Yeah. Being fat. Overweight. Obese. Festively Plump. Chunky. Whatever you wanna call it. I’ve struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember. What’s weird now is that people who have suffered from Ulcerative Colitis and who have ileostomy bags are normally emaciated. I mean sickeningly thin and at times ill looking. I never had this issue the whole time I’ve suffered from these afflictions, in fact it is actually the one thing I probably would have been happy about in all the years I’ve had the disability and illness.
It really all stems from when I was a kid. My mum, when we had money, would constantly buy biscuits, crisps and fizzy drinks under the pretence they were for me and my sisters, but in reality they were for her. When we didn’t have money, which was much more often, We would get chips for dinner almost every night because it was cheap to buy a bag of potatoes and you used less to make chips for 5 than to make enough mashed or boiled potatoes for 5. I never really gained much nutrition from my diet for years and I ate junk all the time. Even in school, because I got free school dinners, I never really got a healthy, nutritious lunch. There were no laws about what children should and shouldn’t eat in schools so we were fed chips and processed meat or fish every day. I got myself ready for school every day because my ma was too lazy to get out of bed, so I never bothered to eat breakfast. Then my ma constantly fried every other bit of food that we ate. I picked up horrible habits of a lifetime.
Then there’s my use of food as a coping mechanism. For years, when I was feeling down or unhappy, I ate uncontrollably. I would eat dinner then go straight for the junk food. So much processed shite and sugar. At night when I felt lonely or unhappy, I would get a take away or get lashed into the abundance of sweets I would buy for myself.
I have also spent my whole life being reminded that I was fat. I mean, I’m not hugely fat, I’m tall and a big fella so I carry my weight well compared to others who are my weight yet according to BMI I’m obese. My so called friends, my father and pretty much everyone I ever played football or hurling against never tired in reminding me how I was fat. “Fat bollocks” “big tits” and many other things would be thrown at me. Unfortunately I never took these as a positive reinforcement to lose weight, it just got me down and when I got down I ate. It was a vicious cycle.
It made me so self conscious and produced so many self esteem and image issues. Even when I did lose weight or made an effort, I would eventually fall off the wagon. It had an effect on my relationships with girls over the years because I could never understand why they would find me attractive and I would feel incredibly self conscious taking my clothes off.
A few months ago I made a commitment to really make an effort to get healthy. At the beginning of the year I read a book called The Four Hour Work Week, which I followed for a while and it did me the world of good, but it was incredibly rigid and difficult and I couldn’t keep up. I lost almost two stone, but then the depression latched on again like the wee parasite it is and I put it all back on. I made the commitment to get healthy before the Girlfriend and I broke up, and when we did break up I found it was something for me to focus on. To be honest I got a bit obsessive with the exercising. Then I got the hole on my stomach and couldn’t exercise with the pain which was incredibly frustrating. But I’ve kept losing weight, and more importantly inches, and I’m feeling better. Right now, I’ve lost almost a stone and a half, 6 inches off my waist and 5 off my hips. I’ve lost about 10% of my body fat and I’m feeling a little more confident. I’m down a size in jeans and in shirts as well which is a first for about 3 years. I mean, from Christmas Eve until yesterday I ate like shit but today I am refocusing on my goals. I aim to lose another 2 stone by my birthday (which is 2 months and 3 weeks away) and the pain of the hole on the stomach isn’t too bad any more so I should be able to start exercising again.
The fact that I’m doing this for me is really promising. I feel so much better for it and I can feel my confidence is on the up (which is a first for a long long time). I don’t have man boobs any more, which is a big positive. Just have to keep on fighting the good fight.