“Whatever it is that compels me to write a diary is the same thing that inspires me to write and create characters and draw and sing and dance: the inability to express myself verbally or orally. (May 24, 2003)”
Warning: THIS IS A SERIOUSLY IMAGE-HEAVY POST. But pretty interesting, too.
I don’t know how many of you have been watching My Mad Fat Diary. It should probably be ALL OF YOU, but probably won’t be. It’ll probably be closer to none of you, which is because a lot of y’all are in America. For details, check out the Wikipedia page, because otherwise I’ll spend about 2,000 words babbling about it. Suffice it to say that I found myself relating to the main character, Rae (Rachel), pretty easily… except for the whole bit where boys found her attractive. That never happened to me.
See, I’ve kept a diary ever since I was a kid. Like, since I was maybe five or six. I should have diaries dating back more than 20 years, but the diaries I kept when I was that young got torn up and/or burned when I was scared that my Mum and Dad or sisters would find them. They were the cutesy kind, with the lock on them, and the pretty paper inside. Not such pretty things inside, though, as I’m sure you know by now.
Yes, I sometimes write entries in my diary, aimed specifically at people. No, you don’t want to read them if they’re aimed at you.
This is part one, covering diaries one to four. Part two, covering diaries five and six, is here.
Mad Fat Diary #1: June 7, 1998 – August 17, 1998
(music): California Dreams OST
(d8): 10/7/98 (July 10th 1998)
I have decided that I, Tracy E. Webster, am going to lose weight, and it’s about time too! I’m just not happy with the way I am, and I’m going to change that – I’m going to be happy! I start on Monday!
I don’t know why, “I start on Monday!” According to Google, it was a Friday.
(There’s an entry where I’m listening to “The ‘I dunno’ Song”. Dear 15-year-old-self: WTF.)
21 days later? “Having seen the last diet of mine fall to pieces because of a total lack of willpower […]”…
Mad Fat Diary #2: August 18, 1998 to December 31, 2000
The second diary, I forgot to get a picture of the actual diary… but you can sort of see the material of the book in the picture up there. Second from top. It’s covered in a kind of brocade fabric, and it’s pretty thick. I’ve got a picture of the inside:
First entry I could find to do with dieting/my weight/hating myself:
September 12, 1998
I hate myself. I’m fat and ugly and so hateful. I hate almost everyone I know for one reason or another.
And then I list reasons that I dislike everyone in my life. Including thinking that my BFF-at-the-time was “my idea of perfectness” because she had “a slim body. She’s also dead smart”.
I wish I was kidding.
Date: January 4, 1999
Weight: 19 stones (I believe this is the first actual mention of my WEIGHT in my diaries)
Aim: 15 stones
I have once again decided to lose weight. Every Monday I will weigh myself and update you on how well I am doing. Here’s to skinnines!! (sic)
Date: January 6, 2000
[…] It’s not their fault (I felt like a third wheel). I could have a boyfriend, but I’m not pretty or a size 10 […]. None of the guys that I know are interested in me like that because I’m overweight. [My BFF]’s lucky – she’s normal; I’m a freak.
There’s also a wonderful post in October 2000 where I officially come out to myself, even although I’ve known I’ve been anything-but-straight since about 6-years-old.:
“I’m kinda scared to write this down, because if I write it down, then it’s true, and I can’t hide it. I’ve been fighting it since Primary Six, and I feel like it’s killing me. Okay, here goes. Deep breath. Nerves tumbling, heart collapsing, I say: ‘ I’ve fantasised about women since I was eleven. I know I’m not gay because I like guys, but the thought of a penis at the moment makes me sick. Damn you to hell, Thomas King. A woman has never sexually assaulted me, and I guess this is why I am physically attracted to them? Because of this, I know I am bisexual, although I have never yet been with a woman, or kissed one yet either. I, Tracy Elanor Webster, am bisexual.’“
I still think it’s funny that the dates are always skewed in things like this. I say, “Since Primary Six”, when I was eleven in Primary Six, but I had a girlfriend when I was aged 5/6, and we snuck off behind bushes to kiss and hold hands and giggle and do girly stuff together. It’s not intentional lying; it’s just unintentional forgetfulness. There’s actually a huge amount of that, dotted all through my diaries… and through my memory.
Reading through my diaries is like looking at a completely different life. I remember complaining about an unhappy childhood and teenagehood, but the amount of complaints in my diaries are… wow. Impressive. I don’t remember hating my parents and siblings and my friends quite as much as I make out in my own handwriting.
Mad Fat Diary #3: April 30, 2002 to May 24, 2003
Book three was a book bought for me by my friend, James. I describe him in the first page as, “Best guy-friend in the world. From Norfolk (OOH-ARR! [- even although, y’know, Norfolk’s in the feckin’ EAST] – very sweet + innocent. We think.)” He’s still my best guy-friend in the world. 😀
But there’s an entry, five days before I’m due to go to Oregon, when I’m talking about my fears about leaving the country, which include:
- [Forgetting] my passport
- [Breaking] my glasses on the way to the ‘plane
- Lost my luggage
- Couldn’t fit in the seat
- Wasn’t allowed on, due to weight restrictions
Funny thing? I fit in the seat just fine, and I’ve never once been questioned about my weight when flying. I’ve never once been told that I’ll need to buy two tickets – if I had, I’d be screwed and stranded at the airport – despite my fears due to what I’ve seen in the news.
(In that same entry, I’m also talking about our hamster, and apparently he’s called Mr. Nibblesworth. I’m pretty sure that was my little sister’s doing, like she was the one that named our cat Twig. Haha!)
But still, resolutions for 2003 included, “Lose weight by: [going] to the gym 3 times a week (starting Monday) as long as we’re here.” and “care more about myself” as well as “improve [my] life”. That was the year that I got put on the combined Pill; the year when Mum and I started eating healthily and I got a (sort-of) boyfriend and a (sort-of) girlfriend and I walked everywhere and swam a lot and lost something like 40 or 50lbs in 4 months, and then put it all back on and then some when I went home.
And I never did actually go to the gym three times a week while we lived in Oregon. But I did go for a swim in the complex pool almost every day.
It’s weird that it’s not often I actually talk about the crazy, though, like I’m fine admitting the fat and the gay but talking about the crazy? No no no, don’t talk about the crazy because then it’s REAL.
January 6, 2003, John and Marrie’s Kitchen
I think I might be crazy. I think I keep on seeing things and I keep on hearing people shouting on me when there’s no-one there.
But mostly, it’s the seeing things. I see shadows and reflections of things that aren’t there.
And it’s not paranoia. I haven’t been doing anything to be paranoid about, but I still don’t know why I’m seeing things.
There goes one now; a shadow just passed behind my left shoulder, and five minutes ago, I could have sworn someone stroked my arm.
Truth be told, this still happens to me – the shadows thing – but I’m on Quetiapine/Seroquel for the voices after I went to see a psychiatrist in 2004/5 when I heard someone whisper my name right in my ear, and heard someone banging in a wardrobe that belonged to the house we were living in, despite the fact that I was alone in the house, since my little sister was in Canada, and my parents were up in the Highlands or something.
There’s other stuff in this one, too – like how there’s the entry where I lose my virginity (one month and a day after my 20th birthday), and it’s written in GLITTER GEL PEN (Dear 20year-old-self: WHY?!) but when The Boy comes into the picture, there is, of course, talk about “it’s the last fucking time [I pig out]. I want to be one of the girls the guys see wearing a bikini down by the pool and immediately wish they had X-Ray vision. And it might seem shallow, but it’s not just about that. My knees are hurting, and I can’t walk up the two flights of stairs to my room all at once without either getting out of breath or getting lightheaded. I want to go cycling with [The Boy]. I want to be able to jump in the pool without hitting the bottom. I want the boys to pick me up and I want to have a reason to wax my bikini line. I want to be able to play with the kids [I’m babysitting] and not just watch them play with each other and I want to be able to dance and be silly and crazy and I want a fucking GODDAMNED LIFE™.”
Mad Fat Diary #4: June 18, 2003 to December 12, 2006
(Anyone reading in RSS or a reader or anything similar might have to come to the the entry to see the gallery below, which includes all the photos from Mad Fat Diary #4.)
The start of this one’s mostly me bitching about The Boy and The Girl and how they’ve gone off to have a nice wee relationship by themselves, and I’ve been left all by my lonesome. There is a lot of bitching from me, let me tell you. Annoyingly, it’s mostly about how I still really, really like them both, but, “I know I’m not a keeper. I know that. I just wish I could have been ‘kept’ a little longer, to find out if we had a relationship or not.” At this point, I’ve basically convinced myself that the reason The Boy and I broke up, and the reason The Girl and I broke up, is because of my weight, and how I look.
There’s an entire entry dedicated to the fact that I’m not as pretty as The Girl, and would The Boy and I still be together if I was thin?
(For those confused: There was The Boy. Stuff Happened between The Boy and I; he called it “a relationship”; I’m not entirely convinced that’s what it was. I don’t think he was, either. Then there was The Girl. Who ended up dating The Boy. And who ended up dating me. And. Stuff. It got complicated. :|)
It’s really weird that this diary doesn’t have any/many(?) cinema tickets stuck in it, because it’s OREGON, and I know that I have a lot of stubs from the Tanasbourne Cinema, including at least 7 from going to see whichever Lord of The Rings and Pirates of The Caribbean movies were out at the time, and one from the Only Date I’ve Ever Been On In My Life And Even That Wasn’t Really A Date when The Boy and I went to see Tomb Raider together.
[…] or it’s the way I look or… or he’s a coward and afraid his friends would laugh at him if they saw him with me.
Basically, all of 2003 is me bitching about what a dickface The Boy is. Because he was. I don’t know him now; I could request an add on Facebook and see if he’s still a dickface, but. Yeah, not going there. There’s a reason I’m not friends with him anymore.
2004 starts with: “Still trying to do good on my resolutions. As of tomorrow, though, I’m seriously going to cut out the junk. I am sick to death of being fat, lazy and slobbish.”
This is the year that I went to college, so it’s about a month before I joined Weight Watchers for the first time.
Wow, there’s a terrible piece of poetry. When I was 19/20/21 etc, I used to write terrible poetry all the time. I never knew there was a bit of it in my diary, though.
August 15, 2004, Uncle Andrew’s old room, Granny and Granda’s house
Have you ever missed a day at church
Have you ever told a lie?
Have you ever sworn deliberately
To make a young one cry?
Have you ever hurt a loved one?
Have you ever slept around?
Have you ever wished a bomb would fall
And flatten your whole town?
Have you ever done a terrible thing?
Have you ever done something worse?
Have you ever walked right through the mall
And made a grab at someone’s purse?
Have you ever been a bad girl?
Ever kicked in someone’s head?
Have you ever been something other than good?
Ever wished that you were dead?
Would God forgive me my sins,
If I forgive him his?
Have you never wanted anything
That was more than this?
I should probably include a disclaimer that not all of this is about me, but sitting in Granny and Granda’s house before heading to college, under the watchful gaze of a crucifix or two, brings out a guilt you wouldn’t believe.
But then, of course, I basically stopped writing while I was in college, unless it was to talk about my girlfriend/fiancée, or the roleplay group I was a part of, or my plans to apply to University of the Arts London after finishing my HND Graphic Design, so that I could move down to London to live with some of my fellow RPers. At this point in time, I preferred to write online, on Livejournal, but annoyingly, I’ve done a few clean-ups of my Livejournal accounts, and a lot of it’s missing.
So, my birthday, 2006: resolved to “exercise at least 15 minutes a day. Lose weight,” etc etc.
March 29, 2006
Wow, a week already. Still haven’t exercised or anything yet. I know it’s hard to get started and everything, but hey! I danced a lot at the weekend [while probably being blind drunk]. Does that count? I hope so. My arms were killing me on Sunday, along with the rest of me. But it was so worth it.
I think the brackets kind of explain a lot about college and the year after: blind drunk. I spent about €100 every weekend I lived at home going out with my parents, and probably £40 I was at college. And during the week, it was two bottles of rum and probably about six or seven bottles of Diet Coke during the week because I was a fucking alcoholic and couldn’t get through a day without a drink.
Sometimes, I think my girlfriend/fiancée had it right to get shot of me when she did. It took me until… oooh, late 2006 to give up the drinking-every-day schtick, I think. Which I replaced with eating-a-tub-of-dulce-du-leche-Haagen-Dazs ever day, because I bought it on the way home from work and my flat at the time didn’t have a fridge or freezer so it all had to be eaten at once. The same reason I lived on takeaway for a solid six months…
Want to read more? Because there’s more. There’s still another two diaries to go, including that one time my sister and I auditioned for The Biggest Loser…
Continue on to part two!