Since the start of this year I have been trying to get my health, state of mind and weight in check. Since I started puberty, I have been overweight and unable to shift it. My mother had always given me more to eat than a little girl should. At the age of 7; I was eating adult size meals. I thought that was normal back then, I didn't know any different, but looking back now; I realise that I was hugely overfed.
What didn't help was the fact that I was not allowed to leave the table when I was full up, I had to keep on eating to finish what was on my plate, and that has affected my eating habits now. I used to get bullied a lot at school and at home. I looked different from the other children (Half Turkish-Cypriote) and I was shy and quiet, so an easy target. I was often called fat and ugly, and no one wanted to play with me, I was extremely lonely as a child. I was an outcast. And my mother kept on telling me I had to lose weight, that I was fat, yet she wasn't willing to help me lose any of it. She continued to give me huge meals, and so the weight piled on.
I used to comfort eat to make myself feel better, I had no one to talk to, so food was my only way of coping. That and video games. This led me to gain more weight, which got me bullied more and made my self-esteem fly out of the window.
When I was 16 and finally left school, the bullying stopped, but I still had no self esteem. I would wrap myself up in baggy clothes, only have my hair up and wore nothing girly because I thought I was too ugly/manly-looking to wear it. I was overweight for my height, 5'3'' and 13 stone, and not feeling very comfortable in my own skin. I was diagnosed with depression, which I already knew I had, and started my journey towards healing my mental health issues.
My biggest hurdle to healthy living was the "I have asthma" excuse. I do know that doing exercise was always harder for me than it was for everyone else, but I let that excuse stop me from taking the big step to being healthy and happy. This went on for years, I'd always complained that I couldn't do exercise because of my asthma. I power walked everywhere, still do now, but that wasn't enough to shift the weight. I couldn't understand why my body mass wasn't shrinking, I power walked everyday and ate what I thought to be 'healthy'. I ate better than a lot of the people I knew, yet I was the fat one. I was confused and upset.
I was addicted to sugar. If someone put out a cake in front of me, I couldn't just have one piece, I had to have two or three. I just couldn't help myself, I had no willpower. I convinced myself that I was eating healthily when it came to everything else, so having two pieces of cake was justified. Well; it wasn't.
I read an article in a magazine telling how sugar is both addictive (more addictive than cocaine!) and a danger to our health. Whilst reading the article, something clicked in my head, what they were saying just made sense to me. It said that a lot of what we eat is laden with sugar, even the food we think to be savoury. I tracked back to all of the 'healthy' things I usually ate, and found out the sugar content of everything I ate in one day. It was an extortionate amount, it was scary. Why is the food industry spiking our food with sugar? All of the 'Low-fat' and 'No-fat' food is full of sugar. And do you know why? Because to take the fat out, the flavour, you have to add something back in to make it taste good.
It finally made sense as to why I couldn't shift the unwanted weight. I was eating too much sugar, way too much. I decided to cut down on my sugar intake, and bought a book called "I Quit Sugar" by Sarah Wilson to help me do so. The only downside of this book is the fact that a lot of recipes call for expensive ingredients, or those you can only buy on the internet, and take a lot of time to prepare. In the UK, food is incredibly expensive, so putting a whole avocado into a green smoothie would rack up quite a large food bill. So I am entirely going at this on my own, reading her book to keep myself inspired. I am constantly learning about the things that we eat and find it very interesting.
I am also about to apply for a gym membership to help with the weight loss and overall good health. I like to swim, so I may spend most of the time in the pool. Though, the gym I want to go to is starting a female strength class, so I may do that too, it seems interesting.
Only now am I slowly getting my self-esteem back, it's been too long to be continuously hating how I look. It's time for change.