Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Unintentionally Healthy

Yesterday was my 21st birthday, and I must say it went very well. Not that I feel any different, now that I am absolutely irrevocably an adult.

Sam and I went out for dinner last night, to a bar and grill about 20mins walk from our house. It’s an American style place, so the menu is packed full of steaks, burgers and ribs. Sam (Mr Piggy Pig) went for their ultimate burger, which was absolutely huge and came with just about every side dish and condiment available. I chose the tuna steak with Teriyaki sauce and a garlic and herb prawn skewer accompanied by a jacket potato and side salad. My meal was just about the healthiest one they served, and that got me thinking.

I ate a fairly healthy meal last night, but I wasn't trying to. I chose the meal I did because I honestly wanted that, not because I was trying to lose weight. I absolutely thoroughly enjoyed my meal and then went on to spend my brownie points for being good on drinking lots of whisky at the pub afterwards.

I've had another relatively good day today, mainly because I was far too busy to focus on food. My diet officially starts on February 1st, but in the meantime, I won't hesitate to eat a healthy, low calorie and tasty just because I want to. I little bit of what you fancy is good for you, and if what you fancy is good for you in and of itself, then all the better.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Naughty Week

After my bad day on Saturday and my post on Sunday (was it really that long ago) I've relaxed a bit.

I decided that, although my feelings towards my size and shape are still very much valid, I need a little leeway right now. I still have one exam left, it was my two year anniversary with Sam yesterday and it's my birthday next week. I figured that these are all events that mean I will be terribly tempted to break my own self imposed rules and I would end up feeling very guilty if I did. I had a word with Sam and we decided (because, bless him, he's going to join me in following my diet and fitness plan) that I would start my diet in February. In the meantime I'm going to be as good as possible, but now I have the leeway to have a chocolate bar if my exam goes badly. It also means I can celebrate my birthday in style, and I don't have to feel guilty about the Chinese banquet Sam and I shared last night (it was incredibly yummy).

D-day has been set for February 1st, and my aim from then on will be to get back into my size 18 jeans by the end of the year (an ambitious goal I know, but there's a saying about aiming for the stars). We have bought the skipping ropes, and Sam has tried his out and assures me that we'll both be fit in no time. I've also filled two 2 litre bottles with water and have been doing some simple weights exercises with them today.

One exam to go, and afterwards I think I'll treat myself to a glass of wine.

Aim for the stars, even if you miss you might still make it to the moon (in the very least you'll avoid shooting yourself in the foot).

Sunday, 17 January 2010

So I had a bad day...

I had a bad day yesterday. It's exam season right now, meaning my days are spent sat inside looking at a screen, a book or sheets of paper. Yesterday was no exception to this, but it was made a hell of a lot worse by the fact I was starving hungry all day long. It didn't matter what I ate or how much I was still hungry ten minutes later, and believe me I tried to satisfy the hunger.

So yesterday I spent all of my time sat on my ass stuffing my face with food, and not all of it was good. I made the mistake of making flapjacks the previous evening, and spent a lot of time eating those. Then, after a day of doing nothing but eating, I caught sight of my reflection in the back door window. And I hated it. I honestly have never look so big to my own eyes; the amount of self loathing I felt at that moment was impossibly large.

I ended up stomping to bed and crying my eyes out for about half an hour. Fortunately my boyfriend is an amazing bloke and was really supportive at this point. He held me while I cried, then told my I was beautiful, and got a pad of paper so we could write down some solutions to the problem.

So, starting today the following are going to be put into action:

  • I'm going to drink a pint of cold water before every meal (to help fill me up and kick start my metabolism)
  • I'm going to eat more natural yoghurt and salads.
  • I'm going to keep a record of the calories I eat in a day, and try to stick to a total of 1200 calories per day.
  • We're going to buy a skipping rope each, as it's pretty much the only easily available cheap exercise we can both do
  • Sam (my boyfriend) is going to make me do 10 or 20 minutes of exercise before I play any videogames (just like his mum used to do to him)
  • The exception to the above rule is if I happen to be playing Wii Sports
  • Going to do some weights to increase muscle mass (I'm trying to drop dress sizes rather than lose weight, so adding muscle mass isn't a problem)
  • We're going to go for a weekly walk or cycle on a Sunday
  • I'm going to sort out a number of recipes either of us can cook that fit with the calorie counting rules
  • We're going to buy a proper tape measure (as opposed to the rubbish short one I currently have) so I can keep an eye on my waist to hip ratio (which is a better method of keeping track of healthy size than the BMI)
  • Limiting the number of alcoholic drinks I have in a week (this will be one of the hardest; I'm not an alcoholic or anything, but there are so many calories in a single pint)
  • We've resolved to do more silly little exercises like dancing and laughing to add to the skipping.
  • Going to curb my fruit juice drinking habits- too many calories for the vitamins it provides. Might try skimmed milk smoothies with fruit (I get the fibre as well as the calories in this case)
  • I'm also going to try to eat more lentils, as they're generally very good for you
  • If any or all of that fails I can always seek help from a doctor re: weight loss supplements and general advice. I've been told by doctors to lose weight in the past but I desperately want to avoid this. I'm a medicinal chemistry student so I know all about the horrific side effects of the prescription weight loss drugs.
I know I'm incredibly lucky to have Sam to support me in all this. There are a lot of girls my size and shape who haven't managed to find anyone who is accepting and supportive, I know, it took me years to find this one, so I'll think I'll be keeping him all to myself. I honestly don't think I could do any of that without him, but that's just me.

From now on, we're going to try the above measures, and try to avoid the waves of self loathing. Wish me luck!

Friday, 15 January 2010

Guilty Eating

I often find that the biggest problem with being fat is that I feel guilty for enjoying my food. I mean, I really love food. I love cooking with it and experimenting with new recipes. I love trying those new recipes. I love lots of different flavours and yes, I like some foods that are bad for me. I think that bacon sandwiches should be the eighth wonder of the world and yet, because I am fat I feel guilty for that.

It’s especially bad when other people are watching you either enjoying your food or eating something that’s a little bit naughty. The other day, for example, I came out of a three hour exam and I was hungry, having not eaten for nearly five hours. I passed a vending machine on the way out and decided to treat myself to a bag of crisps and a chocolate bar for lunch (carefully noting the number of calories for later). I ate them as I walked home (and enjoyed them very much thank you) but I could feel the judgement of the people I passed. I could feel their eyes on me saying “there’s a stereotypical fat girl stuffing her face with chocolate, she should do something about it.”

I honestly don’t know if their eyes were saying that, I didn’t dare look up from the pavement. But it is a terrible thing to live in a world where you feel you’re judged fro eating what you want just because you’re fat. It’s horrible that I feel I can’t enjoy any food, but especially not chocolate and crisps, in a public place for fear that people are judging me. I know what they’re thinking; it’s my love of food that’s the reason I’ this size at all. And while that is part of the problem, it’s not the whole story, and since they don’t know me they don’t know the whole story.

For all they know I could have spent all week carefully controlling my calories and exercising and that chocolate bar was my one treat for the whole week. They don’t know, but they still judge. They didn’t know that my breakfast that day was very healthy porridge, nor that I was soothing stressed nerves. They didn’t know, yet I would be prepared to bet money that at least one of them was judging me for it.

I wouldn’t dream of judging (or prejudging) a black person, nor a gay person. Why is it that we live in a world where it’s okay to judge fat people for things they do? You wouldn’t walk up to a black person and say “did you know you’re black, I think you should do something so that you can stop being black”. Why is it that thin people can do that to fat people? Why is it that thin people can judge them from afar?

As long as I am happy with the way I am what business is it of a stranger how fat I am? And to be honest, even if I’m not happy with the way I am, it’s still none of their business. And if I happen to be enjoying a chocolate bar that’s my business and none of theirs either. To any non-fat people who might be reading this; please don’t judge us fat people for enjoying our food. Overeating is only half the reason why most of us are fat, and thin people telling us we can’t have tasty food only makes us want it more.

So, I’m going to make myself a cup of tea, and enjoy a biscuit with it, because I’ve been good today. One biscuit isn’t going to make me any fatter, and not eating it won’t magically thin. So I’m going to enjoy my biscuit, guilt free.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Hip, thigh and bum fat beneficial to health?

Finally some news I can get behind. The BBC is reporting some research from Oxford University that says that a bit of fat around the hips, thighs and bottom could be,wait for it... good for your health. Finally we have some scientific research that advocates curves on women.


"It is shape that matters and where the fat gathers."

not your weight that matters. This ties in with things I've been saying all along (which will no doubt end up on this blog at some point). There are flaws with the view that fat is bad, weight is bad. Now this research is telling us that far from being bad, fat in some areas might actually have some health benefits.

"Hip fat mops up harmful fatty acids and contains an anti-inflammatory agent that stops arteries clogging, they say.

Big behinds are preferable to extra fat around the waistline, which gives no such protection, the Oxford team said."

But tummy fat is still bad, according to their research, which is a bit of a shame. I'm packing the fat around my thighs bum and hips, but I also have quite a large amount of fat around my tummy. Still, it's not all doom and gloom; this means that I can focus my weight loss aims on getting rid of that tummy, and if some of the fat stays around by thighs and bum well, it can stay.

I know my boyfriend won't mind me being able to lose weight and keep my curves. Sounds like today, just once, everybody wins.

Read the full article here

Thanks to @followthethread for putting me on to it.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Obsesity in the Press

It seems the newspapers are more full of relevant material than I thought at the moment. It seems the Telegraph in particular likes talking about fat people, I'm not sure whether they're on our side or against us (although to be honest if they are doing their job properly it should be neither). First there was this article about an elitist dating website kicking off 5000 members for putting on weight over Christmas.

Today they published this article about plans to weigh all pregnant women regularly to prevent obesity in their children. Personally I'm not terribly sure how that will stop the children becoming obese in later life. Surely if the mother is obese it would be apparent before she became pregnant? And while I am aware there are some genetic reasons for obesity, surely weighing the mother during pregnancy isn't going to prevent these traits from surfacing.

Th article is quite well written, in my opinion, though it does suffer from one fatal flaw. The article says that
"Some think only women who are underweight or overweight should have their weight regularly checked."
I like how this is the only mention of underweight women in the article. Yes, there are dangers with obesity, and even more so with pregnancy, but there are also issues with being underweight too. Why does this article focus solely on the problems of being pregnant and obese and ignore the issues concerned with underweight pregnancies? Probably just another example of the anti-fat mentality that this country is fostering (with media and government backing).

I think that we should be doing all that we can to ensure every pregnancy has the best outcome for both mother and baby, regardless of weight issues. Its a shame that the move to closer monitoring during pregnancy has to be done under the flag of the War on Obesity. It's articles like this that make me feel only one step above the Nazis in the eyes of the Government and the people of this country.

Saturday, 9 January 2010

An Introduction

I have always had problems with my weight. My whole life I have been bullied and teased and ridiculed for being fat. Even at the most active points in my life I have struggled to shed the pounds. At times my issues with my weight have been crippling to my social life, and to my mental health.

I don't pretend to be something I'm not. I know I am a woman who is fat. I weigh approximately 16 stone, am a UK dress size 22 and have a BMI of greater than 30. To look at myself I know I am fat, and if I were to ask a medical opinion I would be told I am obese.

The aim of this blog will be to try to come to terms with who and what I am, to work out the best methods for getting down to my ideal weight, and to share any experiences I have getting there. I want to learn to love myself, I want to find the best way of classifying and quantifying my body, and I want to find the best way of getting myself healthier (not necessarily thinner). Following advice from this post over at Big Fat Deal I should be posting some fiction dealing with the issues of extreme body types (thin as well as fat). There is every likelihood that this will be a long haul trip, but with a bit of luck it wont be absolute hell getting to my destination.

You're all welcome to join me for the ride.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Farewell 2009, Hullo Future

2009 was a bit of an odd year. A very busy and stressful year, and part of me is glad it’s over.

This year saw me enter my twenties, reach the halfway point in my degree (with a 2:1 so far), work through some quite serious family injuries. It saw me break up with my boyfriend, get back together with my boyfriend, get confused about my ex-ex and a few other boys. It saw me finally start to accept and define my sexuality, have it insulted by friends, have it accepted by my mother but not by my gran. This year I’ve had to work through a very good friend of mine being diagnosed with cancer, and helping him deal with his treatment while feeling utterly helpless. I ended up in counselling for five weeks to help me deal with issues triggered by my friends illness, and came out of it not knowing if it had done anything. I’ve toyed with the idea of being bipolar or depressed, but never done anything about it. I’ve gotten frustrated about my weight, decided to do something about it, tried, failed and repeated the loop several times. I’ve resolved to start karate again but not managed to. I’ve set up my own business, in addition to my degree, and started designing t shirts.

I’ve cooked weird food, experimented with clothes, laughed, cried and shouted. I’ve listened to good music, and some crap music. Same with books (only reading, not listening) I’ve found I prefer older tv series to what’s on air right now. I've dealt with gaming addiction and the inevitable withdrawal symptoms. I've been to the theatre, seen Eddie Izzard, been to the cinema more times than most of the rest of my life. I've gotten drunk, had parties and been hungover. I've made my own cider, raised money for charity and gotten re elected for a second year as Vice President of Sci Fi society. I've made friends, lost friends and kept in touch with the people i thought i'd lose.

So now it’s 2010, a new year, a new decade, and with it new opportunities. 2009 was a weird year for me; I hope some of the things happen again, but wouldn’t wish for many things to happen ever again. I hope that 2010 brings with it lots of new opportunities. And flying cars. I want my flying car dammit!