My weight is my biggest enemy. Always has been.
I can imagine that for a lot of people this is all too familiar.
For as long as I can remember I’ve always been larger than ideal, my weight always seeming to grow proportionally with my height. It’s not something I was ever seriously taunted about, but it was an ever-present problem that always made me feel bad about myself.
I suppose the obvious remark to that would be ‘do something about it then’. And I did…eventually.
It’s hard to get passionate about exercise when there’s no sport or physical activity that you enjoy doing (although looking back on it I wish I’d had enough confidence to ask to do dance training). That’s gradually changed over time, but it still took a while for me to do anything about it.
It wasn’t until I finished my first year at university that I really made an active effort in changing my unhealthy lifestyle.
My motives weren’t completely pure, a large part of my decision to change was based on wanting to be more appealing to others. Too much rejection and bad treatment by potential partners certainly made me feel like it was the only way to make a difference.
And I don’t regret that.
All those experiences made me realise how little care I had for myself, and that needed to stop. So whilst my decision to improve my fitness was influenced by outside factors, I ultimately realised that I was doing this first and foremost for myself.
I was tired of being miserable.
I feel at this moment that I should point out that I’m not trying to shame anyone here that is overweight/larger than average. My intention with losing weight was to get to a point where I felt happier with myself, and my size was something that I’d always associated with negative feelings. Aside from the health concerns connected with being overweight, I wanted to be able to look in the mirror and like what I saw, so for me personally this was something that I knew I had to do.
Anyway, that summer after first year went great.
In the space of 2 1/2 months I lost over 2 1/2 stone (36lbs / 16.3kg).
Over the course of the following academic year my weight fluctuated, with intermittent gym workouts and stress eating spread out over 8 months. By the time second year finished, though, I was back to same weight I’d been back in September.
Things were going great, and they got even better.
My willpower over that Summer was not as strong as it had been the year before, and I gave in to temptation so much more often. But by the time Freshers Week started for my final year at university I’d lost another 20lbs, putting me exactly 4 stone below my starting weight.
That’s when things got bad.
I have no regrets about how third year went. I formed strong friendships from the very start and spent probably 3/4 of that time greatly enjoying myself.
Unfortunately, as they say, the greatest friends are the worst influences, and I definitely picked up a lot of bad habits in my final year.
Despite frequenting the gym, my weight constantly increased month after month, and by the time I’d moved out of Ormskirk for good I was basically back at the beginning. I’m writing this now just 2lbs below my starting weight, and I’ve never been more frustrated with myself before.
But what are you gonna do?
Like I said, I have no regrets about how I spent my last year at university, even if my fitness went massively down hill. It just means that I have to pick myself back up and start all over again…and that’s incredibly difficult.
But I’m not going to give up.
It’s strange how I was never happy with how I looked, even when I’d lost so much weight, until I’d put on the pounds again. I look back at pictures from a year ago now and miss how slim I was, and wonder how on Earth I could still hate my body as much as I did at the start of all this.
In order to get back to that good place I need to find that strength that I had 2 years ago. It can only come from me, although support from friends and family always helps to push things along. Even if the progress is slow, I hope that over time I will start to see a positive change in my fitness once again.
Our bodies are our temples, after all.