Before and After

I used to be really dedicated to my fat. I put so much effort into collecting it. When I lived alone in 1999 there was a phase where I’d bake cakes all the time. My favourite was a chocolate cake made with Cadbury’s cocoa powder, as opposed to actual chocolate, so it was really quick and cheap to make. I’d eat the whole cake by myself, over a day or two. I’d eat a great fat wedge with a glass of cold milk or two while sitting in front of the telly.

To me there was nothing more comforting in the world than the cake/cold milk combo. There was something about how the milk would make the cake explode in my mouth, then I could feel this surge of cold crumby liquid race down my throat and burst in my chest. For me bingeing has always been about the textures as well as the tastes. I always remember the feel of food just as much as the flavour. I’d go cut another slice, pour another glass, just to feel it again. There was one time I baked and ate three cakes in a week.

Last weekend in London with my sister and her flatmate, they went to university together so I hadn’t seen her since December 2000. That was a month before I started Weight Watchers, when I was still baking up a storm. I totally forgot how long it had been, so I couldn’t work out why she kept staring at me all weekend. My sister emailled me Monday to say her roomie had been stunned and said, "My my, how she has changed! She was radiant!". Bear in mind she is Swiss and has quite quaint English.

All I could say to my sister was, "Oh wow! So she could notice a difference?". CRIKEY, I can’t believe I said that. If she couldn’t notice 69 kilos gone, well I’d be in serious trouble. She is one of the last people I know that I haven’t seen since the beginning of the Lard Busting Journey, so it was a kinda cool reminder that the Before and After are quite different.

I was standing at the bus stop this morning and suddenly realised that I wasn’t thinking about food. I knew I would have my yogurt, apple, oats and seeds combo for breakfast once I got to work. I knew I’d be having chilli for lunch and chicken salad for dinner, some fruit and nuts in between. Cool. I felt a rush of calm and relief that I knew exactly what I was going to eat. I wasn’t busting for the next meal, or plotting opportunities to buy chocolate or tubs of ice cream. Just a couple months ago during my Christmas Binge I was heading back towards those Hey Let’s Bake Me A Cake days. As soon as I ate breakfast I was snuffling around in the kitchen looking for chocolates, and asking SC what was for lunch. At one point he said with a hint of bewilderment, "You’re just OBSESSED with food lately!"

It’s taken five long weeks to turn my brain around. It disturbs me to know how easily I can let food rule my life like that, but at the same time I know I have the power to stop it. I am so determined not to let the wedding and honeymoon send me backwards again. I am not the person in the Before photo anymore, physically or mentally. I will just keep living like the After shot, and sooner or later I’ll be it.

17 thoughts on “Before and After

  1. Hey I’m first to comment for a change!

    I’m right there with you on the thinking about food thing. This is exactly the reason why *for me* calorie-counting type diets don’t work. I always found I was toteing up what I could eat, what I had eaten, what I had left and once I had used up my limit I always wanted something else to eat! i.e. always thinking about food. It’s definitely a mind thing. Allowing myself as much as I want as long a I follow rules takes that blind panic out of the equation and I have actually found that means I eat less.

    I remember one time about 7 years ago when I just couldn’t stop thining about chocolate. My mouth was full of saliva and I just couldn’t move my thoughts to anything else. I went down the shop and bought as much chocolate as I could afford (I think about 4 bars) and ate them all before I even got back to the house. It was demented. i was just stuffing the chocolate in and couldnt really taste it even. That was the day I realised that it wasn’t just that I liked the taste of foods or was more hungry than other people. There was something so wrong about the hold chocolate had on me.

    I still have to be careful. I am allowed chocolate on my programme. A Creme Egg is 9 syns and I’m allowed 15 a day. A couple of weeks ago I bought the 4 for £1 special and, of course, ate them all the same day. It’s a hard lesson to learn but I think I’ve finally got it. If I am going to treat myself to chocolate – no 2 for 1 specials or anything like that. Just buy what I want/am allowed even if it costs more.

  2. Hi.
    Really keep in mind that last thought about not letting the wedding and honeymoon send you backwards.
    Unfortunately I did and put on almost 7 kg before I woke up to myself.
    I know you can do it : )

  3. Without any intention to underestimate the Body’s hard work, I am totally persuaded that both the “before” and “after” stages, and pretty much the precious “inbetween” actually, are all hard works of the mind. Of the heart. And the soul. And you are a champ in all!

    I am so much like you about food. Taste is one, but the texture of things has always been an almost secual exprerience for me. When the texture is what I want at the time, you will hear me moan and sigh.

    Through the BOB awards thingy I discovered cooking blogs. And I am amazed with some women and the 3 course elaborate and rich meals they cook every day. Meals to die for. They are all incredibly slim you know. When they put the pics of their creations on their blog, usually taken just when they serve them and just before they eat them, I am amazed.

    You see almost as much as a handful of pasta in a big plate, a small bowl of an extemely creamy and rich soup, and a piece of hazelnut brownie as small as 3 pinky fingers next to each other. And they describe each and every mouthful in such a way!

    I used to eat my pasta in the salad bowl, and it took me the same amount of time it took A. to eat a normal serving. And a brownie for four was consumed afterwards. Then, I ate some olives, because … hey! Too sweet…I needed some balance.

  4. I just wanted to say how much I appreciate your writing and how excited I am for you and your upcoming wedding! I can really relate to your words and you are a constant source of inspiration to me…and you’re definitely living in the AFTER shot already. My eating has definitely been “disordered” most of my life — when I was young I used to sneak food and binge on it when my parents were out of the house. I was a very secret eater and even now I feel embarrassed eating in front of my dad, even though my habits and my self-esteem are a lot better. But I hate the way that eating controls my life and the way that I feel that my weight is an impediment to all the things that I want. I have never been free of this feeling but I’m making slow steps — and I’ll be busting my ass tonight at the gym!

    And no more chocolate ice cream for me this week….

  5. I love your blog, Dietgirl, thanks so much and congratulations on your marriage and the fact that you did so well getting your dress.
    The chocolate cake moved me to comment, when I was young I used to eat my Mum’s (iced) choc cake with cream before breakfast. It was even better when the cake had been in the frig. Those were the days, and I was skinny as!

  6. Hey! We’re weight buddies! Wednesday morning I weighed in at 89.4 kg’s. And I’m just a bit taller than you at 174.5 cm, so we’re BMI buddies as well.

  7. Have you read “Passing for Thin : Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self” by Frances Kuffel ?

    Its on my to-read list…

  8. Such a great entry. It’s fantastic how far you’ve come, not just physically, but mentally. To recognise now that you can slip into that behaviour means you can recognise how to avoid it. A huge step. Well done.

  9. i agree 200%! My “life change” went from obsessing about food in a bad way to obsessing about it in a good way. I used to think, “How many chocolate bars can I afford to buy with my money before not having enough for rent?” now i say, “how may points can i use on chocolate and still have enough for something nutricious”. This entry was a real wake up call for me.


    ps – how is bagpipes chanter holding up? Hopefully it is not getting prewedding jitters???? ; )

  10. I know exactly what you mean. I’ve lost half as much weight as you, but I sometimes forget just how big I was. It is a weird experience to look at old photographs and accept that yes, that was me. And on being food obsessed, I think dieting made me more food obsessed than I was before. I think about food constantly. It can be exasperating at times.

  11. I also recommend Passing for Thin. It’s a really interesting look at the mechanics of weight loss — not how the author lost the weight, so much as the way that losing weight changed all of the things that she could do, and the way she was able to interact with people. There’s a pretty good review of it over at, if you want to check it out!

  12. Great post. I relate to your bus-stop thought of suddenly not thinking about food – the same realization came to me about two years ago, when I decided to put an end to starvation/bingeing cycle and start feeding my body the right amount of energy and kind of food it was asking for. It took about to year to realize that food is not going to disappear or run out (not in my neighborhood anyway), and if I won’t empty the fride tonight, the food will stay there and I can continue eating the next day.
    Where are you going for honeymoon? I’m sure you told it but it must have slipped from my consciousness…I’m so glad for you, you deserve all the happiness in the world!

  13. LOVE YOUR POST! very inspiring and i can totall relate to the relationship with food – about the taste, texture, flavour – it is about total indulgence!. I loved reading your confidence and positive energy and how good you feel about turning your thinking around. COngrats on the 80’s! Your progress is so inspiring! 🙂 xox

  14. Hi DG. You may be feeling pleased and interested to read my post, but when you realise how awfully the topic of my comment and my cheesy moniker synchronise together you may feel otherwise.
    I am in a very similar position to you, only less, well, engaged.
    One of the main problems I have with coming to terms with my weight loss is all the… skin (now look again at my preposterous name).
    I would really love to hear your comments on your own skin, or how you came to terms with it, or how you conquered the fear of it with the SC (something I feel I almost definately will not be able to do until I am 95, and only then out of the fear of dying without experiencing life to the fullest).
    I know it is a horrible subject, but one that I feel is really pertinent and painful about the flipside of weight (that is successful weightloss).


  15. hello! i’ve only just come across your site today and i’m utterly amazed at how inspiring, funny and brave you are. you’ve obviously come a very long way and you are really admirable. well done and stay strong because i’m sure it’s worth it. i’m struggling with my extra 30 kg too and trying to picture myself thin(ish) again. well done for turning your life around. you are great! good luck and have a wonderful wedding! it’s going to be absolutely unforgettable, you’ll be really proud of yourself on that day.

  16. Catching up on your archives, I just had to comment on this even though you posted it 3 years ago. I can really relate to your comment about bingeing being about the textures. Lately when I am wanting comfort, I want Little Debbie Swiss Cake rolls. They are a cheap little cake with a creamy filling and it’s that creamy filling I am going for. Nothing else will do. Or that’s how it feels at the time anyway. It’s a sickness, I tell you!

    Anyway, it is so great to read through all this old stuff and see the way things have changed for you, not just in your weight but in your life in general. It is encouraging for someone like me who has so much to lose that it’s hard to see that anything will ever be different.

    Diet Girl kicks ass/arse! 😉

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