In the beginning there was chocolate, a passion for food and all things that tasted good. It didn´t seem to bother me that I was getting fatter..... I was happy with life and with my body, except for the odd wardrobe drama. Even as I child - I was never thin - not even as a teenager. I was always a big lass. Never the biggest in the class but always much fatter than my mates. I never really thought it bothered me.
After going to university I fell into the "cooking for yourself" trap and didn´t have my Mam taking care of what was going on the plate. I ate what I wanted and in a way that would probably make dieticians fall unconscious at the sound of it. A staple diet of cinammon toast, beans on toast, bacon sandwiches, pizza, sausage and bean casserole, cauliflower cheese, kitkats, sandwiches and crispy pancakes. Not to forget the numerous pints of beers, cider, spirits, strange coloured booze (Blastaways :-) ) followed by the obligatory kebab or burger at the end of a night out. Believe me - there were a hell of a lot of nights out.
Into my twenties, my diet continued in a similar pattern. As I said "Auf Wiedersehen" to England I encountered a whole new world of glorious food in Germany. Now, before I name a few German foods which were to me like "Love at first sight" I would like to confirm that absolutely everyone I know who has been to visit me in Germany always says " I would be the size of a house if I lived here".
Yes - I guess I am the living proof of this statement.
My first loves were of course the cakes, not just the real and original black forest gateau (forget the ridiculous versions from Mums gone to Iceland), real cheesecake (not like the British ones with digestives and packet mix) the beer, the wine, the abundance of bread types (okay a relatively healthy one there...but still), sausages, Pretzels,chips with mayonnaise, crisps which only came in XXL bags, waffles, spaghettieis and other delicious huge ice creams in the perfect ice cream parlours. The Germans seemed to live on a diet of meat and potatoes. The portions are big. The Germans love their food. Just like me. It really was a match made in heaven.
After falling in love with my (now) husband (who from now I will now refer to as DH - darling husband) I decided to stay in Germany and settle down. My weight kept growing but I didn´t care - I was happy. Cooking huge meals together and going out for out for meals several times each week was a normal part of our relationship and socialising with friends.
We decided after a good 6 or so years that we´d like to marry and this made something in my head click. I didn´t want to be the big fat meringue rolling down the ailse. I didn´t want anybody staring at me for the wrong reasons. I knew there was no way I could sneak in behind someone on the photos. Years down the road, I didn´t want to have to look back at photos and cringe at the fatty in the white dress. I wanted to change. I wanted to be the beautiful bride (ok, well I knew I couldn´t do much about the face hihi). So I took action and one Monday evening, off I went onto a weightwatchers meeting, expecting a circle of big fat grannies and a load of brainwashing.
I lost around 15 kilos, put a few back on before the wedding in August 2005 but luckily because my dress would have been too big. After the slap up all inclusive honeymoon and happy days afterwards I kind of lost touch with counting weightwatchers points and didnt have that goal to focus on anymore. I was content.
A good year after my wedding had gone by I had been very ill, with burn out and cervical spine problems which automatically resulted in me lying around a lot and putting on weight. Again I tried weightwatchers and was always going up and down in weight and never really stuck to it. I no longer had a real, reachable white dress goal. Somehow being healthy, happy and back in the world was more important to me than being thin.
Another four years down the road here I am, weighing my all time high. 40 Kilos more than my 2005 weight. +50 Kilos to what I should be according to the books.In fact, so high I am ashamed to look at the scales and could bash myself silly for letting it get out of hand. Looking back, I agree it was not a good idea to ignore the bathroom scales for the last 8 months where my weight has rocketed. I plead guilty. It´s nobodys fault but my own and it´s now up to me to change it. I can´t slip into the typical British mode of blaming the Germans for everything. It´s not their fault that the food here is so yummy.
I made a promise to myself at Christmas that I would say Auf Wiedersehen to fat in 2011. So here I am. Ready for the journey. Equipped with motivation, low self esteem, a laptop, a pair of bathroom scales, weightwatchers online, fat and thin photos of myself, a wardrobe full of 4 different clothes sizes (most of which are too small), a fridge full of healthy stuff, a new juicer, a bunch of great friends with similar problems, and this - my blog where I will share my ups and downs on the way to the land of slim.
Ready for the journey? Please fasten your seatbelt ! (which reminds me of a recent flight where my "it´s high time to do something" moment was triggered by the painfully "small" seatbelt. I was determined the bloody thing WILL fasten - and I would NOT humiliate myself and DH by asking the oh-so-thin cabin crew for a seatbelt extension. Indeed, my first thought of "blimey, they haven´t half cut back on costs and are now making smaller seatbelts" was followed with a "crikey, It never used to be a problem. I could always fasten my seatbelt without a struggle" thought and then came the moment of truth in my head.I was brought back down to earth before we had even left the ground.
IT IS NOT THE SEATBELT - IT IS YOU SHELLEY!!
If this moment didn´t help me - then whatever will?
Ok, Seatbelts fastened? - let´s go! Auf Wiedersehen Fat!