The Wellness Journal

34

Heavens to Betsy, something has got to give. I have turned into a sloth. All blah and hanging about achieving very little and indulging in a most unbecoming amount of unsloth-like anxiety. Truth be told I feel rubbish. And though rubbishness has over the years come and gone in my life, occasionally I reach a crisis point and know that I am the only person that can give it its marching orders and take control of the ever-expanding ship that is my body.

You see if you have ever wondered why you never see full-body photographs of me, or why I don’t appear in the kind of “lives” so popular on Facebook these days, it is because I have convinced myself I am too fat to inflict myself upon you. (In fact, one kindly friend of Ste’s once told me that I was so lovely I could have a great careeer vlogging, from the neck up.) And yes, I so very much know how ludicrous that sounds. I even understand how much being such a shadowy figure has held me back and wholly understand the irony of encouraging you to embrace your authenticity when I am so truly afraid of my own.

For the past few years, during the stress of the man who shall here on have no name, my Hashimoto’s diagnosis, my Mum’s sudden death, my new relationship with Ste, becoming a step-mother, two house moves in two years, my Dad (and dog!) moving down South, Ste’s depression (and very recently his suicide ideation that has resulted in code red crisis meetings with wonderful mental health professionals), trying to hold on to a business and right now facing very real financial problems because Ste has not been capable of going to work, I have simply had no choice but to put myself on the back-burner. And heckity-pie does it show!

I have in fact put on four stone in four years. One horrible stone of pudge for every year since my Mum died. And trust me I wasn’t skinny in the first place, but nor did I feel as though I was trying to exist with a double-decker bus attached to my person then! I am exhausted and terribly sad and it is so very much time for me to take control again. To live again, regardless of whatever troubles I might be enduring.

Introducing the Wellness Journal

And so here goes Operation Alison. A quiet, determined effort to remember who I was before the shock and trauma of watching my Mum dying on the floor in front of me utterly immobilized me. Before I became consumed by worrying about everyone else – and trying to keep a roof over my head – and forgot to worry about myself.

While my hospital consultant laughed out loud when I said how desperate I was to lose weight, and smirked and said “that’s not going to happen”, I have decided that despite such ludicrous negativity, it is going to happen come hell or highwater! While I understand that many thyroid patients don’t lose weight, it is not an impossibility and I so very much need to feel better. For myself, for my relationship, and for my son (though he looked at me in absolute horror when I announced the lifestyle changes I wanted to make, and hugged me and said, “oh but why Mum, you are so beautiful!” – I couldn’t love him more). Truth is I don’t want to die, as so many of the women in my family have died, in their early sixties. I have got too much to do. Too many versions of me to be. Two boys I want to see grow into men.

And so Operation Alison it is. An effort I am going to share here, so that hopefully as I write, I can get brave enough to share more of myself with you. I don’t want to hide anymore. To be issuing instructions to do as I say but not as I do. I want to be real. And whole again. I don’t want to be hiding. To be holding Brocantehome back by never showing who I am, hiding within my relationship, hiding from the mirror or staying closeted within my own four walls because I am simply too tired (or depressed?) to go out.

So my journey began by setting in place the tools and books I am going to be using along the way, all of which I will share with you soon here. I have joined Weightwatchers, not wholly for the diet but for the community and tools in the digital app, and I did my first Body Gauge (from my own Life Less Ordinary Planner via The Salon) on Monday.

While I expected this decision to get well again to be a triumphant moment oddly it has been the very opposite and I have had a weepy, exhausted week, unable to think straight, besieged by problems and overwhelmed by all the little nightmares that seem to be stacking up in front of me…

But, hopefully, this too will pass, along with an inch or six off my over-sized bottom. It’s going to be a long road but it will be such an honour to have you supporting me from the sidelines.

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