‘The First Step To Getting Anywhere Is Deciding You’re Not Willing To Stay Where You Are.’
What’s up, world? Well, some would say the roof, and others the sky… but a less literal interpretation for me, would be to say that this is the day my life starts anew. Yup, change is in the air!
Today I embark on my own personal challenge of becoming my happiest, healthiest self!
If you’ve read about My 52 Kg Journey, then you’ll know how I came to decide to embark on this journey and what you can expect to see from this adventure of mine. On Sunday, I put that plan into action!
‘The Body Achieves What The Mind Believes.’
As a child I was never really overweight. I was chubby, but I wasn’t fat. The same goes for when I was in high school. Although most of my family is overweight, my mother always encouraged me to eat healthy and exercise. I, however, did not always listen to her wisdom.
I decided to be completely honest with you, guys. Lying or hiding the truth would defeat the purpose of documenting my journey online. So be warned! It’s going to get real!
When I first went on a diet, I was 12 years old and it was entirely my own doing. I had just started a new school and all the girls there were much worldlier with their short skirts and fashionable hair styles than the girls at my first school had been. Again, I wasn’t fat nor overweight. Though I probably could have exercised more and improved my muscle tone, there was nothing actually wrong with my appearance. I just wanted to be as skinny and lean as my peers, not realising that my body shape was different from theirs and that teen girls grow into their bodies at different rates.
I have been on many successful diets. While adhering to a diet’s eating guidelines, the weight would evaporate. Whenever I went off the diet, however, I would regain all the weight I had managed to lose and then some more. This frustration only further fed my obsession to obtain what I now realise would be a Barbie doll’s body.
I’ve spent most of my life hating my body, my appearance and to some extent myself as well. I’ve struggled with low self-esteem and a lack of self-worth for as long as I can remember. I’ve always felt as though there was something wrong with me. As though I was lacking in every way possible. As a teenager I never felt confident, beautiful or even adequate. My underlying belief was that there was something intrinsically flawed inside me and that anything and everything I did would only confirm this belief.
‘Happiness Is When You Stop Comparing Yourself To Other People.’
As you can probably guess, these feelings ultimately led to depression, self-resentment and deliberate destructive behaviour. In the process of fixing myself to some unobtainable, unrealistic idea of perfect, I have starved, mutilated, gorged and disrespected both myself and my body in more ways than I want to remember.
The relationships I entered into, the work situations I put myself in and even the food I chose to eat… it all promoted this one core belief… ‘I will never be good enough. I am not valuable.’ Every choice I made, every person I met, every bite I took… it all proved to me that I ‘deserved’ to be rejected, used and humiliated.
Eventually, I ended up a victim of my own choices.
Every time I would eat, step on to the scale, look in the mirror or be out in public, I would always think to myself ‘It’s not fair! Why is this happening to me?’ I felt as though I was at the mercy of circumstances that I had no control over whatsoever. And the more helpless and inadequate I felt, the more I punished myself and my body. If I couldn’t control my external environment, then I would control my body.
Soon, my only comfort was food. Every disappointment, rejection, frustration, fear and sadness that I couldn’t admit out loud, I took out on my body… I ate, I binged, I purged, and I starved. I was self-medicating, but rather than using pharmaceutical drugs, I was feeding my feelings with sugary, fatty, carbohydrate-laden foods.
My current high-carb high-fat diet is bringing my body to its knees. The effect so much junk food is having on my body and moods is downright toxic. My blood sugar especially is something that I struggle with. I am constantly in between sugar spikes and dips, feeling just plain miserable, agitated, shaky and down if I don’t get my hands on the sugary food I crave.
‘I’m Not There Yet, But I’m Closer Than I Was Yesterday.’
Despite my desire for sugary foods when I’m feeling emotional, I do not believe that I am a sugar addict as I can say no to these foods when I want to – even when I am in emotional distress. I think eating is just a way for me to procrastinate from facing my true thoughts and feelings, and stay in denial.
Through all this comfort eating, there would be times when I would despair and put myself through hell to lose weight – weight loss shakes, liquid diets, excessive exercise, strict low-carb, low-fat diets. You name it. But because my reasons for eating and stuffing my face remained, I would soon regain all the weight I had lost, and then some more.
In the beginning, when I first became obsessed with ‘fixing’ my appearance, I was never really fat. In fact, when I look at pictures of myself while in high school I am amazed at how slim and petite I was, with naturally beautiful curves. Maybe it is because now I am actually overweight and fat…
At an ultimate low during this past weekend, it became clear to me that I needed to change my way of thinking. I realised that I would achieve nothing I truly want in life if I did not change my mind-set first.
Although I plan on measuring my progress mainly in terms of my weight loss, fitness levels and dress size, I want to go beyond these markers and work to feel confident and comfortable with who and what I am. I want to remind myself daily that I am enough just as I am. I want to relieve myself from the need and desire to look and be perfect, to feel proud of who I am no matter what the scales say. And that no matter what happens, to commend myself for putting in the effort to improve my health.
Day 1 – Weight And Measurements
I started #my52kgjourney on Sunday, 25 February 2018. And on that day, my body statistics were as follows…
My Starting Weight: 105.4 kg (232.4 lbs)
My Body Measurements:
- Chest: 116 cm
- Left Arm: 46 cm
- Right Arm: 46 cm
- Waist: 100 cm
- Hips: 138 cm
- Left Thigh: 83 cm
- Right Thigh: 84 cm
My Body Mass Index (BMI): 41.2
My Hip-To-Waist Ratio: 0.7
Seeing these measurements of my body laid out in black and white like this…
I HAVE NEVER BEEN FATTER…
If my hips keep broadening, then I will soon be as wide as I am tall. I will literally have the dimensions of a beach ball – or you know, an upside-down light bulb. Suffice it to say, I am really motivated to lose weight in order to improve my health!
The longer I think on the origin of these measurements, the more sense they make. After all, I have been punishing myself on and off for the last few months (or years) – what with stuffing myself with bread, pizza, cereal, sweets, fries, soda and chocolate mousse…
It should come as no surprise that I despise looking at myself in the mirror. Whenever I do, I am overcome with shame, self-disgust and guilt. And a desire to stuff my face with a MacDonalds Oreo McFlurry…
Day 1 – My ‘BEFORE’ Photos
If I were to paint a portrait of my life now, it would be sleep-deprived, listless, drowning in low self-esteem and hungry for a different life. It would show me constantly putting on weight without fully understanding why, while being crippled by anxiety and the fear that there is something wrong with me. My hormones are all over the place and I am dependent on caffeine. It’s like oxygen to me and I would probably breathe it if I could.
Colour it in with dehydration, frequently struggling with headaches and a lack of energy. I should probably also admit that moving around is really uncomfortable for me – especially since I am usually bloated and swollen after eating.
I often wake up tired, then experience slumps at 11am and 4pm. Even if I do manage to lose 2-3 kg, I find it hard to maintain my weight loss. I frequently get skin breakouts, sometimes my face even looks like it belongs to a Dalmatian, only with pink spots rather than black ones.
At times I feel angry at everyone and everything – most of all myself. I especially feel guilty after indulging. Even when I desperately want to, I just can’t seem to keep from reverting back to bad eating habits when I lost weight.
I know I’ve struggled with low self-esteem and self-worth, but until today, reading through this post, I didn’t realise the true extent of this – nor how bitter it made me. What is apparent to me now, is that I consider myself to be a victim of my own choices, rather than an orchestrator. I know my negativity about my appearance, my self-worth and self-esteem is unfounded, irrational, illogical and unreasonable. But despite realising that, I still can’t seem to change my mind set.
Just like I know thoughts such as ‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I’m not valuable’ or ‘I’m a failure’ are not true, I still can’t stop myself from having them. I know now I have a long way to go, not only in terms of losing weight and embracing a healthier lifestyle, but also, in the way I see and value myself.
‘You Have To Get Up Every Morning And Tell Yourself, “I Can Do This.”‘
I realise it won’t be easy, but I also know I will not be at peace or happy with my life until I have overcome these struggles. Knowing exactly where I am now and why I am there, will enable to pinpoint exactly where I want to be. Only then can I begin to figure out how I can get there.
No one should have to live like this. Every woman should be able to love her body, to feel comfortable in it and show it off with pride. A woman is supposed to be in control of her emotions, not at their mercy. No woman should be her own biggest burden. Every woman should be able to love, respect and accept herself.
My name is Lize and yesterday I began taking back control of my life, my health and my happiness. It’s time to end this battle with my body. With myself.
I am a lioness. Hear me roar.
For the next week I will be in the first phase of embracing a low-carb lifestyle: Preparation. Basically, this entails preparing my body, mind, schedule, environment and loved ones for the changes and challenges that are sure to come. You can find out more about everything I did to prepare myself, my life and my kitchen for this journey in a special post sometime next week!
The purpose of this phase is to gain a clear understanding of my current dietary habits and state of health and to identify the elements of my lifestyle that could be contributing to my poor health and obese state. As you can see from this post, I’ve already recorded my initial weight and measurements with the corresponding ‘BEFORE’ pictures.
‘It’s No Longer About Being Skinny.
Now It’s About Being Healthy.’
As I continue with this project, I will share my nutritional guidelines here on the blog. I will also post any research I do on following a low-carb lifestyle, weight loss, fitness, general health and improving one’s body image. And… I will share all my yummy recipes with you!
Much love, Lize. Xx