Glossophobia. The fear of public speaking. Listed as one of the top phobias in the human race. Something which I evidently do not fear, as I have a blog. But, seeing photos of yourself and publicly sharing that. That is one of my greatest fears. The closest I could get to a name for that is eisoptrophobia – the fear of seeing your reflection in mirrors.
There are a number of reasons I don’t like to have my picture taken, or to show pics of myself (something that has changed now). But it includes low self-esteem, years of having to hear how unattractive I am from school bullies, and lastly, a warped body image. Someone once told me that I have body dysmorphic disorder, because I see myself differently to how they see me, but although I don’t have this disorder so badly that I cut myself from social events entirely, I am always extremely self- and body-conscious when I am present in a large group of people, particularly in a large group of girls. It might sound extremely vapid and heck, maybe everyone feels this way every now and again.
But I have, since high school, believed that I am fat. Even when I wasn’t. However, when I was really overweight, I was miserable, retracted myself from social things, and just felt really depressed. Despite feeling like this, I still ate whatever I wanted, because I had this silly mindset that if I just eat healthy for one day, I would lose weight. And I always felt that if I lost one kg, I was skinny again. Boy, was I wrong!
After our engagment, on 24 November last year, I decided to change my body for the better. It wasn’t the picture that was taken on the day that gave me a wake-up call, but thinking that, if I didn’t start doing something right that minute, I would end up being a fat bride and I would hate myself for the rest of my life if I looked bad in my wedding photos. I guess I do sound entirely narcissistic here, but it is my truth.
And to be totally honest, it took me a really long time to realise that this is a lifestyle change – a forever change – and not just something that will last till just after the wedding.
I have tried millions and gazillions of diets – that two week German one, where you lose a thousand pounds in two weeks and then keep it off forever. No, you don’t. As soon as you stop go back to your old ways, you gain again. And how!
There was Weigh-Less too. I could never get past the first two steps, because weekends are there to break the rules and to break away from your grueling diet from the week, right? Wrong. Besides, I was always hungry and found that it was difficult to stick to in terms of cost – the diet changed all the time and Flip couldn’t follow it with me.
Also, the coleslaw diet. Enough said.
So, when I saw a school friend have tremendous success with the Ascot Diet, an all-natural homeopathic diet, which includes injections and a number of weight shedding supplements, I started following it, and it worked! In the beginning, I was upset when I didn’t lose weight. But do you think I actually started eating healthy and right, or excersised? No, no I didn’t. I wanted the injections and supplements to do all the work for me.
At some stage, I realised this was not going to work and started taking my diet seriously. I started exercising five to six days a week, not just once every two weeks. I started seeing great results and started feeling good! I was getting closer to my goal weight!
Taking it too Far
But, as the saying goes, too much of a good thing… I might have taken it too far, cutting out all dairy, all starch, red meat and alcohol. I also started drinking lots of tea that has senna it it. I’ll let you google the properties of senna. I lost some more weight.
While I still avoid cheese and yoghurt, most starch, most alcohol and prefer chicken or fish above red meat, it wasn’t sustainable in the long run. A woman needs dairy to mitigate osteoporosis and for a whole bunch of other reasons. I also banned crisps, sodas, cookies, sweets and generally bad snack food from the house.
That ban still stands.
While we’re being honest here – I’ve had some negative comments on my weight loss. People told me that I am too skinny and even Flip telling me that he won’t deal with anorexia, every time I told him that I’ve lost another kilogram. Firstly, anorexics don’t eat at all. I eat, just much much less than I used to. Anos don’t eat ice cream or chips, or rusks, or anything. I love food!
And I don’t have any other eating disorders. I was a person who comfortably spilled over a size 14 jean, bordering on size 16, who now has to wear a belt to keep her size 10s up. Do they, the people who gave me negative feedback, still expect me to be large? Of course I’m going to look thinner, but I would still not go as far as calling me anorexic or skinny. I still have some fat reserves, which will eventually make way for toned muscles.
But I’m not Done
I won’t ever be done. I will keep on eating healthy and keep on exercising, because I never want to be overweight and miserable again. What makes me really sad now, was looking through the pictures during the last year. I had a whole warped image of myself. I thougth I was doing alright, I was getting svelte, but now I noticed that I wasn’t. I still had large arms, a round face, an extra tire around my waist.
This, these pictures, now also serve as a reminder of why I am working so hard every day. I have lost 12 kg (26.4 pounds) since last year November and I plan on keeping it off. I plan on being healthy and looking and feeling great!