Ever since I can remember, I’ve been able to eat whatever I want. Like I assume happens to most people, one day I saw a picture of myself and thought… “Holy Hell, is that me?”. Eating what I wanted led to a slow progression of weight gain (in all the wrong places, but isn’t it always the wrong place?). A pound here, a size bigger there… no big deal, at first. Then, 5 years after I was a size 6, and 7 dress sizes later, I was completely stunned.
But… I was always “skinny”, what the hell happened?
I’ll tell you what happened. Deep fried pickle sandwiches, endless pieces of pizza and McDonald’s runs happened. Bread happened. Chocolate happened. Mashed potatoes, rice, and Haitian food happened.
I had become so numb to what I was eating that it actually blinded my image. I didn’t think it was that bad until I saw the photos.
This is what 35 extra pounds looks like on me. This was Canada Day (July 1st, 2013), and sometime at the end of July, and after looking at these pictures, I was resolved to change. I was resolved to be a better me.
Now, let me get this straight. I’m not one to always be searching for a “better me”, at least physically, anyways. I was always content with myself. I would tell myself that I loved food too much to diet. How could anyone give up the finer things? The cheese, the meat, the bread? To me, this was the worst possible scenario until the worst possible scenario became the body I was living in. At first, I searched for an easy fix. Something that would work fast, and god knows that wasn’t going to be exercise (at that time in my life, I didn’t feel like exercise was the answer to any question… ever).
July – November: The Keto Phase
Keto (aka a ketogenic diet) was a great comprise for me at first. As a result of giving up carbs (I was limited to 25g of Net Carbohydrates/day… look at the nutritional info on bread if you want some context), I got to gorge on bacon, sour cream, cheese, and the fattiest of meats. It was marvellous. It is actually harder when you limit your carbs and sugar to get as high in the calories/day then just regular restrictions.
Keto kickstarted everything for me. It’s a slow process, dieting, but I didn’t really feel like I was missing much. The pastas of the past were traded for the taco salad (sans actual taco) of keto paradise. I lost about 10 pounds on keto and it really helped me see food differently. See how these changes affect my body.
October: Bring on the Exercise Phase
In October, the hubby and I decided it was time to exercise (le sigh). I hate exercise… I still hate exercise, but the difference now is I see it’s necessity in the grand scheme of things. I don’t like to pretend that it gives me a high, or that I get these majestic feelings of inspiration from it. Theres a lot of sweating, a lot of heavy breathing, a lot of soreness, and a lot of general misery. I’m not saying that people who enjoy exercise are lying,
but they must be freakin’ lying cause it never gets any better.
That said, there are positive benefits to exercise. It allows you to de-stress by lifting your daily frustrations through those weights, and it also makes you strong. I can walk longer distances, lift heavier things (that aren’t my fork), and it does provide other positive benefits. It also is what makes your body look nice, not just smaller.
I’ve lost about 20 pounds so far, which on some days looks like a lot, and on other days, doesn’t. The difference now is, I’m okay with it. My love and passion for fashion has returned, now that I feel better in clothes, and they are no longer my shield. I might not be a size five, but that doesn’t mean I need to be. I can’t pretend that I’m completely secure in my appearance either, because when you aim for better you put yourself under a microscope, it seems. Every flaw becomes another obstacle. I’m not saying that’s the right way to view it, but it’s reality.
All that said. I still want to be a normal person. I don’t want to miss out on the joys of life because I’m too busy counting calories. If there’s birthday cake, for example, you can be sure I’m going to eat the god damned birthday cake. If I want to eat a pizza to myself one day of the year, than that pizza will become my bitch. I’m a real person… I’m not being photographed for swimsuit magazines, I don’t have to fit into sample sizes, I can and will be myself.
I no longer solely live by the strict restrictions of keto, or any “diet” for that matter. I don’t schedule the gym in 6 days a week. I don’t eat many carbs, I stay away from the bad stuff most of the time, and I make it out to the gym about 3 days per week. I know this formula probably won’t get me a rock-hard body, and I think I’m okay with that (for now). My view on it is that if I eat well, and mostly “clean” 5.5 days of the week, the other 1.5 warrant negotiation to get a good snack or meal in there. There is also still a lot of work in front of me, as I’m not quite finished yet, I’ve got more to lose.
Most of the time, you should be conscious about food and it’s sad, unfortunate consequences on a persons self-esteem. It’s always going to be hard, it’s always going to take time, there is never an easy fix. That said, you should still live your life the way that you will enjoy it the most, and if that includes a piece of cake every once in awhile, then do yourself a favour and eat the cake. You’ll be happier for it.