Monday, 24 May 2010

The camera never lies

“Just take the photo, quickly before I change my mind”, I said to Himself, as he grappled with his cell phone camera. He has a plethora of reading glasses dotted all over the house but strangely none to hand when the intricacies of reading small print and symbols require the power of a magnifying glass the size of a dinner plate.

And so it was, for the first time in at least five years I allowed a camera to capture my morbidly obese shape, front, back and rear in all its inglorious expansiveness. When we bought this house I was both amazed and horrified to find several full length mirrors dotted all over; every room had a reflective object just mocking my size at every turn. I became magnificently adept at averting my eyes as I quickly sloped past these monstrosities telling it like it was. The camera never lies, nor do mirrors it seems. Like most women who carry extra mounds of flesh, I could just about tolerate blow-drying my hair and applying makeup, never liking the reflection of the bloated face looking back at me from the dressing table mirror. Aversion techniques, if you don’t see it, it doesn’t register.

I steeled myself for what was to come but it was time to really take a good look at what our extended partying, the menopause, depression, giving up smoking and sinking my butt in a chair had done to my body for the last five years. It wasn’t a pretty sight; pretty shocking really, my backside, so big it looked like it should have another pair of legs to support it, my stomach a wheelbarrow to carry it around in, my boobs like two swollen but half depleted water filled balloons with nipples in danger of scraping the floor. But there was method in my madness. And what did I do with the photos? Why, they are on the fridge door to remind me of the reason I am sticking to this diet, to act as a superb guide to my progress and to stop me spending time with my arse hanging out of the fridge looking for something to sabotage my diet with. And proudly displayed alongside are my slimmer of the week certificate and my half, one and two stone weight loss certificates too. I’m stunned at my progress, I’ve lost over 9lbs in the last three weeks – no matter what I tried during the menopause, I’d no sooner lost some weight when I’d stall and dispiritedly watched as it crept back on - okay I lost 21lbs before I started this gig but it was a tough old slog.

My fellow dieters have had their fair share of success too. The support of these women is like a warm bath in scented oils, it is a mutual admiration and support society. How different to when I embarked upon my first diet many years ago. I shared a house with a frenenemy whose sole purpose was to scupper my diet in any way she could. I remembered being shocked that someone could be so underhand. Day after day, I’d come home from work, ravenous and ready to eat the first thing with a pulse that got in my way to the kitchen. Day after day there would be a fine selection of deliciously tempting cream cakes, an array of chocolate bars to send a chocoholic insane with desire and all placed strategically around the kitchen, within easy reach of a starving housemate subsisting on 800 calories a day. But, much to her frustration they remained untouched and as she couldn’t bear the waste, she was forced to gobble these down lest her hard earned money would go straight in the bin. What she didn’t know about me is that cream cakes and chocolate bars and anything sweet turns my stomach, makes me heave and sickens me to the core. I lost the 7lbs I needed to; she gained a size and a half in clothes. The lord works in mysterious ways.

Today my life feels amazing. The exercise boosts my progress and my mood to boot. It helps keep me focused too, I’ve never felt sharper. I wrote over five thousand words of my book at the weekend whilst stopping from time to time to enjoy the green and lush view of my garden from my conservatory where I write; a tranquil oasis that encourages the muse in me. I am calm, centred and excited as to how my life is panning out. I feel incredibly happy and on track to climb Snowdon later in the year. I won’t be shooing Himself away when he whips out the camera to record our progress; I’ll simply smile, pose for all I am worth and know that the camera won’t lie, it’ll simply see me as I will be; a once morbidly obese woman looking slimmer, healthier and with a smile the size of a banana on my face, assuming he remembers his glasses that is.

47 comments:

Lori E said...

I am often stunned when I see myself in the mirror or a window. Who the hell is that old lady and what has she done to my body?
Good job to you on the weight loss. it must feel so good. I know it is a tough go but you seem to have the right attitude.

DJan said...

Oh, to have the gift of writing that you display here! I am in awe of your ability to paint with words. And it's so nice to hear from you again! It's been too long, I didn't realize how much I missed the MOB!! Welcome back, and glad to hear the skies are lifting in your corner of the world. :-)

auntiegwen said...

Good girl yourself, long may your weight loss continue :) xxxx

ethelmaepotter! said...

Oh my, who wrote this post, you or I? For it is exactly the way I feel - the averted looks while blow drying hair, the "look at the eyes only" technique when applying makeup, the "wash your hands and don't look up" method in public restrooms.

PLUS, your body description could be mine.

I am encouraged by you to start my diet this week - and MAYBE I will start with that picture. But I need a lot of courage to pose for that!

Jennyta said...

Brilliant, MOB. It sounds as though you've found the right way for you this time.

clairedulalune said...

Yeah, MOB, Yeah! I loved reading this, to be honest I always read your posts and look forward to the laughter that I always recieved. It is only now, reading your recent posts, how unhappy you really were. I am so happy to read this word. Centred. That is a hard word for people to describe themselves. I feel the same way about life at the moment really, i was on the pill, same one for years until about six months ago a doctor said it was not compatible with me and put me on something else. considering I never had a worry about my old pill, I guessed that this new one would be the same. Wrong. I didnt realise it, but it changed my mood until six months later I was crying at everything, turned into a total, I mean total slob, and was basically a nightmare to live with. I was depressed and i could see no way out and didnt know how the hell i ended up like this. Suddenly a light bulb went off and I changed my pill emmediately. So six weeks later hear I am, ready to face the world! Oh yeah, I can relate to the old phototrick shock. Big fella one night took a picture of me in my bday suit in which i pummled him for, after a bottle of gin was consumed. Of course I thought I resembled a wee bit of Pamela Anderson in life(ha!) and the photo described Kerry Katona. Kebab phase. Shocking. but with change in pill and new lease of life I am running everyday and i am getting there!(So is Kerry by the looks of things!) And here MOB lets face it, if Kerry Katona can do it, you sure know we can! all the very Best to you MOB!

Lena said...

I'm really chuffed for you. I badly need to up my game and get more exercise in. I put on half a stone during my visit to London.....spoilt rotten and chauffeured everywhere, I was....

Excessive blogging and the munchies are perhaps partly to blame....not a lot....but a teeeeensy bit!

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Lori-E catching your reflection in shop windows and such like is a hell of a shock. No preparation for what you are about to see doubles the shock! And the age thing; yes that’s a toughie, but mostly it’s in photographs that it really shows up in, Yuk! I do feel great but only now getting to the stage where it will begin to show – that’s the bit I am looking forward to!

Djan – oh thank you dear lady for such great words. The skies are very blue this side of the pond! I can’t believe that life is this good.

Auntiegwen – ta Hen. I’ll be joining the rest of the human race again soon. And I can’t wait to get into some new more flattering clothes , the excitement is almost too hard to bear!

Ethelmaepotter – Go one, get those photo’s done – it is the most painful thing to do but the best incentive you can have. Stick a photo up of yourself that you like too when you were slimmer, it’s a great way to see where you need to go from to what you hope to achieve. I hope you get started, it’s such a great feeling to lose those first few pounds. Good luck.

Jennyta – I’ve been so lucky to find the right diet for me and it is no hardship to stick to it. I am eating better than I have done in years so I can see me sticking to it through to the end.

Clairedulalune – oh I recognise your situation only too well. It was like mine only the HRT was causing so many problems just like you with the pill. It does take time to finally realise what is causing the problem as when you are severely depressed you cannot form a coherent thought through to the end. It is hellish but somewhere along the line you get that lightbulb moment through the fog. My Atkins long-term induction stage diet also caused so many problems and too much vino exacerbated it. It was a living hell. I was a physical, emotional and mental train wreck. I truly didn’t recognise myself. And my God, don’t you just appreciate it when you come through it? Life is that much sweeter and all the garbage that incensed you before becomes insignificant. Glad you got yourself sorted and that you can enjoy normality again – long may it last for both of us. At least you thought you looked like Pamela Tupperware tits Anderson, I knew I looked like Jo Brand but when I saw the photos she looked anorexic compared to me!

Lena – you’re allowed to stack on a bit of lard when you go off on a trip like that. Why wouldn’t you spoil yourself on a trip like that? London is just too utterly amazing not to take full advantage of. Ah, don’t we all like a wee munchity crunchity when we are writing or blogging, just get yourself a wee pile of carrot, celery and cucumber sticks instead! Magic!

Tattie Weasle said...

You are amazing! I cannot get over how well you are doing. Diets are a total anethema to me a result of being bulimic in my teens...however, you are an inspiration!

Gone Back South said...

What's great about this is that you've got something under control that had previously been so problematic and made you so unhappy. You are master of your own body!!!

That bit about photos on the fridge is an excellent idea (and so hilariously told!)

Lane said...

Yay, you're in a happy place! And my word, how deserved that happy place is.
I'm so proud of you. It takes a whole lot of 'oomph' to turn things around like this. 'Oomph', damn hard work and mental strength.
Great stuff MOB. Just great :-) x

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Tattie – no not amazing just really fed up looking like Jo Brand and wearing crap. Sorry to hear you were Bulimic, usually a strong psychological reason for that one, I totally understand. But, I am dedicated to this diet as I have my old determination back. I used to be like that all the time – glad it didn’t desert me forever. I’m on a roll!

GBS – yup, get a great state of mind and you can do anything. I’ve not been this happy in a long time. I can visualise myself much much thinner and toned – that helps a lot, using a bit of psychology to drive the weight loss.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Lane – just coming out of depression did it for me. I am truly happy and completely ‘up’ these days. There’s nothing like a protracted down period to make you appreciate the good times again. I have found my mojo again!

Maggie May said...

I am so pleased that you feel so much better and that the diet and the exercise are helping you so much.
The way you describe your body sounds very much like mine.
Chemo seemed to make me hungry and I think I was eating comfort food. Now I am a rolly polly mess.
I wish we lived nearer.... perhaps we could gee each other on towards our perfect weight. Sigh........
Maggie X

Nuts in May

Eliza said...

Oh God I'm going through the menopause at the mo and can so relate. I've put on so much weight in the last two years,and substituted fags for food. Congratulations on the weight loss, I just don't think i could be brave enough to take pictures though, I'm hyperventilating at the thought.

Sandi McBride said...

I haven't much cared for mirrors since the time I looked in my makeup mirror and my mother was staring back at me! Good luck with your diet...hope it is a good nutritious one! Plenty of fruit and veggies! Look up Doctor Oz...he has some great advice and tips on dieting for us MOBs...hugs and love
Sandi

Flowerpot said...

Well done you MOB - you've travelled so far and with such courage. Go go go!xxx

Valleys Mam said...

Respect woman xxx
may be I could try a bit harder too,I dont recognise the fatty who is in my mirror , where did the smart fashionita go

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Maggie May – I think your body was just telling you to eat to survive whilst you were on chemo. I can understand your frustration but getting the all clear is such a great thing. You could try the online dieting site that Rosemary Conley has going, it might just be the boost you need. I’ll bet once you’ve got your head around all of this and move on from the chemo that your body will let you know when it’s ready to get cracking on the weight loss. Good luck, one step at a time.

Eliza – yup it’s a bugger that menopause! Honestly the photo’s on the fridge work a treat! Go on, shock yourself into action! You can lose weight in the menopause but it is that little bit more difficult.

Sandi – yup it’s a good all round low fat, low cal, low GI diet with plenty of fruit and veg. I’m never hungry on it. Hah, we all turn into our parents eventually!

Flowerpot – it’s a doddle! And no hangovers either – just fab!

Valleys Mam – oh I’ve been dressing like a chav for the last 6 years or so. Fashion doesn’t even come into it. Still, one of the women at the class says she’s going to chuck away her cargo pants, (baby elephant trousers as she calls them), and get right into something slinky when she gets that weight off. I can’t wait to get a new wardrobe of clothes, I’ve been wearing black for far too long now.

M12 – yup calm and sorted! But very excited too.

Working Mum said...

I'm still amazed at your fantastic achievement. I'm sure that your success so far will spur you on to your goal.

Cate P said...

Good for you. It's a hard road but well worth it and you sound like you're in the right headspace.
I'm still looking for a camera that lies...

Cheryl said...

I understand this struggle too well. You are an inspiration to me and to others who have been on this road. I think it is very brave of you (and a great idea) to put the photo on the fridge. That would be an excellent motivator and reminder for me, of my goals and where I want to be.
Congratulation on you success so far and I know that you will continue to go in this direction. I can hear the confidence in your amazing writing and feel the positive feelings, coming off the screen.
XXXXXX

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Working Mum – I think I’ll consider it an amazing achievement when I lose a few more stones in weight! I can’t deny I have done okay so far and I am at the stage where each 14lbs I lose will be more apparent but it’s the next batch of weight loss that will make me the happiest. I’m in it for the long game and toning is the name of the game!

Cate P – ah the camera never lies but Photoshop can help tell a porkie pie or two!

Working Mum – It’s a bit of a dream come true to be in the right frame of mind and to finally get a grip on this. I can’t believe how positive I feel, very, very happy indeed.

Cheryl – I don’t think it was brave, more of a need to get the full picture of what I was up against! I’ve also got a picture up there showing what I used to look like so I can see where I am coming from to where I need to be. I’ll never be ten years younger but I can try to be the best I can be at this age. At least I can enjoy the fact that I didn’t wait until I was ten years older before embarking on this new routine!

i beati said...

cheers I relate Sandy

Mo said...

Great work. Each kilo lost will add another year to your life. A better place for it to be. Keep up the good work.

健豪 said...

Necessity is the mother of invention...................................................

Fat Grump said...

MOB - what a great read. Yes, catching sight of myself in a mirror or some plate glass makes me feel so very despondent. That surely can't be me? Is that a shelf on my arse?

It's great that you feel focused, sharp and happy. I want to feel the same way but those feelings elude me. I am reasonably content, but that contentment (usually contented unless I see my reflection) has allowed me to become even bigger and with the extra stones I feel more defeated. I have spurts of determination, but my efforts are usually rather half-hearted and when the scales don't register a weight loss (no real surprise)I become despondent. I love reading about women who have finally found a way to do it and a real determination to succeed. It gives me hope that I too can find a way through this. More power to your elbow, and thanks for a really entertaining and honest read.

Carol said...

This post was a joy to read cause your positivity just jumps out the screen!! I am so proud of you and am over the moon that your feeling happy....that happiness is well overdue!!

*hugs*

C x

Lou said...

Just found your blog. What a treat.

Oh, that weight you've lost.... I've found it!

Lou

文君 said...

Many a little makes a mickle.............................................................

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Hate mirrors, hate pictures of me. I always tell he who does not listen to get only a head shot .... he always gets some unattractive feature. Congrats on the weight loss! My baby girl has dropped 70 lbs in the last 9 months! I am quite proud of her. I keep losing the same 10 lbs over and over.....

Tatersmama said...

I just came over from Robynn's Ravings... and honey, I WILL be back! I love it!
I think I just found a long-lost twin sister!

Lou said...

Love your writing style, I've tagged you over at mine.

Lou
xx

diney said...

Hi - just found your blog, being attracted to the name of MOB as my nickname from my son and many of his friends is Moob based on the idea that I looked like a Moomin *(from tv - pot bellied little alien creatures?) when pregnant! I'm also through menopause, with the help of HRT! Well done on the weight loss - it isn't easy, and shows such great self discipline, but you DO feel like giving bannana sized smiles when you feel good! Keep going! Diney from http://oldermumsarefun.blogspot.com

志維志維志維 said...

Many a true word is spoken in jest...................................................................

beth said...

Well done. The energy boost is the best part of losing some excess weight. Keep up the good work (on the blog and with the diet).

Robynn's Ravings said...

Just dropping in to check on your skinny self. And do I EVER love the term "frenenemy!" Brilliant and so perfect for those certain someones. Missing your pithy posts!

XO,

Robynn

Eddie Bluelights said...

Hi MOB
Returning tonight to read your post but I just wondered if you would be interested in featuring in The Sunday Roast. It would be great and I would be honoured if you featured.
Please email me:
eddiebluelights@googlemail.com

Come on, lass, R&C is doing it if that helps you to give the project a nod.

Best wishes
Eddie

PS I was at a wedding recently and a chap was wearing a kilt. I dared my sister in law who had had a few drinks to ask him what he was wearing underneath it. She would have done it - we had to stop her ! LOL

Eddie Bluelights said...

Just read your post MOB and of course I was ROFL at your description of your former shape incorporating how Newton's Law affected various parts of your anatomy LOL.

I am very impressed with your success with the diet - many congratulations - and it seems an ideal opprtunity to take a special photograph for a forthcoming event! Have you a kilt and some bagpipes?

I had no idea you are writing a book!

4156 said...

nice job! waiting for your new artical.............................................................

Lillias said...

Your writing is strong and admirably honest. Long may this continue. Long may your regained good health continue.

Jane

http://wwwbloggercom-janelilly.blogspot.com/

rickps said...

Been away for some time so it was a delight to catch up on your blog. Thanks for sharing. Soon I will have the inspiration to resume my own blog.

Kerry332 said...

Thank you MOB, you have written my story and have gifted me with hope. Tonight, I came out of myself for long enough to reach out instead of sitting trying to think my way out of this now unbearable place of menopausal depression. As though sitting staring cross-eyed into the fog of my brain and knitting my brow into a thousand creases will make me happy joyous and free. And so I google 'help' and up you popped in all the glory of your post menopausal glow and your eloquent writing. The joys of technology. It's so good to know that your quest for peace and well-being is beginning to pay off. I think what blew me away most was that blog back in Feb where you emphasised how the depression crept up on you. My sister casually told me about a friend of hers who lost her mojo and just never got it back. Seems kind of resigned to it. As though it's all downhill from here. The fatalistic tone of that I think is what triggered me to reach out. Because I cannot contemplate staying in this darkness. I've known joy and health and gratitude. I don't drink or smoke and I'm 1 month off caffeine. And I'm in the pits of depression and it fills me with shame. Like you, I get my one good week a month and I'm deluded into thinking I'll be grand now. But like you, I'm taking action. On Monday, I'll be seeing a GP who specialises in taking time to work out holistic healthy strategies for women like me. I'm willing to do what it takes but I need guidance. So far I've avoided HRT and I'm hoping to find another way. I've also started therapy and in theory I know that my solution is ideally a combo of sound nutrition, exercise and emotional support. The problem is that the way I feel right now, all I can manage is a very short walk every day. The energy for this post came from a herbal tea that was shot through with green tea, hence the wordiness & the eyes wide open at 2 am. Thank you again and may you continue to blossom.

bittersweetmess said...

are you still around? x

Eddie Bluelights said...

I have a lttle present for you at my place ~ Eddie x

Sandi McBride said...

I am so happy for your New You, and the hard work you put into this venture will be well worth it. I hate the word dieting, and exercise seems like work, but we have to do it, music makes the exercise more fun or even books on tape, lol! If I find out what makes the dieting fun, I'll clue you in!
Again, Good Job!
Sandi

aims said...

MOB - can you let me know if you got my comment I just posted here? Got a message saying they were unable to complete my request. And - the message was long and I can't remember it all to rewrite at the moment.