I can still remember the moment that prompted me to lose 4 stone; I was 21 years old and in Selfridges. Now please don’t read this as a narcissistic label bragging moment; I lived at home and I wanted a few pairs of fab jeans and I was torn between Miss 60 and Versace. The only problem was, I was a size 16/18 and these brands didn’t go up to my size. I felt frustrated, left out and angry at the whole situation.
The interesting thing is, I was actually very content in my body, it was the only one I knew and why on earth would I want to change that? This was way before body positivity and learning to love your healthy curves and I was used to hearing “Oh, but at least you have a pretty face”. I’d trained myself not to hear the undertone, which basically implied ‘but you’re overweight’.
One day I woke up and decided I was going to change, I’d been challenged by my Dad and the lure of a new wardrobe and increased energy was appealing. At first, I kept my journey a secret, I knew that certain people would want me to succeed but others wouldn’t be as supportive. Just a tough fact of life really.
The problem is, everyone is so keen to tell you how easy it is to lose your first stone, no one is shouting about the fact the human body naturally reaches a ‘plateau’. No one wants to shout about the weeks when you don’t lose a single lb, when you wonder if it’s all worthwhile and if you’ll ever reach that goal?
On the other hand, people become brutally honest ‘you were rather big‘ and ‘you’re so much more attractive now your slim, I could never date a big girl‘ and they totally disregard that you are still the same person and that comment still hurts. Also, people who never took any notice of you before, in terms of friendship or other suddenly become interested in the ‘new’ you.
My advice is to remember who cared, who supported you and who made you feel uncomfortable. Because losing a significant amount of weight and the changes that happen during this journey, will teach you not only a lot about yourself but who really cares.
Again, rarely discussed but stretch marks are a huge part of weight loss, some people don’t suffer but I did badly and I’m still ‘aware‘ of low jeans because of my beautifully silver lined hips. Due to the severity of my stretch marks, I think it’s going to be a long term commitment to using this daily but they really are fading. It’s just a shame that people only think stretch marks are something new mothers deal with and they forget those who have changed body shape.
For some of us there will be an occasion where our confidence lapses, we worry about our former fuller self when selection a dress or top and suddenly out in public we feel very aware, exposed and unsure of our new shape. I dropped down from a full 36D to an empty 34A and unsurprisingly 10 years later I decided to have a breast augmentation.
We are only human; let’s try not to be hard on ourselves and remember that no matter how you’re made to feel or what you see in the mirror the chances are you’re a thousand times lovelier than you realize
Have you ever seriously changed your body shape? Not just weight loss but toning and muscle mass? Did you ever encounter moments of insecurity?