1 June 2015

My Fat Diary

A few months back I posted a video on my Youtube channel talking about my weight gain struggle and how it had began to affect not just my body but also my mental health.

While being immobilised has been a horrible and long drawn out experience for me, it has also taught me a lot about myself, about friendship, about my hopes for the future and most importantly about my body.

I began to gain weight rapidly in 2014 as a direct result of not being able to walk. While I wasn't exactly the 75kg frame I was when I first met my husband Shane, I was in much better shape physically. Weighing around 84kg before my drastic weight gain - I was able to walk miles without breaking a sweat. I maintained a healthy balanced diet and to be quite honest was miserable with my size 16 body. I was always striving to try and lose between 15 and 20 pounds, with nothing working for me. 

Even when I was a size 10 / 12 - I still considered myself "fat" judging by societies norms. It's only when I look back at photographs of myself that I really see that this was not the case.

Lourdes Pilgrimage 2007 | UK Size 12
I was always surrounded by friends who seemed to be dieting and encouraging me to try the fad diets they were on. I never really fully understood it and was pretty unwilling to give up my love of good food in favour of starving myself - as was the case with many of the diets they tried. Needless to say - none of these fad diets really worked for any of them, and many ended up gaining weight in the weeks after as their bodies tried to re-adjust to the rapid shock in dietary changes.

My main weight gain began during my early twenties as I was in the "honeymoon" phase of my relationship. I would visit my boyfriend and we would binge eat junk food and watch movies to our hearts content. I had "junk" nights with friends all the time in my teens and never seemed to gain a pound, so it took me quite some time to realise that I could not eat as I used to before, and by then it was too late.  That paired with an unhealthy weekly take out night started to take it's toll on body and by late 2007, I found myself purchasing size 14 clothing.

Disneyland Paris 2009 | UK Size 14
From then on I found it increasingly difficult to lose weight. No matter what I tried nothing seemed to work, so I gave up. I continued my normal eating habits and exercised as much as I could, but I still gained eventually reaching what has been my most consistent weight of 85kg - a UK size 16.

My Wedding Day 2012 | UK Size 16
Discovery Cove Orlando 2013 | UK Size 16
It wasn't until last year when I became immobilised that my most drastic weight change began. Of course, being at home all day every day, I continued to eat as I had before. The only difference was, I was not getting any exercise. Within four months of immobilisation - I began to notice red and painful stretch marks developing across my stomach and thighs. At first I ignored them and used Bio oil to try and calm them down - but by August - it became painful to sit down in certain positions as I put pressure on the deep stretch marks that had now developed the entire way across my stomach. My size 16 pants wouldn't even close across my stomach anymore and I gave in to living in leggings for a long time, in denial of the fact that I had obviously gained so much weight. 
September 2014 | UK Size 18
By September, I was purchasing clothes in a UK size 18. My friends would all say - you don't look a size 18 or you're not fat but I began to feel really down in myself. I blamed myself hugely for my weight gain despite always maintaining a good diet. I very rarely snacked and I struggled to see where this weight gain was coming from - of course forgetting that for almost a year I had not been able to exercise like I used to.

I began snacking, eating chocolate, crisps. I started to think - you know what - if I'm this size already - I may as well eat what I want - because I can't change it anytime soon. I felt disgusting. I felt like a fat slob. I felt like people were judging me and I very rarely left the house for fear of bumping into people I knew. Within a few weeks I began to feel terrible. I was sleeping all day, I had no energy or motivation. I couldn't even find the time to blog or work on videos. I just wanted to lie in bed all day and do nothing. That is when I began to realise that I DO have the power to change. It may be a series of small changes at first, but it IS in MY control. 

By February, I was controlling what I ate much better and while I wasn't seeing any noticeable weight changes - something amazing happened. I began to love my body, just as it is. Every single stretch mark told a story of war I was waging with myself. I was punishing myself for everything and it needed to stop. By March the stretch marks began to disappear as I added foods such as avocados and nuts which were high in anti-oxidants to my weekly shop. I had also began to accept my weight and dress my plus size body correctly for my size. I was suddenly much more comfortable in myself and finally able to get out and face the world again. 

Sinead Cady and I at the Irish Beauty Show March 2015 | UK Size 18
I began researching the BENEFITS of certain foods learning that my body was gaining weight because it was fighting with itself and struggling to take nutrition from the food I was eating before. I learnt that I have a very slow metabolism and I needed to base my diet around that. I rediscovered my passion and love for cooking and slowly as time passed, I started to feel awake, refreshed and energised. I started to feel like I can do anything I can put my mind to. 

I have only really started to document my weight the past three weeks. While losing weight is obviously going to benefit my recovery after my surgery - my main goal is treating my BODY right. Giving it the nutrition and love it needs. That is the most important thing for me - and you know what - something amazing has started to happen. 

In just two weeks - I have lost 7 pounds. It may not seem much - but every 2 pounds is 1 kilogram of weight off my leg. That's 3 kilograms of weight and strain that was affecting my foot, hips and back - gone. 

Today's way in: 209 lbs / 94kg.

While my weight loss journey is really just beginning, its isn't so much about the weight loss anymore for me. It's about how great it feels to treat my body right. For the first time in my life, I finally love my body, stretch marks, fat folds and all. 

It can only get better from here. 
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  1. Hi Amy,

    Thanks so much for being so open in sharing your story. It was beautifully written. You're so right in that the only way to improve how we feel or lose weight is to stop fighting with our bodies and instead nourish them and look after them. Good luck x