Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Transformation Tuesday: Week 46

I almost can't believe I'm saying this, but I feel fantastic.

I've never felt better, more inspired and just plain content than I do at the moment, and as such I couldn't care less about my weight this week.

I'm coming to the conclusion that I need the "bad" weeks just as much as I need the good ones. This time last week I was reflecting on seven distinctly average days. Nothing terrible had happened per se, I was just unmotivated, lost and quite frankly bored with this whole process. I've completely let go of the desperate need to have a fully formed plan of attack at all times, but it still felt like I was deviating from some sort of undefined plan and wandering into the wilderness with no map and no sense of direction. If anything I felt out of control, and there's nothing I hate more than that.

However, as rubbish as it felt at the time, I think I needed it.

I don't know how I managed it given how aware I am now of my own head, but I'd begun to set myself totally unrealistic targets for this weight loss, and as I consistently failed to hit them I became more and more disheartened. I know I'm prone to striving for perfection and I clearly dropped the ball on keeping those tendencies in check. This ideal - this notion of the "perfect" weight loss - has changed over the last 46 weeks, from sticking to the Total programme to now attempting the 5:2 even when it makes me truly miserable. In some way I keep thinking I've "failed" at LighterLife - why did I stick to Total to the letter for so long and still not manage to yield better results? - so I almost need to prove myself with the 5:2. I might have struggled over the last few months and be 'behind schedule' but this is my chance to shine. It's like I want to be the best at something, and having been second place and not quite good enough for so long now I could pull myself to the top of the class by excelling at this diet instead. What total, utter bollocks.

(GIF SOURCED FROM www.heckyeahreactiongifs.tumblr.com)

THIS THOUGHT PROCESS IS STUPID ON SO MANY LEVELS. Weight loss isn't a competition! If I'm competing with anyone it's the person I was yesterday, and in this respect I've been winning by miles since the beginning. As much as I try not to I still compare myself to everyone around me, particularly on sodding social media, and last week I let it all get the better of me. Writing everything down in an extremely whingey post helped enormously and by Thursday I felt like I could see a corner approaching in the distance.

Despite making enormous strides forward in my head I decided to give the 5:2 a miss this week. I didn't want to do it, so I let the fasting days slide and basically ate (healthily) what I wanted, when I wanted. I don't need to be perfectly on track and a model pupil all the time: it's exhausting even trying and essentially a textbook guide to setting myself up for failure. A week off wasn't going to hurt at all.

(GIF SOURCED FROM www.huffingtonpost.com)

It turns out, it was the best decision I could have made. I spent the weekend in London with my mum and had the most wonderful time, not only because of what happened - like spontaneous hotel upgrades and incredible seats for both The Audience and the BAFTAs - but because I could enjoy them without having my mood dictated by food or hang ups about my body. I was thoroughly unself-conscious for an entire weekend, and I have never felt better for it. It's a completely alien and unexpected feeling, but it translated to a pretty spectacular experience indeed.

The aim of this weight loss has never been - and will never be - to be thin: I don't want to be a skeleton or fit into a certain dress size, I want to be healthy and happy. However, for the first time in forever (I hope you sung that like Anna in Frozen...) I felt thin. I know I'm not technically 'thin' yet, but still. I didn't feel like the hippo in the room; it never crossed my mind that I might be standing out because of my weight; and I didn't feel remotely judged in public. The old me would probably put that down to being physically smaller and therefore no longer drawing a judgemental (as I assumed) and unavoidable gaze from passersby, but the new me would say it's because I'm a gazillion times more confident and thus without realising stopped letting my appearance decide how much I'm allowed to enjoy my life.

I'm happy. Not just normally happy, but sickeningly content. It's incredibly overdramatic but it feels like everything slotted into place this weekend. I'm happy with my appearance; I have opinions that deserve to be heard as much as the next persons'; and I have dreams that aren't out of my reach or ridiculous and that can be a reality if I work for them. I can have it all - I don't need to keep compromising because I don't think I'm good enough or I don't deserve it. I am good enough. I need to have courage and be kind and keep giving life my all. It's not me being selfish all of a sudden, it's just learning to treat myself as I do everyone else around me. I will succeed, and while the journey there and the end result may not be "perfect" it doesn't matter. What is "perfect" anyway?

I didn't go to LighterLife last night. I had such an incredible weekend, and when coupled with the breakthrough epiphany above I decided that being weighed wasn't the best option for me this week. I didn't deprive myself all weekend, and I definitely ate more than normal and didn't always choose the healthiest of foods - think less quinoa and kale, and more macarons and a celebratory Cosmo, it was a special occasion after all... I know I'll have put a few pounds on, and I didn't want to taint an excellent weekend by rushing off to the session and instantly making myself feel bad on the scales. Yes, on the one hand I'm burying my head in the sand, but on the other I basically know where I stand weight-wise and regardless of how that makes me feel I am more motivated and driven than ever. I don't require an arbitrary number to help me move forwards. I started fasting this morning - doing my 2 days sooner rather than later this week to ensure my head's well and truly in the game - and feel fantastic for it.

I know what I need to do so I'm going ahead and getting on with it.

(GIF SOURCED FROM www.buzzfeed.com)

To quote Graham Norton at the BAFTAs: "yay, me!"

TOTAL LOSS: 76.5lbs // 5st 6.5lbs

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