Years ago, when I managed to lose a lot of weight and became relatively slim, I got there because I had so much motivation and willpower.  Not dieting just wasn’t an option.  I could easily sit with a friend who was scarfing a huge burger and could resist their offer of a chip or two.  I could see The Bigger Picture which, ultimately, was happiness.  I worked really, really hard at it and the results were amazing – 3 stone in 4 months.

I’ve never been able to get back to this.  My life has changed dramatically since then.  For one reason or another, my network of friends is very different and my spare time now revolves around eating out in a way it just didn’t before.  It’s an easy excuse to make – So much temptation!  How do I diet when I’m always eating out! – but it doesn’t answer the problem with my motivation.

A huge part of the problem is that I’m all or nothing where dieting is concerned.  When I start dieting, it’s like I’m an inflated balloon, filled with good intentions and I do well for a while, but nobody has tied a knot in the bottom of the balloon to make it secure to keep all the goodness in.  I do one thing that’s not diet friendly and instead of looking at it as a tiny lapse, I let the balloon go and it loses all control, bouncing off everything, doing as much damage as it possibly can before it lands, deflated and miserable in a heap.

Since my Weight Watchers meeting was cancelled, I have spent the last three weeks over-eating to such an extent that it makes me hate myself.  I’ve eaten everything in sight – office doughnuts even when they’re a day old and hard, takeaways, so much toast with peanut butter, pasta pasta pasta, fat and filth.  I feel sluggish and disgusting.  I’m putting back on the weight that I’ve lost, my plus size clothes are becoming tight again and I have no energy.  Why do I do this?  It makes me so sad that I do it to myself time and time again.  And yes, the obvious and only answer is just to stop doing it…if only it were that simple.  I live alone, I feel very alone a lot of the time and I guess I feel like the hopes and dreams that I had a few years ago to meet someone and have a family have slipped away, so what’s the point in trying?

I don’t know how to fix this.  I’ve tried everything – fad diets, sensible diets, diets where a month’s worth of meals are delivered to my door, I’ve had dieting “buddies”, hypnotherapy…I just can’t make anything work.  I promised myself I wouldn’t be fat when I went to Australia last year, but I was enormous.  I promised myself that I wouldn’t have another fat summer and yet another one is bearing down on me when I won’t be able to go and sit in the sun with my friends because I’ll overheat in my black winter clothes which are the only clothes I own because they cover up the flabby flesh.

I don’t know how to fix this and it’s making me so unhappy.

32 thoughts on “Motivation

  1. So sorry you are feeling this way 😦 This blog post makes me wonder if its not motivation that’s the problem but accountability? 1. No weight watchers meeting = nobody to record your weight, 2. Friends who like to eat out, are they encouraging you to overindulgei? 3. Living alone means nobody to see everything you eat. I’m wondering if the key is to set up ways you will be held accountable to your long term goals that I think you do actually have strong motivation to achieve.

    • I think it’s both, but yes – accountability is such a problem. I started the weekly blog post as I thought it would mean that I would eat better as I’d be accounting for my meals – it hasn’t really made a difference. My friends aren’t actively encouraging me to overindulge – sadly I only have myself to blame for that – but the fact is that my socialising now is food based because my friends are foodies (hate that word) so it’s just really tricky. I thought that maybe staying in was the answer so I do go out less than I did, but like you say, there are no eyes on me there; I can just sit there eating Nutella out of the jar and nobody ever need know. If anything I’m worse at home. I just feel a bit lost.

  2. Really sorry to read this Fran, I feel for you. Just harking back to your last post, maybe it is time to do the unthinkable – I know it will be very painful – and join the works weigh-in. There’s no escaping and a hell of a lot of people helping you to manage one of your 3 key areas of overindulgence i.e. the office. Then make a pact with your “foodie” (I hate the word too!) friends: get them to help you regulate when you’re with them – they are good people, they’ll be pleased to. And finally, evict the treats from your house. I know you hate waste, but with no butter, cheese, nutella, etc etc in your home you have to make a conscious effort to overdo it, rather than unconsciously slipping in to it.

      • I get the feeling you will want a big support network around you to be positive when you succeed and constructive when you are struggling. I hope the people at work are not too harsh? Otherwise you may possibly find yourself falling into lies to avoid condemnation. A little firm kindness can be more encouraging.

      • No, I don’t think they’ll be too harsh. I think they’d like me to succeed and be happier. Unfortunately, I fail even when I have a great support network – I think it’s probably just a bit of a lost cause. Hey ho.

  3. Hello, advice from a complete stranger here. WeightWatchers was plainly working for you. The 5lbs loss a couple of weeks ago was a great result. Given that, and the fact that you really, really want to do this (you do, don’t you?) then why on earth would you let yourself be prevented by the fact that the alternative meeting is “further away and on a Thursday so not nearly so convenient’?? This is a priority in your life, right? So you take advantage of the fact that your time is your own and you get yourself down there TONIGHT. Cancel or modify the plans that you had – you were meeting friends? Join them for a drink afterwards. Be kind to yourself. Put you first. Don’sabotag feellike

    • Thanks Ann. I don’t weigh in at home – there aren’t any meetings at all near me – so I try to do it at meetings near work. The problem is that WW keep shutting them down, I can only think that it’s because more and more people are choosing to do it online. I’m going to weigh in at work and make my colleague do it so that I can’t lie about the result.

  4. Aaagh, sorry, final bit was meant to read: Don’t allow yourself to feel like this any longer and don’t sabotage what you’ve already achieved.

  5. I am sad that you are sad.
    The motivation thing is hard to solve – for me, at least, it’s one of those thing that is a bit self perpetuating – the more I do of something, the better I am at sticking to it. In exactly the same way that you have, though, as soon as I ‘miss’ something/fall off etc and realise that the world doesn’t end because of it, it just gets easier and more tempting to do the same again… I suspect that it’s the same for everyone.

    I find it easier to stick to things if I feel like I’m letting someone else (other than me) down if I don’t do it (hence the goodness of team sports/making appointments etc) – the guilt is a pretty good motivator for me (as is the fear of being left behind)…

    On that note – if you want someone to come to the WW meetings (or whatever) with you, I’m happy to do it if there’s a reasonably in-between distanced one. I’m sure I could also use some external encouragements…

    • That sounds about right except for the letting others down bit – it doesn’t really apply here. My fatness has no impact on anyone else and any guilt makes me comfort eat rather than motivates me. In terms of meetings, they’re just shutting them all down. The only one in between us now is at Liverpool Street – totally unworkable. Thanks though.

      • The letting others down thing isn’t real – it’s just a kind of excuse – noone really cares whether I turn up for stuff, ultimately, but if I’ve told people I will, it just makes me feel a bit more responsible for doing it.
        I did the whole weightwatchers thing a lot of years ago and there’s no question of the fact that the the only reason I went was because I was going with someone else (and she was a totally scary bossy boots)…
        The shutting meetings thing is a bit lame. Maybe more people really are doing online, but I’m willing to bet that that doesn’t really work. Surely the whole opoint in WW is the fear of the stern lady doing the weigh ins…

      • You’d think, wouldn’t you? It does seem to be the case that people largely do it online now though. The way that the world is going I guess.

  6. Although you feel like there’s only you to let down, I don’t think you’re quite right – reading this makes me (and I expect lots friends, and possibly even strangers) really sad. Sad that you are sad, and sad that you’re stuck. We care about you a lot! It’s not nice to see you live in the future – wanting to share a home, a life and a family with someone – and yet give up on that future every time you misbehave a little. We do tend to revolve around food (it’s how we all met!), but there are a) other things we can do b) healthier options for eating in/out.

    The point is not to diet for someone else – or the prospect of meeting someone else – but for you. You need to be kind to yourself, and put you first. Losing weight matters because you matter, not because you think you’ll matter MORE to someone else.

    If you want Monday nights to be healthy dinner and weigh in at my place (or even just healthy dinner) when we’re NEIGHBOUR DUUUUUUDEZ, then they’re all yours. NO WINE either. Actuals no wine. For realz.


    • Sure – I see your point. I know that it’s horrible for my friends and family to see me in such a bad way, but I think that if I came to accept myself as I am and was happy being fat, it’s unlikely that anyone else would feel let down by the fact that I had chosen to remain a fat cow.

      Re the hopes and dreams for the future – they don’t disappear every time I eat a takeaway and return when I’m cooking properly and eating well; they’ve receded over the years. The reality is that I’m 35 in a couple of weeks and it’s just not very likely to happen any more. People can tell me that I’m 35 and there’s still loads of time, but it’s basically bullshit – there isn’t loads of time at all.

      But you’re right, I should diet for me and I sort of do. I know that not being fat would make me self-hate less and would make me feel physically healthier and would make me happier and happiness is really the goal. I think that the black dog has become a bit of a sitting tenant – takes over a bit which leads to the self-destructive behaviour.

      Monday nights sound lovely. Can’t wait for us to be neighours. xxxxxxxx

  7. Hi Fran,

    35 is nothing! I have to tell you that reading this blog has made a man of exactly twice your age cry. Yes real tears. You don’t want that, do you. No, of course not. I can only endorse what my dear daughter has just told you, that you should do it for you, the most special person in your life. You have been most encouraging to me in my weight-loss plans, and I hope that your friends can do the same for you. You should also avoid tagging yourself with failure labels – “fat cow” is not a nice thing to call anyone, especially yourself. I can see that being in a circle of food-worshippers must be difficult, but I know Nicola is concerned about you, and will try to help.

    I say again, 35 is nothing. You are a young woman with a lot to offer. Don’t pull yourself down. And as far as having children is concerned, ask Nicola how old her mum was when she was born.

    I know it’s a corny old line, but, remember, today is the first day of the rest of your life.
    Enjoy it.

  8. Hi Fran

    I enjoy reading your instagrams every day. From the painted toe nails, and three pairs of shoes (which shall I chose?) I know that you are pedantic about English grammar so should my question mark be inside or outside of the brackets? And the antics of your cat, when he/she jumped out of the bathroom window when you were decorating.
    We could do with some decorating doing here, how are you fixed? But I suppose that it is a long way to Scunthorpe.
    You have lots of friends in London, and from what I gather a nice Mum and step Dad.
    I’m sure that they will support you, especially our Nicola.
    Love Annie

    • Hi Annie,

      Inside the brackets is right! I’m glad you like my pictures on Instagram, especially of Ralphie (a she, believe it or not!)

      I think I’ll send Nicola up to do your decorating, I’m never touching another brush if I can help it. I can’t wait to have her as a neighbour soon, she’s very kind to me.


  9. I hate to say it but I just can’t diet and go out for food – I just can’t. Maybe I can cope with once a month or at a push once a fortnight MAX. Can you just meet friends for cinema or drinks (non alcoholic diet drinks)? Sounds boring maybe but in my own case it’s just not do-able. X

    • It is really hard and I have cut back on going out, but I’m finding that I’m worse at home – far more badly behaved than when I’m out. Rubbish.

  10. Hi Fran,
    Forgive this intrusion into your cyber-life, but I have been reading your blog for a while, I read a lot of food and diet blogs as I have a keen interest in both. I also happen to be a childhood friend of your elder sister, and the cyber space is a small world, especially when searching for beef shin recipes (your Chinese style beef shin is now a firm favourite).
    In addition I am a dietitian, and believe I may be able to offer you some assistance. I would be very happy to talk to you by email or on the telephone. Let me know if you would like me to contact you privately, but also feel free not to respond to this at all.

    • Hi Kate,

      Don’t apologise – I put this stuff out there so it’s really not an intrusion at all. Thank you for offering to help – it’s incredibly kind of you and I’ll absolutely take you up on it, if that’s OK? I truly need an intervention. Is your email address the one that you logged in with to comment? If so, I can drop you a line on that or Tamsin can give you mine?

      Thanks again – I really appreciate it.

      Fran x

      • Marvellous, send me an email on the one I logged on and we can take it from there.

  11. Hi Fran

    Again, a possible intrusion as we’ve never met. However, we are neighbours, and both ‘foodies’ and sticklers for good grammar. I went to WW meetings on and off for many years, but have now started at SW. I find it’s less ‘county’ and actually easier to follow, and I’ve been pretty successful. I go every Tuesday night, to a meeting in Honor Oak, and could give you a lift there if you like. Perhaps having to go with someone would help? And God knows, you’re not alone in the struggle, I can tell you! Let me know what you think… And you’re not doing so bad, really. You weigh less than you did, right? Huge support and sympathy, F x

    • Hi Franckie,

      This is incredibly kind of you. Can I see where I am in a few weeks and let you know then? (I don’t weigh less than I did – I’ve put it all back on. RUBBISH!!!)

      Thank you so much for this offer – I’m really touched by how kind people are!

      F x

      • Of course – see how you go and remember the offer is always there. It would mean neither of us could skip or cop out, and would def help me! I know exactly what you’re talking about with keeping the motivation going – I’ve been trying to lose weight for over 2 years now and every time I got about three days in and gave up! This time, however, I’m on week 5 and have lost 8.5lb. I know it’s not earth shattering, but it’s much, much better than anything I’ve managed for AGES. Just shout if you want to join me! x

      • 8.5lbs in 5 weeks is brilliant! Good for you. I’ll definitely give you a shout if I fail miserably over the next few weeks! x

  12. Pingback: A little update | FatFranGetsFin

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