Friday, 20 February 2015

27 dresses

Well, you were so good on the advice on the whole bra thing (which I must update you on another time) that I'm going to push you into the Gok corner again.  No need for whacky glasses or camp prancing, just some good fashion advice.  And yes, control underwear is an obvious must (any recommendations?).

So, I’ve ordered 3 dresses for the party and 2 for the wedding.  Plus I have 2 dresses under consideration already.  How many of these do you think I’ll have to choose from?  I strongly suspect 0.

Dresses to wear to the party: I’ve ordered 3.  One of them is a lovely teal colour (one of my favourite colours) but it has the potential to make me look like a pillow with a belt round (not, dear Reader, a look I’m in a hurry to embrace), one is red (I love red but blue-reds do not suit me so it depends on colour as well as everything else) and the other it’s not clear whether it’s to wear as a long tunic or a dress.  If it’s the former then we have the whole what to wear it over issue but if I got some decent jeggings, it might work.

Dresses to wear to the wedding: of the two I have, I think the one I really like (navy with a cherry print and for which I have a fabulous hat) I’m sure will be too small and I’m too chicken to try it on as it will be too upsetting if this is the case.  The other I think will fit but won’t look nice (I’m not at all sure I can do dresses at all tbh – too much stomach).  Of the two I’ve bought (online so who knows what the translation into reality will be), one is going to be too fitted I think – and possibly a bit OTT.  The other is a lovely colour (teal again) but was suspiciously cheap, is strapless (not insurmountable but would have to wear it with a cover up, bra notwithstanding) and may be empire line (makes most people look pregnant) or may not.

The emergency fall back is a skirt I bought and have only worn once.  But then I have the whole find-a-top business.  It’s kind of a 50’s style – A line with a slight net underneath to make it stick out, white with blue cabbage style roses on (so looks mostly blue).  Would I get away with a thin-knit sweater/cardigan top do you think?  I could do with something that made it seem smarter – a bit of embroidery for example.  And I’d need to source a hat.  At least hats fit, no matter what your dress size!  [Goes off, checks hats, finds several BEAUTIFUL hats].  For hats, if nothing else, I am confident I’ll find something that suits me and that I love.  Perhaps I could just go as a head, a la Max Headroom?

I don't mind trying 27 dresses - even if I have to pay p+p out to me and returns - if only I could be sure that one would ultimately work.  For each occasion.  Greedy?  Well, isn't that just the story of my life!

Friday, 13 February 2015

What lies beneath

On Tuesday I bit a bullet (bra) and went to consult Bravissimo on whether it was even possible for me to have bras that didn’t cause pain.  This is not yet another tribute to 50 Shades of..., there is nothing remotely sexy about wheals, however warped unusual your preference.  I have actual scarring from the previous but one haul of bras, the last lot was bought to escape scarring on my (deeply buried) upper ribcage.  This lot didn’t hurt there but did cause an actual open wound beneath and between my boobs – when I went to Bravissimo it was just a wheal so deep that it had gone from red to blue.  And some chafing from the straps.

I don’t really enjoy the process of buying bras – I’d count it as a necessary evil.  It’s mainly the stripping off that bothers me.  And I always feel very sorry for anyone who has to touch me (see also: massages).  The girl was very sweet but disconcertingly young, pretty and perky.  I have three new bras – the jury is still out on whether they’re just going to cause damage in a different area.  I no longer buy matching knickers as I kind of feel I don’t deserve nice lingerie.  But my anal Virgo side finds it deeply traumatic to mis-match cotton knickers from M&S with different bras.  I try and tone the colours but it’s really deeply unsatisfactory.

I think we’ll save diets for the next post and stick with the underwear theme.

So.  With enormous trepidation I have ordered a corset. A proper one with steel girders (or whatever they call them – they’ll need to be kryptonite to achieve anything like the wasp waist on me that the more normally proportioned girls achieve).  The site is called Orchard Corsetry and my corset has already started its journey from Wenatchee somewhere in the USA.  I bought it after seeing some amazing results on admittedly far more slender and more beautiful women than me (see the quite spectacular George @ but have since found out about waist training.  Yes, it sounds gruesome if you give it any deep thought but you essentially wear a corset until your organs shift about and you get a more defined waist.  I bet that’s overly simplistic but...  Excitingly, as well as improving your posture, it acts as an external lap band.  Got to be worth a try if I can woman-up enough to get used to it and stick to it.  (Not to mention getting the flipping thing on.)  I had an integral one in my wedding dress and actually found it okay.  Fingers crossed.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

In the still of the night

Firstly I just wanted to say a big thank you for all the supportive comments to my very lack-lustre re-emergence on to the blogging scene (ahem).  I felt quite moved to tears by the nice things you said and it’s really made me feel that there is some point to writing, even amidst the failure that is me.  Perhaps I could be the poster girl for what NOT to do.  But really, the empathy and support means a lot.  And this is probably the only outlet I have for these feelings.  I sometimes try to talk to my best friend but... I just.... can’t.

Although I have tentatively told my husband an extremely watered down and sanitised version of what I feel, and although he is supportive, he has what I think of as a typically male reaction of ‘count your blessings’.

Which is of course true.  My work life is so much better than it was a year ago, it’s almost incalculable.  I’m reasonably healthy, as far as I know, which is so important.  I am married to a lovely man.  Why am I moping about and indulging in these feelings (not that I want to) when there are people SO much worse off than I am.  Somehow that doesn’t help.  In fact, it makes me feel worse.  Guilty for feeling it as icing on top of the cake of feeling so wretched.

I don’t spend much time doing nothing.  By which I mean that even when I’m cleaning my teeth, I’m reading a book.  On my commute – I’m reading a book.  I don’t suppose many people have the opportunity of doing nothing, but it’s not occurred to me until recently that I don’t have the chance to – or allow myself to – just let my mind drift.  This is a good thing I think as I think this is the key to my sometime insomnia: at the moment, when the light goes off, my brain instantly engages and that’s when I get most upset and despondent.  Most of the time I have a level of muted anxiety and upset about my appearance but night time is when the volume gets ramped right up.  And it stops me sleeping – which, I suspect, makes things worse.  Everything is worse without enough sleep.  Even when you factor coffee in to the equation.

Next post: bras and diets.

Monday, 2 February 2015

Life on Planet Peridot

It’s been a while.  A really long while.  Essentially I stopped feeling like I had anything to say or anything to contribute.  After all, the people who do read this (and I doubt there’s anyone left now) read it because they’re involved in dieting.  Who wants to read about someone who abjectly and totally fails?  It’s depressing, it’s demotivating and it ‘s frustrating.

Because I am a big fat failure.  My only saving grace is that I keep trying.  And, dear Reader, that is Not Enough.  I feel like I’m walking a tightrope and even a little slip could cause me to fall into an abyss of despair that I could never claw my way out of.

I deal with this in the time honoured fashion: yes, that’s right, by ignoring it, trying not to think about it and hoping it will go away.  I don’t meet my own eye in a mirror, I accept that I feel appalling about myself and that I have a constant refrain of “ugly, ugly, ugly” constantly going on a loop through my mind at varying volumes.  None of this feels terribly sustainable over the long term. 

And the other night I could not sleep for feeling sick about a family wedding coming up next month, what I could wear and how awful I’d look and consequently feel.  It’s made worse by my brother and chav-in-law being there – I’ve not seen them for about 7 or 8 years and she WILL be looking to be bitchy.

It seems to be a recurrent theme for me – trying to engage with the outside world as little as possible.  From a distance, a party, a wedding , a holiday all sound exciting but the closer they get, the worse I feel about them and the more I panic.  I have two out of three – and possibly a full set – all next month.  I know that if I looked more normal – if I WERE more normal these should be things to look forward to.  Not to lie awake fretting over and getting myself more and more wound up over.

And what AM I going to wear?  I’ve pretty much only worn jeans and long jumpers for ever.  Not for work of course – that’s skirts and slightly shorter jumpers - although I strongly suspect I look like a bag lady.  A fat bag lady.  Whilst I would prefer not to look like this for the wedding and retirement party, I’m not sure I have much choice.  I wish there were a sort of personal stylist that specialised in fat people.  I have to stop even typing this now as I can feel the waves of panic beginning to engulf me.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Snowbusiness (maybe)

I don’t think I’m losing weight – so am too scared to weigh.  The sickness has gone as a side effect but I also seem to have lost the positive side effect of just not being hungry very often.  It may all be academic anyway as I have to see my GP tomorrow to see if they’ll continue the treatment recommended by the specialist and they almost always won’t if it involves prescriptions.  It’s a shame as, weight aside, it’s had a dramatic effect on my blood sugar readings.

I’m still finding life hard.  I still feel like the booby prize in life’s raffle – the one that people constantly give back. 

And really, I should not whinge or whine or feel sorry for myself.  Work is – generally – good.  P is occasionally sideswiped by a tsunami of grief but is coping pretty well.  I have friends going through hard times and I should be counting my blessings.  Pretty hard to climb out of that rut though.  Or maybe I’m just the biggest wuss ever.

We’re talking about going away for a week in January.  We’ve not had a holiday and if I’m tired, I think P is exhausted.  Originally we planned to find some sun but this is harder than you might think if you want decent weather but don’t want to fly long haul anywhere.  As wonderful as it all sounded – and P wanted somewhere sunny he could flop by the pool for most of the holiday – I was starting to full scale panic about being too fat for this type of holiday.  I didn’t let on of course.  But I could see me being the only one in a skirt and t-shirt, huddled miserably on a sun lounger. 

As it is, we can’t find anywhere where it is a) sunny, b) not windy, c) not rainy and d) around 4 hours flying time.  Oman was the closest at 7-8 hours.  So we’re now thinking of holing up somewhere cold and snowy, seeing the Northern lights and short outdoorsy bursts of fun interspersed with hot chocolate and fires and books.  This doesn’t hold the same level of painfully self-aware trauma.  Let’s see if we can pull it off with a late deal before I start getting overly excited!*

* Except.  Reindeer!  Huskies!  Snow!  Fires!  Stars!  Snowy trees!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Back to black

So whilst the sickness has not abated yet, the impressive weight loss has ceased: 1.5lb off last week, 1lb this week.  This is unimpressive given the level of general vomminess I’ve experience (yes, that’s a word.  Look, the language evolves all the time, alright?).  So in summary: huge amounts of weight to lose, high level of vomminess, trickle of weight loss.  Sigh.  It doesn’t help that pretty much all I can stomach at peak vom is bread.  Or toast.  Or a pretzel.  Maybe when I feel a little better, I can ditch all the carbs again and that will have an effect.

In the meantime, we had my father-in-law’s funeral.  It was grim.  My husband’s niece was sobbing before we got in and continued throughout the eulogy she delivered.  In general it was a particularly tearful event.  As is tradition really.  The ‘wake’ bit afterwards was much jollier and P has an enormous family of many cousins who it was nice to see.  I looked like a bag-lady/Duracell battery.  I do not wear black except for at funerals and choir performances and it does not suit me.  I look a mess in general but when you factor in a colour which drains me and scrabbling round for an outfit which ‘will do’ on ebay, I felt like an absolute mess. 

I’m not sure if it was this that has pushed me into my ‘I’m so hideous I shouldn’t be allowed out in public’ phases.  I’m pretty shallow if that’s what I take away from a funeral. 

And in fact that’s not what I’ve taken away:
a)     Get as much out of life as you can, you never know when it’s taken away
b)     Extreme love and anxiety for P
c)      Remembering how much I like some of his family (who mostly clearly think I’m absurdly posh (I’m not) but are generously friendly anyway)
d)     Chose songs people know
e)     And okay, get something better if you have to wear black if you don’t want to feel more like a bag-lady than normal

We had an hilarious moment when the first hymn which my MIL insists on telling me is in the Top 10 of hymns (yes, just think on that for a moment) was clearly known by no-one so everyone just sang at different speeds and to varying tunes.  I could see people trying very hard not to laugh.  P later compared it to the ‘Lovely Horse’ sketch on Father Ted but in fairness, it was less tuneful.  My FIL would have been beside himself with mirth.

It’s my choir’s performance on Saturday and although the music is lovely, we’re woefully under-rehearsed: I’m hoping it’s not going to be Lovely Horse II.

Friday, 3 October 2014


A colleague told me that I was “looking thin” the other day.  I think we all know that’s not true.  I think she meant that she noticed I’d not been eating – and that therefore I must be thinner.  And I haven’t much.  I assume it’s a reaction to this drug, but I’ve continued to feel sick for most of the day and haven’t eaten lunch at all until yesterday and have skipped some evening meals too. 

I’m not sure whether I’m disappointed or not that I seem to be getting used to the drug now and the side effects are lessening.  Admittedly today I couldn’t stomach my breakfast but yesterday I was hungry for lunch AND dinner for the first time in about 10 days.  Weirdly, it must be psychosomatic as I’m having a half dose at the moment and the nurse said I wouldn’t get the effect of the drug until I’m on the proper dose – that will be either this Monday or next, depending if I’ve got over the side effects by then.  And yet the nausea feels pretty real.  This is not how the drug works btw, this is a common side effect – but it achieves the same end!

This week I’ve lost 4lbs.  That’s double what I lost on LL so is pretty startling.  I’m sure it’s affected by the gain from the previous week but it’s still almost shocking.  I know I can’t maintain that rate of loss  (not eating much isn’t really the healthy thing to do for a start – and I certainly hate feeling sick all the time) and I’m trying not to play the ‘if I lose X every week I could by Y by...’ game. 

But we do have a family wedding in March where I will see my brother and the chav in law for the first time in about 5 years (they were too busy to come to my wedding) and I’d rather give her as little to sneer about as possible.  Equally I’d like to feel as confident as possible.  She will be bright orange, in a tiny dress and bare legged of course.

And we’re hoping to go away in the Spring and it would be lovely to feel a fraction less self-conscious.  The formula for self-consciousness vs weight loss seems very unequal – I have to lose a LOT of weight for a very fractional shift in my self consciousness.  Actually this is largely hypothetical since I haven’t hit enough of a weight loss to make any impact into my self-consciousness yet.  But I’m pretty confident that that’s the case.

Thank you all for your comments about my last rather death-themed post.  My father-in-law died early on Tuesday morning.  The funeral is the week after next.  Characteristically, P is being an absolute rock for his mother – but of course the funeral will be hard.  We’ve cancelled a meal out to celebrate a friend’s birthday with loads of people and although we’ll go along for a quick drink to wish her well, we’ll spend the weekend quietly together.  I wish I knew the best way to help him through this.