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Every loser wins...

Updated: Sep 14, 2019

For several months, Thursday evenings have been a complete dichotomy in my life. To give you some background, I live in an almost constant state of wanting to lose between 4 and 10lbs. Over the course of my teenage and adult life, there have been only about four years where I have not been in this state. These years of respite came in part thanks to a great deal of clubbing (20's) and a great deal of walking up and down hills with my baby in a pushchair (30's). I don’t know if there is a rule about Fat Club, like, the first rule of Fat Club is that you never talk about Fat Club but here goes: I am currently in my third incarnation as a Slimming World member. I don't know if there is a system to this – do I change form each time? In a way, yes. I'm older, although ironically not necessarily fatter. There does not seem, however, to be any karmic progression or any law that determines how well I will do or how committed I will be. Make no mistake if I follow the Slimming World plan correctly, I will lose weight. I know this. And yet the ability to commit to it this time is eluding me; in truth, my resolve has well and truly left the building. I have been going for over six months and I have lost 2 1/2lbs. I have actually lost more than this, but then I've put it back on. It's called yoyoing. I am sure that, were I to take up yoyoing or better yet a more intensive form of exercise, I might do a little better on the weight loss front. (And it is at the front, halfway down, where I really need to lose it.) Also, as my wonderful and delightfully quirky Slimming World consultant Mark pointed out to the group a few weeks ago, after weigh-in it's treat night. (I squirmed in my seat at the mention of this, expecting him to point at me and say ‘Isn’t that right Sibby?’ with a grin because I thought this was just me, but no, it turns out it's an actual thing.) The way it goes is - if you've lost weight that week, you feel like you deserve a takeaway, if you've put on a pound or two you drown your sorrows in a bottle of red wine. We're talking 20 or so syns there, in less than an hour. That's a day and a third's worth gone. Consumed. The irony is that then you have to play catch up for the rest of the week, as Mark rightly explained, since your treat night starts on Thursday and can sometimes span over Friday, Saturday (and let’s be honest - even Sunday), leaving four days to lose the weight you've just put on. Having said that, I'm not entirely sure this could be classed as true irony. I remember hearing someone once, a DJ or a comedian perhaps, talking about Alannis Morissette's song 'Isn't it ironic?' Lyrics include 'It's like rain on your wedding day, it's a free ride when you've already paid...' etc, as well as a story about a man who's afraid to fly and dies in a plane crash. As this person observed, these things aren't ironic. Actually, they're just shit. (Except it rained on my wedding day and it was still lovely.) So as I wended my way to the chippy after Slimming World last Thursday, I caught myself pondering the true definition of irony: is the fact that I paid £5 to get weighed and then £8 for a large cod, chips and mushy peas - to share, if that makes it any better – really ironic? That's £13 of money I've spent to feel the same as I did the previous day. But the chips are good and it was the start of the weekend after all. I think it could be more likely that the size of my midriff these days is not nearly as central to my happiness as it was when I was a fat teenager. Indeed, I actually believed that no-one would ever love me unless I was thin. This was a very depressing assumption at the time, and one that I am glad to say has transpired to be utter nonsense. If I could go back to speak to myself as I was then, oh the misery I could dispel. Still, that’s not how life works is it? Maybe I’ve just decided that at 43 I’m ready to let go of this 31 year-long obsession/worry about my body shape. (The fact that it’s been so long makes me even more determined to leave it behind!) I think it’s time to separate my weight from my own self-worth and see it for what it is – some extra flab that I could get rid of if I was a bit less lazy and not quite so keen on sugary tea and Lindt milk chocolate. Besides these days when my eldest announces to everyone within half a mile in his outdoor (same as his indoor if I’m honest) voice that I have a ginormous tummy, I can smile and say ‘I’ve grown two babies in there you know?’, while I happily tuck into my apricot Danish. As I ponder the definition of irony I can also resign myself to the fact that being able to rest my mug of hot chocolate with marshmallows upon my tummy like a shelf is a skill in itself. Furthermore, as Alannis also points out in her 90’s ditty, ‘Life has a funny way of helping you out’ so it will all be okay. The weight-loss fairy won’t come in the night and take it all away, but by letting go of my obsessing over it, I can also let go of the issue itself, and sometimes that’s all you need to do to move forward.


Only I might need to take up some exercise so I can move forward a bit faster...


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