Blowing out the candle.

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I’ve grudgingly decided that I think too much. Generally I mean.

Not in any way specific to one particular topic but my mind in general wanders and then I think. A lot. I overthink and I obsess. Then I think some more.

Today I was reluctantly babysitting the remnants of some international flu virus whilst dragging my protesting body around the house, trying to raise some semblance of order to its mildly neglected state. I like everything just so and often cast loving glances around my belongings, drinking in the feeling of home they give me. Today, however, my mind started to wander to the realms of mortality and I began to imagine what on earth would happen to all of this if there were no me to need it. I blame it entirely on Doctor G you see. My son is horrified that I avidly watch TV shows about autopsies..”even while you’re eating! YUK!!!”  For my own part I find it tragically fascinating, although it does make one extremely aware of how limited an existence we can have.

Around the room my glance went as my overactive brain stripped away everything that was me. Footsteps in an empty room before a voice says ”Last tenant passed away, rather tragic it was too”   NO!! Snatching up a teddy bear I hugged it comfortingly before assuring it I wouldn’t abandon it any time soon. Of course then I HAD to think about it for it was stuck in my brain and would not be quiet no matter how hard I tried to make it. I wonder just how long I DO have left? Oh, what if I should get run over by a bus tomorrow, should I write letters, for everyone might think I didn’t ever love them! Those that I didn’t might think that I do and that’s even worse!! What about the cat??

As I said I think too much. But on a serious side I couldn’t help but wonder how easily our lives are discarded and packed away like it never existed at all. Belongings that we so carefully hoard over many a year vanish leaving no trace of our personality behind. Those of us lucky enough to leave someone to mourn us eventually fade to a few photographs and disjointed memories before evaporating into nonexistence like we had never been. Cherished items mouldering in some back street charity shop, forgotten and unwanted.

Perhaps it is something that comes with age. Never before did I think about dying or not being here, yet all too often recently I am aware of how every year is a bonus. I think it would be arrogant of me to assume that I should get to live out as many years as I would like. Yes, if I am honest , I am a little afraid. Not of dying, but of dying before I am ready to go. So many places I want to go and so many things I want to do. I wonder if fate will give me the time I feel that I need. I wonder if I shall leave someone behind to care that I am gone.

Sometimes lately I feel afraid to go to sleep, terrified that this may be the last time I close my eyes. So irrational a fear yet so few of us get warning and I should not want to close my eyes so early for the final time. Yet I am so very aware that if this the case I should never even know that this was the end. I would not be here to know that I did not wake up.  Blown out like the flame on a candle.

I wish I could choose a point in time and say ”That’s it. That’s when I want to go”. Be able to live free of the worry that my time might be shorter than I’d like. Sadly it just doesn’t work that way. So each night I close my eyes and fight the temptation to try and stay awake and pray as hard as I can that I get to open my eyes in the morning just the same as I did yesterday.

 

 

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The road to hell

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It’s official, im doomed. I’m going straight to hell on the back of Chris Rea’s motorbike, one way no stops, no collecting £200 as i pass go but going full speed down to hell.

It all began with a cheese sandwich you see. Now i know youre chuckling or thinking i’m mad but this really is serious stuff here.  Hunting frantically through the fridge for something for lunch i had happily decided  on tuna, you know that nice healthy fishy thing i eat a ton of. The trouble was i only get a very short lunch break and glancing at the tuna and then at the clock i concluded, after wondering just how fast i could chew, that there was no way i was going to be able to make the darned stuff and eat it too.  Typically this just had to coincide with the day the supermarket was all out of my favourite roast ham so there was nothing else around.

”EAT ME”

Erm excuse me?

”I said…EAT ME”

Okay nobody believes me here but food really does talk to me, i mean do i look like a skinny person?  But really it does and right about now a bag of grated cheese was flexing in my direction and urging me in a rather sexy drawl to eat him. I wavered..really i did and loyally glanced back at the tuna i know i should eat. I’m on a diet you see and i really do have to be good since i have had a few extra pounds donated my way of late.

”EAT ME”

ohhhhh really?? okay i crumpled..i was hungry and time was ticking by so i crumbled and gave in much to the smug delight of mr cheddar himself. Believe it or not i am usually quite resolute once i am on a diet and can lose the excess quite quickly and easily but i have this awful no mans land where i waver.  If i am not in the zone it only takes a very small nudge at my resolve and i crumple to indulgent abandon. 

I’m a typical Taurean what can i say? We love to eat, alas eating does not always love us back. Many a battle with the scales will follow although in definitely much more on the winning side than i used to be. Still i did feel rather terrible giving in to the lure of the cheese and hastily smothered the urge to turn into Britney Spears and skip around the kitchen singing Oops i did it again. Of course i shall now feel terribly guilty for the rest of the day, never eat again and eventually die of total shame.

So there you have it. One minute i think im safe in my nice little kitchen and then one random act sends me hurtling to the underworld on a cheese coated road to hell.  They say you are what you eat and i dont know how true that is but if it is so then the next thing i eat will be a skinny person. 

Ah well nice lettuce, lovely lettuce….come to mama!

goodbye my friend

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From the time we are small we will encounter many other people whose lives will interact with our own. Some of them will linger for a time before passing along their own path whilst others may stay with us forever. No matter the length of time each leaves behind some tiny little footprints in our memories and often our hearts. 

It is with great sadness today that i learned of the passing of a very old friend. A friend lost in the distant past but despite the different paths our lives had taken still a friend for all that. Mingled with sadness is an overwhelming guilt that perhaps i should have tried harder to hold on to the friendship instead of letting it go,. Perhaps my presence could have made some difference to her as it did in the past. Could i have saved her?

She was fragile you see and i knew it. A total contrast to my own mulish strength and i often was the support for her failing life. She did not cope well with the downsides of life and sought solace often in the bottom of a glass. I know it was not my choice and she lived the way she wanted but memories of old remind me that i could have stopped her or at least led her to moderation as i had in the past.  But maybe i failed her by not being there. 

It is all too easy to become wrapped up in our own lives and i am the first to admit i am very solitary. My friendships are few by choice even if my acquaintances are many. Yet we found each other she and i, in a time when we were both at our most vulnerable and formed a firm kind of limping friendship that i like to hope mattered at least a little. That she was only slightly older than i is a painful jab at just how short life really is and perhaps makes me more aware than ever of my own mortality. Yet i like to believe that once a friendship is formed then it will always be so whether the years steer you in different directions or not and i think that perhaps she would have agreed with that. 

Wherever she is i hope she is in a better place for i know that for her life was not an easy experience. Perhaps now she will find the happiness that for so long eluded her and finally find herself some peace.

Goodbye my friend, 

There is a happy land

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In the course of my work i encounter many many people. All walks of life, all ages, races and religions. Some of these are your average pleasant examples whilst more often they are sadly the opposite. Whatever the person you meet there are occasionally those who for some reason or another stay firmly lodged in your memory. Up until now it has been my misfortune for all of those of my experience to be of a negative nature rather than a pleasantly positive.

Recently all of that changed when i had a conversation with an elderly man. To begin with he won me over with his lovely chirpy greeting and after a morning of exceptionally rude people he was definitely a balm to my downcast mood. They say that you can hear in the voice when a person is smiling and of this gentleman this was certainly true. Smiling he most definitely was. 

Faintly Welsh with that singsong lilt to his voice he replied that as the sun was shining he was very well indeed and asked after myself in return.  ‘My Lovely’ he called me and that in itself made me smile for it was nice to hear after a particularly harsh day. I explained the purpose of my call and he listened intently before pausing for a moment after i finished speaking. then he began to chuckle and i was taken aback as he announced that he would be glad to help but he really did not see the point for he was not long for this world. ”I’m dying you see” he told me quite nonchalantly.  Like any empathetic person i was horrified and apologised profusely, condolences rushing forth although i wasn’t really sure any of them were enough to befit the situation. Startlingly he dismissed my words with another chuckle and told me that he was ready to go.

”I’ve lived my life you see” he told me ”I’ve lived a very happy life, had a wonderful wife who is waiting up there for me to join her”

Then he began to talk. He told me of his life and his time in the second world war. That he found in me a willing audience there seemed to please him greatly and we talked for some time as he told me of his time as ground crew personnel. Scoffing genially at me as i enthused my love of the B-17, telling me firmly that there was nothing to hold a candle to the good old Spitfire. As he talked he never changed, that same chirpy happy nature shone through and despite his bombshell i found myself smiling too, very much warming to this old man i had never met and he did seem to be genuinely happy. 

Smiling still he told me of his wife, clearly from the gentle affectionate way he spoke of her it seemed he really did love her. That he was looking forward to seeing her again in whatever place exists after passing touched me and made me smile. No clearly this lovely old man had lived a happy life, this much was evident from the way he spoke. He stuck in my memory for his charm and his friendly nature and his gentle acceptance of his lot and i wondered if in my own turn i should feel the same. 

I have always been a big believer in trying to do the best we can with the life we have for we really do only get one try at it. There is no ‘return to go’ for those who make mistakes and get it wrong no matter how much we should wish it. Although many years hopefully yet to go i couldnt help but hope that i should be able to say the same as this lovely man, that my mistakes however many were still nothing compared to the happy parts of the life i managed to have. I have to admit a relief that my time is not yet up for i have not yet reached that place where i can look back and say i have led a happy life. My mistakes are many and i am not so very good at getting things right. Yet there are those things, however few, that definitely make all of the difference and i can truly say i feel i got right. It is so very hard to realise just when something is worth counting and when it is of no consequence at all but just sometimes there are things you just know you have to count. Regrets will follow when you realise you should have counted something that you didnt or in hindsight put too much stock in that mattered not at all.

It is all a question of balance and doing for yourself those things that will make you look back and say you led a happy life. Perhaps you may not have started out that way but the world is full of choices and it is up to us to choose the path to the right memories. For myself i shall remember that lovely old man whom i met only briefly but who made me smile on a very bad day and who gave me faith that if you stay true to yourself and what you believe you really do have the potential to be happy. 

Wherever you are sir i wish you and your wife a most happy ever after. 

The weight of desperation…

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As you go about your daily life it is highly unlikely that you will fail to see the obesity crisis rocking the western world in more recent times. Whether it be the huge increase of overweight people in general  or simply the ever increasing adverts screaming ‘LOSE WEIGHT FAST’ you would have to be blinkered indeed not to notice. We are a self indulgent society, there is no escaping from it and sadly it seems we only consider the consequences after the fact. Very far after the fact it seems for many and i myself have been no exception.

I am not one to take much stock of some aspects of social media yet i am amazed at how many people, my friends included, live their whole lives on facebook or its like. There is nothing too personal nor too private that they do not feel ready to announce to the world and i am ceaselessly amazed at some of the things i see and read. As a blogger i am happy to share certain opinions and amusing anecdotes relating to my life but i like the option of privacy and am selective about whom i share my intimacies of life with. Still i am not above browsing interestedly at the public announcements of my friends cringing or chuckling as the status may warrant. Today however, as i idly browsed i was struck by the number of weight loss adverts peppering many of the pages i viewed. Although all different brands and methods they all nonetheless screamed out the same message ‘LOSE WEIGHT FAST’  Perhaps the most alarming thing of all was not the presence of the adverts themselves but the sheer number of people flocking to them wanting that quick fix to their excess weight.

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For me it was a definite trip down memory lane and an almost Christmas Carol like visit to my former unhappy self. To say i was overweight would definitely be no understatement for the disgrace that i had become was almost double the person i am now. Yet it was all of my own doing and to a certain extent a deliberate attempt to obliterate the unhappy shadow that i had become. Never in truth did i consider the consequences of my actions nor did i have the foresightedness to realise that being big would not change the problems that had forced me there, it would only serve to be lessened slightly by the momentary comfort of some sugary treat. It is hard for anyone who has not experienced it to understand the comfort and solace that can be found in the arms of a bar of chocolate. If only the feeling lasted as long as the unhappiness but alas it does not and with it comes the crashing low of reality.

IM FAT!! 

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There may be those rare few who genuinely are happy being bigger and who do not feel the need to conform to a society ideal in order to feel attractive and loved. Sadly i like many was not once of those and longed to undo the damage that i had inflicted upon myself and be once again the slim person i had been before. But again like many i was daunted by the long road ahead and i failed to see the reality of the situation, it had taken years to become this large and it was going to take equally as long to take it away.

I wanted it now! 

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Therein we find the problem of many a dieter, once the decision has been made and the excess weight confronted we want suddenly to be slim overnight. This does not happen and even when the weight loss is rapid the effects upon the body cosmetically are not appealing as the skin fails to keep up with the speed of the weight lost. I have seen many a person embark upon some extreme weight loss programme only to be devastated by the resulting swathes of excess flesh where they had imagined some bikini body. Yet still they flock to these adverts willing to part with hard earned money for the illusion that this will be an overnight fix. I did it the hard way. I dieted, i failed, i cried, i sweated at the gym and i got right back on the wagon after every cheat and tried again. I threw many a tantrum and hurled many an abusive name at my reflection in the mirror but i kept on trying until i finally saw the results. In hindsight i think the stuggle in itself taught me more of a lesson than any quick fix ever could and even today i still carry on fighting the battle to keep from obesity. 

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I cannot help but feel a sadness for those who clamour around the quick fix for i was them once and i remember well the hopelessness and the desperation. The need to conform and the desire to be accepted and loved. Once you have been overweight you are never free from a diet for it is your curse to be susceptible to temptation and weaknesses that led you to where you were in the first place.Yet you learn in a way you never have before and you find a way to ignore the little voice reverberating in your brain urging you to give in and indulge.

I am quite sure i drive my boyfriend mad with my constant self criticism and shattering insecurities and that is my cross to bear. Yet thankfully he understands me and knows from whence it comes. He listens without complaint yet sometimes will reprimand me for slamming down any comforting compliment he may make. Perhaps the latter rather frustratedly for he knows at times that no matter what he says i shall not hear it.  But hear it i do although it maybe sometime later when it penetrates the sometimes self loathing i feel. It is a battle i shall continue to fight maybe forever but i’m winning…at least i am winning. Still i cannot help but feel sad when i see the girls i used to be, cannot help a wave of memories crash in, followed by the relief that i made it. Almost.

There simply is no quick fix. It is something you come to learn as you make the journey yourself, for the battle is as much inside as it is out. I made it on the outside, i was lucky and i do look good i grudgingly can admit this but it took someone else to open my eyes. The inside is something else and i shall carry on along the road with a supporting hand in mine.

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The weight of desperation.  

New Year Dread-olutions

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Yes its that old January time again and just the same as every year i ponder the resolutions i’m going to make. They rarely vary much and whilst i don’t exactly break them i couldn’t say i exactly keep them either. As usual on the top of the list is the inevitable post christmas diet which, were i to stick to my pre christmas vow, would not really be necessary. But as usual i ate too much,  wolfed down more chocolate than a cadburys taste tester and generally overindulged on a grand scale. After so many months of restriction it is rather reminiscent of offering water to a man in a desert and so rapidly the pounds piled on. Fortunately i know when to stop and as january rolls around i was once again haunting the aisles of the local supermarket avidly scouring labels. 

I am actually quite resolute once i actually set my mind to something and since i like being slim more than i like my beloved chocolate i wasn’t too unhappy about the diet at all. Until……

Sitting in the mall later that day i had forgone the greasy pasties my companions had favoured and instead had opted for a lower calorie salad sandwich. I had just taken a bite when a blur appeared infront of me and thrust a small plastic bag at me saying ”Here have a freebie” before rushing away. Rather startled i lowered my sandwich and peered inside, wondering what on earth she had given me. My expression changed somewhat as i pulled out a notebook, pen and shopping bag all emblazoned with the words ‘WEIGHT WATCHERS’

Now whilst i may mention dieting i am not infact obese, being 5ft 10 and a healthy size 10. I had certainly not considered myself as looking in need of Weight Watchers and to say i was rather offended was putting it somewhat mildly. Truth be told i seethed about it for rather some time afterwards muttering crossly to myself in the mirror as i tried to breathe in hard and look like a size 8. Eventually i had to breathe out and pondered for some time the positives and negatives of wearing corsets in the modern day world. Bridget knickers perhaps??

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So the New Year diet is in full swing and i sat today dolefully prodding at my cottage cheese wishing it were something a sight more interesting. I do not dislike Cottage cheese but it is one of those foods one would definitely not rush to get in line for. The kitten twitches its nose in the direction of my lunch trying to decide if i am eating anything tasty and i wave a forkful in her direction. ”Help yourself” i tell her generously, but she twitches her nose again and decides i am not eating anything palatable and stares balefully at me before settling back to sleep.

”No” i tell her prodding it again ”I wouldn’t eat it if i had a choice either”

Perhaps the cat has the right idea and next year i should bypass the chocolate, ditch the cottage cheese and make an altogether more exciting resolution.

Skydiving anyone??

The tides of life

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Sometimes, just sometimes, life has a way of making itself felt with an almighty slap that sending you tumbling off your feet with no idea of where you will land. My philosophy has always been that sometimes fate just steps in and gives you a push into the direction you were to afraid to take for yourself. Other times perhaps it is simply because we were taking too much for granted and merely needed a sharp reminder to be just that little bit more grateful for the things that we do have. There is no doubt that most of us are guilty of complacency when it comes to our lives and often do not cope well when change upsets our little world and everything in it. 

When i was small it all seemed so easy. I had my life mapped in a fairytale way that only a child can imagine and never at so young an age did it occur to me to think any differently. I may not have liked everything nor been happy with it but since it was all i had ever known i accepted it as a given and never had the thought to even try and change any aspects of it.  As a child, even when things are not perfect, we do not really see nor really register the less than ideal but merely accept it as it is. We simply do not know any different and therefore have no reason to hope for more. Only when exposed to situations more idealistic than our own do we sometimes wonder what life may be like if we were someone else. I never imagined for myself the life that i have now. Never did i imagine going wthout nor sacrificing until you wonder if you have anything left to give. No, for me i imagined a glamorous lifestyle and a handsome husband who adored me. 

As i should have realised, life does not work out in such a fairytale way for most of us and even those we imagine living the perfect lives have their own regrets and unhappiness. Perhaps then it is not merely what you have that makes you happy but your perception of it. Is it enough to have money, esteem and material things or perhaps is it a case of the more that you have, the more you want. Whilst it is a good thing to have things to want and aspire to, to be without dreams makes life not much of a life at all, there comes a point when perhaps the wanting is not merely for ourselves but more to appear credible and successful to others. What hope of happiness when we rely on others to give us some sense of worth, yet will living our lives for others give us the feeling of success we crave? Will it make us happy?  At the end of the day when doors are closed and we are alone, there is only our own reflection looking back at you in the mirror. It is then that perhaps you realise that without a love for yourself and a sense of inner peace, the regard of others does not count for much at all. 

Life is sent to test us. Some of us more than others and whilst the instinct may be to bury our heads in the sand and ignore that which is happening, sometimes the solution is to stand up tall and weather the onslaught the best way we can. Perhaps we will emerge a little battered and we may need to pick ourselves back up from the floor, but sometimes we can rebuild a better stronger version of what was there before. It is easy to be swept along by the tide and overwhelmed the the deluge that life occasionally throws our way but if you do not swim just that little bit harder then it is so easy to be washed away and drown in the tides of life. 

I have lost my focus of late because i forgot to remember to count my blessings. I fell victim to the need to feel sorry for myself when circumstances dealt me a decline in fortunes. So focused was i on what i had lost and what i no longer had that i forgot about those things that i do. In hindsight all i have done is waste months of my life on worry, regret and upset when really i should have stuck out my chin and taken the blow. We never lose everything, there is always something left to cling to even when it seems like we have nothing left at all. It is that one thing we need to hold on to and start building upon it until we have more than we had the day before. Even as i am I am fortunate, i  somehow forgot that along the way, but there is no doubt that i AM fortunate. Whilst i could definitely have more than i do right now there is no doubt i could easily have a lot, lot less. I have been there before and i will try to remember how far i have come. 

Grant me the serenity to accept the things i cannot change, the courage to change the things i can and the wisdom to know the difference.

Oh yes, i am fortunate. 

A little bit of Thin-spiration

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Ask any woman in todays modern society exactly what they consider to be the perfect body and you can pretty much guarantee that the word ‘thin’ will be in there somewhere. Average statistics show that at any one time 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will be on a diet or weight loss program of some form or other. In an increasingly media driven society models of perfection are paraded as examples to aspire to and aspire to it we do. 

Despite an ever expanding population the diet and fitness industry continues its popularity explosion with companies like Weight Watchers pulling in a hefty $1.452bn (1) in annual revenue. Definitely no slim sum by any means and a clear indicator that the diet industry, in the western world at least, is definitely big business. As the media continues its glamorous promotion of those body beautifuls, we in turn fuel the trend and flock in our millions to buy into the illusion that they sell.

So much of a change from a small few decades past when icons and idols sported more ‘womanly’ curves. Glamour oozed from such well rounded starlets as Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot and the timelessly sexy Bettie Page. Yet it is a true indicator of todays media influence when many questioned nowadays truly consider those afore mentioned sex symbols to be overweight. Indeed on more than one occasion this writer has seen the beautiful Marilyn described as ‘Fat’.

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But how accurate is this media bandwagon and are those ideals of perfection really so perfect after all? Well on camera it seems so. Glossy celebrities smile those perfect smiles and flaunt those flaw free bodies across magazine covers the world over. Enviously we admire everything about them and hurl ourselves desperately in the direction of anything we believe will make us like our idols. Billions each year are spent on diet, cosmetics and now on an increasing trend of cosmetic surgery as industry cashes in on our need to be perfect. The ‘quick fix’ surgery solution has rocketed in the last few years with millions of us opting for an invasive procedure as a way to give us that which we desire so badly. There is no doubt that this growing trend will not be seeing a decline anytime soon and the industry sees set to boom to massive proportions. 

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Sadly many recent media revelations reveal that perhaps the perfection we yearn for so badly may not be such a reality after all. Articles galore adorn the internet screaming the reality of an illusion we are all to ready to buy into. It seems there is a route to perfection after all but it does not lie at the end of a surgeons scalpel, nor indeed as the result of any super hyped diet program. To achieve the body of your dreams it seems all you need to do today is get yourself airbrushed. Stars have been no doubt cringing in shame as the internet buzzes with before and after photographs showing the reality of alleged perfection. With a few clicks of a computer mouse the pounds are shed, cellulite banished and perfect wrinkle free skin glows with health. Not such hard work after all then and certainly a look we can all manage with ease. Amusing then that men are among those most easily taken in by the images fed to us. I have encountered shock and surprise from more than one gentleman when i explained the wonders of airbrushing to them for they really did believe such flawless beauty existed. There is no doubt that there are indeed many beautiful people out there but nobody is perfect. So as we embark upon yet another diet in our efforts to be thin and spend billions on anything we are led to believe will get us there, perhaps we need to be a little more realistic in our efforts. Maybe one day the media will step up to the mark and take responsibility for the monster that it has created. But in the meantime we will all try just that little bit harder and spend just that little bit more. 

Because you can be perfect……can’t you?

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(1) source – google finance

Who wants to live forever

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It has been a long standing joke in my house that i am going to live to be a very aged cantankerous recluse, with a spooky house full of cats that children dare each other to knock upon the door. Quite blase i would airily announce that i was going to live to the ripe old age of 103. I have no idea where this number came from or why i settled upon it, but 103 has always been my mantra. 

I cannot for one minute imagine what quality of life i should have at this age and being in my early 40s, which i consider very young in the scheme of things, i do not ponder it too much as to me it is a terribly long way away. Imagine the things i will have seen if i reach such a ripe old age!! Croakily announcing to the younger generation that i remember a time before computers were invented will no doubt make me seem incredibly old indeed. Much in the way that i regard with awe those older persons who were around in those historical times and witnessed the birth of monumental discoveries we nowadays take for granted. So i tell myself i shall be regarded for those changes having taken place in my own lifetime.

Perhaps, like many, i have been guilty of thinking too little about my own mortality and just taking for granted that i should be here for quite some considerable time….until recently. Being a member of an online fitness group brings me into contact with a diverse range of people and within this community i have made many likeminded friends. All of us dedicated to fitness and trying to live a healthy lifestyle. Gradually as you converse you learn the stories behind the people and those things that motivate them and in turn relate your own. 

Meeting a new friend recently of a similar age we happily swapped tales and when she declared herself impressed and inspired by my own success i volunteered to help her in any way i could. As she related her tale to me i was horrified and catapulted into a reality that, i for one, had not even thought of considering. This particular lady, although a year younger than myself, had suffered a heart attack only a year before. Granted her size had much to do with this but, as i reminded myself, i had also been considerably overweight myself and only luck and perhaps good genes had prevented me from being in her place. To say i was shocked was an understatement for i had not for one moment considered the fact that people at so young an age can, and indeed do, suffer from such devastating health scares. Thankfully this lovely lady did recover and is very dedicated to redressing all those factors that led her to suffer as she did. For myself i sat and thought for a while, for this really had made me think quite seriously about my life. one cannot deny that it is all too easy just to sail along complacently, imagining that we shall always be here and putting off until tomorrow those things which we should do today.

Life is a gift and we really should treat it as such. I have long realised that, were we to waste the time we are given ,you do not get sent back to have another try. We none of us know when our time will come and for some of us it may be far sooner than for others. I guess all in all its a case of living every day like it could be your last. No regrets and no what ifs. Reach out and grab those things you can while you can, and do not waste time being afraid or complacent. 

So easily i could have been her, but thankfully i changed my life in time to save myself….this time.

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Adventures with a Bionic Fatty

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Well you guessed it i’m still here. Like some homeless inebriate clinging to the last vestiges of warmth at the local AA meeting i’m still lingering on the fringes of diet land with nowhere else to go. Clocking in at the 150s (pounds not kilos!!) before christmas provided a small whoop of joy before my treat starved body latched itself firmly to a much anticipated tin of Quality Street. Welding with all the tenacity of a rock growing barnacle, i firmly ensconced myself upon twiglet boyfriends sofa and began a long denied trip to chocolate heaven. Whilst this definitely delighted me the squeals of dismay from my skinny self were  muffled into oblivion by the sounds of my determined chomping. No doubt a familiar scene as many of us indulged way beyond the sensible in true Christmas abandon and worried about the regrets as the chimes of New Year rang in. 

So 2013 blows in and i guiltily step onto the scales, peeking through my fingers to hide the inevitable weight gain. I confess with the amount i ate i was easily expecting 5 or 6 pounds but my gleeful shriek at 1.8lbs startled the cat and awoke my nemesis. I have an overdeveloped sense of hearing you see, much in the way that animals can hear sounds on a level that humans cannot, so can i. But it is not whistles and supersonic bat calls that reach my level of hearing, oh no! My bionic hearing is tuned to a pitch that perfectly picks up the tantalising cries of……the cookie!! Just when i think i am safe its sirens call will hypnotize me into the kitchen, force cookies into my resisting paws and lure me into eating them against my will. I am sure that were it not for my bionic hearing i should by now be the super slim size 8 i wish to be instead of languishing as a paltry size 10. 

I confess i should have been much more impressed had my super powers been more awe inspiring. I’m not sure they will ever write a book about the adventures of Panda and her talking cookie but you have to admit it would prove rather interesting. So as i hop up and down on the scales and will them to go lower i stick my fingers in my ears and loudly chant ”LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!!” Fortunate for me that my neighbours are not passing by as i am not sure what they should make of a semi naked woman hopping up and down with her fingers in her ears talking to herself!!

Chewing doggedly on a plate of lettuce some time later i am mentally telling myself ”pretend its chocolate, pretend it’s chocolate” whilst dreaming of a lovely pair of new boots. Of course lettuce doesn’t taste anything like chocolate and in reality all it does is make you pee since it is mostly water after all. Good for you right?? 

One day they will start an addicts club and i shall stand up in all my shame and say ”Hi there, my name is Amanda, im a Bionic Fatty and a cookieaholic!!

How to have a happy New Year……….or not!

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So Christmas time has come and gone and with it all the hustle bustle and weeks of planning. January settles into somewhat of an anti-climax that leaves you sitting amongst piles of discarded wrappings gloomily wondering ‘Now What?’  Dismally we prod our post christmas weight gain and vow resolutely to sign up for the gym and turn ourselves into body beautifuls, quit drinking and therefore become wonderful people. Right?? 

Pretty much! Prodding my own post christmas tum, i have happily christened it my food baby and only the expected January diet has prevented it from growing into a full blown toddler complete with requisite tantrums. Actually in all honesty i’m exaggerating just a teensy bit here since Christmas weight gain was less than 2lbs despite eating enough for a family of 5. Someone up there must like me just a tad and i sent up a silent thankyou to those in the know as i wriggled into my size 10 dress. Partner in crime (twiglet boyfriend) is still bemoaning non existent stomach on the slimmest mans frame i’ve ever seen thus making us the most typical examples of New Years Resoluters going. Out of the window went any thoughts of portion control and to my shame i really did go on a see-food diet!! 

Lack of sunlight has robbed me of my lovely summer glow and my customary winter milk bottle skin blends me in to the bleak winter landscape, saved only by a splash of scarlet lipstick in total defiance at conformity. As is traditionally expected i sat, pen poised, ready to make my new years resolutions and winced as i automatically trotted out the age old ones written down by the population en masse. 

1) Lose weight (ah the old classic)….hmmmm i’ve been doing that most of 2012 and have very little left to go so we can pretty much scrap that one after march!!

2) Go to the gym ( but of course!)…. but ditto here too since i went most of last year, i just need to go back post christmas so lets scrap that one too!

3) Become best selling author and churn out books like post it notes. Okay maybe a little optimistic here but i have vowed to actually finish my book this year…..honest!! I just need a title, a plot, some characters and a beginning! Easy!!

4) Become total genius in 6 short months and make multiple appearances on Mastermind thus leading me to be invited to a dinner party with Stephen Hawking and other intelligent beings of note…

5) Become multi- lingual and annoy people by pretending to be from Sweden. 

6) Ride my bike without holding on to the nearest passing lorry, abiltity to turn corners would also be an advantage here so vow to work on that. Might consider removing stabilizers by Easter if progressing well.

7) Stop giving my wrinkles names and marking their progress off on height charts!

8) Learn the calorie content of every food on the planet thus saving large amounts of time in the supermarket. On the subject of supermarkets i will only slide down the aisles on my trolley when grouchy shop assistants aren’t looking

9) Will resolve to improve my aim when throwing stuffed missiles at rival team aka gorgeous boyfriend. Will also learn to duck faster thus scoring more points.

10) I will stop buying shoes since i have over 50 pairs and chances of ever leaving my room are being greatly diminished weekly. Maybe we’ll just tactfully ignore the 4 pairs i’ve bought since christmas *cough*

11) Buy new pyjamas and throw away ‘big enough for three people’ sized ones currently being sported by yours truly. Remind self constantly that having to hang on to your rapidly descending trousers as you walk is not a sexy look. Bum does definitely not look big in this!!

12) Be nicer to my ‘love me, love me’ cat. Will resolve not to miaow back at him from upstairs windows when he is frantically yowling to come in. Will also remind myself that comically surprised expression on his face when i do so is not actually funny.

13) Will resolve to have very uncharacteristic minor crisis at some point within the year, just to buck the trend. It just doesnt do to get stuck into a rut these days…

14) Stop annoying myself singing random songs that pop into my head especially when i dont know the words and have to hum half of it..

15) Be happy….just because life is too short and im too far along the path to go back and start again.

Happy New Year Everyone!!

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Happy New Year everyone!!

Who ate all the pies?

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Yes girls its christmas, a dieters dread and guilty delight. Usually by now i’ve stocked up on so much food that the local barracks are considering me as a siege base should we ever get invaded. This year i’ve been a little more restrained although there are plenty of goodies still in store, i’ll just be shoving more of it in the direction of super slim boyfriend and mentally wiring my own jaws shut. 

But its christmas right? You cant not indulge to some extent and after 7 months of dieting and a 42lb weight loss im more than due something nicer to eat than lettuce! So as i’m happily dreaming of mince pies and chocolates eaten watching a movie, my bubble is firmly burst with the advent of todays email.

Oh look, a diet email from Jenny Craig telling me i can lose lots of weight *twinge of guilt*

Oh look another lose 7lbs by christmas email! *bigger prod of guilt*

Oh and another on how to survive the christmas holidays without gaining weight AARRGGHHH!! Okay okay i feel guilty i’ll have lettuce with my turkey and i’ll only sniff the chocolate tin once or twice!! PLEASE don’t send the ghost of January diet future after me i promise i’ll be good!!

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Actually theyre getting earlier this time. Usually they at least wait until the 2nd of January! I’ll be sitting with mince pie in hand, happily ensconced infront of the tv when the letter box will rattle. Heaving up my christmas tummy i’ll waddle off into the hallway to retrieve the Slimming world leaflet from the floor. This is shortly followed by Weight Watchers, Shapes and a leaflet from the gym. By now im hiding under the stairs trying to furtively eat my mince pie whilst sucking in my stomach and clenching my buttocks, mentally muttering ”i’ll go next week ,really i will”.

This year oh no! This year its different they’ve clearly decided i’m going to gain weight before i’ve even eaten anything!! So this week despite being pretty much at  goal weight and a much slimmer size 10/12 i’m munching faithfully on a lettuce mountain trying to take off a few pounds to use as a buffer. Okay take me away guv i confess i done it, it was me *holding hands out for handcuffs* 

So post christmas whilst twiglet of a boyfriend bewails his non existant stomach i shall be firmly holding mine in, giving him doleful looks and envying his super metabolism whilst malevolently cursing my own. Don’t worry Jenny i will be back on a diet in January i promise…now where are those mince pies??

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An Apple a day

Picture a grey cold morning with the wind blowing its chilly little fingers around anything in its way and people hurrying heads down against the cold. Save one…ME. I was quite happily skipping along singing a mental duet with Matchbox 20. I’m not sure they’ve ever heard Our Song done in quite such spectacular fashion but oh i was good!! Play the guitar? Oh you bet i did that too and  on lead to boot. 

Imagination, the light of every creative persons life and definitely the light of mine. Even JK Rowling herself would be hard pressed to magic up some of the things that appear in this little noggin of mine. Noggin… i have to chuckle every time i hear that word for it reminds me of someone. Strange how the most random of things can suddenly take on special meanings just by association isn’t it? I’m sure i looked quite mad smiling away to myself but i don’t actually care. 

Anyway back to the cold and the awesome singing and i was happily skipping my way to our shiny new Health Center. We used to have a doctors, a regular few rooms with a few familiar faces behind the desks only a few steps up from a small town one doc room. Powers that be suddenly decided our lil ole town needed hauling very firmly into the 21st century et VOILA  the appearance of bright shiny space age Health Center. Not that i visit the doctors much, okay less than much but i do put in an appearance once or twice a decade to reassure them my national health number is still in circulation.

Okay we’re skipping again, right through the swishy swooshy doors to be confronted by….the electronic receptionist. Yup even the grim looking Matron from the front desk has gone all space age and turned into a touch screen ”hey guess what, i’m here’ recorder. Of course through another set of swishy swooshy doors there are the requisite receptionists but they’re less Matronly and more glamorous than their counterparts of old. Me, ah i decided to keep with the times and hit the touch screen firmly announcing my arrival. 

There are three patients before you in the queue, the screen brightly announced and i shrugged and headed for the coffee machine. Might as well fill the old tank, after all there’s nothing more interesting than wiggling on your seat and playing a game of will she buzz for me if i go to the loo. Little things amuse small minds right. So Mocha in hand i glanced around the bright colourful but HUGE reception keeping one eye on yet another space age screen that announced your presence was required and where. Last time i was at the doctors it was all harsh buzzers in a coloured board with all of the doctors listed upon it. The resulting silence would have been nice if it wasn’t for little johnny wailing for some sweets and the unceasing yowls of a small baby whose mother was more interested in her mobile phone. Shortly interspersed with rattling coughs from a gentleman half a dozen seats down who made little attempt to cover his mouth it resounded like some strange symphony. Yuk…shallow breathing through very small space commenced at this point and i groped in my bag for my antibac gel. I hate germs, especially other peoples!!

I really have to confess don’t actually like the doctors and avoid it at all costs unless i really have no option, like today. The problem with doctors surgeries you see is they are all full of sick people!! Yes i know that probably sounds a terribly blonde thing to say but the point is that you really should not be going out in public and sharing your germs and making other people sick!!  Actually i’m really not that harsh i do sympathise but you can guarantee if you aren’t actually sick when you go to the doctors you can be pretty sure you will be by the time you leave.

So as the time rolled by and i amused myself people watching and giving people interesting new identities the screen flashed and the Russian Spy got up and followed a pretty young nurse who smiled brightly at him and farmers wife sat down in his place. Snatches of conversation drifted my way and i surreptitiously touched every bit of wood i could reach as an older lady reeled off a list of ailments to a companion that would have made even Grays Anatomy need a sequel. OOhhh if ever anything makes me more determined to stick to my healthy eating and the gym its going to the doctors. 

To say i was glad when my turn to see ‘very nice doctor’ came was an understatement.Leaving a short time later i mentally vowed i was never going to get sick or infirm. Bring on the veggies i don’t care if i don’t like them i’m eating them anyway. So some short time later i jammed my headphones into my ears, washed in copious amounts of anti bac gel and renewed my determination to never get sick. If an apple a day really does keep the doctor away i’m eating the whole bag!! 

COUGH!!

On breaking glass and being soulless

It was only to be expected that i would crawl from my bed looking pretty crappy this morning. Day 3 of nasty germy buggy thing and i actually feel worse than yesterday so i am really not amused. Add to this the fact that i only managed a fitful two hours sleep last night and i think Return Of the Living Dead comes to mind. By 4am i had gotten pretty cranky and had taken to physically assaulting my pillow whilst my hedgehog hair settled in a mad tangle around my face. 

Part of my problem is that i think too much. Right when i should be winding down for sleep my brain turns into a cross between Wikipedia and The Jeremy Kyle show on fast forward,which really does make catching some Z’s pretty difficult. Last night Irritating crackly noises from my semi blocked ears added to the cacophony in my head sending all chances of sleep out of the window and several times i gave up and turned the tv back on. Why do they only put the little sign language man on pre dawn tv shows? Do deaf people only watch tv in the middle of the night?

So 6.30am rolls along and i decide it is daylight enough to crawl from my bed and search for the coffee. Maybe i shouldn’t have looked in the mirror at this point and left well alone for if i had not i would not have dropped it and doomed myself to be soulless for the next 7 years. Yes i am terribly superstitious sometimes and breaking mirrors is right up there on the no no list of things you really do not do.

Superstition has it that breaking a mirror heralds the start of 7 years of bad luck but why? Where did this come from? Well the earliest reference i could find was that the Romans may have started this superstition. Since mirrors were very expensive they were naturally very nervous when a slave was cleaning one and to ensure they would treat them carefully told the slaves that if they broke it their souls would be trapped in the mirror for 7 years. Other religions also believe that the soul is projected in the reflection of a mirror and hence the superstition has continued. Currently then my soul is residing at the bottom of an Asda carrier bag waiting to go into the bin. 

How very fitting!!

So as i attempted to correct the panda eyes and the bad hair day i’m seriously considering grinding the mirror into dust which seems to be one of only a small handful of ways to ward off the ill omen. I really do not think i am in need of more bad luck right now and although i only half believe it i am really not willing to tempt fate.

Hmmmmm i wonder what i would be like as a soulless panda eyed hedgehog for the next 7 years? what an interesting analogy!! But for now my cranky mood and i are off to grind a mirror 😛  Peace out!!

Running on Discount Store Batteries

Today i feel UGH!! 

There is no other way to describe this although i am quite sure were i a man i should be suffering from some deadly disease and need three days constant nursing in bed to recover. I do not have a cold, no headache as such merely a very cloudy fuzzy not quite functioning niggle coupled with the general dizzying feeling that a truck ran over me in the night. Energy levels definitely flashing red, in need of a good charge!!

Oh Dear!!

I am not good at being ill, i do not have time and get very impatient and frustrated at being below normal par and will fiercely resist giving in to it. Perhaps i do more harm than good since i have been told before that i only make it linger for longer, instead of giving in and allowing my body to get itself better.Boring!!  But today i feel like a Duracell bunny fitted with cheap discount store batteries, my drum is not banging enthusiastically but has dwindled to a feeble sporadic thump and bunny ears are definitely on a less than perky droop. I think were i to roll down the conveyor belt this way i should surely find myself being firmly deposited into the rejects bin!!

Intention this morning was to hit the gym since i had a day off yesterday but after a less than energetic wriggle into gym clothes and half hearted stagger in search of coffee, this plan was abandoned as not such a good idea after all.The stagger required much effort since my initial impulse was to crawl and then slide down the stairs on my ample bottom!! With all the enthusiasm of a person being led to the guillotine i managed a steady plod in the direction of the supermarket, hauling back groceries with far less than my usual strength and energy that even the most upbeat music on my ipod could not improve. 

No smiling from this panda today, this requires effort and energy and i have none to spare of either!! 

Thankfully i am lucky for i am rarely ill but on the flip side on the few occasions i do fall foul to some stray roaming viral beastie i find i do so in most spectacular fashion. Personally i think i should rather have more, less debilitating illnesses, rather than receiving a whole years worth in one fell swoop. So i have decided to stay home and feel uncharacteristically sorry for myself (this is just an excuse to slob on the sofa and watch the olympics) and i shall commence my usual copious doses of vitamin C to ward off the worst of the effects. 

I have to add at times i regret being single and this is one of them for the idea of being coddled is sometimes rather appealing. Not that i subscribe to the chicken soup and being fed grapes scenario but still having someone to take over the chores and dispense cuddles and sympathy would be rather an attractive prospect right now. Instead i shall force myself to clean up and then retire to the sofa with hot chocolate and the tv remote. Ah well it is saturday after all, time to recharge the bunny batteries, now where did i put the vitamin C???

Facebook, Jeremy Kyle and a whole lot of laundry

Rare for me, since Saturday mornings usually find me wearing myself out in my local gym, i spent today watching morning television whilst cruising the internet. Like many I have a Facebook account although unlike most I do not really bother with it overly. I find i much prefer the less personal realms of the Twitter world. I tend to be a pretty private person and I am not so awed at the thought of millions of people knowing all of the inner workings of my life. Yes clearly I blog, but blogging is less invasive and I am very careful about those things I choose to reveal to my readers. 

Whilst I am very happy in my relationship and love my boyfriend dearly, I  for one do not wish to publicise the inner workings of my life with him for the whole world to see. Although I am not above displaying for the Facebook world some uncontained burst of happiness for the most part I tend to keep my private life to myself. Not so my friends and acquaintances it seems for, as i scrolled my news feed with one eye on a heated debate on TV’s Jeremy Kyle show, I was a little surprised at some of the statuses.

One side of a couples argument. For everyone’s amusement the woman is visibly making vicious comments about her partner. Friend’s jumping onto the one sided bandwagon adding to the general nastiness with little or no idea of the facts or whether any of it was at all true. Another ‘friend’ publishing intimate medical information about herself regardless of the fact that the whole world can see and comment upon this yet they do not seem to care.

Scrolling further down i see more personal information, a phone number and yet another status spewing spite towards some faceless unnamed individual. Again this person has had the foresightedness not to reply and draw themselves further into the deluge of venom directed their way. Such things amaze me for I have always been taught and am a big believer in the saying

‘If you cannot say anything nice then do not say anything at all’

As the TV continues to drone in the background my attention shifts again to the now furiously arguing couple upon the screen and i cannot help but wonder..WHY?? Are we as a species so desperate for our five minutes of fame that we would resort to airing our dirty laundry in public and ultimately setting ourselves up for ridicule as a result of this? Do those people on screen or even on Facebook stop for one moment to consider just how they appear to other people? Perhaps they simply do not care and again i find this difficult to comprehend. 

It seems with the advent of more and more advanced technology, there are many of us content to be drawn into the fantasy of the online world. In our attempts to be modern and popular we are content to broadcast those facts about ourselves that would have seemed so scandalous when whispered behind twitching curtains decades before. Perhaps  things have changed and what was once so socially unacceptable is now simply considered the norm in today’s society. There is little doubt that, given the presence of many such shows as that of Jeremy Kyle, we are much more voyeuristic in nature than we once were. We watch avidly as the dysfunctional and the desperate bear all to a viewing public of millions and in many cases pass judgement where, in their place, we should not like to receive it. 

So sad a world when the misfortunes and distress of other people are considered a form of entertainment for others and for the most part i refuse to watch. I cannot feel anything but sadness and sympathy for those poor souls drawn to solve their problems in such a way. Me? I think I shall continue to keep my private life to myself, even my friends and family are not privy to events within my relationship with my boyfriend and perhaps as a woman I am unusual in this. It seems the norm to share with friends those occurrences, arguments and happy times within your intimate relationship but for myself I prefer to keep those things between he and 

Dirty laundry? Personally I think i shall forgo my five minutes of fame and keep mine firmly in my laundry basket!! 

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