Saturday, 1 May 2010

Lots to think about

That last post was written in a fit of the serious poor-mes. I was hugely touched and encouraged by the beautiful responses I had, on this blog, on Facebook and by email, from several people - both dear friends and complete strangers - and it gave me lots of food for thought.

The important conclusion to come out of this is not about whether or not I need to lose a little weight. I know that I do. At twelve stone, I'm mercifully not obese, but I am definitely overweight - from a medical, healthy point of view, it's too much weight for a woman of 5'5". I'm carrying around some twenty pounds' excess strain on the heart, the back and all other bits of my anatomy. My blood pressure isn't yet dangerously high, but it's high enough for the nurse to call me back for an extra check and to caution me that she's not happy with it.

The actual numbers in my clothes sizes aren't that meaningful (let's face it, when I'm a size 14 in M&S, I'm a 12 in East and an Extra Large in Zara); but when I'm on the 12-14 racks, the whole bod feels better able to carry out its daily routine efficiently. And efficiency has always been important to me.

When, back in the summer of 2007, I had settled at roughly 10 stone 7, I was genuinely happy with my body, probably for the first time in my life - especially as it had been achieved by very little "dieting" and a lot of exercise, so was actually in far better shape than when I'd been even lighter in the past.

The trouble is that I was so thrilled to be bien dans ma peau, as the French so eloquently put it, that in my mind it meant that a very specific equation was formed: namely, ten-stone-seven = the right weight for me = attractive. Logically, therefore, twelve-stone = too heavy for me = unattractive.

The fear of getting dressed in the morning (faced with a wardrobe that is 75% useless) means that I might do two hours' work at the desk in my towelling robe before getting as far as the shower, unable to face the body and the wardrobe. I am likely to have a panic attack when "getting dressed up" because I'm limited to the two pairs of black trousers and one pair of jeans that I can wear with any comfort. And because my eighteen months in "the right place" was so happy, I had worked on the basis that I'd no longer need the 14-to-16 range... ach, we've all been there.

So where does this get me now? Trying, very hard, to think clearly. It is possible for me to be attractive at my present weight and size; it's just a different kind of sexy. It's not a place I especially want to stay, purely for reasons of health, but it will do, and is not by definition a place of ugliness. Wow - there's a concept.

So I've been to the gym twice this week, used the exercise bike three times, and been trying to eat sensibly. I'll have my steroid injection on Thursday, and see where it gets me. And I'll believe my lovely husband, and my dear friends, and those complete strangers who care enough to take time to send me good thoughts and best wishes. My thanks and love to them all.


I was supposed to be running the Norwich Race for Life today. My foot has been so bad that I can barely walk on it at the moment, much less run. What did I do instead? I went to see my lovely friend Kayla for a long-overdue waxing session (ouch) and back massage & facial (wonderful). A bit ironic, really, but I suppose I can live with that.

In the meantime, I am so proud of those friends of mine who have run or will run this race in aid of cancer research: Kinga, Tracy, Linda and my lovely friend Kim. I hope to be back with you next year.