A Long Road On A Rickety Wagon

My name is Monique and I weigh 120kg. Holy crap, how the hell did I get here?

I was always a bit of a chubby kid, but looking back at old photos, it wasn’t such a big deal. A lot of my ‘heavy’ friends agree that when they look back at old photos, they’d be more than happy to look that way right now – but they sure weren’t happy at the time.  I look at photos of my Contiki trip to Europe, how I felt inferior to everyone else on that amazing trip, sure they were judging how I looked, positive that none of the guys in the group would take a second look. I was a size 16 then, hardly a super model, but not exactly a heffer either.  I’ve wasted so very many hours, weeks, months and years thinking that my life will start when I get skinny. Wonderful things will happen when I’m skinny. A spunky prince on a huge white horse will ride up my street and spirit me away to his castle for my happily ever after. All my problems, financial, emotional – you name it! – will disappear when I’ve shed 50kg.

Time to get real!! I’m a 36 year old separated mother of two young daughters who need a mother for as long as they can have one. Currently my health is pretty good. No diabetes, my cholesterol is fine – but for how much longer? Sooner or later, all the hot chips, chocolate and whatever else I can stuff in my gob are going to catch up with me in a big way. And I suspect – at 120kg and 5’4″ in height – it’s going to be sooner. I don’t want to leave my children before they’re grown. I want to see them married, see my grandchildren, live a full life. I have travel plans that will not come to fruition if my arse won’t fit in a plane seat. I want to (eventually) find love again and grow old with someone.

I’ve been on more diets than I can count. My mother sent me to health camp (read ‘Fat Camp’) when I was 9 years old. I lost the chubbiness, then returned home and put it all back on, plus a little more. Then there was Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, more Weight Watchers, my own diet plans, even more Weight Watchers (hey, it’s a good plan, I just suck at staying with it), Optifast shakes and protein diets.  I had great success four years ago with Optifast. I lost 38kg in around 4 months and felt great. Then my marriage slammed into the rocks and I dealt with it by eating all the junk food I could find. And not stopping. For four years. Oops.

Tomorrow I’m getting back on the Optifast shakes. Because I tend to see food the way a shark sniffing blood embarks on a feeding frenzy, the shakes are the way to go for starters. I don’t trust myself yet when it comes to portion control (a palm-sized piece of meat? Kill me now!!) so I’ll try and get on a roll with the shakes and then hit solid food slowly and cautiously.  Damn, it’s like being a baby all over again. And I guess it is. It’s a new beginning.