The moment I stopped battling my weight.
Updated: Oct 13
I knew my weight battle was over before I even started losing weight.
The moment I knew my weight battle was over came about quite simply – I went to Target to buy a new pair of pants.
I grew up struggling to reach a healthy weight. I was “solid” in primary school, overweight in high school, and once I hit Uni, with endless access to crap food and alcohol, I became obese.
I was not raised eating bad food. I just ate A LOT of anything that was on offer. In my opinion you didn’t stop eating til you were well past full. No one else in my family was big. I just had a love of any and all food.
Most people never knew how unhappy I was with my size, because most of the time I wasn’t unhappy. Like most 20 year olds, I was out partying, working, studying, and just enjoying the new found freedom of adulthood.
The upsetting times came when I saw photos of myself with my smaller, fitter girlfriends, or when I wanted to wear the same clothes as them. I couldn’t shop in the stores I liked, and I although I loved the beach and swimming, going to these places caused me anxiety and embarrassment. I didn’t like how I looked.
Of course, these were issues I’d faced for years, and I made several attempts to slim down. Just before high school I tried to simply eat right. But that was so hard to do when all my friends seemed to be eating everything they wanted. In high school I went on a no carb diet, under the careful guidance of a GP. I lost 10kgs in 6 weeks… after which I developed a carb addiction and gained more weight than I lost.
I even tried to starve myself (total teenage mentality). I lasted three hours.
At Uni I was eating more, drinking, exercising less and although I didn’t love the way I looked, I had basically blocked it from my mind.
So, back to those new pants. I went to Target for some comfy cargoes. I grabbed my usual size and headed to the fitting room. And it happened. The pants I grabbed, my usually size, were too small.
So what happened next? Yelling, crying, kicking, screaming, mass depression, suicidal tears…? No. It wasn’t anything like that. I got dressed back into my old clothes and left the store. I bought nothing. I walked out and went home. And I began to change my life.
I didn’t make myself a vow or a pact. I didn’t set a deadline or a goal. Why? Because I didn’t have to. A switch had clicked in my head, and suddenly the battle was over.
I no longer stared at dessert, having an internal debate about whether or not to eat it. I didn’t want it. I no longer questioned if I would have time to exercise that day. It was simply a part of my day, like sleeping and showering.
I didn’t conform to a specific diet. I just cut the crap, and started moving my body. Walking at first, and as I got fitter and stronger, I built up the workouts by setting myself little challenges. I gradually replaced small sections of my walks with running. Slowly, slowly I built up til I was running the whole way.
That was 20 years ago, and I’m now 30kgs lighter than I was at age 20. I have done more types of exercise than I can count, because I love to challenge myself and change it up. I was even a boot camp leader for five years.
I have played around with different eating plans (cutting this, adding that), because I needed to find what worked best for me. Now I know the foods that I enjoy and that energise me. Yes I still have my treats – red wine, dark chocolate – but the bad eating habits are long gone.
So it was the day the battle ended that I finally started to lose weight. When the trigger finally snaps, there’s no going back.