Let's talk about mass. Because quite frankly, it's weighing on me.
It's been years, if at all, since I publicly griped about my size on this site. One, because it's generally boring. Two, because I've never really been, for want of a more PC phrase "fat enough". And three, because I've never wanted to make slimming pledges I knew in my heart of hearts I probably couldn't keep.
But I feel I need to write about it now, because it's become an issue that I no longer feel I have any control over. I need to take some control back, and perhaps clearly elucidating my thoughts can be a small step in that direction.
I have reached - for me, it is important to note - the "fat enough" stage.
I can't even bear to tell you what my mass is. I can't bear it. I'm ashamed, and embarrassed.
But I will tell you these facts.
I am 20 kilograms over my "ideal" mass.
I am 15 kilograms over my "goal" mass.
And I am 10 kilograms over my "that's really the upper limit" mass.
Much of this mass gain has been in the past 7 months, after I badly injured my left ankle the start of July, then spent the rest of winter hibernating in a den of carbohydrates.
It was only in September that I got the diagnosis of a torn tibia-fibular ligament, and with travel and starting a new job, then Christmas, now floods, I've yet to get the physio I really need for it.
But that doesn't really matter anymore. The ankle is well enough to move. I just haven't been moving it.
And so I'm comfortable writing here now because I realise this isn't about me, as good-opinion-seeking Natalie, wanting to hear platitudes of "You're not fat".
I'm writing because I am carrying too much mass on my frame. Yes, I'm tall, and I'm still in relative proportion, and they are the only reasons it doesn't "show" as much. What you don't see is the pain in my knees and ankles, which surely would be helped by having to haul less mass around. You don't see the increasing tightness of my bras, as my bust inflates. You don't feel the weight of excess flesh on your thighs, feeling like you're wearing sacks of flour strapped just above the knee.
Exercise - I've got to get back into it. I bought a FitBit late last year and have been wearing it religiously to monitor my steps every day. My target is the baseline 10,000 steps a day, but often I fall short, around the 8000 mark. But if I keep at it, and finally get into a daily walking routine, I might start seeing... I don't know. Something. Anything.
Diet-wise - I don't know what I'm going to do. I have all the knowledge for a healthy diet - lots of vegetables, lean protein, small amounts of carbs and sugar. And yet, I get bored cooking. I don't know how to make enough exciting healthy dishes. I don't have time, for God's sake.
My biggest problem has been junk food. I'm constantly snacking, constantly looking for something to put in my mouth. It's must be the same motor memory as smokers. I'd say I self-medicate with food, but that wouldn't be altogether true - mostly I'm just eating things because I can't stop eating things.
However, in July 2012 I made a promise to myself to cut out McDonald's and KFC for a month. I had the habit of dropping in and grabbing things off their $2 menus. It was a bad habit, so I stopped. For a month. I did it. I did have KFC later in 2012, but have stopped again as of January 1. And apart from the odd ice-cream or drink, I have not had any McDonald's food since July.
Good habits can be formed.
So I'm going to try something this month that could be tangentially beneficial.
I've placed a self-imposed ban on buying any new clothing, footwear or make-up.
This might not seem like much to those of you averse to shopping, but wandering through the Queen Street Mall is one of my key ways of relaxing.
This is not financially disruptive - I never buy ridiculously expensive stuff, and almost always buy on sale - but it is a way of hiding my increasing mass. "Nobody need know the size", I think, or "This brand always runs small", as I reach for a looser garment.
Well, bollocks to that. Time to face facts. I've got a shitload of clothes. I recently gave five bags of no-longer-worn gear to a charity shop, and I've still got a wardrobe full.
I'm going to try to wear all them across the month of February. That's 28 days of outfits. Once an outfit has been worn, it can't be repeated. I *may* have to reuse some bottoms as I don't have as many skirts and pants as I do tops, but I'm going to limit it to twice for each garment.
I'm pretty sure this is going to be as hellish as all get-out, and require a fair bit more planning than I probably realise. But I'm going to give it a go.
If nothing else, it should confirm to me exactly what doesn't fit/what I don't like wearing anymore, and I can reduce my wardrobe down even further. Then, come March, I can re-examine what it is I actually want to wear, and what I need to do diet/exercise wise to make it happen without the heartache.
I started on Friday 1 February with this Maiocchi cherry dress:
It's a lovely frock, but already getting tight across the bust. And while I was wearing it, the cherry pin at the front of the belt just popped off as I was walking. Just popped off! That's not a good sign.
Then on Saturday night I dressed down to attend Cliff Richard in concert:
It's nothing fancy, because I had the realisation that I probably shouldn't burn the nice stuff too early. On the plus side, this outfit plus accompanying multi-coloured Converse sneakers meant I got asked for ID at the casino as my Mum and I went in to have pre-Cliff dinner. Why yes, I could be under 18, thank you for asking.
Every few days I'll post more photographs - mostly so I can keep track of what I've worn.