One thing I've posted very little about is my attempts to lose some of my excess weight. One, because I don't want this issue to define who I am and what I've achieved in life. And two, because it is so damn boring.
But a few weeks ago I reached a major milestone - 10kg lost over the course of a year. Nothing that will get me a spot on The Biggest Loser or Dieter of the Year, but a definite measurable success.
One thing that had really frustrated me was that although I knew the weight was coming off, it seemed to have very little impact on my actual size. I was constantly wondering where exactly the weight was coming off from because aside from a very slight loosening of my skirts, it wasn't noticeable. So I went out and bought all my autumn clothes in my usual size. A week later my butt shrank overnight.
I probably wouldn't have noticed except the gym decided to refurbish its rowing machines. I used the newly refurbished rowing machine and thought "I'm so glad they've put on these new bigger seats". Two days later I used the bike in the gym (which had not been refurbished) and noticed that the seat seemed bigger than I remembered. And then I realised that the gym seats hadn't grown; rather my butt, against all expectations and history, had shrunk.
And I had a wardrobe full of clothes that were loose around the butt as well as the waist. I had finally gone down a size.
Now I still have a butt that most people would consider supersized. Even if I get down to my healthy weight, I will still be too big for a lot of fashion. I can deal with that. Because all I have to do is drop one more size and I will be able to buy clothes in a lot of normal stores again. That is achievable. And too bad if that is not good enough for anyone else (especially talentless so-called designers who are incapable of making clothes that look good on anyone above a size 12 - may they all go broke).
Jeff, who can be incredibly supportive, knew what to do to help me celebrate the milestone. He dragged me clothes shopping and talked me into buying a skirt and three tops in my new size. Even though this wasn't budgeted for. Even though in theory I could (and would) continue to get away wearing my old clothes.
Because if I only wear my old clothes I could easily fall into the trap of feeling that I had achieved my goal - it's hard to feel that you have a heap of weight to lose when you are swimming in your oversized clothes and using safety pins to keep your skirts from falling off your hips.
I don't know if I will ever be a size 14 again, let alone a 12 (my skeleton alone is bigger than a size 10), but I know I need to lose a bit more weight for my future health. I'm going well in the exercise stakes (I'm one of the few non-triathletes at my gym to have rowed, stepped, treadmilled and biked more than 1100km) and have so far warded off many of the diseases commonly associated with excess weight, but I deserve better for myself.
And this time, when I get to a size 14 or 16, I will be proud of who I am and not let anyone undermine me. Because anyone who judges me on my ability to wear a size 10 designer outfit is clearly too stupid and shallow to be worthy of my attention.