Monthly Archives: March 2015

Fat Rant

badass

 

Batten down the hatches, this is going to be an epic rant I’m afraid. It’s good for me, apparently, getting it all out there….

You know how I said I was amazed at all the free help there is for people suffering with depression? Well, yes, there is. But mention you have any issues with eating and those ‘closed’ signs go up.

You would think, that considering the way fat people are vilified, abused and generally treated as something a bit sub-human by a large section of society, people who get up off of their large arses, put their hands up in the air and meekly confess they are really damn well struggling to cope with overeating, binge eating and being fat, would get a bit of support.

Apparently No. Not only are we sub-human greedy, stupid, lazy, ugly pigs who spend all our lives hanging around Greggs, we’re also not entitled to any help. If we’re depressed we may be able to get in the back door by asking for help with that and THEN talking about having issues with eating caused by being depressed. But I was advised today to keep that a bit quiet to start with at least, because otherwise I might be sent away and told “Sorry, we don’t deal with eating disorders”.

In the town where I live, I have two choices. Pay for a therapist at £55 a session, or wait until the end of the month for a four-week support group with B-Eat. That’s it. I’m currently pulling my hair out because Dad’s really unwell and I’m stressing about that at the same time as beating myself up for not losing any weight or feeling like I’m making in-roads into my eating problems (which is what I promised him I would do.)

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I don’t want to go to Overeaters Anonymous. The thought of making a list of people I need to make amends to over my addictive behaviour (sorry I ate your Christmas chocolates, Moley) or who I’ve done bad things to in the past…or a list of people who’ve hurt me that I need to forgive…it fills me with dread.

I hate that sort of thing, I also really don’t want to give control of my eating up to a ‘higher power’ (it seems to have been hijacked by a lower power as it is) and I don’t know how you can possibly abstain from eating. I don’t binge eat in the stereotypical ‘eat everything in sight and feel sick afterwards’ way, so I can’t exactly abstain from binging – I just eat all day long on a bad day, a bit of this, a bag of that….I don’t see how I could do it. Some days I don’t, really. Some days I eat like everyone else, but I’m just still fat and depressed.

Also, they advise you to stick to a plan – some people do Slimming World or Weight Watchers, avoid trigger foods (I don’t really have them) and check in daily with a ‘sponsor’ to make sure you do everything. OK I like the one day at a time principle but the whole approach to food issues just doesn’t fit me. And it seems like a step backwards to go to Slimming World and call someone every day to tell them whether I stuck to my Syns. It’s bad enough doing that every week!

abstinence

So I have got to wait for a month and then go to the B-Eat sessions. If they get back to me to confirm I’m booked on them. And after four weeks, what do I do then? There’s a support message board but it’s not the same. I feel like I want someone to just say “OK Sarah, try this,” and help me out a bit with actual strategies and tools to help me manage my eating and moods. The woman I saw today suggested I take the tools from the Managing Depression four week course, which doesn’t start until May (and there may be a waiting list so I don’t even get in for May) use them to help get a grip on feeling low, manage moods and stress, and then try to get a one to one CBT referral from there. I think I’ll do that but all the time I’m worrying about having promised Dad I’ll get a grip and thinking “But I’m not actually doing anything….I can’t!”

I’ll keep plugging on with the book. It’s based on CBT techniques and I like the idea of fixing myself. So far I’ve realised I overeat when I’m anxious or feeling fed up. Also when I’m bored and my mind won’t shut up, I eat to distract myself. And when I am faced with something I need to write but I have absolutely no inspiration, I wander into the kitchen to see if that helps. It’s clearly a distraction technique for me, from feelings, stresses, boredom…

I also started the online ‘Managing Depression’ course with The Big White Wall. So maybe I’m doing something. Just not what I want to be doing.

I will beat this. I will…

The Depressed Optimist

optimist

I suspect you’ve already realised that I don’t like being labelled. I fight against being stereotyped and that counts for whether it’s about being ‘gorgeously full fat’, or now, my mental health. I’m not depressed, I’m coping with a low mood. That’ll do.

So, after an amazing response to my last post, I went off and registered with websites, emailed people and tried to put stuff in place to get this thing outta my head. It seemed to be going really well, I was feeling way more positive because I felt like I was doing something. But life has a funny way of reminding you it’s not going to be that easy, and I’ve been a bit down for the last day or two.

I went to the gym on Monday and had a really energetic PT session despite still having what was left of a cough and a cold to deal with. I didn’t hurt this time, thankfully, after he somehow managed to pull both my hamstrings the last time I saw him and leave me having to cling to the wall every time I tried to sit on the loo.

I was feeling quite positive, expecting an email from Beat and also planning to sign up to a ‘Managing depression’ online course through the Big White Wall which opened on Monday. What I didn’t know was that nobody was going to bother contacting me from Beat, and the depression course doesn’t start till next week, it just opened this week.

I am sticking to the ‘Overcoming Binge eating’ plan though and it’s quite interesting that at first I wasn’t really that bothered about overeating, but then yesterday I had a really crappy day with people letting me down at work, money worries and generally feeling *meh* and I was backwards and forwards to the kitchen from the afternoon onwards. Afternoons are a dodgy time for me, they are normally the time when I’ve done the most pressing and urgent work and I’m thinking about getting something else out of the way. I can get bored and fed up, and after being told I wasn’t getting some work I’d been relying on this month yesterday morning, it didn’t take much to send me to the kitchen in search of treats.

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It’s OK – this week is all about observation, monitoring and seeing where my weaknesses are, and boredom is definitely one of them. So is feeling stressed, or not having a clue what to write for someone when I have a deadline looming. Some of my regulars trust me to just write whatever I want for their blogs, which is great when I’m feeling inspired, but when my brain won’t cooperate it’s a nightmare. I pulled some ideas out of the recesses of my mind but it took ages to do it, and I was on a kitchen mission most of the afternoon.

I’m working hard to turn things around and trying not to let the miseries set in when I feel low. I had to let someone down yesterday because of my money situation, and I hated it…today I’ve done a spreadsheet of all my income and outgoings and although I’m still £285 less than I would have been, I can cover everything that’s coming out with a bit left over. My passport needs renewing (Moley is hoping to book us a belated honeymoon and it runs out in a week) so I’ll have to find the money for that from somewhere.But I’m following the Get Rich Lucky Bitch rules and getting my head out of the sand, I even wrote down everything I have including my Costa Card points so that I can see where I’m at! It’s not exactly rich, but at least I know where I stand and that does help!

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I’ve got to go back to the doctor on Monday for an update. I’m not sure how I feel; getting out of bed is still hard although I’m really pushing myself to do things like the gym and walking. I’ve become a Spotify nerd and have got 16 years of singles from the top 100 going back to 1980 in separate playlists. I download them to the SD card in my phone and I can transport myself to whatever year I fancy.

That’s another thing I’ve learned recently; brooding. It’s a sign of the D-word and bugger, do I brood? I’m also broody but that’s another blog post, right there. Apparently, people with anxiety fixate on the future and what might go wrong. People with depression or low mood look back at the past a lot. Guilty as charged. I actually found the last two years, 1995 & 1996 really hard to get round to doing as they were quite meaningful years for me and listening to the old songs brought back some powerful memories. I put off doing them for a while, for that reason. But they are done now and  have rediscovered some classic tunes! You have no idea how long ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’ was number 1 for. Shudder.

The true horror

Friends have been amazing since I blurted out how I was feeling. I’ve had lots of lovely people messaging me through facebook, saying they feel the same as me and totally get it. I’ve had friends call me to see how I am and come over and see me for coffee and a chat, and it really has helped…part of the mood thing is thinking nobody gives a rat’s arse about me because I don’t have many friends where I live and the mates I used to spend time with in Ipswich are too far away for a quick catch up cuppa or glass of wine now. I still see them but I can’t just be in town in 20 minutes any more, or stay out till 2am dancing and drinking.

So, that’s where I’m at. I promised to keep you up to date with it all and there’s not much to report really, it’s all been a bit of a damp squib this week. but I’ll get back onto Beat, get signed up to the Big White Wall course and see what the doctor says, and report back later.

Big, big hugs and kisses to everyone who’s reached out to me. It truly means a LOT.

love me

Help!

love me

This is going to be a tricky one – I might lose a few of my Gorgeously Full Fat followers or get a few snarky comments, but I’m going to say it anyway.

I’ve not posted much recently because I have had zero motivation. I’m tired all the time, can’t motivate myself to get out of the door to the gym, and my social life has nosedived. I’ve cancelled appointments, bailed on meetings and found myself sleeping on the sofa at 2pm.

Some days, I haven’t even got out of bed.

I’ve eaten everything that’s not been nailed down, I cry at old TV theme tunes and scowl at anyone who crosses my path for two seconds too long.

In short, my Gorgeously Full Fat life is just fat.

I was just about managing, until I had one of those conversations…with my Dad. As you know, he’s very poorly, and he got me on my own a couple of weeks ago and asked me if I meant it when I said I’d do anything for him. That’s not the kind of question anyone wants to answer, especially before you know what the request is going to be. To cut a long story short; He’s scared that my health is deteriorating and he wants me to sort myself out.

He’s got a point. For the last two years I’ve carried on with GFF, something like a swan on the surface, pretending I’m fine with being 18 stone, 18.5 stone, 19 stone…but waking up in the middle of the night feeling bloated and sore. I’ve pretended not to care as my clothes have got smaller in the wash. Or my bras no longer fit. I’ve flown the flag for the fat girl, and I believe in every word I said about fat not meaning unhealthy and plus size women being just as capable, intelligent, worthy and beautiful as their thin sisters. But deep down I’ve started to hate what I was turning into. An eating machine who beats herself up for every mouthful of food and then pretends to be fat and happy. The eating problems I talked about in the Gorgeously Full Fat have been back full force for the past two years or so and I’ve been struggling to cope with everything that’s being thrown at me. So I eat chocolate and think it will help. It hasn’t.

calling in fat

 

Dad’s words really shook me up. I cried my eyes out – I was struggling with depression as it was (and pretending I was fine, of course) and the thought of having my comfort blanket taken away when I was feeling so vulnerable made me feel stressed and panicky. I was scared of speaking to the GP – after all, all they do is send you to the chemist with a prescription for Prozac, and that wasn’t going to help, was it? But I needed to do something, and I’d promised Dad, so…

I made the appointment. Yes, she said, you certainly sound as if you’re suffering from depression, handing me a tissue. But instead of writing the prescription and sending me away, she referred me to Suffolk Wellbeing Service - a community mental health service, that offers workshops and courses in things like Improving Your Mood and Managing Stress.

She also put me in touch with B-eat. I’m hoping to go to one of their groups at some point.

I remembered how useful it was when I read Christopher Fairburn’s book, ‘Overcoming Binge Eating‘ in 1998, although I had never done the work because I was always too scared my ex would have poked fun at me for writing down what I ate, or complained when I set planned mealtimes. But luckily, my Moley is an understanding chap and he’s on board with me doing it now.

I’ve also got a six month free pass to The Big White Wall which I’m trying to get to grips with now; it’s an online therapy type website where you can assess yourself, talk to others and to experts in different areas of mental health. It’s all a bit overwhelming at the moment but I’m going to make the most of it.

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So…I have no idea how this is going to affect my weight but yes, there is part of me that’s hoping I can lose a bit. But mainly I want my spirit back. I want my motivation – I have three courses I’ve paid for from The Girls Mean Business and not finished, I can’t seem to drum up the effort to build up my business even though I’ve just had the worst financial year since 2009. I’ve been chasing myself round in circles, trying to start a Juice Plus Business and not exactly setting the world on fire, when what I should have been doing is dealing with my emotions and low mood.

So, from now on, I thought I’d chart my progress here. Don’t worry; I don’t intend to use this blog as therapy. The thing is, I had NO idea how much help there was out there, and just assumed I’d have to sort myself out somehow. That’s not the case. If my journey helps anyone else, my work is done. Well, as long as it helps me, too, obviously.

I feel much more positive knowing I’m doing something. Sorry if I’m not going to be ranting about fat hate (well, maybe there’ll be the odd one) but y’know what – my blog, my rules. This is me, fat, imperfect and trying to change my life for the better. Are you with me?

 

 

 

The Only Way is Howard’s Way

Jan Howard - Howards Way fashion heroine

 

If you’re a lover of all things 80s, you might want to have a good laugh at my latest creation – It’s OK, it was the 80s!

If you can remember Howard’s Way, the Dynasty wannabee soap from the mid to late 80s, this might make you laugh…

 

The Only Way is Howard’s Way.