In the kick ass October Rules post, Fat Blogger also mentions an old entry from April 2005 called God I Hate Being Fat. It’s one of those entries that attracts a tonne of Google traffic, and over a year later the comments thread is still buzzing with people venting about how much they hate themselves and hate their fat. It really is a fascinating, heart-wrenching, horrifying but ultimately inspiring thread, in no small part to FB’s encouraging comments throughout.
What struck me most were the commenters with large amounts of weight to lose, and the overwhelming sentiment that it’s too hopeless, too much, too bloody impossible. It made me want bawl because I understand that feeling so well. I just wanted to write a wee something today for anyone out there who’s in that position.
I remember how it feels to truly loathe yourself. I’d grab handfuls of flesh and want to hack it off with a knife. It seemed like there was no way out of this lardy prison. Even when I did finally get up the nerve to start fighting the flab in 2001, I still often felt I was in a hopeless situation. In some ways it was worse, because I now knew the cold hard statistics – 351 pounds, with at least 185 of them to lose.
I’ve told the story a million times before how after a month I decided I had to start exercising. I only managed to shuffle to the end of the block before my lungs wheezed and rattled in protest. I remember thinking bitterly, What was the point of that? How is walking fifty metres ever going to add up to anything? What’s the point of any of this? It’s never going to get any better.
But — *insert soft-focus montage of the past five 3/4 years, sweat, tears, caramel shortcakes* — as we all know, these seemingly tiny changes do add up over time. And the more little changes you make, the easier it gets, giving you the confidence to you make even more changes. And the more you do it, the more you feel good about yourself and those negative voices are hushed.
I know the numbers can be overwhelming. I know it feels like an impossible mountain to climb. But if it seems too much, don’t try and fix everything all at once. Don’t try some fancy diet. Just pick one thing this week. Walk to end of the street and back. Cut out the teaspoon of sugar in your tea. Just try one tiny little thing for seven days. Then when you’ve done that for a week, add another tiny little thing for the next.
I know this approach is not quick enough for some. Where’s the gobsmacking results? Where’s the meal replacement shakes and the deprivation? Where’s the dramatic statistics? I’m always having people tsk-tsking at what I eat – whether it’s some toast or the occasional chocolate – and saying things like, "You’ll never get to goal eating that! Carbs are bad! Last year I lost 20 pounds on Trendy Diet Of The Month, why don’t you do that? ".
Never mind that the person usually has put back on those 20 pounds plus more. How can you say a diet Works if you gained the blubber back? I’d rather enjoy real food and take longer to get to goal in my slow-ass bumbling way, than crash and burn on a Trendy Diet and wind up with even more pounds to lose.
Sure it sounds BORING to take it slowly. But just add up all the time you’ve spent losing and regaining pounds on Trendy Diets. How many weeks or months would that be? Imagine if you’d used that same amount of time to lose half or one pound a week? Would you be heavier or lighter than you are now?
I was moaning about my own excruciatingly slow progress the other day. I’ve now been Busting Lard for five years and nine months, which is roughly 300 weeks (fark!). And I say roughly, coz I am shite at maths. And now for some statistics:
78.3 kilos (172 lb) lost
A paltry average of just over HALF A POUND (220g) per week.
But… imagine if I’d gone the other way? What if I hadn’t changed anything? What if I’d maintained my addiction to ice cream and cheese n bacon rolls and family blocks of Cadbury’s Black Forrest?
Right before I started the Lard Busting in 2001, I was gaining weight far more rapidly than half a pound a week. But for arguments sake, let’s just say I’d gained at the same rate I’ve losing for the past 300 weeks – half a pound a week.
I’d now weigh 237.5 kilos. 523 pounds.
Who knows what I’d be up to now. Maybe I’d be in a golf cart, trundling off to the shops; or in a crane, being lifted out of my house by the fire brigade; or just a plain ol pine box. It’s kinda scary to think about.
So if you think a pound or a half a week sounds too slow, or if you think your walking around the block or switching to wholegrain bread or doing twenty squats or increasing your veggies isn’t going to amount to anything… don’t worry. Be patient. Don’t give up. Take all the freakin’ time you need. Sure, it might take 300 weeks or more. But at least it’s 300 weeks in a healthier, happier direction.