2

Day 623 – Thank You to Good Friends…We Are Yet to Meet.

I don’t care if it takes me a trillion days, a billion fails and a million restarts.

I owe it to myself and to every single person who reads this blog and who cares about my journey, to keep chipping away at my fat, until I reach goal.

So….I’m back on the diet wagon.

I want to say a massive thank you to all of you who have followed my journey and those of you who have become my friends on Facebook through this blog, and who have extended a real and genuine hand of friendship.

thank you

Although we have not met face to face…yet, your friendship and support are tremendously important and hugely appreciated by me.

Let’s face it, you know my innermost thoughts, which 99% of people closest to me in the “real world”, whatever that is, are not privy to. 

You are all very important to me as real and virtual lives merge in our world.

The comment below on my Facebook following my last post, from an incredible lady who I have not met…yet, but who I greatly admire and very much care about, like I do my closest “real life” friends, moved me more than I can express.

And so, I say, thank you.

“You are so brave! What a journey you’ve been on! I remember a year ago telling you it would get easier….and I stand by that….it does, but I too, after 8 years of being divorced received a letter from my ex last week…and it still hurts. In my experience the pain dulls, but it never leaves entirely.

But that discomfort mustn’t stop you moving forward with your life and pursuing your own happiness every moment of every day!

This may not be the outcome you’d have chosen but it is a new page, a clean sheet for you to put your mark on, and knowing you lovely one, it’ll be beautiful!!! Big Love xxxx”

2

Day 620: FFS – Let Them Drink Wine.

This has been an eventful week.

I went for a two hour, 360 health assessment which is basically a full health check-up. Every part of my body, in and out, was prodded and tested.

I guess part of the reason I wanted to do it, was to make sure that the stress of the end of my marriage hasn’t resulted in physiological ill-health, after all, stress is a killer.

The good news is that my lung function in some parameters was as much as 133% of women my age, surprising given that my system is somewhat compromised by bouts of childhood pneumonia and bronchitis etc for which I attend hospital for monitoring.

Following ECG, I was told that I have 0.7% chances of having a stroke or heart attack in the next 10 years.

Not bad for an old bird.

The bad side is that I am a bit anaemic and low in calcium.

The doctor also thinks I’m somewhat depressed and should restart psychotherapy. I told him I had completed the 16 paged extremely detailed questionnaire (WTF!) on a particularly pissed off day and was irritated by the length of the form.

He was sympathetic.

I have lost nearly two inches in height since my last test in 2010 which could be related to my chronic back issues or bone loss. WTF. The doctor has referred me to a hospital for a bone density scan, just to be sure. If it is bone loss, I get to pop some more pills.

I also had my breasts examined by the nice, very handsome doctor.

“The good thing about your right breast is that it is very soft.” He said having examined one breast.

I resisted the urge to giggle at the most non-sexual feeling of my breasts ever, by a very attractive man.

Next week, I will have a mammogram to complete the health MOT.

Following the test, I met up with a lovely lady I used to work with and who I am rather very fond of. We hugged and kissed the way old friends do.

Like she always does whenever she sees me, she said:

“And how is Chris? Are you two still madly in love and as happily married as ever?” She asked with a very wide smile ready to listen to me go on about the merits of married life ,for I was once one of the smug married.

Poor lady was mortified and very apologetic when I told her I was divorced, having had the divorce from hell, two court hearings and 18 months from hell, with a pending case about a Mac Computer.

It’s great to see one’s life through the eyes of others.

She was lovely.

Declared that I had a chance to reinvent myself.

Told me money is the root of all evil and can change people.

Reminded me that I was great at my job and encouraged me to return to work, even if for one day a week.

“You write beautifully. You could be a writer. You could be a blogger. You could be a public speaker. You were fantastic at the talks you used to give.”

I smiled broadly at her and we agreed to arrange a girlie night out with another mutual friend.

I left her with smiles and a renewed sense of self worth.

She immediately followed up with a text message, a friends’ request on Facebook and she set the ball rolling for our girlie night out.

Following an extremely long day, I came back home to a letter addressed in a handwriting I thought was that of my ex husband. I quickly dismissed the thought as it wasn’t the first time I had thought a handwritten letter was from him.

But alas, this time, it was indeed my ex.

Inside the envelop was a signed letter.

Also, a first class stamp.

And a handwritten letter that said:

“Please sign & send to the court. Thanks. No need for anything further. Chris.”

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He had signed a letter asking the court to dismiss the hearing for the Mac Computer.

I was stunned.

I had been resigned to attending court to talk shit about the Mac Computer.

I had even started drafting my witness statement.

I felt overwhelmed with unexpected sadness.

On Tuesday February 24th, 2015, my life as I knew it, ended with the discovery of my ex husband’s affair. The madness that started that day, cumulated in his leaving our previous matrimonial home on 18th April, 2015, followed by email from his business trip in Singapore on Monday May 4th, 2015, telling me he wasn’t coming back home and instead, he had found a flat in Weybridge, 5 minutes from Mylien, the married mother of two he had an affair with. Prior to my finding out about his affair, this woman had told him that if he left his wife, she would leave her husband. Mylien remains married to her husband, the father of her two children.

20 months after I found out about this affair, this fucking nightmare is finally, truly over. It’s OVER.

So, why am I having a second glass of wine as I write this diary entry?

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Why have I immersed myself in activities since Tuesday, spending all day, doing things because I do not want to give myself time to think?

Why do I feel like I need to finally mourn the end of my marriage to someone who I had regarded as the love of my life and who had told me countless times I was his? And yet, I refuse to spend any more time mourning any such marriage because I have wasted quite enough time on all that, thank you very much.

Why do I feel sadness at the thoughts that I will spend the rest of my life alone and single because I will never ever make myself that vulnerable ever again?

I have no answers or wise words to explain how I feel.

One of my readers once wrote that it would take at least half of the number of years I spent with my ex to get over the pain of divorce. That would mean that it would over 7 years. That’s a very long time and I don’t want to believe that would be the case, not if I can help it.

Life goes on.

Shit happens.

Sometimes, life throws unexpected balls.

But it’s down to us whether we swim or sink and I am already swimming.

I have also started a little venture that I’m excited about.

If like today, I feel like drinking red wine, I won’t beat myself up about it. A little bit of wallowing is OK too, as long as it has been a day like today, when I worked pretty hard, all day on my little venture and get to wallow a bit in my downtime.

fall-apart

In other news, did anyone watch the Walking Dead premier? OMFG.

 

 

4

Day 610 – From the mouth of babes….

Yesterday, I spent nearly 5 hours in the company of two delightful boys, one is 7 and the other is 5.

We baked shortbread biscuits and a two layered vanilla birthday cake, with buttercup frosting, complete with birthday messages and candles, after which we invited their parents and 5 month old brother to join our little tea party.

I did not even have a teeny weeny piece of cake.

This is a first.

Ever.

There is hope for me yet.

birthday-cake

At one point, the 5 year old declared that I was his best “Belle.” His mum tells me this is the height of his compliments.

At another point, he said:

“Mummy said you’re separated from your husband and you are no longer friends. You have two new friends, X and Y.” He proclaimed, naming his brother and himself.

That comment nearly moved me to tears. I gave both of them a high five, a kiss and a cuddle.

He also declared that I had the nicest kitchen in the whole wide world.

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Isn’t it just amazing how kids can make everything seem so easy and uncomplicated?

not-complicated

Since the last time that I wrote, the transfer of equity of my beautiful home into my sole name has completed. I looked at the title deed with my full name on it, with tears of joy, so much pride and immense gratitude that I have come out of my nightmare with a clean break and with my home as mine.

Just over a week ago, I finally deleted my ex ‘s phone numbers and that of his mum and sister from my contact list. The time was right and it felt good to have that firm closure.

But…things are not completely over.

My ex is still continuing with his ridiculous and crazy stance of taking me to court to fight over a previously jointly used mac computer which is over three years old and which I have been using alone since he left in April 2015.

The fact that this man is going ahead with this utterly ridiculous case tells me that his madness has not waned. His ludicrous barrister, with over 20 years experience, had demanded half a day of a busy Central London court, the busiest family court in the country, to talk shit about this computer.

The court has allocated 5 minutes instead of the demanded half a day.

Oh and for this laughable case, we are both required to prepare like a real case, exchange witness statements, evidence and all sorts.

I have been told to be prepared to be totally lambasted by an angry judge for this stupid matter coming to court but so be it. 

I look forward to a fun trip to Central London after which I will meet a friend for dinner and have a laugh.

crazy

In other news, I am still doing well in my diet.

I am also using my gym and in the last couple of weeks, have decided to weigh once a week instead of my previous obsession of weighing two or three times daily.

2

Week One, Day 572 – My Journey…Is Right on Time

A planned day off my diet, ended up being a week off my diet.

And so, on Saturday, I had yet another restart and so far, I’ve been 100% on my diet.

I am beginning to worry whether I will fail in this diet quest.

I obviously do not want to fail.

I am currently at a weight that is comfortable for me and I have never really managed to get below this sort of weight in any diet that I have been on.

Ever.

I have been on a quest to lose weight since age 9. I am 43 years old. 34 years of excessive fat is a long history to overcome. Even if I think of my weight struggles as an adult, since the age of 18, that means 25 years old of history. That’s a lot of years.

It is easy to give up.

It is easy to say that I have failed at every attempt to get to a healthy weight all my life and why should this time and this diet be any different.

It is easy to say that my history is very much against me.

It is easy to accept that maybe I’m just not meant to ever be a size 6.

It is easy to let the negativity get to me.

But self-love is about telling yourself the truth and being brutally honest with yourself.

Self-love is about admitting that there are all sorts of plans I have for my future that will never happen if I remain obese.

Self-love is about being the best version of myself that I can be.

Self-love is about reminding myself that I have survived 17 months of pure hell. That girl that thought that she didn’t want to live because her marriage ended, that girl who would cry herself to sleep over the heartbreak of the end of her marriage, survived that pure hell.

If I can survive 17 months of pure hell, surely I can control what goes from my hands to my mouth and therefore whether I remain obese forever or have a better life at a healthy weight.

I am channelling the me that  achieved ambitions way beyond all limitations even when I’m told by those who should know better to lower my expectations and ambitions.

I am channelling the me that achieved first class honours degree, distinction in post graduate studies, who won every single academic prize available and ended up  working in one of the top companies in the world in my professional field, before illness caused me to stop work.

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I am channelling the me that has a can do attitude that means that no is never the answer and who uses intelligence and creativity to create solutions for every problem that presents itself.

I am channelling the me that may have been dealt with a few bad hands by fate but is still standing and still finds reasons to smile.

I know the me above is still very much around, because that person is the only reason I could have survived my 17 months of hell.

That person can get to the end of this weight loss quest.

And so, I pledge that I do not care how often I fall down on this quest to break a weight problem of a lifetime, I will get up whenever I fail and I will carry on.

mirror-mirror

I do not care that every body else on the internet is losing all their excess weight in a few short months and my journey is taking forever. We are all different and we all have our own lives and quests to overcome.

This is my journey and it will take as long as it takes.

I do not care that my body doesn’t lose as much weight as everyone seem to do on the Cambridge diet, I will keep going.

I do not care that my body frustrates the hell out of me by often ceasing to lose weight when I am doing everything right, I will keep going until I reach my destination.

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And so, here I am again, promising myself and everyone who has followed my weight loss quest that I will keep going until I hit a healthy weight or at least a weight that I have never achieved before given that I have no idea whether an NHS prescribed BMI friendly weight would look good on this 43 year old who has never been a healthy weight.

I am on yet another self-imposed 28 days challenge to lose a stone. The plan is to stay strictly on my diet except for one meal when a very good friend is taking me out to a very fancy restaurant for lunch. Yes, there is something like a free lunch…

And yes, it will be one lunch that will not be 100% on plan, but this time, it will stop at only one meal and not one week.

Week One, Day 572’s Verdict: today’s weight 90.1 kg, week’s weight loss 3.6 kg (7.9 pounds); total weight loss;  33.7 kg; 74.1 pounds; 5 stones 4 pounds

 

4

Week Two, Day 558: Let Them Eat…Salad

It’s been a frustrating week on the weight front.

I have done my bit by staying on my diet 100% and my body has simply refused to play ball. I was 89.8 kg on Saturday, and since then, it’s been ups and downs, mostly ups and today, I am 90.6 kg. 

The weather in London has been very hot all week, and my consultant Mandy thinks it could be water retention which would of course make sense even though I’m very good with water, drinking around 3600ml or more of water daily.

It could also be hormonal. For the first time in years, my period is over 10 days later.

And no, there is zero per cent chance of me being pregnant.

On the Cambridge diet, I am allowed 80g in total of specific vegetables daily. This week, I have been craving big bowls of salad, the sort of salad I used to have when I was low carbing. A big bowl full of goodness. A bowl of mixed green salads (allowed on Cambridge diet as part of 80g daily allowance), black olives (not allowed), cucumber (allowed), salad onions (allowed), sweetcorn (not allowed), carrots (not allowed), assorted peppers (only green pepper allowed), chick peas (allowed as part of daily protein allowance)

A voice in my head is constantly asking what sort of stupid diet means that I cannot have a big bowl of salad if I fancy one?

C’mon, no one has ever gained weight by eating just salad.

I tell that voice that this is the smallest I’ve been in years.

chopped salad

OK, screw all that. 

If I still don’t lose any weight tomorrow, I’m having roast lamb, sweet potatoes and a big bowl of salad this weekend.

There are worst crimes against dieting.

It’s not like I’m planning to eat pizzas and cakes…

And who knows, a departure from the norm might shock my body and kickstart weight loss once again.

Week Two, Day 558’s Verdict: today’s weight 90.6 kg, week’s weight loss 0.1 kg gain (0.22 pounds); total weight loss;  33.2 kg; 73.04 pounds; 5 stones 3 pounds

2

Day 551 – The End, the Absolute End and Nothing But the End, So Help Me God.

I received my decree absolute in the post today.

I am now formally and fully a divorced woman.

I have mixed emotions.

On one hand, I feel sad that my marriage had ended. I got married in a Catholic Church to a non Catholic and in order to do so, I needed dispensation from the pope to marry a non-Catholic in the church. I am a lapsed Catholic and the first to admit that I rarely ever go to church but various parts of the religion and Christianity as a whole, are still very important to me. I also firmly believe that my relationship with God transcends organised religion.

I married in church firmly believing that it would last forever. I believed in the vows I made and in sticking to my marriage in sickness and in health. I firmly believed in taking the good with the bad. I made a firm commitment to stick with my marriage even when my ex’s erectile dysfunction and the bad or lack of sex drove me insane. I stuck to my marriage even though I desperately wanted children and my ex’s issues had presented difficulties.

That happily ever after thing hasn’t worked out for me and I am at peace with that. My marriage ended and I have moved on.

Perhaps having a failed marriage is not something to celebrate but after the hell my ex has put me through, my feelings of sadness at the end of marriage, are also mixed with relief and gratitude that this chapter of my life is finally, firmly over.

good things fall apart

I am no longer connected to this man who has turned out to be anything but the saint I had painted him to be.

I am no longer connected to a liar, a cheat, a weak, dishonest man, an unintelligent person who has shown himself to be incapable of being an adult or a real man or a thinking man who uses his God given thinking faculties, someone who is decent and recognises right from wrong, and who doesn’t just blindly follows “legal advisement”, whatever the fuck that means, especially when that advice is clearly flawed, repugnant, heartless, mean-spirited and immoral.

I am no longer connected to an undignified man whose memory is so short, he lacks any sense of decorum, loyalty, honesty and the barest of human decency.

For sure, a failed marriage is not a cause for celebration but I never asked for my marriage to end, it wasn’t my choice. It has happened and I have made peace with that fact.

But now I have a second chance in life. A chance to work on myself, to be the best version of myself that I can be.

A chance to pursue happiness, follow my dreams, make a success of my life but without ever losing my humanity or the fundamental belief that no matter what successes or failures I face, I must always remain a GOOD person.

So whilst I have mixed emotions that this part of my life has firmly ended, I am also thankful for a chance to start again.

God never shuts one door

 

7

Week One, Day 550: Make the Rest of My Life…the Best of My Life

I haven’t posted for over a month even though I have a hell of a lot to report.

I’m not exactly sure why, other than perhaps I have been a little overwhelmed by the last few weeks and the reality that this is it, the rest of my life.

Let me explain…

Five weeks ago, my ex and I spent a very very very long day in court, as in went into court at 10 am and we were in and out to see the judge several times until we were finally thrown out just after 5 pm.

For anyone who has been following my diary, I am super thrilled to announce that the end result, is that I got the only thing that I had told my ex from Day 1 of the nightmare was non-negotiable; I get to live in my beautiful home where I have lived for over 12 years, and lovingly extended and refurbished in a 9 months from hell, which only ended a month before I found out about my ex ‘s affair.

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I am enormously relieved that I will not be forced out of my home or be forced to sell, something my ex had been pushing for even, in that second court hearing, including once giving me a 5 day ultimatum at some point, to agree to immediately sell my home.

My home will not be sold.

I can stay here for the rest of my life, should I choose to do so and in exactly 5 weeks time, my ex will transfer his share of the equity to my sole name.

I had not realised that I had psychologically stopped myself from enjoying my lovely home because of the uncertainties of whether or not I could stay here.

For the first time in 16 months, I can exhale.

I still find myself going around various rooms in my four bedroom home and my garden, enjoying various things, as if seeing them for the first time.

These roses and the rosemary bushes under the umbrella (in the pictures below) had been planted at a time when my fate seemed so uncertain; there is something to be said about the power of positive thinking.

garden august 2016garden roses august 2016

The saddest part of the settlement is the fact that in return for his share of his house, I will pay my ex, a figure that is exactly what I had instructed my lawyers to offer him in September 2015.

Instead of making a counter-offer and entering negotiations for settlement, my ex had refused the offer, refused to counter-offer and instead, we got heartbreaking crap like him asking for proof of serious illnesses he had witnessed first hand for 14.5 years and comments saying my desire to stay in my home of over 12 years was “aspirational.

Had my ex chosen to negotiate, this matter would have easily ended last year without the need for two court hearings, unbearable stress or both of us spending well in excess of £50,000 on legal fees.

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The settlement reached by my ex and I was a clean break which means that any maintenance payments were consolidated into me having the lion share of the capital in my home, something I am very happy with as I am certain if there had been a maintenance order, my ex would have done anything to wiggle out of paying, including moving to another country, which he could easily do with his current bank job.

My lawyers had been opposed to a clean break which my ex had insisted upon.

In the end, following a very long day where my ex and his lawyers had behaved so badly, my solicitor and barrister had declared they had never dealt with such pettiness and unpleasantness.

In what was a most difficult day, I saw my lawyers transform from young, highly intelligent professionals, to human observers, giving me hugs, back and shoulder rubs, a few loud out loud explicit descriptions of the other side that most certainly helped to ease the tension, plus laughter and humour from the three of us on a very difficult day.

One of them summed up the day by saying.

“I am so happy you got your clean break and won’t have anything to do with this unpleasant man who would have wiggled out of any maintenance anyway. No amount of money would have compensated for having this nasty, little man in your life.”

I am extremely grateful to God for the deal reached at this second court hearing, which was massively better than what I would have gotten on a final hearing, especially when my barrister indicated that I would have had a 10% chance of keeping my beautiful home, if we had gone to a final hearing. 

i-have-so-much-to-be-thankful-for

Three weeks ago, my ex came to my home to collect the remainder of his things. I got the chance to ask him a few questions including why he asked for evidence of my illnesses or why his lawyer, who is in the same law firm as the sister of the woman he had an affair with, chose to email me on our wedding anniversary to say he wanted a divorce.

His answers to all were that he was “acting under legal advice.”

It’s called legal ADVICE for a reason.

Someone advises, and you, a thinking, intelligent, human being with free will, who isn’t a brainless, dead, zombie, will choose which advice to accept or/and modify, like any decent human being would do.

Asking for evidence of genuine illnesses you experienced first hand over 14.5 years and even attended various hospital appointments with me, or coming late by over 2 and a half hours without a mail, a text, a WhatsApp or anything to indicate your lateness but instead, bring along a locksmith to break into my home, is the act of a callous, heartless cad.

I also asked my ex why he has been so angry with me and what had caused him to behave as badly as he’s done. He said he wasn’t angry with me. He insisted he hadn’t behaved badly at all and all he had done was under “legal advisement

I do not need an apology from my ex to move on with my life but perhaps one day, if his madness ever clears, he might realise the devastation his behaviour has caused not just me, but my family, who did nothing but love him.

But what’s done is done and I have moved on.

The last few weeks have been full of activities, including raising a mortgage to pay for my ex’s share of my home. I have also managed to revert to my maiden name in most of my documents even though the decree absolute is still pending.

I have had a week of horrible back pains and the joys of the olympics, staying awake two nights to watch the incredible Usain Bolt win 100m and 200m gold medals.

I am very happy that this nightmare is finally over except for the extraordinary matter of my ex taking me to a very busy family court to fight over a 3 year old Mac Computer we shared when we lived together and which I have been using alone for the last 16 months that I have been on my own, even though he bought himself a new mac last year and is very much aware of the fact that I have continued to use this mac.

But that is a pathetic story for another day! Sadly, for him, one that shows that my ex remains mentally unstable, still in the middle of his mid-life crisis and completely disengaged from the real world.

I am a little overwhelmed that I now have the rest of my life to lead and it is down to me, no one else but me to make a success of it and to make it a fulfilled and happy life.

It is down to me to make the rest of my life, the best of my life

responsible for my own happiness

This is still primarily, a weight loss diary. So I must talk about that.

I have had weeks, months of ups and downs on the Cambridge diet. Lose weight, gain weight, lose weight, gain weight but it is finally time to concentrate, focus and stick with the diet. I worry whether I will ever get to the finish line but that will never happen, if I keep messing around.

And so, this Monday, after a crap week and a weekend where I purposely ate crap in other to effect a whoosh for a restart, I have once again, for the million times, restarted the Cambridge Diet.

I am on a personal challenge to lose 1 stone (6.4kg) in 28 days.

It is only Day 5 and I have already lost 5.1kg (11 pounds) and I am already 79.7% to the target of losing a stone by 12th September. 

I pledge to revert to reporting my weight every week. Perhaps that will help keep me on the diet.

73 loss

Week One, Day 550’s Verdict: today’s weight 90.5 kg, week’s weight loss 5.1 kg (11.22 pounds); total weight loss;  33.3 kg; 73.3 pounds; 5 stones 3 pounds