You Have To Be Thin, But You’re Not Allowed To Diet

No meal plan this week as it’s half term so everything is a bit unpredictable. I’ll be trying to cope with some eating out and improvising meals when we are home. So it’s going to be harder to stick to the points, which has got me thinking some more about my decision to share all this:

It’s just one of the many infuriating no-wins of being a woman. You shouldn’t be fat but you shouldn’t be on a diet either. You should be, and remain, slim and attractive but if you make a lot of effort to achieve that you are shallow and vacuous. You should be able to join the boys in beers and burgers while effortlessly avoiding the consequences. Come on, just one drink, just one cake, stop being so boring.

Oddly though, at the moment, it is sort of ok to obsess over food. So long as you really go for it. Being “on a diet” isn’t cool, but rigorously cutting out multiple food groups and eating only a very restricted (and often very expensive) diet is all the rage. Weight loss is allowed to be a happy coincidence but the greater goal is “wellness”. You can’t just change what you eat a bit because you’ve gained a few pounds, you have to be altering your entire physical, emotional and mental state. And it has to look pretty on instagram (please please read this amazingly frank and honest blog on the Wellness world by Natasha Lipman for more).

That kind of extreme restriction isn’t for me. There is absolutely no good scientific evidence for most of it, I know I couldn’t sustain it long term and, frankly, I just don’t have the f*cking time.

So I’ve always kept quiet about it when I’ve tried to lose weight in the past. I’ve been a bit embarrassed. I shouldn’t have let myself get to that point in the first place and perhaps I should just be embracing who I am, rejecting society’s expectations blah blah blah.

Turmeric poached eggs, or at least my attempt at them

But, here I am blabbing about it on the internet because, actually, a bit of public accountability is really helping me to stick to it. And, as certain other posts on here have made clear, I’m getting a bit better at choosing how many f*cks to give. So I’m just saying it:

I am overweight.

My BMI at the start of this year was 27.2. I’ve done two near back to back first trimesters where I could only get through the day by constantly snacking to hold off the nausea, then the rest of that second pregnancy, weeks of immobility post C section and months of breastfeeding (which makes me really hungry) and being unable to exercise much because of the difficult birth.

Yes I could have been stricter with myself and not put on so much weight, I could make excuses for why I didn’t. But I’m not going to.

I chose not to give one of my very limited f*cks to staying slim while I was pregnant or looking after a newborn. That was my decision and I don’t regret it.

But I’m not just going to accept my body as it is forever. The new fat sits mostly on my belly, the place most likely to indicate future health problems and I’ve had a long list of joint issues in recent months, all of which are probably made worse by carrying around an extra 2 stone of weight.

I’m not “body positive” and embracing with my body as it is. I want it to be stronger and healthier I want to be able to go for a long walk without spending the rest of the day limping on my sore foot or popping pills for my inflamed knees. I don’t want to be at increased risk of heart disease or type 2 diabetes.

So here I am, on the internet saying to absolutely anyone who stumbles past that I am overweight, it is, to some extent at least, my own fault, and I am on a diet to fix it.

That feels kind of good.

Weigh In

week 5

Another solid week, just short of 2 lbs down so still exceeding the 1 lb a week I was expecting. Although I’ll be honest I’m a little disappointed to have been just 0.2 lbs off my first stone!


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