When I first started Moodscope Hopeful One was a regular contributor. He and I both followed the thorny path of carers to Alzheimer victims. We agreed that self-respect helped us – dress well, keep your head up, face the world bravely (if not brazenly). I have slipped badly, depressed, scruffy, drinking too much and comfort eating.
Panic has set in, because, inevitably, I've put on weight. As I have two vertebrae described as 'equivalent to a ruined Greek temple' the last thing they need is to cart extra kilos about. So, as a lifelong 'good doer' (referring to animals, really, who put on weight for minimum input, therefore economic) I need little food.
'Targets' have always been clothes. 'On view' every week in my 'Open' garden I could not let it down, so dressed well. There were always holidays in exotic places, (Club Med 'tops'), weddings, parties, giving lectures – always that 'incentive' to keep 'Trim' (never 'slim', unattainable).
I went, aged 40, to Lucie Clayton's grooming course, and was top student. People were flattering about my choice of dresses 'Debenhams, 30 years ago' I'd say, proudly. I can still get in them, if a tad tight. I loved high heels. I was asked once if I was a dancer, because I walked so well – no hope. I have long hair, and endless ornaments gained round the world, never used. If the 'dress' target does not work, then keeping fit must be the 'goad'. Already, after a winter incarcerated with my husband, and the extra weight, I have back and sciatic pain.
But – this morning, for mass, I put my unkempt hair up, and made sure it looked nice from the back. I sat, and stood, very straight in church. It's a start. Then it's my husband - sunk in gloom. He used to love white cotton shirts – I dig them out, plus tie. His hair is still thick, his beard trim – we could still be a presentable pair. Some people put pictures of themselves when they looked nice on their mirrors. Anybody got any tips?
A Moodscope member.
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