Last year I felt like a human archaeology site. I spent much of the time watching amazed as bones slowly appeared from under layers of shedding fat. At one point, I began to feel there was a real danger that Time Team might get interested, or that Dr Neil Oliver might pitch up to do a walking commentary as I pushed my shopping trolley around the supermarket. If Dr Oliver still feels so inclined, he’s very welcome. If my other half can hang around with Dr Alice Roberts and get away with it, then fair’s fair.
But there aren’t just physical changes to contend with in losing 7 stone (100lbs) in weight. There are a whole other raft of minor changes that go on:
- Being permanently cold. I hadn’t bought a vest in decades. I was your typical out-in-minus-4-in-a-t shirt woman. With all that fat as insulation, I didn’t need one. Now I get panic attacks if I don’t have enough vests and at 28 degrees, it’s just getting pleasantly warm. Time was (and Facebook timeline will no doubt attest to this), that I’d be bleating ‘it’s too hot’ the moment the mercury nudged over 22 degrees. Not any more!
- A changed palate. Back in the day, chocolate was something that you could happily trust me with and I would leave it for weeks, months or probably until it was past its sell by date. Biscuits and cake too were safe in my keeping, because I wasn’t interested; I had a savoury tooth. These days, I’m not sure if chocolate still has a shelf life longer than 20 minutes after purchase, but that’s about the maximum time it hangs around if I’ve bought any. For some unexplained reason, my taste buds have completely changed and now all I want to do is eat sweet stuff. I never used to do dessert and now I’m put out if there isn’t any going. For me, this is weird. I haven’t eaten (proper) cheese in months. I am doing some of the cheese family, but I don’t seem to progress much beyond Philadelphia these days. If my Grandma were to whip up some of her cheese and onion vol-au-vents (staple diet of me at 8), I probably sit and look at them.
- Periods, they’ve changed. They’re now off the scale of heavy and have shorter intervals between them (deep joy…) and the next thing isn’t wholly unrelated either.
- PMT. Well, not exactly PMT, just MT. I was saying to my friend Shelley at church yesterday (no we don’t talk about Jesus and stuff), that from nowhere, I now, on day 2 of my period (and Simon will attest to this), just want to set fire to my life and kill stuff. Seriously, on day 2, I’m spoiling for a fight! I’ve noticed it for several months running. Whereas before I was as docile as a doe (yeah, right…), there are now days where either you avoid me completely, or send me off to hunt down Robert Mugabe. Personally, I don’t like Mugabe’s chances.
But where’s this all coming from? Obviously, I lost weight, but it seems to have set off a plethora of other changes that they never tell you about and let’s not start on what it does to your personality and what saggy skin looks like if you take 100lbs of fat out of it and you don’t have a great plastic surgeon on tap. Actually, that’s quite easy. My skin looks prematurely old. That picture of the skinny woman on the beach in a bikini with those obviously false boobs? (come on, we’ve all seen it doing the round and gone ‘urgh…’), seriously, that’s me now – and I don’t even have the boobs, I have a couple of spaniel’s ears FGS! Bras – now there’s something I never thought I’d get interested in – the miracle properties of decent uplift!
Uplift, great name… There’s a women’s ministry right there 😉 *
So from going from a very large lady to a much smaller one hasn’t been entirely without head-scratching moments. Don’t get me wrong, I’m liking the new me (mostly, the period thing isn’t fun); but it’s odd to find you’re someone different when you’d just got used to the old girl. I can’t tell you how I’m going to react to any given situation these days. Apart from day 2 of my period, when you need to make very sure there’s not a stock of petrol and milk bottles lying around… I think, for the good of my health and for the safety and sanity of those around me, I should lock myself in a room somewhere until the ogre passes.
“Of course,” said Shelley cheerily yesterday. “It could just be the really early signs of the menopause.”
What?! *Insert swear word*
And on that thought, I’ll leave you. Happy Monday…
*Already working on it, launching in September.