Whilst this is a valid question to ask someone who reached 43st 5.5lbs, it’s also quite fecking irritating!
I have some questions of my own…
Why did you let yourself smoke so much that you ended up with lung cancer?
Why did you let yourself sunbathe to the extent that you gave yourself skin cancer?
Why did you let yourself start taking class A drugs until you became an addict?
Why did you let yourself drive like a twat and end up hitting a tree, paralysing yourself in the process?
Why did you let yourself have unprotected sex, resulting in incurable herpes?
Why did you let yourself drink so much that you ended up needing a liver transplant?
And to the people who ask these questions…
Why did you let yourself become such an irritating cunt?!
Seriously though, at what point is it okay to ask someone ‘why?’ if you have no medical or professional interest? Does the why really matter? Surely it’s more important to focus on the here and now…what is that person doing to sort out whatever issue it is that they own?
And even more importantly, what help and support can I give them.
I can’t answer the why really. There is no ‘quite simply…’ answer when it involves reaching 43st 5.5lbs. A combination of factors are likely – from the basics such as laziness, lack of time, a serious case of the ‘can’t be arsed’s’, taking the easy option of junk quick-fix food, not enough exercise, and having enough money to not have to worry about food shopping budgets – through to the complex psychological issues surrounding self-esteem, dealing with emotions, confidence, self-harm, substance abuse, lack of personal compassion, feeling like I didn’t fit in or measure up, worrying about being successful at work, being bullied at work…the list of excuses (or ‘reasons’ depending upon how compassionate you are!) are pretty endless.
If I think back a while, I didn’t ever feel that my self-worth was affected by my weight. Despite being bigger than everyone else, I still knew how to go out and party like a demon and have so much fun that I lived for the weekends…which started on a Thursday for me! Whilst I would have loved to look like other people did, and be able to wear the clothes that they did, I had money in my pocket, a good sense of humour, and an ability to dance all night long with more rhythm than most – partly fuelled by vodka and tequila!
I had a great job, great car, great family…but all obviously wasn’t as it seemed.
I would drive my great car to Sainsbury’s during each lunch break from my great job and use my great salary to buy a great big bag of food. This was after I had eaten a bacon sandwich and a sausage roll from the great snack wagon that visited work mid-morning!
Not so ‘great’…so what came before that…
Now I had been bought up well in terms of food – good meals, often home-cooked. Food was never in short supply, but it wasn’t in absolute abundance either…so there was no real reason for me to be twisting the dinner ladies around my little finger to give me leftovers once I had eaten my packed lunch – the packed lunch that had been healthy until I had made swaps with my friends! And there was no real reason for me to be twisting the dinner ladies around my little finger to give me seconds and thirds once I had been switched to school meals. And there was no real reason for me to be sat in my bedroom eating a whole box of Roses chocolates that should have been given to my friend for her birthday…I would have been 8 or 9 years old!
I knew that I was different. My friends all wore different clothes – clothes that little girls in the 80′s wore…puffball skirts was one item on my ‘want’ list! I could see that I was different. I was bigger than they were. But I didn’t let this stop me. I joined in with sports, I had a great group of friends, and I dealt with any bullies. Dare I say it, but I knew that I was pretty even at that age. I knew I was fat, but I didn’t associate fat with ugly at that point in my life.
Then came secondary school. It was great – it really was. I fell in with a good crowd – the ‘in’ crowd…or as ‘in’ as you can be at a C.of E. school!
The boys that all of the girls fancied were my friends. I was a tomboy and used to play football with them. I had no bullying issues. I was doing well at school…coasting along without putting in too much effort really. My parents divorced when I was there…but to be honest, this was a blessing – as I have said before! I did well. I used to wag school a fair bit because I was bored. I sailed through my exams without any revision and went straight into the world of work as I had no idea what I wanted to when I grew up…I still don’t…at the grand old age of 32!
And this went well. People were always shocked at how young I was…as I was pretty switched on (so I had been told) and had the gift of the gab. Sales jobs were a breeze for me and I was regularly on the list of top performers…much to the annoyance of the older guys who had been doing these jobs for a while. I was bored though.
My friends had all gone to university, I worked with older colleagues and so didn’t socialise with them, and my Mum worked nights…so I used my money to buy boxes of Thornton’s chocolates, tubs of expensive ice-cream, and giant bags of crisps to keep me company at night. Then of course the people in the office would have bacon sandwiches mid-morning – which I would eat after a good breakfast, and as well as my packed lunch. This is when my eating started to become a real problem.
I relied on food for company, for comfort during stressful times, for fun…food became my go-to thing to deal with pretty much everything. If I was happy I would eat, if I was celebrating a big sale or a contract win I would eat, if I was upset I would eat, if I was stressed I would eat and think, if I was lonely I would eat, if I had company then WE would eat.
And so it spiralled out of control.
Yet I was still going out, had a great social life, got my first boyfriend who was gorgeous and lovely – but definitely not as gorgeous and lovely as Mr WLB, then I bought a horse, I had a Mercedes, I had a well-paid job, I was studying for my PgDip…and I was still eating like a demon.
At the age of 15 I joined Slimming World and weighed over 18st. By the time I had my first boyfriend I was easily 20st. By the time I met Mr WLB I was easily 22st. Yet life in some ways was getting better and better…better jobs, more money, great qualifications, buying houses…
And believe it or not, I had no health issues. Zero. Never any sign of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes…life was pretty good apart from my weight.
I had no impetus to change. Using food as my crutch was working. Life was grand.
Then I started moving up the ladder at work. The jobs that were once a breeze for me became a little more challenging…or the bosses I had became a little more challenging. I started noticing office politics and office affairs and I wanted no part of it all. I lacked the career poker face that I saw so many paste on. I couldn’t do it.
I started getting more and more stressed and ate more and more. Gone was the carefree life of spending all of my money on posh handbags, watches, and cars. I had a mortgage to pay. I had responsibility. I didn’t deal well with it really. I continued to eat, and eat, and eat.
What would once have been classed as disordered eating soon turned into an eating disorder.
And there we have it. I faced two routes. One route that looked really fecking challenging…and another route that looked quite straightforward. I obviously chose what I saw as the straightforward route – I don’t know many people out there that really would chose the hard option – and carried on. I chose to do nothing about my weight. I carried on getting bigger and bigger.
Little did I realise that I had actually chosen the fecking hardest route I could ever have opted for. Life at 43st 5.5lbs is not a breeze – especially when you have a reasonably good head on your shoulders and have full cognisance of what life has become…and will become before too long…over. Life at 43st 5.5lbs leaves you little choice. You have no choice but to be lazy at times because the physiology of a body at that size doesn’t really support the non-lazy route!
So the ‘why?’ question still remains unanswered.
I didn’t ever sit there and plan on being super morbidly obese. I did not plan on being petrified of going to bed at night…scared that I would never wake up again. I didn’t plan it…I didn’t ‘let myself get’ anything…it just seemed to happen – it felt right for a long, long time…by the time it felt wrong it was almost too late.
For me, my value and self-worth still does not reveal itself on the weighing scales.
For me, my value and self-worth comes from a variety of sources…
Education – school, life, via hard knocks.
Relationship – with family, friends, anyone you come into contact with.
Contribution to society – this was once via paid employment, it’s now from sharing my journey and helping other people change their lives…and hoping to foster.
Morals – being true to myself and not compromising.
If I look back at school – the part where I stated ‘coasting along’…I think that this was a big contributor. I never really worked that hard. Whether this was down to a fear of failure – well, that’s probably a whole other blog post, so I won’t even go there! But yet I carried on coasting along. I couldn’t be arsed to put in the effort that success required…and when success happened regardless then of course I thought that this was a good option!
And here’s the serious – but amusing part. I didn’t own a mirror. Apart from my chin hair plucking mirror, I never looked in one. I don’t think that I realised how serious the problem was until I could no longer fit into the biggest clothes in the plus-size shops…and by that point in time, it was too late.
I now look in a mirror on a regular basis. It’s not pretty. I look in metaphorical mirrors too – I regularly assess my behaviour, my eating, my exercise…all in a bid to keep a level of honesty with myself that I had previously ignored.
So does that answer the ‘why?’ do you think? It doesn’t really answer it for me. ‘Why did you let yourself get so fat?’ Ooops, ‘Why did you just ask me that question…now you have a busted nose?!’
Seriously though – questions like this are rarely helpful. By all means ask yourself why you just binged, for example. This concentrated ‘why’ can be helpful to identify patterns of behaviour. But asking someone ‘why?’ when it relates to their whole fecking life is a little overwhelming, unnecessary, fecking nosey, and not helpful in the slightest.
And something else that isn’t helpful in the slightest is saying…’And let’s hope you can keep it off’…
And let’s hope that you never light a ciggie again…heaven forbid your lung cancer comes back.
And let’s hope that you use suncream…heaven forbid that you end up with skin cancer again.
And let’s hope you steer clear of the class A stuff for life…heaven forbid.
And let’s hope that you don’t drive like a twat next time…heaven forbid that it’s not just your legs that you lose the use of.
And let’s hope you use a condom next time…heaven forbid that you end up with chlamydia too.
And let’s hope you can stay off the drink…the liver transplant was your last hope.
Talk about rubbing someone’s nose in the result of their previous poor decisions and piling on the fecking pressure!
I think this sums up my feelings nicely on the ‘why?’ subject…
Today has been good. I woke up and had to head to the doctors due a prescription mix-up. I then went to the gym and had a decent workout. Then it was time to move my horses back to their summer grazing. Mr WLB and I hooked up the trailer and Mum then arrived to help – as Mr WLB is not at all a fan of the horses! So we opted to move the most experienced traveller first…but he wasn’t that keen and gave me a bit of grief before deciding that the trailer was okay. He screamed for his friends all the way down the road though, which meant that I got some rather strange looks from the villagers! He did a bit of a leap off the ramp at the other end…wearing a horse was not on my agenda today! I then had to go back and collect the biggest and littlest ones. Mr WLB stayed with my Welshie to keep him calm, and I headed back for the others. My biggest had gone a bit wild and had been running around the field. He was quite sweaty and nearly sent me flying. I had to try and get his focus on me rather than everything else for fear of being trodden into the custodians land…he would not be happy to have to scrape something like that off his land! They both loaded and unloaded okay in the end…and are all safely installed in my yard. I am so bloody pleased to have them home and can’t wait to pamper them soon. Then it was off to the shops…as it was nearly 3pm and I hadn’t eaten lunch…and was starting to flag. Home was a welcome sight! My sister popped over with my nephew, which was great – we watched some ‘Thomas the Tank’ on Netflix! Tonight will be a nice relaxing one I think…hopefully. Oooh – I watched a good film last night – ‘Lone Survivor’ – based on a true story…it was quite emotional in places but a great watch – and it had Mark Whalberg in it…hard not to like it!
Breakfast: Banana porridge (5 syns).
I started the day with my usual banana porridge…to fuel my workout. Then I cooked up some veggies – peppers, courgette, red onion, spinach, and cherry tomatoes, and mixed this with sardines in tomato sauce, garlic, and mixed herbs – it was quite nice! Dinner was my chicken tikka pizzas with salad and mushrooms. I use my HEAs for the cheese and my HEBs for the pittas…toasted the pittas, spread tomato purée on them, put some garlic and madras curry powder on top…then put my chicken (the tikka chunks from Asda), and cheese on top – delicious! And a nice choccy Nakd bar as my evening snack.
Exercise: 15 minutes elliptical machine, 40 minutes arm weights, and 15 minutes on the hand-bike.
Thank you for reading,
Weight Loss Bitch xxx