Over the last couple of months I been trying to lose some weight. After my last holiday, I had reached an all time high of 12st 6lb (80kg) and was starting to get a bit down about it. I think I’m doing doing pretty well, and am currently about 11st 12lb (76kg)
You might think that 8lbs over 4 months isnt a lot, but I have to do this slowly, without resorting to any drastic measures.
You see, I’ve been here before and it wasnt that pretty.
Around 1995 I was back living in my hometown, totally closetted both at work and in my social circle. I was also desperately unhappy and so for 2 years I just existed. That is to say I got up in the morning, went to work, came home, ate a meal, went to the Pub with friends, came home, went to bed and repeat. I started putting on weight, not surprising really, I was an unhappy lazy slob.
This is when it started. I used to tell myself it began with an unkind word, that seemed to justify things better. In fact, I realise now that it actually began with a kind word. I’d had a few days off the beer for some reason and at work I was complimented. “Oh, you look well, have you lost some weight?” The sort of throw-away compliment that we’ve all made at some time or other. This cheered me up a little, after all, who doesnt like to receive a compliment?
So the wiring in the brain starts to take shape, like an equation.
Lose weight + Compliment = Feel a bit less miserable inside
I began cutting down on my food intake and more weight came off. More compliments followed and the message, “thin is good”, was reinforced further. I reached a point where my lunch at work was a sandwich of cottage cheese on 1 slice of Hovis Wholemeal. My Evening meal a microwave baked potato, eaten dry usually but sometimes with a little chopped tomato to moisten it. I was still going the Pub almost every evening and having a couple of pints of beer, that didnt count though 😉
I think I hit a plateau around 9st 7lbs (60kg) and stayed at that weight for a few months. I thought I looked great at the time, people wanted to know my dieting secrets, how well I’d done. In fact, My brother told me years later that he had been worried I was seriously ill, Cancer or possibly even Aids, that sort of thing.
Here is the family friendly version of how I looked then
This is the not so nice version, click if you dare! Dont worry, I’m not totally nude or anything!
Things took a turn for the worse at this point. Having plateaued, I felt I was no longer getting the attention that I had enjoyed and so my brain came up with a new plan. I began to ask myself “why shouldnt I eat what I liked?” I wasnt losing any weight anyway so fuck it! I began to eat and eat and eat. Then , you guessed it, I immeadiately regretted eating and forced myself to be sick. (That’s still quite hard to say out loud)
A new cycle emerged, where previously I’d eat very little, for example taking a single sandwich to work, now I’d eat a full meal in the canteen. Shortly afterwards I ‘d be in the toilets being sick. this went on for some time and the weight started coming off again. Along with some damage to back teeth enamel and gums, I should add.
In mid 1998 I met Paul and I was at my lowest adult weight, 8st 9lb (55kg) looking back at photos, I cant believe how thin I was.
During our first few months together I was still doing it. I’m sure that Paul had no idea, I’d eat a meal and then go off and be quietly sick. You get good at that. It sounds impossible doesnt it, being quietly sick. I cant do it now, I’m as noisy as anyone else, I guess I’ve lost that “skill.”
We had a blip, me and Paul, I finished our relationship because he was getting too close, I was falling for him big time and I could’nt cope with that. Luckily for me he didnt give up and after a few awful lonely weeks, we were back together. Shortly afterwards I moved in with Paul and that changed things totally.
I was now away from my hometown, new friends (Paul’s) and a new job where I was out and proud! I was happy, happier than I’d been in years, possibly happier then ever before. I stopped being sick and started eating normally, I even put weight on and it didnt worry me.
I still have an “odd” relationship with food at times. For example, Fish must have its batter removed and Pies, Sausage rolls and Quiche must all have their pastry stripped off or left on the plate. If I have planned what I will eat or have chosen from the the menu and its not available or the plan changes for some reason it throws me into blind panic. Similarly, if I’m put on the spot like “What do you want to eat?” usually I cant just answer right away, I have to think about it. Then I feel that all eyes are on me and it panics me a bit. I’m still working on that!
You’ll notice I’ve avoided labelling my “condition”. You might be thinking Anorexia or Bulimia. You might be right. I would’nt want to label myself with those names,but only because I’d feel a fraud. My sudden cure through falling in love seems too easy and somehow unfair to all those people who suffer with eating disorders all their lives.
So, its took 9 years of not caring too much about my weight to get from 8st 9lb up to 12st 6lbs.
Not too bad going, but some of it now has to come off. I just need to go slow and not get obsessive or silly about it. So I’m playing it cool, If I lose 1-2lbs a week that will be plenty and I know when to stop this time, 10st will be just fine thanks.
I was going to turn off the comments for this post but, what the heck, I’ve had my say, you have yours 🙂