Coming out of lockdown… coming out to comments about weight loss – HELP!

Hey folks

My mid-week post coming a day early as it’d just be good to ‘chat’!

You know, I guess there are parts of this post that could also relate to those who’ve perhaps put on weight during the last year. Much of my life has gone remote with seeing clients online where just my shoulders and head are on show. I feel SO protected like this! I like the fact that others can’t see what lies beneath and I guess I could get very comfortable with being here…. perhaps a bit too comfortable. Virtually everyone I have seen face-to-face are either clients who see me as a one-off anyway or just random strangers if I’m out walking.

I shared last week that I’ve already had comments in the past 10 days from people who have seen me before (i.e. a pharmacy assistant and a builder) and have exclaimed “HOW much weight have you lost?” the moment they’ve laid eyes on me. The thing is that I know (or I guess) that such comments are very well intended and come from a really good place so I certainly don’t begrudge them. Even if I didn’t find myself currently battling an eating disorder, I think I’d feel some sense of awkwardness. Do I like compliments? Sometimes but not about my body. But when the two people have then gone on to ask how I’ve lost it, the last thing I want to say is “Well, you know, I’m battling atypical anorexia right now and I’m actually very poorly and my heart and kidneys aren’t doing great but, apart from that, yeah, just eating less and moving more“! People don’t need to know the truth and I don’t need to tell them. 3 friends, other than professionals, know what’s going on for me. But I feel that that once I crack the anorexic grip that’s dictating how many calories I’m eating, I will be in a better place. My understanding of eating and health have actually improved since the start of this journey. My mind has really changed in many good ways so I’m feeling positive that the weight isn’t going to go back on.

In the next few weeks, I’ll be back to a voluntary job I’ve done for 3 years (but they haven’t seen me since I was 158 lbs heavier last year), I’m bound to see family and I genuinely can’t wait to see friends. Yes, I want to reconnect with people but, you know, it would just be great if they could skate over the whole weight loss thing. But the reality is that I’m just pounds away from losing half my original body weight in 15 months and perhaps they think that I’d love a compliment! No!!!!! Please just ask how I am. Please just ask what I’ve been up to. Please just give me the choice about whether I even mention the whole body shape / weight thing… which I’m very unlikely to! But being able to blog about all of this and talking to my therapist (whom I’ve never met in the flesh since the world went remote last spring) over the next few weeks will be an enormous help. Just articulating how it leaves me feeling and processing that.

I’ll be back on Friday (I’ll try not to forget this week!) about where I am with my eating disorder. My therapist told me on Monday that there is a plan to offer me some additional support with another professional which will run alongside the work I’m doing with him. I have to say that even over the past few days, my calorie ‘limit’ has gone down further…. I won’t go into details right now and in fact I’m waiting to hear a bit more myself about this potential support but I’ll give you an honest update on Friday about where things are at.

Right, off shortly to watch the first semi-final of Eurovision 2021!

Take care all

Erika xx

My belt has run out of holes!

Hi folks

Just a quick post today as I’m super busy with work but my belt has run out of holes! Yes, this is the belt that I need for the jeans that are getting too big although I’m a bit mystified as the belt is a ‘medium’.

Something that’s been puzzling me over the past few days is my body shape. I know our bodies change over time but I’m now lighter than 10 years ago when I lost a lot of weight… and in fact I’m the lightest I’ve been for 24 years. 10 years ago, I was wearing clothes a whole size down and people were telling me to stop losing weight as I was looking skinny (despite actually being overweight!). This time, I’ve got so much loose skin on my belly, going from the top of my thighs to my knees, on my upper arms. So, if I’ve got this excess skin that’s making me bulkier in certain areas, are there parts of me that are actually smaller than last time? How can I be lighter because I don’t physically feel it? I did have a friend tell me last night that I’m looking skinny… not in a “Hey, look at you girl!” way but actually concerned. What I don’t want to say is “I’m overweight“! And I had a pharmacist who hasn’t seen me for about 5 months exclaim when I walked in today about how much I’ve lost. She said “You’re not going to lose any more, are you?“. This was so awkward to answer but I spoke honestly and said “Yes, a bit more“…. to which she commented that I don’t need to and I need to buy smaller clothes. To be honest, comments about weight loss are feeling a bit awkward and the more I see people as we come out of lockdown, the harder it’s going to be. The pharmacy (who is really lovely and I’ve got to know a bit over the past 2-3 years) did ask how much I’ve lost and how I’m doing it…. mmm… “Eating less; moving more“. I don’t need to tell her what’s really going on!

Anyway, that’s me for today and I’ll be back either Friday or Saturday to continue thinking a bit more about what I’ve just written….

Hope you have a good day

Love Erika xx

Would you tell someone if they’d lost weight?

Hey guys

I’m SO curious to find out how readers of my blog would answer this question. You see, not that long ago, I would have answered this with a resounding “YES” without any hesitation. Doesn’t everyone like a compliment? Doesn’t everyone like their hard work being noticed? However, I’ve been reading around online and, having seen other people’s perspectives, it’s making me question not only how I may feel about being asked the above question as I go forth on my own journey but what I would say to others who’ve lost weight. After all, it’s perhaps not a straightforward question.

Being told how my weight loss is visible has brought an extra spring to my step and me telling myself “YEEESSSSSSS. Go Erika! You’re rocking this!” It can be a positive reinforcement that what I’m doing is working and it encourages me to keep going. Perhaps compliments stroke my ego!!! But I know that people can find a comment like “Wow. You’ve lost so much weight. You look amazing” hard to take. From their perspectives, they can question how they looked pre-weight loss and even feel low or ashamed. And what if people don’t say anything at all. Is the weight loss not yet visible? Is there another reason behind this? Are they debating whether it’s okay with you if they comment?

I know from personal experience that being asked “You’re not going to lose more weight, are you?” isn’t an easy one. When I had atypical anorexia 9 years ago, friends were really concerned about me as the weight fell off and I looked very gaunt. I easily fitted into US size 8 / UK size 12 clothes but what they didn’t know (and nor did the professionals as I refused to get on the scales) was that my BMI was 27. I was overweight. I’ll reach that same point again when I get to 175 lbs so, if asked, do I need to justify my reason to keep going and have to admit that I’m actually still overweight so that they stop worrying? What I hope is that losing even more weight than before but far more slowly will actually result in me looking healthier. Because of Covid and seeing very few people since February 2020, hardly anyone knows that I’m on this weight-loss journey and I guess it’s human nature to be curious about whether people will say anything.

My conclusion? I think the way we take comments from others is a very individual thing. Some people will lap them up and be spurred on. Others may see comments as saying more about how they were prior to their transformation than how they look now and feel pretty low. For me, yes, I love a compliment but I feel that I’ve gained the ability to self-love and celebrate my own successes without replying on what others say. But I guess I can also understand that people who know about my life-threatening history of eating disorders could be reluctant to say anything in case I ‘take it too far’. And as for what I’d say to others? Perhaps I’ll be a bit more cautious and rather than go straight in with something weight-related, I might start with “Hey, how’re you doing?” to see what they say and gauge how a compliment would go down.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this.

Well, guys, hope you have a good weekend and I’ll be back on Monday with my next weigh-in.

Love Erika xx

When the postman notices your weight loss!!!!!!

Hey guys

This happened 10 minutes ago and I just had to jump onto my blog and share this with you!! Bearing in mind that the only people I’ve seen since March are the people I live with, clients (who I rarely see more than once) and a couple of friends, there’s little opportunity to know if my weight loss is noticeable. I’d certainly hope so by now by now 🙂

Well, our lovely postie (who, can I just point out I’ve always liked anyway before today!) knocked on our door with a couple of parcels and commented how he’s noticed I’m looking really good! Apparently, he said to his wife last night that there’s a lady on his rounds who’s clearly lost a lot of weight and did she think it’d be rude if he told me so. She clearly encouraged him to and, voila, the result is me just buzzing! Yes, matey, 100 lbs to be exact ❤

Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow blogging about my fitness medals but hope you can see why you’re the first people I wanted to tell. And to those who’ve started following my blog in the past few days, a genuinely warm welcome and thank you from me!

Love Erika xx