“If you lose any more weight, you’ll be blown away in the wind.”
Undoubtedly, I am not all that skinny anymore, but growing up, I was.
I found then, as I do even now, that being skinny came with its own set of prejudices and mistruths. That skinny equals starving yourself.
I can tell you with certainty that my 18-year-old self ate. a. lot.
I struggled for years to live with the fact that I was too thin to fit in jeans normally, or that sometimes I would find better fitting clothes in the children’s section. I struggled even more with people’s perception of me. All that food I ate, just had to be thrown back up, there was no way a 20-year-old weighed 100lb without doing something.
I didn’t hit that magical line when the metabolism slows and weight starts to creep up until I was 25.
It happened at the same time that I moved to Australia. Well, I think some of it might have started before, but I didn’t notice it until then. By 2007, I was 150lb (69kg).
That’s when the self-loathing settled in.
When, I started having a lot of health problems (mostly stomach pain), I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome and Gastritis. With these came the call to reduce my weight. With PCOS, I had an increased risk of developing heart disease and diabetes, even more so than normal. I was told to reduce my serving sizes and eat more frequently. Also: no fried foods or spicy or acidic.
For six months, I did just that, and I saw a massive change. I dropped 20lb and started to feel like I might have my life back again. I didn’t suffer as much with pain in my stomach or anything.
Then I got lazy again. I ate lots of food, stopped caring about what kinds I did, and the weight crept up again.
It all culminated to after my wedding. I didn’t recognize myself anymore, and I realized all that hard work I had done was gone again. I was back to 150, only this time, it went up to 160lb.
In 2011, we made a lifestyle change. We started going to the gym. Despite many injuries and setbacks, I reached my ideal in 2013. I was fit and healthy, and not too bad looking (except for my acne, but that’s another story). I ranged from 115-125lb during this time.
The crazy thing, though, I was still was not content. And this is where the failure occurred back then. I couldn’t see anything except the fat that I had always seen. But now I look at that photo, and I just wonder, “What the hell was I on about?”
I wasn’t the strongest person, or the fastest, but I had all of 25% body fat, and I gave it my all.
So why the hell wasn’t I happy?
Because it was damn hard to maintain, and the achievement of making it there only meant I still had that much more to go. I wanted to be down below 20% body fat (I don’t even understand why now!), but there was nothing to me there.
When a sciatic nerve injury derailed me that year, I let it stop me completely. Then it was costocondritis, and soon after that, I gave up. Sure, I kept telling myself, “Go back to the gym.” I even had a gym in my own backyard to encourage me.
But I didn’t.
I contracted Ross River Virus last year, which attacks the joints like arthritis would. It pretty much incapacitated me and gave me even more excuses of why I couldn’t train.
So when my husband came home after a massage and told me about these lovely people who do an 8-week challenge, we talked about doing it all over again. I was supremely unhappy, and he was, as well. We tried out their boot camps and decided it was a good fit. So we signed up.
I was disgusted when I discovered then, I was at 172lb. I was the largest I had ever been. And I needed to do something fast.
So I joined. I hated the meal plan. I struggled with the workouts, but I came every day I could and ate almost the right stuff, and now, after the challenge’s end, I am down to 148lb.
I lost 11.94% of my weight in 8 weeks.
I still have another 21kg to go before I will be at my goal, but I’m not kidding myself this time. I’m not looking to get down to 18% body fat or have a flat stomach or any of that. I’m only after one thing: to get back into a nice dress or a pair of jeans. I want to stop feeling sorry for myself and prove to others that it can be done despite everything.
So what have I learned from all this? The first is that I’m competitive when doing things with others. In order to get the benefit from my training, I have to do it with other people. The second thing is that I have to find foods I enjoy that are good for me. I can have crap, but not all day every day or at the level I was before. (*cough* Big Mac, 10 nuggets, fries and sundae *cough *). Thirdly, is that I need to be realistic. If I were an athlete, I have every right to want to aim for 18% body fat, but I’m not and never will be. I don’t need to be under 130lb to be comfortable in my skin. That means I don’t have to train twelve times a week and only eat healthy foods if I want to stay thin. I never want to be as small as I was in my early twenties, but I never ever want to be back at 170lb.
If I can get it right this time, then maybe I can prove to myself that I do have some self-worth.