I found a blog last night through the randomness of the interweb and I just keep thinking about it. It's like if the me of 5-15 years ago was writing now and it has made me very sad and unsure of what the right thing is to do.
My experience at that time is so similar to what this woman is going through right now that I want to give her some advice, but I don't think she is going to want to hear it. I probably wouldn't have at that time but seeing someone put themselves through such pain (both physical and emotional) is difficult and I suppose most people would have a natural response of trying to help if they think they could...
In this blog someone is dieting. And has been dieting and blogging for almost five years. As with dieting, the weight went down, then up, and then down, and the up... the familar scenerio. There's the weighing and the calories eaten and the calories burnt. The diets tried. Oh, some many tried.
What I get from reading this is that the person is a chronic dieter, and has dieted themselves fat. They are either dieting or bingeing until they go back on another diet. Wow, that resonates with me. I feel like saying stop. I know you have lost almost 100 pounds this time and that's great, but your body is in pain and you need to just stop for a bit and work at being that new weight for a while. But that's the scary thing isn't it? One of my biggest fears used to be that I COULD'NT stop gaining weight unless I actively dieted. Afterall if I wasn't dieting surely I would eat everything in sight? My weight would just go up and up until I was one of those people who had to get the doorways removed to get out of the house on a trolley.
But it didn't happen like that. My weight has been stable for the last 4 years, even through a pregnancy, and even though I'm fat being able to say that even now makes me cry. My body is stable, it's fat yes, but it's healthy. Nothing hurts (unlike when I pushed myself at the gym 6 days a week just to burn enough calories). I don't see myself as something to fix but to nourish. It's taking time but I'm trying to eat what I REALLY want not what I think I should shovel in until the next dieting phase. And they are two very different things.
The sad thing is I can see where this story ends - the way it ends for 95% of diets. The weight comes back. Even those diets that do work long term only lead to a weight loss of around 10% of your body mass, so if you are fat then the likelihood is you will be still fat. If someone had looked into a crystal ball 10 years ago and said I predict you being fat, but happy, loved and loving what would I have done? Fought on in a battle I knew I couldn't win or worked on what I ended up doing in the end - finding a different, better way for me to live?
But can you say these things to someone else? Can you say stop dieting, just try being in your new thinner body and give it a break and yourself a break for a while. Don't see yourself as a failure until/unless you get to weight X, but love and nuture and trust your body NOW.
Can I say this? Afterall my experience of being fat, like my experience of being female, is not necessarily anyone elses. Me being 330 lbs doesn't entitle me to declaring myself an expert of being 220 lbs, or 400 lbs or even 330 lbs ;)
So I don't know. If anyone else has any advice, I for one would like to hear it.