The War With My Body

I’m copying this from the first entry in this blog. It’s a description of my weight gain history, as well as my own realisations and targets that I want to achieve.

I’ve been a big girl since I started caring about how I looked. I was a thin child, I was always running around and didn’t eat too much. When I reached high school at 11, and started getting home before my parents – that’s where my weight gain began. I was getting home from school (after having breakfast and a decent sized lunch) then eating a tin of tomato soup with 4 slices of bread, a packet of crisps and a glass of coke. Then sometimes I would snack after that, then I would have my dinner. This was 5 days a week for about a year. Writing this now…I can’t remember what made me think I needed this extra meal – the same meal every day after school. But needless to say, I was getting bigger and bigger.

When I hit puberty, I started to care about the way I looked. Hormones raging, teen angst kicking in and I was being called the fat one of my group of friends. There’s a common stereotype in large groups of friends where there’s one fat funny one – that was me. I became so down on myself, always complaining about the way I looked. One day my best friend yelled at me for complaining, she had enough of hearing it from me and snapped. I’ll always remember that day, because I did nothing but complain. If dieting was simply about complaining, I would’ve been the skinniest bitch alive. I stopped bitching out loud about my unhappiness and internalised it from then on out, with the occasional sarcastic self pity comment creeping past my lips every now and then.

When I was 14 my family thought I was anorexic. I cut out that extra meal I had every day and during the summer holidays I became an internet addict. I used to stay up to 4-5am talking to American friends on IM, and woke up at 2-3pm. I was eating about 1 meal a day and snacking rarely. I wasn’t anorexic, I just had a terrible routine. But deep down, I was quite proud that people thought I had lost such a significant amount of weight. But I still wasn’t thin and healthy.

I got out of that routine sharply when school started again, and the cycle of self pity continued.

My friends joined sports teams, tried hard in P.E. class – they just had it down. All I did was feel sorry for myself. They asked me on numerous occasions to join, it was fun they said. But I didn’t see exercising as fun, I was just so LAZY. When I was 17 my weight was 159 lbs and when I was 18 it had gone up to 164 lbs. Considering 150 lbs is the borderline for Healthy BMI for me, I wasn’t tragically overweight at the time, but I hated my body with a fiercely dark passion.

In 2008 at 18 years old I started University. I’m living on campus, I’m away from my parents, oh and look – there’s a gym on campus. I joined. I wasn’t strict about monitoring my progress back then, but I did lose weight. I was fed up of the self pity, and thought “fuck it, I’m doing this.” My first year of Uni was one of the best years of my life. I lived with fun people, I made some amazing friends, boys were starting to take an interest. I never did reach my goal body when I went to America at the end of my first year…

For any Americans reading this, how the hell do you cope with all the amazing food that surrounds you?! I went to America for 3 weeks that year to visit my best friend (now boyfriend!) and I ate and ate and ate. I put all the weight back on.

In my second year at Uni I suffered a major psychological breakdown. I was having anxiety attacks, experiencing depression, and while I did occasionally hit the gym it wasn’t nearly as consistent as I wanted it to be.

The summer holidays after my second year I overcame my psychological problems and felt stronger than ever. I ran 3 times a week and lost a lot of weight because I was going on holiday to Italy with my boyfriend, and I wanted to look GOOD. I lost 2 1/2 inches off my stomach and 2 inches off my boobs (my major fat storing parts on my body). Additional Note: I can now estimate I was around 171 lbs at this point in life. I felt good, I looked good, I was finally getting somewhere with my weight loss…but then after Italy and heading back to Uni for my final year screwed that all up.

I was stressed out because of my dissertation and final project. I ate takeaway meals, binged on snacks, drank caffeine constantly and justified it all by the stress. Excuses, excuses, excuses. When I graduated my boyfriend’s parents (they’re American) surprised me and paid me to visit them for the summer. A free ticket to America? Yes please. Lots of scrummy American food? Yes please.

So not only had I put on the weight I lost before my Italy trip, I put on EXTRA weight from my trip to America. I never did dare step on the weighing scales, but my best guess is that I reached the 200 lb mark. In January 2011 I did step on the scale, I weighed 193 lbs. I never realised what that number really meant until now…

I realised last night I have this amazing talent. I can walk around and keep my stomach sucked in without exerting too much effort. For years I’ve been lying to myself by doing this. I always thought “I’m a big girl, but I’m not FAT.” No wonder I thought that, because I was constantly sucking in my stomach and living in denial. But yesterday I breathed deeply, closed my eyes, turned to the side, exhaled, relaxed, and looked in the mirror. I’m fat. There’s no way around it. I’m fat.

This revelation didn’t bring me to tears, it didn’t make me think “oh god, what have I done?!” There was no more self pity to be had, there had been too much of that in my life time. It made me focused. It made me realise what has to be done.

And now I’m here. Ready to be honest to myself. Ready to share it with the world what I’ll accomplish.

I’ve struggled with my weight for 11 years.

I’ve lost weight and relapsed within those 11 years.

It’s the 29th April 2011 and I’m now 186 pounds.

My BMI is 30.9.

I’m Obese.

It ends today. The self pity, the exercising and losing weight but then giving myself a free pass because of holidays or circumstances. All excuses. All just a cycle of unhappiness.

I want to be happy. I want to be the person I see in my own eyes. I want to be fit, healthy, thin and happy. I have to do this, I WILL do this.

I want to achieve a healthy weight and a healthy BMI, so my goal weight is 130 pounds. That would bring me to a BMI of around 21 – the mid point of being perfectly healthy.

I plan on exercising consistently and vigorously to lose the weight.

I’m not good with diets, I don’t really eat too much food at home – it’s when I’m out on a meal or on holiday that I binge. So keeping my eating habits under control is my diet plan, no matter what the situation.

Message to future me: Remember why you started this, remember how you looked in the mirror that day, remember all the promises you made to yourself. You want this so badly, you need to do this to finally be happy. So just do it.