Wednesday, 10 December 2008

It's a Viscious Cycle

I am feeling decidedly unlovely today. I know, I know, I'm 41 years old, and this is going to happen - increasingly often - as time goes by, but it's still pissing me off. I mean, I've been to the gym more in the last 6 months than in the entire 10 year period before-hand, I'm finally back to my pre-Baby #1 weight, I should be fighting fit (in both senses of the word).

Today, though, my hair is lank, skin dull, and there is a bonfire on my chin.

Not sure why this is particularly bothering me at the moment. Long gone are the days when I would check my reflection on the way out of the flat to make sure I was presentable enough to meet the world. This is mainly because I got bored with spotting food stains, chocolate smears, baby puke and worse, when I didn't actually have the time to do anything about it. I would then spend the next few hours painfully aware of my lack of elegance, and wishing I had factored an extra ten minutes into my schedule before leaving the house... So I did what any sensible woman would do under those circumstances, short of slopping around the house in a painter's smock to protect from child-related splash-backs. I moved the mirror away from the front door, and simply stopped checking.

I'm ashamed to say that over the last couple of years it's not impossible for me to have gone through the day without looking in the mirror once (after putting on my mascara, of course. I mean, things never got that bad.) But recently, I've started to pay a little more attention, perhaps because of my fitness campaign, perhaps because the baby fog finally lifted this year. Whatever the reason though, the news is not good. It's not always doom and gloom, I hasten to add. Sometimes I can look at my reflection and think 'OK... OK. You're not doing that badly. In fact, you're doing quite well.' But today, it's inescapable. I am 41 years old. I look it.

And so does my Spot.

It's taken up residence on the edge of my chin, arriving the day before yesterday following a particularly heavy intake of Green and Blacks. Top Tip: never buy two 35g bars telling yourself they will last for a while. Or until the weekend. Or until tomorrow, at any rate. We all know that one bar is never enough, and Will Power is someone who moved out of my home some time ago when faced with chocolate-in-residence.

So, I conjured up the Spot as a result of my own actions - which makes the whole teenage skin complaint thing so much more embarrassing. I have been lucky throughout my adult life; a few breakouts whilst I was teenager, but no real acne to date. I always thought that was some kind of celestial reward for having had to endure eczema of excruciatingly embarrassing levels on my face between the ages of 14 and 16 - just about the age when skin like dessicated coconut is going to boost your self-image sky high, and the prospect of a boyfriend seems impossible when you're covering your skin in cortisone lotion morning and night.

Now, being prone to eczema is just luck of the draw. It happens. You can control it, but you can't remove the genetic tendancy to get it. Spots, however - particularly chocolate related ones - are more often the result of an issue in lifestyle, like too much sugar. For example.

Which is why I should step away from the chocolate.

I know this, I get mad at myself when I overindulge. And guess what I do when I get mad? Eat. And not apples...


  1. Ohhh - how true, and Waitrose had G&B on "bogof" then Sainsburys (a conspiracy) so I bought extra, both times as I could stockpile it. That would be no..... consumed as it the Paras needed to break out the emergency rations !
    Then I hit 50 this year and hate it - if in my head I am 23 why have I had so many birthdays ? Why are my babies so well versed in sarcasm and when did they start telling me what to wear ? O tempora, o mores !
    BTW thank you for such a great blog - such fun and so well written

  2. Step away from the chocolate...

    Love it.

    Ponder on this, though. Whenever I moan about getting old, Husband says "well, it's better than not getting old". Can't argue with that.

  3. I think it's time to reward yourself with a spa day and a make over. Not for the chocolate indulgence, but for the weight lost. And a new outfit!

  4. Potty, you'll always be beautiful in my eyes, where did I put my glasses?
    Cheer up, with your two gorgeous boys, no-one will be looking at you! Sorry, but you shouldn't have such scrumptious children...

  5. TR, thankyou. For visiting, for the nice comment, and also for letting me know I'm not alone on railing against the inevitable...

    Iota, these philosphers - they have an answer for everything, don't they?

    SB, good plan. I may print off your comment and leave it on the notice board for Husband to find...

    Frog - thankyou. I think...

  6. Pre-baby weight?! Amazing! Well done you! As for teh spot - well it's more likely due ot the exhaustion of pre-christmas preparations and all the dreadful shopping one must do! Have some chocolate to pep you up, wash it down with a gin (medicinal) and plonk some expensive perfume on spot to dry it out - You'll be back to blooming in no time! Pre baby weight! That's fantastic. I've never aimed for pre-baby weight. It wasn't that desirable then so it would hardly help now... t.xx

  7. Oh, move the mirror away from the front door - what a great idea. I came back from dropping the little one off yesterday. Huge big black hat pulled down almost to my eyelids, and I swear my face looked gray! V. depressing.
    BTW - should you resort to that strong overnight spot cream, make sure you rinse it off thoroughly in the morning as it bleaches all the towels. My teens are only allowed white towels now.

  8. I look in the mirror and say "Dang I'm fat." Go downstairs, grab some chocolate ice cream, sit on the couch and mope about how fat I am.

    Yeah, that makes sense.

    We all get there from time to time. I bet you look like a goddess. I hate you.


  9. baby fog..does it actually LIFT? EVER? hard to imagine at this point

  10. KP - pre-baby weight, yes. Pre-baby shape? That's a pipe dream...

    EPM, good tip on the towels. Haven't had to resort to the industrial strength cream yet (there are some good things about getting older, one of which is knowing how to deal with spots, thank heavens), but will remember it for future occassions!

    J's Mommy. You want to think I look like a goddess? Go ahead... Only I (and Frog in the Field) know the awful truth!

    Screamish, it does lift. Really. It just - takes a while...

  11. She looks like a question.

  12. Frog - you are sweet. And get to an optician - I worry about you driving...

  13. I've been battling the spots lately. It's blumming hormones apparently. But Sudocrem, you know, God of nappy rash and anything bitey and stingy really helps. Admittedly Miss M looks a little alarmed when I wander in to kiss her goodnight, but in the norning my skin is definitely less inflamed and they seem to go quicker. Try it. It's a bit drying though so only for dire emergencies.


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