Weight gain and loss, and gain and loss, and a gain and loss………………………

Here I am in June 2014 going through the process, yet again, of losing weight!  I have done it so many times in my life I am tired of it, so tired of it. You think I would have got it by now, the healthy eating and exercising thing. I am a health professional for goodness sake. But alas, apparently I still have things to learn.


I have used lots of companies over the years. Yes, I have become very anti weight loss companies.  I think they prey on vulnerable people and they never really have the skills or techniques to help them to stop this cycle. If they worked, more than the current 1 in 10, who goes on a weight loss programme, would keep it off.  Most put it back and more.   But do these companies stop their business? Hell no! They carry on taking the money, from mainly women, week in week out.  I now call it exploitation.  If your group leader is overweight think very hard – if their particular programme worked they would be slim.


My current company will remain nameless for the time being, as I am still using them.  I have used this particular company a lot in recent years. This is my third really big weight loss with them. I did a couple of what they would call “re-adjustments” in between, but they have me completely hooked as I know on their programme I do lose weight.  I am supposed to have learned by their counselling and CBT approach not to put it back on, but of course I have.  Their excuse always, that the client will keep it off, if she follows the advice.  Mmmm, but we need to get at the personal individual reason why we don’t.


So here it is, the killer question. Why do I put it back on again?  I can lose it, I am really good at losing it. I focus, I change my eating habits for the period of the diet and off comes the weight.

I can unfortunately put it on too, as I think ‘why can’t I have that’ like everyone else.  I don’t ever feel full, so now need a different kind of assistance to find a cut- off point.  I have tried smaller plates etc, but then feel deprived.  I think my particular issue is around the idea of someone else caring.

“No one cares about me, so why should I care about myself”.  I am completely a rebellious child for those who have done this kind of work.  I know they would reply “you have to care for yourself first”.  I do, but that has meant me rewarding myself with a disallowed goodie.  No none food item has rewarded me in quite the same way.


I acknowledge I have a bit of a self- esteem problem, from issues that happened in my childhood. I am aware of them and work with them to survive the big wide world as an adult.  So you would think that I would just accept that eating and eating will not make that aspect of my life any better. In fact it just makes it worse.  Mmmm    Still don’t think I am quite there yet.  Still have work to do.


We are not helped of course by the society in which we find ourselves in 2014.  I find it tragic that half the world is starving whilst the other half is obese.  That is so completely wrong.

I am totally against all these companies in the west pushing rubbish food and drink at us in advertisements all the time. Television is  complicit in this overeating encouragement. The money a company pays to advertise a sugary foodstuff is offensive.

“Everything has too much sugar in it” a recent health programme wails to combat the tide.  But apparently we do not like food that is not sweet, so sales drop if they take out the sugar.  Even a lot of foods that we view as savoury, have loads and loads of sugar in them to make them taste good.  I feel we are just being manipulated.


So, we are being victimised by the “weight loss” companies and being persecuted by the “food” companies.  So we are caught in the middle and they are all after our money.  So why are we not raging against them?  Do you know? I really don’t know, but we could if we really wanted.  Thousands of people suddenly stopping going to fast food restaurants would make an enormous impact.

Sadly that impact would be the loss of jobs in massive industries. These industries that we have supported and made possible by us buying crap food from them. These companies that are such a major part of our economy.  It is not in the business interest for us to stop eating.  I really am not sure what can be done in the short term. But surely moving to better, healthy foods has to be the future.


But we do have to look at this problem on an individual basis. Why does someone when they reach 100KG(16st 220lbs),  too big for most people, not stop?  Do they just not notice they are getting bigger, or do they choose to ignore it. There are people who eat and eat and can’t get out of their house because they get so big. Someone else must be bringing food in to feed them.  They then become complicit in the crime.  The feeders.   The large people who make cakes for everyone else to make themselves feel not too bad about eating cake.  But really as an individual you do have a choice, you don’t have to eat it.

There are people who are so big or disabled by their weight that they need electric scooters to move around. Surely it would be better if they walked to burn some calories. Surely the scooter is only going to make their situation worse.

I write as a temporarily disabled person who knows just what it feels like to be unable to walk very far,  But surely these aids, if you do not alter your food habits, make it worse.

Oh, just worked it out. This is yet another industry out to abuse and exploit a vulnerable population for money.  Selling or hiring scooters yey!

And the cosmetic weight loss surgery industry- well just don’t get me started.  This is in my opinion yet another industry, preying on vulnerable distraught individuals.   What the long term effects of gastric bands etc has yet to be evaluated. The jury is still out.  Many people after the surgery still try and overeat. It does not change their psychological attitude to food.


I also suspect that we have just got used to us being bigger. It is acceptable in the western hemisphere to be overweight. Clothes chains have altered their size range to fit the overweight person. This is right as big people do need clothes, but we have to notice about ourselves. Being overweight is not good for us.  This is too small a blog to go into all the health effects.  I believe no regular person should weigh more than 100Kg, really and that is still obese for most. When I reached that on the scale a few months ago, it scared me witless into the current programme I am on.


There are no medical issues that predispose to fatness. There is a condition called Lymphoedema where you lay fat down more in the bottom half of your body.  But even this responds to weight loss programmes. Hypothyroidism can be corrected by medication and then weight loss programmes do work.   Other medication can lead to increased appetite, hormones can apparently upset this too. But at the end of the day it is us who choose what we put in our mouths.


So, where are we at the end of this diatribe.  I have taken a great deal of thought as to whether or not to publish, as it is almost bound to hurt some people’s feelings.


But this is a personal record of my own journey to try and maintain a healthy weight. My thoughts, my experiences and my insights gathered over many, many years.  You never know, someone might be inspired to take their own journey of weight loss.

You cannot really blame anyone else for the body you have. It is you who chooses what and how much you put in your mouth.  We have become more sedentary as a people, therefore we need less food to fuel our activities. Probably a lot less than we want to eat.  We just have to get this. I have to get this.


I am sure……to be continued…..

Short story, wordpress 101

Close Encounter

WordPress challenge 101, Day Fifteen: Your Voice Will Find You

You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!



“Well that just isn’t fair!” Daniella exploded, as she moved closer to the stage. The council seemed pleased, that they were out of reach of this seemingly deranged woman.

“It is just a fact of life. my dear. We have to take advantage of every opportunity in these difficult times.”  The matronly woman tried to placate her, but clearly the expression “my dear” had just added fuel to the fire.

Up went Daniella onto the stage, climbing as if she were a twenty year old rather than the forty-three evidenced on her birth certificate.  There was the scraping of chair legs moving back, as the panel sought safety from the assailant.

Daniella made a beeline for Mr Bridges. Leader of the council. He was a bloated individual in his seventies, and he looked clearly shaken by her arrival in front of his nose.


“This is an absolute outrage” Daniella continued. “The scouts have had access to this village hall for the last fifty years. Who are you to say, out of the blue, that they can no longer use it?”

She was within touching distance of his nose, as she leaned forward hands on hips. He could feel her breath.


He pushed his hands on the arms of his chair and stood up, which forced Daniella to move slightly back.

“I know this sounds harsh, but we really have no other option. In order to make money for the council the Village Hall is to be rented out to the stage school for the next six months.  It will be in use day and evening and will bring in important revenue.”  He was towering above her as he looked down.

“Now, if you would just mind leaving the stage”. He sighed patiently and gestured to the left. “I am sure there are other’s in the audience with questions to ask”.  Moving to one side he addressed the public below.

Daniella wheeled on the man. She grabbed him by his lapels and kneed him hard in the groin.  He crumpled to the floor quickly, in obvious agony.

There was a gasp. Then a roar and then the room seemed to move forward as one body towards the stage. Some went to grasp Daniella, others made a beeline for Mr Bridges as he lay moaning on the floor.


Her friend managed to get to Daniella first and pulled her roughly to one side.  “What on earth possessed you to do that?!  He will now prosecute you for assault I’m sure”. She shook her head incredulously. “ The scouts will just have to find another place to do their club nights.”

She stopped her ramblings and then looked closely at her friend. Daniella was limp and pale and trembling. Not the usual response you would expect, after kicking the leader of the council in the balls!.

“What’s wrong?  Did something else happen up there that we didn’t see?”

“It was him.” Daniella’s words, barely audible, escaped from her dry lips. “It was him.”

“Who, …..what ……? For goodness sake Danny, what on earth are you talking about?”

Daniella spoke slowly and deliberately staring out into space.  “At the back of the gym, when I was nine.” She breathed hard.  “He put his hands down my knickers and then told me not to tell anyone or else my mum would die.”  She paused.

“ I remembered that same stale smell of sweat, that I’ve been trying to forget for years.”


Short story, wordpress 101

Caught in the act

Writing 101, Day Twelve: (Virtual) Dark Clouds on the Horizon

Today, write a post with roots in a real-world conversation. For a twist, include foreshadowing.



“You mean she actually caught them, in the act?”

“Yep, right there under the sheets on their bed. She’d only changed them that morning”. The woman added.

“What on earth did she do” The first woman asked incredulously

“What could she do, she lost it completely.  She was screaming, shouting. She really threw a wobbly”. The dark haired woman was now gleeful in her story.

The listening blond woman gazed open-eyed at her friend. “Did she do anything to the woman?”

“Apparently she managed to pull the sheet off, leaving her totally naked in the bed. Then she threw the water from a flower vase all over her”,

“What was he doing at the time?” enquired blondie.

“He had leapt out of bed and was trying to stop his wife doing anything else.”

The question hung in the air for a while “Was he still naked too?”

“Oh yes, and he received the bunch of roses right where it hurts!”

They were both giggling conspiratorially now.  But aware their conversation might have been overheard, they looked up.


“Is there something I can help you with ladies?  If not, please get on with your work.”

Their boss moved quickly passed them. He of course had heard every word.


As he moved away their laughter burst forth behind him.

Trying to retain some semblance of dignity, he could do nothing but to continue to walk gingerly away.

wordpress 101

Letter of life

Writing 101 Daily challenge, Day Fourteen: To Whom It May Concern

Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What jumps out at you? Start there, and try a twist: write in the form of a letter.



Dear Mr WordPress

I am writing in response to your request to pick up the nearest book, flip to page twenty nine and react to what jumped out. The line that leaped out at me was “The aim of life is self-development”.

It is my experience that this kind of phrase is voiced at times of, or following, extraordinary personal crisis. Whatever is happening to you, it is important to take a moment to take stock and see how this changes your future.  After a period of adjustment many extraordinary and influential individuals have come to the same opinion.  What point is life unless you take it by the shoulders and give it a good shake. There is no point on dwelling about things in the past, there is so much of life in the future to discover and learn about.

Life can be extremely short, but sometimes those short lives can have a major  impact on other people’s lives in the wider world.  I am not talking about celebrities in this regard, I am talking about normal people in the world. For example: the young girl with an incurable disease, raising awareness for research even though it will have little impact on her prognosis. But during the process she meets celebrities and goes on trips and to places that she could only dream of before. She is totally living her life to the full.

Then there is the doctor who is dying of cancer. She finds it very important to share her experiences of care and as a consequence has had a great impact on how care staff introduce themselves. At the same time she finds herself speaking at conferences and on radio and TV. These are things that again, she would never have dreamed of having the opportunity to do, but she is grabbing by both hands and living her life.

Soldiers, who return from war without limbs and who have initially had extreme difficulty coming to terms with the loss. But then they learn to use their new artificial limbs and find that they can have a different life now. Then they find themselves on trips with British royalty doing treks in wild places.  Even with their own limbs they had never anticipated doing such extraordinary things. Their adversity has led them to another life.


Life is for learning and living. We develop as people as a consequence of what life throws at us. Let us not let life defeat us. Let life make us grow.


I am not sure if this was the letter you were expecting. I am very interested to read what the other life learners have sent in response.


With kind regards


Helen Young



The picture of Dorian Gray. p29 of The complete Works of Oscar Wilde Magpie Books 1993


wordpress 101

Rug in front of the fire

Writing 101, Day Eleven: Size Matters

Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to — and vary — your sentence lengths.


Rug in front of the fire


The council house. Yes, that is where I was. Salford, Manchester aged twelve.

As council houses go it was quite nice, I think. But of course being that age I had really nothing else to compare it too. Saying that, I did go to friends’ houses sometimes, but they all seemed to have living rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, what else was I supposed to notice? Not all of them were council houses though. But it did not seem to matter or enter my brain back then that it might.

The thing that does stick in my mind though, is the rug in front of the fire. We used to have a coal fire when I was younger. My dad would load it up every morning before work and then we would benefit at night. I would sit or lie in front of it, burning my legs. Sometimes coals would leap out at me or miss and end up on the rug. My mother would go mad.

Then the council workmen came and changed it to a gas fire. The rug in front changed colour; texture and size frequently as my mother desired.  But there was always a rug in front of the fire.

The reason why I remember the rug is that I spent a lot of time there. On my tummy, watching TV, or playing with the house tortoise. Yes, I did say tortoise. Tommy arrived when I was seven because my sister’s guinea pig had killed mine. My dad was being kind, buying this unusual ancient creature for me. Tommy has outlived my dad.  We have had him for almost forty-six years. He is the longest pet I have ever known anyone have. I am certain he will outlive my mother and then he will come to live with me.

Aged twelve, we were still playing on the street, cricket or rounders. The estate was still quiet enough to do that even though we lived on a through road. Not everyone had a car back then.  We would set up our gear in the middle of the street and we would play. It used to annoy some of the neighbours with our shouting and balls ending up in their gardens. In hindsight, it was really only harmless fun. I had lots of friends in the adjoining streets who went to the same school. So there was always somebody to play with. It was quite a community. My mum knew everyone and it took ages to get to the shop sometimes, as everyone would stop to chat.

I go back often. I was actually born in the upstairs front room. My mum is still there in the council house. There is still a rug in front of the fire.



wordpress 101


It is only recently that I have been receiving and giving comments on blog posts.  As a person who has commented on others posts, especially via wordpress101 daily challenge.  I believe I have tried to be constructive, but to offer an opinion that makes the writer think then next time they write.  I have learned a great deal from reading other’s work in this blogesphere.  It has affected me so much I have created this new blog space to write about other things rather than just midwifery.

As a person now receiving comments, well there is something else. I of course like all the nice comments, the favourites and the shares. But when someone has something detrimental to say, the hackles rise and it gets to you.  Recently a fellow writer took great umbrige at a comment about the overuse of one word.  She actually said I was a Troll.   Still very new to the genre but get that a toll is not a great thing to be.   But I have thought about this now. If you don’t want to receive comments on your writing, don’t blog on the world wide web.

You don’t have to accept comments.  You even have the right to moderate the comment so it cannot be seen. But all comments are good comments. They make you think, move on and develop.  I swear I am open to receive.