When Fat is A State of Mind

Monday, October 18, 2010

When The Planets Align and Pandora Comes Out To Play

So for the last couple of days I've been trying to write my next post in my head.  It's hard to give voice to some events, like opening Pandoras Box.  Once you commit them to the page you breathe life into them and all that they bring with them.  I've  been vacillating between fight or flight.  I mean I'm fat for a reason, once I let go there is no turning back, nowhere to hide.  For the last 3 days I've turned on the computer, logged into my blog and then turned tail and ran.

Yesterday I picked up the paper to read that there is a proposal which would entail the creation of a Domestic Violence Register along with a nice little sidebar of women applying for AVOs and why they were.  Nice little puff encapsulating the circumstances behind the AVO.

This misapprehension that Domestic Violence is physical makes my heart ache because for 20 years I was at the mercy of an abuser who never laid a finger on me yet he raped my soul every single day.  He tore me down day after day after day until there was nothing left.  How do you stand in court and ask for protection against that?  Sometimes I used to think it wouldn't be so bad if he hit me because then there would be a mark and maybe someone would notice.

Domestic violence is not only physical it is emotional, financial, sexual and geographical.  It is ruled by fear and shame and self loathing.  Like the ripples in a pond the shockwaves spread outward infecting all around but at the same time wrapped in a cloak of invisibility.

Behind many doors in all types of neighbourhoods the scenes are being played out night after night.  We talk of bullying in schools but where do the bullies go when they leave school - they move into the community and find new victims.

Like any bully once they find a weakness they work it and they have the perfect weapon - SHAME.

How many times have you heard a conversation and had people categorically state if x,y or z happened to me I'd be out of there in a heartbeat.  It's easy to make that determination when you aren't in a situation that isn't healthy but imagine if someone in that conversation is, how weak do they feel?  Everyone else would leave so why can't I?

How many times have you heard someone say that they've tried to help but they didn't leave so there is nothing you can do and they're on their own.  Leaving in itself can be a journey where small steps are taken.  No one else can set the timetable but being told you are a failure when you are already told how stupid, useless, fat, ugly....... only reinforces that not only is everything you are being told true but that you deserve it because you can't hurt yourself.

The signs are subtle, control is exerted gradually and in seemingly inocuously until it's too late and it's all done in the name of love.  I only ......... because I love you.  I'm only doing this because I want you to be the best you can be........

So you continue going through the motions, to the outside world you look like you have a perfectly ordinary life and all the while your spirit is drowning and you begin to bury the pain by eating because that's the one thing you have control over.  You choose when you eat, what you eat and how much but like everything else in your life before you know it you realise that not only don't you have control but you've become everything you've been told - literally a self fulfilling prophecy.

The cycle of hate continues

Friday, October 15, 2010

What Does Your Fat Protect You From?

Unless there is a medical reason people don't just "get" fat.  You can't wake up one morning bounce out of bed and look in the mirror only to discover that somehow 40kgs found it's way onto your body while you slept.  Admittedly for most it is a gradual thing but for those who are obese/morbidly obese and have been for a number of years the fat is a cushion, a protection against their mind.  Above all it's an excuse.  You miss out on that job, someone doesn't like you, bad things happen in your life - hell it's fat discrimination.  Indignation ensues and it's quite easy to dodge the responsibility for your life.  We don't eat to excess, sometimes to the point of being physically ill because we're hungry.  We eat because while the food is going in the sound of you chewing stops the voice inside that says hey I'm hurting, I need some help - HEELLLP MEEEEEE.  It's easier to eat right??

I haven't really begun to focus on my diet and exercise in earnest, because truly what is the point?  As long as that little voice inside my soul is screaming then I will never exorcise the demons and change my life.  Every action and inaction will be reactive instead of proactive and the cycle of abuse continues.

My next few blog posts will involve opening an emotional vein so if raw emotion offends now might be the time to move along because I can guarantee this ain't going to be pretty but neither is real life, but if voyeurism is your thing pull up a comfy chair.  My only request is can you make the popcorn air popped please.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Is My Family the "new" Frangipani????

I have so much to share about my first session with the program but I really need to have the time to be able to convey it all but rest assured it's all good.  As I was shuttling the brood around to appointments etc I came across my new pet hate.  I'm talking about the "My Family" stickers that are now stealthily infiltrating the back window of cars everywhere.  It's like bindis in your lawn one sneaks through and before you know it you're doing the Lindy Hop all over the backyard.

I'm just not sure whether it is just an annoyance or is it an underground campaign to reduce the number of children being abandoned in carparks.  Is it a checklist for forgetful parents so that they take home everyone they bring?  You could line everyone up at the back of the car and have an illustrated checklist.  You know how it goes.... #1 son - check, # 2 son - check, #1 daughter - check, Grandma - check, dog - check .......   I've done a bit of research and there are all types of configurations of "family" although I couldn't see the Mum with a bottle of Mothers Little Helpers in her tracky daks and fluffy slippers but I'm sure it's on the way. This leads us to the next question - if you do need an illustration of your family on the back of your car do you go with earnest and portrait like or caricature it and just take the piss?  Where do you draw the line, if your family is like mine, Brady Bunch on crack, do you add exes with whom you share children, what about their new partners and children, honestly I'd need a bigger car!

When you think about it why stop with the family you could start getting singles to illustrate their preferences on the back windows, you know little icons for moonlit beach walks or maybe some colour coding to make it easier, why we could have RSVP on wheels.  Who needs alcohol, speed and fatigue to contribute to the road toll when these little gems are everywhere.

Bring back the frangipanis I say

Friday, October 8, 2010

Something Worthwhile

I was just visiting the delightful Lucy from Diminishing Lucy and was inspired to read that she's doing a run on the weekend and even better doing it for a truly worth cause.  If you can help out please pop over and help her to reach and surpass her goal.  Every little bit I'm sure will be gratefully received and WILL make a difference.

Consider it your Random Act of Kindness for today.

Another Discovery

Can I just mention how much I love the Blogosphere <3 <3  Where else can you meander through the links and come across absolute Pearlers like this

Every day I'm rewarded with inspiration, a difference of opinion that makes me stop and re-evaluate what I believe in, definite WTF moments and a good old belly laugh.

I'd love if you'd share with me some of your favourite blogs.  Why is it a favourite? There are some truly amazing writers out there and I'm a firm believer in the power of the written word.


So one week ago I set some goals for this week so time for a review

Just to recap

So my goals for the coming week are:

  • Examine the past and write closure letters and file in a sealed memory box for future destruction
  • Look at myself honestly and come up with 10 things I like about myself and 10 things I don't like.  I will publish this list next Friday
  • Start an emotional journal.  Pay close attention to how I respond to others.
  • Drink water
  • Do one physical activity every day.

  • I did write those letters and it was incredibly confronting.  I think until you really take a close look at some things you can just be pushing things down and shovelling food on top to keep these things down because confronting them is not only incredibly scary but it also strips of us of our excuses, you know the ones, my Mother didn't love me, I was abused, I was bullied, I didn't get to do the one thing I dreamed about.  Let me clarify by saying that these things are horrific and aren't being trivialised but it isn't what happened to us that defines us but how we rise from the ashes.  When we hold on to things they become our barrier between us and life.  If we hold these things in front of us we don't have to connect with our lives and we don't run the risk of being hurt but we are short changing ourselves.  There is no passion in safety.  To live life we have to experience it, warts and all, the joy, the pain, the happiness and the sadness.  Put simply - we need balance.  I am going to publish one of the letters I wrote, just to remind myself that it's OK, I'm OK.
  • My emotional journal has been an interesting one.  It's funny how during a day the triggers that make us want to eat.  Once that intensity comes in the first instinct is to tamp it down rather than embrace it.  Funnily enough though my biggest food failure this week came not from emotion but lack of planning.  Lesson learnt.
  • Epic fail.  I got nowhere near this one and I know that this will continue to challenge me.  If anyone has any tips on how they learnt to love H20 I'm all ears - well I'm all arse but it's a deaf arse.
  • I've been trying to leave work on time and go home and take my kids for a bike ride.  Not overly strenuous but at least I'm moving, I'm also a lot more conscious of things like taking the stairs, walking not driving, just re-learning not to take the lazy shortcut is a challenge in itself and I know that the more active I become the more I'll enjoy it.  Now that daylight saving is here and the weather is getting warmer it'll be time for swimming and all things water which I love, not to mention the fact that there is less pressure on the joints.

You may notice that the above recap is slightly out of order because the hardest thing I found about this weeks goals was the likes/dislikes list although if I'm going to be 100% truthful the dislikes side was a piece of cake it's just the likes side that was like climbing Everest.  Hopefully by the end of my transformation it will be like running up an anthill - here's hoping anyway


  • I am loyal - if we are friends I will back you to the hilt, I won't be afraid to tell you that I don't agree with you but I won't allow anyone else to attack you.
  • I have a mind full of useless information which comes in very handy at trivia nights, I may forget my own name sometimes but odds on I will remember the summer #1 release in 1974.
  • I have a very dry sense of humour and a love of the absurd.
  • I have no fashion sense whatsoever and it doesn't bother me at all.
  • I love sports and will give anything a go once.
  • I definitely find more joy in giving than receiving.  I love giving gifts that are based on what I know about someone.
  • I have the ability to "cope" with anything that is thrown at me.  I can't guarantee you won't need a raincoat when IT hits the fan but there is always a solution.
  • I cook with passion and hate following recipes, I like to adjust to taste.
  • I believe that compassion is a virtue not a weakness.  I live my life littered with Random Acts of Kindness, not because I should but because I want to.
  • I laugh loudly and often


  • I am shy to the point of phobic
  • If self esteem was a number I would be -73
  • I don't believe in my own abilities
  • Being unable to accept a compliment
  • I need to accept that perfection isn't a realistic goal so being a perfectionist will only end in tears.
  • I can't ask for help
  • Crying when I'm angry
  • Judging myself more harshly than I would ever judge anyone else
  • I am impatient
  • I am a procrastinator

You may notice that nothing on the list relates to the physical me.  Whilst that list would be endless it is unimportant because the things I like/dislike physically can all be linked to the lists above.  My battle isn't with my body image it is with my inner self.  My body is a symptom of my internal war, it is the shell I inhabit but it isn't who I am.  We focus on our physical being we project our misery on our physical body but the reality for most of us is that we could look like Elle McPherson and still hate ourselves.

Tomorrow is my first appointment so I'll be updating what happens and setting my program for the week.  From here on in I'll be focussing on the mechanics as well as the healing.  I'll also be taking photos although I'm not ready to start posting them yet.  One day......

So the end of another week and this weeks lesson is it isn't a failure if you've learnt how to prevent it from happening again.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Subtle Shift

I'm at the beginning of a long and winding road yet the things that are happening fill me with hope.  It's almost as if my nerve endings are singing. 

Perhaps blogging has brought it into plain sight but I find myself questioning food choices, exercise - incidental and otherwise, self care and clothing choices.

In some unusual way since I've begun to regain control and I've begun to care about me again.  Now don't read this as I'm under control and it's all butterflies and kittens but for the first time in years I actually feel like I can make choices I can live with.  The compulsion is still there and the sense of self loathing still lurks in the backround but I can look in the mirror honestly and look forward rather than looking for something to smash the mirror.

I'm thinking I should just change my name to Scarlett because "After all tomorrow is another day"

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Some Kind Of Wonderful

My life is a little like The Brady Bunch on crack, the whole his, mine, ours vibe.  Now the his and mine are a lot older than ours so it's an interesting dynamic.

By the time I met Himself his daughter was already an adult so we've always had a friendship rather than parental relationship.  She already has a mother, who is now part of our extended family, she doesn't need another.  All in all she's a pretty special woman and a fantastic big sister to Miss COTU and the Pocket Rocket but this weekend she joined another club when she became a mother for the first time.

We welcome a beautiful little boy into our family.  There is something life affirming about the birth of a baby.  When you gaze at them both helpless and innocent.  The possibilities are endless, the responsibility huge yet one accepted willingly.  As his family we embrace his life and all the gifts that we can bestow upon him and that we will receive from him as he grows and learns.

As Miss COTU so eloquently put it "he's amazing isn't he?"  Yes my darling he certainly is all that and more.

Welcome to the world Nathaniel the world is definitely a much richer place with you in it.  To B & J congratulations on the biggest base jump without a parachute - also known as Parenthood.  I have every faith that with you both being such beautiful people you will tackle parenthood with that same spirit.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


A little while ago I was going through a particularly difficult time with one of my children and I found myself careering towards rock bottom, looking back it was self indulgent crap but sometimes we just need to wallow as we adjust.

In truth I just shut down tight.  I locked everyone out and just retreated into my shell to lick my wounds and recharge that emotional battery so that I could keep going.  I was totally selfish but you know that was OK because it wasn't about what anyone needed me to be but what I was capable of being.  So here I am having my own private pity party and I was searching.  Searching for answers, trying to make sense of where I was and what I needed to do to move forward and I stumbled across the Blog of Kelle Hampton, Enjoying the Small Things .  Now I'm never going to have the whole happy happy joy joy thing going on, there's just too much dark in me, I mean isn't black slimming?  But whilst I'm not going to have that glass overflowing reading this blog taught me that it isn't about what's in the glass because that changes from moment to moment - it's the glass that's important and if that glass isn't doing it for you any more - CHANGE IT!!!!  Reading this blog refocused me, it open that corner in my mind that said anything is possible.  Continuing to read it actually made me start to actually believe that anything is possible.  Now I don't "know" Kelle Hampton and probably never will but I will forever owe her a debt of gratitude for just opening me up to the possibilities and grasping the concept that will change them to probabilities.  As fate is wont to weave her magic spell I came across this post today and the quotation  This post has a quotation from Natalie Goldberg that is very apt but the sentence that is burnt into my brain is "If you are not afraid of the voices inside you, you will not fear the critics outside you"

Friday, October 1, 2010

Breaking the Cycle

I have a couple of girlfriends IRL who have my back ALWAYS.  If it was 3am, I was in lock up and had 1 phone call then they would be on the list and I know when they'd finished laughing hysterically they would come and bail me out, if they weren't there with me anyway.  They've seen me at my best, definitely at my worst and in spite of this love me anyway.  They know that I have the bail money for them and I will celebrate their triumphs and kick the arse of anyone who needs it.  I have one biological sister who I love dearly but I have 5 additional sisters that I have no blood connection to whatsoever.  They are my family of choice.  So what I hear you ask, the point is?  Well one of my heart sisters rang last night and after the obligatory 4 hour phone call and the sleep deprivation this morning I have some clarity.

For me to successfully change the direction of my addiction and life I need to acknowledge why I medicate with food, not just the emotions but the excuses, the symptoms.  I need to look at my life and the events that have shaped it and have moulded my psyche.  I need closure damn it!  While I was talking to my friend I realised that I need to learn to accept that things have happened and I can't change the outcome but I can stop taking continuing responsibility.  Certain events will always have a level of hurt and regret but I can't keep beating myself up over what happened.  It is what it is - all I can do is take the lessons and make sure I deal with circumstances to prevent a similar outcome.  I need to stop taking responsibility for others, I can't control how they react or what they do.  I can control my response to their actions, I can deal with circumstances in a positive manner that isn't going to harm me.  I've also set a realistic timeframe for my lifechanges and to complete my To Do List.  By Christmas 2012 I will be living a healthy life that is balanced between my physical and emotional needs.

I need to lose the shame and the embarassment.  I am who I am and who I am right now doesn't need to be who I remain.  Time to get reaquainted with Me. 

So my goals for the coming week are:

  • Examine the past and write closure letters and file in a sealed memory box for future destruction
  • Look at myself honestly and come up with 10 things I like about myself and 10 things I don't like.  I will publish this list next Friday
  • Start an emotional journal.  Pay close attention to how I respond to others.
  • Drink water
  • Do one physical activity every day.

I would like to end today by saying how much I've appreciated the support that you've all shown me in the short time I've been around.  It's so much easier to have company for the road trip.

To those of you who understand all to well the battle that I face each and every day your guidance is not only appreciated but actively sought.

Every day bring fresh hope, resolve and realism.

Bending reality is possible if you believe it to be so.