Bonsoir all! Super long post ahead! So I've been on SW since Wednesday and my first WI is tomorrow at 5.30. I've been on here quite a bit in that time to keep inspired and to learn as much as I can but I feel like since this is going to take quite a while for me, I should start a diary to look over and track things It's not going to be interesting to anyone else I'd imagine but it might help me, so I'm going to write a long first post trying to explain how I got here, at the biggest I've ever been. It's an attempt at being honest with myself. It really is very long but hopefully if I'm struggling I can look back and see what it is I'm trying to conquer. I have been overweight since about the age of 8. In fact I remember weighing myself and 'dieting' at around 7. I ate adult portions and gradually became more obsessed with food as time went on. I think I used it as a means of control - I had none as a child so I would sneak food and try to cover the evidence. My Grandmother's friend saw me out with her with an ice cream in the middle of summer and said every time she saw me I was eating. Another of her friends said I looked 6 months pregnant. I was bullied right up to year 6 for my weight even though I wasn't huge by any means and then went to a girls' school where I actually got on ok for the most part since the girls weren't a nasty bunch at all. I still had problems at home though and the increased freedom of buying your own food at school and just getting older generally meant I put on a whole lot of weight and was deeply unhappy. I had no confidence at all and the times when I did get picked on for my size were out of school, walking home for instance I would be yelled at by groups of boys and a few times by older guys, maybe 19-20 who drove past and called me names. Fortunately for me, I was never the biggest kid in school, nor in my class, and that meant that I wasn't always the obvious target (I sound horrible here but I was good friends with the biggest girl and she was a major source of inspiration to me in later years). I actually put on the most significant weight between 1st and 2nd year of secondary, when I broke my ankle badly and was too embarrassed to leave the house on my crutches - I was convinced people were looking. I'd sit inside and just eat - my parents would buy me ready meals and I might go through 2 before they got home and then eat dinner on top. It was pure emotional and boredom eating. I also have a mother who really added to the problems in many many ways and in her rages would often call me awful names and tell me all I did was waddle round getting to the size of a house, without offering any support. I still have problems with her now, I can't confide in her because things will come back to bite me when her mood changes and she uses it as ammo against me. She never really tried to help me lose weight as a kid and I wish my parents had just not given me adult portions so young and shaped the attitude I came to have round food as it would have made things much easier now. By the time I was in year 11 I was pushing the 15stone mark I think, judging from the school photo I hate to this day. Around this time though I discovered fasting. Through my gcses I was eating tiny amounts and getting away with not eating dinner at home while running at least an hour on the treadmill a day. I lost a lot of weight and even though, from remarks she's made now, I think mum knew I was starving myself, she heaped praise on me for the first time over how I looked. It has always been 'if only you lost weight you'd be pretty', so I was finally gaining a little confidence. Then I went through 6th form and eventually ended up just over 15 stone, even with starving and binging. I was deeply unhappy at this time, away at boarding school and incredibly depressed. The friend who I mentioned earlier had been on the cambridge diet from age around 17 and had lost about 9 stone. She looked amazing. We talked and it gave me hope. I rang home and mum agreed I could do it, so the end of term came, I went home and embarked on CD for a few months. I lost a lot of weight and got down to about 12 1/2 stone, which isn't a healthy BMI but you wouldn't have known on me. How did I do it quite so quickly? I stopped eating the packs. Some days I would have only one, others none. Mum realised the first week when she found unused packs and went craaaaaazy, screaming and me and saying she was going to tell the counsellor blah blah -all threats, no recognition that I was struggling badly with what was really an eating disorder. She never mentioned it to the counsellor anyway and sung my praises while I was on the diet, right up to when I ended up in hospital for something completely unrelated - turned out to be the start of a chronic neurological condition and she suddenly changed her tune to 'I knew it was no good, I kept saying it was doing you harm'. Basically, my mum always has to be right Fast forward, I kept my weight relatively stable and got my first job which I was in for 2 years - I kept putting uni off. In this time I yoyoed badly, always returning to cambridge and abusing the system to get back down. People still made comments - one angry customer stormed off when we didn't have something in stock and yelled 'fat pig!' over her shoulder in front of everyone. I started abusing laxatives. Turns out years later from a time when my mum was screaming at me over something that she knew, having been through my drawers, had told my dad that he shouldn't take me to cd anymore - not out of concern, but out of spite, because apparently me having an eating disorder somehow offended her or something and I shouldn't be allowed to lose weight. Totally illogical and when I found out years later I felt so betrayed. Not once did she ever offer help or try to talk to me about it - she only yelled at me. I started uni and my depression got so bad. I hated myself for how I looked so I never went out and made friends. I still had the occasional comment from groups of boys commenting on how ugly I was. So I used CD as a kick start for a starvation period, would go home in the holidays and put weight on, then starve again at uni. The longest I went without eating was 3 weeks. I was both ecstatic at passing my previous lowest weight and in a black depression. I wasn't going to classes and I met someone very similar to me - scarily similar, in so many ways, especially eating. Happy that I'd found someone I could be that close to who understood my issues, I ate freely and didn't monitor the food. More scarily, having someone with the near exact same eating problems - we enabled eachother - and things started to seem entirely normal. Even so, my weight never really passed the 15 stone mark. I had to go abroad as part of my course and veeeery long story short, I ate too much crap every day, never went to class and hated it, ending up passing the 15 mark easily. I came back and got a job, taking a year out from study. In this time I managed, through starving, to lose about 2 stone. I tried healthy eating but it was so all or nothing with me - one small loss and I'd lose hope. When I returned to uni last September it didn't take long to put on another 2 stone. I knew I was getting bigger. I wanted to do something about it, so I started to get ready to starve - this meant last suppers. The difference this time round was that I had been kicked out by my mum, my dad was secretly helping me financially and telling me he disagreed with her behaviour and he'd leave her if he could (but don't I dare tell anyone) and my grandmother and great uncle had just died. I spent christmas day alone and sobbing. Food was my only comfort and my only friend. I couldn't let it go. So on the weight went. I could feel clothes getting tighter, I could see the stretch marks but I couldn't stop. I didn't really acknowledge the gain until, once my Dad had forced me to issue an apology ('I know you aren't the one who should be apologising but she never will and I have to live with her, so just do it') grovelling over what an awful daughter I was to my mother and she had let me visit while he was in hospital. Very nastily she snapped at me 'I didn't recognise you when you walked in, Dad said it too - everyone else is pussyfooting around you but I'm NOT'. I'm still not sure what that meant - are your family meant to bombard you with comments telling you what a fat monster you've become? The 2nd time was more of a 'you can't be healthy at your size' comment and I kind of listened, more out of sheer embarrassment at the idea she was probably bringing my weight up to everyone in my family. I got back to uni, where I live permanently with a lot of secret financial help from Dad and decided to starve again. I got some scales and yep, the figure was terrifying. To think I'd been convinced I was a monster at 14 stone! I'd love to be there now. But it failed. Then I was looking through some pictures of my niece and nephew taken at home and found one of me. It actually made my heart skip a beat - I looked huge. I was mortified. I printed it out and put copies on the fridge and cupboards and didn't eat for several days. Until, predictably, I did. A girl I went to uni with and who had always been bigger than me started a charity slim last year. She seemed to have the same restrict/binge issues as I did, so when I saw that she'd reached her target weight (with less to lose than me at this point) and looked amazing, it made me think. She'd done it through slimming world. I'd always dismissed 'normal' diets as not working for me -my obsessions made points at WW a nightmare and general healthy eating went to pot - I couldn't restrict sizes and one 'bad' thing like chocolate would end my attempt at losing weight the conventional way. But I knew something had to change. Nothing had worked for me. Time after time I had the same results and I was getting bigger and bigger. I think the sheer timescale of losing weight healthily scared me off. But I realised that I could either take my time losing weight like this girl had healthily and stand a chance of a. getting there in the first place and b. keeping it off, or be utterly miserable trying to starve, failing and getting dangerously big in that time instead. I had also started to accept that I was huge - and be sort of ok with it rather than try to change - it was as if I was helpless and that seemed a very bad direction to head in. I went to my first slimming world meeting last Tuesday. I'd text the consultant at the weekend and her kind words gave me confidence and a smile so when I did walk in, I wasn't too nervous. I paid for a 12 week countdown straight away to make sure I gave it a chance and didn't fall into past traps. No way would I sabotage if I was getting weighed every week - I needed accountability. Then I asked if I could not know my starting weight. I felt it would discourage me too much and also if I knew exactly the figure, I feel like I'd suddenly lose the little bit of self confidence I have. My counsellor was absolutely fine with this. She text me mid week to say I should be proud for taking the first steps and I honestly feel like I have a chance on this plan. I keep looking back at the photos of my friend on facebook and think well, she did it - maybe I can too. I have to try. I have found it pretty simple this week in terms of what I can have, how much and syns. What I have struggled with is the urge to limit what I eat and what types of food I eat in order to speed loss up. Fortunately it hasn't been overwhelming and I haven't fallen into my usual trap. I haven't really eaten much meat - in fact, looking at the diary the only time I have eaten meat is when it's been in something pre prepared. I don't like preparing foods - not a laziness thing I don't think, but something about it signifying a 'real' meal - which I again struggle with. I pick and snack, but meals are an effort. I have 2 a day though - breakfast is something to work on, and I have not been hungry at all through snacking on fruit and eating so much veg. Not had any chocolate or 'treats' though - feels too early to work on that. I can't have these things in the house or they will be eaten in one go, and going out to buy an ice cream or whatever still seems like it might trigger a binge. Best left until later on to deal with perhaps. I've noticed already that I am less fatigued and my eczema has improved. I assume that eating all home made food and no processed junk has helped! I already drink a huge amount of water, about 5-6 litres a day for a medical issue, so the way I've been eating has complimented it. Tomorrow is my first weigh in. I have to be honest and say I'd like to see 4 pounds lost and that it seems doable given that it's the first week and my size - but I have talked to myself about what happens if it's not. The answer is that it's ok - I'm still on SW for another 11 weeks, I'm committed, so I don't have the option of doing what I've always done and giving up quickly. I know healthy and sustainable loss takes time and I really want to sort my head out - but I do have the nagging voices still. I think it boils down to the fact that, if I lose 2 pounds a week, it's going to take a year or so. If I don't, and I get those natural plateaus and slowing downs, the losses of half a pound - that's even longer. Can I keep going through this is what I wonder I suppose. I will want to binge, and binge on chocolate at that when I am down - but this is exactly what I want to change. I know I have an eating disorder and I know it's not normal. I know it will make things more difficult but I can't deal with how much time and energy it takes up. Food, eating and weight has been pretty much my life until now and I can't bear the thought of being this way for the rest of my life. That is why I'm going to give sw my all for these 12 weeks, so I can have a chance at having my life back. And I need to remember this when things get tough!!