The wonderful artist Bruce Springsteen sang in The River that he got a union card and a wedding coat for his birthday. For mine the wedding dress was very far away from my thoughts. Instead, for my 19th birthday, I got a Slimming Club card and a fats calculator.
My weight, on the other hand, was always pretty much in my thoughts even at that age.
At 19 I had started earning my own money and moved to the bright lights of London. My first couple of the early months salary of the princely some of £50 had been spent on living the dream which included lots of fast food and fast drinking.
So in the Summer of 1986 I decided to join a slimming club to sort out my weight. So, I got a slimming club card and a counting fats calculator for my 19th birthday.
Oh the innocence of youth, my first weigh in weight was 11 stone 10lbs and I felt huge.
This was confirmed by the slimming club leader who looked at me and said ‘goodness I wouldn’t have said you weighed that much’. She promptly noted my goal weight of 9 stone 2lbs. I would of course start off with ten percent so not to worry.
But worry I did and so began my yo-yo dieting cycle and thirty years of weekly membership to slimming clubs.
You name them, I tried them. Also, if the weekly club wasn’t enough I did my own diets. Something like 20 different ones from low fat to milk shakes.
I did lose weight.
I did put in back on again and more – This is roughly how it went.
A stone per decade
In my twenties I did lose weight and got into ‘the tens’ down to about 10 stone 7lb but still not reaching the heady heights of the elusive goal weight and lifetime gold membership. Destined therefore to keep dieting and counting (and paying).
In my thirties a lot happened.
I was getting married and needed to up my dieting game to fit into a wedding coat (dress in my case Bruce). So I counted, I measured, I tracked and I thought pretty much every day about whether I was eating good or bad food.
Again I lost weight and settled into married bliss, once the big day was over I could relax and pretty soon had moved into ‘the elevens’.
In my forties I yo-yo dieted my way between ‘the twelves and thirteens’.
In November 2016 as my 50th big birthday approached I have noted the day in my diary when I weighed in at 14 stone. With my 5ft 5inch height I was now obese.
Would I be 15 stone by my 60th? Actually would I be alive or suffering from a disease. That was bad but so was feeling tired and achy.
So, I decided to stop dieting and start losing weight, I did and do follow meal plans and try nutritional programmes.
I am now 53, I am a qualified eating freely practitioner, I eat healthy food (and chocolate).
So for my 54th birthday I want to stay away from dieting and maybe a new pair of skinny jeans as my current pairs are too big for my ‘elevens’ stone weight.
If this is something you can relate to please do get in touch, I’ve been there, I can help, email me in confidence