I need to lose weight. I repeat, I. need. to. lose. weight.
This isn’t something to do with the warm weather, it’s not a ‘summer body’ thing. I couldn’t care less about my bikini body, it’s not important to me. It’s not about fashion, or because society says skinny women are more beautiful. Nor is it because I feel prettier when I am skinny, because that’s crap too, I am beautiful, have you seen me?
I joke of course!
I can see beauty in my appearance when I am overweight and when I am at a healthy weight. The need to lose weight doesn’t boil down to that. As I said, it doesn’t boil down to anything superficial, it boils down to the fact that my body doesn’t work when it’s fat.
And when my body doesn’t work, my brain doesn’t work well either. And so, when I gain weight, I don’t only affect my physical health, but I affect my mental health, my emotional health and my reproductive health too.
Fucking, yay! #sarc
The reality of weight gain for me is more than just seeing a higher number on the scales and feeling a little bit more snug in my skinny jeans. The reality is much worse than that. My PCOS plays a huge part in my weight, and anyone who has PCOS or knows how PCOS affects the body will know that weight gain and PCOS do not mix well.
Weight gain for women with PCOS is so friggin easy, women without PCOS will joke about sniffing food and putting on the pounds and we all laugh lah-dee-fucking-dah because years of talking about women and their weight has made it great one liner. But it really isn’t funny, and the reality for me, or anyone who suffers from PCOS, is that one bad week, or a few ‘cheat days’ here and there WILL have a massive effect on our body, us cysters WILL put on weight if we stray away from our ‘plan’. We WILL put on weight if we aren’t careful. By careful I mean, if we don’t weigh all of the foods that we eat, if we eat white bread regularly, if we have salad cream on our salad – we will not lose weight.
But people think im joking.
I have spoken about needing to lose weight quiet openly and honestly with a variety of people and I’m so sick of hearing from those people that I don’t need to lose weight!
Here’s a selection of things I have genuinely been told when talking about wanting to lose weight;
“You don’t need to lose weight. There’s nothing to you!”
“You’re tiny! I wish I was as skinny as you, you should be thankful.”
“Dont be silly! You look great!”
“That’s a bit shallow isn’t it mate? I mean you’re not exactly massive.”
And my favourite which was simply;
“You’re stupid if you think you need to lose weight, You’re ony a size 10. Most women would kill to have a figure like yours.”
It drives me insane. I currently weigh 10 stone 2 lb. And don’t get me wrong, that’s not a bad weight. For some, this is a perfect weight. But it isn’t for me, this is a bad weight. I am fat.
I imagine some people getting their kickers in a twist about me using the word fat, but I am not using it loosely, I am using it in its definition, meaning;
I’m not referring to myself as fat because I can. I am referring to myself as fat because I am overweight.
The best weight for my body in terms of having a healthy BMI is between 7 and a half stone, and 9 stone. For me, My body works at it’s best between 8 and a half stone, and 9 stone.
The second I go over 9 stone, my body stops working efficiently.
Having PCOS means that when I gain weight, I gain it mostly on my stomach area, yes I put on weight all over, but I end up having a very large, rounded gut. Because I have had a baby, the weight causes a flap of skin that hangs over the top of my pants or trousers, and I’m not talking your regular muffin top here, I’m talking a flap of skin that hangs down over my ‘area’ that needs to be lifted out of the way for me to shave. Even worse, I have to lift it and apply talcum powder underneath it because if I don’t, It will chaff and get sore.
But, you know what, there’s nothing of me is there? I’m a perfectly healthy size 10 woman arent I? I’m physically able, I CAN walk, I CAN run, I CAN play with my child. And that’s true, I can do all of those things but they come at a cost. When I walk or run, my hips hurt, I lose my breath. When I play with my child, I can only play for so long before I’m breathless, in pain and ready to vomit.
This is because I am unhealthy, and that’s a mixture of weight, diet and lack of exercise. I’m not stupid. But I do find it hard to exercise when I know the result of that will be pain, and not just pain in my muscles, but pain in my bones. I know I need to cut out sugar, because sugar affects my body in such a way that I end up crashing but seeking more sugar to cancel out the crash, I have a sugar addiction and that plays into my PCOS too. I crave the sugar because my body doesn’t respond to insulin properly, so I eat the sugar, and it causes me to crash, so I eat more sugar to feel energy, and then I crash, and then I eat more sugar….and so it goes on and on and on.
So I think we’ve established that I could really do with loosing weight because I’m having physical difficulties and I’m addicted to sugar. But let me open your eyes a little further.
Here’s a few other things that happen to me because I have put ‘a little bit’ of weight on;
- No periods. I havent had a period since november 2016.
- Excess hair. I have hairs on my upper lip, belly and back. My leg hairs, pubic hairs and under arm hairs grow very quickly, and spread quite far.
- Water retention. Because I havent had a period since November, my body is hoarding water despite the fact that I drink between a liter and 2 liters a day. Here’s what happens to a body that’s retaining water;
- I wake up with swollen hands, fingers, ankles and eyes.
- I’m forever bloated.
- I’m always thirsty and as a result I drink a lot, as a result of that, I pee a lot.
- Lack of sleep. My sleep is affected in different ways, i usually get between 4 and 5 hours sleep a night.
- Food keep me energized because of the sugar.
- I have to get up to pee during the night.
- The discomfort of being bloated means I find it hard to get comfortable and often have to sleep slightly upright.
- sleeping sightly upright causes tension on my already bad hips.
- bad hips wake me up.
- I don’t know exactly why but when I put weight on, I suffer with very bad reflux meaning there are a lot of foods I can’t eat because it triggers it.
- lack of sleep and reflux play into the hands of my anxiety. My anxiety presents itself as feeling ill, which in turn causes my emetophobia to increase meaning I spend a lot of my time feeling the pressures of that fear.
- Energy dips.
- as I previously mentioned, I get sugar dips. Sugar dips coupled with tiredness from lack of sleep means that if I’m on a crash and I’m sitting down, I’m going to fall asleep.
- Falling asleep at times when sleep in inappropriate.
- I have fallen asleep when Willow is home and it’s just me here caring for her, meaning she is left alone while I snooze.
- I have fallen asleep in college.
- Feeling the effects of sugar in what would normally be called healthy food.
- It’s not just chocolate that makes me dip. The sugar in bread, crackers, fruit and sauces ETC.. cause the same sugar dip as a Mars Bar.
- loss of libido.
- I just don’t want sex.
- Everything listed above all rolls into one and it becomes very difficult to process. It makes being a mother, a house-girlfriend, student and basically HUMAN very difficult. When you can’t work efficiently because you’re always lethargic, or when you have bouts of energy and feel great only to crash a day or two later and let things slip means that having a consistent daily routine is hard. It causes me to feel every pressure of adult life, and when I fail at doing those things because I’m unable to because of something listed above, I become increasingly more self-critical and sad. When I feel like that, which is more often than not, I become more and more introverted. Being introverted means that I tend to avoid conversations with Meirion, I avoid interacting with Willow, and I avoid speaking to friends because I always feel a sense of overwhelm that causes me to find things like that difficult which only further adds to the sadness, and makes me feel lonely. and in turn, I get…
- Angry. I frequently feel angry and short tempered which affects my relationship with Willow and Meirion.
There’s probably a lot more I can write here to emphasise how important my weight is to me, and not because I want to look good. It all boils down to the fact that if I don’t lose weight, these issues will only increase, the more weight I put on, the more prominent these problems become, the more they affect my daily life.
I guess you could say this blog post is a bit of a rant, I think you would be right, I have ranted a little here and there but that’s because I am fed up of reaching out to people, putting myself out there, only to be told to my face that I am stupid to think I need to lose weight. I’m fed up being told that the way I physically look is the only reason to lose (or not lose) weight. I’ve had it up to my neck of trying to lose weight, telling people I’m trying to lose weight and being effected by their comments in such a way that makes me ask myself why I’m bothering and reach for the nearest Cadbury’s cream egg to console myself.
Weight loss isn’t just about being skinnier. We’re all conditioned to believe that people want to lose weight because they will look better in jeans, or on the beach. Or that we have to lose weight because the summer is around the corner. We’re seeing more and more diets that show people how to have a healthier lifestyle, and that’s awesome, but it’s not enough. We collectively need to start making a more conscious effort to stop telling people they don’t need to lose weight, we really need to stop telling people that they’re stupid because of how they feel about their weight. You might not see it, but people do have a plethora of different reasons to lose weight that doesn’t just boil down to being slim. Yes there are people who simply want to be slim, but even so, what does it matter if they want to be slim to you? So if you ever find yourself saying to someone “don’t be silly, you don’t need to lose weight.” then think again, because you don’t know how that statement could affect the person you’re speaking to.
After reading this, do you really think that I don’t need to lose weight, and that I’m stupid to consider it?
What about you, what is your take on this topic? Have you ever been called stupid for wanting to lose weight? Let me know in the comments!
As always, thanks for reading!