I never thought I’d become that kind of woman who cared about what she weighed.
Magazines like Creme and Dolly were still really popular when I was a teenager, and I was lucky enough to grow up in the start of the ‘self love’ phase, where “not counting the calories” were cool. Diets where women just ate grapes and lettuce were scoffed at, although they all included sections with recipes with peanut butter and salmon, which I scoffed at. As long as I was happy with my body, that was it.
My mum has been a loud criticiser of my body, and not listening to her became my way of rebelling. Being content with my body was the ultimate way to stick it to my mum. At my skinniest, she would tell me “you can’t gain any more weight. Stay like this. Not more weight.” Ever since high school, when I started gaining more weight, it’s always “you should take a walk. Stop eating bad food. You look pregnant. I wasn’t even that big when I was 6 months pregnant”. Ignoring her was something that came really naturally to me – some others might see it as toxic and rude, which it is, but it was like water off a duck’s back for me. I LIVE to not listen to my parents lol. However, it was very, very annoying to be scrutinised about what I was eating and how much, and hiding my food. It was a big factor for why I moved out, and also why I don’t really love spending time with my parents like other people seem to do.
I have never really taken my body that seriously. I went to a gym for a year to slowly pedal on an exercise machine while I watched Million Dollar Listing NYC. I went keto for like a week but decided chips could be an exception. The fittest I have probably been in the last 8 years was when I returned from the Contiki and I was able to walk long distances, but I didn’t seem to lose much weight.
However, as I get older, I find myself drawn and really interested in conversations about losing weight. I even went to hypnotherapy to try cure myself of my addiction to my chips (have relapsed from the last lockdown) and for the first time feel guilty for eating KFC, knowing that I’m just making myself unhappy because:
I don’t like the way my body is. I want to lose weight.
However, I never really did, so I didn’t know what the feeling was like until these last two weeks.
I have been quite stressed during lockdown, which has resulted in me only eating dinner everyday for about a week. No breakfast, no lunch, just stress and whatever I’ve rustled up in the evening with no binging. As a result I’ve shrunk my stomach and unintentionally started intermittent fasting. Although it’s only been 2 weeks, I do believe I’ve lost weight and it’s a great feeling. And I’m really confused, because I thought I didn’t put value in that. And I think it’s a shame that I do, because I literally danced in my bathroom naked – despite me being extremely stressed – in elation because I was losing weight and I could see it . That the feeling of losing weight overrides other much more important things : it’s crazy to me.
I’m not disappointed in myself, because I don’t believe in self-loathing lol. It’s just another thing I’ve discovered about myself – when did I develop this insecurity? I don’t think it was the media. I think it was comparing myself to other girls, and comparing myself to versions that I used to be, and how I looked great back then. It was watching myself go from fitting size 6 to size 10. It was looking at photos of myself and thinking ‘god I’m like so big for my size’. I didn’t really realise that I would find so much happiness in the way that my body looks.
As perverse as this sounds, now that I’m not as stressed anymore, I’m dreading that my appetite is coming back and I’m going to eat more. How sick is that, that I hate that I’m no longer worried because it’ll make me gain weight? That I’d rather be stressed, to be on a ‘fight or flight’ mindset which stops a body’s digestive system working, because I want to keep losing weight?
Weirdly enough, I’m eating KFC right now for the first meal of the day at 2pm. I want this to be the only ‘main’ meal of my day. I do still love food, but I can’t eat as much of it now, and get hungrier later.
Time will tell if this is going to be good or bad….