Recently, two bloggers Sandra and Sophia have teamed up to create a blog named Bloggers Go Skinny to motivate themselves and others to lose weight by documenting helpful and sensible tips that promote healthy weight loss. Reading their blog has gotten me thinking about my own weight, and my own opinions of it.
As a child I was always a tad on the chubbier side. I have one sister, and growing up there was a very noticeable difference between us, she was (and still is) very slender, while I've accepted now that I will never be her size. I noticed this difference from a very early age as many family members would refer to my sister as "skinny" and myself as "slim" - even as a pre-teen I knew the difference; I was bigger than my sister. This realisation led to me being insecure about my weight from a very young age. I watch documentaries about children under 10 suffering from anorexia, and while my friends gasp in shock and horror - although I was never any where near that stage, I can relate to those children.
When I was around 9 years old I took up dancing, and a lot of my weight disappeared - mainly puppy fat. As I grew older and started wearing actual dress sizes (rather than aged 11 etc. clothes) I swayed between a 6 and an 8 until I was around 17, and I positively loved my body!
|Myself aged 16 (left) and 17 (right)|
I was between the ages of 17 and 18 when I began putting the weight back on. Now here is where I feel I should explain myself a bit before I attract some displeased commenters. As it is now, I am a size 8 on top, 10 on bottom and I have a BMI of 23, which is just within the healthy category. To other's I may be perceived as a perfectly healthy weight, and people may question my unhappiness, but I think that a lot of girls feel the way I do, and that writing about these perceptions we have about ourselves can be a healthy outlet. When I look in the mirror I do *not* like what I see. At my heaviest, I was a size 10 on top, 12 on bottom and around 140 pounds, which may not sound like a lot, but for a 5" 4 girl with a very slim sister, it certainly felt a lot to me. Don't get me wrong, I know that weight can be a very sensitive topic, and I do not want to hurt anyone with this post - this is just giving you an insight to the inner-workings of my perception of myself, no one else.
|Myself aged 18|
When I started university in 2010, let's just say that the Freshers 15 hit me hard! The Freshers 15 is a phrase amongst new uni students that basically highlights the trend that the average new student will gain 15 pounds whilst in their first year (whilst being a Fresher). As you can see there is a definite weight difference between the two sets of pictures. Although I was still an average size 10/12, it was a far cry from my old 6/8! Even as I'm writing this post I feel a pang of worry as to what comments I can expect from this, but one of the reasons of writing this is to remove the taboo from the topic of being unhappy with your weight if technically/medically you are average-sized. A lot of what contributed to this weight were also bad romantic situations (which I may delve into in another post), as I am a big comfort eater. If ever I am down or upset and no one's around to cheer me up, I will shamelessly order myself a take away, or grab the nearest multi-bag of crisps and eat my way through them all! Another thing that contributed to the weight gain is my lack of self-control. The phrase "eyes bigger than your belly" *definitely* applies to me, and even if I have too much food for myself and my stomach is full to the brim, I will probably continue eating until I have finished everything on my plate, regardless of any full/sick feeling afterwards!
|Myself in 2012, aged 20|
Recently I have discovered the power and importance of exercising. Instead of doing my usual moping in front of the mirror and despising all my tight clothes but doing nothing about it, my best friend and I set out on a fitness plan until we could get to the point where we could quite happily do 100 crunches in a row. It took around 3 weeks of religious sets of crunches every night, but we finally got there, and the feeling of pride when we did was incredible! On top of this, I also bought a bicycle to cycle to uni and back on, and take my puppy for morning and evening walks up a steep hill. All of this activity has led me away from the unhappy, 18 year old me, and feeling better than ever. I know this is preached every where, but my one tip would be: never under estimate the power of a frequent exercise - even if it's just taking the dog for a walk each day, slowly but surely you will see a difference.
I am a ridiculous yo-yo dieter, and my weight fluctuates more frequently than I change my wardrobe, so I know for sure this isn't a permanent thing, but I'm certainly liking this lifestyle for now. What are your weight journeys and body hang-ups? Let's share this journey together!