Back home, back at my desk and back to earth with a bump. Holidays are never long enough, frankly.
I went to meet my Lighter Life counsellor last night as I’m going to miss Monday’s session. I was staggered to find out that I’d lost another 9lbs while in France. So all that mountain walking has paid off! That brings my total to 2st 10lbs (17 kilos) in just over 6 weeks. Utterly unbelievable. The difference is actually staggering … I keep catching sight of myself and can’t believe the difference. I even have a semblance of a waist for the first time in god knows how long. Roll on the end of July (my intended finish date).
One thing I did experience in France was being bloody cold. We’ve been warned about this, but it’s a weird kind of cold. Once it’s hit you, it takes a good half an hour to warm up again, and it’s mighty unpleasant. Bear in mind that I’ve never really felt the cold in my life, even as a kid, so I was completely unprepared for the feeling of utter numbness. Even my fingernails took on a bluish tone, which was entertaining but none too pleasant. All told, I think I chose a good time of year to do this diet (Christmas out of the way, summer approaching etc.) but I could’ve lived without freezing half to death! But, realistically, that’s been the only negative in all this time so I can live with that.
It looks like I’ve gone down another size (that’s two in total since I started) because my jeans are sliding comically around my hips. I was prepared for buying new clothes, but hadn’t realised just how quickly clothes become too big for you, and how ridiculous you look in something that’s even a size too large. Every time I wear something I’m conscious that it might be for the last time. But, as a friend put it, am I really going to stop losing weight just so I can carry on wearing a top that I quite like? Er … I don’t think so.
That same friend and I had a long discussion about weight loss yesterday. She recently lost around 3 stone and the difference it has made to her is significant. Although she admires my positivity, she says there’s a tendency for fat people to think that everything in their lives will be wonderful when they’ve lost the weight (you know, ‘oh I would do that if I were thin’, or ‘if I could just shift a stone or two then it wouldn’t be a problem’, that kind of thing). I know that I’ve been almost nauseatingly positive, even evangelistic, since starting this diet, but I’m wary of seeing it as a one-stop fix for any problems in my life, present or future. On the other hand, the light at the end of this particular tunnel is a very bright one indeed and I don’t want to deny myself the pleasure of day-dreaming about how significantly improved my life will be. Of course I’m not naive (or shallow) enough to think that a slim physique equals an idyllic life, but I’ve only recently realised how punishingly negative an experience it can be to be overweight. And by that I mean significantly overweight, like I was (cheeky use of the past tense there!).
For example, every morning I didn’t think ‘what shall I wear?’, I thought ‘what can I wear that looks the least awful?’ or ‘what can I wear that doesn’t make me look like a weather balloon?’. When I went shopping, I resigned myself to a very limited selection of poorly made, over-priced, frumpy clothes (which, no matter how you dress them up in the shop, all seem to be designed for dowdy 40-somethings with the style consciousness of bullfrogs) and would buy things because they fitted (badly, usually), or covered a particularly squidgy part of me. There’s no joy in that. Also, although I consider myself to be a highly confident person, my self esteem was actually at ground level. I didn’t realise just how much I would criticise myself, constantly and insistently. Whenever I met new people I automatically assumed that their first reaction would be ‘bloody hell, she’s huge’, or, if I was lucky, ‘she’s got quite a pretty face so it’s a shame she’s so fat’. There’s also that terrible equation that says fat = stupid = lazy = someone not intelligent enough to make the right decisions about their lifestyle … and nobody wants to be perceived that way.
Isn’t that a terribly miserable and self-defeating way to live your life? Nagged by self-doubt and self-loathing … and, worse still, being so accustomed to it that it’s completely unconscious and automatic? Well, those days are over. You can bash on all you like about ketosis euphoria, but the absolute truth is that in a few short weeks I’ve banished all of that negative thinking and am resolutely positive about a happier (though not perfect) future. So there!
Right … I’ll climb down from my soap box now …