Wednesday 31 August 2011

MILESTONE - a weight edition

I've passed another milestone (not a gallstone, a MILEstone) I've slipped under 15 stone. That still sounds like a frightening weight, I agree, but I haven't been this light since I was 20 years old. Admittedly I was still a porky pie then but not as much as I quickly became. Between the age of 20 and 21, I put on almost 5 stone (that's 70lbs or nearly 32kgs) A corking achievement by anyone's standards. I'm eternally surprised my heart withstood the onslaught (especially as between 19 and 20, I'd already stacked up an impressive 3 stone gain - don't believe the clichés, folks; love doesn't make the world go round, it makes your arse bigger) So, nearly 18 years later I'm slipping back down the slippery pole, so to speak, and it feels MAGIC!

Tuesday 30 August 2011

The Hole in my Bucket

Anger, hate, fear, all that dark side mcshizzle, it's really hard stuff to deal with. Add self-doubt, resentment, frustration and impotence (whatever your negative emotion du jour might be) to the list and you can guarantee yourself a good dose of heartburn in no time at all. Well, I’m learning something. It’s nothing new. It’s nothing fancy. It is, however, something good. Something positive with which to cack on the faces of mine enemies, so to speak.

I’m learning to let shit go.

That’s right. The unwelcome memories, the uncomfortable feelings, all that doohickey comes into my head and, although I’m early on in my rehabilitation, it goes out again. Blows away like puffs of lovely breeze on a summer’s day …  yes, I’m full of crapola, I know you know it. That vajazzle “pops” into my head with about as much subtlety as a brick, stirs all the nonsense up like mad until I’m pounding all my metaphoricals against a good ol’ spiritual breeze block and losing grey matter like Henry’s bucket loses water.

And yet … it doesn’t so much. Not anymore. It’s hard work, but I’m starting to get what someone of my age should probably have been in possession of a great long while ago, and that’s perspective.

I’m starting to see all that shizzle for what it really is – nothing. Bygones are exactly that, recrimination is ultimately futile because you know what? Life is short. Shit happens, we do wrong, people wrong us, but life goes on. Life always goes on. One day I might be here, the next I could be gone. Why waste my time on stuff that really doesn’t matter, on stuff that realistically I can do nothing about? People will inevitably make their own judgements, have their own beliefs, their own interpretations, they will drag their own cart of human failings with them, and they will think of me what they will. I can’t do much about it. If I screech and whine that “you don’t know me” or  wotnot, I’m just going to look like an arse. If I bleat on about how you’re just as much to blame, or how you’re not perfect either, what does that achieve except to widen those ever decreasing circles?

The only thing we have is now. And I don’t want my now filled with the bitterness of remembrance past or futile desire. I just want to be. That’s right, my full stop is in the right place. I just want to be.

So when the bad egginess of life comes into my head, when I start to beat myself up about all the things I’ve let myself down about, all the people who’ve done me wrong, or all the things I coulda woulda shoulda, you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to let it pass through my noggin and out into the ether. It might take me a while to get to grips with it, but do it I will. And you should too. Don’t let the world grab you by the balls and make you sick with the inappropriate graspage. Try to see other people's shit for what it is - theirs and ultimately pointless. It's just a pot of piss for them to niggle over while they forget to live. It's not easy; the better things are for us, the harder they seem to be. Letting go is tricksy to learn but I think once we have the hang of it, life will be much brighter.

Monday 22 August 2011

A Farewell to Lost Causes

I've pretty much felt like an impostor and an imposer my whole life - been made to feel it too for a lot of that time, but of course that's just me making things up, being all dramz and such … *headdesk* - but what surprises me most when I talk to other people is just how many feel the same way about themselves. For a race that likes to think of itself as naturally inclined to the tribal and familial, it seems odd that so much of humankind feels out of place. Is it because of the artificial pressures society creates to keep us in check? Or is it some latent sense of competitive survival that makes other people want to make lines in the social sand - lines that one day simply don’t exist and then the next are in full force, like a giant brick wall at the bottom of the hill no one's seen fit to tell you about as you get on your slick-wheeled skateboard at the top?
People we thought were our friends turn away from us when we need them most - we're too demanding, too selfish, too bonkers - even though we've weathered their bullshit with little comment and have helped them out when they've needed it, no questions asked. Those we love suddenly don't seem to know us at all, or we look at them and think "who the fuck are you?” For some, our characters are set in stone and no matter what we do, how we change or try to be better, to get away from what we once were, to redefine ourselves and benefit from the sometimes hard lessons we've learned, they still think they've got us pegged. There's nothing like a little patience and forgiveness, is there? 
I spend so much time thinking about this - "no, really?" I hear you cry - and I'm finally sick to fucking death of it. Not just for me, but for everyone else who's been bootheeled by some leeching pariah who has then gone on to mark you with the Scarlet Letters of "FAULT", as though they are the victims and not you, the one left with a dirty great skid mark across your soul for all to see. 

So brothers and sisters, here's what I say. It's time to rise up against those who thwart us, those who look down on us, judge us, use us and abuse us. But we won’t waste our energy on fighting this shitdickery, oh no. We will, instead, let them go. Let their heartless bastardy float off into the ether and leave it there for karma to pick up as it pleases (and one day deliver big boils to the appropriate bottoms) So, sing with me from our collective hymn book. Turn to page one, Hymn Number one: 

A Farewell to Lost Causes

I'm sick of wanting you in my life. I'm sick of being inclined to be nice to you. I'm sick of hoping to impress you, to get you to like me, to hope that it could ever be like it once was or how I hoped it would be. I thought I needed you, thought that I was less of a person because of what happened with our relationship or lack thereof, but I've realized that I don't need you in my life anymore, I'm not sure I ever did. You can blame me for everything; I simply don't have it in me to care anymore. I'm tired of being the villain - and you know what? How about you take your fucking turn and take some of the responsibility? Try looking at yourself and realizing that you are every bit as flawed as me? That you are every bit as culpable and self-centred as you have tried to colour me.

You do not know me, you see only what you want to see, you took me for granted, you used me, you turned your back on me when it wasn't easy anymore, when I didn't hide my problems, or kowtow to your prima donna demands, when I just wanted a little of your time, your kindness, or when, finally, I simply didn’t let your bullshit fly. I admit I wasn't always easy but, Christ on a bike, who is? 

When I said enough, and you thought "fuck you" you tried to diminish me, to make me not matter. Well, take this plate of disdain and chow down, you self-righteous evidence of evolution - I'm calling you Cro-Magnon, arse wipe - because it's my turn to tell you to poke it. Civilisation should be a place of motherfucking peace (I see the dichotomy I've dished up there) and if you're so fucking civilised and RIGHT why don't you behave more decently? Why the silence? Why the blame? Why the shitkicking attitude?

I hereby set myself free from the tyranny of blame. I do not take the blame for everything, it wasn’t all me, and I will not let your judgment matter to me. Fuck that and fuck you. Because I'm done.

Yours sincerely

Anyone who's ever been blistered by other people's fuckery.

Thursday 18 August 2011

Brick Wall

I confess, I hit something of a brick wall. Running this week has been hard. And you'd better capitalise that suckah! And that's beside the fact that I've had the urge to eat practically everything in sight - damn you Mother Nature. During an unfortunate time of the month, I've been doing week 4 of the Ease into 10k programme, which has me running for 8 mins and walking for 1, 4 times (plus 10 minutes warm up/cool down) I can run half an hour straight so it shouldn't be so hard ... but it has been. Very. Yesterday I got on the treadmill, started the programme, got to 17 mins and realised I simply couldn't keep going. I had to stop. So I did.

The thing I've learned more than anything these past few months is not simply to listen to my body, but how to know that I'm really listening to it - and not to my greedy old brain. It didn't want to go on. It wanted to lay down on the sofa and just kick back for a bit. My body did. Not my mind. It was absolutely my body. And that's the big difference - because my sloth-prone mind would have liked to have stayed on the sofa three months ago and not got off ... well, maybe it would have thought about getting up to grab some snacks.

I briefly thought about not running today, that maybe my body needed a bit more rest. I thought I'd try a much shorter run, that I'd go back to the beginning of the 5k programme and take it easy. I got on the treadmill and finished week 4 of the 10k instead. Because my body said it didn't have no truck with no measly 90 second sessions of running. It wanted to leap and glide (well, huff and puff and sweat like a motherbitch) and it did, kind of.

Now I feel much better.

Wednesday 3 August 2011

Being the Change you want to see in the world. Pfft.

GAH. I'm right in the middle of the blasted doldrums. No lovely breeze, no sailing forth, no other maritime clichés - of which I am clearly ignorant. I'm still running (bit hard on the water *da-dum-dum-tsssh* ... I should be ashamed, you're quite right) and have definitely changed, but I'm slap bang in the middle of one of those horrid slumps where you wonder what the fuck you're bothering with any of it for. 

Yes, I'm a bit lighter, I'm fitter, but when I look in the mirror I am still, for all intents and purposes, a fat lady. BIG WAH, right? But my point really is that I never noticed this shit before. The double chin was just part of my life, now it hangs about on the underside of my face, like a succulent grotesquerie of a limpet, making me see a jowly fucker who needs to put down the pies and not someone who runs almost every day and watches what she eats. My legs have completely changed and not entirely in a good way. They're more solid for sure, but you can probably see the cellulite in my thighs from Mars. Cellulite! What the fuck is that - except hard proof that there can be no benevolent God? Globular clusters of Nature's gelatinous fuckery, that's what it is. And we'll not even begin to mention the state of my stomach. GAH, I say again. This losing weight/healthier lifestyle has it perks, but there's only so much feeling better and not having headaches all the time that you can take before ... okay, so it's actually brilliant, I am definitely healthier and I generally feel pretty good about myself ... until I take a look and then I'm right back to wanting to gag the mooch in the mirror and shove her in a cupboard until she's skinny! And I hate skinny! I don't want to be skinny, I just want to be a regular size so I can shop easily for clothes and not have to invest in badly designed, overpriced tents. I want to be able to run, jump, hop, skip, whatever the feck I feel like doing whenever I feel like doing it, and not be anchored to the earth by my Lusitaniac arse. And that metaphor makes me think about torpedos up the bum, which means I have lost my way here somewhat ... 

Frustration is a right royal arse pain and I am the queen of driving myself crazy with all the "what-I-can't-dos" rather than focussing on what I can. Reality? What's that? Long term thinking? What use is that to me right at this very sulky, pessimissitc, slightly churlish minute? The thing about change, the thing that we all know, is that it's hard. But it's even harder when you're chiselling the behemoth down from 22 stone and nobody sees the 7 stone you've lost, they see the 4 or 5 more you should probably get on with losing instead of whining about it here. Including me. GAH. 

On a serious note, the changes I've made have given me a new understanding of eating disorders, which I thought were quite alien to me - until I realised I was a compulsive over-eater (midway through jamming the fifth or sixth packet of crisps into my mouth when I felt frustrated, lonely and downright low) Compulsive eating and anorexia are so easy to dismiss by anyone who's never felt the extremes that the combination of food, bad self-image, low self-esteem and their ineffable mutation can produce in the mind. And I mean extremes. None of your Special K/Lorraine Kelly-esque "three pounds off for summer" shitdickery. I'm talking about the "if I eat that/don't eat that, everything will be all right" psychoses that can turn your world into a waking nightmare of control or lack thereof, a battle that is exhausting and might eventually kill you.

I started losing weight and consciously becoming more healthy because I realised I was so far out of control that if I didn't do something about it, I was going to die. Simple as. So I took command of my ship, made a few decisions, and it felt good (that makes it sound so easy. It wasn't) But dealing with the self-image problem is the hardest part of it. My self-esteem has never been the best and now I am finding fault with myself over things that I don't, if I'm objective, actually have much more control over than I'm already exerting - not unless I want to slip into the crazy, and dangerous, world of yo-yo dieting. But this doesn't stop me finding fault and letting it affect what is a very delicate rebuilding of my "self". 

I guess my real point is that losing weight is hard fucking work. At times it can be traumatic, it can be confusing, then elating, and then it can kick you to the floor. Hard. It can be the best idea you ever had and it can be the very worst. I feel like not much has changed, but it has - no matter what I might say, I can see that. It's just ... tiring. Not all the time, sometimes it's invigorating, often it’s rewarding. But quite a lot of the time I get the urge to fall face first into a giant chocolate cake slathered with chocolate frosting and not come up for air. To fall asleep in all that sugary evil. Because I'm tired. I’m right in the middle of the doldrums and I need the breeze to lift my sails. 

Beans for lunch then ...