Before I begin, the above photo is not me. I’m an exhibitionist, yes, but I haven’t completely lost my senses. It’s like this, I seem to have lost all perspective. Could I have body-dyspmorphia? In 2011 (just before my wedding), I decided that my weight was beginning to get out of control and I was no longer within my body mass index. Diabetes is about to explode in the western world so I had to do something! I’m only five-foot-three so I really didn’t have a lot of leeway. So I’ve been on a healthy eating plan (I won’t call it a diet because it was more of a lifestyle change, an alteration about how I think about food) since then. And I’ve been exercising religiously three times a week since 2011 too.
The exercise bit had oddly stuck. I love it. Well, y’know – I don’t love it…I’m not totally weird. But it did what it said on the tin, it sculpted my body (to an extent) and the endorphins released always make me feel good about myself. So the exercise has become part of my life.
However, sometimes the ‘food thing’ slips a little – you know how it is, Christmas, birthdays, Easter…Thursday’s. I’ve been maintaining the weight pretty well but with a few backward slides – and even then, I catch myself before it’s out of hand. It’s just that lately, I’m just not sure. I can’t get two pairs of last year’s winter boots on this season – but all my clothes are fine. I’ve never stopped exercising but I know after four years, I’m starting to carry a lot of muscle. You can see it when I move my arms or stand on tip-toes. I think my husband secretly doesn’t like it (and when I say secretly, I mean, makes it pretty obvious). And I can’t work out if the large-calf problem is only down to all that muscle or whether I’m just kidding myself and that muscle is covered with a nice cosy layer of extra fat.
I can’t help feeling a little cheated to be honest. I’ve worked so hard to be trimmer, (which I am) but I seem to have bulked up too. And now the usual healthy eating doesn’t seem to shift any weight (but maybe because that weight is mostly muscle?) Arrrgghhhh! You can see how you can drive yourself mad with this stuff?
I realise muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat – it’s just more dense and looks better (less like lumpy mashed potato stuffed into a sock). But at least I used to be able to squash my fat down into my boots last year; whereas now, the muscle makes the zips look as though they’re about to burst open at the seams!
I’m sorry, diet/fitness bores are the worst of all bores (and I guess I’m one of those). I just desperately want to look in the mirror and tell myself that, although I may be slightly heavier, I look as good as (or marginally better than) a year ago. But I’ve a feeling you just desperately want me to shut up…