Friday, 23 September 2011

Different paths

Is it the be all and end all? No, of course it’s not. Losing weight is not ‘it’. But for so long – all my life, it’s been the holy grail. Even when I was a child, and I didn’t need to lose weight it was what I thought I wanted. What I thought I needed. 

Eventually it was what I needed. 15 and a half stone and miserable the decision to actually do it, to commit myself to losing weight had to be made or things could have gone in a very different direction. 

Now, years later, I’ve done it again – lost some of the weight that has made me feel like an outsider so many times in my life. My weight has been, and is, such a big issue for me. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up and every decision I make throughout the day is connected to it. What will I wear, how do I look, what will people think, am I fit enough, will people be laughing at me. All the time. It’s constant. Never-ending, and exhausting. 

Yes, three stone lighter than my heaviest weight, those feelings of insecurity are not as strong as they used to be. I feel so much better than I used to. I feel something quite close to normal. I know I’m not done though, I’m not normal. I’m still bigger than almost all my friends. But... I’ve lost my drive. I’ve lost my total, laser like, dedication. I don’t know if this journey is going to continue anymore and that’s the hardest part to swallow for one main reason... my mum.

We’ve both being dieting for all our lives. Most years my mum loses around a stone and a half, and then puts it back on again. This year the penny seems to have dropped for us both. I’ve lost 2 stone, she’s lost 3. She’s the lightest weight she can ever remember being – since she was 11. She is going strong and shows no signs of stopping. Whereas I? Oh, I think it’s safe to stay I’ve stopped – and I keep stalling. 

I’m not happy about my lack of progress and more specifically, my state of mind. I am just not feeling it. I’m going through the motions with 75% of the effort. I’m trying to come to terms with the fact that I’ve lost two stone. I’m sure I can keep it off and this might be it. My mum – she is still gung ho and our difference in attitudes is really upsetting me.

We talk about weight loss and dieting to no-one else except each other. Yes, we talk about it to other people but we don’t really discuss it with anyone else, get into the nitty gritty. No-one (except you lot) really know how much it affects me like she does, and vice versa. We’re each other’s biggest cheerleaders and being able to lose weight at the same time (for once) has been brilliant. But now... it feels like our paths are going in two very different directions. 

We were just chatting on the phone and I mentioned I’d had my hair cut but it was just a trim; I’m getting something more drastic done in November. My mum replied, “Well by the time November comes around you could be looking even thinner.” My heart sank. My mum doesn’t care what size I am, as long as I am healthy and happy. I know she’s just trying to gee me up and that’s her mindset at the moment – future dates are tied to possible weight loss. It wasn’t what I wanted to hear though. I said “Everything isn’t tied to that”. “Yes it is!” she said. 

No, it’s not.

What’s upsetting me is if I don’t lose any more weight how am I going to cheer her on? How am I going to convincingly motivate her and compliment her? She’ll stop talking to me about it and it’ll become the elephant in the room. The sad fact is also that I don’t want her to be smaller than me. How selfish is that? 

I tried to explain that this might be the end of the weight loss road for me and that we might be going in different directions now.

The phone line was terrible and I got cut off. I didn’t call her back.

I feel so upset now. I don’t want to have lost my drive. I don’t want my mum to leave me behind.


  1. This is hard, no doubt about it. And in so many ways, I do understand, although without having a mum, or other fellow (real-life) weightloss charging off without me. I've got comfortable. I've stayed where I am for two years, and although I get motivated when the scales creep up a bit, I get back to my lowest and it's like I've reached my happy place again. It's not where I wanted to finish, but my sub-conscious seems to find it enough.

    Like you, I do think about my weight *a lot* in my day-to-day life. I rarely make a food or exercise choice without considering it. I'm still critical of myself in the mirror many days, and it's tiring being like that. It would probably be tiring for the people around me, except I don't talk about it with most of them much. Sometimes I have those glorious moments when i just live in the moment, experience life to the fullest and it's glorious, but not as much as I'd like.

    If I can't lose for my appearance, then I don't know if my sudden fear at entering a half marathon is going to help. For the past couple of days since I've entered, I'm suddenly terribly motivated to lose, because I'm terrified that I won't be able to drag my current self round 13.1 miles of road. It's a different motivational point of view, because it has nothing to do with how I look, or how I feel about it, and everything to do with what my body is capable of which is an entirely different issue. I don't know whether it will last, and I'm not suggesting you sign up for a half-marathon, but, if you do want to keep losing, maybe it's time to find a new motivational perspective or some sort, if that's possible?

    Whatever you do - you've done brilliantly, and you're fabulous anyway, so don't be too hard on yourself x

    Sue (starfish264)

    p.s. apologies for the essay!

  2. I do sympathise and know exactly how you feel about thinking about weight every day. I still do to some extent and I'm 61! My mum is 7 stone - that's been a hard one for me all my life.

    You're such a pretty girl and now, looking back, I wish that I'd appreciated being a pretty girl and not bothered about my weight. It shouldn't be the most important thing (as long as you're healthy, which you are.) I'm sure TB loves you for yourself, not for a few pounds or even stones here and there. I'm three stone heavier than I was when I was married and I don't think it bothers my husband at all.

    But still - I understand how you're feeling.

  3. Ah yes, I bet this post spoke to all of us who read your excellent blog.

    Firstly I would say that you absolutely could cheer your mum on in weight loss if you didn't lose another lb - or even if you put it on. BUT - and it's a big but - only if you're happy about the way you are. If you're not, well then keep going, just knowing that we all lose our mojo from time to time but that you can get it back. If you're happy as you are then stop - but it doesn't really sound like it, more that you are happIER. Which is good - maybe it takes the pressure off a little but I don't think you're at the end of your journey.

    My mother is a scrap - size 6-8 - and still goes on about being fat, sigh. She's slimmed down from a size 10-12 and has donated her best size 12 stuff to me - and of course it's all far too small. It's not easy.

    Feel free to ignore all this btw!


  4. My mom has always been smaller than me. Even when she's dieting it's a competition, not a friendly journey with her daughter. And it's frustrating as all hell.

    I know you feel stalled sometimes, but I am telling you, every time I see a new picture of you I can't help but be wowed. You rocked the hell out of that pink dress. You're working hard & it is paying off even if you don't always see it or feel it!

  5. You are being very hard on yourself. I know people talk about being 'on the wagon' - or 'off' it. But sometimes, you can be a little of both. Sometimes, you can have a few weeks where you give yourself a much needed break, all the while knowing that this doesn't mean you've failed or that it's over. It's just a break.

    It doesn't mean bingeing necessarily. It just means eating a little more normally for a while, but not forgetting your good foundations. You know what to do and you can do it. We all need to give ourselves a break sometimes, while knowing that a break is all it is. And that's how it should be post-diet too.

    You'll be back on course soon. You're just dropping anchor for a while. I know you can do it. It might be a week, it might be a month. Many friends have done this and it's really helped them.

    I know you will come to terms with your mum too, though it is painful right now. But you're different people. My mum has always been tiny and I have my Dad's genes. But what can you do? I read this blog post today and it made me feel a lot better - about everything, really

    Good luck xx


Go on then, spill.