Monday, March 14, 2005

Nervously clears throat

Hello. I'm K. Welcome to my blog.

I would like to be able to say that this is a weight-loss blog. However, there's a reason that it's called Square One.

Unlike many of the other people who write on this topic, I'm not an ex-yo-yo dieter. I don't have a long history of losing some weight and then putting it back on again. As far as I am aware, I've never lost a significant amount of weight at all (that isn't to say I haven't tried to). After obsessing about my weight aged 13 or so, I had decided that it was healthier not to pay any attention to it - so I didn't weigh myself for about 12 years. Some might call this denial.

I'm female, 25 years old, and I have thought I was a bit overweight for about as long as I can remember. Photographic evidence suggests this was only actually true after puberty hit (age eleven or so) and my energy levels went down to almost nothing for the next five or six years. I don't really know why this happened, although I had reached my full height by age thirteen and had "growing pains", which can't have helped. However, I now think I was maybe suffering from low-level depression, disguised as adolescent gloom. I can remember feeling that I was deeply unfanciable, and that losing weight would be impossible, so I didn't put much effort into it. Also, I have to admit that I'm not at all good at resisting nice food.

So, you ask, are you still in thrall to low self esteem? Is that why you want to lose weight?

No, I'm not, and no, it's not. Even back then I was able to recognise that I had good bits. I'm an hourglass shape, so my waist is relatively small, and I don't gain weight in my face. My upper arms and legs are pretty chunky, but I know what clothes suit me, and most of the time I think I look OK.

I've looked pretty much the same since I stopped looking like a child, and by now I'm used to it. I never was a size 12, which is probably my ideal; I skipped straight from the kiddy sizes into UK size 14 (American 10/12, I think). I've been a size 16 in most things for about the past seven or eight years. For six of those years I've had a serious boyfriend who thinks I look beautiful just as I am, so there's no pressure there.

So why is this state of affairs suddenly unacceptable, you ask?

It's not that sudden. I am very good at putting things off - even things that I want to do. If procrastination was an Olympic event, I wouldn't get around to registering to take part.

I did make a concerted effort to lose weight and get fit two years ago, for several months. It had taken me a good long while to work up to doing that. But because I didn't have a scale at that time, I don't really know whether I got any results; it can't have been more than ten pounds or so, although I felt a lot more energetic. For a number of reasons, my life then became very stressful for a long period, and I pretty much dropped the ball. I moved back home, wasn't earning much money, didn't get around to joining a gym and generally felt guilty about everything.

A month or so back, I started a new job which allows me a discount on gym membership, less than five minutes' walk from my work. So I joined it last week. For me, that's decisive action. I also weighed myself and am pretty well horrified to find out that I weigh almost exactly 14 stone (196 pounds). I wouldn't have been surprised by 180 pounds, but that came as something of a shock.

I have been trying to lose weight in a rather half-hearted way since September because back then my dear boyfriend asked me to marry him.

I would really rather not admit that I am partly doing this because I want to look good in a wedding dress. I'm a feminist and I tend to get a bit worked up when it appears to me that other women are being inveigled into altering their appearance because of the dictates of the media, etc. On the other hand – I want to do this anyway. I'm just using the wedding as a motivational tool.

My main aim is to get fit. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to be slenderer too, but I'd rather have it as a by-product of being able to match my boyfriend climbing hills and cycling than by some regime of shakes and so on that will not, permanently, work. (Also I hate milkshakes.)

A lot of my experience will have been covered by other blogs, and I'll link to my favourites as soon as I work out how you do that. However, I've not yet read a weight-loss blog by another vegetarian, or by someone who's living with their parents, so I hope I'll have something reasonably original to say about those aspects of the process.

I reserve the right to post things which are off-topic if I feel like it, if only to indicate that I have a life which is not of the body.


Niki said...

Hi - just a quick note, after reading your first post. I also was a skinny kid, and put on weight as a teenager, and had no energy. Always sleepy; my family just thought I was lazy. I'm 28 now, about 5 years ago the weight started coming on even faster, which was odd. I went to a size 16 about then. Anyway, a few months ago I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (nothing much to do with ovaries, and everything to do with hormone levels). There's lots of info on the web about it. It now explains why I was always tired and started putting on weight around my middle (like you I have an hourglass shape, but my waist started thickeining), and growing nasty chin hair etc. There's no cure for it, but now I know what's wrong, and what foods to avoid - carbohydrates, basically, because PCOS generally means you're insulin resistant, and likely to develop diabetes. Lucky I've never been a big pasta eater! Anyway, I mention this to lots of women now, who started putting on weight in adolescence because it hasn't been widely known until a few years ago. Interesting to read about it if nothing else.
Gawd - that was a damn long entry!!!!

K said...

Hey Niki - I was actually checked out for PCOS when I was a teenager, because of very heavy periods, and I don't have it. But it is always something to consider.