I have struggled with my weight for years.
It all started when I went on a 3 month exchange to Tasmania, Australia. I was 15 and I had never had to worry about my weight before. I had always had quite a small appetite and played enough sport at school to keep me in shape, but that all changed. I found myself powerless against the boarding house food and endless chocolate treats that they baked daily, and within 3 short months I had put on 9 kilograms. Which, on a small person, is A LOT.
The scariest part was that I didn’t even notice that it was happening. It wasn’t until I climbed on a scale and saw that I had gone from weighing 53kg to 62kg that I realised how much weight I’d put on!
When I got home I went to a dietician who put me on an eating plan, focusing on Low GI meals to try help curb my newfound large appetite. I would see her every two weeks and she would weigh me to see if I had lost any weight. It was the worst time of my life! I remember being so terrified to go and see her in case I hadn’t lost any weight, which was usually the case. I was able to lose a few grams some weeks but for the most part, I didn’t see any results. I was having to count teaspoons of cottage cheese and peanut butter for my snacks between meals and eventually I had had enough of scrutinising my every meal – weighing my food, counting my provitas and measuring out cups of cereal. It didn’t take long for me to give up on the eating plan and the dietician all together.
This was 2008 and it was another 3 years before I was able to lose all of that weight.
But I did it, all on my own, without a stringent diet or eating plan, just a lot of mental strength, determination and healthy eating.
I had never been unhappy with my body before and I think that is what drove me. I hated not liking the way I felt about myself, I hated not feeling comfortable in my own skin. It was a long hard road and I struggled to keep my weight consistent. I would go through periods of immense diligence and then I’d go through stages where I would binge.
What I learnt about myself is that I put on weight very easily. One weekend of bad eating and I can easily pick up 2kgs (this was often the case when we went to our bush lodge for a weekend). But when I monitor my portion size and exercise, I manage to lose the weight quite quickly too. This, however, is more difficult when you are trying to lose nearly 10 kilograms.
They say that the places that the weight goes to first are the places that are the hardest to get rid of, and I found that to be very true. My legs, my stomach and my face were the hardest. I got to a stage where I thought I’d never get to my ‘goal’ weight. I became obsessed with what the scale said, and I would weigh myself almost every day, constantly disappointed when I didn’t see the results.
But somehow I found a way…
I am now at a place where I’m not all that concerned about what the scale says but that it’s more about how I feel about the way I look that matters. I realised that trying to weigh what I did at 14 was just not sustainable or realistic.
The biggest challenge for me though has been the mental game.
When I pick up weight I feel sad and depressed. It terrifies me because I promised myself back then that I would never go back to that place (weight) again. I think that fear will always be with me. Sometimes it’s good because it motivates me to work hard when I can see I’ve picked up weight but it also means that I put a lot of pressure on myself to look a certain way and I have days when I freak out if I can see I’ve ‘let myself go’.
So what’s my ‘secret’…
Over the next few posts I will be talking about some of the things that I have done and continue to do, that I believe have helped me with my weight and helped me to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I can only say what I have found to be true for me, and what has worked for me and that won’t necessarily be something you agree with or find effective but if you are interested to hear what I have to say then keep an eye out over the next few weeks as I continue with The Weighting Game series and my little dose of food & fitness.
Amber Denae xxx