Anyone who loses weight, will see a physical change, no matter how big or small the loss. A few inches off the waistline, a little more definition in your face. There is always a form of transformation. Sometimes you don’t see it, and others will mention it. And it is that positive affirmation of change that often spurs us on to continue to lay off the crap, beat the cravings and keep going to the gym.
I can’t deny that the physical changes in my body kept me on track, and yes hearing positive encouragement kept me on the straight and narrow. And now with a significant loss out from under my belt – I can understand why people who didn’t know the fat me, don’t recognise the person I used to be. Getting my hair cut recently, my hairdresser told me it was like she was looking at a different person. That she didn’t recognise the “before me”. I laughed, shrugged it off and told her I was still the same person. Just smaller. Healthier. Happier?
I am happier – I can’t argue with that. Losing weight has opened a whole host of new opportunities for me, from my relationship, to my career and of course – most importantly my ever growing wardrobe choices… And I could never say that losing weight wasn’t the best choice I ever made. So in essence yes, I am happier, physically I feel 100% better – whilst there are many imperfections that I don’t like I am a million miles from where I was. But something I have touched on previously, and will do so again is the emotional change. I am still the same me, regardless of the weight loss – but I don’t think there is any preparation for how it emotionally transforms you.
When I was bigger, I appeared confident – but didn’t feel confident. I appeared happy – but I wasn’t happy. I had a “don’t give a fuck attitude” – but I did give a fuck. Overall I masked what I was truly feeling and made myself believe that I was happy – that and of course comforted myself with food… Now, stripping away 8 stone strips away the bravado, but I don’t think it strips away the need for it. Now although I’m not confident, I have less to hide behind. Those emotional changes are ones that the magazines, the groups, the blogs, the online stories don’t prepare you for…
The last year of being “at target” has been one of the best years of my life, not because I am running around with less weight – but because of those opportunities weight loss has created for me. On the flip side with its up sides have definitely been some down – all of which are completely unrelated to weight loss. However I can’t help but feel that the emotional transformation I have undertaken has changed the way I deal with things. Previously I felt stronger, better apt to deal with stress – whether I hid from it, laughed it off or concentrated on something else. This isn’t the case anymore, over the last year I have developed anxiety, panic attacks and depression. And to be quite honest with you I hate it and it sucks. It effects absolutely every aspect of my life – the relationships I have, the things I do, the things I can’t be bothered to do, the things I eat (I spoke about emotional eating a couple of days ago).. Please don’t be confused, this isn’t a post for me to tell you my woes, and ask for a violin to be played as I wallow in my sadness. But for anyone who has been a victim of depression, anxiety and the like – either literally or second hand, you will know the shitty, dread feelings I am talking about.
There is such a stigma around depression, mental illness in general really, and I am certainly one to stigmatise it. I don’t want to believe that I have a mental illness, and I don’t want to admit I have depression – in fact very few people know that I do – so it may seem strange that I have chosen to air it over the internet to an unlimited audience. But the beauty of the internet is anonymity. There will be people who read this who know who I am personally, but I guess that is just par for the course of removing the stigma, helping me to accept that my brain and its hormones are a little mixed up and taking steps to fix it. And that is my plan to kick its arse, stop letting it rule my emotions, my interactions and the lives of those that I love. I am sticking a huge middle finger up at depression and tackling it head on. This seems like a breeze today, as I feel emotionally strong, optimistic, happy and brave. Tomorrow could be a different story – but I have a plan to plough through the good days and overcome the bad. There is obviously the medical side of it – doctors and such, sure I will continue to wait for CBT sessions and take tablets. I would love to believe that positive attitude could completely eliminate the symptoms and realities of the illness, but I know that I would be foolish to do that, and likely wouldn’t recover. There are steps that I can take though that will speed up my recovery, make the good days awesome and the bad days better. THE REINVENTION.
I can’t help but feel that this sounds a little preachy, like I am saying this with a chorus of angelic “ahhhh’s” and a bright, glowing light surrounding me. It’s not meant to be, but it is a revelation to me… I need to combat the changes, by embracing them! Physically and emotionally I am different, so now comes the time to act on them – turn the change in to a positive one. I am different, but I still act the same, I dress the same, but I don’t think the same… Regardless of the weight loss – I have matured, got older (gulp) and naturally have changed… (I’m waffling a little here, let me get to the point!)
I am going to change my perspective of myself, and others perspective… One of my biggest demons is the views other have of me, it’s a real insecurity… So I endeavour to resolve that. Let’s not beat around the bush, I am butch. And when I was considerably larger, it was just a natural transition for me to don baggy clothes, all of which were men’s, have short, short hair and forgo any feminity (except for shaving – no one likes a hairy leg!). There have been numerous occasions, when I have been mistaken for a man – despite a seriously large chest – the rest of my appearance has often caused people to double take me, tell me I am in the wrong toilet, children ask their parents if I was a boy or a girl (don’t you just love kid’s honesty!?), and with my previous bravado it was easy to laugh off – truth is it hurt, it’s embarrassing and I don’t like it.
Now I’m lighter, I’m not a block of fat – I have curves, and apparently good legs (so some say…), I want to accentuate those things. I don’t want to be confused and say that I am taking a Bruce Jenner approach (hats off to Caitlyn though, she is one hot lady….!) – I am naturally a tomboy – I always have been and always will be… But I am not butch, I don’t want to be a man, I don’t want to be mistaken for one. In the words of an alternative Pinocchio – “I’m a real girl!” And I want to feel like one… I’m ridding of the bag and searching for a fitted look – any Gok’s, Trinny’s or Susannah’s out there who can throw any inspiration my way – please do!
So that’s physically, and I am hoping by embracing my new skin, I will have a new level of self-confidence and self-worth to combat the more emotional demons I have. To stop relying on a now non-existent bravado, and lean on a new found personal happiness… That’s the plan anyway! I don’t know why I feel the need to share this with the online world – but I hope by writing it down, by publishing it – it will stick. The optimism and positivity I am feeling now, will be a good reminder on those days that I don’t feel so strong. I must say, for anyone who reads this who too has fallen victim to depression – I am not suggesting this approach should be taken by anyone else, or is indeed right for anyone else. This is just a personal thing bespoke to me.
Watch this space for a new and improved Lorna.
Slightly off subject, but an update to yesterday’s post, you will know we headed to theatre to see The Woman in Black – and a previous talking point was a shortness of time and not falling off the wagon at the mountains of goodies that can inevitably be found at the theatre. I would love to say, that we combatted it and it went swimmingly – but that isn’t the case. For one reason or another, many of those reasons can be taken from today’s post – dinner wasn’t to be, time was shorter and we were heading out of the door on empty stomachs… At the theatre – choices for food were limited… in fact it was popcorn or chocolate, I resisted. I didn’t want popcorn or chocolate, I wanted something savoury and substantial. The first half of the show was great, and the suspense deterred the hunger – however during the interval light headedness got the better of me and I had to result to some bar snacks… AKA Popcorn and Malteesers. Although we shared the popcorn and the Malteesers weren’t a share bag – it would have been easy to beat myself up for falling off plan, but it wasn’t without trying. And prior to making my decision, I had calculated that calorie wise for the day I was still well within a dieter’s average of 1200. So I didn’t beat myself up – I accepted my decision, was proud of the control – remember no share bag! And carried on my way today… This morning a quick weigh at home showed a 2lb loss this week – fingers crossed I can improve on that before official weigh in tomorrow!
I’ll keep you posted!