I have a peeve to share with you ~ I cannot stand others making assumptions without knowing the facts. Weight issues is one of them!
To explain what got my dander up ~ this slideshow thingumabob came up on my timeline on Facebook; being of a comely persuasion I took a peak. I have had most of these thrown at me at one time or another ~ my history since having children has been one of huge differences of fluctuating weight. I have gone up and down through sizes from 10 to 22 in the past.
I am currently a large size 16 and have been advised by every doctor and nurse I have had contact with to lose weight ~ if only it were that simple. Over the past few months I have slowly reduced myself from large 18 to large 16, which for me is some massive achievement and I am clapping myself heartily on the back.
Weight loss for me used to be easy because I exercised ~ a lot. I played tennis, swam, dog walked for 7 miles a day, went to various health classes, Zumba was my last one and was generally fit and healthy.
THEN started my journey of ill health, it began slowly and built up over the years until eventually I was diagnosed in 2016 with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, then later that year with Diverticulitis. AS IF that wasn’t enough to contend with my body decided to throw some more at me and at the beginning of 2017 and a rheumatology assessment Fibromyalgia and Hypermobility Ehlers~Danlos Syndrome were added to the list. Then tag on to the list long term anxiety and depression and voila, you have me today.
With my ill health comes weight gain due to medications and my inability to exercise anymore.
These are the titles of the ten slides from the article I mentioned at the beginning of this blog..
- When are you going to start dieting? Hmm, well if you say that to me I would think you were particularly tactless first off. Then I would feel pissed off at your assumption that I have a poor diet! To assume my diet means you assume my weight is due to poor food choices and/or overeating. As it happens I am now taking Huel for breakfast and lunch as it is very easy to prepare (so takes fewer spoons aka energy) and it is a complete food which means I know I am having my necessary nutritional requirements. I then enjoy my evening meal with my family, which may or may not include something extra afterwards ~ my current treat is a Curly Wurly straight from the fridge, which satisfies my sweet tooth and at 118 calories a bar isn’t too terrible. I am not “dieting” because diets are not sustainable. Instead I am consciously aware of what I am eating and make the best choices I can. Nothing is off limits but many choices are within moderation and not everyday. I am a foodie and refuse to deny myself the pleasure of a tasty meal, having a delicious menu does not necessarily mean a unhealthy one.
- If you would just quit being so lazy maybe you wouldn’t be overweight. Grrr, this one really winds me up ~ how many of you with chronic invisible illnesses have had this one thrown at you? I would guess most of you! Seriously I am not lazy and never have been. Historically I would tend towards the manic, buzzing around from one place to another. I LOVED exercising, never in the gym though ~ my favourite ways to burn off energy would be on a tennis court or taking a long walk. Sadly now the most I can do is a short walk using my crutches and gentle stretches at home. Don’t ever undervalue the benefit of stretches ~ they truly do help. Also, even if I didn’t have poor health ~ why assume someone who is overweight is lazy? There are so many varied reasons for weight gain and to assume its due to poor diet or laziness really winds me up.
- Are you sure you should be eating that? Yup, I’m an adult, I can make choices about what I would like to eat whether you approve or not! As a parent I always offered a well balanced diet, when the girls were babies I made my own purees for them ~ except when I was out and about ~ then I had to buy baby food as restaurants and cafes refused to warm up my purees as they were “health and safety risks”. As they grew they had healthy meals with vegetables but also cakes, crisps and biscuits too. I think everything within moderation is the perfect way to go. Now as adults the girls have chosen their own dietary route, one is vegan, one vegetarian turning vegan and my third daughter is a dairy free pescetarian. So if you ask me whether “I should be eating that” aside from a withering look as I walk away from you , you could well be wearing what I was eating too!
- Have you heard of ~ insert latest diet trend here ~ you should try it. Do you know what, most likely I have heard of the latest trend, fad diet. No doubt in the past I will also have already tried it. Fad diets are the absolute worst for people to fall into. Cabbage soup, grapefruit, Lighterlife, Atkins ~ tried them all and they don’t last, the weight drops and then you pile it all back on. I think Slimming World and Weight Watchers have their place but for me the only way that works and keeps the weight off is simple calorie counting and not banning any foods. I have found out through experience I am not a class, group diet person ~ I’m just too anti~social for them and find myself itching to poke out folks eyes who lose tonnes of weight week on week! Slow and steady is the route for me and is supported by my GP, half a pound a week every week means I will lose and keep the weight off as my diet is a lifestyle choice and sustainable. My body is fighting itself constantly as it is and so I need to be kind to it and take care of it ~ not shocking it with starvation or faddy diets.
- If you just set your mind to it you could be thin. Oh yes, in my youth I could drop pounds easily, no worries. Now though with menopause, medication and ill health putting up hurdles in every direction weight loss is easier said than done. I wish it were that easy, honestly I do ~ but if you say that to me you will get a stony glare and my back as I walk away.
- Have you tried exercising? My gym has this great special. I loathe gyms, horrible smelly sweaty places. My gym memberships in the past have resulted in my membership card arriving, being pinned on my notice board and never leaving it. I find gyms soulless places and not for me ~ I would rather be out in the fresh air walking and looking around me. Those days though are now behind me, I always harbour a small hope that one day in the future my health will improve and I can once again take up my long walks ~ until then small excursions with my trusty crutches will have to suffice.
- You’ll never find a partner unless you lost that weight. Thankfully I haven’t had this one as I have known Dave almost my entire life and married for over half of it. We both have fluctuated with our weight and so have empathy towards each other. Love is unconditional, it looks at the soul not the body. If I was single then I would only contemplate a relationship with someone who didn’t judge on appearance, instead one who looked at me as a whole and who “saw” me.
- At least you have boobs and a butt. Yup, I do have great boobs and a fabulous butt ~ only wish I could twerk to really shake my booty! If you try to give me a backhanded compliment I will deliberately take it as a compliment and agree wholeheartedly and not give you the satisfaction of seeing me doubt myself and who I am.
- Don’t you want to feel healthy? Oh boy, yes ~ yes I would LOVE to feel healthy. Sadly no diet can do that. Perhaps in time research into my health conditions will bring forth some super dooper treatments or dare I wish it a cure! What food I consume has no correlation to my health issues and so if you say this to me you will need to take a seat whilst I walk you through my conditions in depth so in future you will never think of saying that to anyone again. You never know what another person is dealing with ~ so many of us suffer from invisible illnesses that can cause weight gain. Medications we take and lack of mobility are hugely responsible for our issues with weight and it’s damn hard to lose weight, no matter how much will power you have because of being unable to exercise and taking regular medications to treat symptoms and pain which are known to cause weight gain too.
- I couldn’t eat that, it would go straight to my hips. What you do or don’t eat is no concern of mine ~ if you want to eat something then do it, if you don’t then quit complaining. Don’t try to make me feel bad about eating something by telling me that if you did it would cause you to gain weight ~ I know what you are underhandedly trying to say and will steadfastly ignore you and take an extra large bit in front of you and insert a few “mmmmm delicious” and smacking of lips to underline the point.
So, I suppose in conclusion ~ don’t be fatist, don’t make assumptions about other people and if you can’t say anything nice then don’t say anything at all! To all of you struggling with your weight please try to embrace yourself and where you are right now ~ life is too damn hard as it is without being hard on ourselves too.