The 2008 run of Strictly Come Dancing was far from the best series which that show produced, but being the reality TV whore that I am, I watched it anyway. And one night, I did get swept away. Tom Chambers and Camilla Dallerup (a fairly mundane, if likeable, couple) danced their foxtrot (a fairly mundane, if likeable, dance). And it was absolute magic. I was completely transported. It was floaty and beautiful and romantic and everything anyone could ask from a dance. I can still see Camilla floating around that dancefloor like an angel in a lovely greenish-turquoise dress. And I can still hear the song, “Here You Come Again” by Dolly Parton.
I’d never heard that song before that night, but I’ve remembered it ever since. And when I’m feeling wistful, or lonely, or sad, I listen to it. And it never fails to make me float.
I remember in May 2012, when I’d just been kissed for the first time since 2008, on South William Street, where all the straight people could see, by an oh-so-hot man and I came home and had a nosebleed from the over-excitement of it all and obtained hugs from two of my Boys and then threw myself on my bed and cried over not having been kissed for four long years and heard a knock on my bedroom door, because one of my Boys had heard my crying and wanted to know if I was alright. While I was crying, Dolly had been keeping me company, and I’d been playing Here You Come Again on repeat while I emoted all over the place.
I don’t take music particularly seriously and “Here You Come Again” is one of very few sad songs that has real impact for me.
The major battle in my life has been the one with my own body. The few posts I’ve made since silencing the blog have been either about relationships or diets. And I have been repeatedly running myself into a brick wall with diets. A few minor successes over the summer, but generally, things have been going very badly.
I decided I needed a more extreme fix. I decided to go back to Motivation Weight Control Clinics. They do a very controlled programme and you get a weekly one-on-one weigh-in and consultation. I’ve been with them twice before, and never lost as much as I have with WeightWatchers/ by myself, but I just felt I needed this. It’s also quite expensive, and I was absolutely broke for the entirety of September and October, so I liked the idea of using my newly-earned money to do something good for myself in November.
So I made an appointment. I told myself that this time would be different. Of course, I was running late for my first appointment so I got a taxi. The taxi driver was listening to the wonderfully named “Sunshine 106 FM”. And as we drove to pay a perky middle-aged woman a huge sum, so she could sell me protein supplements and weigh me, what song came on the radio, only “Here You Come Again”.
Here I was coming again to a place I knew didn’t have the answer. I laughed for most of the rest of that taxi ride.
I still went in. They still got over €200 from me. But I showed a steel I didn’t know I had. Ten minutes after I left the “clinic” I went back and did something I’ve never done before. I demanded my money back, saying the programme was just too expensive for me. Eventually, one of the perky middle-aged women took me in and told me that this was life or death and now or never and that I needed it and I buckled. We negotiated a “deal” of €50 a week, plus €45 for protein supplements.
I failed utterly at the diet.
But I feel alright about it.
I’m once again determined and inspired. I’ve been planning 2014 for months now. And I have all kinds of plans, which I’ll share later. But one, inspired by the film “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, is a complete body reboot, with juice fasting and vastly rebalancing my diet with vegetables and fruit versus processed food.
I’ve bought a juicer and tried my hand at juicing vegetables and they taste great. I’m excited about January.
I need this. I don’t need to list my symptoms. I’ve done that a million times. Even though there are a few new ones. I’ve given up on shoes with laces, because they’re just too difficult. I find myself struggling to roll over in bed, as there’s just so much bulk to move. And personal hygiene is becoming increasingly challenging. I’ve broken another weight record. I’m once again at my heaviest: 26 stone 8 pounds (372 pounds or 168.7 kilos). I keep discovering new pains and new aches. I keep getting more and more tired. I discovered in November that I’m not really physically capable of a full-time job. I managed it for four weeks, but just.
A change is going to come.