Life's a bastard...but sometimes it lets up

The life and times of an ordinary Dublin girl. Follow her journey as she finds out working from home really ISN'T about watching Oprah all day and that perhaps men aren't really all bastards.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Please do not feed the elephant!

AFTER many years of struggling with my weight I have finally decided to do something about it. I am joining my local branch of WeightWatchers with my friend tomorrow night (Thursday) and hopefully the group atmosphere and support of my friend will motivate me to stick to the programme and lose some much needed pounds and indeed stones.

I can't really pinpoint when I started putting on weight but I think it was in my teenage years, because any photos of me from my youth are of a skinny blonde thing, so I guess it was when I started babysitting regularly and got a part-time job in a shop at 15 or so that my problems started. Having my own money meant I didn't have to wait for Mammy Dunne to give me pocket money each week to buy sweets or chocolate and the walk and bus ride home from my part-time job was made much easier by the addition of a big greasy bag of chips! (Er and a battered sausage or two.) Alright alright, plus a Mars bar.

Luckily I was never bullied or teased at school because of my weight and so it never really bothered me in that sense. And when I got to college there were people there of all shapes and sizes so again, I put it to the back of my mind. It was only when I started working full-time in an office that I realised I'd quite like to wear snazzy black trousers and crisp white shirts and little suits like the other girls. Instead of baggy shapeless trousers and tent-like shirts. The only thing crisp about me was the packet of Tayto I carried in my bag at all times.

But still I did nothing about it for years and years, just kept clamping down on that little voice inside me that told me I was unhappy with how I looked. Then in 2002 I was diagnosed with a serious illness (more on that perhaps another time) and in a very short space of time lost about four stone (about 50-55lb for any trans-Atlantic visitors who may be reading). Although I was chronically sick I couldn't help but guiltily marvel at how good I looked! I took to looking at myself in every available shiny surface and trying on clothes in shops at least five sizes smaller than I normally wore, at every opportunity. Even if I couldn't afford them. Even if I was actually supposed to be on my way to a meeting, NOT browsing in the shops. And the little voice inside me was back, only louder this time, telling me that I WAS happier, being thinner. I WAS happier to be able to shop in normal stores. I WAS happier not sweating all the time. It took a horrible illness for me to realise this and I swore after all that pain and suffereing, I wouldn't go back to the fat me.

However, I am ashamed to admit it, but even with all the weight I lost while I was ill, I am still overweight. I currently wear a size 16 [US 12] (down from a 26, so not too bad I guess) but in recent months some of the weight I lost has started to creep back on and in fact a lot of my clothes are now a size 18. While I don't aspire to being a stick insect size eight, I would like to fit into a size 12, hence joining Weight Watchers. I've never had any will power so I really need the motivation of both WW and my friend to help me along the way. I hope to lose between two to three stone (one of those by Christmas) and then the final two by next summer and this time I intend to keep it off.

So keep your fingers crossed for me dear readers, I'm going to need all the support I can get. I'll update you each week on my progress (don't worry I'll keep it short, you won't be bored!) and I might even post a picture in the New Year of the svelter me!

And remember, if you meet me in the street and I get down on my knees and beg you for just one square of your chocolate, don't give it to me!


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