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Health

20th Jul 2014

It Started With A Dress: Pulling Out The Honesty Card

Forget the scales. It's all about the dress.

Her

In a new weekly feature, Her.ie newbie Liz is going to share her weight loss journey. She’ll be filling you in on fighting temptation, her willpower struggles with the cocktail menu and taking painfully slow steps towards regular exercise. All in the name of a dress. 

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Hanging on the wall at the end of my bed is the constant reminder I plan on shedding nearly two stone this year. I also plan on marking the trials and tribulations of ‘trying to be good’ – the favourite saying we all tout, and quickly replace when a cake is put in front of us.   

Week 19: All bets are off

Each week I sit down and write an update on how I’m looking to drop some pounds. Some weeks are a success, others, well other weeks I want to curl into a ball under my duvet and hide my head in shame.

This isn’t always an easy process, and although I find writing therapeutic, I can sometimes wince when I’m jotting down my weight in public, for the world to see. (I would say judge but the lovely lady readers of Her.ie have yet to break my heart with a nasty comment.)

I’m a confident person, but when it comes to my weight, all bets are off. Having grown up with two brothers and a sister, I’m well able to take a joke – it was always a case of leave your sensitivities at the door when you knocked into 84. But thinking back on my chubby childhood, I realised nobody really teased me about my weight. There was pet names, but nothing that would leave you in tears.

Pudgy photos were labelled adorable or cute, and although there is the exception of a series where I’m missing my front two teeth that happen to be really sweet, I wouldn’t necessarily be pulling down the photo albums for a rummage with friends.

I was ALWAYS the bigger child. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – my granny called me hearty. Hearty. Reserved for old country farming men, and ladies with wide hips apparently.

The thing I’m getting at is nobody took me aside and had a talk to me about my weight. Maybe on some parts it was because they understood it was an emotional crutch, or maybe in reality it was too difficult a conversation to have. When so many young women are fighting the self-consciousness and body issues of reaching puberty, who wants to be the person to pull up a teenager on the fact she’s sporting a spare tyre under her string top?

I’ve also happened to mention I have an amazing sister who was pretty supportive during the chunkier challenges of teenage weight gain but I know her protectiveness would never have broached the fact that you probably shouldn’t eat two slices of chocolate cake when your hand can’t fit inside the cookie jar.

Unfortunately not everyone was as kind. I got picked on in primary school. A LOT.

You know that whole ‘sticks and stones may break my bones…’ mantra? Well, I’m sorry to break it to you, but it’s a lie. It’s hard to believe that bullies weren’t really hurting me when I spent nights crying into my pillow and wanting to stay home from school.

My teacher, who was the real-life embodiment of Miss Honey from Matilda, used to take me aside after yard break to check in on me. Sometimes I was quickly babbling off about the game of skipping I was playing with the other girls, and sometimes there were sobs and a hug before sending back into class.

Here’s the thing. I built up a straight-talking defence to accept that not everyone is nice and supportive and not everyone will have my best interests or happiness at heart.

So I pull a Fat Amy from Pitch Perfect and joke in the self-deprecating humour to address the days where I just want to eat more chocolate or have an ice-cream tub to myself (no judgement. We’ve ALL done it.)

But today, well today I’m going to be honest and say I struggled this week. There’s no real reason behind it. I wanted to eat, drink and be merry. I wanted to go to a festival, have some beers and eat a cheeseburger with mayo in the sun (well the shade). It’s Ireland – you can’t have everything.

So this week, I’m writing to let you know I’ve put on 2lbs.

They’re nestled snugly to my thighs if this jiggle is anything to go by, but for once I’m really ok with that. Because for the first time in a long time (if ever) I’m getting a bit more confident about my one big hang-up. My body.

But no, this doesn’t mean I’ll be walking down Grafton Street in a bodycon dress next week.

This week’s stats go a little something like this –

Height: 5ft 8

Starting Weight: 174 lbs

Current Weight: 158.5 lbs

Weight Loss To Date: 16 lb

Goal: 148 lbs

Feeling: A little more confident

The Dress in Question:

THE DRESS!