Today I wanted to talk about something a little bit different to my usual posting, but in a way it takes me back to how I first started blogging and to be honest I’m not sure why I stopped writing the way I had been in the start.
Back at the start I was in a pretty naff place and I was using this space kinda like a diary, talking about how I felt, my health, my life at the time, and slowly I wanted to write about things that were making me happier and things I was more passionate about so my blog shifted.. but today I wanted to take it back to a more wordy post and talk about my recent weight gain.
So, if you go back on my blog and look at some of the earlier posts you will be able to read about my illness and my health, but I will give you an ‘abbreviated’ version. In around 2015 I started feeling really sick, every day of my life. I started to eat less, I would abandon conversations at work because I thought I was going to be physically sick, like I would just say “I need to go” and just run.. But I was never sick. I just felt physically ill all the time, I was tired all the time, I wasn’t eating and I started to shut myself off from the world.
In late 2015 I started going to the doctors to get help and answers from someone, at that point I wanted anyone to help. The first doctor I saw asked me to keep a food diary, which I did, despite the absolute minimal amount of food I was eating, and when I returned she actually said to me “oh, you don’t eat much do you?” I was like “no! No I don’t because I can’t, I physically can’t!” but even with that she did nothing. So I left, called the doctors again and got an appointment with a new doctor, who promptly sent me for an ultra sound.
Over the course of the next two years, I had test, after test, after test. I had numerous ultra sounds, a CAT Scan, an MRI, a camera down my throat, blood tests, I saw two seperate specialists, the first who told me “it was nothing to do with their area” and sent me away, and another who eventually gave me a name for my illness. Whilst all of this was happening, my weight was dropping. In 3 years I had gone from a UK 20 with around a 40/42 inch waist, to at my lowest, a size 10 with a 30 inch waist. Everyone commented, everyone told me I was too skinny, I had lost too much. I had girls ask me who I had lost so much, and telling them “oh, I got ill” and it started to break my heart. Owning up to my illness was starting to break me, having my illness in general was getting to me, I was at my breaking point.
In November 2017 I started counselling, I had 6 sessions which I so desperately needed. I was in such a dark place, I had lost my grandma earlier in the year, I had lost so much weight, I had lost my confidence, I had gained a loving, amazing boyfriend, I had gained a name for my illness, but like.. The good didn’t outweigh the bad. The name for my illness, didn’t stop the illness, it didn’t make it go away, it never changed it.. to be honest it doesn’t change it now. So I had a breakdown at work, I spoke to a member of my HR department and cried, and cried. I opened up for the time in a long time about everything, I opened up about how I had spent the previous few weeks crying on the way to work because I didn’t want to go, I didn’t want to do anything, I just wanted to be in a ball at home, where I was ‘safe’. It was her that referred me to counselling. I finished my counselling in January, and a few weeks later I ended up off sick for 3 weeks. I was in a really bad place with my health and I was struggling so I took a break, on doctors orders.
Since the dark cloud that was January/February my life has changed, my health has, I want to say improved but I don’t think it really has, but my life has changed, and my attitude has changed, and because of that shift in attitude my weight has changed.
Its now August and I’m now a size 12, and that’s okay.
Whats weird is that when I was bigger, when I was a size 20, I was kinda more confident. It was like I knew I was big, and that was that. When I lost all the weight, because of quickly my body had changed, I wasn’t happy with my body, I basically lived in t-shirts and leggings. I very rarely branched out from that. I very rarely wore ‘girly clothes’. I was ashamed of my body. I was ashamed about how my body looked out of my clothing, you know, I lost a lot of weight, very quickly, my stomach has a lot of loose excess skin from that (oh god I can’t believe I’m admitting that on the internet) and I hated it.
I still hate it.
Nowadays, I have a bit more confidence, I dress better. I try harder to make myself look good. I can confidently walk into a store and try on a size 12 and I can recognise that it fits, and looks okay. I wear skirts, dresses, shorts, and I don’t feel like I need to be embarrassed or hidden. I’m eating better, I’m eating more because I have someone who supports me, who has helped me get back on my feet. It started out as a few meals a week, I would eat with Ben when he stayed over, I would cook for both of us, and now that we have moved in together, I am cooking more, so I am eating more. We are travelling more, we eat out more and its good. Its healthy to enjoy food and for such a long time I hated food, I hated the idea of it, I was scared of it, because everything made me feel sick, but now, its like I have this new found freedom. I don’t go crazy with it, I often eat just one meal a day because my stomach likes that, I don’t feel as sick, it copes with it. I have days where I don’t eat at all but I am in control of it, I understand it.
I think the main thing, the thing that makes me feel so good about myself, is how Ben reacts to me. Ben loves me, Ben thinks I’m beautiful and he tells me all the time how beautiful I am. Ben has been in my life for a long time, even before we became a couple. He has watched me go from big, to skinny, to how I am now, and he has liked me no matter what. He has seen me cry, he has seen me in some of my darkest times, but he still loves me, and he still thinks I’m beautiful, and its that fact, that makes me feel beautiful.
Am I happy with my body? No, absolutely not. But am I happy within myself? Yes!
Thats why it’s okay, because I am happy with my life now. Happiness doesn’t come from what size clothes I wear. It comes from within, it comes from the people around me and the love that I feel. Yes, there are aspects I want to change, but they are things I am working on, and I am constantly working on myself.
It you make it this far, you deserve a high five! But in all seriousness, if you did make it this far, I hope you take something away from this story.
Talk to you soon!