Saturday, 28 November 2009

Week 12 Day 83: My first LLL meeting

So, as you know, I did a lot ofworrying about and deliberating over what to do with Christmas coming up.

Actually, I'm quite proud: my normal tendency would be to worry and worry at it, the same bit of it, coming back and back to it in a vaguely obsessive/compulsive way. Don't get me wrong, I did a bit of this - but then I wrote out my thoughts and feelings in emails to my best friend, who's very good at picking apart the why of things - and the particular why I was worried about was the this-is-just-an-excuse-to-eat why - and to my friend who completed LLL, as you saw below.

And after I sent the emails, I tried to let it go. Think about something else (work, specifically, as that's where I was). This was a mixed success, but it wasn't a failure, so I'm okay with it. Bit of practice, that's all I need. Let's hope I don't have to make too many big life-changing decisions like this too close together.

Anyway. Considering that all this thinky stuff went on over some days, actually joining LLL was a very quick process: I called my LLC, I went to my pop-in and stayed for the LLL meeting, got my book, chose my 21 foodpacks (21 foodpacks! Not 28! And it's £45 per week rather than £67!), and then I was a fully paid-up member of the club!

I was really nervous about meeting the others in my group - cheaty and all as the remaining women in my abstinence group were (oh, did I mention THEY ALL CHEATED?! They were lovely, unutterably lovely and gorgeous women, who kindly gave me lifts home and stuff, but they blithely admitted to me - not our LLC - that they cheated relatively regularly. One woman always put broccoli in her soup. I mean for god's sake, if you're going to cheat, have a cake or something. Have some fucking respect for the process. They all cheated for their individual reasons: one woman had laryngitis and took throat sweets so I've sort of let her off, but still. I was the only one in my group who was completely abstinent, and I lost the least. It sort of demotivated me and made me lose trust - not in the programme - but certainly of baring my heart and soul in group).

Anyway, as deeply flawed as they all were (and obviously I am pure as the driven snow myself), I knew them. And now I had to get to know another group of people who had been together since September...

But it was okay. I was sitting there tensely twisting my crossed legs around each other (which I suppose shows you how much weight I've lost) and feeling shy, but it was okay. One other lady was new, moving to LLL from abstinence (which is now apparently called Lighter Life Total, which sounds like a Spanish imported product to me, but anyway), and two of them were about twenty minutes late and got a bollocking from the LLL, and so we all bonded a little by staring at the floor in horror.

Then we talked about how we look after our bodies. "Oh crap," I thought, because I barely look after mine at all. We had to imagine that someone else was moving into our body for a week, and that we had to leave them instructions. Here are mine:
  1. Give it some coffee every morning before you leave the house or you'll miss your stop.*
  2. Shower daily.*
  3. Use all the hair products provided to avoid frizz.*
  4. Try to let it sleep for 8 hours a night.
  5. If the head hurts, put it to bed.
  6. Do the physio's stretching exercises daily.
  7. A long bath once a week would be nice.
  8. Do not put it in high heels or it will fall over.*
  9. Keep it hydrated.*
  10. Apply body lotion daily to avoid wrinkles.
  11. Walk it to work in the morning, and walk it back afterwards, despite its protestations.
  12. It is fond of its jumpers, soft leggings and Ugg boots, so wear those when at home.*
The asterisks are for the next question our LLC asked - how many of these do we actually do ourselves?

Well, I throw my body in the shower, I moisturise and de-fuzz it and straighten its hair most days, to make sure it's acceptable to the outside world. I suppose I do just enough so that I can keep a job, and so that people in the street don't back away from me in horror, and that my friends don't ask me gently if I've heard of moustache waxing for ladies.

But I don't actually do that much to care for myself. And that was our LLC's third question: how do you care for yourself? Other people's responses were very sensible: I allow myself to sit down and watch rubbish on TV; I meditate; I take the dogs for a walk; I have a spa day, etc.

I don't take care of myself. I take anti-care of myself.

I don't really pay attention when it's tired or has a headache or anything (or, poignantly, when it says "But I don't WANT it to be Pizza Night!"). The only things I really do are buy FAR TOO MANY CLOTHES TOO OFTEN, and feed it treats. The number of times I've gone ahead and held Secret Pizza Night even when my body has been craving a nice salad or, more accurately, a big mug of tea, some toast and an incredibly early night.

I know that when I get a migraine I should go straight to bed. Medicine, lights off, lie still until the throbbing slows and you fall asleep. I know that if I do this I'll feel at least marginally better when I wake up. So why do I so often find myself rubbing my head, feeling nauseous and just awful, IN FRONT OF THE TELEVISION?

Also, whenever I have a massage I get a migraine. Every single time. I love massages - when I've been stressed I've thought "I know, I'll book a massage". So I do, and I really enjoy it, but a lot of it really hurts and I worry that I'll get a migraine afterwards.

My physiotherapist explained to me gently that it was because when I'm tense the joints in my back sieze up, and the muscles around them go into spasm to protect them. So when a masseuse eases out all the knots in my muscles, there's nothing left to protect the joint, and that causes the migraine. I nodded wisely at this and then had lots of spa days.

Recently I saw another physio and he said "There's no reason why you can't ever have a massage - let's just sort your back out first. Have you been doing your exercises?"

No. I hadn't.

"Have you been getting headaches and migraines?"

Yes, loads. But I hadn't been doing my exercises. Or going to the physio that often. Even though I know that if I do the exercises, I'll have fewer headaches and migraines. I just don't know why I don't do it: there always seems to be something more interesting to do. It just doesn't seem important.

Another thing I realised during the meeting: before I lived in London - when I was a skinny minnie - I used to do two things:

  1. Pizza night (not SECRET pizza night, please note) - one night a month I'd get myself a pepperoni pizza, DVD and tub of ice cream and just have a quiet evening. I could never finish the pizza or the ice cream, but it was nice.
  2. Once a week I'd put on my favourite pyjamas, make a pint of tea (and maybe a hot water bottle) and take myself to bed with a favourite book ridiculously early. Like 6pm or something. I loved it - particularly if it was raining out. I'd look forward to it all day, and it was a private treat. I'd probably read for a couple of hours then drift off about 8pm, and I'm sure I felt really rested for the rest of the week.
I don't do those things any more. Pizza Night has morphed into the self-punishing routine that is Secret Pizza Night, and I haven't even considered the early night thing for years. I suppose I moved to London and thought it was an unsophisticated way to relax; I should probably be unwinding with a Martini and some retail therapy or something. And I moved in with my BF and I guess I didn't want him to think I was weird.

Maybe it's time to readdress that. I mean, a very early night is possibly less weird than the sadomasochism of a painful massage that gives you a migraine.


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