I can’t believe that I am writing an article called ‘It’s ok to be on a diet’. After having some backlash in my DM’s telling me it is not a good idea to promote my weight loss, I felt compelled to reply. Being told I’m a trigger, and that I should be a positive body advocate is hurtful. I am not restricting calories, cutting out vital nutrients and encouraging people to damage their bodies – I am helping mine to become more powerful. I just wanted to share the joy I have got from my achievements.
I am body positive
All of my adult life I’ve been the tall girl, the curvy girl and the chubby girl. I’ve always been bigger. I have never been able to share clothes with my girlfriends. I can’t always go to the popular high street shops and shopping sustainably when plus size is inadequate.
I know how to dress for my body shape, and my size has never stopped me from doing what I want to do. It hasn’t blocked me from getting job interviews, getting (the right) boyfriend or going on that night out. It also hasn’t stopped me showing off full-length images on Instagram, or pictures of me in my bikini on the blog.
I do feel uncomfortable at times. My weight has stopped me wearing the outfit that I envisioned, and I have never worn a figure-hugging dress. The last time I went on a plane, I did struggle to do up the seatbelt. I was mortified, and there was no way I was going to ask for an extender. It was one of the prompts that made me make some changes.
Yes, I’m on a diet
I’m on a diet. There, I said it. However, I prefer to see it as changing the way I eat. Even before lockdown, I have been cooking from scratch. I know exactly what is in my food, and these meals include fresh ingredients and lots of flavour. I try to have 3 meals a day, that are nutritiously balanced and I have been upping my exercise. I eat a lot of vegetables, salad and some fruit, alongside meats and fish, as well as rice, pasta and grains.
I have chosen to follow Slimming World, as it suits my needs. It also keeps me accountable. Without the weekly weigh-in to keep me in check, I might have a few too many treats or over-eat at a meal or two. There are some weeks that I stay the same weight, or I put a few pounds back on. I’m ok with that.
Many who follow Slimming World look for tweaks or processed ingredients to use instead of the ‘fatty’ versions, I don’t. We all know butter is better for you than margarine, and sugar is better for you than sweetener – as your body recognises it, and knows how to process it. It’s all about moderation.
I don’t hate my body
I love the concept of body positivity. I think it’s fantastic that our culture is becoming more inclusive. I feel amazing. I have attempted ill-fated diets throughout my adult life, but my mindset and approach were utterly wrong. This time it feels right.
I have lost 1 stone 9.5 lbs at the time of writing this. I haven’t lost this amount of weight for a long time. I have another 5 stone to lose. I don’t know if I’ll manage it, or if I’ll get close – but I’m motivated.
It’s ok to be on a diet
My body and mind feel strong. I have fewer aches and pains, and I find simple movements so much easier. I wake up energised, and I am enthusiastic about going on that walk, jumping on my bike and doing a few miles or do an online exercise tutorial.
More importantly, I love the food that I am making. I look forward to mealtimes, and the 30 minutes or so beforehand to cook it. The key to my success so far is planning the week ahead. I spend a good hour a week looking up recipes or creating my own.
I’m not perfect. I still drink too much at times, have a no stop filter when it comes to crisps and dip, as well as sweets, chocolate and cakes. I don’t restrict myself, but it is ok for me to be on a diet.
Have you ever been fat-shamed or ridiculed for changing the way you eat?