Heathrow Injection

Winter is a harsh bitch, and she resides in London. Weather forecasters will try and have us believe that Winter hasn’t arrived yet. They can’t be trusted. The fact is, she never really left. She’s been hanging around all year, trying to gain permanent resident status. Sure, she has been on forced vacation for some of the year, but she has never strayed too far. And she hasn’t enjoyed it. Her tears washed out London when Summer was trying to settle in during June and July. Summer has never really liked London. It’s too far north of the equator and full of pasty, British people. Summer tries to keep them in Britain, burning them to a shade of crispy pink if they dare to venture to the Mediterranean beaches. And yet every year, they go back to visit.

Some insist that Autumn has settled in for the next few months, but I can’t be fooled. Autumn can’t commit to anything. He likes the sun, but he doesn’t want it to get too hot. He haphazardly picks at the leaves of trees, like a school girl seeking to learn her romantic future with the petals of a daisy. The mornings will be brisk, but he will heat up the day once he remember to the let the sun comes up. Eventually, the day tires him so he’ll close up shop early, setting the sun in the early evening. Autumn is aloof, and Winter took advantage of him this year. She thrust him out of the city and has dug her cold claws in.

I suspect she was waiting for me at the airport, when I arrived in February. She hated that I was flying in from Perth; one of Summer’s favourite destinations and a season of whom I am a firm fan. She resented me and everything that I represented. There she lurked, in amongst families and friends who were waiting for loved ones to arrive. And when I passed through Immigration and exited the gate, it was there that she struck, jabbing me with the Heathrow Injection.

It’s a familiar story for Australian expatriates, past. They arrive, all bronzed up sporting their best beach bodies, ready for a mediterranean summer. The summer comes and goes, they settle in to London life and then it happens: they gain an unseemly amount of kilograms around their waist. I thought I was prepared. I was convinced that I would work hard and avoid the stereotype. But that Heathrow Injection is laced with a virus, which lays dormant for a while, then it gradually adds cells bit by bit until one day you’re shopping in Tesco and you realise that your mid-section is looking a lot like that Krispy Kreme in your hand.

I am that Krispy Kreme donut. I am certain that this is the fattest I have ever been in my life. The scales slightly disagree, although they can’t be trusted. Muscle weighs more than fat and I’m pretty sure my muscles have melted into my chocolatey goo centre.

“I’ve seen pictures where you looked much fatter.”

Thanks, JD. That really doesn’t help. I mean, for one thing, you are acknowledging that you think that I was once fat in the past. And secondly, you are implying that you also believe that I am fat now, just not quite as fat as I once was. It also didn’t help when JD said:

“Oh my God! What are these? I’ve never seen them before!”

He said this as he giggled maniacally, poking at my newly formed love-handles, which jiggled in perfect oscillations with each prod of his finger.

I accept that I am not fat-fat. I’m certainly not John Candy. However, I think I am bordering on gay-fat, which is almost as bad as being Hollywood-fat. In fact, in practicality it is possibly worse. In Hollywood, you will be accepted if you are either skinny, muscular or faaaaaaaaat. Hollywood can’t deal with any sizes in between. The slight chubbers and mildly rotund aren’t quite good looking enough to be the star, but they also aren’t large enough to be the hilarious side kick or jolly friend. Except of course for Jack Black, who is a delightful exception.

In Gay world, you’re either skinny, fit or invisible. If you have any hint of body fat, you might as well jump back into the closet. That is, unless you’re a daddy-bear, which is a whole world that I am not prepared to engage with. I mean, who is even willing to invest in so much leather? So at the moment, I am bordering on invisible, which is fine as I have a boyfriend, but not so fine when beach weather hits. To be honest, I never really bought into the whole gay-world image. It’s completely unreasonable and a little bit gross. I don’t want to wear bike shorts and a t-shirt that is cut low enough to show my orange, muscled cleavage and my bronzed nipples. I have accepted that I am never going to have a six-pack. However, that doesn’t mean that I should bring a keg to the party.

I just want to look good. Is that too much to ask? I always had problems with body image when I wasgrowing up. As a teenager, I taught myself to be a small eater. When my brothers were wolfing down their third helping of spaghetti, I was urging myself to be content with my first. And yet, my lazy shit of a metabolism still let me down. My brothers were always thin when they were younger, but I always had a slight podginess about me. Coupled with a severe acne problem and repressed sexuality issues, I was a walking stereotype for teen suicide. Thankfully, I never actually felt suicidal. However, I also never had any self-confidence. I wore baggy clothes to hide my weight. I never took my t-shirt off when I went swimming. I avoided photographs. I couldn’t even ask out the girl I had the most serious crush on in my first year of university. Years later, I found out she was also into me and so frustrated with my inability to make a move. Probably a good thing for her, in retrospect.

I eventually became more comfortable with myself, especially once I started hitting the gym. And I have learnt that having a bit of flab every now and then is fine. But seriously, this shit has officially gotten out of control. Over the past couple of months I have tried to slow down my increasing mass. I’m still trying. I literally went to the gym half way through writing this post. However, that Wintery Bitch has made it difficult. She will do anything to make me miserable.

Her attack on my waist line appears to be three-pronged:

1) the days are shorter and darker,

2) the air is cooler, and

3) everything is wetter.

These climactic weapons make it harder to go out and do any exercise and much easier to stay in and eat mashed potato and chocolate pudding. My plight is made even harder by living with JD, who has the appetite and metabolism of a thirteen-year old boy. Seriously. He could eat an entire suckling pig and burn it off with a gentle walk back to the buffet table. Occasionally, if he has been particularly lazy, he will begin to sport a protruding ponch around his rumbling belly, but the rest of him will be razor-thin. Think E.T., but paler and hairier (and otherwise just with the same equal mixes of adorable and annoying). And if JD isn’t forcing a bowl of Vietnamese rice down my throat, then my delightful, non-grumpy house mate (if you’re losing track, there are five of us) will either be baking some delicious, clotted cream monstrosity, or insisting that we can’t watch Downton Abbey without scones and a side of Cadbury fingers.

Wedged between these two feeders, and being surrounded by the Wintery Bitch, it is very difficult to maintain any form of self-control. And then, of course, there is that virus that was in the Heathrow Injection.

I know I am not obese, but I am unhappy with my body. Acknowledging that I have a problem in publicly available, written format (as opposed to just whinging to JD) is the first step to recovery. I will be thin(ner) again, soon.

*** This post had been gestating in my mind during the last few days of frost. Ironically, when I finally came to write the post it was the sunniest day London has had in over two weeks. That being said, it was still cold as fuck. Thanks Ms Winter, you crotchety old spinster!


18 thoughts on “Heathrow Injection

  1. Hilarious, as always… and I have exactly the same issue at the moment. December is going to be my time to sort it all out. By then I will have accepted/bored of the cold and will be ready to take it on (that’s what I tell myself)!

  2. Although we really are not, it seems that we are in the same place at the same time. (I’m the biggest narcissist on the planet…) but I think I would prefer to be morbidly obese than be, “a bit overweight,” like I am right now. I wake up crying about it although I am well aware that there are loads of people out there with real, big problems. I’ve always bounced back and forth between tall and skinny and tall and horse-ish….

    Here I can barely complain about the Bitch. We must get ahold of ourselves!!!


  3. you are SOOO my gay best friend!!! This sounds exactly like something I would have written about my own fatness, because as you know, I love to write about my fatness! This literally made me laugh out loud at work:

    “‘I’ve seen pictures where you looked much fatter.”

    Thanks, JD. That really doesn’t help. I mean, for one thing, you are acknowledging that you think that I was once fat in the past. And secondly, you are implying that you also believe that I am fat now, just not quite as fat as I once as.”

    I think this is honestly one of the funniest posts you have written. I guess it’s that whole Freshly Pressed thing…suck up!

    • Funny, I was actually going for Shakespearean tragedy, so I have failed yet again. Back to humo(u)r for me.

      Perhaps I should stop trying to get fit again. If I really let myself go I could get cast as a jolly best friend in a summer rom-com!

  4. Pingback: I Quit « Ex-Patria

  5. I arrived here from Oz in early July and was enjoying a sense of smug satisfaction at having dodged the Heathrow Injection bullet. ‘Fools!’, I thought of my compatriots who succumbed to the hot chips and pints diet. ‘It’s easy! Just eat what you would at home, see??!!’

    And then…. NOVEMBER.

    How is it that I suddenly require two plates of dinner to be satisfied? Two bowls of porridge in the morning, with extra honey and maybe even a second banana? In the space of two weeks I have managed to put on so much weight that literally HALF MY WARDROBE DOES NOT FIT ME ANYMORE. Which in turn really puts me off going out, as the elastic waisted fleecy tracks I am left with don’t really cut it. I too have been Bitched, it seems. Make it stop!

    • Thanks for stopping by and sharing your horror story.

      It’s an epidemic! And the problem is, because this plague makes you lose self confidence, you console yourself with EATING.

      And as it gets colder, healthy salads won’t satiate you. It has to be mulled wine and potatoes and gravy.

      I’m finally back at the gym this week to try and bitch slap Frosty McFeeder, but ill need to work out twice as hard to accommodate the double food intake.

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