The Not-So-Secret Diary of an OverEater

My Battle to Have a Healthy Relationship with Food


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And now for something completely different!

Sisterhood of Bloggers picI have been nominated by my virtual friend (as I’ve never met her in real life) and author of the soon-to-be-published novel There must Be An Angel, Sharon Booth, for a Sisterhood of Bloggers award.  In short, this seems to be a challenge for female bloggers to answer some questions from their nominator and then pass on the baton to other female bloggers they know.  Unfortunately I don’t know very many so I think I’ll nominate a few friends who I know read my blog to answer their questions in the comments box below – if they want to of course!

What is your earliest memory? I love being asked this question.  My earliest memory is seeing my baby brother for the first time.  I was 28 months old and I remember being put on my grandfather’s shoulders to look through a window (which had a thin metal reinforcing grid in).  My mum was wearing her pale yellow dressing gown and Charlie was in a crib.  This was back in the day when you spent a week or two in hospital after giving birth and the babies were all taken into nurseries.  Both my daughters were delivered at the same hospital, and I think I found the actual door when I looked around on my first tour of the unit!

What was your favourite Christmas present? That’s a tricky one!  I think probably my favourite is when we bought tickets for the girls to see One Direction in concert.  They were both fans at the time and they were so excited when they opened the gift!  We made a day of it and climbed up and over the O2 in the snow!

Who would you like to go on a date with? (Excluding current partners/spouses) Oh, why can’t I choose my lovely hubby?  Okay well if you insist, I’ll choose my dad and my brother.  We don’t have much quality time together so I think it would be really nice to just sit down and chat over a steak and chips (plain for Dad – no parsley or anything scary like that please!).

Which film would you choose if you could only ever watch one again? Another tricky question.  I think I would probably go for The Notebook.  It’s such a beautiful love story and it makes me cry every time I watch it.

What are you most proud of? I am most proud of my lovely girls and the young women they are turning into.  Looking back, there’s lots I could have done differently bringing them up but they’ve managed to be fairly well adjusted despite me!

Which woman in history do you most admire? The ladies who campaigned for women to be allowed to vote.  Whatever your politics, I think every woman should honour their sacrifices and vote.

Which book do you wish you’d written? That has to be Anne McCaffery’s Pern series.  It really captured my imagination and I’d love to live in that “universe”.  How amazing to be able to have that story in your head.

What one thing do you think would surprise other people about you? I have a hankering to travel the world.  There are just so many amazing places I would love to see!

You’ve had an unexpected windfall of one thousand pounds. What would you spend it on? Plants for our garden.  We’ve been re-landscaping it for coming on two years now and it’s nearly finished!

Who is your secret crush? If I told you that, it wouldn’t be a secret any more now would it?!

Well that’s it.  The only female blogger I can think of who hasn’t already been nominated by Sharon is my friend Angela who writes a fitness blog.  Maybe I’ve forgotten someone?  Anyway, perhaps some of my regular readers would like to answer the same questions – or some of them – in the comments below.  And if you write a blog, please feel free to answer the questions on it and nominate any of your female blogger friends!

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An attempt to explain

A good friend said to me recently that when she read my last blog it made her want to cry.

I assumed she meant because I’d written that my dad had given me a rare compliment and I was pleased that I was making him proud, especially as he doesn’t share his feelings very often.  (That makes me cry – happy cry – when I think about it.)

But actually she was feeling sad because she had read it that my parents were not accepting me as I am – overweight or not – and putting pressure on me to lose weight.  So I thought I should explain a bit more in case others were thinking the same thing.

I am so blessed to have amazing parents who support me and encourage me and absolutely accept me for being me – whatever my weight and despite all the anxieties I must have put them through over the years.

My parents worry about me (comes with the parenting territory).  They could see that I was putting on weight and that I wasn’t happy about it.  They just want me to be happy.  Although they would probably still have concerns about my health if I was 30 stone, they wouldn’t love me any less and knowing I was happy would be the most important thing to them.

When I am overweight and I look in the mirror I don’t like what I see.  I realise few people are 100% happy with what they see but to me when I see myself overweight I see failure.  I have failed to control my eating; food has controlled me instead.  I have been weak and allowed myself to overeat – again.  I’m not aiming for the “perfect” body; just to be in control.  I realise there’s a thin line: maybe I’ll achieve the weight loss but won’t be happy with my flabby arms or my saggy boobs (gravity gets to us all eventually!).  Perhaps I’ll always be unhappy with something.  Perhaps I think losing weight will make me happy but it won’t.  Perhaps…. perhaps….

A part of me (a little part, but it has a very loud voice!) says well if that’s the case, why bother at all?  Why put myself through the deprivation twice a week?  Why even have a set of scales in the house?  And a slightly bigger part of me worries whether my efforts to lose weight and become healthier will have a negative impact on my youngest daughter who struggles with similar issues to myself.  Am I just putting all my hang-ups onto her?  I’d like to think I’m setting a good example – but will it have the reverse effect?

Being totally honest here – it would be much easier to give up.  I want to.  It would be much easier to eat without care or concern.  If I could only get rid of the guilt and the nagging voice (also very loud) that I’ve failed.  Yet again.  Failed at what?  Failed at being the person I want to be on the outside.  I’d like to think I’m already the person I want to be on the inside – honest, kind, reliable, faithful, hospitable, loving, and patient (well I probably need a bit more work on that last one!) – and who cares about what a person looks like?

The sad truth is that in this world, lots of people care what people look like.  Very overweight people can suffer terribly from bullying, rude/thoughtless comments and strange looks.  They are sometimes overlooked for jobs or dismissed as inadequate/unacceptable in other ways.

I’m not obese.  Right now, in fact, I’m “normal” weight.  Slightly to the high side of normal, but normal none-the-less.  Woohoo!  I should celebrate that success!  This week I got back down to my pre-Christmas weight.  Yay!  So no one (should) look at me and judge me.  It’s just me doing the judging.  I haven’t exercised in ages so although my weight is down (yay again!) I’m feeling flabbier around my middle and thinking it’s mostly muscle mass I’m losing rather than fat.  So when I do start exercising again the weight will go up instead of down and that could potentially cause another downwards spiral for me.

How to stop it?  How to stop the self-judging?  How to let it go?  Answers on a postcard please… (or blog comment!)