My whole life I’ve struggled with not having a clear and realistic image of what I look like.
When I was a teenager I thought I was pretty chubby (I wasn’t) so I dieted. Toyed with the idea of weight loss really.
At university I was sure I was fat (I wasn’t) so I gave dieting a solid crack. I thought I wasn’t losing weight (I was) so I fought harder. I learned enough about calories to cut them out until my head swam.
I got mad and angry at my body for not being thin (it was) – so I fought as though I could punish and wither my body into the shape I imagined it should be.
But the mirror in my mind was a fucking liar.
Things got a little out of control there for quite a while. It was a rough time and it took me a long time to get remotely okay.
Then I met The Captain. He actually loved me. As I was. Even when I couldn’t. And I gradually got proper okay.
Fast forward many years and post children and without the care and attention it needed, my body had EXPLODED. The same me who used to cry and lock myself in bathrooms over 100 gram gains tried to mentally assure myself that it was all okay. It would go away. While eating a packet of biscuits.
But I secretly knew that I really was the largest person in the room, the fattest mum in the pool and the jiggliest person out walking. I had met the horror of being the nightmare I’d felt for all of those years.
Through the 12wbt and the process that losing 34-ish kg so far has been, the hardest part for me has been accepting that I’m changing. That I’m fitter, healthier, stronger and happier than I’ve ever been.
Every day, something happens to make me realise that my brain hasn’t kept up. That the mirror in my head still fibs to me.
I rubbed my arms in the car this morning and realised that I don’t have huge bingo wings. Did 80% of my arm fat disappear overnight? I’ve been too afraid to wear short sleeves but it appears they are completely socially acceptable upper arms.
I was wearing a skirt last week and caught a glimpse of my legs in a shop window and had to stop. I have shapely legs. Smaller at the ankle than they are at the calf and small again at the knee. Muscled and toned above that. It had never occurred to me that my legs had stopped being the solid knotty tree-trunks they were.
I haven’t bought new pants since about 10-15 kilos ago. It means everything I own is baggy and embarrassingly, my sz 14 jeans FELL OFF in the supermarket yesterday. But buying anything smaller seems ridiculous when I’m in a shop so I don’t try them on.
My brain doesn’t comprehend that I am MUCH smaller than I used to be. I’m very lucky to have great friends and a stunning husband who call me out when I refer to myself or say things about my body that aren’t true anymore.
The body is well on it’s way and isn’t stopping for anyone. The brain will catch up. Someday soon I hope.