Self confidence is, to me, a beautiful thing. I admire people who ooze self confidence. I would go so far as to say I envy a little, the sirens who pass through life like a shining beacon, as in the KT Tunstall song. There is a myth that thinness creates self confidence in some way. But I have never really found that to be true myself. When I was thin, I was still depressed at times, still nervous around people. Looking back I think my weight loss was heavily linked to one of my high periods, but it still came with tension and anxiety, and paranoia. I wasn’t fully myself then. I was in a hyper state.
I wasn’t any more confident above, in 2007, at under 10 stone, than I am currently, below, at just under 14 stone.
I wouldn’t say that being bigger is my “normal” state. My body changes with the emotions and moods, not metaphorically, I mean very physically. But when in a very low period, I can eat more than I need, exercise less than I benefit from, and as a result, gain weight.
Self confidence does not come naturally to me at any size. It is something I fake, in the hope that one day it will be real!
What weight loss does help with is feeling physically more comfortable.
Weight loss for self confidence isn’t something I can relate to. For health, yes, for ease of movement, yes, to feel more comfortable and a little better in clothes and make up, yes, but looking better won’t make me feel far more confident. Does that make sense?
Intuitive eating advocates taught me a valuable lesson over the years, and that is to live as much as I can at any size. To not put off til tomorrow what I can enjoy today, and so I have, and I do. It’s nothing to do with confidence. It’s to do with making each day worth while, even with, especially with, depression.
If folks like Steve Miller had their way, I would be hiding my shocking body away until it looked more appealing to passers by. His concern isn’t for people like me, it’s for people like him, who don’t want to have to see people like me! Fortunately, it was those “psychobabblers” from the intuitive eating world who encouraged me to get out and get moving, to not be limited by my size at any time. And so I have completed two Moonwalks;
The most recent above, in 2014 and the first, below, in 2013. In 2013 I was over 16 stone, In 2014 I was just over 14 stone.
And I am now less than 3 weeks away from the Virgin London Marathon;
Yes, it is easier with less weight, but we all have to start somewhere. When I didn’t seem to be able to get a handle on food, I chose to do something else to support my health and my body instead. At a pace that my body and mind could cope with. There’s absolutely no shame in taking the slow path to anywhere! And while the weight loss has not been the stuff of legends, it is a loss I have maintained, and the fitness I have improved on.
I was encouraged the other day by an article in the latest Slimming World magazine, by a young lady who suffers with bipolar. She was actually diagnosed during her weight loss journey, after an episode saw her hospitalised. I felt for her. But equally I felt inspired to give Slimming World another go because of it.
I am off the medication at the moment. And I am feeling driven. The voices at the back of my head are muttering about how I start things but never finish, and weight loss is one of those things. It’s part of my make up, part of the depression. I don’t know if my disordered eating came about because of depression, or vice versa. It is all so long ago, and such a big chunk of my life, it just is there. But even as the disordered eating lessens at times, the depression remains.
But the past doesn’t have to dictate the future. And there is no reason I can’t keep trying if it helps me mentally. What has also helped me is “psychobabble”. The “psychobabble” that tells me I am not a failure, that I have succeeded at so many things. The “psychobabble” that tells me my brain functions slightly differently to a normal brain, but that is ok. The “psychobabble” that doesn’t focus on one facet of my being when I have so many other things going on in my life. “Psychobabble” is supportive. And in a world of critics that can only be a good thing. But it also gives us the chance to change and renew ourselves. Steve Miller criticises “psychobabble” because it tells us why we are fat. What he fails to acknowledge is that it also gives us the tools to move forward. But then, who would he be able to criticise if he acknowledged the truth of those things he scorns?
So it’s back to Slimming World, giving it another go. Feeling driven, but knowing the drive might last a day or a week. And somehow, this time, I shall try to fight through the down times, because it looks like they are here for the long haul, and while that isn’t the most ideal thing in the world, it’s better to know and work with that.