Hi everybody, and welcome to my diary.
Today, I stood in front of a full-length mirror and took the time to take a real look at me. This may sound a bit strange because surely that isn't anything unusual? Yet, for me it was. For as many years as I can remember, I have always tended to avoid looking at my body; instead preferring any mirrors that only show my face. I saw a woman in her mid-thirties, mid height and long hair; a pretty face, with the first few fine lines starting to appear round her eyes and some extra weight around her jawline. I saw an apple shaped body, with lots of excess weight around her middle; that looked disproportionate against her legs and chest and shoulders.
How did I get here? I have never been super slim. Between about 16 and 19, I weighed around 10”10 and at 5”7, felt pretty happy at that weight. Then over the years, I have gradually kept slowly gaining. Every six months or so, I would always try and lose some weight and for the last six years. I have put on and lost the same stone many times.
When I came back off holiday last summer I weighed the heaviest I had ever been at 15”9 and felt bloated and uncomfortable. This got me started again and I got down to 14”11 by the end of October 2013. At this point I had lots of things happen that took my eye off the ball and as of today I now weigh 15”0 so have gained 3lbs over the last five months. Basically, I have been starting through my predictable cycle again, where I inevitably always end up slightly heavier than I was the first time around!
It is the cycle that I want to break free from and an all or nothing attitude to my health. I think I just put how I feel about my body into the back of my mind and focus on other things, rather than just consistently keep trying to make good choices.
I am very lucky in other areas of my life: I have a wonderful family; good friends; and a job that I love. However, ultimately the issue of my weight, and the potential damage it is doing to my health, is always there lurking under the surface. My seeming inability to control it makes me feel like I am letting myself down. When I think about myself, it is in two ways. I can see myself as a successful person who works hard and has achieved a lot. However, underneath this is the nagging thoughts that ultimately I’m not that strong a person, because I’m overweight and don’t look after myself the way I should.
Since, I got heavier, I have found it difficult to take pleasure in clothes and shopping, because it is difficult to deal with the fact that nothing seems to fit my odd shape that well. I have to buy things to try and camouflage my middle and then because I only have smaller shoulders, things are too big round the neckline. Plus, because I hate the mirror, I will try things on as fast as possible to get out of there.
I have to spend a lot of time talking as part of my job. I used to be very proud of my public speaking skills, and I know my communication skills are still good. However, now I have started feeling increasingly anxious about speaking in public and hate the thought of people’s eyes being on me. I am starting to acknowledge that ultimately this is probably a manifestation of how I feel about what I must look like, so I assume people will think poorly of me, because of the way I look. This then translates into the thought that people won’t think I have anything worthwhile to say, which is a negative cycle and the panic sets in.
I know this time I need to do more than just try and lose weight. This time I think I need to try and reflect and understand the root causes of why I follow the same patterns that in the end are making me unhappy. I am the only one who can change this and that is what I need to try and do, with no excuses. In order, to do this I have taken an unusual step for me, which is to start this diary. Whilst I do need to do this for myself, I also acknowledge that I need some help and support. I have just had a look through the forum, and see a great group of like minded people, all working to improve their lives. I hope, you can offer me some of the support I need and I’ll do my best to offer some support in return .
I have just completed my first week of logging calories with my fitness pal to get the hang of it. I now just need to decide how much I want to aim to lose per week.