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confession #000001

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Monday, 3 September 2012

confession #000001

... or, a personal history of dieting

just because i don't have enough on my plate already, here i am writing another blog.  this time, this blog is going to be focused - very focused actually. 

as the blog title might already suggest, once upon a time, i was a (uk) size 6.  it was a very long time ago and it was, alas, for a very short time.  but what a glorious time that was! buying clothes straight off the rack knowing they definitely would fit, buying children's clothes even (being short, the trouser length was always perfect! no hemlines to take up!)

as shallow as it may sound, i believe that was the time when i loved my body the most.  

as a child, grown ups used to derive immense pleasure in pinching my globular cheeks, while cooing and telling my mother how cute i looked with my 'puppy fat.' puppy fat, my ass. whenever my mum used to express concern about my 'puppy fat', fellow adults would tell her i'd shed it as i grew up ... 

me, aged 3, about to enter the 'puppy fat' stage...

the fact is, it took a lot of dieting and dragging myself to the gym or other exercise-friendly inducing places in order to shed that so-called 'puppy fat'. 

i was the first in my primary class to get tits.  i'm not sure till this day if they were actual tits or just a very strategic accumulation of 'puppy fat'. but nonetheless, it was definitely not a welcome development.  having 10 year old boys pointing at the trainer-bra showing underneath my white, abanderado p.e. t-shirt is something that i have, unfortunately, harboured in my memory, even 20+ years on ... 

abanderado were all the rage in the 80s, so no pointing fingers at that please!

once i started attending a 'girls-only' junior lyceum, i started to realise that there were others who were 'blessed by mother nature' like me.  fast forward a couple of years and the interest in boys and in taking care of myself kicked in, courtesy of magazines like smash hits, cioe and the clandestinely bought more and bravo.  the latter two were always bought with a sense of anxiety and embarrassment, lest i get caught, for more used to feature the 'sex position of the month' (illustrated, obviously - "no sex we're british" kind of thing) while bravo used to carry photo-stories which were sometimes a little more explicit (german teens always came across to me as being a little more knowledgeable in the bedroom department ...)

the thing is, i guess, just like any other teenager, i was impressed by images of perfectly formed models, flawless skins, glistening hair, perfectly-fitting outfits and all the rest ... while i was in my 'grunge' phase, wearing oversized flannel tartan shirts, baggy jeans and doc marten's in the hope of hiding my residual 'puppy fat'.  the 'puppy fat' had by that time hit the 65 kilos, which for a 4'11'' is verging on the obese.  

it was somewhere around this time that i attempted my first diet.  i remember slimfast shakes were all the rage at the time and with my mum's concern about my ever-growing waistline, and my realising that i would soon be entering the great big world 'out there', i gave it a shot. 

all i remember from that time is the result of what felt like days on end drinking slimfast  shakes: incredible gas.  i know this is sounding rather crude, but boy oh boy did that hurt! needless to say, the 'diet' was ditched after a week or so.  

some time round my 16th birthday, i recall having a really bad toothache - all those cadbury twirls and crunchies eaten during the school break were not helping.  so unconsciously, driven mostly by my fear of dentists, i embarked on my second diet ever, which i shall term as the no-sweets diet.  weight actually started shedding little by little ... and it started feeling good being in my body! 

this, together with 2 ricotta pastizzi, over and above my home-made lunch, were my undoing, ages 11-16

still, i was always on the 'plump' side (i had grown out of the 'puppy fat' term by now ...). 

why am i telling you all this?  at least half of my life has been characterised by one diet or other.  i'm going to try list them here, in chronological order, just to show you what i've tried ... 

  1. the slimfast diet (shakes only)
  2. the no-sweets diet
  3. diet & slendertone at the local diet guru par excellence MM
  4. food combining
  5. calorie & fat counting (yep, journal keeping took on a whole new dimension)
  6. gym / thai boxing classes in conjunction with no. 5
  7. brisk walking, in conjunction with 'careful' eating
  8. no. 3 again - this time sticking solely to the 'one kilo vegetable soup' for both lunch and dinner - this was when i hit the size 6!
  9. gym 
  10. the gillian mc keith diet
  11. food combining, again
  12. box-fit classes - this together with a somewhat careful eating plan, got me quite close to a size 6!
  13. no. 3, yet again, with no visible results due to my consistent flouting of her diet rules ... 
  14. sessions with nutritionist who created a 'tailor made diet' (this required me to have fish first thing in the morning ... no wonder i gave it up!)
  15. brisk walking and minor attempts at running
  16. and today, a year and a half after the last time i ran, i hit the gym again. 
i might have missed a couple of diets i've attempted at some point or other, and i'm not counting all the times i resumed calorie counting for a couple of days, three at the most.  

once again, you may be questioning, why is she telling us all this? over the last 16 years or so, i've realised that i've only really accomplished my diets when i had something to prove to someone.  just like when i had a bet running with a colleague who said i wouldn't lose weight and out of spite i did (no.15).  

me and a dear friend reaping the benefits of having won the weight-loss bet with a colleague ... i can still recall that heavenly chocolate massage!

this time, the someone i want to prove something to is myself.  by committing all these thoughts to a blog, i might be unwittingly trying to prove something to the world as well.  after writing all of this, i'm still having second thoughts as to whether i should be so candid and make my body dysmorphia such public knowledge.  it's possibly a way of reaching out while looking deeply into myself.  i don't know.  i just feel i need to do it. 

at this point, and by way of concluding this very lengthy first confession, i want to make a disclaimer.  anything that you'll be reading in this blog is a narration of my own tricks or methods in dealing with body-weight issues.  i am not academically trained to give any nutritional, exercise or dieting advice - i only have 16 years of experimenting and following others' guidance.  so please, take hints if you so wish to, but do not take this as a gospel.  if and when, i'll be quoting medical, nutritional or any other advice, the sources will be quoted or hyperlinked accordingly.  

welcome to my blog!


At 3 September 2012 at 22:17 , Blogger Christine Micallef said...

good one cous.... it does remind me a lot about me, myself and I :)

At 3 September 2012 at 22:43 , Blogger the girl known as tikka said...

hehe ... we did go through the same sort of 'coming of age' ... hope you're keeping well and hope to see you soon xxx


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