My weightloss experience

May 26, 2016
I remember on New Year 2014, I was dancing in a pub and I accidently nudged a guy with a drink in his hand. He turned round and called me a "stupid fat bitch"(nice guy). I cried myself to sleep that night. It was perhaps from that point that I began to feel more determined to change who I was and that was wrong. I shouldn't have let some drunk prick in a pub knock my confidence like he did- it should've been through my own personal motivation that I changed. 

Summer 2013. I think I misplaced my neck that year.
Before writing this post, I consulted a few of my closest friends whether it was something I should do or not. I don’t think I’m alone in this, but I find talking about weight loss as something incredibly uncomfortable (think talking sex with parents). Because I don’t live in my hometown, whenever I do go back (or even see friends from across the globe after a few months) it quite often happens that people don’t recognise me. People usually exclaim first about my new appearance then say hello, and are always curious to find out how much I’ve lost and my method. I thought by writing this post, I can (try to) answer all questions and maybe even give others the inspiration to shift the extra weight they’ve been wanting to. After all, if this lazy cow can do it, anybody can.

Summer 2013
From as far back as I can remember, I’ve always packed a little excess timber. Call it big boned, but I’ve never had the body shape that I wanted. At school, I was never one of the smaller girls; I never went to gymnastics clubs or dance classes. When I went to secondary school, I loved playing on the football team, going to the dance studio at lunchtime and even playing netball and in hindsight, this probably kept me from being as big as I could’ve been. I wasn’t necessarily big, but I was definitely bigger than the other girls. It didn’t help when people at school would make remarks; of course, these people would probably be mortified if I told them now things that they’d said to me at school. We were just children after all. However, what people don’t always realise is that an insult has the potential to stick for many many more years than a compliment, no matter if you mean it or not.

March 2014
I take full responsibility for the fact that I was irresponsible with my eating habits when I should’ve known better. From the age of fifteen, I spent a lot of time around people who had the metabolisms of twelve year olds and could consequently eat lorries full of junk food and not put on a pound. For me, on the other hand, I’d happily indulge and not worry about the consequences. I wouldn’t worry when my jeans stopped fitting or when shops stopped carrying my size (Topshop, Zara, I’m looking at you here.) I’d blame it on small European sizing. The silly thing is, I was never unhappy about this; I’d always known I was a bigger girl, so what did it matter? I’d never noticed that I was so big, I was disillusioned in a way- I’d buy a size 18 pair of jeans and think to myself “but I don’t look like a size 18.”

I look back on my naivety and almost smile, because it would’ve been so easy for me for to develop an eating disorder or to let my size rule my happiness. There’s a Tarot card called ‘The Fool’ and when read in the past, it suggests that innocence and naivety ruled one’s life; the Fool pottered around blindly, avoiding dangers protected by inexperience. Maybe I’m just romanticising this period of my life, but I was definitely a fool. I was a fool to think that I could eat multiple takeaways a week, sweets everyday and to hardly exercise. In The Great Gatsby, Daisy Buchannan says that “the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.” I’d never really liked Daisy for saying that, but in this case, perhaps she speaks the truth. I was a happy, fat fool.
June 2015
I’d tried going to Slimming World and Weightwatchers a few times, yet I’d lose interest after a certain amount of time. I hated the group meetings, and wouldn’t go for the weigh in if I’d had a bad eating week. Besides, working at McDonald’s where I’d receive free meals during my shift, I wasn’t really getting anywhere. My will power was a rock bottom and by the time I’d reached university, my size had started to bother me a lot more.
Spring 2013 vs Spring 2016
Furthermore, my eating habits weren’t aiding my health either. I would regularly suffer from Gastroenteritis, and sometimes would wake up vomiting had I eaten sugary or fatty food the night before. Sometimes I would develop boils on my skin if I’d eaten a lot of sugar. I was tested multiple times for diabetes however the results were always negative. To this day, my doctors aren’t really sure as to why I am so intolerant to certain foods but I knew I needed to change my eating habits. I tried eating only wholemeal carbohydrates and cutting down on sugar but the vomiting still continued. It wasn’t until I went to France in 2014 to work for the summer when my friend/colleague , EJ, recommended the Keto diet. The doctors had previously suggested I attempt a low carb life-style but by this point, carbohydrates were my life.

EJ told me how much weight she’d lost on this diet and how much energy she’d gained from it. What was different this time was that it seemed like more of a lifestyle change than a diet. I could basically eat anything as long as I stayed under 50g of carbs a day. Obviously, this isn’t a lot- it was essentially cutting out all sugar and carbohydrates from my diet. No more pasta, bread, chocolate, ice cream etc. for me. I know what you’re thinking- this sounds like hell. The idea is that, after two weeks or so, your body enters a state of ketosis where it no longer runs off carbohydrates but fat- both from the food you eat and your own body fat. You begin to gain much more energy, and your heart rate won’t rise. I could go on and on about this fantastic diet, but because it’s already a long post, you can find more info here.

March 2016, 4 stone lighter 
It was this ‘diet’ that saw me lose over four stone in around 4/5 months in 2015. A typical day for me now starts with scrambled eggs and bacon, tuna mayonnaise salad for lunch and a cauliflower crust pizza for my evening meal. I snack on nuts, cheese and peanut butter (and the occasional Reese’s cup). After the first few weeks, my cravings for sweet things basically disappeared. Now, I really don’t care for chips, chocolate, pasta etc. They make me feel bloated and horrible. I didn’t weigh myself throughout this time; I started my diet when I left for France in June 2015 and didn’t weigh myself until the October, when I’d lost just under 4 stone. Until the date of publishing, I’ve lost 28 kilos and dropped 2-3 dress sizes. (I bought a pair of L trousers from Zara the other day, not even XL YIPPEE)

It isn't until now, writing this post, that I see how much my appearance affected me. Losing 28 kilos has been life changing, both physically and emotionally. There's the obvious Pick Me Up shit "I have so much more energy, I can buy a new wardrobe bla bla" but the most substantial change was how I saw myself. Now, I'll always be a fat person on the inside- unfortunately invariably conscious about my appearance- but I understand that the only person who should care about what I look like is me. For example, a nice chauvanistic man in a nightclub was hitting on me on my 21st night out in Derby. When I politely knocked him back and went to leave, he told me that Slimming World was "in the other direction." You witty bastard, you. Before, I probably would've ran home and cried but this time I just called him a tosser and left, knowing that he was the problem, not me. It's taken me too long a time to realize that other people don't dictate your potential- you do.
 
This photo took a lot of courage to post. Spring 2014 vs March 2016. 
Not only do I no longer suffer from stomach pains or vomiting, but I feel so much more confident with who I am. Of course, I am fully aware that I’m never going to be a bean pole, but I am enjoying being able to look at pictures of myself and “walking mountain” not spring to mind. I go to the gym at least three times a week because I want to, not because I have to. My goal is to lose another 10 kilos; once you lose a little, it becomes addictive. So my advice, if there’s weight you want to lose- do it for yourself and be who you want to be. You can do it!
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