About my weight and horrible fitness level, that is. Even the word ‘fitness’ is a bit of a joke here, I have to say.

First let me get all the excuses off my (not inconsiderable) chest.

1 – I have an underactive thyroid. This makes losing weight incredibly difficult.
2 – I have fibromyalgia. This makes exercise incredibly difficult.
3 – I have multiple allergies and food sensitivities. This makes planning weight-loss menus incredibly difficult.
4 – I’m stressed and grieving. This makes getting into the required mindset incredibly difficult.
5 – It’s winter. Enough said.

About five years ago, I began losing weight for what I was convinced would be the last time ever. As the weight dropped off I became more and more convinced that it would be the last time ever. I felt so much better! I looked so much better! I had more energy and life was more fun all round. Why would I want to put it all back on again?

And then, towards the end of 2008, several things happened.

1 – There was a big meltdown and clash of personalities on a small, closed internet forum I run. It was unbelievably stressful and upsetting, as anyone who has experienced such a thing can testify. Two people I had considered friends became enemies overnight. Other friends took sides and some of them I never hear from now. The two original friends-turned-enemies and I eventually patched things to some extent but we will never, ever be close friends again. None of us are the people we thought we were.

2 – I had extremely painful shoulder surgery which took a whole year to heal. By which I mean that it was a year before it ceased hurting enough to stop me doing things and before I got most of the range of movement back. OH did remarkably well looking after me for the long period before I could really begin to cook again, but he isn’t a chef. We ate a lot of ready-meals.

3 – Both of my beloved greyhounds had to be put to sleep within five weeks of each other.

The deaths were from unrelated problems, both of which went undiagnosed by my vet. The beautiful Princess Renie had a soft-tissue tumour which spread into her spine and caused her unbelievable pain over that Christmas, and my sweet, funny little Captain Jack began having terrible breathing problems shortly after she left us, which my vet and his succession of European assistants wrongly diagnosed as several things, including ‘heart problems’ which I knew was not the cause.

Then he collapsed at 2am one morning and my own vet did not come out. Eventually, we found a vet who would see him and who saved his life that night (and is now our new vet). However, the true diagnosis of multiple embolisms did not help us at this stage and he never came home from the hospital – he went off his legs three days later and turned his face to the wall.

Maybe if he’d been given the right medication from the start he’d have lived a little longer and his death wouldn’t have been so traumatic. Maybe if Renie’s tumour had been found early enough, we could have had it removed and she’d still be with us. Who knows. All I can tell you is that I have tears in my eyes even now when I talk of them, three years after of losing them both.

And more recently:

4 – I developed stomach problems which required several hideously traumatic gastroscopies (it proved to be a complete myth that the valium injection would ‘completely sedate me’ and I wouldn’t know anything about it or remember it. I did, and I do – it’s still vivid in my memory, unfortunately).

5 – I suffered an episode of Transient Global Amnesia, which was terrifying.

6 – I was put on two successive, additional BP medications, one after the other, both of which proved to cause horrible side-effects which virtually crippled me with pain and fatigue and I had to come off both of them.

7 – Several family members have died, including, this year, my mother.

And so, during all of this, I began comfort eating. And as the ‘life events’ unfolded, I continued eating and eating, throwing all caution to the winds. I ate carbs, I ate puddings, I ate biscuits and cake, and I ate sweets by the bucket load. I drank a lot of hot chocolate. I ate bread with butter (and jam, and honey), which I hadn’t really touched for a long, long time. I switched back from 70% cocoa chocolate to the sweet milky variety. And the pounds crept back on, until now I’m just as heavy as when I began to lose that weight.

I might actually be heavier. I dare not get on the scales.

So what I’m going to do is this. I’m going to try to get back to where I was before all the horrible stuff happened. I looked good. See?

This is not a New Year’s Resolution – it can’t be, since I’m still suffering from this wretched flu and can’t exercise or eat normally yet – but I hereby put it out there for the record: I am going to begin to eat more healthily and start to exercise again, and I’m going to blog about it.

I’ll try not to be boring, I promise!

Posted on January 1, 2012 in Food and Drink, The Home Front by Jay13 Comments »

New Year’s Day, lunchtime.

Someone had a good time last night, although it seems that someone can’t remember an awful lot about it.

Someone also has a bump on the head they can’t account for.

And – would you believe this? On my very first dog walk since Christmas, still struggling to shake off the remnants of the flu, ‘someone’ and I tried to duck out of the walk and have coffee instead in the park cafĂ©, and we found that it was closed!

How could they? If only they could see this face, huh?

If ever I saw a face in serious need of a coffee, this would have to be it, and they selfishly decide to go and have their New Year bank holiday and leave us coffee-less and sitting on the icy cold, bird-poop besplattered bench outside their icy cold, heartless, double-locked doors.

This is the Lovely B, good sport that she is. She happily posed for these photos today knowing that I was gong to post them here. Probably she also knows that – unlike some people I could name* she still looks pretty damned good, even with a killer hangover.


* Me. Although I don’t drink enough to have real hangovers these days.