Monday, 28 March 2011

You Can Dukan

Exercise and weight loss are expensive hobbies - or addictions.
I have blown serious amounts of money over the years on diet pills, diet foods, gym memberships... but in the last few months I have definitely outdone myself and wasted money I really cannot afford to waste.
I pay £56 a month for a gym membership in London - despite not actually living there anymore. I have a free gym on site where I work - but have still signed up to another super fly gym for £100 a month...(but it has incredible indoor and outdoor pools, sauna, steamroom, powerplates(!) and general all round luxury equipment and surroundings....)
I order and drink boxes of overpriced Maxitone shakes and just forked out for a pair of specially measured and fitted running trainers - costing another £100 (which then blistered and tore my feet to shreds which means my feet are out of action until the painful scabs heal)

And now, to top it all off... A subscription to the DUKAN DIET! at a lump sum price of £90.

Now, I only first heard about the Dukan Diet today as I was reading an interview with Dr Dukan in The Times Saturday Magazine talking about his revolutionary diet plan which has been helping French women maintain supremacy over us all. It's similar to Atkins in that it promotes protein, but different in that it still cuts out fat as well as carbs.
Why not.
Why the bloody hell not. I need regime, I need strictness, I need rules.
And most of all, I need a body that sings... "You have no choice about when you enter this world and when you will exit it. All you can do is do something with the life that you have. You can control that, so why not make it the best life you have? Why not take your body and make it sing?" says Dukan in the interview.

According to my 'assessment', I'll reach my 'true weight' in the middle of June.
And how will my therapist react? Well considering I'm not allowed to lose or put on weight...
she won't know
I've discovered those strap on ankle weights... perfect for keeping the weight consistent at "weigh-ins".

So I suppose over the next few weeks/months I will keep you informed about how I am fairing under the watchful eye of Dr Dukan....

*edit* Just did my supermarket shop - hello oatbran and a fridge full of 0% fat yoghurts, chicken breast and tinned tuna in brine. Excited for day one tomorrow!

Thursday, 24 March 2011


I'm not one for following trends, I've always had a very particular style which has been built up around my eating disorder/body distortions. I like what I like and what I like works on me... well so I think....
A standard day sees me wearing a floral pattern or plain dress, mid-thigh, usually with short sleeves and a long cardigan. Variations from this are rare and stressful.

However, I am aware that - well - that I can't go on like this forever. I went into Levis' thinking that their new 'Curve' fitting would find me a pair of jeans that could make me look wonderful.
I tried on pair after pair.

'My bum... I can't... I can't...'
'There's nothing wrong with your bum', the staff kept saying
I kept turning and turning, this angle and that, taking chunks of my thighs in my hands.
'Don't you know some women would kill for curves like yours? Men don't like skinny girls, seriously!'
I privately rolled my eyes and held my tongue before I said something I would regret. Black guys like curves. Black girls have idols like Beyonce and Nikki Minaj.
But no white boy has ever lusted for my curves. And although I grew up listening to Beyonce and stuck posters of Serena Williams on my bedroom walls, I don't have a choice in the matter - I live in a white culture, I am classed as 'white', I have to live up to different ideals.
I couldn't buy a pair of fucking jeans, because my arse was too huge. Although, it isn't huge at all - it's the same as the average woman, or something like that, it's fine, but it's not, it's not, I refuse to believe it.

The fact is, I will not walk around in a pair of jeans until I can stop traffic in that pair of jeans. Until then, I'm not good enough.

"I have higher expectations than other people" I said to my therapist, sounding like the bitch I am. "I don't think average is good enough, ever."
She's working on correcting my perfectionism and elitism, attempting to reduce my 'higher expectations', but I fear she is fighting a losing battle.

The moment I left the Levis store I felt the unbearable heat rising up, I walked disorientated and in a panic, the blood pumping through my veins with anxiety, I wanted to sink onto my knees and weep, I wanted to sink down and be swallowed up, I wanted to sink on my knees and scream out to a God I didn't understand.

And all I could think was : I am too fat to buy a pair of jeans. I'm trapped.
I wanted to stand in the middle of the street and scream.

"I bet you looked perfectly normal in jeans," my therapist said.
"Yeah, like the average fat woman. Great."

My therapist asked me to describe the word 'average'.
"Worthless", I said.
"Try again."
"Nothing. Non-descript."

There's some hysteria rising at the moment that a number of girls at the school have an eating disorder. Several cases of vomit being found in the toilets have been reported, with one girl already being singled out as not eating at dinner. What can I say? I was 15 once.
...And when I was 15, I starved without experiencing any physical effects at all except the cessation of my period and the growth of lanugo. I watched the numbers on the scale fall every day and felt nothing except the feeling of watching numbers fall.

There's been too much sadness - and I simply won't have any more.
I understand why my Mother always pushed me so hard - she wanted me to have the education and the opportunities that she never had. I understand because I feel it to - I want my children, in turn, to have even more than me. In my current job I work with children who have no idea how privileged they are, whose parents can afford to send them to top boarding schools with suitcases of designer shoes and personal ipads. And I look out of the window at the world the rest of us grew up in, and I don't want my child to grow up in that world - not now I've seen the alternative. I want my children to be part of the privileged elite, like I never could be.
And even as my heart desires that for them, I know it's the evil part of me talking, the evil, insatiable ambition that grows within me to achieve what most people hardly dare to dream of.

This silly evil voice. Silly. Silly because it's driven me to despair - even though I keep on failing, I still can't shake the endless ambition.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Having an eating disorder is like having an evil demon inside of you. And evil always triumphs over good. And sin always feels pleasurable.
What can I say?
What can I say that I already haven't said before?

I've been exercising like mad. I don't think I've ever had the exercising bug this bad before. And I'm ever so tired, I keep getting run down and weak, keep longing to put my trainers on a run again, I'm ever so tired...

and just, ever so fat.

I'm going back to London in July...
I don't know what job I'll get yet, but I'm going back.
Of course I'm petrified, but I've always had more ambition than fear.

I have to go back and I have to be thin. I have to surpass my best. My best was pretty good.
I've got a pretty bad wound on my foot from the running at the moment so I'm having to make do with resistance training and the like - and some good old restriction :)

I'm halfway through my 6 month rehab. Get ready, July.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

I feel so alone.
Can't get rid of the eating disorder - it won't budge.
Can't tell anyone about it.
Don't have a shoulder to cry on.

I wanted to tell my two friends here. Couldn't.

Can't stop the eating disorder, I can't stop it.
I can't stop it.

Ran and ran and ran, ignored my screaming calves, sweated in the gym, more and more, further, further, HARDER. Vegetables, soya milk, protein shake. Again.
Up and down the supermarket isles, up and down the canteen, up and down, panic, run. Can't run.

please, someone tell me starving is the best sensation in the world, tell me, scream it to me!

Watched a group of girls celebrate a 17th birthday, all long limbs, fresh faces, beauty and youth. And me, fat, dumpy old person.

Handfuls of cake in front of the fridge.

Knowing I've got to stand on that fucking scale tomorrow and be asked "how do you feel about that?"

I shrug my shoulders.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Stuck together with glue

They warned me before I went - but warnings are just words. I wasn't prepared in any way for what I witnessed last weekend.
My Mum and I went to see my Grandad.
My Grandad lives in another part of the country close to my Aunt and Uncle - from my Dad's side of the family - and went into hospital in December having deteriorated drastically. We monitored the situation over the phone as the snow at the time made it impossible to travel the long distance to see him. They didn't think he would make it.
Since being in hospital, his condition has improved but he had to move into a home where he could get full 24-hour care.
We had lunch with my Aunt and Uncle before we visited him together.
"It's incredible," said my Aunt, "the ability of the human spirit to cling on - even when the body is at then end, that spirit still clings on." I nodded, not really understanding.
"It's awful where your Grandad is now", she continued, "Just old people sitting around waiting to die. They have no interest in doing anything except eating and sleeping. I couldn't bear it. I've already told my daughter, if I reach that stage, pack me off to Switzerland..." I had to concur completely. "I want to die before I'm 40," I said resolutely.
My Uncle laughed, "I remember saying that when I was 20 as well."
But I meant it and I've been saying it for as long as I can remember. I have tortured and abused myself for my ugliness as a teenager and a young woman 'in my prime' so there is no way I'd survive getting wrinkles, grey hair and saggy breasts.

As family often do, my Uncle showered my Mum and I with a flood of family photo albums. Neither of us could bear to look at the ones of us, it hurt too much to look at how happy our little family unit had been when I was young. There were photos going back even further, photos of my great-grandparents and both my Grandad and Grandma during the war years when they were married. My Grandad was incredibly handsome. In his prime I think he was a fair-haired version of Laurence Olivier. Dressed in his British Army uniform as he was in most of the photos, it's no wonder my Grandma swooned.

I visited him that same afternoon, and oh, how the years had passed. He was sat in the lounge with a number of the other residents, all propped up in great armchairs and cushions yet somehow remaining completely suken. Looking across into the kitchen I saw two men sat at the table bent over and drooping completely motionless in front of mugs of tea while in the living room the TV was blasting weekend breakfast shows to a deaf room of ladies staring into their laps or at the opposite walls.
Grandad didn't recognise me and my Mum when we first walked in, my Uncle had to prompt him.
"Oh! Ha! I though we were just having a visit from the Chinese!" Tears rolled quietly down my cheek and I couldn't fight them back. I prayed his eyesight was too bad to notice. I tried desperately to distract myself in order to suppress the need to run out into the corridor and cry uncontrollably. I had to sit there and choke. I could barely say two words when he spoke to me.
"What are you doing now then?" he asked me.
"I work in a school," I croaked, blowing my nose for the tenth time.
"You got a cold?" he asked. I nodded.
It was barely possible to make conversation, though my Mum and Uncle tried repeatedly. But there were still sparks of him, that dirty English humour, that dry laugh... he was still in there,
just a bit lost

And I was reminded of something I had felt once before. I was so fit and healthy, sitting in that room, my skin almost glowing and radiating with health that it make me feel self conscious. My stride was long and easy, my limbs where loose and flowing. My skin was warm and smooth, my face youthful. I, who was so healthy of mind and body - those two most precious, precious things in life - I had been hacking away at them, wearing them down to the best of my abilities, treating my body like an abscess that needed to be drained, my mind like a furnace that needed to be dulled.
Perspective is a wonderful thing.

a wonderful thing

* * *

I've been a massive drama whore recently. On Monday I sat through two films on my own at the cinema and on Tuesday I went to see the new production of Frankenstein at the National Theatre. It blew my socks off. Best piece of theatre I've seen, possibly ever.
The question of creation was particularly pertinent in this interpretaion; Frankenstein, an arrogant scientist who thinks himself so much of a genius that he can play God is obsessed with creating 'perfection' yet disgusted with what he finally produces.
Creature: "Why did you make me?"
Frankenstein: "To prove that I could!"
To prove that I could.
I have so much that I desperately want to prove to the world, to my peers, to the people I used to know at school and universtity, people I don't even know anymore... desperate to prove, to make a name, to...

a monster, The Creature, "But they pulled me out of the sack, And they stuck me together with glue"

Upcoming theatre trips include: Swan Lake and Aida at the Royal Opera House (cheapo bench seats alas), Matthew Bourne's Cinderalla, Hamlet at the Globe Theatre (splashed out on best seats for this as I've been praying every season it will finally come to the Globe!!) and The Cherry Orchard at the National Theatre... if you have any more suggestions please send them over!

Thanks also for comments on the last post - very touching - a special thank you in particular to those who don't have a link and I cannot post back to xxx