Oh boy. Here we go.
The importance of #bodypositivity cannot, and must never, be downplayed or undermined. This is not that at all. This is a strictly personal issue which I’m choosing to write about to help with me deal with issues of accountability and the sense of failure I’ve felt in the past.
For reasons that are far too deep-rooted / complex / historical, let’s begin with getting this out there. I have a terrible relationship with food.
It’s the reason I’ve been overweight most of my life. It’s my go-to source of both comfort, and self-harm. A damaging dichotomy where eating exists as both escapism, and the thing I’m escaping from.
And equally, some of the earliest memories I have are of feeling self conscious about how I look. Distinct, vivid memories, from when I was 6 or 7, about wanting to hide and cover up. Those feelings have plagued me for 20 years.
During lockdown, and since the postponement of our wedding, it’s been getting worse and worse. And here we are today. Since the start of lockdown, I’ve put on roughly half a stone a month. I’m now 21lbs / ~10kg heavier than I was in March. That’s insane.
And that’s despite quite a fair bit of exercise – I’ve been averaging roughly 35 miles walking a week over that same time span. It’s not 10km running a day, but it’s not exactly sedentary, either.
I’ve been ‘dieting’ now for a couple of days, and I’m certainly making the first few tentative steps to feeling better. But I have a long way to go.
And the diet itself isn’t extreme – I’ve cut carbs out of my diet except for one meal a day, and even then, I’m trying to limit it to ‘natural’ carbs (potato / rice / etc.). Massively upping my water intake, and all the unhealthy snacks (my downfall!) are out of the house.
This, I think, is where I struggle. So I’m trying here to acknowledge that losing half my body weight in time for the wedding next April is insane. But I also know, thanks to previous attempts, what is possible when I really try.
First up is our (delayed) engagement photo shoot in early October. In four months from now, I’d like to have lost 3 stone.
By next April, I’d have liked to have lost a further 2 stone.
That’s a challenge. But I know it’s achievable.
And, reader, the greatest expectation I have to set myself is that I’m not going to be skinny – and that’s okay.
Y’know? I’m a big guy. I’m 6’ tall with Size 12 feet and big bones. I’m never gonna be thin. But I can live with that.
So… why am I writing about it?
Good question. Two reasons.
First is accountability. I want people to know that I’m doing it, and want to know about how it’s going. I want to share updates with you all, and even if it’s just a post a week with progress and some recipes and thoughts and feelings, then cool – it’s the fact I know people are expecting to see it, that’s what’ll keep me going. Best way to motivate a people pleaser is to have them worry about being a disappointment.
Secondly.. the body positivity movement I feel is distinctly lacking much male representation. And whilst a middle class white voice isn’t what the world needs right now, I hope one day to look back and come to terms with this transformation (I hope!) – and if I can inspire or discuss this with anyone along the way, what a joy.
Every long journey starts with a single step. Sharing this post is mine.
If you are at all interested in following progress, I’ll use a separate category (#transformation) – and maybe even set up a separate section on the site.
That’s it for now. Thank you for doing this with me, dear reader.