Tuesday, 25 February 2014

On losing and gaining weight

For a long time I was able to weigh (excuse the pun) in on discussions about weight loss and various diets. I could tell people about the time that I lost over 60lbs following a Weightwatchers plan and that it had been hard at times but, also, not really, I'd just got on with it and fixed the issue that was making me sad.

Only that was in 2011 and we are now in 2014.

So where are we now?

For a long time everything was fine and although I didn't weigh myself (I don't own scales) I could tell just by the way my clothes fit that I was vaguely the same. And I was fine with that, it wasn't about being a particular weight, in fact I wasn't very comfortable at my goal weight, it was just a little too slim for me. It was just about feeling better in myself. And I did.

But come on, I haven't answered the question. Where am I now?

The god's honest truth that I've only just admitted to myself after a fairly hefty period of denial?

I'm only a stone away from where I started in 2011.

And I've managed to put it on in basically the last part of 2013.

We live in a funny little world I think. It's gradually come to my attention that we live in a society where we really enjoy not taking the blame for bad things that happen. I understand that to some degree, it helps to be able to point the finger and say "You, you are the cause of all my woes". I actually saw someone on my Facebook feed make a comment about the recent flooding, followed by the comment "Sort it out Mr Cameron." I know, I judge me for having a friend who would write that too. But it does illustrate a point, we really like blaming people for when bad things happen.

And I am at this point gifted a huge opportunity because I have the ultimate scapegoat to blame for putting weight back on.

The diet industry.

What could be easier than blaming Weightwatchers, the very instrument that helped me lose weight, for putting weight back on again?

Except that I'm not an idiot.

People love to throw around statistics about how people who do diets end up piling the pounds, plus a few extra, back on once they come off the plan. I don't believe I fall into that statistic, we're talking about something that happened just over three years ago, it's not as if I put it all on six months after reaching my gold weight. Weightwatchers did exactly what it is that they are supposed to do. Helped me to lose weight. It is not their job to keep the weight off, that has to be down to me surely?

In this day and age can we ever lay the blame at the diet industry's door? There can't be a person out there that doesn't know that to lose weight you have to eat less and exercise more. If you know this equation then how can it be anyone else's issue but your own?

So if I can't blame it on the diet industry then what else can I blame it on?

Here I could offer you a multitude of excuses.

- I lived with my sister for a year and didn't really have control over what I ate
- Moving away from The Person meant I was sad and more prone to eating rubbish to make myself feel better
- Then when I did go to Preston to see him it was a treat so you'd eat 'treat' type things
- Then we moved back in together and I started eating portions to match his monstrous appetite
- Then the weather was bad and my knee was injured and I couldn't go running and get exercise in

All valid and all contributory towards me piling on more than a few pounds but they are exactly what I just said.


I know more than anybody what I need to do to lose weight. I did it once before, I don't get to have excuses. Emotional eating is a problem, yes, but I'm doing exactly what I said I didn't want to do, which is to pass the buck and blame something else. "Oh it's not my fault I've put weight on, it goes back to deep seated issues I have with food to do with my mother/father/auntie/next door neighbour."

Saying "I'm an emotional eater" is just another excuse.

"Well getting over that is easier said than done" I hear you say. And I couldn't agree more.

I wish I was blessed with a naturally small appetite. I wish that I didn't feel an inexplicable need to finish everything on my plate regardless of whether or not I was hungry. I wish that I didn't want to eat when I was bored/sad/happy/nervous etc etc. But the fact is I do and therefore I have a choice. I can carry on and eat everything in sight and be very overweight and not feel happy in myself, or, I can just fricking eat less and go out for more runs. Sometimes stuff in life doesn't come easy to certain people. Crocheting amigurumi animals? That comes fairly easily to me. Not eating all the food in the cupboards and lazing on the sofa all the time? That comes a little harder.

Believe me if I could find someone to blame for my current situation I would. It would be so much easier. It would be so much easier for it to be someone else's fault that I ended up throwing a strop and not wanting to go out this Saturday night because none of my clothes fit and I felt uncomfortable.

Because the terribly unpalatable truth is that the only person to blame is me.

And finally I've found something that's hard to swallow.


  1. Sigh, in the same situation. I worked hard to lose weight on the same plan as you and lost about 6 stone but put about 18lbs back on since the middle of last year. A combination of trying to impress a new boyfriend through extravagant food and feeling lonely because all my friends are back in uni or living in other countries led to over eating.

    It's tricky because WW worked for me and I felt supported there, they also let you keep on going for free once you reach your goal and help you to stay on track for as long as you need it. It also costs a lot of money and they feed on insecurity.

    I wanted to get some new nightwear and underwear for my holiday today and the M&S lighting and mirrors that show you from all sides nearly promoted a full on episode. I'm not happy and only I can change that. But why do I feel so bad about they way I look? Yes, I'm overweight and have lumps and bumps but does it really matter in the grand scheme of things? This is one area of my life that I will never be happy of content with and that's a pretty sad thought.

    1. Oh goodness yes I feel like there's a whole other post on why I should be bothered that I look the way I do. I just don't have the brain power to wrap my head around what I want to say for that yet!

      I did go to WW for maintenance for a while afterwards but I felt like I really needed to break away. I felt like I needed to take responsibility for maintaining on my own back and not relying on the stress of a weekly weigh in. I didn't want to still be going years and years down the line!

  2. Oh my, Gem's comment above really sounds like how I feel lately. I know there is nothing I can do to ever be happy with the way I look. I have been working hard in the gym, but whilst I feel motivated for that, I don't eat properly when I'm away from it. I have to sort that out, ironically to lose the weight I want to, I need to eat more. Which I cannot get my head around, much less do. So I'm going around in this endless bubble of self-loathing. It's nobody's fault but my own.

  3. I think your post is really honest and brave. I've used Sparkpeople which helped me, but it depends what works for you.

  4. I'm completely with you. I've never done the whole weightwatchers thing (the preying on insecurity bit, the cost, and the whole getting on the scales in front of anyone thing) but the cycles of wanting someone to blame and excuses? Yep got them. It was "I'm pregnant I can eat more, I'm breastfeeding a snack won't hurt, I'm shattered after no sleep and a baby needing me all day so I get to eat, she's crying so I need a pick-me-up" but now the self loathing and emotional eating cycles are definitely kicking in. I just need to get on with that eating less/ exercise more equation. Just get on with it. Yep, self loathing here we come.

  5. It is weird because I'm a foodaholic but my life has changed a lot over the last ten-fifteen years. First I was fussy (I didn't love cheese back then which helped) and had a fast metabolism so I just breezed through life as a skinny kid to the point that my teacher's thought I had an eating disorder even though I ate a lot.

    Then I went to Uni, got really interested in food and ate and cooked more. Then the office world and all that sitting in front of the computer helped the weight grow and the lure of cakes that everyone brought in and boredom...

    Then I left this world and eventually entered the nervous world of teaching which meant a) I was too busy to eat and b) too stressed...which lead to stomach issues and reoccurring food poisoning. Pair this with overcooking and turning my hobby into a job that briefly killed my passion (it has never quite recovered) beforehand and... yeah...now the weight is down again.

    Spain also doesn't have much food that is preprepared and as I don't like cooking so much any more, I just get lazy and don't bother....

    When I came back to the UK this Christmas what really hit me was all the snacks and preprepared food and how much choice there is. It is overwhelming and all I want to do is stuff my face...this I reckon can play a part...that 'I'm worth it so I deserve a treat' mentality... Anyway...this talk may interest you too...


    I haven't really been very eloquent or explored my thoughts very well here as I have just seen the time and I really need to go to bed...but...well...I get you...And weight is such a slippery creature...!

  6. Weight is such a .... sticky issue. I never ever mean to sound holier than thou on my own recent journey which has very much been focussed on 'fuck it, I eat well, I exercise I'd rather be strong than thin.', but it has been a massive turning point also. I've done my fair share of weight yo-yoing over the years, and it is ultimately all about what you are prepared or not prepared to do at the end of the day. All I can say is yell if I can help at all, if you need to someone to bitch at.

    Also, at the risk of getting a verbal slap- cycling really is the bomb, and eating cake/anything else kinda doesn't matter AND it's a shit ton of fun AND it gets you places. Y'know. Just a side note to the serious one which is- hope you find the equilibrium that makes you happy and healthy in this equation.

  7. Weight issues are always a sticky area. I imagine most people have something that they are unhappy about.

    I'm the heaviest I've ever been, but I'm not too bothered now. I know I'd look a bit better with a few pounds off but I'm not worried enough to do anything about it.


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