First of all, you don’t. Not when you place yourself on a diet of boiled eggs and oranges. Not when you park your car and decide to walk half the distance home after work. And not even that long, tortored month without rice – weeks and weeks of passing the cafeteria, of ignoring that imagined peppered ting on your tongue, the taste of burnt stew and rice rolling down your throat.
It will dawn on you one morning as you step out of the shower. It is the wiggle of your elbow that will catch your eye, the way the extra skin hangs loosely, teasing you. And then, if you miss the message, the fact of your body will call again as you struggle to enter your jeans. You will huff and pant and by the time you pull on the second leg, you will fall on the bed, relieved and exhausted.
You are on a mission to lose this weight, to shed this fat that quivers underneath your chin when you laugh, this one that has filled out your face and chest and even your toe nails. (Gosh, who would have thought). So you sentence yourself to a food-less existence, no dinner after 5. No breakfast before 10. No carbs. No sugar. And then the greatest joke – no pounds falling off. All your kilograms stay intact, clinging to you like a new born for life.
With every new diet you tell yourself, surely it will work this time. it’s the meat, get rid of it. No, it’s the carbs, get rid of it. And it’s the soda, and the stress, and the sugar, except maybe it’s also in your mind?
Weight-loss can be tough especially when you are on a timeline, and this is coming from a person whose own weight fluctuates like a yo-yo. I have been on many diets and exercised so hard until a strange pain crept into my knees. I know what it means to live in the constant fear – and reality – of jiggles, to watch extra skin spread across your thighs and arms and face. So let me take this back to the top. How do you lose weight as a recovering food-aholic? I. Don’t. Know!
What I do know is that, eventually, you’ve got to see your body differently – not as a thing to erase, or hide. But as something to celebrate, or in the very least, appreciate. And this is not to say I’ve completely outgrown my lingering gaze in the bathroom mirror, but I am learning to see so much more. This body that has taken me through heart ache and sickness, through all night readings, late night at work, this skin, this smile that has brought me friendships, opened up conversations with strangers, helped me love and enjoy food. This body has been good to me, and for every quivering pound of it, I am grateful!