The Great Wall

I’ve spent the past two evenings stripping ancient wallpaper in our hallway and it’s been quite exhilarating. I know I’m nearly 30 and definitely old enough to legitimately do such things to a dwelling, but DIY still feels like reckless vandalism. I kept waiting for the Mothership to jump out of the cupboard and say, "What do you think you’re doing, young lady!?"

All those hours of steaming and scraping gave me a lot of time to ponder in a Calorie Flabshaw sort of way how wallpaper stripping is a great metaphor for weight loss. I reckon you can turn almost anything into a crappy lard-busting metaphor – chickens, bananas, sunglasses, making risotto (feel free to raise a challenge) – but wallpaper removal is particularly good and cheesy.

Why Stripping Wallpaper Is Like Weight Loss

  • If you want good results, you’re going to have to get hot and sweaty
  • You start out thinking you’ll blast it off quickly and neatly but it ends up taking a bazillion times longer
  • At first it’s almost fun… but soon novelty is replaced by NEVER-ENDING TEDIUM and you realise you’re going to have do the same thing over and over and over and OVER again
  • When things get dull, you look for shortcuts and/or alternative methods until you eventually admit that only time and hard work will do
  • Sometimes you scrape away for ages and ages and the wallpaper won’t budge, then just when you least expect it a great big chunk comes off at once!
  • Things can look grim and messy when you’re in the middle of it but if you persist it will come together eventually

At least I hope that one is true. Hmm…


. . .

In other news, I’m daydreaming about boots. Knee high ones to wear with frocks and skirts. I’ve never worn ’em before and I vow at the start of every Scottish winter, "THIS YEAR SHALL BE THE YEAR OF BOOTS!" But every year I talk myself out it, saying I needed to get smaller legs first. Just one more year! Then you will be Boot Worthy!

Well this will be my FIFTH Scottish winter and I say to hell with all that postponing. My legs are plenty bootworthy right now. They always have been, darnit. They are sturdy legs, and I’ll no doubt need wide fit ones from Duo or similar to accomodate my calves. But they’re strong and healthy, they’ve faithfully lugged me around through thick and less thick and I’m over this Waiting For A Skinny Day mentality. I’ll save my pennies and hopefully I’ll be clomping around town by Christmas. Woohoo!

43 thoughts on “The Great Wall

  1. DG I love you!!! I have NEVER been able to find boots that will fit my strapping shapely calves and here you are with a link mwahh! I usually look like a demented chunky pixie with my ankle boots & opaque tights (and skirt of course!)
    Wallpaper stripping eh? You’ll be hanging round garden centres next πŸ˜‰

  2. Yes! Thank you for the link! I have heard of Duo but had no idea that they now have shops where you can try on. I have funny wide feet as well as wide calves, so I’ve always shied away from buying shoes online.

    (Now my only problem is to persuade the husband that Β£160 for a pair of boots is a good idea.)

    But yes, you should definitely go for The Boots. I do have one pair of calf-high boots (from Evans) and they’ve definitely earned their keep.

  3. There’s some Duo ones I like the look of for Β£100…

    Btw K and any other Edinburghers, apparently Duo have just opened a shop in Castle St where you can get a boot fitting then they can order em for ya… COOL!

  4. What a great metaphor! I love it! It is SO true!

    Definitely find yourself some boots this year! And be sure to post a pic! πŸ™‚

    You are such an inspiration. πŸ™‚

  5. Just this very day I pulled out the Duo boots I bought 2 autumns ago. There is nothing quite like the sound of ziiiipppppp right up a ‘healthy’ calf! I paid top whack for them as well but every penny was worth it because even at my thinnest, I still couldn’t get high street knee high boots to zip all the way up. I’d definitely recommend them…

  6. Maaaaaaaan I LOVE the wallpaper stripping metaphor; you keep on coming up with them, they rock my world and stuff πŸ™‚

    And zomg boots. I look forward to winter just because of them. We’ve just hit spring and I’m mourning them already. *sobs a little*

  7. Phwoar! Those are gorgeous boots…and they ship international!

    I just wrote a long list of reasons I want to loose weight, most of them health and energy-level related, I decided I HAD to add something shallow and the first thing I thought of was being able to find knee-boots that fit. If only I’d gone boot shopping while I was in Edinburgh!

  8. also – has great boot selections for the wider of foot & calf.

    ’cause I think more people that the shoe makers will admit can’t squeeze their calves into boots, leading us all to believe that we have abnormally large calves. which probably isn’t true. they’re just normally large.

  9. Ummm… weight loss is like chickens… because. Shit. I am going to have to think about that tonight πŸ™‚ Something about free range being better than battery… hehehee.

  10. Wow there are so me gorgeous boots on that site – but it’s just too hot here in Central Queensland to be worth buying them – might geet to wear them twice!! Good on you for seeing the positives in wallpaper stripping – damned if I could ever seen any!!!

  11. DG, you rock! I am so glad you have decided to move onward and upward to get the boots. You have come so far. Thank you so much for your inspiration and humor.

  12. I came to very much the same realisation. I will always have sturdy calves. Thus, my boots from Duo have been ordered and hopefully will here today!

    The wallpaper analogy is cool πŸ™‚

  13. I always found that Next (although admittedly a bit dull) good for normal calves. I still roll them out each winter – 7 years on.

  14. now, those prices for perfect calf fit? fabulous! i bought a pair of calf high stilettos to celebrate the first 10kg.. i love them to death so you get on with your sexy boot wearing self πŸ˜‰

  15. OMG, wallpaper stripping IS like weight-loss! Who knew??

    Having done a big of stripping myself (wallpaper-wise) I know there are no shortcuts. BUT I can give you advice for putting up new wallpaper that will make it easier when you decide to rip it down: use a good primer or sizing on the wall first! They make some specifically for going underneath wallpaper. The paper will go on nicer, and it will also be easier to remove later.

  16. I have never ever owned a pair of calf high boots and have always wanted one. A wee lunchtime trip to Castle Street methinks (Living in Edinburgh definitely has its benefits)
    Oh, and losing weight is indeed like making risotto because again you can’t rush it, you just have to stay put and keep stirring till it all comes together!

  17. I love this post! The wallpaper metaphor is perfect.

    And totally get boots this winter. I expect you to take a of yourself picture in your new fabulous boots and post it! Congratulations!

  18. Truly wonderful post. Just about sums it all up, shortcuts, frustration, denial about the effort involved and all. On boots, two years ago when I decided to treat myself to a pair of knee high boots, having waited patiently for the sales, I was dismayed to find that boots are made for skinny calves and none would fit me. “You should have told me you had big calves”, said the saleswoman. I was disgusted, as I hadn’t realised that my calves were above average. Since then, despite a serious walking habit, my calves stay big (muscle and a fair bit of fat), but I did find some reasonably priced boots that streeetttch…and bought two pairs. I read your blog for motivation – it is sorely lacking these days – and I can only say that you deserve a truly wonderful rest of your life. I’m sure you’ll get it too.

  19. I haven’t stripped wallpaper in a while but my technique is different and I suppose it works as a metaphor too.

    I used to use soapy warm water – scrub it on until it really soaks in – then the paper practically falls off when you use a scraper. Something is resistant – just scrub on more soapy water and wait a bit.

    Plenty of preparation and a pretty good execution and a fairly easy result.

    OK, maybe not a great metaphor for weight loss unless you’re REALLY well organised and have a will of steel πŸ™

    Good tip for wallpaper stripping though!

    Scott F

  20. I have a secondary issue with boots – yes the calves but ALSO a high instep (apparently). Anything with a zip up the side will not accommodate my hoof at all. Sigh.
    I do have some funky and sensible ankle boots from ‘hotter’. But I hanker for knee high ones.

  21. Well there must be a lot of us out there with abnormally large calves, and a lot of pairs of boot that nobody buys! I love boots but they just dont love me, and that pinchy thing they do when you try and zip em up – ouch. I am glad there are some people out there who make boots for normal girls lol.

    And the wallpaper stripping thing, love it!

  22. I don’t know if any one stocks kumfs in the land of scots – but they have a knee high boot specifically made for those of us with ‘healthier’ calf muscles – check out their website I got the boots this winter and I love them and they made me feel so pretty

  23. Also, if the boots are leather, you can get them stretched for not-too-much money. Any shoe repair shop should be able to do it for you…

  24. I have spent over 3 years scraping friggin wallpaper off my walls and painting … it is worth it at the end of the day! Just a pain in the butt for sure. I hope you DO BUY THOSE BOOTS girl! You deserve them, and I wanna see a photo!!!!!

  25. Couldn’t find knee highs that fit perfectly – so mine are a wee bit tight. I practically have muffin tops! But I love them to bits and will not be denied πŸ™‚

  26. Great Metaphore. As someone who has scraped countless walls of wallpaper, then prepared and painted walls I so agree with what you have said.

    As to raising a challenge for my own metaphore, mmmm, I think i will have to give this some precious thought LOL..

    Have a great weekend, and I love that you are no longer waiting for “Skinny Days” to do things πŸ™‚

  27. I have fairly largish calves and I got boots at JC Penney! I always figured boots would disguise the size of my calves…besides, they’re much more comfy with skirts than heels are.

  28. Hey All, I have literally just finished stripping the wallpaper in one of my spare rooms that is in actual fact a gym hhhh hhhmmmm. Not that i use it often. Suffice to say i got in at 6.30pm and did not stop stripping till 10pm just in time for Ugly Betty. πŸ™‚ Anyway i am knackered and wanted to have a wee look on the net and see how many calories i had burnt and low and behold i have fallen upon your website. How cool. I went on a diet in January and have so far lost 3 stone. I have about another 6 to lose before i will be at my goal weight. I also quit smoking which i have to say is the best thing i have ever done. On the subject of boots i tried on two pairs of knee highs last week and neither fitted so big thumbs up to you for suggesting Duo. Going to have a wee browse now. Defy well deserved and so required for our Scottish weather. Im so excited about walking like a snail along Edinburgh in the winter in the hopes that i dont fall on my butt. Not. lol :-).

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