Dieting is not first about the body, it’s first about the mind, and then about the body.
All my life I saw myself as FAT. Chubby, fluffy. Un-skinny, un-slim, un-thin.
I was very fit and had muscles. Also, broad shoulders and a larger frame. Saw myself fat because of the tummy, bigger boobs and thicker thighs. But i was not fat, now i know that. There was some fat, but only on the tummy, and not a lot. But i hated the body, that un-feminine body, with broad shoulders and hips smaller than the chest – hated it because it belong to a girl, a possible woman, and i hated and despised women. Weak and un-trustful. Un-trustworthy.
It took me a long time to accept it was ok i was born, it was ok i was born a girl. I needed these in order to accept my feminity. My body. My way of being. My so called idea of “fatness”.
I now know i wasn’t fat when younger, because i’ve learnt what it means to actually be fat. To have round thighs because of fat, not muscles. To have a round ass from fat, not muscles. To have a belly, not a tummy.
I became as i saw myself – big and fat – and gotten to the point of accepting that.
Ironically, becoming fat made me re-consider my relationship with the body much more than anything else. Sleep, eat, move – consciously.
Dieting starts from the mind – what is good for the body, what is good for your purpose. What is your purpose? Keep it in mind every time you choose to put something in your mouth. Every time you consider taking the bus instead of walking.
My purpose is to become healthy and lean, and strong. To be as healthy as possible in age. To set a good example to my kids. But ultimately, to feel good in my skin.
It still saddens me to look in the mirror and see all these unexpected curves I’ve never had, not even when pregnant. I remember the body i used to have and didn’t appreciate, and feel sadness and compassion to the younger me.
I also feel wiser and more accepting – i like this body, as imperfect as it is, it is my creation and my most true companion. My body will not leave me until i die (hopefully). “The body is the temple of the soul” now has a meaning.
What diet worked for me?
First – i had a terrible relationship with food in teenage years, when i would eat very, very little and move a lot. Some days, i’d only eat a chocolate. No wonder i had a massive anemia at 18. That was mostly due to depression and feelings of self un-worthiness.
At 23, i was depressed again and eating a full bar of chocolate a day… when i decided to STOP! and entered a Herbalife programme (2 shakes a day, meat + salad lunch). I also started to drink more water and shed kilos in 3 weeks. Left to US, started exercising on a daily basis at least 20 minutes in the gym, or 40 min in the pool, and voila! Best shape ever with 57 kg at 23 (November 2007)!
It was not sustainable once i left US, my weight went around 62-65kg. Got pregnant, went to 72. Came back to 65-67. Got pregnant again and gave birth 2 years after first child, at ~74. Then came back to 65-67, due to tandem breastfeeding and so, so many difficult nights and lack of sleep.
Started getting fat when i returned to work, when eating 2 cakes a day didn’t seem enough. Changed 3 jobs, got fired and had a boot of depression that messed my hormones (or viceversa), went to weigh a whooping 80 kg in March 2015. It was the year after being fired, the year of my greatest panic attack (yeah, i thought i’d die and was so scared), the year i stopped breastfeeding after losing milk due to another big panic attack… it was also the year i realized (accepted) it was ok to be attracted to men, and be attractive to men. The year in which i started to accept my feminity.
Next year, 2016, i wore skirts and dresses more than in all my whole life. I went out, danced and partied with friends from work and came to accept it was ok i was born. In Feb 2016, i’ve kept Ohsawa regime>/b> for 10 days and got to 74 kg, and started going to the pool. 10 days with only 4 aliments permitted (rice, buckwheat and 2 other cereals) and only water. It was a personal success! It had proved me i can live like that – my mental was stronger that i had known! I also went on some mountain trips and rediscovered the beneficial effect of nature on my soul.
My back problems did require more attention to eating and sports. So now i was eating more wisely, on Rina diet, and then started hitting the gym! Squats, some light weight lifting. In the beginning of 2017, i was going 3-5 times/week at the gym and also doing some exercising at home.
It was of great help to meet people that already went to the gym, and would show me exercises and help me with motivation. My kinetic memory is very weak, i cannot remember explanations and looking at youtube doesn’t help, my mind does not understand the moves. But the muscles do, and it was very helpful to be shown and move over and over again, the same exercise repeated.
Also, exercising made me more aware of the nutritious food.
After changing jobs, in Aug 2017, i went keto with 20 carbs/day – macros and calories measured in MyFitnessPal. It was a rather unhealthy keto – too many dairy, too many protein and too little healthy fats, but it was still less CICO (Calories In, Calories Out), and my weight went to 69 in Nov 2017, and my body shape had changed, i had lost belly fat and even had a waist! I also had a lot of energy and needed little sleep (drank cofee on a daily basis).
Unfortunately, 4 days in the country of chocolate reverted some gains… and keto was not that sustainable (went back to 70-71). Started IF with keto, saw great results (67kg), but i had morning sickness. Alcohol also didn’t help. And going too little to the gym – maybe once a week, or 1 time/month, and no longer exercising at home. In April 2018, there was a day with 66kg, yay! And then went to the hill.
October-November 2018 hit me very rough month and gotten to 79, i put on 7 kg in like 3 weeks.
Feb2019 – recovery doctor prescribed a very restrictive diet with no carbs, no fats and meals only at fixed hours. Which meant eating very little like once a day, for me. It happened in another difficult period, my hormones got down again (DHEA-S in particular). I remained with a fear of diets and didn’t care what i ate. Indulged myself into sweets and chips and whatever was there. Ate a lot. Mainly carbs and fats. Aug 2019 was a new psychological low, with very black thoughts. Even though i ate very little, and mainly hospital food (i grew fond of its blandness), didn’t lose any weight and then put on some more belly fat. Darn cortisol hormon!
For the New Year’s Eve, i guess i weighted 81.
But New Year means New Resolutions! One of my resolutions is to take better care of myself. Not dieting, but becoming more conscious of what i eat. And only eat when i am hungry. I am hungry most of the time, especially due to poor sleep 😦 but i eat less. MyFitnessPal is again a good friend, and i try to keep 50 gr of carbs/day.
I’ve lost 2,5 kg so far in almost 3 weeks. Waiting for hormones results.
I mainly eat salads (rucola, spinach, green salad, other leafy stuff) with virgin olive oil. Meat can be anything, but no longer bacon or salami. Very little fruit. Very little dairy (seldom milk, mainly in coffee, or some cheese). Some dark chocolate. Lotsa vegetables – that’s the secret. For extra proteins and fat, collagen and Omega 3 and some coconut oil. Also, cocoa nibs!
Started kinetotherapy again. Ohhh, it’s so good to feel the pain in the muscles (seriously!). The feeling of stretch, then relax – and the pain that comes with relaxing! – it’s intense, and nice and it makes my body feel alive!
I guess this is what people meant when they said “Learn to embrace the pain”.
Gotta work more on the sleep part – hard to do with kids that don’t wanna go to sleep, hard to do when i keep waking up to their movement or snore or even breathing 😦 yeah, i’m a light sleepr.
But the obstacle is the way, so i shall find a way