I’m celebrating again today, another big weight-loss milestone. I’ve made it to 4 stone – that’s 56 pounds or a notch over 25kg. That means I’ve lost over 20% of my starting weight (September 2015).
When I went to Florida last year on holiday, I hauled a 23kg suitcase the length and breadth of Philadelphia International Airport, back and forth down a hopelessly long and deserted corridor they called ‘the time tunnel’ during a miserable and chaotic transfer which included an unscheduled overnight stopover. Believe me, I know what 23kg weighs – it’s a lot! It’s actually horrifying to think I’ve been carrying more than that around with me, every day, all these years.
It’s hard to assimilate, as I don’t quite know where I put it when I had it. I know I’ve shrunk, pretty much everywhere – going on for four dress sizes now, slimmer wrists and ankles, smaller waist and hips, fewer chins. But… 25kg! And the scales tell me I have as much again to lose, if I get to my ultimate loss-goal.
Without my holiday suitcase of excess weight, for the first time in over a decade, I’m actually looking forward to the warmer days of summer. I’ve shed a skin… a great big, sticky, sweaty one. I have crop pants that fit me again, t-shirts that don’t cling and ankles that won’t swell up in the heat. I know I’ll be able to function, for work and social and outdoor tasks like gardening, and walks for exercise – and hot summer holidays – without dissolving into a puddle of perspiration. I know I’ll have the energy to not just endure, but enjoy, when the temperature heads upwards.
I can’t wait!
Without my personal on-board excess baggage, I actually want to plan a holiday this year; somewhere warm and sunny, where I can swim, read books on the beach or by the pool, mooch around bazars and sit in pavement cafes sipping drinks and watching the world go by.
For so many years I’ve felt like such a lump, squeezed into robustly scaffolded swimsuits designed not to flaunt but to constrain overflowing flesh. I have ‘before’ photos which make me feel physically sick. Photos from when I thought I was holding it all in, but wasn’t. You know, when you kid yourself that those floaty, chiffon sarongs blur your edges, camouflage the reality. They don’t, and without the benefit of Photoshop, the camera betrays the ugly truth.
But… I’m not going to dwell on the past. I know I’m no sylph – yet. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m not built to be sylph-like. Trust me, I know the reality of my in-transit state, even as I know there are others blogging about how horrible and fat they feel at the weight I’ve just joyously arrived at.
But it’s a question of perspective – where you’ve come from and where you’re going. I’ve come from 19 stone. I’m going… onward and downward. On the way, even though I may yet be far from perfect, I will celebrate my success to date and acknowledge how much better I feel than I did eight or nine months ago. I’ll gain strength, momentum, positivity and motivation from achieving what, for many years, seemed so… impossible and out of reach.
I begin month nine of my new healthy lifestyle in a very healthy state-of-mind. I know I have much to be thankful for – in my home and family, social and work life and now too, in my changed habits and the promise they offer, for a healthier future. There are other things too, which have contrived to make me feel more positive about my life this year than I have done for quite some time.
But the best thing of all is that with my new habits, the old me is re-emerging; the me who has been cloaked in unattractive but – I should acknowledge it – protective fat, and hanging back from life for the last 15 years.
Perhaps more about that, in a little while.