The Incredible Shrinking Woman

Days 230 to 243 – The End Of Management 9 October 2008

Well, this is it.  I’ve officially finished management.  I am now at liberty to eat and drink exactly what I like, when I like and, if I choose, I need never go near a food pack again.

And do you know what?  It feels really, really weird.  When I began this, back in February, I put the dates in my calendar.  I imagined some joyous day at the end of September (ish) when I would be whooping for joy and my new svelte self would be literally leaping up and down.  Well, in reality, it doesn’t quite happen like that!  I’m not saying for a moment that I’m disappointed, because this last year has been an incredible journey for me, both mentally and physically, but there is an odd sense of anti-climax, of being a bit lost after it all.  Does that make sense?  I remember talking in a post ages ago about a conversation I’d had with a friend of mine.  In her experience, people who are overweight can fall into the trap of thinking that being thin means that everything else in their life will be perfect.  Clearly that’s not true.  I feel almost as if I’ve gone to the other extreme … in a concerted attempt not to pin the ‘it will be perfect’ tag on my future life, I’m risking not allowing myself to enjoy it.  Perhaps my pessimistic side had nothing to do with being overweight and I am, in fact, just a miserable cow! 🙂

What I do feel is a colossal sense of separation from my old self.  Clearly I’m the same in my heart, or soul, or whatever you want to call it, but the person that goes about her daily business is not the one who was sat at this very computer a year ago.  I really do believe that I’ve achieved the aim I’ve stated in the ‘about’ section of this blog … after 35 years of being awkward in my own skin I am the person I think I deserve to be.  Without being too sentimental, there is a photo that I have of myself and my sister, taken when I was about eight and she was about four (forgive me if I’ve mentioned this before).  We’re standing in the back garden of my first house wearing our school uniforms, probably because she was just about to start primary school.  There were times when I couldn’t actually look at that photo because I would see my tiny, trusting little self gazing at the camera and I would feel that I’d let her down.  On occasion (usually after one red wine too many!) it actually made me cry.  When I look at that photo now, I feel overwhelmingly happy.

The oddest thing is that I haven’t achieved the weight goal that I originally set for myself.  I still think I was right to stop dieting when I did (because I didn’t want to lose any more at the speed that I was) and equally I still think I should lose some more.  I’m in a situation now where I’m not actually gaining weight (hurrah!), but I will need to make changes to my new regime in order to lose any more.  So more dieting for me!  In my darker moments I find myself thinking about a brief return to abstinence, but I think that’s the equivalent of a reformed alcoholic being tempted by ‘just one glass of fizz’ at Christmas!  I need to prove that I can manage my weight in the same way that everyone else does.

I’ve decided to keep this blog going for a while.  Not only do I enjoy writing it (despite being a bit slack recently!) but I want to share my experiences of the rocky road after lighter life.  In the first week of the diet I drove myself a little crazy reading lots of negative publicity online about how ‘you just put all the weight on afterwards’.  I’d like to prove that it’s not true. 

I’m still gym-ing, and still personal training, and that’s going well.  The recent pressures on my time have made it a little harder than it was, but I’m absolutely determined to stick with it.  And I can be very bloody-minded, I can tell you!  One of the suggestions that my trainer has made to me is that I eat six small meals a day rather than the traditional three.  Now, I’ve heard this theory before, and I understand the logic.  My biggest worry is that I’ll simply end up eating twice as much as I need to!  I have always had issues with discipline, frankly …  That said, I may well try it.

Also, in my ongoing pursuit of vanity, I’ve taken a drastic step.  When I began lighter life I had long, straggly, dark brown hair.  I’m now the proud owner of a very short, very blonde crop (well, I’ve got a long fringe, but both me and the Boy were worried that I might look like a man if I went too crazy!).  I cannot tell you how therapeutic it was to watch all that long hair falling on to the salon floor.  It was like losing the weight, and its associated baggage, all over again.

Thanks to those of you who emailed about my ball dress dilemmas.  I now have an outfit (corset and long fishtail skirt) which I’m quite optimistic about.  I’m going to see a dressmaker tonight to make sure it all fits and looks wonderful … the fact that I won’t be able to breathe, eat, drink or sneeze in the damn thing is besides the point!  The ball is in a week so I promise photographic evidence.

So … farewell to management and hello to normality!  Good lord, that was a long time coming … 🙂


2 Responses to “Days 230 to 243 – The End Of Management”

  1. lighterguy Says:

    Hello! I’m a long time reader and first time poster. Firstly I want to say congratulations on staying the course. There aren’t enough sources of detailed Lighterlife experiences out there in my opinion and this is one of the best.

    Secondly I wanted to tell you that you were my inspiration to start the programme. I’ve been thinking about doing Lighterlife for months and found this blog quite some time ago. I printed off the whole thing and read it all for a couple of days on my train journeys into work. You’re attitude and writing style somehow convinced me to take the plunge. I’m now on week 7 of foundation and am 3 stone lighter! I really hope you keep up the blog as a lot of them seem to die a death after the programme is finished. I think the whole ‘will I keep it off?’ question still has a certain mystery about it and blogs like this (and hopefully mine) will help dispell some of the myths around long term success post Lighterlife.

    I know it sounds dramatic but you have helped me no end.


    P.S. the Haggis wrapped in a doily comment still makes me laugh to this day!

  2. Rachel Says:

    Doman, maybe you’ve missed your vocation. You are an amazing writer and communicator. I know exactly what you mean about the anticlimax. Maybe it’s because we want a full stop to the weight issue when in reality it’s going to be an ongoing thingy. I remember seeing you at my 1st meeting when you were at an almost finishing point when I was starting ll and you were a poster girl for what can be achieved physically and mentally. You’re not being pessimistic, rather more realistic. I’m sure you’ve realised that potential in your sibling picture. You’ve arrived – enjoy it.


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