I’ve strived to get my arse as flat as a pancake…

‘I Like Big Butts And I Can Not Lie You Other Brothers Can’t Deny That When A Girl Walks In With An Itty Bitty Waist And A Round Thing In Your Face’
Sir Mix-a-Lot
Although I will confess, when a friend complimented me on my big bottom, I was quite flattered as I’d strived to get my arse as flat as a pancake for so many years, to no avail.
Last week, I reminisced about holidays, and following the Government’s announcement this week, there really is light at the end of the tunnel for anyone who wishes to travel this year. Apologies to my friend who, although was very complimentary about my blog, felt melancholic as it reminded her of all the restrictions that have been in place for the past twelve months. I mention this because this week’s blog may cause slight angst too, I won’t be offended if you say that you didn’t read it, although it will make my day if you leave a sympathetic comment and let me know if you have battled with similar demons. I know my story isn’t unique, it’s something that perhaps millions of people go through all the time.
But first, I would like to share one of two extracts from Love is Crystal Clear…
Clara said, ‘Who can hold their hand up and say they don’t criticise themselves when they look in the mirror? Whether it’s not accepting the signs of getting older or the way your body shape changes over time. Who looks at a stranger and wishes they had that body? That face? That hair? Those bulging biceps? Or long, willowy legs? Well, I—for one—can’t hold my hand up. Anton, the love of my life, doesn’t see my self-perceived flaws. I wouldn’t say he accepts me for who I am, as he challenges me to reach for the sky and fulfil my ambitions. But he never criticises my appearance. If only we could stop being so hard on ourselves and so judgemental. Today has taught us how good it feels when we sing our own praises. Hold on to that feeling and make sure you tell yourselves every day how amazing you are.’
I remember the conversation I had with my husband when I signed up for yet another health plan. ‘It’s the last time I sign up to a plan, as this time it’s going to work…I am not going to go through my fifties, battling with my weight like I have done for most of my life,’ I said, as another £100 left my bank account. Well, I’ve haven’t exactly stuck to my guns… It’s so tough, I’m going around in circles, although I’m fighting a battle that I intend to win.
I may have mentioned once or twice that I am going through the menopause. My family would agree, as it’s a conversation I have daily and one that I will write about soon. This, combined with the fact that I haven’t been to the gym for the past twelve months, has resulted in dreaded weight gain. I’ve tried eating healthy, laying off the booze for weeks at a time and I have thoroughly enjoyed my walks with my daughter and friends as well as whipping my garden into shape. I have access to online exercise classes, including wonderful yoga sessions with Mandy of Devi Yoga, but what is going on? Why am I so obsessed with my weight and how I look? Some people may call me vain and they are entitled to their opinion but here’s where it gets deep.
In 2012, Kelly Osbourne discussed her own weight loss journey. There is an article in the Daily Mail published back in 2012* that resonated with me and for years, it’s how I have perceived myself, until last year when I wrote about it in my journal and had a ‘lightbulb moment.’
Why did I obsess about my weight?
Well, I considered myself to be a FFP – Former Fat Person; according to the article, by Kelly’s definition, this is someone who looks in the mirror and will always see themselves as that former fat person. I must confess, there is a part of me that still does—it’s hard to forget about comments made over time–I am not talking about kids in the playground—these remarks have been made to me by adults, some intended as a compliment… Blimey, look at you now, you used to be fat or even spiteful abuse hurled at me whilst I was out enjoying myself…Oi fatty.
I must confess, I am struggling now. The numbers are creeping up on the scales and certain items of clothing are getting snug. But what can I do that I am not already doing with my lifestyle?
Well, I do enjoy clothes shopping, so it’s a great excuse to update my wardrobe and get out of those lounge pants. I can stick to a healthy eating plan and perhaps even treat myself to a slice of lemon drizzle cake every so often, that’s if my friend remembers that she promised to bake me one…hint.
Here’s another extract from Love is Crystal Clear
‘If only it were that easy,’ Maggie said. ‘John loves me for who I am, but somewhere along the line, I lost my self-confidence. Now I realise that I don’t want to go through the last few decades of my life, feeling so critical about myself. From this day onward, I’ll try to stop being so harsh on myself. It’s either that or break all the mirrors in the house.’
Like Maggie, I don’t want to break all the mirrors in the house, but there is one toxic relationship I must remove from my life. It’s something that has been a constant in my life for over twenty years.
Dear Bathroom Scales – you have got to go.
Why do I let this one item of equipment control me and dictate my moods? When the numbers go up, it makes me sad. When the numbers go down, it makes me happy. When they stay the same, it makes me frustrated.
I think it’s about time I take away their power. Who’s with me? Why should we let this little piece of metal that sits there in stillness judge us?
My lightbulb moment…
One realisation I did have when journaling was that I was indeed a FFP—not a Former Fat Person—a Former Fun Person. I have had such a colourful life, the memories of which should overshadow the insignificant remarks that have been thrown my way. I think I need to revisit Ireland as soon as I can and strip and dip in the ocean to remind me that life is too short to dwell in self-pity. I am going through a different chapter of my life, but one thing’s for sure…it’s going to be fun.
Charity Strip & Dip 2019 with Amy Stevens
Love is Crystal Clear is available to buy on Amazon