First up, I feel great. And I’ve actually begun to recognise myself again. Let me explain. I think I’ve suffered from a kind of positive/ opposite form of body dysmorphia. I used to be slim, not skinny, but nicely shaped. Until I was 25 I was a size 10 to 12, small waist, big boobs, very comfortable with my own body image. I went up a size during the next few years (met the love of my life, apparently it can have that effect) and I neither noticed nor cared.
When the weight really piled on (aged 30 to 32 via two pregnancies in as many years and eating like a bear about to go into hibernation) my brain simply refused to recognise the person I saw in the mirror as me. Seriously. I was like the guy in Shallow Hal the movie with Gwyneth Paltrow – except is was me who was seeing something different to everyone else.
Obviously I KNEW I was extremely overweight – but when I’d catch my reflection my first thought was always ‘who the fuck is THAT?’ closely followed by ‘Oh it’s me, shit, look away, it’s a fat mirror’. Clearly those fat mirrors were EVERYWHERE, but I simply chose to avoid them. So inside my head, for the last 25 years, I’ve been a size 12.
But now, over 2 and a half stone lighter, seeing myself reflected in a shop window I think ‘she looks a bit familiar’. THIS SERIOUSLY IS GOOD NEWS!
So more on the pro’s and con’s.. I’ve thought about the things I miss, and the things I absolutely don’t;
Things I miss
Salt and Vinegar crisp – every make known to man
Sensations Balsamic and Caramelised Onion crisps – the big packet, 2 of them
M&S Dark chocolate Cherry Liqueurs
Being able to eat this (what is it with men than they can eat this stuff and not put on a pound. I only have to sniff a chip and my bra tightens by at least one size).
Dark chocolate and ginger biscuits
After Eight mints
Laughing at everyone jogging or cycling and thinking ‘I WILL NEVER DO THAT YOU COMPLETE IDIOTS’
Pizza – I never ate it often, but there is something extremely demoralising about ordering a salad while all around you are eating dustbin lid sized cheesy, meaty, melting, gorgeous thin and crispy pizza
(BUT Pizza Express do an ‘under 500 calorie’ superfoods salad and its amazing!)
Full fat cappuccino – with chocolate topping and shot of caramel
Cheese – in all forms…especially camembert, a whole one, baked with garlic, and a loaf of crusty white bread
Duck fat roasted potatoes
The skin off the roast chicken – all of it
Things I don’t miss
My extra chin(s)
Not being able to do up the buckle of my shoe in an elegant way that doesn’t leave my face looking like I’ve just shat a rather large mango.
Reaching the top of a flight of stairs feeling like I need to throw up my lungs, kidney, liver…
Having to discreetly unhook my bra when sitting for long periods (in a cinema or long haul flight) and praying I remember to do it up again when I stand up for fear of scaring small children
White pasta – I don’t care if I never eat it again, brown is the new white
Not being able to see my cheek bones..in fact any bones. If I stand in the right light, hunch my shoulders and lean forward a bit I CAN ACTUALLY SEE MY CLAVICLES!!
That awful feeling when you put on an outfit from last summer and realising that it must have just shrunk – 2 sizes
Going to bed still feeling full from eating a dinner bigger than the size of my head
Asking a shop assistant in an expensive department store to point me in the direction of the ‘large’ sizes only to be told ‘we don’t cater for people your size madam, but I understand there might be places you can go online’ (smug bitch)
Deciding to join the family for a walk, and returning 10 minutes later muttering ‘really sorry, I must have pulled a muscle in my back / leg / finger’
Discovering that hotels only buy towelling robes for skinny people – on my recent Dubai trip the edges of my complementary towelling robe actually MET IN THE MIDDLE!
Having a panic attack at the thought of having to ask for a seat belt extender on a budget airline (actually budget airlines still give me panic attacks, but at least I can now put the tray ALL THE WAY DOWN)
So on balance I can easily give up the good stuff in return for saying goodbye to the bad.
Outcome: I lost 3lbs – running total 35lbs