I read a thread on Mumsnet last night (yes, I should know better) about a lady looking for plus size blogs to read, except, as per, it got a bit out of hand and became a bit fat-shamey. But it prompted me to write down a few thoughts about how I view the whole ‘New Year New Me’ weight loss ‘thing’ … and weight loss in general at the moment.
Heads up, it’s a rambly post that has turned into an essay.
When it comes to body positivity, and the BP ‘movement’, I’m not torn at all. I believe that women should be able to do whatever the hell they want, and that especially includes wearing what they want … no matter what their size. Who am I to say otherwise? And whenever I read anything about body positivity online, you can bet that there are hordes of people who are going to comment with their fake troll concern about an obese person’s health, as if they’re all doctors with access to overweight peoples’ medical records.
Get a life people, and concentrate on your own life.
But here’s the thing. I’ve put weight on recently and I feel rubbish for it. My joints are creaking again, I’m lacking a little in energy, my mood has dipped and I’m avoiding mirrors – God knows what’s going on internally. I’m 47, my Nan had a stroke in her 50s and my Mum died aged 60, so I have to be smart about this.
So, for me, it’s the right decision to lose weight. For me, for no-one else. I don’t feel I have to conform to fit society’s standards, even though I’m bombarded from every angle (ooer), but if people are happy to be fat, or thin, or anything in between, it’s their business and nobody else’s, and more power to them.
That being said, I’ve found losing weight bloody difficult … I’m a prime example of that, seeing as I’ve moaned about it in blog posts nearly every week for the last two years, so the whole ‘New Year, New Me’ nonsense really gets on my wick. It’s just a way for the diet industry to tap into our insecurities and make money. I know, I’ve bought into it for years! Trust me, if you feel pressured to do what everyone else is doing, and hit the gym hard in January, or suddenly go vegan, you won’t last the month, let alone the year.
I don’t want to feel like I’m ‘selling out’ by losing weight. I can still be an advocate of body positivity and bigger women and want to weigh less, I just think we should all mind our own business I guess and stop judging each other. I’ve spoken before about the main reasons I got to the size I did and everyone else will have their own story too, so I’m hoping that everyone can, perhaps, just be a bit kinder to each other this year.
I’ve gone from a size 16 in the summer, back up to a size 18, so I’m going to work on that … but I’m going to still try my best to enjoy every day whilst I’m a size 18. Because being fat isn’t the end of the world! I’m going to enjoy good food (just slightly healthier food than I’ve been eating over Christmas!), wear nice clothes, do fun things, date ridiculous men (until a nice one comes along, because this is the year it’s going to happen) … and live a normal life. I think a lot of people think that you can’t have a fulfilling life if you’re overweight, and that’s just not true. It’s just extra flesh. A lot of people on the internet with nothing better to do think that being fat is the worst thing you can be. Trust me, I lived with a man that proved there are far worse things you can be than fat, so I do hope society gets its head out of its arse and gets a little perspective.
If you’re overweight, and you want to do something about it, or if you’re overweight and you don’t, either is OK, just don’t feel pressured by anyone, especially the diet industry, to panic in January and go crazy hard at the gym and cut out all foods beginning with the letter A (I’m surprised that isn’t a fad diet already tbh.)
So, with that in mind, here are a couple of my 2018 personal goals. I don’t do resolutions per se, but these are just a couple of things I’ve been thinking about this week:
Ditch the diet talk
I’m going to find, make and share recipes of food that I like. I suspect most of it will be deemed healthy(ish), seeing as I want to lose weight (see above) but sometimes, only a chocolate brownie will do, and you know what? That’s absolutely OK too. I may share a Slimming World recipe, but that will only be because I like most of their recipes, they taste nice, and are easy to cook … I won’t be joining Slimming World again (you can read why I stopped following Slimming World here), but if it works for you, then great. Certainly no judgement from me whatsoever. I guess I just want to find a way to live that is sustainable, so that I never have to think about the word ‘diet’ ever again. And as always, that is a work in progress, but I do feel better already in myself for giving more thought to what I’m eating and getting to the gym 3-4 times a week. I’m one chin down, and my jeans don’t feel like they’re giving me a hernia.
Be kinder to myself
Some days, just surviving the day can be seen as a win. That’s definitely something I learnt last year. I haven’t told you how unbelievably awful mid-Nov to mid-Dec was (whilst I was on this horrible hormone injection) but suffice to say, I clung on to surviving each day by the tip of my fingernails, so much so I ended up in hospital. And I know a lot of other people that feel the same, so even though I haven’t written that book (yet), or cooked up a gastronomic affair for Dexter (not that he cares), I’m doing OK. I HAVE to remember that, each and every day.
I’m going to also try and drown out that inner negative monologue of mine … you know the one, “Christ, look at your stomach Kate,” is a particular ‘favourite’, with lots of positive mantras. Even if it is, “That was a great cheese sandwich you made for dinner,” or, “Your boobs look great in that dress.” You get where I’m coming from. Drown that bitch out.
I’m my greatest fan, but also my harshest critic, and I need to find a balance where even if I feel like I haven’t accomplished a lot, lost enough weight, cleaned the house yet or a myriad of other things I’m ‘supposed’ to do, I’m still doing a good job. In the scheme of things, the kids are happy, we have a roof over our heads and we have a lot more than a lot of other people. Context isn’t it?
I thoroughly enjoy exercising. When I’m doing it that is, it’s finding the motivation beforehand that’s sometimes the problem! I’m back cycling on Saturday, co-leading another Breeze Network bike ride for local ladies and I’m excited to be back on my bike. The last quarter of 2017 was so rubbish that I just couldn’t find any enthusiasm for cycling, so it’s great that it’s back.
I love weight training, and want to continue building muscle. OK, so you can’t actually see the muscle because it’s covered in fat, but still, I know it’s there, slowly but surely growing, and the important thing is that weight training just makes me feel good.
And that’s where I’m going to leave this essay (sorry!) … vowing to only do things that make me feel good. Ditching the guilt. Embracing who I am, whether I’m a size 18 or a size 12.
And without being too depressing, I just want to end by saying this – it might explain why I feel the way I do.
As I said earlier, my Mum died aged 60, just as she was about to retire, as she was about to finally stop working and get to relax for once and properly enjoy life. I don’t know how she’d have spent her time, gardening, cooking, knitting and reading maybe? But I don’t want to find myself in that position. I want to make sure that while I’m here I’m going to do my best to enjoy life. Whether I’m single or dating, fat or thin, rich (haha) or poor (more likely) … I want to try and find enjoyment in every day. Even if it’s just because I got through the day in one piece.
Because some days, that’s the biggest achievement of them all.