I was never a skinny person. I’ve struggled to keep a decent weight my entire life, and now that I’m approaching my 40’s it seems harder and harder. I can’t blame it entirely on my age, though. I went through a lot of life changes in the last year or so. Our grant was not renewed and I was out of a job. I am the type of person that binge eats when in stressful situations. I started drinking more as well. Not to get drunk or because of the alcohol itself, but in order to cope with my stress I started to go out a lot with friends, to talk and to have beers. Many beers, many times a week. I finally got a new job, and now I mainly work from home. Yay! I can wake up at 8am and be *at work* at 8:05am (usually I have breakfast and that doesn’t happen, but I could if I wanted to). Then during all day I work on my computer and my phone, with no need whatsoever to walk anywhere.
Of course gaining weight doesn’t happen overnight. But you tend to neglect “noticing” that you’re putting on weight. Or hiding, not sure. I started to notice that my clothes were not fitting anymore, and a belly that I never had before started to show up. But besides esthetics, I also noticed that I was feeling tired all the time and that I was having trouble keeping my usual pace when I went for a run. I finally got the courage to step on the scale and was overdrawn by what I saw. 160.2 pounds (72.7kg). If you take into account that I’m 5′ 2” that means a BMI of 29.3! Borderline to obesity. That started to really bother me, but whenever I tried to talk about it with others, the overall reaction was never the one I expected.
Almost everybody was telling me things like “c’mon, you’re far from fat”, “you don’t need to lose weight”, or something along those lines. I never know when those are real opinions or just things people say to *please* you. But also, I’ve got a lot of angry comments like “all women are always complaining about their weight to receive compliments”, or “damned society with the perfect body desire, you don’t need that”. I keep reading posts on the internet about “accepting your body” and condemning the media overload with unrealistic gorgeous (and photoshopped) shapes. I understand that there are extremes everywhere, but why everybody just assumes that you want to lose weight because of others? Why can’t you just feel uncomfortable about your body with yourself, your mirror, and your own clothes? Your health, for god’s sake! Everybody seem to compliment your progress, but condemn your sacrifices to get there.
So exactly two weeks ago, a friend of mine told me she went to see a nutritionist and had a low carb diet prescription. I decided to join her, one because of peer-support (it is easier to keep on a diet when you have someone to share success/struggles), but also because I knew I needed something strict to jumpstart weight loss and don’t be discouraged half-way through. First week was tough. I could eat as much as I wanted, as long as there were minimal carbs, and none from starch. So that means that I was never hungry, but I was always empty – does it make any sense? No beer or any alcohol. The lack of carbs also made me feel weak and I had headaches on days 3 and 4. Now after 2 weeks of strict diet and exercise, I managed to lose 7 pounds and bring my BMI to 28. I don’t feel weak or empty anymore, I feel healthy! I learned to cook yummy low-carb meals and have pleasure eating them. My belly is still there, but it does seem smaller already. Clothes are still tight, but I can see the differences on the mirror, and that makes me SO. MUCH. HAPPY.
In order to be included in the normal BMI range I’d still need to lose another 16 pounds. I don’t have an exact weight goal in mind. I don’t really care about if others think I’m skinny or fat, and don’t really care about my BMI. I just want to be healthy and feel happy and confident when I look myself in the mirror. Hoping I’ll get there soon🙂