So I created this blog several months ago because I like accountability. Just the act of having to write down what I've been doing, of putting it out there in the public domain, is probably going to increase my chances of success. But then, of course, I didn't actually do anything about it for ages, looking for some kind of inspiration to get started... I think when you're always on the cusp of some kind of diet or weight-loss effort, actually making the plunge becomes something you don't want to do for fear that in several weeks you'll have failed miserably or completely forgotten about the two days you didn't eat chocolate...
But, I have made a rather promising start and lost 5lbs this week, so, I feel like that's a positive place to start my little blogging journey. Perhaps I'm alone in feeling like a weight loss effort should actually be a Big Thing or it's not "real" and I can just ignore it whenever? Anyway, consider this my statement of intent.
I'm in my mid-twenties and weigh just over 20 stone (283lbs). I have succeeded several times in my life at losing significant amounts of weight and getting to somewhere resembling "normal". You know...where you can wear skinny jeans and you don't have to get special boots with extra wide calves. But, I never got there in a particularly healthy or sustainable way. I think so many people with weight issues are all-or-nothing types. That's why one square of chocolate isn't enough - if you've started you want the whole family size bar, but, similarly, it's why a meal replacement diet, where you eat nothing solid, is also easy (relatively). It's fast results, with absolutely cast iron rules and no space for deviation.
But I'm not a student any more - I do a job which often involves 12+ hour days, including long drives and copious amounts of standing, squatting and physical activity that just isn't really possible when your head is always a bit fuzzy from eating 400 calories a day and surviving on water and your own fat and muscle. I also look at where my skin was before I lost 3.5 stone super fast (the first time) and then put it back on just as quickly to where I am now and I know that while there may be irreparable damage and I'm probably going to look like an ill-stuffed rag-doll naked for the rest of my life, another round with 8 stone to lose is definitely not going to help things. And the hair! My beautiful, thick hair, just falling out in clumps after those diets, waking up to find most of your hair stayed on the pillow or is creeping down your back when you're out, it's not nice, it's not necessary and it should probably highlight to you that what you're doing isn't right or normal. To be honest though, I am trying to justify myself out of it because whenever I think weight loss, I think the empty feeling in my stomach, the light-headedness, the smugness of being able to survive on nothing and the sparkly eyes that seem to come from basically starving yourself. And I could probably get to my goal weight in six months. But, that's not sensible, it's not sustainable, it's not livable for me as I am now.
So, my plan is pretty simple. I want to be back to 12 stone (168lbs - I've been this weight several times and it's about a size 12-14 for me, which being tall with a rather large chest is somewhere I'm happy and I can always go further if I want). I am doing this by exercising everyday and calorie counting. I am not radically cutting my calories at the moment, I mean, I'm huge - dropping down to 2,000 calories a day is still a large deficit for my size and I'm more about being mindful of what I eat at the moment. I am tracking everything with MyNetDiary on my iPhone and the act of programming all of those foods in and sometimes seeing the calorie bar shoot up alarmingly (chocolaty, sugary cereals have so many calories!) is a good learning process that will eventually inform better decisions and trade-offs.
Oh also - my other main thing I want (other than the clothes size and the number of the scales) is to be able to fit comfortably into theme park rides. I went to Universal Studios last year and I wasn't too worried until I got there, then I suddenly realised I actually might not fit onto the rides. I had to try myself out on those trial seats they put in front of the ride and that is just horrifically humiliating. And even worse - it was a tight squeeze on some of them, I had to sit on the ends which have the bigger seats on all the rides and on one it took two people to ram the bar down over me and I could barely breathe because it was crushing my chest. I want to go back this time next year and not have to even look at those trial seats, I want to enjoy having my photo taken on holiday rather than allowing my boyfriend to take the pictures then refusing to look at them.
Big essay over!