I never, ever classed myself as "fat". Admittedly, the Uni lifestyle had taken it's toll on me. Boozy nights out, takeaways, lazing around - it was inevitable. But that was MY issue and to be honest it didn't really bother me - I was having fun. When I moved back home there were a few narky comments about me being fat but hey, that was their problem not mine! It was only when me and my flatmate decided to join the gym & start swimming (as a hobby more than anything) that in my head I thought it wouldn't hurt to tone up a bit. I'd gone to gyms now and again but nothing serious. This time it was different - we either went swimming or to the gym every day, focusing solely on cardio. Our meals became a lot healthier and we didn't go out every weekend like we used to. The number on the scales slowly but surely came down. I started using the gym where I work too, every morning (still swimming/gyming in the evening) What a difference this made, the compliments came flooding in - everyone told me how great I looked. I wasn't used to this kind of attention at all but yes, it felt good.
My 'goal weight' at the time was from 10 1/2 stone to 9 1/2 stone. I achieved this in what seemed like no time and of course my 'goal weight' became lower. At 8 1/2 stone I couldn't believe it, I hadn't been this weight since I was in school really. We tried all sorts of things. We did the 30 day shred (twice). We ate raw food for a week. I juiced for 5 days and lost 5lbs (put it all back on of course). At work my eating habits became rediculous, I would throw perfectly good food in the bin and snack on one little graze pot. If anyone brought cake in, I would happily eat it infront of everyone but then would stroll to the toilet and throw it up. Looking back I feel embarrassed - I LOVE cake, cake of all kinds. Carrot cake, chocolate cake, sponge cake, cheesecake - it's all brilliant. When I ate take away at home I'd convince myself that I felt sick because I had eaten 'too much'.
At last I reached my ulitmate goal weight of 8 stone. My boyfriend used to comment that I looked 'too thin' and would joke that I looked like Gollum LOTR while taking photos of my pretruding spine. This surely should be seen as an insult but I actually felt like I had achieved something - I had pushed my body to the extreme, I felt I had control over MY body and I could achieve anything I wanted to. Nobody was calling me fat now!
Obviously, this is no way to live. I love food. Like, really love food. I was tired. I had become boring, constantly thinking/talking about food and exercise. Always looking in the mirror, comparing photos. Weighing myself every. single. day.
8 stone may seem normal for most people but my point is it's never enough - the goal always shifts. 7 1/2 stone, 7 stone. When does it stop? Yes the compliments and achieving your 'goal weight' feel great at first but it is a lonely, miserable place to be when you are constantly worrying and overthinking about food.
I don't really remember where my change in heart came from, I think it was when I moved back in with my mother - but suddenly my weight began creeping back up, 8 1/2 stone, 9 stone. I was eating what I wanted. I only used the gym at work and it was fun again, not a chore like it had become. At first I felt 'fat' and I felt that I had failed but this is normal. Just be healthy, it's that simple! Ignore the number on the scales. Wear whatever you want to wear. Go out on the weekends. Socialise. Eat the cake!! Have the biggest burger on the menu. All in modiration. Eat veggies, go to the gym. Do what makes you happy.
I now weigh between 9 and 9 1/2 stone and I feel that's what is healthy for me. I'm currently eating what I want and enjoying my time working out and learning what's best for my body. Some days I find my mind creeping back to old thoughts, in a world where looks seem to be most important in life it is really difficult to ignore. Magazines, social media, other peoples comments - it is hard to push out the negativity at times. I can never understand why people feel the need to comment on the weight of others. These comments can be extrememly damaging to people and although you may think it's just a "joke" or a passing comment that doesn't really mean anything please think before you speak. Don't be a negative force on someone elses life. Building someone up is a lot more fun than tearing them down.
So yep, moral of the story - be kind to yourself and of course, those around you!