At one point during our dynamic, Lois said she wanted me to start eating healthy and lose some weight. I thought this had been coming for a while but I was still a little surprised when she said it, as well as worried. What if I wouldn’t be able to do this? I mean, that’s my usual worry in regards to any task, right? But when Lois wanted something there wasn’t much to argue.
Looking back, I never really ate healthily in my life. I’ve always had digestive problems of some sorts. I was born 10 weeks early so I’ve been told I couldn’t keep in certain food during my early years. This was no longer a problem by the time I was aware of eating but I really struggled with eating whole wheat products. It used to make me want to throw up so I tried to avoid eating breakfast and snuck downstairs early to instead eat chocolate cookies or something similar. Children, right? I didn’t do well with meat either so during dinner I would sort of pretend to eat it and get rid of it elsewhere, then go back to something like biscuits. I only stopped doing this when I became depressed and went through life eating plain crackers for a while.
A few years later before university, my friend and I discovered our love for food. A typical day we spend together starts by getting our favourite cheesecake and tea somewhere, followed by all you can eat sushi (and I mean all you can eat) plus ice cream from our favourite ice cream parlour. How do we manage to eat all of that? I don’t know but she reserves a specific ML fund for when I’m back in the Netherlands as we tend to see each other several times. And yes I do tend to gain weight whenever I visit, lol.
When I started university in 2015 I also started eating chocolate, crisps, doughnuts and all the great sugary things at quite an alarming rate (mentioned that in this post before). I started gaining weight (though it was rather gradually and not that noticeable to anyone but me) and felt more insecure because of it. I wasn’t unhappy with my body but it bothered me that it had changed. This is probably really silly and I feel embarrassed writing it but I thought that the more time passed, the less attractive I became which meant I should really find a girlfriend or dominant soon because otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to experience my best years. Is this how people feel when they get older? lol. Seriously though, I’m pretty sure I didn’t go a single day without eating chocolate for months at a time. This was still very much the case when Lois told me to start eating healthy and lose some weight and I welcomed it. I had suggested that she should maybe interfere so I would stop eating chocolate; it was an addiction that I wanted to get rid of but couldn’t on my own. I had tried things like going on a refined sugar-free diet (like I bought a cooking book and all) as well as other things and it all failed.
Losing weight worried me because I didn’t think I was able to do it as I had no idea where to start (other than cutting out chocolate). She very matter-of-factly said that it was very simple; all I had to do was consume fewer calories than that went out. “Alright,” I said. “I’ll try, I guess but please help me if I can’t do it.” She stepped in once to punish me for eating chocolate. The only other thing she did was ask me for a picture here and there, as well as update her on my weight. Otherwise, I did it all by myself. Apparently I only needed the order and my usual desire to please her.
For a while, I kept track of what I was eating and my weight with my Fitbit, though I wasn’t very consistent. I can’t remember the exact date that I started but it was sometime in February when I was around 60kg.
The first thing I did was cutting out chocolate, which was really difficult because I was truly addicted. I knew from the start that I couldn’t just go off and have nothing to replace it with. I tried carrots and hummus, which I didn’t fancy enough so I scrapped that and ended up with small round crackers that I ate with jam (maybe 4 to 8 a day). I started eating miso soup for breakfast (which I love) and ate an omelette with ham, cheese and spinach for lunch with probably one or two pieces of toast and hummus. Dinner could be something like sweet potato fries, salmon and a mix of vegetables. I also ate pasta or noodles sometimes. I know you’re supposed to go off carbs when losing weight but I exercise so I kind of need them. I also think that rather than full-on dieting, mostly all I did was change my eating habits. I already only drank water (and tea) and obviously exercised a lot, so there wasn’t much I had to change about my lifestyle.
On the 7th of March, I was 57.3kg, which is the picture below. On the 6th I went to 57.1kg, on the 7th to 57kg and on the 8th to 56.5kg.
I was so surprised that I was actually losing weight. I honestly thought losing weight required some excessive diet and so far, cutting out all the bad things seemed to be working pretty well. For context’s sake, I was around 54kg when I started university (at 20). In the six years prior I was between 50 and 54kg and I stopped growing when I was 13 years old (stuck at 163 cm, lol. Thank you Asian genes *cough*). By the 16th of March, I reached 56.2kg.
On the 17th I went down to 56kg and then stopped making progress for the following 5 days. My mental health had dropped so I ate chocolate (when I say eat chocolate I mean like a full bar, if not two) and needed some days to go back to where I’d been. On the 22nd I went to 55.8kg, 23rd: 55.7kg, 24th: 55.6kg, 25th: 55.5kg, 26th: 54.8kg (Don’t ask me how. Football match perhaps) and on the 27th I reached 54.2kg.
Seeing the changes in my body was a real eye-opener. Liam and I were both amazed because every time we thought I looked great and it couldn’t really make much of a difference to lose more weight it did. Seeing the changes in my body did make me appreciate myself more and it gave me confidence. Lois had never given me a specific number to work towards but kind of judged it along the way. I was pretty happy by this point but apparently it wasn’t quite up to her standard yet so she said to keep on going.
I don’t know how much I weighted in the picture below. According to my Fitbit, on the 30th of March, I was 53.8kg and on the 17th of April 52.5kg. I didn’t log how much I weighed on the 4th of April but that’s when this picture was taken.
I then hit another slump of 10 days and reached 52kg on the 26th of April. Finally, 23 days later I reached 50.2kg on the 19th of May, which is when I stopped dieting and had to figure out how to eat enough calories to remain stable. The thing is, I struggled when my mental health sucked but I wasn’t hungry while I was dieting. I didn’t obsess over calories. After the first 2 weeks, I had found a certain eating schedule that worked. All I needed to do was eat breakfast, lunch and dinner and as long as I did that, it kind of worked. It’s probably because I exercise so much. During an away match, my team always went to MacDonalds afterwards and I always got a burger and fries (sometimes a Macflurry) too but I wouldn’t have gained any weight the next day. That’s how many calories I lose during a football match? I don’t know, I’m not a dietician. But I also have a really fast metabolism, which makes sense because I exercise a lot.
The best benefit of this diet was that I stopped feeling like food (and specifically chocolate) was controlling me. I stopped having that craving and constant need to eat something with sugar, which gave my mind so much peace. Secondly, my stomach didn’t hurt as much and my constipation became better and thirdly, I felt a lot more confident because of my body. This time of my life, depression wise was honestly the lightest (pun intended ha) I had felt like in years and years. Like, I couldn’t remember that I had ever felt like this before. I wasn’t euphoric, just alright and happy, I think. I’ve kind of forgotten what that feels like again, but it was great.
The End of Our Dynamic
I didn’t cope very well when my dynamic with Lois ended (July). I tried to stick to my good habits and even managed for a few days thinking I would only feel worse if I lost the figure I’d worked so hard to get while regaining my chocolate addiction. Of course, I broke and did end up eating chocolate. I went back to 52kg pretty quickly and then started swinging in between 51kg and 52kg. I was trying to fight my urge to eat sugar and succeeded for maybe two or three days at a time before going down the slippery slope again.
I can’t remember much from that time. When I dissociate or break down or end up in a long depressive period I tend to barely remember anything from that time. There are a few key points I can remember, which are essentially 5-second snippets of something that somehow stuck to my mind. To me, they’re like stills, like a moment captured and frozen in time so I have at least a point of reference. In August I was in the Netherlands and between then and December I sort of stabilised around 51kg, which I was happy with. I don’t need to be 50kg; Lois liked me to be. But around March I stopped being stable again.
During this pandemic, my eating habit has felt out of control in the same way it did after my dynamic with Lois ended. I started swinging between 52kg and 54kg and I didn’t feel too bothered about 52kg, but 54kg was definitely a low. But more than my weight, what really bothers me is that food seems to be in control, not me. I’m not actually eating a lot of sugar but I am overeating and this can be anything. At first, I had a few of the small round crackers with jam or cheese, which I mentioned above but since the pandemic, if they’re in my cupboard I’ll just eat all of them. I stopped buying jam or cheese to prevent this from happening but I would still eat them without. It then took me about two more weeks before I was able to stop buying the crackers.
What followed was beschuit with chocolate sprinkles, which is Dutch (see the picture below. However, I use about 1/3rd of the amount of chocolate sprinkles and eat it without butter). My dad sends me a box with Dutch stuff I miss sometimes. During Christmas, I ate these instead of bread so just before the pandemic, I asked him to send me a lot, which translated to about 20 packages of 13. Now since I’ve been overeating you can imagine that 20 packages are a bit of a weight gaining problem. Then when I finished all of them I started eating too much bread (which I tried to stop by putting it in the freezer because then it requires effort to make toast, which didn’t work). As a result, I replaced bread with rye crackers because they don’t taste that nice except that didn’t seem to matter. I then moved onto boring plain rice crackers, then carrots and hummus because I never really liked that either and still every single time, I end up overeating. It’s been a bit of a disaster, really. I have never had this kind of overeating, where it literally doesn’t matter what it is.
At the moment I’m still swinging between 52kg and 54kg. It literally depends on my mood at the moment and I absolutely hate it and hate myself for it. When I overeat (no matter what I look like and whether I’m 50kg or 60kg) I don’t feel good or confident in my own skin. When I’m down all my mind can think about is wanting to eat and I’m constantly fighting myself in order not to. The later it is in the day, the more likely I am to lose that fight. I know that I’m capable of getting out of this and I know that life is still rather strange right now and my mental health isn’t at its best. However, I feel like I need to get out of this sooner rather than later as this in and of itself is affecting my mental health too. I want to stop thinking about food all the time and just have some peace. I’ll get there.