An even newer foxglove with the sun behind.
The sun beginning to set through the trees.
Each new realisation was celebrated and analysed and seemed to add a new layer to the notion that I would never return to fatdom. Well, nearly 2 years have passed and I have not returned to fatdom although I did flirt with it and I haven't remained as slender as I briefly was. My mind has caught up with my body and I recognise new definitions of "fat" and "thin". I have changed (I hope) forever.
So, what is new and exciting about this stage in my (beware, dreaded word coming, avert your eyes if of a sensitive disposition) journey?
- An inner calm and confidence. I do not dread things in the same way as I used to. The stakes are not as high. Why might this be so? I mean, I've only lost weight not changed jobs or inherited a fortune. I think it the achievement of a longheld desire which has taught me that I can do stuff; I can set my mind to a goal and achieve it. And also the sheer fact of being slimmer and more attractive sets my inner chimp (yes, her again) at ease as she worries about these things. Life for a fat chimp is necessarily more precarious and a fat chimp would be more insecure and worried about her main aims, namely finding a partner in order to procreate. [Note - I'm not the chimp - just because she cares about these things and causes me grief in so doing, doesn't mean that I do but it helps me if she is happy too.]
- After that rather deep effect, a trivial one: my feet don't hurt. When you're a big girl, your feet hurt nearly all the time. Now they don't.
- I don't try as hard. I don't feel the need to wear make-up and high heels all the time. I love make-up sometimes and love dressing up too but, now when I dress up I know it's because I want to, not because I would feel miserable being seen in public without my armour of make-up and "flattering" clothes. The same thing applies to my socialising. I used to make a lot of the running socially. Arranging things and keeping in touch with people. Now, while I'm willing to take on my share of the social "duties", I don't do more than my share. If I don''t feel like going out, I don't (unless there is a genuine obligation and it would hurt someone etc). I trust that people enjoy my company for me rather than having to make the running and somehow "earn" the right to be popular. (Truly, fatness is a debilitating condition.) I'm more willing to say no and set limits than I used to be and less likely to hunger after popularity and approval.
- Are you ready for a trivial one? Tights. If I have to wear them (ie.during the depths of winter) they're not too bad. They don't automatically ladder when stretched over massive thighs and then rub during the day. If they do ladder, I can nip out and buy another pair in a local shop, I don't have to have several back up pairs of fat girl tights in every location because I can't fit into normal sizes. And, best of all, the minute it even looks vaguely like spring, I can discard them confident that the tops of my legs will not rub and chafe and blobs of cottage-cheesy flab will not adorn each chubby knee. Okay, my legs will never be slim (they just won't - I would have to be skeletal everywhere on my body and gaunt in the face for my legs even to approach slim) but they're not bad now and tights are not the angst-ridden works of Satan that they used to be in my fat girl incarnation.
- Reality. I think I recognise the concept a little now. I know now that life will not magically become perfect once I lose weight. I did that and it didn't. But I also know that I can make it better through my own efforts. As a fat woman I dreamt of escape and frequently did escape from real life. I read loads, often sitting for hours on the sofa reading pulp fiction about other people living wonderful lives. Now I read a bit but don't use books to escape from real life. I read for pleasure, relaxation and information. I think more about what I read and sometimes even apply it. If something is wrong with my life, I face up to it (eventually - hey - I'm a work in progress here) and try to do something about the problem. I don't read yet another novel about some woman changing her life and then marrying Mr Right. I don't dream about a magical weight loss surgery which would slice hanks of fat from my thighs without leaving a scar and instantly render me gorgeous. Or a terrible tropical virus which first puts me in a coma and then wastes the fat from my frame until I'm eventually saved and emerge a slyphlike size 10. Oh yes, I did used to dream. Now life is generally better than the dreams and there's fun to be had away from the sofa.
- Your final trivial example - speed. It was raining today when I left the supermarket. I was carrying 2 bags of shopping and wearing work shoes but no coat or umbrella. So I just speed-walked back to the office so as not to get too soaked. On my way back I overtook 2 of my colleagues, pretty large ladies both. They were toiling back at a steady, weary pace and getting wet. Speeding up was not an option for them but it was for me.
Anyway, there are bound to be loads more but that's enough to be getting on with. Thanks Claire for making me think; I've really enjoyed the process....perhaps I should do it more often!