This blog is essentially about me and my weight loss. All my life I’d been the fat girl, with all the associated baggage. Feeling like I’m not quite good enough, being overlooked, blaming my problems on my fat then eating to comfort myself.
Chocolate was my best friend, pizza my favourite companion. Until I got diagnosed with type 2 diabetes and cholestrol levels that went off the charts. I wasn’t happy with my life and felt like I was in a huge, black hole with no hope of getting out.
I used to buy weight loss magazines at the supermarket and read the transformation stories while munching my way through a family block of Cadburys. I’d justify it on the grounds that other people had it easier – they had supportive partners or a high disposable income or they’d only put on the weight when pregnant so it was much easier to lose. They could do it, I couldn’t. When you’ve been fat ever since you can remember, you can’t see any other way.
Then, one day, I got this idea that maybe I could lose weight. I’d been reading lots about how even losing 10% of your body weight can make a huge improvement in your health when it comes to diabetes. I had to do something – every time I went to the doctor, they upped my medication and even talked about injections. No way was I going down that path – track marks are so ’90s. At the same time, I kept hearing stories of people having to have body parts amputated and even dying because of complications of diabetes. I had to change.
Around Feb 2005 I got serious. I didn’t start some new fangled diet, I just stopped eating crap and keeping a food diary. I began walking every day and challenging myself to walk a bit further or a bit faster. Then disaster struck – I work as a contractor but it had been a while between jobs and the dole could hardly pay my rent, let alone buy food and pay bills. I got behind on my rent and ended up getting evicted from my house after a very nasty court appearance. I got home to get a phone message – my work contract had been terminated.
I had no job, no place to live and an 18 year old son to support. If ever there was a time to turn my old friend, chocolate, for comfort that was it. But I didn’t do it. I kept on eating well and exercising and, with the help of friends and family, got through it. I found a place to live and got a better job.
Since then, I lost 40 kgs but regained almost 10 kgs. I’m going to relose those pesky kgs though and get back to my goal. Since last year, I’ve been completely off all diabetes medication and my cholestrol levels are way low.
My daily walks evolved into runs and I’ve done a whole heap of fun runs. The big, shining running goal in my future is the half marathon. I’ve also discovered a plethora of other exercise along the way – yoga, spin classes, go-go dancing… I used to think that I was unco-ordinated and lacking in flexibility because I was fat, now I realise I’m just unco-ordinated and unflexible.
Losing weight – it doesn’t change your life in the ways you think it will. It doesn’t make you more popular or richer or get more sex. It doesn’t fix all your problems. But it does change your life. It takes away the defenses you used to rely on and makes you face those problems in an adult way. I’m still learning and evolving.