An old friend as been wanting to come and hang out for a while. I've been putting her off, pretty much keeping her at bay for what feels like years. While there's no logical reason for it, if I'm honest, I don't feel good about myself when she is around me, in fact I feel disordinately crap. She's really totally harmless, quiet, but just clingy. Really really clingy. The slightest thought of her presence back in my life immediately makes me feel nervous and apprehensive. I just tend to shrink inside myself when she's around, even when she only swings my, which is so rare as I've been able to manage this relationship for a while. You just do have to look after yourself and keep away from whatever makes you feel bad about yourself, until you can really take the time to work out why that is. And some relationships you can't just cut them out of your life definitively, sometimes when they make a connection, they just keep on coming back. But right now, she's decided to be a little more forceful, and it's my fault for being lax and letting my guard down. So here she is again, resting around my middle. Most people have either a totally relaxed, mildly frustrated, or irritated yet apathetic relationship with weight, yet I've been on a different journey going back to my teenage years. Having a child made me look at and live in my body in a completely different way, as has probably been the case with every single woman since time imemorial who has done this magical yet totally commonplace thing. I loved my ripened stomach, I loved the purpose behind it all. I was totally grateful for breast-feeding and that walking everywhere with the pram gave me back my body, however now a year and a half of a 2 hour return commute to work sitting in a car, and no real me-time to give to yoga or the gym means that the monkey on my shoulder is creeping back. With baggage. And it may only be a few pounds, and it may not be apparent to other people as any major deal, but I know that for me the start can lead to an avalanche. So I'm turning to where you turn at these times - to tried and tested methods. We eat pretty healthily, but the two weeks in Trinidad & Tobago (thank you fried shark & bake, crab & dumpling soup, roti, curry, and "screw it, I'm going to just relax for just this once"), followed by 5 days in Brittany (ah, you're still here you creamy cheese temptress, you bottles of red wine, you saucy apricot tart), have led to being constantly aware for the last two weeks that the old friend/foe I've fended off for years is making herself at home. The thing is, I know it's neither the pounds themselves or this slightly alien, yet pointless feeling on my middle (at least if I were pregnant, there would be some point to it) that is the foe, it's my response to it that is. But I am trying to maintain positive energy around ST about these things, and I can't let myself slide towards those feelings of self-negativity, and I don't want to infect her even subliminally about body shape. There are a million different diets and fads out there, and while in general I'm really not into crash-dieting, and thankfully can stay away from more extreme measures, I'm heading to an old favourite - it's one that my family and I have always used to shift the odd few pounds, an oldie started up in the 70's called the Scarsdale. It lasts for 2 weeks, and my copy is well thumbed from putting together the menu that works for me (not too boring, not too basic, and a shopping list of what to get all ready for me to use - including the half-grapefruits every morning to kick-start your metabolic rate. Really. I am totally buying this.). I just don't have the mental space right now to try to tackle the real demons, so book in hand, I'll fend off the visible signs for now. And as I wrote about waaay back in April 2010 over on my blog www.mama-andmore (Fitting in the workout), I'll still be doing my crunches in the bathroom and squats in the shower. And taking some deep centering breaths. I've also learnt with this friend that I need to take it easier on myself.
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