As of last Saturday, I have finally decided to change my diet and my terrible eating habits once and for all. I have been over 2-and-a-half stone overweight for too long, and it is now becoming such a problem that I seriously cannot let it get any bigger, physically or metaphorically.
I have been eating junk food and large portions at meal times ever since Nathi was born. I remember being at Mamkhulu’s home in Swaziland after Nathi’s birth and eating 2-3 peanut butter sandwiches (yep, that’s 4-6 slices of bread) for lunch without a second thought. At that point, I thought I would be OK as I was breastfeeding and I still looked relatively slim (for me, anyway!). I had momentarily forgotten how my body works… which is that I eat badly, don’t put any weight on straight away, continue to eat badly, then BAM… I’m a stone or two heavier overnight and none of my clothes fit anymore.
I love food. I love all types of food, but mainly I love sweet food. Chocolate, desserts, popcorn, anything packed with sugar. My main vice, though, is cereal. Big, fat, mammoth bowls of cereal which, to quote my dad, ‘don’t leave enough room for the milk’. When I eat cereal at his house, I use one of their mixing bowls rather than a normal cereal bowl. And I went through a terrible phase just recently where I was eating three big bowls of cereal a day, sometimes in addition to other meals.
My physicality represents my mental health, there’s no doubt about that. I don’t really give myself enough care or respect. I don’t think I ever have done. I am terrible at sticking to my own opinions, I am rubbish at making decisions, and I have low self-esteem (much to people’s shock, as I hide it well most of the time). I am miserable in my own skin (Actually, my skin is a whole other blog post!), and I cannot let my children see that anymore.
Everyone puts weight on differently, and loses it differently, I’m sure. I put weight on around my middle and my upper arms mostly, but I’ve also recently struggled to get boots on, and even rings on my fingers. The arms and the middle are the two places which, if I put on weight, make me look a little bit like a small, round Oompa-Loompa (And not just any Oompa-Loompa… The one fourth from the left). I have a small chest and a small head and I am short. I need to go IN at the waist, not out. I remember remarking to a friend a few years ago that, when I put on weight, I look like a Walnut Whip as my head is so small compared to my body.
One of my ‘moments of clarity’ on this change I needed to make was as a result of a conversation with my mum. I was telling her how much I weighed and how much I wanted to lose, and she said to me; ‘Think of all that extra weight you’re carrying. It’s like you’re carrying a Khaya around with you all the time.’ WOW. That was it. The moment I realised that I’m a ‘Khaya-weight’ difference between what I want to weigh and what I do weigh. That’s a whole 4-year old. I’m carrying the equivalent of a 4-year old around with me all day long. I imagined how I would feel if I got rid of that fatty baggage (Not Khaya, the weight). How much easier would it be to do the simplest things, like walking or playing hide and seek with my boys!?
Because I’m a bit of a faddy person, I’m being sensible. I’m taking it a day at a time and not expecting too much too soon. I know how my mind works, and I am determined to do this. I don’t want me to fuck it up. I have replaced breakfast (Those huge bowls of cereal) with a SlimFast high protein shake with added fruit and soy milk or skimmed milk and, apart from being extremely gassy (sorry, TMI), I am already feeling a small difference. It may simply be the feeling that I’m doing something positive at last, as I don’t physically feel any lighter as yet! I also need to drink more water – My worst habit is not drinking enough. My next step will be to do more exercise – I have DVDs that I can do at home, and I have considered joining a gym, although I don’t really like them! It may be the only way I can join a Pilates class, though, which I miss terribly from my pre-mamahood days.
So, if any of you are in the same boat as myself and want to share your journey with me, please get in touch. I have friends and relatives who have done so well at losing weight and changing their lifestyles for the better, and I hope to be one of the next ones to do so. I can’t wait to be happier in my own skin.
Thanks for reading,