06 September 2011
What's prompted this, you may ask. Well, before I explain, I want to reiterate that I'm really pleased to be (and remain) a whole lot slimmer and healthier than I used to be, with all the fringe benefits which come along with this. However, for a while now I've been less than ecstatic with the finer details of the way I look.
Ungrateful? Probably, and I'm a tiny bit ashamed to be looking at 'vanity' issues here, but it is part of who I am and I can't push it to the back of my mind any longer.
Over the last year or so I have sort of roughly 'maintained' my current level of weight loss, albeit whilst not actually intending to. I've been fairly happy, but fooled myself that I was still in weight loss mode. I certainly became much less focused and can see now that I wasn't truly serious about it.
My weight has cycled up and down between 60kg and 62kg or thereabouts for quite a long time. But, even at the lower end of the range and when I'm being far more diligent about the abs exercises than I've been recently, I've still got a noticeable belly. I may have mentioned it once or twice before... it's not too obvious most of the time (in clothes, anyhow) but I can't say I love it.
This is my delightful flappy extra bit where the excess skin flap from being obese for years is left behind. It's the place where much of the remainder of my fat hangs out (and, oh yes, I do mean 'hang'). What's more, when I gain weight, it hits here first.
To be frank, no matter how diligent I do get with the abs work, this flab-filled flap resides on top of whatever muscle I develop. It just ain't going to go away by exercise alone, even if the underlying structure is held in a teensy bit more. The fat lass has been gently deluding herself over this, methinks. It will only actually be diminished by my losing, shedding, shrinking, call it what you will, further amounts of the fat inside it. Don't worry, I'm under no illusions here - I do know that I'll always have the skin flap, unless I resort to surgery. I would just like it to bother me less.
Add to this that I've recently been looking into a number of models for calculating the 'ideal' weight range for a woman of my age, frame and height. Oooh dear - that was a bit of a stopper!
Even though I'm sitting somewhere near the middle of the 'normal' BMI banding, feeling fairly virtuous that this was a pretty darned 'good' place to be, the general consensus from these models (including Devine's and Robinson's) seems to be that I should actually weigh somewhere between 55kg and 58kg. In case the penny hasn't dropped, that is a whole big chunk less than I weigh right now. Kind of knocks the wind out of one's sails. It's certainly made me sit back and think.
Trouble is, I kind of thought I'd already gone far enough. Having lost around six and a half stone since I first started my lifestyle changes (not diet!), I haven't felt that I really want (or 'ought') to lose a significant amount more. But where does this (rather unscientific) decision stem from and why should I have thought this way?
I wonder if, subconsciously, I've been worried in case it makes me look old(er!) and haggard, maybe, or if I'm scared to get obsessive about the numbers on the scale and head towards 'too skinny' territory. I really don't want to end up being bony and emaciated or (worse!) unhealthy. By this, I mean like some (or do I mean many?) female 'celebrities' - women like Mrs Beckham who, slender as she undoubtedly is, looks drawn, permanently ill-nourished and dissatisfied. Sorry, but she and her ilk are no role models for me. I'm certainly not driven to get into the next clothes size down either as I'm fairly content where I am. I like the clothes I wear these days, and it's a very big thing for me to be able to say that. You heard it here - the fat lass likes dresses!
But maybe I could do with losing a bit more? If that weight loss includes at least some of the belly fat and I get my scales to move downwards, say to around the 57kg mark (c.9 stone), as opposed to where I am now, maybe the belly would be significantly less noticeable or perhaps I would just feel more comfortable with it.
OK, deep breath time. Is this realistic? Or, even if it's possible, is it sustainable? Hmmm, do you know, I'm not really sure yet.
Worth a shot though? Yes, I guess it might be.
So it looks as though my old get on the scales 'do something!' line may have been set a bit too high. It's been at 62kg (er, actually 63kg was the absolute screaming horrors mark), but perhaps it's about time it was re-drawn a bit further down.
By adjusting food and portions I'm already starting to see some pounds come off. Increasing the exercise should help too, so I'm going to mentally reset my line to 58kg... and see
a) what I can do about getting there (I'm currently at 60kg)
b) what I can do about getting my weight a kilo or so below that line
c) what I can do about keeping it there
So I now have a clearly measurable target. I want to lose around 3kg from where I am now - that's c.6-7 pounds. Let's set myself a time-scale to work to. Going sure but steady I think that sort of loss 'should' be achieveable over about a six week period and that would take me to mid-October.
Right, roll up those sleeves. It's time for the fat lass to step up to the plate! ... or should that be step 'away' from the plate?