Wednesday, 22 August 2012

'A (wo)man's homeland is wherever (s)he prospers.' - Aristaphanes

I've been meaning to write this post for a long time...months really. Ever since I left university in June. I've just never really had the right words for it.

Here's the deal - I don't lose weight when I'm at 'home'. Because I'm the product of a broken home (I know right, irreparably damaged, multiple mummy-and-daddy-don't-love-me scars - its definitely their fault I'm fat) I have two homes.

Except their not. Not anymore. They stopped being 'home' the day I went to university.

I don't think anyone really goes home after they've been to university - or lived away from home for an extended period of time in any capacity. When you move out of and then return to the parental home something just changes. There's a shift in the dynamic, because both you and your parents know that you don't depend on them in the same way that you used to. The threat of having to sort your own dinner out and do your own washing and tidy your room doesn't carry quite the same weight as it once did, because you've just spent three years doing all those things anyway. While I like not having to do the washing and enjoy the fact that my dinner is on the table when I get home from work, it wouldn't be the end of the world if I had to do those things for myself. I mean, I'd rather not...but if it came to it, I could. Does that make sense? Probably not.

The point I'm trying to get at here is that 'home' - the houses in which my respective parents, step-parents and siblings reside - isn't home anymore. My home is in Canterbury, on Glen Iris Avenue, or Longmeadow Way, or in Tyler Court C. People say that home is where the heart is, and as much as I love my family (both of them, in fact) my heart is still in Canterbury. And that is due in no small way to the fact that Canterbury is where I 'prospered' - and by prosper I mean lost weight the most effectively.

The truth of it is, I can't lose weight when I'm at my parents house/houses. The parental houses is where I was when my size started snowballing. I always tend to skip over that part in my mind as something not important - blaming it on driving, boozing, my know, the usual. The truth is, its not quite that cut and dry. I gained weight living in these houses, and in the three years since I moved out nothing has really changed. There's no reason to think that the homes in which my weight first started rapidly increasing should have suddenly become productive to my weight loss.

Firstly, I come from a family of big eaters. Neither my mum nor my stepmum are shy when it comes to portion sizes. Dinners are never particularly unhealthy but there's a lot of them, and if its on my plate I'll eat it. Simple as that. A problem easily remedied when living away from home, because it was never on my plate to start with.

Then of course there's the contents of the cupboards. The house - both houses - were, and still are, heaving with chocolate, crisps, cakes, thick-cut white bread, ice cream, sweets and god knows what else. And despite not one of my younger siblings caring a jot about their weight, the bananas always get finished before the chocolate does. So I go into the kitchen for a snack - no fruit, but f*** me sideways there's sure to be six different types of chocolate bar in the cupboard. And what can I say? 'Don't buy chocolate for the kids anymore parents, because your disgusting fat oldest child can't keep her chubby little fingers out of the biscuit tin'? Sadly it doesn't quite work like that. How can I expect seven other people to go without just because I have no self-control. Again, not a problem in my own place because I just didn't buy the stuff (most of the time).

But perhaps the biggest issue is the support. I was surrounded by support in Canterbury. I had the best Weight Watchers meeting in existence to attend, a fabulous leader and three fellow student/Weight Watchers to talk to/go to the gym with/send semi-hysterical texts to when a cheesecake inadvertently ended up on the table in front of you. We bolstered each other. We shared in each others victories and we suffered the setbacks together. If one of us had a bad week the rest of us were gutted too. I had people from my course or old housemates or just completely random people who I'd met along the way telling me how great I looked and how much I'd achieved. I also had a social life - and let me tell you that nothing is a bigger motivator to put down the tub of Ben and Jerry's and get your arse to the gym than the prospect of not fitting into your outfit on a Vensday. Even my third year housemates were a support and an encouragement in their own way - nothing like having a parade of scantily clad skinny girls going through your house to keep your own shortcomings at the front and center of your mind. I'm kidding! Well, sort of...

Now I have none of that. I have no meeting to attend, no tight-knit group of supporters, no housemates to encourage/insult me, and no real social life to speak of (because I still haven't been bloody paid!). I miss Canterbury. I miss university. I miss my housemates and my friends and my meeting and my gym. Most of all I miss feeling like I'm in control. The fact that I'm not going back to university is finally really sinking in - up until this point it had just felt the same as the previous two summers, when I was home for a few months before heading back. Now September is fast-approaching and its hitting me that this is it. Real life. Living in this house, going to work at this job (or one similar), every day for the forseeable future. I like my job, and I don't hate living at home...I just hate the fact that I've turned back into the Lauren of 2009, as opposed to the healthy, happy, outgoing Lauren of the last couple of years. I like 2012 Lauren. She's much more fun. And she's got a smokin' body for an ex-fatty. I want her to come back.

Sorry about the slightly random and miserable post these evening guys...its just been one of those days. In fact, its been one of those weeks...

Lauren xxx


  1. Fact, fact, fact. You know I love you for being so honest, love, and I agree. We always say we don't want it to affect those around us but that's easier when we cook our own food from our own food cupboard and keep temptation out of sight where we can. Texting my fellow WWer just isn't the same as knowing you'll see then in a few days for coffee and a big complainfest. Just remember that you DO have self-control because there's no way in hell that someone without self-control does as amazingly as you have! Not a chance!! These are just the battles we win and lose to win the war and you've come way too far to go back now!! Work through it angel and we'll have a mega catch up call when I'm home!! Love you xxx

  2. I know exactly what you mean! I always gain weight when I "home". Especially after being at school, I would come home and eat the snacks mostly my dad would have around - the chips and chocolate- and we tend to have fatty appetizers and wine before dinner... then the actual dinner. Ugh its so hard to have control when you're not in your own environment. But just voice your concerns and make sure everyone knows you want to eat healthy. Also have healthy stuff in the house so there's a better alternative! Good luck, you can do it, it's just the initial push thats hardest.

  3. Yes it's so hard to go back home after you've been away at Uni. I was home for a few months, went travelling, then moved to Manchester on my return!


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