This morning I stepped on the scales. This morning I weigh 9st11. Which depending on who you are, may seem like rather a lot or not very much. For me, and me alone, it is too much.
Yesterday I ate not like a hungry caterpillar but more like an angry caterpillar: 2 pieces of toast, a granola bar, a chicken wrap, a packet of Food Doctor crisps, a pot of pineapple and mango, a chocolate brownie from Pret a Manger, a jacket potato with coleslaw, a chunky KitKat, a digestive biscuit. Two cups of tea and a glass of red wine. Epic? Yes.
Slowly but surely I feel like I’m slipping back into my old ways, my late teens to mid-20s where I was a size 16 and weighed around 13.5 stone. I’ve fallen into an awful cycle of thinking I *need* sugar, that my life will be infinitely more miserable if I don’t eat chocolate and/or cake every single day. I see it as a reward – got through that meeting? Have a bar of chocolate. Done that painting? Time for a piece of cake. It stops today.
Me and Me: On the left, in 2000 (aged 20). I’d just finished my second year of university in America and was heading towards my biggest whilst travelling with a friend. On the right, in 2011 (aged 31). On a second honeymoon with OH in Asia and at the smallest I’ve ever been.
Whilst there is a big difference between 9.5 stone and 13.5 stone, I’m very aware that as I get older I do have to be more careful. The problem that is that I’m not good at compromising when it comes to food. Spending my one and only life eating quinoa for breakfast, nibbling on kale crisps and sucking on pomegranate seeds for the rest of my days does not appeal. Nothing that is good or healthy comes naturally to me and I’m incredibly envious of people who genuinely enjoy eating well.
The bigger me ate like a Trojan. It’s no surprise at all looking back to understand why I was big and even at the time I knew it and wasn’t happy, but I had a boyfriend and there was an inevitability that it was how I was meant to be. I could remember being a size 14 and vaguely recalled being a size 12 but with my “slow metabolism” and “big bones”, being that weight and size was my future.
Around that time, perhaps in 2003, I had to go to the doctor to pick up a Pill prescription. She weighed me and said with brutal honesty: “You’re overweight, I’m not giving you a full 6 month prescription. You need to come back in three months and have lost weight”. Fierce isn’t it? Yet she was right.
So gradually, gradually, the weight started to come off. I cut down on the crazy eating whilst never denying anything that I fancied and became happier in my own skin. The previous me had never wanted to walk down to the end of the road, the new me started walking from home in Hammersmith to work in Edgware Road which was about 45 minutes. I didn’t do it every day, but it was a little step that helped.
Between 2003 and 2006 I dropped down to 11 stone. By the time I got married in 2007 I was 10st3, the lightest I could recall being since a time when I’d been bothered about it. In 2009 I was 9st10 and that’s pretty much where I’ve fluctuated around ever since. I never go up to 10st, and my happy place is 9st7 – this is a realistically maintained weight for me which means the odd fish and chips here and there, just not every day.
I’ll never forget the first time I got into a size 10, I promptly went into pretty much every shop on Oxford Street and tried on every piece of clothing just to be sure it wasn’t a fluke from a more generously sized range. It wasn’t. I even had to get my rings resized since I lost weight from my fingers.
It’s odd to look at pictures of me at 20 and acknowledge I look better at 35, for most people it’s the other way around. That said, deep inside will always be “fat Lins” as one of my male friends who has witnessed the transformation fondly refers to the previous me, the person I never want to go back to but as time goes by I need to work harder to avoid. And I know too that some people may be offended by what I’ve written, referring to size 16 as “fat”. Yet this is just me, and how I felt about it all, and what I’m happy with. Everyone is different, and all we can all ever hope to be is happy.
Click here to visit our webshop, DaisychainBaby.co.uk
Hi Lins. Came across this post on the #FitnessTuesday linky and really enjoyed it. I’m a fellow yo-yo-er and the last time I was 9st 5 I was about 15! In adulthood, I’ve fluctuated between 10 1/2 and 13stone. I’m now at 11 and find it really hard to get below. But it suits me at this weight, I think. I now have a much healthier relationship with food and can I recommend Amelia Freer’s Eat.Nourish.Glow? I’m reading it at the moment and it’s really helping me change my mindset from thinking of food in terms of good/bad to thinking about it as nourishing and healthy. Think that’s the key to losing/stabilising weight for me. Good luck with your blog and keeping fit and healthy! Lisa xx
Hi Lisa, thanks so much for stopping by and commenting! Isn’t our relationship with food such a confusing one? I don’t know why it comes so naturally to put the best fuel in the car, to give my dog the best food for her sporting breed, yet I don’t think the same when it comes to what fuel I give myself! Thank you for the book recommendation too, i’ve heard fab things about that so I’m off to check it out. I totally agree, it’s about reaching a place where we all feel comfortable and happy and that is sustainable long term too X
I don’t think you looked fat in your 20’s, you look gorgeous in both, bit sad friends of yours called you Fat Lins, really awful. Well done for finding a way of eating that makes you happy and feeling your best #fitnesstuesday
Thank you so much for your kind words Vicki, I really appreciate it! Looking back it’s now been so long I can’t even imagine being as unhappy as I was (as well as I masked it) but thankfully now that happy and sustainable place has been reached X
I never thought she did either, I thought she was cute when I met her at university here stateside 😉
Haha oh Paul that did make me chuckle 🙂
Lins thank you so much for sharing this post. I have always been obsessed with my weight, as I very easy put it on, and also have a negative experience with my mum, who was always talking about my thighs as big. I grew up thinking I was big, but now I know I was not. I used to eat according to how much I weighed in the morning, if I was happy I did eat, but if I had more than the day before, I did not. a very unhealthy lifestyle. I think it is important find the balance and be happy. Look at your achievement, well done! #FitnessTuesday For me concentrating on exercises, my running, swimming and spinning has helped me stop being obsessed with my weight.
You’re very welcome, thank YOU for hosting the linky! I’ve often felt that I can’t really write about the weight because it can be such a personal subject and I never wanted to offend anyone, but I also hope it inspires people that anything is possible. Now I just need to become super active like you 🙂 X
I am the other way around . I saw a photo of myself at 15 the other day (now 35) and thought, my god, my legs looked great.4 babies later and lots of water retention. I exercise as much as I can and I eat little and sensibly but I can’t shift the weight or water until I stop breastfeeding #FitnessTuesday
Oh bless ya, but think of those 4 wonderful babies you’ve had. I have no idea what I’d look like after 4 babies, I don’t even have 1! I too do suffer from water retention, each month depending on my cycle I can lose/gain 4-5lbs simply with water and if I fly to a hot place on long distance my ankles are like tree trunks it’s horrible 🙁 X
I love this post, such an open, honest post. I have yo-yo’d throughout my twenties and am not knocking on the door of my 30’s 3 stone heavier then when I entered my twenties and am on a mission to be healthier and happier. Like you, quinoa and kale do not appeal! It’s all about being happy inside and feeling fab, sod what others think x
Thank you Sherry for your kind words. I think you (not you personally, but you as in everyone) just needs to get to a place where they are all uniquely happy, but at the same time be honest, and that can be tough. I was barely able to walk anywhere without getting out of breath, whether or not I thought that I was happy, it certainly wasn’t healthy. Good luck with your mission to be healthier and happier 🙂 X
Great post Lins, I think everyone knows what is their happy weight and when they start to feel ‘fat’, it’s a personal thing! And I wouldn’t be surprised if many people feel they look better in their 30s…I’m still working on it but I’m certainly hoping to! Haha! #FitnessTuesday xx
Thanks so much for your lovely words Hannah – I think it’s really good to reach that happy place, good luck 😉 X
Lins, this is a lovely post. I have battled with my weight all my life and have many issues to this day that I just haven’t dealt with which makes me sad. I too have ‘fat Antonia’ inside of me and cannot shake her off despite the fact that I am slim and have been for years now. I binge when I’m stressed and feel like I’m losing control yet I’m rubbish at stopping the behaviour. I only hope that in time, I can heal myself once and for all xxx
It’s the most difficult thing to control isn’t it? I don’t think the ‘bigger’ person issues ever really leave and it is all about trying to control those voices. I’ve definitely identified now where I feel happy both weight and size wise, it’s amazing how just something like Christmas can add those few extra pounds that I’m not happy with and it’s mostly booze-related. At least it’s relatively easy to remedy but think it will always be a constant juggling act Xx