OK, so I’m back on the autobiography…I needed a rest from the reminsiscing!
As you can probably guess, my marriage went spectacularly tits up in 1996. I thought about this long and hard, and there’s lots I could say that would have just dragged it all back up again, but to be honest, it was a divorce, it wasn’t nice, we said we’d stay friends and we didn’t really. we stayed living in a one bed, one up, one down house for five months after we agreed it was over, and you want to try going through a divorce while you’re still sharing a bedroom? It’s not the easiest thing in the world.
It didn’t really affect my weight, weirdly enough. I genuinely don’t think anything that happened in that first marriage did make me feel any differently about myself. I wasn’t fat, I just never really felt slim enough. Being properly fat now, I can see there’s a BIG difference.
I spent as much time as possible out of the house, and went away every weekend. I drank a lot, but didn’t overeat that much. I read a lot of books about diets not working, including one of my favourites ever, ‘Fabulous Figures’ by Rachel Swift. If you can get hold of it, you should as it’s fun, and always used to put me in a good mood by reminding me I didn’t have to be skinny (I wasn’t) and diets were rubbish (that hadn’t quite sunk in yet). I didn’t go on any major diets that year…although I did count calories and eat low calorie meals. Then I’d go out for dinner with mates and drink loads, which kind of cancelled it out.
The only weight-related thing worth mentioning was that for the first time ever, one day when I was going through a horrible, stressful day, I had an overwhelming urge to make myself sick. I remember it vividly, it wasn’t anything to do with feeling fat, it was all about the build up of tension in me and not feeling able to scream, shout, swear or tell H#1 how I was really feeling. I never did it, and I never have, even though I’ve felt that tension build up since.
Being single(ish) meant I started getting male attention again. or noticing it, anyway. I was around 11 stone most of 1996, a size 12-14 in most shops. Men seemed to like me, probably because I wasn’t looking for one. I went out with the girls one night, not long after I’d separated from H#1 and I ended up with three phone numbers and a dance to ‘Me and Mrs Jones’ at the end of the night. I actually saw him a few times but nothing happened, I wasn’t up for anything and he didn’t want a semi-married woman anyway. I also got a bit too close to someone I shouldn’t have done, but again, I wasn’t up for anything full on at the time so I said if he was really interested, he’d have to wait until I left H#1 properly. We decided to stay friends instead.
I hated hurting H#1. I felt guilty ALL the time. I’d go away at the weekend, then come back and listen to him telling me he’d been to this party and that night out and I used to pray he’d copped off with someone because then I wouldn’t feel so guilty about divorcing him. I didn’t know how to deal with it so I wasn’t very nice to him. To be fair, he could be pretty mean to me at times but that’s break ups for you. Eventually I moved back to Ipswich in the summer of ’96. Not before I’d met husband #2 though…
The first time I met him he came along on a night out as a friend of a friend. ‘L’ was working with him and they spent a lot of time together. She’d put him on the phone to me when we were talking and we’d had a laugh. I thought he had a crush on my friend. We hit it off one night out bowling, but I didn’t think of him as boyfriend material. He was five years younger than me, and a bit of a lad, plus he lived in the Fens and I was about to move miles away.The last day I was in Cambridge, I had a party. We were meant to go out into the City but I was feeling hopelessly emotional and drank a two litre bottle of disgusting Liebfraumilch wine in about an hour and promptly threw up in the sink.
Husband #2 was there already, with ‘L’ and a couple of others. He came to see how I was (I had gone upstairs to lie down) and before I knew it, was kissing me, despite the fact I probably smelled of vomit. He did stay over; he was supposed to sleep downstairs with my brother and his partner but instead he made his way upstairs with me. I woke up the next morning and thought “Oh shit, what have I done?”
Thankfully, I’d not been in any fit state to do anything much. We said goodbye and he said he’d be in touch. I didn’t think it was going to go anywhere…but what did I know? Oh, and this was the start of my REAL problems with food.
PS: The picture above was taken on THAT night. That’s my brother with his arm round me. I looked a state but that dress was a Top Shop size 12. And how sad am I that I actually REMEMBER that?