Fatness Through Weakness? A Diary of a Fat Controller (Part 1)
Everyone is born confident, with no barriers, beliefs or issues. Babies are not born with an eating disorder or a pre-programmed desire to emotionally eat.
So what makes us all different and behave different as we grow? There is huge debate on this in the scientific world. Is there a genetic link? Or is it down to environmental factors that determines that size of our waist bands? We could debate it’s both? Everyone has an opinion and it’s largely based on their own experiences.
I have met and talked with many people who view overweight people as weak or as gluttonous. Some of them themselves overweight and seemingly resound to the fact it’s their fault.
I have talked with people who simply cannot understand why they just can’t eat less? After all it’s a simple equation of eat less and exercise more right? Well if only this were true!
If it were that simple then I wouldn’t be on this mission that I am on! I wish it was that simple……..why? Because even as a well seasoned fat controller I still face the same struggles and issues that the majority of people face when battling to keep my bulges away! The difference is I have embraced my story so far. I have accepted my past and upbringing, my thought processes, my physical capabilities and limitations.
Here is a whistle stop tour of my colourful journey so far. And it has not been a straight linear journey by any stretch! It has been over many bumps, detours, emergency stops and crash landings:
I was born fit and healthy some 37 years ago, raised in a happy family till I was 9 with no eating issues or weight problems. But my seemingly happy family broke down, my parents divorced, I got bullied, I put on weight, I was rubbish at sport and hated PE……
I learned to comfort eat when sad and lonely. I was treated and soothed with sweets and chocolates by well-meaning grandparents on a daily basis. And so I started dieting even before my teens – following the typical ‘eat as little as possible for as long as possible until willpower was exhausted. Closely followed by eating everything in sight until I could not eat anymore and felt disgusted by my lack of self-control’ scenario. All my friends were slim so why couldn’t I be. I thought that if I were slim then I too would be popular like them!
I got fatter and sadder with each episode! I thought about food every day, all day. It was an addiction I couldn’t control. As my waist line increased, my confidence and self-esteem decreased. And so the cycle continued until early adult hood. After trying a number of failed diet club programmes, pills and liquid diets I discovered something called aerobic fitness and group exercise – I was actually pretty good at it and enjoyed it! What’s more I felt great after too.
So slowly my mood and confidence improved and I started to read a little on nutrition in books and magazines…….. I was intrigued to learn more and I wanted to experience more!! With my eyes now well and truly wide open, my journey of learning was well and truly on it’s way. I spent the next 20 years learning all that I could about food, exercise and me. I learned how to take control of my battle with fat and food and no longer be a victim of it. I learnt tools and techniques to enable me to live with my programmed behaviours. I slipped up many times. Too many times to recall. But each time I got back on the proverbial dieting horse and tried again. Trying a different way each time.
And so here I am today. I think I have earned my badge but I am by no means complacent. I still have that desire to reach for my favourite foods when I am lonely or upset. I still can look in the mirror sometimes and think I am still that fat, useless, weak girl I thought I was many years ago. But the difference is now I can recognise those feelings and challenge them. I can use certain foods and methods of exercise to help me cross the barrier until the moment passes and I know that I am a far better person for having those experiences however painful they may have been.
I don’t pretend to be perfect or that I can be a Fat Controller 100% of the time. My journey is still on-going and probably will for the rest of my life. But I enjoy my journey now and am not fearful of food or exercise anymore. It’s about finding your individual blueprint instead of chasing someone else’s. Once you realise how different and unique your body, environment, genes etc are you will start to understand that your approach to finding your ideal body weight is just as unique.
In part 2 I will start to uncover my tools and techniques that I have used to help me learn about my own unique blueprint and how I am learning to be the best fat controller I can be. I will also cover why I believe the focus for long term successful fat loss needs to be on acheiving a better state of health and wellness. In both mind and body. Many of us are driven by the desire to be a certain shape in the belief that it will bring them certain things – like money, love or happiness. I believe that this is the biggest reason for diet failure and lack of success for long term fat loss. More of that next time.
I would love it if you could share you story and your thoughts too!
Big love, small tummies!
Jill – The Fat Controller