I’ve been hearing a lot about how well I look at the minute. This is because I’ve lost a fair bit of weight. I was obese at 96kg (BMI 33.2) and now I’m slightly overweight at 74kg (BMI 25.6). Losing 22kg (or 3st 6lb in old money) is certainly noticeable. I just find it really odd how I’ve been losing weight for months and a months (6 to be more accurate) but it’s only in the last couple of weeks people have noticed.
I mean, I’ve been losing it at a steady rate so it’s not like it’s all just fallen off in a few weeks but now I seem to have reached some point where everyone feels the need to comment. And it’s nice, don’t get me wrong. To be getting compliments is lovely but it just seems weird. Why now?
I’ve been working at it for so long, logging what I eat every single day – including over birthdays, meals out and Christmas. The first few months were done privately but then I had to let my husband know for Christmas, to help me. Now that everyone is commenting I have to admit that yes, I am watching what I eat. I tell them it’s because my medication can cause weight gain (which is true – quetiapine) and people seem happy with that. I tell them that the weight loss has slowed, that I feel better for losing it and I’m enjoying exercising – all true.
It seems to make everyone happy that I’m smaller now. My husband in particular loves it, commenting and praising my body every day. He always makes sure to add that he loved it before too! When I tell people that I’m still overweight they tell me that it’s fine, bmi is only a guide and I look great. That’s nice of them so I don’t tell them that I really want to lose another 10kg+ (1st 8lb) to be in the middle of the healthy bmi range. Instead I reassure them my weight loss appears to be plateauing.
I make sure to eat in front of people. Every evening we sit down and have a family meal. These are often calorie busting so I’ll have to eat very little in the day to save up for them. I wish I didn’t have to do this. Yesterday my mother-in-law offered me some home baking; I didn’t want it. However I knew that we were staying for dinner and I’d be wanting to eat less then so to balance it out I accepted the crumble slice and ate something I didn’t want at all so that come dinner time it wouldn’t be so bad that I turned down the bread and the ice cream. I still ate more then that I’d have liked and that irritates me. Losing weight is slow and hard and having to do it in such a way that stops people prying feels very restrictive. I feel I can’t choose to eat when and what I’d like but instead have to eat all sorts in front of people to stop any unnecessary concern. The irony being of course that everyone tells me how good I look!
And yes I do look a lot better and I do feel a lot better in myself…physically. It sort of feels misleading. People who know I’m ill tell me I must be doing so much better…because I look better. Well, no. Not really. Not at all actually. I still wake up and my first thought of the day is I want to die. But I can’t bear to disappoint them so I agree that it feels much nicer to be smaller – which is true but says absolutely nothing about my mental health.
I’m the master of the mask. I just can’t help myself can I? I look so much better.
But I’m not.