Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Firewirks over Sydney Opera House

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Number 500!!

I took the girls for a glorious walk this evening after french - we went up to Stanage Edge, walked along it and then back through the woods to the quiet road and back to the car into the setting sun. Heaven heaven heaven.

A pretty foxglove just opening.

An even newer foxglove with the sun behind.

The view over Stanage Edge. I walk along the top and then back down through those woods to the road on the right of the photo. It's nice walk because you can see your whole route spread before you.

Supermodel Minty.
A self-timer effort with Shelagh trying to slurp my face and Minty standing by wanting a go.

Minty's turn.

Don't we look sweet? Minty is better tha Shelagh at this as she doesn't always lick my face just as the camera takes the picture. She is pretty vain to be honest!

The sun beginning to set through the trees.

The walk down to the road

I stopped the car on the way home to snap this sunset - it was stunning, the picture does not do it justice.

Who'd have thought that I'd post 500 times??! I don't even know what prompted me to start the blog in the first place...honestly, the motivation must have appeared out of thin air as I still can't remember what made me do it that fateful night before I started Lighter Life back in January 2007. I'm pleased I did though as it has been a source of pleasure, learning and friendship.

Claire from Lose to Gain wrote a list of things that are better now that she has lost loads of weight and this has set me thinking. I too wrote lists during the Lighter Life process. Everything was happening so fast and changes were hitting left, right and centre. My mind wasn't able to keep up with my changing body shape so I obsessively documented each new occurence. It was great. "I can cross my legs!" "I can fit into an airline seat!" "I can shop in normal shops" "I'm thinner than my best friend!"

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!


Peridot said...

Really interesting and thought-provoking post, thanks. I haven't quite got as far as you on the 'reality' post though - if you hear about that surgery, let me know and I'll whip my credit card out (unless it's available on the NHS?)

Peridot x

Claire said...

I used to dream of getting a tape worm! x

Mrs said...

Brilliant post, Lesley. Honest and poignant. Have tried to leave a couple of comments to no avail. Hope this works.

Keep on trucking, chuck!!!

Big kiss

Mrs Lxxxxxxx

Shauna said...

Fantastic stuff... loved your reflections :)