Too much to lose
Get ready for the heavy hitters here, folks: we’re back to talking about food.
If you’ve read any of this blog, you’ll know that I’ve gone through a little bit of a bad patch with food and weight and my relationship with my body. If you haven't, then the TLDR version is that I lost a bit of weight, toned up a bit and whey it was compliments galore and size 8 clothes and squats and sunshine and rainbows and total self hatred and irrationality and absolute insanity until I reached breaking point. Just girly things, I guess.
I made the conscious decision to give up dieting in May and although the progress is slow and sometimes frustrating and non-linear, I am starting to gain so much from the experience: weight, of course, but mainly, I'm getting my life back. Looking over the last six-ish months has been such an eye-opener to the fact that the promise of a diet is a buy one, get seven free deal. I signed up to shed the weight, but I lost so, so much more.
So here, ladies and gents is a list of things one can expect to lose along with those pesky extra pounds:
- A normal social life. I started to harbour such a fear of social events. Extra hard work-outs would have to be done to make up for an ‘off-plan’ meal. Looking at restaurant menus days in advance to work out which bland-ass salad would make me feel the least guilty became par for the course. On one truly horrible weekend, I actually cried before going to a friend’s birthday party because I was so worried about eating a piece of cake on an ‘on-plan’ day. This was preceded by making my boyfriend take pictures of me in each possible party outfit to see which one I looked least fat in.
- Any sense of self-compassion. I fully hated myself. I hated myself for skipping a work-out because I was exhausted or for having a biscuit because I was starving or for not having my collar bones jutting out or for not having the 'discipline' or the 'willpower' to keep on track with my diet.
- Any sense of perspective or rationality. My diet and my body were my world. My greatest achievements. My purpose. Nothing else mattered. As long as I was thin and avoiding carbs at all costs, the world was fine and dandy. Should I falter, however, or look slightly larger in a photo or put on a pound, my world crumbled. There are people all over the planet dealing with truly, truly horrible and awful situations and I would cry over the fact that I’d eaten a Malteser Reindeer.
- The ability to talk about literally anything else (I’ve covered in this blog post that I couldn’t think about anything else either). I must’ve been so effing boring. I am so sorry to everyone that I lulled into a dullness-overload induced coma with my incessant diet talk.
- Patience, kindness, general joie de vivre. I was horrible to be around. I had no energy and thus I was grumpy, impatient and I snapped at the smallest inconvenience.
- My period. Is this TMI? Don’t care, I pay for the website domain, I will freely talk about my menstrual cycle. But yep, believe it or not, this doesn’t just happen to sufferers of the most extreme eating disorder cases: in laymen's terms (and in my basic biological understanding) if your body doesn’t have enough energy, it will attempt to conserve it in any way it can. Sometimes that means cutting off functions that aren't crucial to survival- ovulation is one of them. I’ve been to the doctors numerous times about it, had every blood test in the book, a check for an under-active thyroid, a course of progesterone, and the only thing that the doctor could suggest was that it had been overexercise and weight loss. Not ideal, eh?
- Oh yeah, and a negligible amount of weight, weight I will inevitably (and have already started to) put back on. I surrendered 90% of my brain space, my thoughts, my efforts, my purpose to weigh 10% less.
So, I think the message of this was, it’s just not worth it. The diets and the strict exercise regimes and the cutting out of food groups in the name of 'health' are just so not worth it and there is so so much to be lost other than the weight.