Look I get it, I HATE the pressure to conform to one or two universally ‘accepted’ body types which leave little leg room (literally) for different shapes and sizes with either ‘athletic and lean’ or ‘Kim K curvy’ usually topping polls, and I stick twos up to that in truth, I really do, but equally I want to be honest here, and say, right now, I’ve put on 8 lbs, my clothes feel tight, my face is puffy and I don’t feel physically or mentally strong. I have every right to share that I want to lose the weight I’ve gained and feel better and it’s not un-feminist (I’m a proud feminist) or demeaning nor has it anything to do with others’ body shapes. Just mine.
My weight-loss goal is not due to any external pressure either, this is about my health, and the weight that suits my body shape. I’m an hourglass (big hips with a small waist) but I have a smallish frame so every extra pound shows on me. Usually my arms. I’m not that tall either and have shrunk post-kids too (weep) plus I also suffer from PCOS (a condition that WANTS me to gain weight) as well as owning a thyroid which is on observation, in case it becomes under-active after a big op earlier this year, so I HAVE TO keep my weight in check.
I also turned 38 in November and while I’ve spent most of my adult life veering between a UK 12 (US 8) and small UK 8 (a US 4) at my smallest, I discovered what works for me this year: plant-based food and intermittent fasting most days for 14 hours spanning sleep time. So, if I finished dinner at 9 pm on an evening, I would only eat again at 11 am the following day. One of my closest friends Mirka of Fitness 4 Mamas and All Baby Advice inspired me to try this and I love eating this way. There are a myriad health benefits to this daily fasting from preventing disease to reversing ageing.
Of course, what helps ME feel and look MY best might look very different to you.
This post is not written to make you feel bad or less than in any way, you do YOU, always. This is simply me writing that I’ve pigged out (not on pig obvs being a vegan) all Christmas and beyond, since the middle of November to be exact coinciding with my birthday but ‘I’ve over-eaten and under-moved my booty’ scoffing plant-based pizza, vegan cake and biscuits, nachos, you name it-and inevitably it shows. I’m not a naturally slim person. I can’t take my eye off the ball and that’s the crux of it-and FYI, just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s healthy or miraculously lacking in calories either.
What matters is energy, how much you put into your gob ratio to how much you burn.
I’m now returning to soup, lentils, beans, rice pasta and a ton of veg again with seasonal fruit because it makes me feel better.
I mooched round the Sales in Zara earlier and tried not to cry trying on dresses that made me look like a Christmas pudding. I left with a black long sleeved number that hid the extra bloat, and promised myself to get back to my usual healthy eating habits pronto.
I swam while we were in Prague recently and it was the first time my throat didn’t hurt while exercising so I’m embracing running regularly again and I can’t wait.
Telly also adds weight, sometimes up to 10 pounds which makes life even harder as I never truly know what I look like (and phone photos make us all look thinner) so weighing myself is the only way I can keep track of what can feel so often veer close to body dysmorphia at times.
I don’t manically weigh myself and despite experiencing disordered eating over the years, this last year or two has seen me feel happier in my skin. I just don’t feel it right now. Not at all. And that’s OK. I won’t pretend I do, and I won’t pretend health isn’t my number one priority which means losing weight and keeping it on track.
I won’t pretend my weight doesn’t matter to me because it does.
I’d love to read your thoughts on this.