether that’s a weekly choccie bar, an episode of The Avengers or an island holiday. Anything will do.
To anyone who has ever envied my so-called happiness, please remember I am just an ordinary moron muddling along like everyone else, with good days and bad. There’s no secret. I have to work as hard at staying happy as I do at getting to the gym or making sure my guts don’t explode out of my trousers. It’s a habit that I had to learn. You just have to work on it, every single day.
(Sorry this is so rambling. Thanks for letting me get this out of my system!)