I say that because it’s a story that has been told a thousand times except this one is mine. I have always had the ability to put myself in someone else’s shoes, so I constantly fight with myself because I am told you’re not that big. Or worse you’re not as big as ‘x’. I realise this but being smaller than ‘x’ doesn’t make me anymore comfortable in my skin and just adds guilt to my self hate because now I feel I should be feeling grateful I’m only this fat.
I have yo-yo’d my whole life, I was 11 years old when I went on my first diet. I thought I was fat but the truth was, I wasn’t, I was just a curvy girl. I have an hour glass figure, my bust took a while to catch up it I’ve maintained an almost perfect 10inch difference between my hips and waist and my bust and waist for as long as I can remember. I was just a different shape to the girls I thought were slim. I didn’t realise that at the time and so began the yo-yo.
I won’t tell you of all the ups and downs over the next 20 years. That would fill a book and I’m not sure you’d be that interested. I do want to take you back to 2014 and the image that seriously kicked me into gear. Strange isn’t it how you can have plenty of images but it’s a particular ONE that hits home and hits home hard.
It was an awards evening and I don’t suppose I did myself any favours taking my extremely fit personal trainer my sister! My sister has the same parents but we couldn’t look more different. She wore a black slinky number her figure looked amazing. I wore a royal blue slinky number and 2 sets of spanks and I looked like sausage meat squeezed into a blue skin.
If I’d wore a better dress I’d have not felt the same it was the wrong material for me and I know that but at the time I’d been looking at myself in a mirror not looking at what others saw and in front of your own mirror you know how to hold yourself to look the best. I’m grateful in a way to have made such a bad wardrobe choice because it made me take action. I was determined that the next awards night I’d look damn fine. I was on a mission!
The thing is it doesn’t matter how many people are bigger than you, don’t get me wrong on my dark days I have thought about what how big dress sizes get and thought so what have I got to moan about. It doesn’t matter how many people are thinner than you, again I’ll admit to looking at my thinner counterparts with complete jealousy. I see this jealousy in me and I work to try and be better. What does matter, however, is how I feel in my skin and back in 2014 I felt uncomfortable like the smaller me was being suffocated by the fat.
I’ve never had much success at slimming clubs I’ve done them all over the years, along with some very silly diets, cabbage soup anyone? But SlimmingWorld online was where I found my magic. I earned my 21lbs sticker and I was over the moon. I got a more structured dress for the awards night and I felt amazing. (Let’s avoid the hair mishap and the ghostly paleness of my makeup choices.) I felt comfortable in my skin for the first time in a very long time. Along with SW online I discovered salsa dancing and it made me feel amazing. I was fit, healthy and had a new social life, new friends and a great new hobby.
There I was 21lbs lighter and looking better than I ever had I felt amazing, I looked pretty good and I was getting compliments left right and centre.
So what went wrong? Well firstly I didn’t reach my actual goal. I was 9lbs off the number I wanted and no matter what I did, I couldn’t shift it. I think because my target date, the awards, had been and gone the motivation to reach the number faded. After all I didn’t look bad I was almost a uk10 but not quite and that was great. So, although I was still trying (because I wanted that magic number I’ve never reached and because I got my 21lb certificate that said I could do it) the weight didn’t move.
I had also at this time fallen for the best guy in the world and he liked me just the way I was. I entered the comfort zone. All the old excuses came out, perhaps I’m just not meant to be that skinny, I’m heavier set than a dainty girl blah, blah, blah.
So I stopped getting on the scales and by the next awards December 2016 the weight was already creeping back on. I combination of comfort, eating out a lot more, and not paying attention were to blame.
Although, I did get on the scale and notice the increase of half a stone and I would berate myself for letting it happen. I would try to be good with my food and the next week the scale says, ‘you didn’t try hard enough’ and the next week I’d be back where I started. My response well I’m still in my jeans and not as big as I was so I don’t care.
But I did care, I just didn’t want to try, it frustrated me that I have to be so careful all the time when others around me eat what they like. It bothered me that, I want to eat more than others and at those times it was the wrong foods I was attracted too. So, I’d forget about it again it upset me too much. This cycle happened several times over the last year and a half and each time there were more pounds showing on the scale and I was edging closer to where I started.
2015, weight 9lbs from goal, almost a perfect ten. 2017, after small increases and failed attempts to lose them, weight 9lbs off heaviest back to a 14/16.
Since January this year my unhappiness with my weight has increased along with the lbs. My periods of checking in on my weight had grown further and further apart, meaning when I did step on the scale I’d see a larger increase that would make me feel like losing it again would be impossible. I’d then want to reach for the chocolate with a what’s the point attitude I might as well enjoy my food because whatever I do make no difference I’m just meant to be a big girl.
Crazy isn’t it that this first thing I want when I’m upset about my weight is the thing that’s making it worse. However, I know the answer as to why this is so for me. I’ve always loved food, chocolate, sweets, biscuits, ice cream all the stuff that is bad for you. I also love salad, veg, potatoes, bread especially fresh baked still warm from the oven bread. I hated shopping though, hated that in my teens I couldn’t shop in places like new look and select because their sizes barely past a 14 and I couldn’t afford to shop at NEXT so I had no idea what their size range was. Instead I had to buy from shops with great titles like ‘size up’ which really knocked my fragile teen confidence. So, I avoided shopping in public altogether and ordered from catalogues instead so I could try them on at home. No more trying to squeeze into the main stream store clothes and no more embarrassment at shopping in the plus size store, where my choices where mainly old lady clothes with no sense of any kind of fashion trend.
I’d feel guilty as soon as I finished the chocolate, why, why did I do that? I’ve just made the problem worse, right, no more chocolate.
Recently I celebrated my 36 birthday and part of that always involves some reflection and reflection always includes where I am with my body. This year I’m not likely what I’m seeing. I look in the mirror and I see my hour glass and I love that I’ve always loved my silhouette. However, that means the weight sits in places that are less easy to hide.
My arms are 13 inches around the top and I spent years having to buy sleeved tops that were a size bigger than I actually am to accommodate my arms. This upsets me greatly as I tend to go for arm less tops because of that and then end up with the bit I hate on show. My favourite part of my body excluding my head (because I love my hair too) is my waist. I love the 50’s and Marilyn Monroe, which is the era my body shape belongs to. I love those wiggle dresses that show off how tiny the waist is compared to the hips and bust. However when I’m in my bigger body I can’t show this off because showing off my tiny waist would then involve showing off my baby pouch.
This reflection which led me to realise I’m wearing about 10% of my current wardrobe because the rest doesn’t fit or clings in all the wrong places. With my holiday to Wales coming up I knew it was pointless starting anything at that time because I don’t like undoing my work and going back to the beginning.
I chose instead to get really down about my weight complain to everyone and give them the excuse I’ve got a holiday in two weeks there is no point in me doing anything now it will all get undone.
The holiday couldn’t come soon enough. We visited my family and of the 4 nights we were away we ate out for 3 of them. We had brunch everyday no breakfast or lunch, however, by the end of the week I was feeling so uncomfortable in my skin. I felt like I’d definitely put on and was probably going to be right back to my heaviest by the time we got home.
It didn’t stop when we got home either on the Friday we picked my my daughter and her friend and took hem for dinner a late birthday celebration for her friend. I had my usual burger and chips.
I had literally eaten burger and chips 5 nights in a row!
On Saturday night we had committed to going out to an all you can eat to celebrate a friends birthday. I thought great opportunity to get all my favourites eaten and out of my system before Monday morning. I was stuffed by the the end of dinner. Four plates of food but no burger. Sunday saw us attend a 3 hour dance workshop. I was exhausted from the week but I’d promised I’d go and once there I found some energy I didn’t know I had. Once we left at 5:30 however I was done there was no way I was cooking. So we ended up at McDonald’s. It had been a terrible week food wise and this topped it off. I was convinced I was back to my start weight and I was hating myself for it. I had already been checking out Slimming World online. I knew, I was going to sign up again after the above image truly made me feel like I had let myself down.
It was the only thing that had worked in the past and it was time. The count down to the awards was on and this year it’s my companies 100th birthday so I want a spectacular dress and I want to feel amazing in it. I weigh myself that night straight after the McD’s. Why? Because if I was back to my start weight or over, I could fool myself to thinking it was because I was weighing myself at the end of the day. I wasn’t truly that heavy again. As I stepped on the scales I held my breath, I don’t know why, perhaps I thought it would help. I was relieved!
I was the same weight as the last time I’d weighed my self. Still 9lbs from my heaviest.
To some this would have been cause to say sod it, I’ll wait a while before I sign up I’m not doing bad look at everything I ate this week it didn’t even change my weight. This was me for the last 18 months if I put on it was eat and be upset if I didn’t it was eat because it’s not affecting my weight. I just ate whatever the outcome.
This time was different. Those picture upset me. That wasn’t Marilyn that was just big.
And so, on Monday the 17th of July my Slimming World journey began again. This I hope I will have the stamina to stay with it for life. I don’t want to yo-yo anymore and I’m not happy being big. I will keep a weekly up date here on medium amongst my other posts. I hope you’ll follow along and enjoy my journey.