Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Goodbye, at last, to a constant companion

They say that 1 in 5 British adults are obese. Well, finally, I'm not one of them. My weigh in this morning was actually even better than I expected, and instead of the 202lb I needed to just sneak in at 29.9, I've dropped to 201 to give me a tiny bit of extra breathing space.

And it feels so good. It seems I've been telling myself I didn't have far to go for weeks, willing myself to make that final push, and I'e finally made it. A bit more discipline over the past couple of days than I usually show with my eating, a bit more effort with my running, and I've made it into the land of the People Who Are Not Obese.

My BMI, my body fat, my waist measurement. They all agree that I'm not obese any more. It feels like I've been working at this so long that I got a bit teary when I realised that I'd finally made it. I just can't believe what I've done to myself. Both in putting the weight on in the first place (how on earth did I do that without realising it?) to the amazing effort of taking it back off again, all by myself. I've changed my life in ways that I didn't really believe were possible, certainly not once I realised the magnitude of what I had to do. 59lb lost, just to get this far. I've done it for me, and I've done it my way. I really am so proud of myself.

I was never one for weighing and measuring as my weight went up, so I don't know when I first headed into obesity. I'm guessing that it was at least 5 years ago, and more likely longer ago than that. In fact, maybe 10 August 1998 is a significant date in this respect. 7 years ago today I stepped on a plane bound for America and spent four months eating junk food and buffet meals. Even if my weight itself wasn't quite there at that stage, the eating habits I picked up played their part in getting me there. So let's call it dot on 7 years, even though I'm sure the plane journey itself didn't tip me over the edge.

It's not something that you can just shed for the day, to have a break from Being Obese. That weight is with you every second of every minute of every hour of every day, and there is no temporary escape. You can hide yourself away, but you're still obese, and whatever you wear you're not going to hide that fact. People may not admit to it, but they do judge you by it, and it can be so depressing. Living your life inside a body that the world would rather not see. 5, 6, 7 years of being covered by pounds and pounds of unwanted and unneeded fat, of not being able to find nice clothes that fit, of finding it harder than you should to move around. To the point where you start to accept that as normal, and you forget how it really feels to be any other way. Of course, suddenly not being obese doesn't make you the picture of health, I'm still on the very margins of what is considered "overweight", but I'm heading in the right direction, and I'm not just accepting obesity as normal any more.

As I said last night, realistically I know that I'm going to have to be careful all my life if I don't want to head back into obesity with a vengeance (although hopefully not four stone into it this time). I need to be aware that maybe I have a tendency to put on weight more easily than other people. But that's no reason that I have to put weight on. There's a risk, if I do the wrong things, but there's no inevitability about it. If I do the right things most of the time then I will be fine. And I think I can trust myself to do that. I've learned a lot this year, and I don't want it to go to waste now.

Of course, I'm not going to stop and celebrate just yet. Before I do that, I want one more big push to 199. Then when I get there I want to maybe give myself a bit of leeway to reflect on what I've achieved, to celebrate for a while before regathering my thoughts and starting the battle to get down to goal. This isn't the end of the fight, and I've got a long way to go but it's a significant milestone along the way.


Blogger Portuguese Washwoman said...

Congratulations! I so enjoy reading your thoughts about this process - I hope it's as helpful for you to write as it is for me to read.

7:43 PM  

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