This is my recent and unintentional weight lost journey! But not just that.
My dear, I never thought I would write about this. And yet… here we are…. since you are reading these lines, it means I hit the ‘publish’ button!! It took me a while to hit it.
Now, this is a sensitive topic for many and I am probably writing things that get people crucified online, especially down below. Don’t read the whole thing! Stop at the warning notice… or I don’t know… Well, you’ve been warned.
Seriously, I’m not trying to be insensitive, not trying to sell anything. Just telling my story because if you and I are anything alike, every now and then, you read a story that resonates with you, a story that inspire you or at least makes you think… So here is mine and it’s still in the making!
You wake up one day and you’re not too happy with what you see in the mirror. Or maybe you pass by a window, and realize the reflection you see is you, when you didn’t recognize it at first. Maybe that’s just that and on to another day of work. But maybe that’s THE moment, the moment you decide you got to do something.
For many people a weight loss journey starts because of appearance. Clothes that once fitted and that you can’t button up anymore. The exact day you needed to wear this perfect dress of course! Damn it!
For a few, it starts with health issues. Maybe a knee that complains a little too often, or simply a belly that gets in the way.
Loosing weight unintentionally
If you’ve read those, already you may want to call me stupid because I didn’t expect the changes I made to my diet and exercise routine, to make me loose weight!
It wasn’t on my agenda! It wasn’t intentional.
I had been exercising very regularly for most of the pandemic. That didn’t lead to weight loss. Just me getting a little stronger which was my goal considering my motorcycle is 210kg (over 460 pounds) and is a bitch to maneuver. Getting it on its rear stand is an exercise on its own!
Being vegan and already filling my plate with plenty of vegetables and very little junk food (yes there are plenty of vegan junk food out there!), I actually didn’t really know what I could possibly change to my diet, to loose weight, if I had wanted to.
But then my digestive system sent a cry for help! And it was so painful at times, I couldn’t ignore it any longer.
The first thing I did was to cut out bread and added sugar. Please remember I’m French, so bread has always been part of my diet. No, I’m not gluten intolerant. But I felt that was the right move.
And to sooth my digestive track, I ate very simple food for a couple weeks. Super simple and soothing food: carrots, zucchinis, broccolis, beets, rice, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas… yes slightly boring!
And finally, I took probiotics.
Well, this may sound like a lot to you. But do remember that I did this to heal my gut. I was in pain and some days it was difficult to function.
After 2 or 3 days and with every day that passed after that, my tummy felt better. It was fairly magical to feel it heal.
After a week, I realized my jeans were loose and I had to tighten the belt one notch. I thought that was just the bloating going away.
After two weeks I had to tighten another notch and my jeans felt a little looser, in other areas too. I washed them! No they were dirty because #WorkingFromHome! But you know washing usually make jeans a little tighter, at first, at least. This time it didn’t work and they were still quite loose.
So I hoped on the scale and was puzzled to read the figure shown. But our scale is crap, so I didn’t think about it too much!
But now that same pair of jeans is ridiculously loose. I had to tighten the belt one more notch and it’s ridiculous by now. So I have to come to term with the fact that… I lost weight! Yes, unintentionally!
Taking back control
Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy of this development!
For years I had a little protective cushion of fat on. I called it my ‘safety cushion’. I will probably explain this another time but basically I was, for most part, fine with it.
But then a pandemic came and 2020 turned out to be the maybe most transformative year for me. Emotionally and psychologically.
And it seems now, that, maybe logically, 2021 is becoming a transformative year, physically.
You may be at lost by now, but the thing is that I believe that up until recently, I wasn’t ready to lose my ‘safety cushion’. I still needed it.
This is no longer true and so I’m taking back control. I’m being intentional now. I’m listening and I’m learning.
I could have reverted back to eating my ‘normal vegan diet’ after 2 or maybe 3 weeks, but I decided to stick to my new and improved way of eating with a few twists. I actually have been enjoying it and have been incredibly inspired!
There are more and more signs that this is good for me, this is what I need, at least now. It’s not just about how my jeans fit.
On becoming strong, fit and healthy!
Years back, I read a quote that sticked with me:
You diet to look good in clothes, you exercise to look good naked.
Something like that. It stayed in the back of my head. Yet, I always felt something was lacking from this.
I have now realized the missing part in such quote was health.
The focus on the way one looks in the mirror, in a shop window’s reflection, in clothes or naked is of little indication on one’s health.
Thereafter, I came to define a slightly more precise goal for myself. Yes, I still need to become stronger, for or because of my motorcycle! I don’t need my ‘safety cushion’ anymore so I can indeed become fit and possibly thinner again but above all, I want to be the healthiest I can be.
This is probably going to be a long road, although the first steps have yielded incredible results already.
And I think it just takes time for most of us to understand how our own bodies really work, what they truly needs, what they are telling us. It sure took me years and indeed I’m still learning and I’m just getting better at listening.
There were a few incidents in the past that lead to some realizations, but nothing like the one I had recently. I’m thankful it happened! Despite the pain!
As you may have come to realize, there are no figures here. No waist, thighs or ams measurements, no kilos or pounds indicated (apart from the weight of my motorcycle!). I don’t think those are useful in my goals. These are just numbers anyway. Will I continue loosing weight? I don’t know. Will I get stronger? I sure hope so! But not bodybuilder style, ok!
Will I continue telling you about it? I might.
If I do, then maybe you’ll need to understand first that I won’t always be proper about it. I might write things that are offensive to some. I might not always be politically correct and it starts below, because I need/want/should clarify where I stand on this topic.
Warning! Stop reading!
Don’t continue reading!
And if you do read, please remember I’m French. It’s not an excuse. We, French, tend to not have the same sensitivity and the same approach then Americans for example, on some matters, including on the FAT issue. Then again some do have the same approach. So many it is just me.
On having a little more booty…
So again, I had a fat safety cushion for years. And yet, I always knew…
Being fat isn’t healthy. Caring excess weight may be ok for a while but leads to increase risks of diabetes, heart issues, joint issues and all sorts of other health problems. Yes, some argue with the causality link.
To me, being fat is kind of like smoking. Not saying being fat is a choice here. What I’m trying to say is that you can smoke for years and be fine and bam, one day, you have lungs cancer. You were healthy for years and suddenly you’re not anymore. And then once in a while, there is one person who smoked all her life and never got cancer or any other issues. This person isn’t proof that smoking is healthy. This person is just incredibly lucky or something like that!
Same goes for all sorts of other areas on our lives. You can skip exercise for years and feel mostly fine. You can eat junk food and not realize that it wrecks havoc on your digestive system, eat plenty of candies or drink liters of soda and wake up only years later with tooth aches, lots of tooth aches… There are plenty of things you can do, for years, maybe decades, without even realizing how bad these are for your health.
Yes, these examples are choices we make, so there’re probably not the best examples. Again, I’m not saying that carrying excess weight is a choice and I’m not even saying that it is necessarily a result of bad choices.
For me it partly was because of bad choices as I’ve certainly eaten plenty of junk food and candies. I’ve exercised irregularly… However, that didn’t explain it all and it took me a while to come to the realization there was far more to it. My safety cushion was a protection I needed.
So I’m not judging anyone here. We’re all different after all.
Still, I knew my safety cushion wasn’t that healthy, or at least that I wasn’t the healthiest I could be.
Body positivity is a great trend but…
Celebrating body of all sizes and shapes is great. It has been a useful step in the right direction to combat photoshopped pictures of already skeletal models.
Indeed, we are not all built the same way and that’s ok. Changes were and are still needed in the standards of clothes for example. Attention still needs to be brought to the way people are treated when fat or obese, how medical assistance is often different, how harmful fatphobia is, etc.
Not everyone can be skinny and skinny isn’t necessarily healthy anyway. Not everyone can be 6 foot tall and being 6 foot tall brings lots of issues anyway. We are all different and that is beautiful!
However it seems that the body positivity movement has being leading to a sort of ‘celebration of fat’, a sort of normalization of obesity and I personally don’t think that is the right direction for such movement. (Now, this might just be linked to the way Internet works and I might be short sighted because of what I’ve read on such topic)
I’m going to get crucified for saying something like that. That’s why I wrote above you shouldn’t continue reading.
Nevertheless, I wrote it because I think we’d probably be better off not normalizing being overweight or obese.
We should all take care of our own health. Yes, it is hard. Yes, it is a journey and things constantly change along the way, especially for women. No, it doesn’t mean being skeletal skinny but it probably doesn’t mean being obese. Neither extreme can be good. Balance and moderations are key!
We all get one single body. It’s a magical piece of machinery that can do so much and feel so good. It should be well taken care off, to last as long as possible and function to its greatest potential.
So here you have it! Now you know where I stand on such a topic.
I may or may not continue publishing articles on such a journey but if I do, you maybe have a better idea of what to expect.