I should be writing this on the eve of my 12 week-end-of-the-road-NHS-weight-loss-plan-weigh-in but for numerous reasons that little nugget of joy has been bumped to next week.
Instead I write to you from my sofa on the eve of just another Thursday, about five kilos lighter than I was at the start of this conversation back in March. This is not a huge number to have checked in and I’d be fibbing if I said I wasn’t hoping for more. I’d be fibbing even further if I said I felt I deserved more, as there have been a fair few slips on the road from then to now.
It’s slips you have to think about when you step on the scales and don’t see the massive loss your aching empty ego stomach allegedly deserves. Lie to your weigh in buddy or calorie tracker all you like, but at the end of the day it’s you and your muffin top alone in the dark, and you know what you’ve done. It’s a splurge of mayo on every lunch time salad. A fish and chips binge on Friday night. It’s a bottle of wine with your mate because it was all you had in the house and she was crying about her boyfriend being an idiot. It was eating big in the morning to fuel a long run you didn’t bother to go on after work. Slips don’t necessarily make you gain weight if you are behaving most of the time, but they don’t speed up your losses either.
I try to face my slips honestly. Sometimes they are obvious, like a brunch taster menu sitting at Duck and Waffle (which you should really try BTW). Not much of a loss that week. Sometimes it isn’t so obvious. Sometimes you stick to it and you eat the salads and drink the water and run the miles and you hop on those scales and the bastard things tell you that you’re actually up half a kilo on last time. There is no white hot, salivating sabre toothed rage quite like it. A rage that is really not helped by your snooty weigh in counsellor pouring over your exemplary food diary and pronouncing that this gain is due to the packet of sunbites to which you succumbed to last Thursday on the bus home. Seriously, in what universe does the human digestive tract convert 25g of wheat based snacks into 500g of body? It doesn’t, but it might motivate you to bow out of your food counselling sessions in favour of self management instead. I know for a fact that one bag of no fat crisp substitutes did not turn into half a kilo of real weight through the process of digestion. I also know why the counsellor said it.
Because no one believes a fat person who says they eat right.
I don’t believe other fat people who say they eat right. Because if we ate right, we wouldn’t be fat. Right? Yes, right but not wholly right. There is more to weight than what you eat. There is water balance and hormonal fluid retention. You could have a thyroid condition or a sports injury and resultant swelling accounting for that extra weight. Or you could just be full of shit. Quite literally, all that extra salad fibre could be backed up in your guts causing the scales to go the wrong way on that cursed, humiliating weigh in day. How to know? You can’t know. You can look honestly at your slips and if they don’t account for this freak gain you stay on the waggon and see how it goes next time because what you eat does have an awful lot to do with how fat you are, even if it isn’t the entire picture.
A lot of people bang on about weight loss not being linear. Weight loss isn’t fair either and all the science in the world sometimes can’t account for it. So regonise your slips, give yourself a talking to and carry on. Because If you stick to your plan and treat yourself well and cut out the cruddy foods you that make you fat, you will lose the fat. Eventually. In bits.
Look at the slips. Embrace the slips. Don’t feel bad about them though. Actually I feel pretty good about my moderately slow shrinkage. People I don’t see very often are doing a double take and remarking that I look slimmer, which is nice. I’ve spent so much money on sports stuff that I can’t afford a hair cut and have subsequently gained the opportunity to grow out my fringe. I can also fit back into what I thought was my favourite office frock, but it turns out that this looks a bit like a dental nurse uniform which isn’t so nice but is still in the positive end of the results spectrum.
It’s all good.