Sunday, April 07, 2013
It’s Saturday and the end of my first week of holidays. It’s been a while since I’ve written… again. I don’t really have a reason except for life getting in the way. But then that’s just an excuse isn’t it. We all know that if we really wanted to do something we would find the time. If I really wanted to write, I would have. I think this brings me to the realisation that yet again fear has got in the way. I’m afraid of a lot of things, some of which are of the creepy crawly, bump in the night, monster under the bed variety (usually reserved for 5 year olds), and some are more grown up and self-deprecatory. What if people don’t like me? What if I’m not good enough? What if … The list just goes on! But there they all are, bubbling under the surface, pushing each other around and fighting for room, disguised by broad smiles, exaggerated laughter and over compensating body language.
For now though, here in this space I will try to put aside my fears of inadequacy. I will ignore the “If I can’t do it well, don’t bother doing it at all” mentality and make writing a priority. So what if my words aren’t profound, intelligent or witty? These are MY words; they are an insight into MY nonsensical mind and a translation of MY clumsy emotions. They are an accurate description of my journey to better health regardless of their entertainment value. I’ve decided to make the same promise with this attempt to lose weight. It may not be fast, perfect, or consistent, but I will make it a priority. I want this time to be the time I succeed and I want to document it so I can prove it to myself later.
Now all that being said I need to remind myself that actions speak louder than words. If I could burn calories just talking about losing weight, I’d have reached goal years ago. Funnily enough I’m not the type who looks for motivational quotes to find inspiration. I’m not sure why? In previous blog entries I’ve thrown one or two around on occasion if they really speak to me. I find sometimes they’re a little overused, hang on not that’s not really it, I think what I mean is that they seem thrown around without due care. On Facebook they are littered all over my news feed every day and as a result I’ve become a little desensitised to what the words actually mean, I don’t stop to reflect on how they translate to me. Terri has them written on post it’s scattered around her bathroom mirror and I enjoy seeing them, mostly because they are a reminder to me that this journey is just as important to her, and that like me she’s searching for something to help push her on from time to time.
I’ve spent a few hours today pouring over Megan’s trail blog, it’s been an interesting and inspiring insight into her life BM (Before Me), and I feel like I know her a little better today. On her blog she began each post with a quote. The more I read on, the more each quote provides me with a little clue to what she was experiencing and how she was feeling and for the first time in a long time inspiration has been felt.
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes" - Marcel Proust
Saturday, February 16, 2013
I know I know where have I been???I hear that mother like tone in all your voices :) I’ve been MIA for days… But fret not; it was not for having fallen off the wagon this time, no scratched knees or bruises to report woot!
I’ve actually been doing quite well but the new school year just started and I’ve been so busy planning lessons and preparing my classroom that blogging has had to take a back seat. So long holidays, heeeellloooo real life :(.
I’ve been very, very organised when it comes to my new diet or rather lifestyle plan and I think that’s really behind my success so far. The weight loss is slow this time which is tedious, but I also know how much better for you it is to lose weight slowly. I’m almost 4 kilos down in almost 4 weeks so that’s ok.
It hasn’t been all plain sailing and perfect, I have hit a few potholes along the way (in fact I had a minor blow out today that I’m about to confess) but otherwise have been more consistent than not.
I’ve been thinking about movie popcorn and Maltesers for days, ever since I went to the movies with my friend Jen. We went to see “The Impossible” (I bawled like a baby all the way through) and in between sobs I yearned to reach down and scoop a big handful of the girls popcorn in front of me.
You’ll be pleased to know I have some restraint, so would that girl if she knew what I was thinking ;).
Anywho I planned to go to the cinema this week to see “Safe Haven” and I knew I would want some. I looked up the calories for both the popcorn and a bag of malteasers in advance and decided I would go to the movies at lunch time, eat them for lunch and fit them into my calorie allowance.
I felt guilty as soon as I sat down with my scrummy feast and then a lady sat in front of me and whipped out a bag of grapes and water. C’mon, as if I wasn’t feeling bad enough already!! But I’d paid $15 for my little binge so started eating it anyway. I was conflicted with every handful that went into my mouth. I made excuses like “I’ve made room for this in my day” but really we all know I shouldn’t have had it, it wasn’t just a little taste of something, I was definitely overindulging. After the movie I felt terrible… not only mentally but physically too. My guts did not feel well at all, it was churning pretty badly and I struggled to sit through the end of the movie without thinking about how much I needed the loo.
(If you’re eating while reading this I suggest you finish your mouthful for this next bit…)
I rushed to the bathroom as soon as the movie was over. I had really bad tummy pains but it wasn’t until I was on my way home after the supermarket that I realised things were about to get really ugly. The diarrhoea was terrible. I’m not sure if it’s an issue I have with popcorn or a combo of the popcorn, diet coke and chocolate but it’s not the first time that’s happened after the cinema. Maybe it was just too much crap on my stomach in one hit? Either way it wasn’t pretty and even now I’m sitting here with my bottle of water and still feel crampy. I think next time I’m tempted to have a binge on something I need to think back to this moment and remember how crap I feel… it really wasn’t worth it this time.
So lets take a look at …
I felt disappointed in myself.
I felt yucky in the tummy.
I got diarreah.
I didn’t eat all the popcorn.
I didn’t eat all the Maltesers.
I’ve potentially pooed out some of the calories already.
I’ll think twice before slipping up next time.
It’s important for me to celebrate the positives here, there’s no point getting all down and defeated now, it’s too late and that’s not going to change anything. If I get too upset I know what I'm like, I 'll ruin the rest of the day. Besides there are some small wins to acknowledge like… I normally have a really hard time with stopping and leaving food. I will usually continue to eat so long as there is food in front of me. I ate ¾ of the packet of Maltesers and just over a quarter of the popcorn.
Earlier in the week my friend Megan made Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with a Salted Caramel filling… yep I KNOW!! My two favourite desert flavours in one magical combination arrrrgghhhhh! She sent me home with two big ones and I really, reeeaaally wanted them. The more I thought about them the more I thought about how much I shouldn’t eat them so I left Tim (my housemate) a note telling him to eat them and I went to bed as my avoidance tactic. The next day they were still in the fridge after work, but he was home soon enough and polished both of them off in one foul swoop.
I was beside myself watching him eat them, which was yet another confirmation of my unhealthy relationship with food, so too is the fact that I’m still thinking about them 2 days on.
I am proud though that I handed them over. I’m trying desperately to look better in a dress I have on hold for Jen’s 30th party in two weeks. It fits but it’s tight in some places I wish it wasn’t. I would get the next size up, an XL but when I tried that one on I saw I’d have to get a lot of the bust area taken in (not normally an issue for me as I have ginormous boobs), so I went with the Large as overall it was a better fit, just slightly too tight, so a little uncomfortable and highlights my back fat.
Now just to find a cardigan to cover my arms. I hate, hate, hate my arms and ever since I was 16 years old they’ve been clad in cardi’s or jackets or anything that will cover them up. In summer I’m that girl who’d rather swelter away than expose my big flabby bat wings. One day I dream of wearing a dress with spaghetti straps or dare I say it… a strapless number without shame. But the 2nd of March will not be that day so instead I have the impossible task of finding a cardigan that doesn’t dress down the dress.
Well best be off to prepare dinner I guess. Will try to check in again soon xx
Friday, January 25, 2013
So I made a big effort to go out today. I know that probably sounds strange or lazy to most people but since I've been on holidays I've really struggled with being social, I've been hiding at home away from the judgemental eyes of others. I guess really I've been struggling with getting out the past few months since I've slowly gained back the 15 kilos I'd lost in early 2012.
Anywho my friend Jenni had mentioned earlier in the week that we should head out to the Res and play with Karenas latest toy, her new Paddle Board. Usually I would just make up an excuse not to go. It's public, it involves wearing bathers and worse still it's an activity I'm likely to be no good at. Now don't get me wrong, my reluctance was not because I'm a sooky la la and couldn't handle being crap at something, I'm used to not being much chop at MOST things the first (10) time(s) ha ha ha ha. Actually I love to give something new and different a go, but I am also only all to familiar with the kind of humiliation a "large girl" can experience when putting herself out there in such situations. If a slim person attempts something like climbing aboard a Paddle Board and falls off, people might laugh with them momentarily and watch with encouragement for the moment they are able to stand up successfully, however when an oversized person does the same, the laughing is not so much with you as it is at you and derogatory words (at least thoughts) usually ensue. Of course I'm incredibly telepathic and can hear such negative thoughts being shouted at me meanly from miles away, even if you're not looking in my direction ;).
Despite the fact that I was a dancer, I've always been pretty unco and I can assure you I've never been the type of person who just picks something up first try (we all secretly hate those kinds of people right). So when a situation arises where I'll be showing skin AND awkwardly falling about the place I'm not too keen to just jump in. As expected I was really crap ha ha ha. I flailed about, fell off before I even properly got on and can easily imagine I resembled a beached whale once I did eventually get on. But I'm proud of myself for just going out there and doing it despite the internal panic attack I was experiencing . As a very large girl my confidence is shot right now but sometimes FOMO (fear of missing out) trumps potential public humiliation, not often but in this case it did.
So as it turns out even partial successful Paddle Boarding is a lot of fun (if I only I could actually stand up) well that is until your laying on the board and the only thing between you and the shore is a terrifying 50ft black snake in the water right in front of you. Yep that's right, imagine suddenly being stranded without a paddle, your limbs are on auto pilot and quickly retract from the water, then paralytic fear kicks in and you're unable to call out to your friends and alert them to your distress as you float closer to one of your all time biggest freakin phobias. You are aware of every tense muscle in your body, your tummy flips a couple of times before contracting so hard it may disappear into itself completely. Then you catch a glimpse of a large round shell that appears on the surface and your brain slowly registers that the 50ft black snake is in actual fact a rather large turtle with a freakishly long neck. Just because it was a turtle and not a 50ft black snake doesn't make the fear any less real :)
Do you have any fears/phobias? What are they?
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
I felt very proud of myself and a teency bit less self-conscious than usual as I went through the checkout at the supermarket today. I admired the vibrant colour and lack of packaging as I piled my healthy bounty onto the conveyer belt. I’d even gone with a list… yup I know super organised right (well to a point) I accidently left it in the car, doh! But I had written one at least.
It never ceases to amaze me how perfect strangers (usually of the narcissistic variety) feel it acceptable …wait… feel it their duty to inform me that I’m fat. What’s more is they usually know why I’m the size I am and get this, have such simple solutions to my “problem” to so generously share with me.
Really? What? I’m overweight? I had no idea?
Strangers browse my trolley like... well the shelfs of a supermarket, sometimes they’ll just make a face that says “really, should you be eating that” (like they’ve read the same parenting book my father did) and sometimes they actually say it.
Once I ran into a guy I’d dated a couple of times in the past, he glanced in my trolley, grimaced slightly, raised his eyebrows and said, “Good choices” and not in the “way to go, that looks delicious” kind of way either.
I wanted to grab a tin of creamed corn off the shelf and hurl it at his face. I refrained and instead turned a bright shade of tomato and looked for a giant display of toilet paper to hide behind.
Now I’m not discriminating here, such behaviour is not exclusively practiced at the supermarket, it can also be found in other frequented public areas. Actually I can recall so many encounters you’d think I’d no longer be surprised by such appalling manners, either that or have just stopped going out altogether. Yet I do and I am still shocked by the actions of some people.
The most significant of these incidents was when I was 21. I’d lost around 20kg’s on a “diet of the moment” and was walking up the street with my “sort of” boyfriend, (“sort of” because we’d never defined our relationship and when I finally asked, he declared we were in fact not a couple due to my ever increasing weight), anyway let’s just set that aside as that’s a whole other disturbing story.
So here we were Sortof and I standing on Lygon St, a popular and trendy strip in the city, waiting for the little green man to flash and let us cross the intersection. We were in deep conversation when the noise of the traffic indicator went off and together we blindly walked out into the street. It wasn’t until we noticed the oncoming traffic that we realised the mistake we’d made, that the signal was actually for the other crossing, oops!! We quickly skipped across the road to avoid the onset of beeping vehicles.
When I got to the other side I was taken aback when a lady in her 50’s, well dressed (pearls and all) reached out and tugged the cuff of my top. I stopped and she said...
“A girl as big as you should know better than to cross against the lights, you deserve to be hit just for your size“.
Needless to say I was speechless, I was not prepared for such confrontation and I had no words, nothing, nada. Instead I turned, mouth wide open and it wasn’t until I was half way up the road that I fully registered what she said and burst into tears.
My incredibly sensitive (note the hint of sarcasm) Sortof, rolled his eyes and groaned “that’s it now isn’t it, you’re just gonna cry about that all day now aren’t you”. What he failed to understand was that I’d worked really hard to prove how much I wanted to be with him; in my mind that lady had just highlighted and pointed out why he shouldn’t be.
I’d been enduring comments such as these since I was a teen and here I was having lost a decent amount of weight, starting to feel better about myself and this lady felt she had the right to wish me injured if not DEAD just for looking the way I did. I mean you’ve gotta be kidding me imagine if we’d met before I lost the 20kg… imagine if we met now!
Needless to say I ate myself into a carb fuelled coma and it wasn’t long until I reconnected with those 20kg and then some.
Not all comments have been so blatantly cruel, a few months ago I went into a plus size shop, tried on and then bought a couple of size 14 long sleeve undershirts, you know, the kind you need to be really tight so you can layer it under your regular clothes for extra warmth but you’d never wear on its own because it shows every donut you ever ate.
I went to the register and the woman looked at the tag of the first one and then the second, she said “Do you realise these are size 14?”
Now granted I’m usually a 20 in this shop but like I said I needed them to be tight and the 16’s were sold out. I replied “Yep”, then she looked me up and down and said “Are you sure you’ve got the right size?”
Seriously? What was this woman thinking? I couldn’t believe what she was saying, who was she to judge? How did she know I wasn’t buying for someone else? I suppose a couple of plain black undershirts make for a pretty sh*t gift, but she didn’t know I wasn’t a sh*tty gift giver. I meekly replied “Yes”, handed over my card and avoided eye contact for the rest of the transaction.
These days I still find myself prematurely explaining to the check-out chick (who hasn’t asked) that I’m having a party, or I’m buying this top for my sister. Justifying my purchases before anyone asks is almost as ridiculous as my overwhelming need to explain to new people I haven’t always been “this” big, like it might sway their decisions to befriend me or not.
Today though was not one of those days, today I was happy to own the items on that conveyer belt and only a hint of paranoia was present as I’m sure the lady next in line was thinking, “Sure that’s what you really eat” :)
So what about you? Have you ever had a perfect stranger make an uninvited comment about your weight?
Friday, January 11, 2013
I know I’m far from being Australia’s Next Top Model. I’m no Beauty, no Geek or a potential Farmers Wife. I don’t have the Xfactor nor do I Think I Can Dance. I’m not a Master Chef or anyone’s Idol, but I do believe I could be the next Biggest Loser.
This realisation all started on September 20th 2011 with a random phone-call. I thought it was a telemarketer, trying to sell me something that “promised to change my life”. We’d been inundated with these kind calls and one kept asking for our bank account details. I answered the phone in a surly sort of tone and prepared myself to hurl abuse down the receiver. This time it wasn’t a telemarketer, but what casting agent KDV was offering, was most definitely a life changing opportunity. She’d read my application and was calling with an audition for The Biggest Loser (TBL).
Earlier that year I was contacted by my friend Erin, we’d met on a Scottish Christmas bus tour a couple of years ago and with the help of such stupendous advances in the world of modern technology (and by this I mean facebook) we’d managed to stay in contact from time to time. In her message Erin told me she was looking for a fourth person to be a member of her “family” in the next season of TBL. When she told me that she’d been close to making it through previous auditions, a flicker of hope sparked somewhere deep inside me, I got to thinking maybe this time I might really have a chance. I had applied for TBL in previous years but never heard anything beyond submitting the application, here though was someone who had. Without hesitation I downloaded the application, completed it and pressed send.
My housemate Jenni stared at me quizzically while I spoke with KDV and though I’d told nobody that I had applied for the show I couldn’t think of a cover story fast enough and confessed to her what the call was about. We sat there for a couple of hours talking, both of us in astonishment, her because I’d applied and me because I’d made it through to the next round. We discussed in detail what it would mean if I got on the show, what I’d have to do. Was I, a girl who went to extreme lengths to keep my weight and issues secret really prepared to stand up in bike shorts and a crop top and expose myself to an entire nation? If it meant finally achieving my goal weight then …YES! As we delved deeper I ran intermittently to the bathroom. I felt sick and excited all at once, it seemed like the weight loss process had already begun with several nervous poo’s :)
Two days later and I was a bundle of nerves on the train. I’d packed numerous outfits and planned to stay with a friend in Melbourne for the night. Exiting the train with sweaty palms and a churning stomach I made my way to a disabled toilet at DFO. I prayed that any good karma I had accumulated wasn’t about to be flushed down the loo by so selfishly occupying a disabled toilet.
I tried to get ready slowly and calmly and more importantly without letting any of my stuff touch the dubious situation that was otherwise known as the floor. With my make up done, I put on the bright floral dress. It was strapless so I’d have to wear a cardi and it wasn’t very fitted so I felt it accentuated how large I was, but hey wasn’t that the point? I decided that the colours would reflect my “bright” and fun personality and at the very least might assist in standing out from the presumed crowd that would be there. All hot and bothered, I began grunting my way into a pair of Bridget Jones style, sucky-in undies when I suddenly paused for a second and recalled where I was headed. On this one occasion it might pay not to try and appear smaller.
Having spent far too long a time in a public toilet than I was comfortable with, I gingerly made my way out of the toilet and down the street to the audition. I passed a couple of large people sitting out front and sized them up, wondering if they were there competing for a spot and then I realized how early I was. I set off around the block and found a spot to sit down and paint my nails (or various parts of my fingers as it turned out) with my shaking hands.
With no more insecure adjustments to my appearance left to make, I eventually mustered the courage to go back. I met a lovely girl Terri in the foyer; we chattered nervously and discovered that coincidently we came from the same town. Others began to arrive and soon my stomach started churning so much it may as well have got up and walked out for me. I stood up from the couch to do one of several nervous wees (yep that’s right I was still going, only now that’s all I had left to give), when the button from my dress flew off and skipped across the floor. “Typical” I first thought. I’m so fat my dress can’t even stay done up for the audition. I decided instead of getting upset I’d take it as a good omen – clearly I was meant to be there… needed to be there.
After what seemed like an eternity, 5 of us were led up to a room to have our photo taken, headshot, full body and profile. We were introduced to 3 producers and one by one the cameraman filmed us as they asked us questions about our lives, fears, dreams, dating history etc. I thought my heart was going to jump out of my chest as Terri passed me the microphone and the producers eyes fixated on mine. She had a story…. An interesting story and with a unique spin…. “Sh*t I didn’t have a story!” The producers perused my application, one commenting on my retro look and likeness to Amy Winehouse. I was so nervous I could hear myself stumbling on words and rambling without thinking. I made a joke… it wasn’t funny, I blushed and fumbled along. It felt like I’d been out of my body when I handed on the microphone. I hoped that whatever was next, when they spoke to us one on one I’d do better, I’d be more calm… a little witty…. perhaps even entertaining.
I half listened to the people that spoke after me, relating in some way to each of their stories. I kicked myself for information they gave that I’d forgotten. But it was ok because one guy had a girlfriend, they wanted singles…so he couldn’t go through, one girl looked half the size of me…she didn’t “need” to go through, another girl had two knee reconstructions…surely she wouldn’t go through. Suddenly everyone got up and they were thanking us for coming in, panic set in as I realized that was it, those short few minutes was all I had to show my personality and let my desire for this opportunity shine. I couldn’t help feeling an overwhelming sense of disappointment in myself, a feeling I had become accustomed to these days. I walked out handing over a compilation of photos I had put together that showed myself gorging on a variety of foods. I mumbled a quick explanation to KDV about someone suggesting I bring photos and reluctantly walked out knowing deep down I hadn’t been me, more importantly I hadn’t been anyone worthy of being seen on tv.
Terri had waited for me in the foyer; we exchanged facebook details and walked to the corner together both in disbelief that it was over. We spoke throw away lines like “What were the chances?” and “I didn’t think I’d get this far”, both secretly hiding small hopes from each other. I wandered up to the station and caught the metro to Liz’s house. She made me dinner and introduced me to her new fella. I tried to politely engage in conversation but couldn’t stop thinking about the audition. I was happy for her as she gushed about her new romance and recent weight loss, but I couldn’t concentrate, I found myself overwhelmed by disappointment and self loathing. This was my turn and I blew it.
Later that night I wrote KDV an email expressing my regret and went to bed…but did not sleep. The next morning the reply “Thank you Aimee, I hope you got some sleep” waited for me in my inbox. After much analysis over the response I decided it was a good thing, even if it was a “thank you but you still didn’t make it you pestering loon”, she’d at least been kind enough to reply. I walked to the train and tried not to go over it all again, tried not to hope too much. Now all I had to do was wait 2 weeks to hear if I’d made the final 40.
2 weeks you’ve gotta be kidding me!!
I agonized over those 2 weeks, not only about whether I’d made it through to the next stage but about what I’m going to do if I haven’t? My self talk swung between positive and negative predictions, preparing myself for bitter disappointment and at the same time visualizing life in the house and beyond. I even window shopped for what I would pick for my dream outfit.
Then, just when I thought I’d experienced the longest 2 weeks of my life, an email appeared informing me that the casting process had been extended and we had to weight (pun intended) another week.
Thankfully my friend Erin was also lucky enough to get an audition. I say thankfully because I would have felt terrible if she hadn’t. After all it was her who encouraged me to apply again. But when she told me that she’d made it to the final 40 and was undergoing medicals and psych tests…I knew I hadn’t made it. They wouldn’t take both of us, we know each other and not only that but Erin’s audition was after mine so I should have heard by then if I was through. She was confident that she did well...I was not. I don’t know why but I couldn’t give up the idea of getting in completely, I still needed to wait and hear for sure. Always the eternal optimist I guess.
I had never refreshed my email so often than during those 3 weeks, it became a ridiculous ritual each day. Then Dum Dum Duuuuuuuuum, there it was in my inbox, that menacing, flagged email that seemed to be mocking me with its bold font. I knew straight away, I would have been called, Erin was called. It was like P.E. at school all over again, kids are picking teams and they aren’t calling out your name…..
The subject read: The Biggest Loser Thank You. I opened it and my heart sank, The tribe has spoken, You’ve been eliminated from the race, You’re Fired, You’re not The One. If you have not been given a rose, please take this moment to say your goodbyes…. Hang up your apron, Snuff out your torch, Please leave the farm. Unfortunately you are not the Biggest Loser.
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