IMG_6094

I’m fat. Let’s talk body image

A twisted insight into my body image

This morning I woke up fatter than I have ever felt before, and no I’m not exaggerating. My stomach is flabby, my legs are wobbly and it seems my ass has completely lost its perky shape and has been replaced with a lumpy cushion. The jeans I am wearing were once comfortably loose-ish, yet now they are strangling my thighs and are being swallowed by my stomach rolls. I can’t actually believe I’m typing this, but I’m hoping someone out there can relate to this.

I was fine two weeks ago (by fine I mean, seeing some diet success) and now after a week of birthday indulgence, a licorice addiction and a bout of crazy hormones I have turned into the exact opposite human being I am trying to be. Clearly, I have issues with my body, but you’re hard pressed to find a woman who doesn’t.

 

Where is this all coming from?

Well, I said I would be honest in my posts. I also said I would post every day- clearly, that is not happening, but I will stick to promise about honesty. This is one of the key reasons I renounced myself as the Wellness Wanderer. How can I teach others self-love, dedication and discipline when I don’t practice these things myself?

I think about my weight and my body probably around 30,000 times a day. I wake up in the morning and mentally plan what I am going to wear, that thought is always accompanied by- “what is the most comfortable and the most slimming?” The answer is something black, generally. I then go to the bathroom and check my stomach. The mornings are nice because I look lean, but that never lasts long. In fact, I check my stomach every time I go to the bathroom. I contort myself in multiple ways in front of the mirror to see what’s pudge, what’s muscle and to see how much fat I have accumulated over the day. I do this at least 5 times a day and every time I walk out of the bathroom with a little more self-loathing.

 

Then the internal dialogue starts-

Ok so no carbs today, you need to get your bodyfat % down

Forget weights- cardio cardio cardio (even though you hate cardio)

You need to go to the gym today, even if you’re dead tired from work

You could just stop eating, sureeee you know it’s wrong- but you know it works.

Just drink coffee when you’re hungry

You need to lose weight because of XYZ

You don’t want to be the fat girlfriend

Remember how you felt when you felt so fat and flabby that you didn’t want to swim at the beach. That’s going to happen again.

You know exactly what you need to do to get to where you want to be, so stop self-sabotaging

Get a personal trainer- yes you hate being trained and you can’t afford it but do it anyway

 

Some days the things I tell myself internally actually come out of my mouth. This is when I’m having a really bad day. I say them out loud to almost pre-empt what other people may be thinking. It’s like if I say it about myself then the other people can cut me some slack because I already know my flaws. Often my boyfriend is the sounding board.

“Don’t talk about my girlfriend like that-“ he always replies in a stern and convincing way.

Bless him. He loves me and I love him. I just wish I could see what he sees.

 

Always starting over

It feels like I am forever on a diet, planning a diet, researching a diet or marking up a training plan.

My YouTube subscriptions are full of fitness girls, bodybuilders and fitness food vloggers and I watch them all avidly.

The saying “If you fail to prepare then prepare to fail” means nothing to me because I am overly prepared, yet still fail.

I have all the tools, I know how to use them but… I don’t, even though they would help me with something that has such a huge negative impact on life. What the actual fuck.

Is that not the most frustrating thing in the world?!

 

Why do I fail?

Well, essentially It’s because of instant gratification.

I don’t have the discipline or the stamina to adhere to long-term goals. I want results and excitement now, and if I don’t have something keeping me interested or motivated then I fall flat.

Typical gen-y.

 

There are also a few other factors-

I don’t get enough sleep, meaning I’m always tired and feel like I’m constantly pushing everything up hill

I struggle managing my office job with my personal goals

I have severe anxiety and my normal stress level hovers around 8/10

The things that used to spark me into action, don’t work anymore

I get tired and allow one little thing to knock me out of good habits

 

There is one more factor-

I have a somewhat shocking relationship with food.

 

A new turning point

A friend of mine sent me a book yesterday and in less than 24 hours it has granted me serious insight into some of my habits.

The book is called The Millionaire Fastlane: Crack the Code to Wealth and Live Rich for a Lifetime.. You may be thinking, how does a book about finance help you with your body image? Good question.

 

The book talks about instant gratification and choosing things that instantly make us feel good, rather than holding on for the long term reward.

I use food as instant gratification.

The consequence of instant gratification is the destruction of freedom, health, and choice. MJ DeMarco

I eat because my values around food are skewed.

Let me explain.

I grew up in a traditional Greek household. My Dad is a chef and retired restaurateur. Food is what brought my family together. Food is where stories are exchanged and love is shared.

My relationship with my boyfriend is no different. We go out for brunch or dinner and we get lost in deep conversation over amazing food. I love the connection that is shared over food and therefore I love food.

 

The problem I have now is that I now spend a lot of time alone. Far too much time alone.

I am away from my family, I haven’t made any significant friendships and Peppe works 5 nights a week.

I am lonely and when I’m lonely I do what most people do- I search for comfort. The comfort I love the most is the love felt over a meal and so I turn to food, but this instant gratification of whatever I’m indulging in does not fill the underlying void of loneliness.

 

Let me pause for a second here and clarify what I mean when I talk about my love of food.

I don’t sit and binge on really bad food. Ok, so there was that Tim Tam indiscretion, but that was definitely an anomaly.

I love to cook brownies for Peppe, which I’d also snack on for the coming week. I love to have a big bowl of Greek yoghurt topped with peanut butter, cacao nibs and loads of fruit. I also love carbs. And carbs are generally the first thing I reach for when I’m feeling down.

A bowl of pasta, an almond croissant or hot chips are my vices. Then there are the sweeties- chocolate and licorice.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t eat a whole block of chocolate, or a whole packet of licorice in one sitting, but the little treats here and there are holding me back.

Then starts the spiral.

I get angry and frustrated at myself because I’ve self-sabotaged my fitness goals and therefore feel fat, ugly, unsuccessful, unworthy.

 

Ok, so what now?

What now?

Well, I need to break the cycle. I reaaaaaallllly need to break the cycle. I am so sick of feeling insecure about my body.

I want to be dedicated to my fitness goals and ACTUALLY achieve what I set out to do.

My whole life is about to be turned upside down in 10 weeks and REFUSE to enter into this new chapter of my life with the old, disgusting habits which have held me back for so long.

I don’t want to spend all my time thinking about my body and being shallow.  I don’t want to have to do a body check before every event in my life, like going on holiday or dare I say- getting married.

I want to feel comfortable in clothes. I want to feel good in a bikini and I want to feel sexy naked- without having to worry about flattering lighting.

So I guess I need to formulate one last plan. The plan to end all plans to get me and my mental health back together .

Fuck.

Where do I start? Who can help me!

 

Signed

Tina Benias

Instant gratifier
Breaker of goals
Tight jean wearer
Brownie eater

 

 

 

2 Comments

  • Alex

    I’ve identified that my bad habits carry an “all-or-none” mentality.

    While choosing “none” can be successful in stopping completely, it doesn’t resolve the underlying problems which causes the attachment in the first place.

    Mindfulness techniques assist to identify moments in time which can be avoided (i.e. when visiting the grocery store there is a need for me to stop, think and skip the middle isles to prevent purchasing 2 for $3 cadbury chocolate bars!). However, it is the (tiring) repetition of this process that helps to improve overall cognition and regain control of our behaviours so that the idea itself is no longer even considered as an option.

    My idea of eating healthy has also changed considerably over the years, largely due to my better half researching and understanding various industries I’ve been able to cut through the fat (puntastic!) of traditional teachings and uncover new values to promote healthy eating.

    It is no longer just about what is good or bad for us, but where did it come from? Which company made it and are they aligned to my health and wellbeing (probably not). Can this be made myself (oh wait “yes”, and it’s better value for money?!). Why am I eating this in the first place (“that company spends how many billions of dollars on marketing each year!?”). If I stop consuming this product will it have a greater impact on the wider world around me?

    Personally, I find it difficult to stop thinking about the big picture through my idealistic glasses and actually achieving something that I’d like to. My goal is to improve self-regulation and increase emotional intelligence to hopefully gain better control over this kind of thinking. You already seem to have your long term goals set, with a plan of action too, maybe breaking them down and sharing with Peppe your successes from each day (creating a positive feedback loop) will help stay on track?

    You might also find trying out something creative will help provide a refreshed mindset: writing (as you’re already doing), art (e.g. drawing, cross stitch) or music (i.e. learning an instrument). I’ve never been able to draw (terrible at Pictionary), but recently picked up some graphite pencils and paper and was quite surprised as to how quickly I picked it up after just a few free video tutorials online. Was I inspired to draw? No. Do I draw everyday? No. Does it help me feel centred and calm (especially during stressful times). Yes! Do people around me praise my drawing “skill” even though I’m personally insecure and judgemental of the end result? Yes. Does this feel good? Yes (secretly).

    Hope this helps – if not, it was nice to practice being social and write 🙂

    July 29, 2016 at 2:13 pm

Leave a Reply