I am fat. I have nearly always been fat though I have done the whole spectrum of poor eating and nutrition. I’ve been as skinny as 7.5stone and as heavy as 20.5 stone (yikes!) But mostly, I have been fat.
My weight has always haunted me. I can remember from my earliest days being taunted by other children for being heavy and I remember finding solace in food. When I was 16/17 I did the whole binge, puke, punish cycle and I still have an issue with vomit as a result. It’s not an unusual story other than I have super healthy blood-pressure and low chlosterol. Go figure. I am a medical mystery. Well, at least according to every GP I meet. ‘Gee, for a woman of your weight, you are healthy.’
And I am. Even at my heaviest, I could move, at a fairly brisk pace, I was able to do my job and even conceived a baby that I brought to term. The feared gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia never happened, though it was all any medical professional talked about until that final consultation when a lovely female doctor weighed me and commented that I was fifty pounds lighter than my weigh-in on my very first appointment. She sat me down and asked if I was ok, if I had deliberately been trying to lose weight. I hadn’t; morning sickness had been dreadful in the first trimester and I could barely keep down water. I didn’t really recover my appetite but it wasn’t a conscious decision.
What struck me is that that young doctor was the only person in my pre-natal care who gave a shit about the person underneath the fat, the scared and excited woman who is still terrified of letting her child down because she is overweight.
It is possible to be healthy outside of BMI designations. It is an outdated system that doesn’t adequately dictate health. Neither does it take into consideration conditions like PCOS or lypodoema or hypothydroidism where, without medical intervention, sufferers can gain weight at the drop of a hat, even when they eat well and exercise regularly.
I don’t suffer from any such condition, although I have been tested for them. I am just fat. Poor food choices and a sedentary lifestyle.
I can actually workout though and workout hard; I can keep up with the Insanity workout and Jillian Michaels DVDs but I have pushed myself too hard and injured myself. I then have to rest and recover, but then bad habits creep back in.
I don’t mind being plus-sized, having curves or boobs and a bum but I hate my belly. It sticks out a mile and, although I’m down 3 dress sizes, there’s still things I can’t wear and that bums me out.
I joined Slimming World in January this year and started running in June. I started with Couch to 5k and now am running 5k three times a week. I can do it in about 34 mins, which is not bad for someone who hates exercise. I also have a 30 Day Fitness App that I do in tandem with the running to help me tone up.
For me, this is about being fitter and healthier, to make sure that I am able to be around for as long as possible for my family and the new diet and exercise regime will (hopefully) ensure that.
I have also just signed up for the Ron Hill UK #RunEveryDay challenge for October and have completed 7 days of it. I get up at 5.15 and am out the door at 5.30 for the run. As a teacher, mum, writer and editor it is literally the only time I can go.
I am another 30lbs lighter than I was when I got pregnant with my daughter. I feel better in myself, stronger and more at peace too. The little voices that try to undermine me are too tired to chip at me and the voices which help me work through stories and plot holes are invigorated by the exercise.
I may not be able to run every day for October but I am going to give it a bloody good go.
Until next time,