The Thighs Have It

A woman sat next to me on the bus yesterday afternoon. It was funny coz only that morning I’d been looking down at the seat beside me and marvelling at how I fit onto my half of the seat and no longer spilled over into the other side. But by the afternoon I was thinking differently. It was a quiet time on the bus so everyone had a seat to themselves. I watched the woman walk up the aisle and my Fat Girl mind assumed she’d never sit next to me coz of my lardy ass. She’d definitely sit next to some weedy person. But she sat herself down right beside me! Of all the seats on all the buses in Scotland, she chose mine…

I was quite chuffed about that and smiled to myself. Until the next stop when someone got off, leaving a completely vacant seat. She got up and moved to it. Hmmph. Had I forgotten my deoderant?

So I have broken my Posting Twice A Week vow, but I had to spend some quality time with The Boy after he returned from Canada. All my PMS-fuelled paranoia was proved unfounded, he didn’t have any sudden revelations while away and change his mind about me, he had missed me just as much. The thing that made me so happy was how happy and content I was while he was away. Sure there were the first few days of angst and moping, but after that I really enjoyed the time apart, wandering around the city on my own, doing some extra classes at the gym. I missed him like mad, but I was content knowing he was enjoying his snowboarding, having a well-deserved break. I just realised for the first time what a mature thing we have goin’ on. We’re so comfortable and secure with each other that he doesn’t mind me going out on the town with the blokes at work and I’m happy for him to go travelling. I guess every guy I’ve known before has been a clingy "where have you been!?" type and I am just loving this trust and easygoing thing I’ve got now. I never knew it could be like this. Woohoo!

. . .

I’ve been obsessing about my thighs. I think I’ve shedded about ten years of fat now, which means my body is the approximate size it was when I was sixteen. Now I feel like I am sixteen again whenever I look in the mirror, fretting over the exact same bits I fretted about back then. So much lard has come off my chest, waist and hips that I’d forgotten that I’ve always had big thighs. The body goes out at the boobs, in at the waist, out at the hips, then out even further at the top of my thighs. What the bloody hell do you call that? These are curves that could quite easily be used to prop up a few screaming toddlers and shopping bags. When I’m at my dance class and shimmying at the mirror, all I can see is thigh.

I was shrieking to my sister, "Why do they stick out like that!?! How am I going to get rid of them?" She told me they were meant to be like that. I looked around the studio. People had thighs of all persuasions, but of course in my head mine were the hugest and most… flared out.

I’m going to be one of those people writing into fitness magazines, "How can I reduce the size of my thighs?" and they shall write back in patronising tones, "Dear Desperate of Scotland, there is no such thing as spot reducing… blah blah blah, eat less, accept your thunderous thighs…"

Now I am all paranoid and wondering if there’s anything that can be done. Is stacking all that weight on the bar for my squats and lunges making them bigger? Should I take up running? Should I wrap my legs in hot mud and cling film? Lipo?

Once an obsessive, always an obsessive. No matter how happy you can get with your body, you can always find something to pick on!

Insomnia

One Mini Mission is out of the way! All my gymmin’ is done for the week – 6 classes down, including my unspectacular return to Body Combat after a four month absence. I’ve been so hooked on the dancing that I forgot about the kicking and punching.

All I can say is… owwwww. Combat really uses completely different muscles, makes you move your ass in a totally different way. My shoulders are so tired from all that punching. Just goes to show how it’s good to do different kinds of exercise, cross-train, baby!

I’ve been mucking around at the gym for so long now I can almost push out of my mind the old days when I’d avoid walking outside to get the mail from the mailbox coz it just seemed too far to go and I know it would make me red-faced and feeling like my lungs were going to explode.

It’s strange, but 350lbs seems like so long ago. But as I said before, sometimes I like to remind myself of that time when I get frustrated about where i am now. Like when I am lying in bed unable to sleep for worrying if I’ll ever get there, I like to remember when I couldn’t get to sleep at all coz my body was conspiring against me. Let me illustrate:

Back

Gravity is a dirty bitch. As soon as you lay on your back, the fat on my chest lapped at my chin and made it hard to breathe.

stomach

It’s a long way down.

Have a great weekend, lovelies!

What’s Cookin’?

Well hello there. The eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that six weeks on, I have updated my weight in the sidebar. Three kilos in six weeks ain’t bad, but I was actually lower than that around week four. Two weeks of flu, inactivity and Green & Blacks chocolate got in the way. I neglected my Mini Missions and didn’t write down what I ate…

OVERBLOWN WEIGHT-LOSS ANALOGY OF THE WEEK: The fat-busting process is like having something delicate in a saucepan, simmering on the stove. If you’re not constantly watching and stirring, it all boils over or burns or gets sticky. Sure you’re sick of stirring, your arm is tired, you’re looking at the recipe impatiently and thinking, shouldn’t something be happening by now?, but you have to stay there at that stove baby! Stay there until the dish is done!

… anyway, the lesson has been learned. I have to keep my eyes on the prize, pay attention to what goes in my gob and keep the momentum going.

Last night I was back at the gym with a vengance. 45 blistering minutes of Body Jam followed by 60 minutes of Body Pump. Oh how I love my classes. I am far more productive, excercise-wise, when there’s some buff little freak up on a stage yelling at me and telling me exactly what to do. I guess that comes from being inherently lazy.

Some people find the idea of sweating in a be-mirrored room with 40 people daunting, but it’s really the quietest time of day for me. You can get a lot of thinking done while you’re squatting or lunging for five minutes. The music and the shouty instructor fade into the background, and you can start thinking… I mentally scan my To Do list, or think about television, or my next holiday, or, as in last night’s case, think about trying not to fart. My sister made a great tomato lentil soup on the weekend, but it’s still haunting me. Sticking your ass out and bobbing up and down really makes it hard to restrain.

I’ve decided to state my Mini Missions upfront, instead of the retrospective analysis. Maybe if I tell you all each week what I want to achieve, I will feel more inclined to stick to them. This week:

1.  No chocolate.
I ate three, yes three, 100g blocks of Green and Blacks Organic Milk Chocolate last week. Whoops. I’m going cold turkey.

2.  Three trips to the gym.
I’m working all 7 days this week (ouch) so no Sunday gym. The revised schedule is Body Jam and Pump on Monday (done!), Body Balance and Body Jam on Wednesday, and Body Combat and Pump on Friday. I should be getting paid by Les Mills for my ringing endorsements of their classes.

3.  Watch the after-work snacking
I’ve been gobbling toast and picking at food during cooking.

4.  Measure the peanut butter.
I’ve been slathering PB on the aforementioned toast. Sure it’s the natural stuff (no added oil or sugar, just ground up nuts) but it’s calorie dense and I have no idea what a tablespoon of PB looks like.

Wish me luck, comrades.

Finally, are there any UK people out there? I have been looking all over town for a copy of Slimming magazine’s Guide to Calories and Fat 2004 (or whatever it’s called) and I cannae find it anywhere! Has anyone spotted it? I know there’s online calorie counters but I want something I can fondle, y’know?

I Want To Live In America

The muck continues to flow from my nose, and the coughs just keep on coming, so I skipped the gym again last night. I was twitching to go back but every time I went to practice some moves my head felt so fuzzy I thought I’d keel over, so I stayed in and read my Slimming magazine.

I am determined to go back on Monday though, dammit. I am having Body Jam withdrawls. You know you’re addicted when you practice dance steps at the bus stop. My sister and I gave a nice performance outside the supermarket the other night. It was one of the hiphop tracks, made all the more authentic by my three-sizes-too-big jacket and Dangerous Thug woollen beanie.

Anyway, back to Slimming magazine. I rush out and buy it every month so I can spend an evening comparing  myself to the success stories, stewing in my feelings of inadequacy and envy. That woman lost 5 stone in 6 months?! Why can’t I lose that quick? Or she started losing at the same time I did, so why aren’t I done yet? Or, she is WAY too skinny now. Or, look at the way she’s posing, she’s hiding her bat-wing arms. Or, her calves are still huge. Or, she hasn’t done any exercise, so I may be taking longer but at least I’ll be more toned.

Or every now and then I might actually read one of these stories and say, "Oh cool, good for her, that’s great!".

Numbers are evil, this much we all know. Why just the other day I was waiting at the bus stop all innocent-like, and a great big number 3 and 7 came up behind me and demanded I hand over my purse.

No, really. If we’re not getting distraught about the scale it’s the sizes on our clothing labels. Still, when the numbers go down one can’t help getting excited. The other day my sister got some clothes from a mail order place. She’d ordered a size 14 top and it was too big for her. That’s when we realised the clothes were American sizes, not British. I tried the top on for a laugh, and blow me down, it fitted perfectly.

It was a bizarre experience, I stood there gawking in the mirror, saying, "Holy CRAP! My tits are enormous! Where did they come from?". I was getting all upset until my sister pointed out that they were the same bazookas as before, just my decreasing waist meant they were more distinct these days. Also my other tops are getting a bit baggy around the waist, so I couldn’t really see my shape until I wore something that fitted properly.

Anyway. Bloody hell, kids. I want to move to the States. The numbers are much better for ones self esteem. I remember when I arrived in the UK a year ago, I was wearing my plus-size 18 clothes from Australia – so I nearly had a nervous breakdown at H&M when I could barely squeeze into Brit a size 24.

These days, I generally fit into a (non-plus) size 18 (in some of the more generous stores the 18 is getting roomy). But in good ol’ USA, dude, I could get myself into a 16! Or a 14 as in the case of the Hello Boobies top. I could really see that helping me keep my will to live when I hit the shops. In Britain they seem intent on destroying my soul.

The Nutty Professor

Being in the midst of losing weight is like being a mad scientist. There's so much zeal and exertion and obsession involved, you'd think you were ensconced in a laboratory, surrounded by test tubes and pinging machines, curing terrible diseases or inventing wacky machines. But really, beneath the white coat and unsexy glasses, you're just working on the All New SuperAmazing Fantastical BODY Project™!

I feel so protective of my Project. I get cranky when things stop me from working on it, or when I stop me from working on it. I've spent the last week in a cloud of snot, phlegm and fatigue, the novelty of which quickly wore off and was replaced by guilt. GUILT for taking time off work, GUILT for skipping the gym, GUILT for sleeping and eating too much toast. What percentage of my brain is wasted on guilty thoughts? Must get the boys in the Math department to tell me that one.

Anyway, last night I was still unwell but convinced every 60-something kilos I've lost would crawl out of a lard lake and re-attach to my body IF I didn't resume work on my Project, ie. get back to the gym. So I did. It was a stupid move. It was a 45-minute Body Jam class, and I could barely shuffle my way though it. I should have walked out but here was my demented logic: I was just about the biggest person in the room, and if I left the class, people would think, Hey tubby! YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH! I mean, The Class!

How stupid is that? In the 3+ years I've been gymming, I realise that noone really gives a shit about what anyone else is doing. Everyone's there for their own bodies. Still, my paranoia was sufficient for me to lurch my way through my class despite limbs that felt like lead and a pounding head. I should have listened to my body, stayed home and went to bed early.

Another facet of the weight loss/Mad Professor analogy is the secretive nature of it all. If anyone sneaks into the lab and tries peeking under the white sheet, well! Just watch me freak out! Noone's supposed to look at my precious invention until it's perfect! Perfect, I say!

There were two such incidents last Saturday. I stood up after my haircut, and shook off what I hoped was £27 worth of chopped locks. My stylist took off my cape, looked me up and down and smiled, "Are you losing weight? Your pants are absolutely huge on you!". I blushed, secretly pleased that she had noticed, especially considering this was only the second time she'd cut my hair, and that was only 5 weeks before. Yet I quickly dismissed it, "Yeah! I spose! Maybe a little bit. But not done yet!"

Then I arrived at work an hour later, one of my colleagues Belfast Bob said, "Have you lost more weight? I can tell ya know" and I said, "I think so. Maybe. Anyway, I'm working on it."

Don't look! Work in progress! Not finished yet!

. . .

Yesterday my lovely boy left for a two-week trip to Canada. The first thing I did when I closed the door behind him was bawl for a good two hours. Not because I am some pathetic git who can't function for two weeks without a man, but because I just didn't like that whole saying goodbye crap. Reality was biting me in the arse – I'm Australian, he's Scottish, and I get kicked out of the country in 12.5 months time. And in that time, I am travelling for at least five weeks, he's away for at least 7, so add that all up it's bugger all time left together. Who knows what's going to happen, I shouldn't even speculate, but it was still a gnawing yucky feeling in my gut, knowing that sooner or later I will have to face up to that.

Oh what a lovesick twit I am. Did I tell you about my raging insecurity, my belief that him being away for two weeks will give him to wake up and realise that I am actually a moron? That I am not worth sticking around for?

You know what's funny about losing a whole stack of weight? Nothing really changes. All that happens is that you lose the thing upon which you used to hang all your neuroses and Issues™. Fat has a shape and a name, it's a tangible thing, a scapegoat, an excuse, a mouldy old sofa so familiar that has an imprint of your arse on it. So once you lose that, you realise you're stuck with your moronic core.

This entry is sponsored by the letters P, M and S.

Alive!

This is just a wee entry to assure you that I am around. Normally I wait months and months til sniffer dogs are sent to my Inbox to look for traces of life. But since I promised myself I would update regularly, I feel compelled to write. Someone has run over my head with a ten-tonne flu truck, and I have only slept 5 hours each night for the past 5 days and I am one of those slugs that needs a good 8 hours.

Things have been going well with the New Regime. I will need to update my Mini Missions. For now my only mission is to get to bed!

I purchased (and fit into) a pair of size 16 trackies the other day! Let me translate for my non-Aussie audiences. Tracky bottoms (UK). Sweatpants (US). I dunno what they’re called in any other language. But they fit and they were not in the Larger Ladies section. Huzzah!