Sunday, March 20, 2011

A Fat Lot of Good

 This may not be a new and groundbreaking thing for a middle aged woman to do; but I’m on a diet. Probably what makes my weight issues a little different from other women though, is that I just don’t see how fat I am. While many women will look into the mirror and go ‘my arse looks huge in that’ or ‘I can’t go to the party, I’m the size of Roscommon’, I tend to look in the mirror and think ‘I look good today’. I can’t understand why I am size extra fatty when my reflection just seems the same to me as when I was size skinny bitch.
But then something happened. My American cousin sent me some photos following her recent visit to the homeland, and one of them was of this really obese woman slouched into a chair. At first I didn’t like to judge the obese lady, as I am aware that there is an obesity problem in the United States, and this woman probably lives in a house where Coca Cola comes out of the taps (they’d say faucet), instead of water.
It was only when I realised that the woman was actually no other than my good self that I sat up (out of my slouch) and did a reality check, because fat bottomed girls are not all that sexy really.
Fat Bottomed Girls are actually not all that sexy really
It was true that none of my clothes fitted me anymore and that I weighed more than a heavyweight boxer on the scales, but it wasn’t true that this was merely because my clothes had all shrunk in the wash over time or that the cheap poor quality scales must have been long broken.

So I did it. I joined weight watchers. It was a bit like the King’s New Clothes story. Once I realised that I am pretty much on par with a walrus, the scales fell from my eyes. I also came to a few realisations. Firstly, the idea of eating when you’re hungry and having whatever it is you feel like eating; doesn’t work. Possibly it just doesn’t work for me, because on reflection it seems I was the only person in the office who ate their way through the day, and once I started comparing notes with other people on eating habits, it looks like it’s just me who tended to pop into the petrol station for a 99, a few do-nuts and a bag of crisps on the way home. It also turns out that ready made meals for two are actually not just for one and apparently, not everybody orders pizza once a week and it seems most of my peers only go to fast food outlets the odd time, whereas I would have been hailed as a regular, with a special area cordoned off for me.
Then there’s the exercise. It looks like walking from the car park into the supermarket is not going to do it after all. So I joined the local gym. I came across this kind of masochistic machine called a cross-trainer. Yes, even machines can be cross. It makes you move every part of your body that might just hurt afterwards. But hey, I’m going to get fit and slim and gorgeous, so I kept at it. After about a week, I managed to do it for 15 minutes non-stop, even if the woman beside me was at it for an hour, and deep down I knew that the other members of the gym were only smiling at me because they felt sorry for the fat lady trying to get fit.
The worst part of it is that I’ve lost a stone, that’s what, 14 pounds, and I’m so fat that nobody has even noticed yet. Everywhere I go I’m faced with beautiful skinny people ordering sausages and chocolate cake in cafés, while I sit there miserably with my skinny latté. It's just not fair.
To make things worse, my partner is a dietician who keeps helping me by suggesting I eat this piece of spinach or that piece of turkey with the skin cut off. I badly need to hang out with people who can convince me that there are zero weight watcher points in chicken korma followed by a cheescake. I should never have gone official with it really. Even the kids are getting to eat their chocolate bars without me grabbing half of it off them claiming that I have to ‘check it’s all right for them.’
There are good things about dieting and exercise though. Firstly, you can go to the gym for 15 minutes and then spend an hour in the Jacuzzi, and secondly, you can blame letting off wind on all the greens you are eating. The worst thing is wondering what you are going to do when you reach your goal, do you start pigging out all over again, until you get the next wake up photograph? I suppose it’s a bit like a dog chasing a car really, what do you do if you actually get it?

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