- 5 years ago
- Wedding: July 2013 - UK
OK, so here’s some background.
As a child, I was fat. I hated sport and always have. Even to this day, I have to force myself to work out every single time.
Got to 17 and decided to lose some weight. Cue twice daily workouts (total: 2 hours), weighing my food, and charts for protein and fat intake. No junk, and no carbs at all. No brown rice, no bread, nothing. It worked… I got my BMI down to 22 and kept it there for years. To this day, I know the weight, portion size, and calorie count of EVERYTHING.
Got to age 22 and got with Darling Husband. Eased up on the gym workouts. Gradually started eating more than 1 meal and 1 snack a day. Got fat. Started dieting, but not as obsessively. My weight fluctuated between a BMI of about 25-28 for the next few years.
Got to 28 and was posted abroad. Food was scarce, and I basically did physical labour and ate almost nothing but vegetables for over a year. I also caught cholera and lots of other diseases. Weight dropped like a stone down to about a BMI of 22 again, and stayed there. Gained a bit towards the end of my stay, when I was living in the town.
Got home. In order to maintain/lose/go back to 22, I put myself on a My Fitness Pal diet of 1,200 calories a day and worked out for an hour a day. I wasn’t massively strict with the calories, I’ll admit. It was more like 1,400-1,600 a day, if I’m honest (which MFP makes you be… those diet logs don’t lie!). My weight fluctuated over the next year, and I ended up with a BMI of around 24-25. So the diet did reduce my weight gain.
After the wedding I took 8 weeks off. During that time I ate what I liked, within reason… I can’t eat processed food because I’m intolerant to common additives and preservatives, but if I wanted breakfast, I ate breakfast… mushrooms, a rasher of bacon, and sometimes even a sausage. If I wanted lobster for dinner, I ate that lobster… and if I wanted an extra glass of wine… you get the picture.
I gained 36lb. Thirty. Six. Pounds. In eight weeks. I am shockingly heavy… the heaviest I have ever been. So heavy that I went to my doctor and left with a selection of prescription diet pills, in fact. Yes. I am indeed fat enough to be eligible.
It is now 4 weeks into my MFP regime. 1,200 calories… and I’ve been sticking to it pretty well. I’ve gone over on a few days, but not by much. Gym workouts are back on the menu. And those pharmaceuticals must be doing something, because they’ve affected my insides…
But here’s the thing… in the first week, I lost 6lb. Obviously mostly water weight. Since then… nothing. Nothing at all. Which shouldn’t be mathematically possible. Not least due to the fact I’m being medicated, as well as working out and dieting.
Now, I know my thyroid is normal. I don’t fit the profile for polycystic ovaries. The only thing I can think is that I am a naturally fat person… my grandmother, for example, was morbidly obese for most of her life and she was not a big eater AT ALL. I lived with her for quite a while when I was a child, and snacks and crisps were forbidden from the house. She started the day with porridge, had sandwiches or similar made with 2 slices of bread for lunch, and dinner was always home made and came with a huge bowl of vegetables.
Now, I do know that this idea that everyone’s metabolism is the same is somewhat of a myth, which is backed up by tests like these:
I can’t help but wonder if I just have a very slow metabolism. It would sort of make sense… I’m always cold and tired, for example. And during the times when I was at my thinnest (like when I was measuring my food) I was definitely eating fewer than 1,000 calories a day, as well as working out all the time, which allowed my BMI to stabilise at around 22.
The only other thing I can think of is that BMI doesn’t work for me as a measurement at all. The thinnest I’ve ever been was 107lb, after I was absolutely deathly ill with an infection for about three weeks during my “thin” years, which gives me a BMI of 20.5. That still sounds healthy, but I looked like death. My head was too big for my body, and my ribs were sticking out like you see on famine victims. My collarbones were also very prominant, and it hurt to sit down because my backside was so bony. I couldn’t find any clothes to fit, so I had to wear children’s clothes until I gained enough weight to wear adult sizes again. Now… that shouldn’t happen with a BMI of 20.5.
I also might have to come to terms with the fact that I’m going to spend the rest of my life being fat. If that’s the way it is then that’s the way it is… but it seems odd to me at the same time. Are there naturally fat people? It’s sort of a mystery. It’s not like I’m crying myself to sleep over it, but it is frustrating and… odd.