All sprung clean!

This week I’ve had a good spring clear out and my home feels like it can breathe a sigh of relief again. I find it incredibly cathartic to put my home in order, getting rid of things that are just cluttering up the place, keeping things neat, tidy and ordered!

It started after scrabble friend confronted me about my lax attitude towards money and gave me the sharp truth about how I would end up in financial difficulties if I carried on the way I was going and the importance of taking control of it now. I was impressed with his perception about something I hadn’t particularly discussed with him and his ability to have the conversation with me in such a way I heard and accepted what he said without feeling judged or criticised. He was right, I knew he was right and it was something I had been burying my head in the sand about. The truth is, I have never been fully in control of my finances, never paid much attention to keeping to a budget and have always been in debt. My financial situation is something that shames me, I feel it is something I should be in control of and after all the time I’ve invested in trying to get my life in order it is kind of shocking the lack of attention I’ve paid to this area of my life.

When scrabble friend came into my life I knew we were meant to be in each others lives, we had a purpose for each other. I am so grateful to him for so many reasons, he has been such a lovely addition to my life and what’s more it appears the feeling is mutual 🙂 We’re not going to be partners for life, but we are involved in each others lives at the moment and it’s a good thing.

Getting in control meant confronting the paperwork that has been mounting up and carefully stuffed into bags and shoved under the bed. In doing this I discovered the box of tapes that I had stored there 15 years ago and it was as if a switch went off in my head and the need for a clear out began. I have always been quite an ordered person, as a child I thrived on keeping my stuff neat and ordered, controlling my environment in the only way I could. I have never attached too much sentiment to objects, they are transitory items that can be broken and lost. I’m also not a hoarder and know that what looks like chaos to me would look pretty ordered to other people! It is all relative, there is no point judging against others as it’s is all about what works for me.

The tapes under the bed were at last thrown out, the video’s that can no longer be played because the player has long gone went into the bin and I culled some of the objects that I have acquired and loved over the years but no longer need to gather dust on the shelf. It was a great feeling having that ruthless head on that just enabled me to de-clutter. My home still feels full but it feels ordered and with space to breathe.

I feel as if at long last I am getting in control of my life, I’m learning to let go of that I can’t control and take charge of that I can. Where I always felt that I had to be self sufficient and not lean on others, I’m learning that a helping hand can make all the difference. I have had a therapist help me get my head in order, a GP and weight loss surgeon help me get my health in order and now scrabble friend is helping me get my finances in order. I am so grateful for this help, I know it is what’s enabled me to live my life and strive to make the most of it.

The message they have all given me and encourage me to follow is ‘just do it’. Stop thinking about it, analysing it, becoming frightened by it, protecting myself from what distress it might or might not bring and just get on and do it!

We have only one chance at life, it doesn’t matter what’s been the only thing that matters is embracing the challenge of living, making the most of the opportunities that come our way and dare I say it, listening to the wisdom of those influential people in my life and just get on and do it!

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Another bad date!

My computer pinged as an email entered my inbox notifying me that I had a message on an online dating site. I logged into the site and was pleasantly surprised at what I found.

He was 43, looked fairly fit, appeared to be self sufficient and sounded relatively interesting. This had to be worth a try. After a while internet dating has a tendency to become a bit of a drag, it is hard to sort the wheat from the chaff and most emails I get go straight into the delete box.

A few emails later telephone numbers were exchanged and he was soon on the phone. Our first conversation went well. I liked how he sounded and we chatted easily for a good while. In our next conversation he was a little full on, a bit too eager for my liking and I found myself telling him he needed to calm down or he would frighten me off. I was still interested but was beginning to feel cautious, he talked a lot and it didn’t appear to be down to nerves. However, he was new to the ‘scene’ so I gave him the benefit of the doubt and decided he was just over eager.

We met for coffee and I was relieved to find that he didn’t give me any psycho vibes. He was quite relaxed and we quite quickly got into conversation. It wasn’t long before I realised that we weren’t compatible. I’m not sure if it was that he thought he should get a tax break for privately educating his child and having private healthcare or because towards the end of our second coffee he still didn’t know anything about me, but the signs were growing! I asked him about an emblem on his top and he looked at me disparagingly and said “I’m clad head to toe in Vivienne Westwood”. If I had any doubt that put it too bed and I knew that there would be no second date with this fella.

To be fair the date wasn’t boring like many I’ve been on. We did in fact have quite stimulating conversation as I challenged his views but nothing had prepared me for his next clanger. He was telling me about the sport he participates in and said that he loved his food and put on weight easily so it was important to him to get in lots of exercise to prevent this. He then said he was very annoyed with obese people, he couldn’t understand how they could let themselves get that way. He questioned why they didn’t reach a point where they could see they were getting to an unacceptable weight and do something about it. I suggested that obesity was a complex issue and there might be many reasons why a person had become overweight and struggle to lose it. He didn’t acknowledge this and went on to moan a bit more about obesity, finally declaring “and to top it all it’s our hard earned tax payers money that ends up having to foot the medical bills for their greed”. It was all I could do not to choke on my latte, not quite believing what I was hearing.

I challenged his views, asked him if he felt the same way about people who drank and smoked, or people who received cancer treatment when the cancer was caused by lifestyle choice. He wasn’t able to make the comparison. It was quite obvious to me at this point that there was no more to be said, the date was over. We left the coffee shop and I thanked him for the date and said I was off to get a bus home.

He indignantly exclaimed that he would take it from that I wasn’t interested in pursuing things further. I asked him how he thought things had gone and he said that he thought it had gone well and he knew that he was happy to take things further. I laughed and said that part of the difficulty was that it was all about him, I wasn’t sure how much he really knew about me because he hadn’t actually taken any interest in me. He said he knew that I liked to argue and that he wanted to kiss me. Before I realised what was happening he had moved in for the kiss and would you believe he was a ‘slobber’, the worse I had experienced for some time. It was revolting, like someone drooling into my mouth.

I pushed him away from me and asked him what he thought he was doing. Without waiting for an answer I declared that I was one of those fat people he really hated who put a burden on the NHS by having weight loss surgery and I was off to get my bus. I turned on my heel and didn’t look back, pleased to find the bus was there for me to get straight on to.

So it’s back to the dating sites and single events to continue the search for someone; and in the meantime scrabble friend is coming up at the w.e to play and that’s good enough for now!

I’m no cheat, but I may be an X Factor Winner!

“Dawn French has lost loads of weight but she didn’t have surgery”

“Ruth Jones looks stunning after shedding weight the old fashioned way”

People see surgery as a way  of admonishing yourself from responsibility - nothing could be further from the truthThe implication being that to lose weight through weight loss surgery (WLS) is somehow wrong, or a way of cheating. That unless you lose weight the conventional way you are somehow ‘less’ of a person, excuse the pun! This is of course ridiculous and yet I do understand why people think this way, as I was guilty of it too until I learned to understand the complexity of obesity. The media have a tendency to glorify convention and vilify those who choose alternative routes to achieve the same result.

I can liken WLS to the X Factor; some people embrace the format as a way to showcase talent that might otherwise be undiscovered, while others see it as a shortcut to fame without all the hard graft to get there. People like to see someone work to overcome their struggle, it gives us hope and encouragement. Unfortunately this works the other way round too and we like to see people continue to struggle with their difficulties because it can help us feel better about our own. In the end of course, those who have real talent and appeal make it and those who don’t, don’t, even if they end up winning a competition like the X Factor! It is also true to say that however they get there, hard graft is always involved.

WLS will work for those people who are determined to change their lifestyles and overcome their eating issues, it is an alternative way of achieving the desired result but it comes with it’s own challenges and is not an easy option and is by no means cheating.

There is nothing easy about putting yourself through major surgery, having your insides rearranged with the knowledge that you will never be able to use food in the same way again. People take painkillers to relieve themselves from pain. Why is weight loss surgery any different? It is a medical intervention to address a problem that I for one wasn’t able to cure on my own. I needed help, no matter how hard I tried, and I did try hard I really did, nothing was successful. I would lose weight but never enough and I would always put it back on again. I was trapped inside myself and in a vicious cycle that was slowly killing me. I owe my life to this weight loss tool.

I admire people who are comfortable with their size whatever that may be. I admire people who have been able to lose significant amounts of weight through calorie counting and exercise. I also admire people who have been able to say how unhappy their weight makes them and seek help to change this – be it through hypnosis, personal training, a specialised diet, weight loss surgery or any other means; whatever works for you. No option is an easy option and is certainly not a way of ‘cheating’; losing weight is a difficult accomplishment no matter how it is achieved. I may not be much of an X Factor fan but I do feel like a winner!

Anyone for Scrabble?

Since I have been dating I have found that establishing whether or not a person plays scrabble is very important to me. Furthermore, if they are a scrabble player I then find myself interested in how they play the game as it tells me much about their character! I like someone who plays the board, blocking where they can’t use spaces themselves, taking the whole game seriously and playing to win!

I have bonded with a couple of guys online through scrabble, one in particular has become a good friend. We started chatting one evening, both of us just wasting some time as neither fitted what the other was looking for. Anyway, we found that we were similar in many ways including having a love of scrabble. We both consider ourselves to be able to hold our own and soon the challenge was set. Our first game ended in a tie, the perfect start to our championship and we recognised in each other a player of the same standard.

Scrabble friend, as he is known, has become a dear friend who has helped me through a difficult transition in my life. I had weight loss surgery a couple of years ago and scrabble friend was the first person to see me naked, outside of the Dr’s, since my transformation. He was lovely, gentle and said the right things to help me feel comfortable. He was then the first person to see me after I had surgery to remove the excess skin, again saying all the right things and supporting me.

Sexually we are very compatible, as friends we are very compatible but as long-term partners we are not right for each other, which is a shame because I rarely meet people I like as much as I like scrabble friend. But he is not the person I’m to fall in love with, I adore him, love playing with him but he’s not what I want. I’m also not what he wants, he’s a younger man and ultimately wants to settle down with a wife and have children, this is not something I am offering.

Tonight we got on the cam and enjoyed a game of scrabble. He was telling me that he had told someone at work how we had met but they got the wrong end of the stick and thought we had met on a scrabble dating site. “That would be brilliant” I said “If there was such a thing I’d definitely join!” “Me too” he exclaimed, “you can tell a lot from playing a game of scrabble with someone”.

It got us thinking about other games that people could play together – cards, chess, monopoly to name but a few – to spend time getting to know each other and play a game both parties enjoy. Online dating is such hard work this seems like a good way to make it slightly more bearable!

As for scrabble friend, well we still play together and will do until one of us meets someone we want to spend more time with, besides, he is a good challenge at scrabble and that’s very important!

Missed opportunity to join the Mile High Club!

Now don’t ask my why, but for some reason ever since I found out about the ‘Mile High club’ I’ve had a secret desire to become a member! I expect it’s much harder to achieve in this day and age, with the consequences of being caught far more severe! Yet the desire to join is still there!

During the early hours of this morning I boarded a flight home after a wonderful holiday visiting my bf in Dubai. It was great having my bf around to talk to about my experiences in the dating field and all my worries about not meeting someone. As I was leaving my friend laughed and said “Don’t forget, opportunities to meet new people are everywhere, you never know you might even find someone you like sitting next to you on the plane”. Little did she know how right she would be!

Prior to boarding I had been for a lovely slap up Turkey meal for Thanksgiving and consumed a couple of glasses of wine, for someone who has had weight loss surgery this is a lot as my ability to process alcohol is poor so I get drunk very quickly! I’m stating this to try and absolve myself of my behaviour, but really it’s no excuse as some hours had passed before the flight left, enough time to sober up!

I always go for an isle seat in the middle set so that I can get out easily and am less likely to be disturbed by my neighbour if I’m having a kip. Today was no different and as I took my seat I hoped that I wouldn’t have anyone annoying sitting next to me. I looked across at the person seated in the other isle seat and saw he was looking at me. My immediate thought was how attractive he was – a tall Indian guy, dressed well with a cute smile. Then I remembered bf’s words; I smiled and said hello. He immediately introduced himself as Z and asked if I was also hoping that the middle seat was going to stay free. I agreed it would be nice but had been told it was a full flight so feared it was unlikely. Z had been told the same but we both agreed to hope for the best. We began to talk to each other about why we had been in Dubai, discovered our paths crossed through our work, shared a love of a lazy Sunday playing scrabble, listening to music and chilling out in the house. He was easy to talk to and it wasn’t long before Z had decided that he would ask the person in the middle if he could swap seats so that he was sat next to me and he scooted across. As it was we were two of the few lucky people who never got anyone coming to sit with them but we didn’t make the most of this opportunity.

I’m not sure how we started talking about relationships but we established that we were both single and had a similar outlook on dating, relationships and the importance of finding a real connection. As he was talking he would touch my arm and I reciprocated by smiling and laughing, signals were being exchanged! It wasn’t long before lips locked and for the first time ever I didn’t notice that we had taken off as I was so busy! I couldn’t quite believe what I was doing, when did I turn into such a slut? It suddenly struck me that my opportunity to join the ‘Mile High Club’ had just presented itself and I’m sure the same thought must have passed through his head because when I got up to go to the loo he asked me if I wanted him to accompany me! It was very tempting but I was convinced we’d be caught and as we were abroad a Royal Brunai aircraft I feared the consequences would be too great to bear!

I don’t know if I’ll ever get another opportunity to join the club, or if I’ll ever dare to take it if I do, but for now I’m happy with the decision I made! As for Z, well he’s already text me to see if I’ll meet up with him, I’m not sure there is any life in it but hey, you gotta keep trying!