Friday, 7 May 2010

As I melt away from Wildebeest to Baby Elephant .........

.......I ponder the moment in February 2010 when I reaffirmed my belief in a higher power looking out for me. Shocked at the unbelievably high number glaring back at me from the bright red display on my scales, I sloped off, shoulders hunched with disgust and disappointment at this depressing state of affairs: total weight loss from March 2009 to Christmas - 28lbs, total weight gain over the festive season to February 2010 + 7lbs. A grand total of 21lbs loss in a year; less than 2lbs a month – dismal, totally dismal; one step forward, a few dozen back, as usual. If I could have kicked my own arse all the way down to the kitchen where I was heading for an early morning cup of tea, then I would have done so before kicking it all the way back upstairs just to hammer the message home; too many calories in, too few expended by settling said arse in the world’s most comfortable recliner in preference to a bit of exercise here and there. It’s not rocket science; even an eejit like me can work out the basic formula of a calorific deposit and withdrawal system but sometimes logic gets lost amongst a sea of inertia, unreasonable expectations, and a lack of willpower.

As a lapsed Catholic, I don’t subscribe to the weekly knee bending and humble adoration repertoire that organised religion demands for the saving of my soul. But I regularly have a word with the big guy above and a few saints to boot - St Jude being top priority as he’s the patron saint of hopeless cases and without a doubt I am his top groupie, a challenge, someone he’s surely ready to wash his hands of. I like to round off my iconic crew with Mary the mother of God, a matriarch of great serenity and grace who quietly goes about her way managing the men with words of wisdom when the situation seems bleak or I’ve asked for a bit too much, too often. Add to that a couple of female saints whose achievements I admire, (and ashamedly is something of an egotistical choice, simply because I am named after them), then you have the full suite; a quango of reverence for me to plead with, bargain with and just plain toady to when the chips are down. I like the eclectic mix; I like the gender mix; and sure, wouldn’t the big guy abhor the presence of a glass ceiling and welcome his female reports onto the celestial board of directors without the bat of an eyelid? Besides ,who else but another woman or two could empathise with the futility of pulling on your humongous elasticised trousers only to find the seams giving way because even elastic has a finite ability to go beyond the call of duty.

Too many failed attempts can knock a girl’s confidence and so it was with a sense of desperation and caught up in the slipstream of Hope beating a rapid exit from my life that I invoked a few incantations. I engaged in some impressively naked self-serving grovelling, some over the top bartering and promises on what I was prepared to do in return for a bit of direction, willpower, even.

Well, when it works it works, is all I can say. No sooner had I trawled my online news pages when I saw an article on six women who’d lost a staggering amount of weight, each using a different method that worked for them. It was a truly inspirational piece of before and after pictures to stimulate my interest further. I almost cried tears of joy and relief at such celestial intervention; the turnaround time on my pathetic cry for help through to delivery of said solution was remarkable even for the big guy and the board of directors. No doubt about it, they have a customer for life after that kind of service excellence. And as everyone knows, the best kind of marketing is word of mouth so here I am doing my bit for the organisation, (not the organised church you understand but the high heed yins up above).

I could have chosen any number of plans to start my attack on fat central but who hasn’t tried the bacon and egg diet, the cabbage soup diet – highly anti social and a real deal breaker in the marriage stakes, food combining, the eat once a day then drink and smoke yourself to death for the rest of it diet or the one where you drink a turgid shake then have a teaspoon of food and a salad leaf to see you through the evening?

I’d tried the Weightwatchers diet about fifteen years ago. It wasn’t for me; I remember abject hunger and a loss of a will to live as the plan they used in those days was all about denial, denial, denial to the point you caved in and would have happily snarfed down road-kill. Their diet philosophy was fine, their plan wasn’t. I could have made a killing selling junk food heaven to those poor saps who, in their desperation to eat something substantial, would leave en masse to sate their ravenous appetites only to spend the next week working it off before the next weigh-in. Somehow the possibility of being trampled to death by the human equivalent of a herd of rampaging wildebeest didn’t appeal so I consigned my entrepreneurial aspirations to the bin. I have no doubt that the WW’s eating plans have moved with the times but my previous experience and the all prevailing air of a victim support meeting prevented me from galloping enthusiastically towards them.

So, who did I choose? Why no less that the saintly Rosemary Conley; my new guru who surely deserves beatification for the cleverly designed eating plan and innovative exercise programme. I like the psychology of this approach which encompasses a thoroughly modern methodology that encourages ownership and control of your weight loss progress with not a whiff of victim or nanny lecturing permeating the air. What a revelation to bounce out of a class, high on endorphin overload, thoughts of binge eating banished to the bad old days. I’m never hungry, eat a well balanced diet and my gym equipment no longer gathers dust.

It wasn’t easy to get going, but my energy levels have increased tenfold. A body that ached at every twist and turn as the exercise programme demanded much more activity than I had been used to of late has become more fluid in its movement. The loss of the use of an arm and a hip as stiffness and pain rendered me immobile for a week at a time were a small sacrifice on the road to fitness. The embarrassment of resembling the old bloke dancing at a wedding as I tried to master the aerobics routine is long forgotten as I comfortably complete the routine like an old pro. The abstinence from calorie ridden rich food and alcohol has been a doddle, a cleansing experience in mind and body and an easily maintainable practice. I’ve cemented my friendships with my girlfriends who are on the journey with me and we delight in each other’s progress. I’ve dropped several dress sizes and joy of joy, I can wear my standard sized welly boots as my calves have slimmed down from billiard table size; tree trunks in rubber was never a good look. Oh and finally, I’m forty five pounds lighter than I was this time last year with a resolve to embrace this new programme as a life-long commitment. I have a long way to go but every pound is a pound less than I was before. I might end up with a slimmer face that looks like it needs like a good iron but hey ho, you can’t win them all, but what I’ve achieved already feels like the best lottery win ever..


aims said...

OH MOB! That is incredible! What a feat you've accomplished! You've given me hope again dear gal. You truly have.

Congratulations and I must say I enjoyed very much how you told it all to us. You need to be a writer of books - you've got what it takes I think.

Congrats again!! I'm proud (and jealous of course) of you!

DJan said...

Totally inspiring! Not only written with humor and clarity, but a story with a happy ending. Or almost ending. Or something. But I enjoyed it immensely! Kudos to you!

Jeni said...

Big congratulations on the weight loss! Here I've been, somewhat gloating to myself about having lost 16 pounds since December when my doctor told me I HAD to begin watching my sugar and cholesterol intake and to start some kind of exercise program too so I would lose some pounds. All things considered -since I did take the easiest route I could find to follow her instructions -was to try to cut back on my portions, ease up on the ice cream and other treats and for exercise, I've been trying to take the maniac dog for a walk at least once a day for a distance of at least 1/2 mile round trip to walking as far as 5 miles round trip on one occasion. Aerobics and other high impact types of exercising scares the living daylights out of my lazy soul and I'm afraid would put so many new kinks in my already arthritic body that I won't take that chance. I'd like to have lost more weight sure, but for the sake of being able to keep walking I think I'll stay the course I've been on.

auntiegwen said...

You go girl ! I bought a set of scales yesterday, wished I hadn't as I weigh as much as some of the children combined :) but it's a start ! xxx

i beati said...

i'm going right to it..sandy

Jennyta said...

Congratulations, MOB! I think I might need to go down that route myself - daily walking of the dog just ain't cutting it. ;)

Flowerpot said...

That is wonderful MOB - wellk done you I take my hat off. Well I would if I wore one. Keep writing please...

Anonymous said...

Think I need to follow you on that
Since working from home those pounds just pile on
I dont walk as much and the fridge is so near as is the post office with all its calorific goodies
So I guess I need to go look at Rosemary C too

Maggie May said...

I also found that Rosemary worked for me at one time when I was dedicated to the diet.
I found the hardest thing was keeping the weight off and sticking to a new way of living (diet) and unfortunately I have piled it back on.
Congratulations on your weight loss & I hope you find a way of keeping trim. That is the real secret and I find that hard.

Nuts in May

wendyytb said...

Wow! Wonderful effort and results!

clairedulalune said...

Miss MOB, come on Down! Wooohoooo! Tip of the cap to ya! Fantastic, I am so happy to read this, you should feel extremely proud of yourself! I have just started running everyday, and although the first few times were HELL I am getting better and now look forward to it! I was just thinking about getting Rosemary Conley DVD (Is that woman immortal or something, she is ageless!)I was stupid and bought Tracey anderson method, DVD. She is mental, I give it away after trying it once not for me. Good ole Rosey Posey for me! Really good to hear from you MOB and you are incredible, wonderwoman!

Gone Back South said...

WOW! I say, WOW WOW WOW! I'm so pleased you've found your way, and feel so much better and healthier. HOORAH FOR MOB!

Anonymous said...

This is really inspiring and gives me hope. I'm so thrilled to hear that you have found something that not only works for you, but fits nicely into your lifestyle. Way to go, what an accomplishment.
I have never heard of Rosemary Conley, but you can be sure I will be checking her out.
As always, your posts are so well written, with honesty and humor but still touch a deep nerve within most of us. Thank you for this post. Thank you for your blog. Thank your for you for being you.

Tattie Weasle said...

You rock! That is great news. RC is a saint or she will be shortly. As DJAN said that is truly inspirational!


Sounds brilliant, MOB - way to go, girl! (Mind you, I did blanch at the sentence which said 'no alcohol'... Had to read it twice, but sure enough, it was there. Which is why, I suspect, I'll never be up there with RC.)

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Aims – I have a long way to go but I am on the right path. When I found the articles with the before and after pictures I was inspired too. It was just what I was looking for. It is such a different life coming out of depression, so much is achievable. Well, re the book, parts of it have had a major rewrite and it is coming along nicely but thanks for such a great comment. It is always humbling when someone of your writing ability pays me such a compliment.

Djan – aw thanks hen! Glad you enjoyed it. Still plugging away at the diet and exercise so all going well for a happy ending.

Jeni - 16lbs from Christmas is a brilliant result, you must be feeling great. Walking is a brilliant way to exercise and lose weight. No need for aerobics when you are doing that. You go girl! I know how you feel. Brilliant!

Auntiegwen – ah the dreaded scales! A necessary evil. Between myself and himself our weight loss is that of a ten year old.

Ibeati – never too late to start!

Jennyta – we walk the dogs a lot now but yup, you need a good old effort on the diet – it doesn’t take much! Go on, have a go!

Flowerpot - ta hen, I have been remiss in writing regularly. I appreciate your taking off your metaphorical hat to me. Thanks!

Valley’s Mam – ah the fridge – my husband only ever saw my arse sticking out of it! Working from home is such a gift but yes the fridge need a time lock on it. It used to be the only exercise I got going from my chair to the fridge and back!

Maggie – I completely understand about sticking to a diet and how easy it is to fall off it. I can honestly say that following a low GI diet is the best one I have found so far. Much much better than that blasted induction phase on the Atkins diet – that damn near killed me after years of sticking to it with no results after the initial weight loss. I hate exercise but love the feeling when I am done so I guess it’s a part of my lifestyle now.

Wendyytb – thanks very much – takes a bow!

Clairedulalune – ha brilliant about the mental comment! Our instructor changed the class last week. Dear God she ramped it up a few notches and that was mental! Everyone bumping into each other as we tried to master the new steps at speed! Honestly it’s worth a try to go to the RC club. Great fun and a supportive bunch of women too. Keeps you on the straight and narrow.

Cheryl – thank you so much for such a great comment. I guess Rosemary Conley isn’t international then like weightwatchers is. But is such a simple diet to follow and the exercise truly makes a difference. I’ll be over to see how you are doing these days. Been very remiss in checking blogs – it was a much needed timeout.

Tattie – yes St Rosemary of Conley is my new icon! Her programme is truly inspirational. So many happy people and I am one of them!

Robynn's Ravings said...

Oh I'm SO HAPPY for you!!! Am completely miserable myself so am off to immediately read about this wonder woman and what it is she offers. This is NO SMALL FEAT! What made this work when nothing else would? Maybe I will discover it when I research.

Congratulations you wisp of a thing!

Working Mum said...

45lbs is fantastic! Well done you. I know how hard it is when you enjoy food, I'm just embarking on trying to lose a few pounds myself.

Lane said...

Oh wow, that is an incredible achievement!
You've done brilliantly and I'm sure you'll continue to do so.
Go MOB. I'm so impressed.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Robynns ravings – I know that the reason this programme was right for me was the exercise component. Weight Watchers really is like a victim support meeting with no real ‘high’ at the end of it and the great thing about aerobic exercise is that it stifles your appetite so no haring off to binge eat after a class! You can stick to a protein loaded diet if you want but never again for me – that helped to cause my depression and other health problems. Low GI and Dry Fry! That’s the very fellow for me! Hope you find her stuff inspiring as I know you need a lift after your recent troubles. Good luck.

Working Mum – I am delighted with my weight loss but I have about the same amount to lose again. It doesn’t seem an uphill struggle though as GI low is the way to go! Good luck.

Lane – ta Hen. I am ramped up, coiled for action and one day I’ll be a lean mean weight loss machine!

Anonymous said...

You are truly amazing. I am privileged to be able to call you my blogging friend.

I also wanted to say a very heartfelt "thank you" for the absolutely lovely comment you left on my recent blog post. I have received some touching comments in the past but yours has to go up there with some of, if not THE, best. And I really mean that. If I could hug you right now I would.

Thank YOU.

CJ xx

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Crystal – what a completely fabulous and kind comment to leave for me. I was very touched by it. You have always been very supportive and thank you.

Casdok said...

Brill!! Really pleased for you!

Carol said...

*rummage rummage*....*mutter 'where are they?'*...*clothes go flying past my head*...'Ah haaaa'

*pulls out pom poms and does a supportive happy dance on your behalf whilst chanting 'You go girl'*

I am so proud of are doing brilliantly!!

C x

Lorna F said...

Fantastic achievement, MOB, and -as ever - wittily expressed. When I was a teenager I was so skinny that my mother would traipse round Aberdeen with me looking for shoes and boots that would stay on my matchstick pins - sadly, far from the case now! (Well, the pins are still thin - it's the mass of lard balanced on top which is not such a good look!) It is without doubt the exercise thing that's my downfall: I have arthritis too and it's a struggle to fight the pain in order to maintain any degree of flexibility and strength - a losing battle, in my case. When I think of how I used to despair when I was size 12, longing to be size 10. It's madness, isn't it! Once again, many congratulations on your achievement - you're on a roll, kid! xx

Marianne said...

Wow, that's very impressive. You sound so positive and focused.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Casdok – I am pretty chuffed myself! Thank God for the almost end of the menopause – the weight is dropping off!

Carol – your comment cracked me up! I could picture you fecking things out of your dressing up box all over the place and my can you work those pom poms! Here’s to the next few months and even more weight loss!

Lorna-F I look back at old photo’s and see just what a great figure I had and remember that I mostly felt that there was work to do even then. I can sympathise with the arthritis – I know it can be very debilitating as my sister has it. I was immensely frustrated when I hurt my hip and hobbled around carrying this excess weight. I was concerned that post menopause my calcium levels had been too low and that I must have a deteriorated hip joint. I was bereft that I couldn’t exercise for a week! Thankfully it was just lack of use and it is much better now so a good warning to keep eating yoghurt and to exercise to keep the bone density good. Still, swimming is good for arthritic joints – go on, don a hot little number and wow them at the poolside!

Marianne – I feel fantastic and yes very positive. It’s the gift that just keep on giving! I haven’t felt this good in years.

Lena said...

You're an inspiration, MOB. Simple as.


Dear MOB - thank you SO MUCH for your lovely comment over at my place. It really meant a lot. Unfortunately, I've had to close the LBD blog - hopefully temporarily, but who knows - while I decide what to do. It was inevitable really - I seem to have upset someone. Well, if it wasn't going to be Akela, my long-suffering other half, the local Green brigade, the good people of Melksham, I suppose it had to happen sometime... Am taking a break while I work out what to do.

(If I do go back to it, I'll send you an invite so you can get in anyway. Was really lovely to hear from you).


menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Lena – It’s catching! The RC magazine and web site provides the real inspiration of people that have lost 6 stones or thereabouts; very inspirational altogether. I intend to be one of them – without the magazine shoot that is – couldn’t abide all that exposure. It took so long to get motivated and into the right frame of mind that I won’t be coming off this programme anytime soon.

LBD – sorry to hear about the loss of your blog. It was truly an inspirational read. Please don’t let the detractors win – just keep on writing even if it is to a closed blog – you are a tremendously talented writer. Trolls eh? Everyone gets them!

Rinkly Rimes said...

I like you 'old bag name! You're nearly half my age but I felt much older at 40 than I do now! I have a wonder diet that I think I'll print on my blog

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Rinkly Rimes - welcome and I think your name is even better than mine! I'll pop over for a read but the diet I am following is just amazing! A true eating plan, not a diet. Good luck with yours.