It took me a long time to get into the right headspace to actually work on losing weight. And I finally worked out what the magic change was: I accepted myself as I was, first.
I’m not one for Internet rhetoric. But the ideas behind “health at every size” resonated with me. After all, I was fat, but I maintained reasonable-ish fitness and strength. I was always able to do what needed to be done – carry heavy loads, move equipment at work, clean and move furniture at home. I could walk wherever I needed to. I was healthy, and I had to accept myself as I was before I had the correct motivation to change.
I know that sounds counter intuitive. After all, if you’re trying to change yourself, you don’t actually like yourself as you are, right?
Prior to this, my attempts at weight loss failed. They failed because I was doing it for the wrong reasons, other people’s reasons. “I’m too fat!” “I’m ugly!” All the usual image-based horseshit. I’d lose a bit of weight, and promptly think “I hope other people are pleased with me”. Not “I’m pleased with me”, but other people.
Then I’d dive head first into a tub of icecream and attempt to feel better about myself that way. Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work.
Six years of wavering around later, I finally got into a headspace where I liked myself enough to accept myself as is. Having done so, I can now work to actually change what I am – because I WANT TO. Not because of what other people think of me, but because I want to.
I’m not saying my motivations are wholly internal. I am a dancer, and I want to be a better dancer – and realistically that involves having a smaller body. But I’m OK with that. It’s not “my dance partners want me to be thinner”, it’s “I want to be smaller for dancing”. The distinction is … small, perhaps, but important.
Both the scales and my trousers confirm that I’ve lost an entire dress size. I’ve gone down a bra size. And when I was getting dressed this morning, I realised I’ve lost a little wobbly bit at the back of my arm that had been irking me. Then I did a quick recce into KMart last night, to pick up a pair of harem pants for a performance this weekend; picked up my usual pants size, and realised upon a try-on that if the elastic falls right off your hips, you should go down a size.
When I look in the mirror, I have discernible stomach areas. I find that incredibly entertaining, because it’s actually the fat layer setting itself up in a mockery of a sixpack.
I’ve lost eight kilograms since the end of November. I’m quite proud of that.