Hey comrades, it’s confession time! I’ve been wanting to write this entry for over five years but have chickened out, time and time again. But now it’s got to the point where I’m so anxious and exhausted from keeping this dumb little secret that I need to come clean and get it over with. It’s a long story, so go make a cuppa if you need to.
In January 2001, when Pussycat was a mere whiny 6-month old, I was a Very Large Girl. So large that were no clothes left in the shops that fit me. So I decided to do something about it. And typically, I decided to write about it, too. But I didn’t want to write about it on here. I didn’t want any of the Pussycat People knowing how depressed and screwed up I was. I didn’t want to bore anyone with my fat girl whining.
In hindsight I know the Pussycat People would have been kind and supportive, but at the time I was so deeply ashamed and afraid that I couldn’t do it. In fact, I didn’t tell anyone. None of my friends, not even Rhiannon or The Mothership. So I started an anonymous blog, and posted what I hoped would be my Before picture with my face disguised by a Gaussian blur.
And so began five years of dedicated fat fighting, fat blogging, and near-hysterical guarding of my anonymity. By the time I moved to Scotland I had shrunk dramatically, but was still too terrified to talk about it out loud. When I hooked up with Gareth I didn’t even tell him. That’s the beauty of moving to the other side of the world, it’s a chance to leave the past behind and reinvent yourself.
Then last year I was lucky enough to be a contributor for Erin Shea’s book, Tales From The Scale. It was so exciting to see my name in print and on Amazon, and I thought that might be a good time to spill on here. But I still couldn’t bloody do it.
After keeping it quiet for so long it seemed lame to mention it now. I also worried some folk would be hurt or annoyed that I’d been so secretive and sneaky. Actually, I was mostly afraid of anonymous commenters gasping in shock, “You… hideous… FREAK!”.
Then in June things went mental. The book got published in the UK, a possibility I’d naively not considered. I thought I’d just be quietly happy to be in this book in America and nobody in my Real World would ever have to know. But then Grazia magazine published extracts of my chapters . And then the Sunday Mail ran a story, complete with my Before picture cut out so the text wrapped round my Jabba the Hut-esque frame.
When I arrived at work the next day I was well and truly outed. Everyone now knew that I was quite literally Half The Girl I Used To Be. Who’d have thought so many people read that shitty paper? All my colleagues, it seemed. And my friends. And my In Laws. I wanted to crawl under a rock and dieeeeee.
Even then, I still couldn’t fess up to the Pussycat People. I think Scott was the first to find out, from a random Google search I think. Then came a steady trickle of “Found you!” emails as blog worlds started to collide.
At first I felt ill, but then decided that if people discovered it, so be it. I decided to stop being so ashamed and instead be proud of how far I’d come. I even stopped blurring my face in the photos.
I’ve always been a secretive person. Hiding things under the bed, keeping people at arm’s length, compartmentalising different parts of my life. Secret diaries, secret letters, secret stashes; secret eating. When I was a kid we never had any privacy. Our bedroom doors always had to be open. My stepfather would constantly poke his head into our rooms to make sure we weren’t just sitting around reading books, which was apparently a crime. He’d pound on the toilet door if we were taking too long. I was so paranoid that I would keep all my secret treasures in a little bag, and cart them back and forth to my Dad’s house every weekend, paranoid that my parents would snoop in my room. My only sanctuary was the bottom of my wardrobe, where I’d hide for hours and read by torchlight.
But the problem with being so secretive is that you hold so much back from people. I poured my heart out into this anonymous blog, when I should have trusted my friends and family and opened up to them.
As much as I treasure the friendships I’ve made from the diet blog, I regret being so deceptive with people from the Real World. There’s things I’d written in my most pathetic, self-pitying moments that came back to haunt me when I was finally found out; it’s ruined at least one treasured friendship. I recently found out that my friends Rory and Jane had discovered the blog quite some time ago. I was so embarrassed that I could barely look them in the eye when we met up the other day.
I realised as we headed home on the Spew Bus that I need to stop being so ridiculous. I don’t want to kill off another friendship with my paranoia. So things need to change.
This week I’ve been a ball of angst as the blog was featured in The Scotsman. Would anyone else find out? Would anyone mention it in the Pussycat comments? Sure enough they did, and instead of creatively editing the comments like I’ve done in the past, I thought I’d best come clean. Especially since most of you had figured it out already anyway.
But in case you hadn’t, here’s the blog if you’re interested in that sort of thing – The Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl.
In further confessions, the reason I have been so distracted and my blogging has been so sporadic (read, shithouse) for the past few months is that I am attempting to write a book about my lard busting experience. I don’t have a deal or an agent or any of that glamorous claptrap, it’s just me typing for the hell of it. Even if it turns out to be complete dog turds and I publish it myself on the photocopier at work, at least I’ll have gotten it down.
So if things get quiet around here, you’ll now know why. I am completely freaking out right now at the prospect of hitting the Publish button on this entry. I think I’m on the verge of a spewnami! I’m sorry that I have kept so many friends and acquaintances in the dark for so many years. I apologise a bazillion times over. I hope you can understand why I felt the need to do it. I am a paranoid twit sometimes and I didn’t want to alienate anyone.
Okay, deep breath… here goes.