Thursday, 24 February 2011



Webster's Unabridged Dictionary: Ac·count·a·bil·i·ty; n. The state of being accountable; liability to be called on to render an account; the obligation to bear the consequences for failure to perform as expected; accountableness. 
«The awful idea of accountabilityR. Hall.
Syn. -- answerability, answerableness

I have a problem with accountability, quite often, because I want people to like me and I hate to admit failure. I'm also pig-headed enough and so stubborn as to not even see when I've done something completely contrary and wrong. Let me tell you right now, because it has happened to me often enough to know: nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong. However, I often fool myself into believing that the mistake is either normal for me or that it's the other person's fault. Until I'm far enough removed from the situation to be able to reflect and see I was indeed wrong. But by then it's often too late to make amends.

People fail all the time; we fall down constantly. It's the picking yourself up and moving forward that defines life.

So that is what I am attempting here, to become more accountable. Mostly to myself but I figured if I put it out to a wider audience, I'd have more impetus and incentive to be truthful and to succeed with my goal. Because I hate being embarrassed almost as much as I hate to fail.

What the heck am I going on about?

I've decided to lose weight. Rather a lot of weight. Something in the region of 35kg / 5 stones 7.5 pounds / 77 pounds. If I can achieve this, I will be the lightest I've been since I was in my 20's. It also means that my knee pain should go away, my heart health will improve, my cholesterol will be in normal range and I will no longer suffer from Type II diabetes. I've been slowly losing weight over the last two years and as a result, I've been able to significantly reduce my use of Metformin. The Doctor's thinking is that if I can get into a healthy BMI range through diet and exercise, the diabetes will indeed vanish completely. This is huge for me because when my blood sugar is out of whack, so am I.

However, I have hit a point where my weight has stayed constant and stable through normal eating and refuses to budge downwards, even with increased exercise. A plateau, you might say. I know that decreasing the amount of food I consume (ie: low-calorie diets) will only force my body into it's normal starvation red alert, therefore, I need to change what I consume.

So, last Friday, 18 February, I began The Dukan Diet. I bought the book off and happily it is English-language. I am following this four-part regime until I lose all the weight I need, then will continue with the Stabilisation phase for the rest of my life. I chose this particular diet after researching dozens of different diets over the last three months. For me, it makes the most sense. It is highly restrictive in the initial two phases, but I feel I need that aspect in my life right now.

So where does accountability come in? Right here:

Those are my scales and that is my weight on Friday morning, 18 February 2011. I weighed myself completely nude, I might add, so no taking off poundage for clothing allowed. (Sorry for the lousy picture, but the sole camera I now own is attached to my Sony Ericsson Mobile phone. Unless you count my SLR Canon FT, but that uses actual film!)

Yes, it's rather shocking how much I weigh, I agree.

I will be posting a photo of my scales each week until I meet my goal, or decide I've come as close as I can get and still be in good health. I have no wish to become a stick insect. I can't really see myself with a future career as a fashion model, let alone a fashionista. I am a woman, I indeed have curves, but I want gentle curves, not a drive up Mulholland or Lombard Street.

Yes, part of it has to do with health, but a whole huge part of it also has to do with vanity. I love myself for who I am. I am proud of my accomplishments, most all of which were achieved in the face of enormous and overwhelming odds. My three children adore me. My close friends appreciate me for my warmth, humour and 'me-ness'. Everyone who has dined with me enjoys my food. I've been told I'm not ugly. My breath doesn't stink and I shower daily. As far as I know, I have no disgusting habits. (If I'm wrong, please DO let me know so I can work on that, ok?)

So... if I'm generally 'acceptable'... why am I single, alone and without an *appropriate* mate? (By *appropriate* I mean a partner who isn't just a fifty-something child and requires mothering or someone who wants a fashion accessory to show off, bully and control. In other words, *appropriate* means a REAL honest-to-God man.) And why haven't I had a proper 'date' in years? I think it's to do with how men perceive me. I'm fat, frumpy and fifty-something. (Oh, yeah, I had another birthday on 1 February, so, indeed I'm now fifty-three. Truth and accountability and openness and all that.) I take pains to point out that it's not like I even want to date right now or even would or could; I am still in love with someone and I still have hopes and dreams and yearning that one day... I know I'm fooling myself, I know it won't happen, just, we never gave it a chance, not really, not a proper honest chance. That's the biggest regret in my life.

And... it's just that... when I look into a man's eyes, it would be nice to see appreciation of the fact I am an attractive and desirable woman, instead of seeing something resembling disgust. Or pity.

(Truthfully? Not every man looks at me this way. But a huge majority do. And it's upsetting. Plus it's a huge blow to my already fragile ego.)

Will this attitude I find in most men change if I lose an enormous amount of weight? Will I suddenly turn into a Hubba-hubba combo of Angelina Jolie, Monica Bellucci and a Victoria's Secret Lingerie model? Most probably not. I'm not so facile to believe it will. But at least at that point in time I can hold my head high, know I've done all I can and realise that it's not me at fault here, I am actually 'worthy of admiration' on many levels and all this time I've simply been looking in the wrong eyes, yes, all along, my entire life.

So, stay tuned for weekly updates on my progress. Because there WILL be progress, of that I am certain.


auntiegwen said...

Dearest Kitty, I wish you all the success with your weight loss. I have to lose 3 stone and I am spectacularly unmotivated to do so at present. I will be your virtual cheerleader on the web xx

Kitty said...

Thank you so much, AuntieGwen, I'll love having you cheering me along! Maybe I'll even provide a bit of inspiration. Believe me, if *I* can actually follow through on this, anyone can! It took months to get into the headspace I needed to buckle down and actually do something about this excess weight. But the way I figure, right now I'm the youngest that I'll be for the rest of my life. Next year I'll be yet another year older, so, time will pass regardless. I might as well pass the time by getting healthy. And maybe also just a tiny bit sexier. :)

Annette said...

Best of luck to you! Losing weight is HARD and I'm starting to think almost impossible when you get past 50. I've been stuck at the same weight for months!! aargh. You will be my inspiration.

Kitty said...

Thank you very much, Annette! Losing weight can be nigh on impossible, at least for me. I lose it then it goes right back on again. I have struggled with weight issues for most of my life, certainly ever since hitting puberty. When I was active practising Aikido, I never had a problem because I burned it off on the mat. I just don't get enough exercise now, I'm the first to admit it!
I hope that what I post here will indeed be an inspiration. Because I WILL succeed!

Deborah said...

Kitty, I'll be cheering you on. I had to laugh at the part about realizing in the middle of an argument sreally is awfully hard to admit one's wrong when in the thick of it. I always have to retreat for a while and gather up my courage to admit wrong-ness. But I do do it!

Frankly, I think there's nothing wrong with vanity being a big part of your motivation to lose weight. Let's not call it vanity, though, shall we? Let's make it pleasure. Pleasure in your own eyes when you see yourself in the mirror, pleasure in the eyes of someone who appreciates how you look, pleasure in being able to have a much wider choice of what to wear.
Your idea of accountability is a good one - it's why all those support groups work. BUT!!! Don't be worried if you take a couple of backward steps now and then. Nobody's perfectly aligned towards their goal all the time.

I applaud your frankness and your initiative and think you've got a good shot at achieving what you want since you're being sensible about it and taking things slow. I'm quite curious to see if this regime works - I'm pretty skeptical about most of these things but it seems pretty sound.

Kitty said...

Deborah: Yes, I go away and gather courage as well. Luckily most of the people who have received my apology have been gracious, but a few have lorded it over me for years. Those people are no longer on my friends list, I might add.

Pleasure is a good way to think of it as I am rather hedonistic anyway. And, honestly, nothing tastes as good as being slim feels, not even a wheel of perfectly aged Brie de Mieux, or Stilton with a Tawny Port, or Cheddar Welsh Rarebit... (Although those things come awfully darn close!)

I expect I will have a few faux pas along the way, yes, but pick myself up, dust myself off and continue forward. It will take time and I'm prepared for that fact. But like a river, I'll make it to the ocean, eventually.

Thank you for the optimism boost, it's most appreciated.
Bisouxxx, Kitty

the fly in the web said...

Well, having moved to Costa Rica, as an old lady, the macho men who exploit young ladies treat me with a delicious blend of respect and seduction...knowing they're safe!
I cannot tell you what that does for my morale!

Kitty said...

Well Fly, you know very well what kind of 'macho men' we have here in France. As for me, I'd much rather have a Colin Firth than various versions of Monsieur Hulot.
I guess I should be grateful that I'm invisible to men. It's just 'easier', if you know what I mean.

Kind regards, Kitty xx

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