The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Days Eighty Five to Eighty Eight – Seasons In The Sun 9 May 2008

Sunshine!  Summer!  Well … almost.  And very blissful it is too.  It’s been almost impossibly hard to think about doing any work at all with blue skies outside and everyone in a chirpy mood.  It occurred to me today as I was wandering down Tottenham Court Road that this is the first summer in years when I’ve not faced the prospect of hot weather with a sense of impending doom.  Being fat in the sunshine is no fun whatsoever.  You have the option of remaining covered up and boiling alive, or exposing white, flabby, squidgy bits of yourself that you’d rather keep between yourself and the bathroom mirror.  But for me it’s different this year.  I have even (drum roll, please) worn a sleeveless top and not worried that the sight of my upper arms would put people off their lunches.  Not only that, I have also bought two new strapless bras so that I can continue to reveal my poor, long-neglected shoulders.  Granted, I don’t have a sculpted gym physique quite yet, but I think that baring a bit of flesh is more than acceptable in these thinner times.

My good intentions of staying out of the shops until my size is stable have gone to pot.  Frankly, it’s impossible.  With the best will in the world I can’t cope with only having about ten items of clothing.  It’s not that I’m being extraordinarily vain, it’s just that I need some absolute basics.  I found myself asking a friend at work where the best place is to buy plain t-shirts.  What an absurd thing not to know at my grand old age.  So I was duly shipped off in the direction of Oxford Street to buy some cheap and very boring but very necessary items.  And good fun it was too.  I’ve had to re-programme my brain not to automatically go to the back of the rail to find the largest, most shapeless sizes.  I’ve also had the pleasure of poking my head around the changing room door to ask the attendant for a smaller size as the one I’ve selected is too big.  In my old world, that never happened.

Among all the dull stuff, I took a gamble in French Connection on a maxi dress.  In the old days, that would simply have served to make me look like I’d gone out wearing a duvet.  Frankly, I’m still not sure about it.  I have more than a sneaking suspicion that those kind of dresses look wonderful on the Sienna Millers and Kate Mosses of this world, and absolutely rubbish on us mere mortals.  I’ve just spent a good twenty minutes prancing around in front of the mirror in it with a variety of shoes, bras, facial expressions etc., but haven’t quite been brave enough to take the tags out of it.  I think I might need to get the Boy’s opinion.  It’s a lovely dress, and it wasn’t cheap, but I can’t help feeling a bit like an extra from Abigail’s Party in it.  We’ll see.

I did have the deep, deep joy of buying a new swimming costume, though.  For once I don’t look like an overstuffed sausage in one and, dare I say, I think I may have erred on the side of caution and bought one that’s a bit too big.  Again, that never happens …

I met up with a friend of mine from my lighter life group last night for a mineral water or two.  We’ve not seen each other for a couple of weeks as we’ve been away and missed different group meetings.  She, like me, is starting to struggle with the diet.  We talked about it at length and came to the same conclusions that I mentioned in my last post.  When you feel just like everybody else, it seems strange and almost punitive not to be eating and drinking in the same way that they are.  We’ve both felt weird feelings of resentment towards our food packs.  As she put it, it’s bizarre that it’s hard now when for so long we both found it so easy … all that was required was determination and a bit of discipline.  Now the temptation to return to normality is very strong.  I don’t think it’s a coincidence that they choose 100 days for the foundation phase.  I think you start to crack at that point.  But we both concluded that we’re not there yet and egged each other on to continue.  The fact that we both look so startlingly different from the way that we did when we met, back in February, offers quite significant encouragement.

I’m changing my food order this week and, sad as it may seem, that’s quite exciting for me.  I have eaten exactly the same combination of food every day for almost thirteen weeks.  Yawn.  I’m minimising the number of soups that I have (I think that one hot meal a day is more than adequate) and going to gamble on having more shakes.  Ideally I’d live on the food bars alone, but that’s against the rules.  I’m a little nervous that I’ll be really hungry (psychologically they seem less filling) but I’ll give it a go.  And, given that I’m away all week next week on a course, I’m going to have to like it or lump it.

So, another sober Friday night is looming, but it’s a sober night enjoying the remains of the sunshine in pretty, summery clothes.  Hurrah.

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