Thursday, December 13, 2007

Getting my bling back

I’ve spoken frequently in this column about my struggle with my weight. My weight has gone up and down like a dog’s hind leg more times than I care to think about and if I’m honest, it has tended to err more on the side of up than down.
Since having my child I’ve gone on diets too numerous to mention with varying degrees of success and then have inevitably fallen off the wagon at some stage and spent the following number of months in a cycle of negative thoughts and self loathing (while wadging some chips and curry sauce down my gob.)
Of course it all came into sharp focus this past summer when I went on the book tour with ‘Rainy Days and Tuesdays’. I had the joyous experience of going on live TV with impossibly skinny and glam presenters and having my photo taken numerous times while talking about the importance of being happy with yourself and proud of who you are.
And yet I refused to look at the photos which had been taken or watch the video back of my TV appearances because I didn’t want to see me, very un-bling-like, slobbing over the UTV sofa. (And my sister’s friend said I sounded “wile snobby”).
“So you lost weight then?” one presenter asked and I snorted in response. “Erm, no. The book isn’t actually about me, but now that you mention it I could be doing with a couple of months on the salads and grilled chicken.”
It’s kind of sad to say my enjoyment of the summer was marred by feeling exceptionally self conscious despite a neat line in lovely bootcut jeans and nice tops bought just for going on the telly.
I became resigned to giving Dawn French a run for her money and tried to convince myself that good things come in large packages. (Although for the record I fecking hate that Mika song ‘Big Girl You are Beautiful’ - you’d have to be off your head to dance to that. I mean you might as well drape a “Fat and Alone” sign around your neck. It’s perhaps the most patronising piece of musical rubbish of recent years.)
But for a number of reasons - not least my plummeting self esteem - I decided two months ago that desperate times called for desperate measures. I saw a picture of myself at fellow writer Emma Heatherington’s book launch and I felt sick.
Surely I hadn’t let myself get THAT big? Surely it was a trick of the light or photoshop or a weird digital imaging glitch which meant me - and my big, red, moonface - were grossly distorted. Alas everything else in the photo - including Emma’s perfectly toned arms- was in perfect proportion so maybe, just maybe it was time to make some real changes.
So eight weeks ago I went to Tesco armed with an impressive shopping list of GI (Glycaemic Index) friendly foods and bought more fruit and veg than I would normally consume in a month. Out went “Healthy Option” ready meals. In came new potatoes, lean beef and chicken breasts. Out went salt, vinegar and tubs of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream and in came herbs, spices and low fat probiotic yoghurt. Chocolate is a no- no. But then this diet promised that if I was a really good girl and stuck to the rules I wouldn’t crave chocolate anyway. Ha! I scoffed. Me? Beat the chocolate cravings? You’re having a laugh, I chided, slipping a few low fat chocolate mousses in my shopping trolley under the lettuce, onions, tomatoes (God, so many flipping tomatoes!) and butternut squash - just in case.
I stopped off at Argos too, buying a griddle pan and a steamer and vowing, in a Scarlet O’Hara style that I would never go hungry for healthy food again.
I’ve spent seven weeks teaching myself to cook with varying degrees of success. Beef Goulash? Yummy. Home made turkey burgers? Not for the faint hearted. And with my transformation I’ve seen my weight start to slide off. So far I’m 17lbs down. I have a long way to go, but it doesn’t phase me the way it used to. My posture has changed, my confidence has improved and my bling - well, it’s getting there.
That’s not to say there haven’t been wobbles (and I’m not just talking about my spare tyres). There was one unfortunate Pizza Hut incident and the strange case of the Friday morning sausage roll but overall my entire attitude to food and eating has been changed.
It’s my goal that should ‘the UTV’ invite me back on the sofa next summer I’ll be able to watch the videos back without cringing (although, maybe I will at my ‘wile snobby’ accent). But more than I want to get my confidence back - just like Grace does in ‘Rainy Days and Tuesdays’ and realise that while size doesn’t really matter - happiness does. And, for the record, I didn’t eat the chocolate mousse and no, I didn’t even want it anyway.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...