As you regular readers would know, I’ve struggled with my weight for years. I’ve always been on the softer side but had a womanly body.
Below is a pic of me at the tender age of 15 – as you can imagine, I received a lot of unwanted male attention having such a developed and womanly body.
I was always bigger than my friends, more athletic, bigger boobs, solid legs and I dealt with the usual teenage bullying. I used to get called Butch and Thunder Thighs – kids can be cruel.
I can’t blame that behaviour for my body issues, but it definitely didn’t help. I would come home crying from school because I hated my legs and believed I was fat. And to top it off, a male role model in my life had a very distorted view of the female body and how it should look, and in his eyes I didn’t fit that mould so I experienced a lot of pressure. I didn’t develop any eating disorders but I believe these factors contributed to my unhealthy body image and the way I looked after myself.
When I hit my twenties, and by then the Bipolar symptoms were in full scale, drug and alcohol abuse was a part of my daily life. I was still always “curvy” but toned and in shape. Once I started taking medication, the weight piled on. 10kg, 20kg and eventually 30kg.
I tried to lose the weight, changed my diet, exercised but nothing helped, so I guess I just gave up. About 5 years ago it was discovered that I had an underactive thyroid and was given meds to counter act that, which unfortunately gave me severe acne so I stopped taking that after a few months.
My weight plateaued and I just accepted the fact that I would always continue to carry this extra weight. Last year, when I was admitted to hospital for Lithium Toxicity, the Doctors discovered my kidney’s were working at less than 20% and my thyroid was at an extreme level.
My kidney’s have repaired themselves luckily and this year my body has been healing. My thyroid was still underactive so I might lose the odd kilo here and there but nothing substantial. About 6 weeks ago after a blood test I was put on a new thyroid medication with no side effects.
My goal throughout the year had been to lose 15kg. It’s now 31 December and I’ve lost 12kg. I am so unbelievably happy and it dropped off without me even realising.
So how did I do it?
Well, firstly my body is now operating the way it should be, thanks to my thyroid stabilising. If you are about to embark on a weight loss/fitness journey, make sure you seek advice from your GP and get your blood and everything tested to ensure you have a clean and workable slate. It will also teach you to understand how your body works, what it may lack or not need etc…
Secondly, I cut down food portions. Sounds simple enough but I hadn’t really realised how my meal sizes had crept up and that I had been eating everything off my plate like the piggy I was. So, I pretty much halved my portions. Even though I was still eating everything (a smaller plate is a great way to trick your brain too) off my plate it was half the fat, half the calories. I didn’t get hungry which I thought I would, but I think making these changes in Summer when it’s hotter and your appetite reduces anyway.. well mine usually does.
Thirdly, I made a conscious decision to drink filtered/mineral water. I’ve always been a big water drinker but usually from the tap. Switching to bottled water has made a difference in detoxing and shows in my skin.
Exercise is not my friend. Never really has been, but being active is. I was lucky enough to be supported by Sharks Fitness Centre during 2015, but due to my own issues, recovering from my hospitalisation and lack of motivation and knowledge, I discovered once and for all that the gym just isn’t for me, and that’s ok. It’s not for everyone. I discovered the 7min workout which is fantastic and although I don’t do it every day, it’s helped too. There are a bunch of different apps available to download, so work out what is best for you.
I’m super proud of myself for my results and I’m looking forward to continuing them in 2016. The goal is at least another 10kg – which I haven’t put a time limit on – and I’m confident with the small changes I’ve put in place and learning more about food, it will be easy!
If you are struggling to lose weight and manage your mental health, I’m always open to talk – anytime day or night. Everyone works differently and what has worked for me may not work for you. But the most important thing is not to put too much pressure on yourself which is what I’ve been doing for years. I knew the reasons why I couldn’t lose weight, which was out of my control but I pushed and forced myself and it was a fucking disaster.
Be gentle with yourself and it will happen.