Yeah, misleading title. Of course I’m not giving up completely.
I’m managing to keep off the approximately seven & a half stone I’ve lost in the past nearly four years. This is beyond anything I could ever have imagined or thought possible. However, it’s NOT The Impossible Thing. That was … is … ‘to find out what it’s like not to be fat’, which means getting into ideal weight range.
Not there yet. May never be. Don’t even know if the weight I’m getting on my cheapo scales is correct. I constantly doubt this. I watch YouTube videos of shows like Secret Eaters and Supersize versus Super Skinny and stare at people who are the weight I might be, or the weight I was. This just adds to my confusion. The same weight on one person can look very different on another and I suspect this is due to a variety of different factors, including height, age, how active, distribution of fat, clothes, maybe even ‘heavy bones’, I don’t know.
I wonder whether to go for third time lucky buying digital scales. The first set I could only get 0.00 on, the second told me I was 2 stone 10. About right for a four year old! Back to Argos with both. But the thought of finding out I’m a higher weight than I think I am. Disastrous.
I set out to lose 9 stone 4, preferably ten stone. I’ve tried and failed recently to get further with calorie counting. I’ve mostly kept up my exercise but there have been some times of eating extra. Though, admittedly I’ve never quite gone back completely to my old ways. I’ve had my moments this summer. Things happened – the health club’s unexpected closure, illness and the accompanying treatment in my family, the death of an old work colleague/friend who I only met up with again a few years back and who was a mere three months younger than me. Sad … and scary.
But this is no excuse. And although summer didn’t pan out as I hoped (does it ever?) I did have a lovely trip to Glasgow and an outdoor swim in Nantwich and of course there’s all the ukulele stuff, which is ace and taking me over and I think that’s a good thing though I still may give up on that completely.
When you’ve lost as much as I have but not lost all you set out to and got into ideal weight you feel sort of in limbo, wondering how long you’ll be in that limbo. Forever perhaps? But then I felt like that before, with a vague feeling that even though I was getting on with living my life, that one day I would do it and everything would, in some unspecified way, be better.
And it IS better. In subtle but exciting ways. I could always walk about & work, I never had any specific illnesses that are now suddenly cured & I’ve never experienced ‘my feet are killing me’, an expression which makes me laugh, but here’s my list of the ways losing over a hundred pounds & keeping it off has improved my life …
- Easier walking uphill and being able to run a short distance, for a bus or crossing a road or even on an early morning walk-run without feeling like my heart and lungs are about to explode. I could, if it came to it, if I was being chased by a dog, attempt to run away. I’m not scared, I’m allergic to dogs. All dogs, except FlashDogs.
- Less worrying about taking up space in buses and trains or worrying about flimsy chairs or toilet seats, not that I ever broke any but there’s always the paranoia.
- Clothes. In many ways I wish I’d just carried on wearing the same clothes I had from the start. But no, that was never going to happen. I have a small flimsy, purple and sequinned and denim and pineapple-adorned reason to carry on trying to get to target. The don’t-fit-yet clothes shrine in the guest room. If they’re all still hanging there in a couple of years’ time I will not be impressed with myself. But it’s wonderful to have clothes several sizes smaller that fit and to know they will fit next season. That said, I should probably have a clear out, especially of the suitcase of size 26s. Not going back there and getting rid of them will not make me put on weight. Irrational, Sal, irrational.
- Knowing I’m not the biggest. I have to confess to feeling slightly superior to anyone fatter than me, whether it’s someone I work with or someone I see on the street, while also understanding how they feel and thinking I’m a bit mean to feel like this and how I want to tell them they can do it but of course you can’t do that. It’s just that I always was the biggest and it’s a refreshing change not to be.
- Don’t get so hot and sweaty when I move about. This gradually dawned on me and is amazing. And my hands sometimes used to swell if I walked around a lot, especially in hot weather. I’ve only just realised that doesn’t happen.
- I love summer now. This is a combination of the above and not minding wearing cut off leggings, dresses, knee length skirts and sleeveless tops. When you’re fat you try to cover up more and this doesn’t help with getting hot and sweaty. Okay, my legs and arms may not be the greatest but smaller and more toned and I don’t care anyway. The feeling of freedom of cycling on the prom in a sleeveless top or walking around without an extra unnecessary layer is fantastic.
- Lots of extra energy. On a day to day basis this is probably the best thing because it impacts every part of your life. I do so much more in the day now, which obviously includes exercise. Even though I still like an afternoon nap if I can fit one in.
- Confidence. I’ve had occasions over the past couple of years where I had to go somewhere new and have noticed how much easier it is, how much less nervous I feel. And I’ve done stuff recently I would not have attempted before weight loss.
- Just feeling like I’m normal.
- There was something else I thought of the other night as I fell asleep. I’ll remember that, I told myself. Wonder what it was …
Recently I’ve been watching the YouTube channel of a young American woman called Amberlynn Reid. She started her ‘weight loss journey’ almost six years ago and has managed to put on 200 pounds in that time. Yes, you read that right. If it wasn’t so tragic it would be laughable. In her ‘weight gain journey’ she’s put on about the weight of me!
Amberlynn is sweet and funny, is bipolar and has a severe binge eating disorder but she is a trier. The thousands of comments on her vlogs I’ve dipped into (and regretted it) show a lot of pick-pick-picky, superior, holier-than-thou people who clearly love being part of the gang of meanness towards her. Seems like bullying to me. Whatever she says or does is wrong. They say she’s a liar but who doesn’t contradict themselves at times? In many ways she’s a troubled and very vulnerable person with zero confidence but a bit of arrogance to cover it up, which is perfectly normal. Aren’t we all a bit like that?
I wish I could help her. She’s well over 500 pounds. I put a comment on, I doubt she saw it, but part of it was saying ‘It is possible to suddenly find yourself losing weight despite failing to do so for decades’. If only she could disappear from YouTube, finally do what she’s been trying & failing at, then return a changed woman. Trouble is, YouTube is now her job. 137k subscribers watching the car crash and I’m one of them. What strange times we live in and where will it end?
I must crack on with #TheImpossibleThing and accompanying book. I have a dream of helping other people, or even just one person to start with. If you’re inspired by my story and want to discuss it further, let me know. I can be messaged on Twitter or Facebook. Or just read all my posts on this blog and the previous one. You could ask/tell me anything. I really want to help others who think they can’t ever lose weight. I KNOW you can do it.