There are two things I know for sure:
1. I really really need to lose weight (I also ‘want’ to incidentally)
2. Dieting doesn’t work.
Spoiler alert: I’m not in a great place.
I’ve been trying to work on my self-image issues. I got into the lift in my apartment building last week (having been away for several days) and saw my reflection. I automatically grimaced and thought very bad thoughts before I caught myself.
“Stop,” I told myself. “Look again. Is it really that bad?” So I looked at the image reflected before me. An image far bigger than I’d like. “But, was it really that horrendous?” I wondered. “Could I accept or even love that image?” I wondered.
It’s something I’ve been working on. I’ve talked before about the fact that—while I struggle with MY body and believe it needs to be hidden away in order to not scare small children—I appreciate and admire a lot of plus-size bloggers who share images every day of their outfits (and their bodies). Some aren’t that plus-sized, but some are. I can look at them and think they look great, but can’t do the same about myself.
I decided, however, to try. My weight has blown out of control over the past two and a half years. I’ve gained 40kg or more. That’s like nearly 100lbs. Which is like 50kg which is very scary (and yes, I know I’m stuck in some mathematically-challenged cycle there!).
Losing that much weight plus the 10-20kg I already wanted to lose (or the extra 20-30kg BMI charts say I SHOULD lose) is beyond scary.
Over the past year, I’ve continued to be stuck in the same thought pattern which has plagued me for far too many years.
In bed at night
Oh. My. God. I’m so fat. I’m horrendous. I’m unhealthy. I might die. I need to do something. STAT. Tomorrow morning I’ll start a shake diet so I can lose lots of weight quickly.
I’m supposed to diet. My life is over. Why even bother living if I can’t have (insert various foods of choice here). I can’t have hot chips. I want hot chips. I want all of the hot chips in the world. All of the time. Every day. Hot chips for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Oh, and chocolate of course.
Later that day (after I’ve been wallowing in bed in a depressive state for hours)
Damn this dieting malarkey. I know… I’ll try intuitive eating and not-dieting. I’ll approach my ‘lose weight’ plan from a place of self-love not self-hate. I’ll tune into my body’s hunger signals and eat what I want when I want it, and I’ll bloody well enjoy it.
God I’m so full, I can’t sleep. I ate way too much today. I’m so fat and pathetic. This not-dieting thing really isn’t working. I need to do something extreme. Surgery? No carbs? Shakes?
I’ve written endlessly in this blog (albeit in the past) about my battle with anorexia, bulimia and (still) intermittent binge-eating disorder. I’m OVER the food thing. I’m OVER the diet thing.
That doesn’t change anything however, cos… I still need to lose weight. It’s not just an aesthetic thing. My BMI is like 46 or something.
Hence the whole refocus on trying to accept my body (body neutrality at a minimum) or accepting the fact that WHILE I’m far (FAR) from where I’d like to be, I deserve to be valued and treated as a worthwhile human being* nonetheless.
However, just as I was thinking I was going to pursue this self-acceptance thing (thereby hoping I’d appreciate my body enough to want to make changes for it, not ‘me’) I saw some photographs from an event I attended last Friday.
They’re awful. Beyond awful. There’s no way I look like the plus-sized or curvy bloggers who share style and fashion pics. I look like that big lumpy creature in Star Wars. With sweaty hair and a fat face.
So there you have it. I’m fat and need to lose weight, but have no idea how. Fuckity fuck!
I won’t ask for hints cos even I know the obvious is to eat less and move more.
* Predominantly by me!
NB. This is why most of my posts have been about books, cats, dogs and crap lately.
This is me. Every damn day. I’m so sick of it. Mirrors, photos…ugh! I know exactly how you feel. Made worse by the approaching doom of having to squish into an aeroplane seat for multiple hours to get to New York.
I have no advice just a shared common misery and hugs.
Oops… I changed this post from private and meant to keep it buried in the past.
And the seat thing… one of the reasons I don’t want to fly. Anywhere. Also the fear of the seatbelt not fitting or people being nasty if I encroach on their seat!
For about 6 years now I’ve hated seeing myself in photos. Ever since I got glandular fever then learned to drive. I’m trying to get over it by posting photos online & getting used to seeing myself but it only helps a little.
People will comment on them and tell me I look great and I want to yell “but that’s not what I look like!! I don’t care what you think, it’s not me”.
Honestly, I don’t think I know I’m fat half the time.
6 years…fark. Over half a decade is a stupid amount of time to dislike parts of yourself.
I became anorexic at 15 (turning 16) and am 47 and really really wish I’d been able to deal with eating issues before now. I’ve often been frustrated by the time I’ve wasted and things I haven’t done either because: I’ve been obsessed with food and dieting etc; and then because I’m ashamed of my body, or waiting to lose weight and putting things off etc. SO MUCH TIME wasted.
I can completely relate to every single thing here. I’ve put on 10 kilos in a year thanks to meds and I was already slightly overweight to start with. I think weight loss on my current meds is mission impossible, so I’m concentrating on just making small changes and trying to be he healthiest and fittest I can possibly under the current circumstances.
Perhaps start with small changes. I don’t drink alcohol and have a fairly limited diet with the health issues so I’m concentrating on drinking more water and walking for 20 to 30 minutes most days. When I’m having a good day health wise I do more.
I think I just need to change my mindset and avoid mirrors. Easy said than done.
I’ve tried the avoiding mirrors thing. It doesn’t work for long! 😉
Change room mirrors are the bloody worst.
Target change room mirrors are the worst of the worst!
I try to mostly shop online. I’m not working at the moment so really don’t even need clothes… which is what I’m telling myself to avoid doing any shopping!
Oh I avoid them at all costs. I haven’t really bought any clothes for a year or two and if I do I order online etc!
Although I haven’t put any more weight on, I’ve entered that point in my life where blood pressure, joints and doctors are an issue- & I have a dislike for all of the above. My blood pressure is now officially high & I have a month to try & do something about it before medication is introduced. As you say, fuckity fuck.
I did ponder whether fuckity fuck should be fuckedy fuck. (These are the important things I worry about….!) Oh yes, not to mention my weight. Sometimes.
Deb, I have a huge nose. I mean like Roxanne proportions. I could have changed it if I’d had the money but I had more urgent things to worry about. I also drink too much and found all your points applied to me too. Don’t beat yourself up babe. We all have demons. Every single one of us. One day at a time I reckon. I just read on Saturday in the newspaper that there are women in Australia (lots of them) taking almost 100 codeine tablets a day. What the hell? Surely that’s worse than drinking wine every night or being overweight? You’re doing okay darl. Don’t think for a moment everyone’s life is perfect.
Hi Deb, Yup I can see you are “not in a great place”. I visit that place often too, for many different reasons. The good news is you’ll find your way out of it. You have done it before. it is just a temporary state of mind. Awful but temporary. How is your writing going?
I hope to do some more writing this week… I think it’s one of the things that’s frustrating me (as per my subsequent post about guilt, self-forgiveness etc) is that I currently have the time and opportunity to do some writing but am frittering that away and making the most of it! So I’m quite frustrated with myself.
Oh I hear you, and I am the same way. I try not to think of things in terms of diet…cause that is just DIE with a T on the end. 🙂 I try thinking of it as a lifestyle change that has me adding more veggies to my plate and trying to eat smaller portions…can’t say it always works but I think of myself as a work in progress…lol. 🙂 Hang in there!
It’s really sad that we value ourselves by whatever number appears on the scale. Or by how we perceive ourselves in the mirror. I do it myself. Beat myself up if I put on weight. Try to avoid being in photos with my prettier sisters. Surely what’s inside should count more?!! Our character not our appearance. Sure it’s important for health reasons to not carry too much extra weight but beating ourselves up for it is just not acceptable.
You wouldn’t believe how horrendous these pictures are Char. I keep thinking, “I can’t really look like that!”
I can relate to everything Debbie!! If I can give you any advice it would be to just start making small changes in your every day life. Each little step will eventually equal a whole bunch of steps. You can do it babe, I know you can xx
Thanks Michelle. For visiting, reading and your suggestion. I completely agree that small iterative changes are more sustainable.
I can relate to all of this. I’m about 30 kg overweight. I even started running to move some of it, but it didn’t work and then over summer I added around 7 kg. I don’t do extreme eating and I think the weight sits there as some sort of protective body armour, because even when I eat “healthy” and exercise, it doesn’t move. I hope you manage to find a way to deal with this.
Weight and food issues are so complex and challenging. It’s not like giving up smoking and being able to eliminate the cigarettes from your life and avoid exposure to them as much as possible. You still have to make decisions about food every single day at least three times a day. It’s relentless. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even though I wasn’t obese I felt like I was headed there six or so months ago. Plus my cholesterol levels were an issue. I decided to join Weight Watchers. I’ve tried several other ways of doing it myself but nothing seems to work for me except turning up at a meeting and being confronted by a number on the scales. I know it’s just a number and other things are more important like reduced cholesterol levels, how you feel etc. But that’s the only thing that seems to shock me into action. I”ve gotten off track in the last few weeks because I’ve been too busy to get to meetings, but I’m back on Friday. This is probably not something you can do alone if you have a history of eating disorders. I hope you find something that works for you. xo
Ness of all of the ‘diet programs’ out there, I think Weight Watchers is one of the best.
I love your honesty!
I have been big and I have been skinny. I’m somewhere in the middle right now and I also don’t love how much time I spend thinking about, worrying about and talking about weight. Such a waste of precious time. I also worry about how to give my three girls the confidence to eat and exercise in a healthy way. Thanks for a fabulous post. Bron
Ah yes, I shared something on my blog FB page today from an online magazine re how to talk to your kids about their need to diet. The advice was pretty much – don’t. I actually think kids mimic / take note of what we do more than what we say so it sounds as if you’re conscious of your actions etc anyway.
Thank you for sharing this, I know it was difficult for you. I have always had a very unhealthy relationship with my body which has intensified since having a baby (who is now 4!) I really think you are on the right track though, so much of what holds us back and beats us down is in our own heads xx
I have gone up and down in weight over and over again. I can completely empathise with the feelings you are expressing. I too am in a bad place at the moment and emotionally eating to compensate. Not sure what the answer is…..I know I hate the body disgust but struggle to find time for me in the day and the energy to move which I know will make a difference. ARGHHHHHHHHH!!! Good luck my dear, go gently. Mel xx
I love posts about cats, dogs, books and other crap! I know the only way to keep my weight under control is to exercise more. It’s just I LOATHE exercise. Blech.
Janet I’m not exercising at all at the moment and have developed some kind of bizarre dread of even heading for a walk etc. Argh! I cannot believe that just before arriving here I was doing gym classes 4-5 days a week!
That thought cycle is so familiar Deb – loathing yourself at night, resolving to do something positive in the morning and then just doing what you normally do until you come to loathe yourself again at night. I have no advice but I do want you to try to accept who you are right now and love yourself as a human being x
On an unrelated matter, I have to say that my husband would be horrified that you couldn’t name Jabba the Hut from Star Wars!
Ha! Oh that’s right. I’m definitely not enough of a fan!!!
I think you know that I can relate to what you’re saying here! I was already overweight – obese according to the BMI calculator when I suddenly had a rapid weight gain phenomena happen out of nowhere. I’ve now established certain medical conditions were to blame but I had terrible health consequences as a result. I’m chugging away trying to get the weight off but gee it is hard. I think the trick is not to look at the WHOLE picture coz that can be so overwhelming that you feel defeated before you even start. I set little mini goals and chip away. 8.3 kg’s gone since we got back from Tassie – so much more yet to go but hitting 10kg is my goal for now. This isn’t a tip coz I know you don’t want them – it’s an observation from all my years of trying to losing weight: what you eat is more important than how much you exercise when it comes to losing weight. 🙂
Thanks Min and well done! And yes, I’m definitely aware that losing weight is 70-80% all about food and 20-30% about exercise. (It doesn’t seem to help on either front!)
I can certainly relate with being over weight. I with Min on having small goals to work towards makes it psychologically more achieveable. I hope that you find something that works for you.