Wednesday 27 July 2011

Deferment ... or Procrastination by any other name would smell as grubsome


[proh-kras-tuh-neyt, pruh-] 
verb, -nat·ed, -nat·ing.
–verb (used without object)
1. to defer action; delay: to procrastinate until an opportunity is lost.  (from

This is what I am doing right now. Procrastinating. Delaying. Putting it off. Being an arse. Because that's what I do. I procrastinate. I woke up this morning knowing what I was going to do today, knowing that I was going to write - WRITE GODDAMMIT - and yet here I am writing, to be sure, but not writing what I had planned to, what I'm excited about. Because that's what I do. I self-sabotage. I'm even conscious of doing it, but I have so far been unable to counter it. To tell it to kiss my fat shiny arse. To defeat it, that tiny voice of unreason that insists if I start this thing I am going to regret it, that I can't do it anyway, that I'm an impostor, a fraud, a bungling fool who'll only end up making a mess and drowning in a puddle of her own presumption. 

Well, fuck that. I'm sick of the loss, of constantly thinking "what if". No one else is going to do it for me, and I'm finally sick of waiting for them to - of waiting for some magic event that will "change everything". That's what's different about this day. I am the change I want to see in the world, Mr Gandhi said something along those lines, and it's finally true. Today I name my sin, my filthsome companion, the low-bellied Procrastination. I have named it and shamed it. Go now, Procrastination and join my other cast offs, Messrs Envy, Sloth and Greed. Because today, I write. 

Tuesday 12 July 2011

Requiem for a Life Misspent

Being fat isn't always the misery The Daily Mail, soulless glossy magazines and Lorraine Kelly would have you believe. I know. I'm still fat, but I was, three and a half years ago, dangerously obese. I weighed over 22 stone (nearly 141kgs or 310 pounds) moved as little as humanly possible and ate the equivalent of a small european principality (women and children first, naturally) And until that golden moment when I looked at myself in the mirror and didn't recognise me anymore, when I saw the grey faced, heaving mass I'd become instead of the blonde, merely chubby cheeked girl I'd once been and still believed I was, I'd been having a bloody ball. Make no mistake, eating whatever you want and not worrying about it? Drinking to excess (and then a little more) and having the odd crafty ciggie (but not realising you'd started to smoke every day) without once considering what it might be doing to you? It was Bloody Marvellous. I couldn't have cared less.

Of course, we all suffer the odd moment of doubt, especially when other people are wonderfully unkind and prejudiced with their snarky off the cuff remarks in the name of "honesty" - listen, you want to be honest with me? Don't be a fucking pussy about it. Come out and tell me, don't pretend later that you "tried to tell me" - when we both know you're full of shit - because all those sly remarks and helpful hints? They're about as fucking honest as a politician and as useful as Henry's bucket. Put your cock in your hand and use the fucking thing, metaphorically bien sûr. I digress.

Being fat and oblivious is genuinely blissful. Body hang ups? Not me. What a waste of time! Let's just crack on! And it really didn't matter, not for long anyway, what anyone said or implied, my ignorance was as sturdy as my tree trunk legs and my behemoth duck's back.

But that golden moment ... ah, that golden moment. It changes everything. That swirling vertigo of disbelief coupled with a smack in the face that turns out to be reality is quite something. I am grateful for it every single day, but I can't turn my back on the oblivious, self-centred and really rather mad creature that I was. To do so would be foolish. She's part of me, she always will be, so to forget about her, to tell you I'm an entirely different woman, would be disingenuous. It would also be unfair to me. I've worked hard to battle ocd, depression and some really rather nasty anxiety problems - all of this part of the reason I'd become so overweight in the first place; my arse was my shield, so to speak - my battle with my seemingly endless lack of self-esteem is an ongoing project, but I no longer punish myself daily for the mistakes I made years ago. I've fucked up friendships, I've allowed "friends" to fuck me over, but where once I would have slapped that hurt onto the other layers of regret and misery, I take the lesson I need, turn my back on the rest, and keep on moving. Because I've learned. I really have. I'm different from how I was one, five, ten, fifteen years ago, I am an improved version, a happier version - but I could not have done it without accepting who I was, who I'd become and then set about doing something about it.  The sins of the past can go fuck themselves, because now is all I have, all anyone has, and right now I'm better, I'm stronger and, almost impossibly, I'm faster.

So instead of a dirgy old Requiem, let's call this an Ode to a Lesson Learned.

Monday 4 July 2011

Summertime Blues (a brief ramble)

Just so you know, I do not like the summer. As far as I'm concerned, Summer can turn right on its heel and sod off. I don't know what it is about this time of year but it almost never agrees with me. It's not the heat (I love hot sunny weather) and I'm not one of those people who feel a terrible sense of vertigo when they look up at a clear blue sky.  Aside from the various allergies that can wear you down, there's just something about the evenings that is tinged with melancholia. My skin feels itchy with it, my stomach tightens with anxiety and, quite frankly, I yearn for the dark of winter, the inclemency of late autumn, or the showers of spring. Maybe it's the latent memory of happy childhood summers that you always know are going to end too soon and the realisation that before it's barely started you'll be back in the prison of school - except that's nonsense, because I loved school and couldn't wait to get back. Maybe it's simply nostalgia for those days, for the carefree times when anything was possible and everything was still to come. No blind alleys had yet been charged into. I wasn't hampered by anything, including myself.

My first thought was that whatever the cause, with all the changes in weather patterns going on I hope it works out in my favour and summer eventually becomes a thing of the past - but I'm not sure that's true. I'd rather be able to appreciate a fine summer evening without feeling sad or anxious, to look around me and think "this here, right now, is perfect". After all, this moment now is all we really have. The past is gone, the future might not ever be. Now is all there is.

All that said, so far this is probably my best summer, in terms of mood, for a very long time. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it stays that way.

Saturday 2 July 2011

Sucker Punched

300 was a feast for the eyes so I was excited about Zack Snyder's Sucker Punch when I first heard about it all those moons ago. My excitement waned when I heard some reports but I thought "what the hey, can't be that bad, right?"


I'm not even sure where to start. Aside from the fact that it discriminates so heavily against the mentally ill (the final message seeming to be that those with mental problems or scars have to be sacrificed for the sane to be free - isn't that fucking nice?) and the way the young women were dressed and presented in the "liberation" sequences (like a dirty old man's wet dream)  it was badly scripted and plotted like a lead boot. A really big lead boot that you can see coming eight miles away. If Zardoz had a boot, this would be that boot. And it would be that pointless. The execrable scenes near the end with John Hamm as the High-Roller made me feel like my skin was being peeled from my face in a cheesey-inferno of distate. Sickening doesn't really cover it.

I was disappointed and, moreover, angry.  I thought this was going to be an empowering cavalcade of hardcore whimsy. What I found was something contemptible. Even the Zombie Clockwork Nazis couldn't save it. Now that speaks volumes.