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An Autobiographical Odyssey - or - From Dirk to Dirk

Posted 08-08-2008 at 06:44 AM by deebeelicious
Well I finally got round to finishing my 2nd blog entry. As I promised in my first blog, I'd describe myself a bit in my 2nd blog, and I'll follow my policy of keeping it Dirk-related too! Alas it's a bit long, so grab yourself a coffee before tackling this one!

An Autobiographical Odyssey - or - From Dirk to Dirk

The first adult autobiography I recall reading was on a wet, rainy lunchtime in my school's library. Thinking back, the school had a pretty impressive selection of obscurity there. The biog was from a noted actor; tall, dark, handsome, and named Dirk. It was one of those moments you remember all your life - or until you get Alzheimer's! This was the one when I found out I wasn't alone - I wasn't some strange alien that thought completely differently to every other human being!

After that, I read more biographies. I found it was the auto nature of the biography that I liked - someone explaining why they had felt or acted in some way, which of course another writer can not really explain. So it was only autiobiographies that I read (my non-fiction reading list, that is). I found it quite endearing to read, usually the male writers, get it quite wrong when they described their efforts in understanding the great mystery that is woman! This was pre 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus'!

The biogs got me interested in psychology, enough to do a few modules in it at University, which in turn introduced my to Transactional Analysis (TA) - 'I'm OK/You're OK/They're OK' psychology. That helped me pull myself out of a deep gloomy (mental) hole I fell into for a few months in my early 20s. 'What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger', right? And that's how I feel looking back - I pulled myself out of the deep abyss - so I know if ever I started to slip back down there again - I'll be able to put the brakes on and pull myself back up! It's an incredible feeling of pride and confidence to be able to pull oneself out of ill-health - and I learnt the valuable lesson that my happiness depends on me, no one else.

Come the late 90s, and reality documentary tv is kicking off big time. A new show begins; Big Brother - where the 'contestants' will be made to jump through mental hoops the show's producers throw at them (with help from ‘expert’ psychologists). It begins, and a new phenomenon of the BB discussion also begins. Everyone has an opinion on the contestants - and views vary - we're all watching the same thing, and all interpreting it differently. The difference is our own backgrounds and experiences. Our whole past life influences and shades how we interpret our present.

But as the series developed, it became less 'ordinary' folk being put through the strange phenomenon of 'being on tv', to a circus act. One paper described it as
'broadcasters resorting to humiliating the public for entertainment'.
In an ironic moment, a reality tv star said
'For the past ten years, TV has been about taking working class people, dropping them out of their depth and everyone having a laugh. Some have no talent and clearly have mental health issues. They are so deluded that they will be famous.'

David Wilson, a psychologist who resigned from Big Brother in 2004 said,
"The programme makers seem to be casting people who are exaggerated versions of normal: more verbal, physical and dominant. When you put them together and then give them alcohol it is inevitable there will be conflict. ... I understood too late that disaster was what the programme makers wanted."
So my heart sank with the likes of Jade 'am I a minger' Goody became mulitmillionairesses by sharing their mental inadequacies with the 'Great British Public,'. I avoided BB after BB3, apart from the odd dip in to a 'highlights' show, or to watch an occasional 'celebrity charity' version (which would only last a few weeks rather than the mind-searingly boring 18 weeks that is the summer BB).

Come CBB5 and I flip over every 10 mins or so to see who are the zelebrities coming in this time. Oh no! Goody again, yuk! Well I won't be watching that! Ahh, Dirk Benedict - my mind wanders back – good Lord! – twenty years, and to the list of gorgeous hunks I used to have crushes on. Ha! Funny guy, playing the flirt – wonder if he’s hiding his real personality behind his tv image, or is that his real personality? I mostly ignore the show, then a tabloid headline glares up at me. I hardly ever notice the tabloids, but this once was truly appalling – too appalling to quote here suffice to say it was about Dirk, a ‘Big Brother’ and a shooting. I read the story there in the newsagents – hell I wasn’t gonna pay money to the tabloid! It described his Dad, and his battle with cancer. It mentioned he’d written an autobiography about it (which that article was based on).

Autobiography? Hmmm, bet it’s way more interesting than that article! So I went to the bookshop, and hey, amazingly it was there. I completed it in one weekend and went out to buy William Dufty’s Sugar Blues. I read that and decided to experiment on myself. I’d give Dirk and Bill’s diet one month full on, no cheating or lapsing. If it didn’t feel right after that I’d know they were full of crock and I’d ignore them and their diet. The month passed and I felt less dizzy in the afternoons, my skin felt less greasy, my intestines weren’t so irritable, and my trousers were looser. Hmmm, OK Dirk & Bill, I’ll give you 3 months – this time I’ll make a note of how much I actually weigh at the beginning, so I can see if there are any changes. Three months pass, and so do 20 lbs disappear, easily and with me feeling fuller than ever. So I continue, and more lbs come off – I’m having to buy more smaller clothes because my old ones won’t stay up. Size 18 down to 14, down to 12, down to 10! Lord, how big had my ass been? I try to think positively about my new size rather than the old me. People have noticed and are asking me my secret? I try to tell them ‘No sugar and brown rice’. They look at me with disgust like I just told them I ate my own excrement! Oh well, this is my diet, if they want to try it they can, if they don’t, that’s up to them too. The months on the new diet are clocking up. I’m making an effort to exercise too and wonders of wonder, I’m not the least fittest or the fattest in my gym class anymore.

I feel the urge to write down my changes. I try to think of where it had all started. It had started with Dirk, I guess. My ‘Postillion Struck by Lightning,’ by Dirk Bogarde and it had ended with ‘Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy,’ by Dirk Benedict. Well, perhaps ‘ended’ isn’t the right word. Rather, that’s the story so far.
Total Comments 4


  • Old Comment
    this is my diet, if they want to try it they can, if they don’t, that’s up to them too
    It's funny how people will scoff at others for trying something...odd. I know I shook my head at my brother's attempts at the fad diets, but mainly because they never worked - ie, they were a "quick fix", not trying for any kind of balance, and definitely not changing how people thought about their eating. And the weight always came back. Then my brother had his turn when I moved to MB - until he saw the results. The long-term results. And not just in weight loss but in other things as well. He no longer moans about no beef in the house, or eating so much rice - he actually took my MB recipe book home with him last weekend! But I've done for him what Dirk did for me - showed him the living proof. And that's all one can do. The rest is up to them.
    Posted 08-09-2008 at 08:08 AM by ostarella ostarella is offline
  • Old Comment
    I think Dirk was right in that you can't change another person - ie do all the cooking etc for them. It doesn't work in the long run. They have to start it themselves first.
    Posted 08-12-2008 at 03:29 AM by deebeelicious deebeelicious is offline
  • Old Comment
    Sorry I didn't catch up with your blogs earlier, absolutey fascinating! ... my loss, I'm afraid. As I read about your 'journey', reading biogs and discovering mutual ways of thinking and feeling, I understood exactly what you meant. Even in your blog I discovered similar experiences ... sort of been there, done that too.

    Also I do believe that the right people or the right things will cross our path at the moment we need them the most, in order to keep growing and developing as a person. Sort of when the pupil is ready, the master will appear! As long as we are willing to see and act upon it, of course ....
    Posted 11-27-2008 at 04:14 AM by asmay asmay is offline
  • Old Comment
    No probs! Thank you for taking precious time to read such a long blog!

    We're only ready to 'listen' when we're ready. We probably were given the same info many times in the past, but it only sunk in to our brains when we were ready to notice it!
    Posted 11-27-2008 at 04:35 AM by deebeelicious deebeelicious is offline
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