The question of how many is too many?

I always had a suspicion that I drank just that little too much.

My father drank too much. I remember when I was young deciding that I didn’t want that in my life.  Sure I experimented, but I was always the sensible one.  The one that people could rely on.  I was the one that would always be ‘skipper’ on nights out with friends.

I can’t quite pinpoint when my drinking habits changed.  I think it was whilst I was living in New York, around the age of 35.  New York City is a strange place.  Bars and restaurants dominate.  All over the city, people live their lives either at work or in bars where they meet their friends and lovers for dinner, for drinks, to argue, to entertain and like me, to drown their sorrows.

I was terribly unhappy back then, working 12-14 hours a day.  I had a great job, was paid well, but something was missing.  I think I filled that “something missing” with alcohol.  I use to laugh about actually being a “functioning alcoholic”.  It doesn’t seem so funny now.

Being intent on losing this weight (which I suspect is there because of the wine and vodka), I have had to look at my relationship with alcohol.  You can lie to yourself about how much you drink when you don’t keep track, but when you track every single thing that goes in your mouth, it’s there in print.

The question I am currently asking myself is:  do I really have a problem, given how much I drink on a daily basis?  Time will tell, but I must admit that I am enjoying not waking up with a fuzzy head and feeling bloated.  I think there is hope.

Voluptuous and proud (I think)

big and beautiful

No matter what size you are, the one thing I have learnt is that confidence will win the day.  It has taken me 42 years to discover this, and I am still on the journey.  I came across this picture recently and immediately thought, “wow, she looks so beautiful”.  I didn’t look at her body; I looked at her face, her hair and the sparkle in her eyes.

But it’s a whole different story when I look at myself.  All I see is what’s wrong, and I am not alone in this.  I see my tummy that’s too big, my legs that have just started to rub together at the top and my breasts that are not as perky as they use to be to name just a few.  Why is it that I can’t look at myself as I do this beautiful girl in the picture?  I am even a little smaller than her.  But no, those voices start with the nasty chatter and can stay with me for hours, sometimes days.  

I spent a lot of 2008 working on this voice inside me that wants to trip me up at every turn.  It’s usually a she, but sometimes the voice is a he.  Today that voice is not as loud as it’s been previously in my life.  It took a lot of courage and pain to get to where I am today.  I spent two months in 5 hours of therapy a day, 5 days a week and I still attend weekly appointments with my psychiatrist.  It helps.  A lot.

I just read this snippet from Oprah’s web site and for me it really rang true:  

“My goal isn’t to be thin. My goal is for my body to be the weight it can hold—to be strong and healthy and fit, to be itself. My goal is to learn to embrace this body and to be grateful every day for what it has given me” 

It’s why I have embarked on this journey – to look and feel healthy and beautiful no matter what my size.  I realize now that my body was unhappy with me and it just got bigger and bigger until I had to pay attention to it.

Dear body:  you have been heard.

2009 will be my year

This online diary will document my struggle (and eventual success) to lose weight and become fit and healthy.  I have decided to go with Weight Watchers on-line version of their program.  I lost nearly 20lbs on it when I was living in New York City.  I know it can work, so it’s a safe option for me.  I officially started with WW on the 13th January, 2009.  

I am at the heaviest I have ever been, weighing in at 87.5kgs (192.5lbs).  I was shocked.  When I last went on WW 7 years ago I thought I was heavy at 155lbs (70.4kgs).

Rather than beat myself up, I decided to take control and get down to a weight where I felt happy.  I don’t need to be “skinny” or “thin” like I wanted to in my 20’s and 30’s.  No, today I want to feel energetic, toned and beautiful.  Especially for my boyfriend who supports and loves me no matter what my size.

I also want to examine the relationship I have with my body.  Now into my 40’s, I expect less from it (I don’t want, or need to be perfect).  I struggled with bulimia throughout my 20’s and 30’s.  All I wanted to be was thin.  I thought that if I could just do that, then the rest of my life would work out.  Well it didn’t.  I still felt big and ugly and drove away the people in my life that loved and accepted me for who I was.

After a very hard time, including a 2 month stint in hospital from depression in 2008, I am going make the most of my life in 2009 and beyond.  I am in a great relationship, I am finally home after living away for nearly 20 years and I have just started my own business.

And so my journey starts…….